NOPD Commander Paul Noel — who led the NOPD Special Victims Unit prior to his appointment to the Uptown-based Second District — has been named the leader of a task force to re-investigate sex cases ignored by detectives since his departure and recommend new policies to reform the unit, officials announced Tuesday.
There’s an old joke that “NOPD” stands for “Not Our Problem, Dude.” When it comes to investigating sex crimes, alas, it’s simply the reality of the situation.
A report from the New Orleans Office of the Inspector General released this past week showed that the NOPD is essentially ignoring the vast majority of sex crimes. The OIG report studied 1,290 sex crime incidents from 2011 to 2013 assigned to five detectives (almost a third of the 16 detectives in the Special Victims Section). Of those, only 179, or 14%, included a supplemental report reflecting that the claim had been properly investigated.
A proposal to renovate a blighted Carrollton storefront into a commercial kitchen expanded into far broader discussion Tuesday of how the rapid rate of development in New Orleans affects the city’s long-time residents, but officials ultimately decided that those societal issues can’t be saddled onto an individual business owner and voted in favor of the project.
A proposed commercial kitchen on Willow Street dubbed the “Carrollton Commissary” will return to the City Planning Commission this week, after city officials suggested two weeks ago that the business owners needed more time to discuss the project with neighbors who vocally opposed it.
Separate proposals for a Mexican restaurant in Broadmoor and a commercial kitchen for catering operations in Carrollton found themselves facing frustrated neighbors and hesitant officials during a City Planning meeting on Tuesday afternoon.
A chef at a popular Mid-City eatery hopes to open her own Mexican restaurant in Broadmoor, but first she will need to obtain commercial zoning for a former Broad Street drug store that neighbors have long fought to keep residential.
When it comes to Alcoholic Beverage Outlets (ABOs), the city is an irredeemable bully. Unless Mayor Landrieu steps in, it’s likely to continue.
Case in point: The Country Club, a bar and restaurant located in the Bywater, has long been famous for amenities such as its pool and sauna. It is also known for its freewheeling, hedonistic atmosphere particularly characterized by its “clothing optional” policy.
The New Orleans Police lieutenant charged with leading investigations in the Uptown-based Second District was promoted this week to commander and charged with leading the city’s crime lab.
As the restaurateur planning a distillery restaurant on St. Charles Avenue prepares to ask the city for permission to sell alcohol in the building that currently houses Halpern’s Furniture Store, neighbors are voicing their concerns about how it and the associated hotel redevelopment on the block will affect their ability to park near their homes.
With certain issues, there’s often a central figure whose opinion you always want to know. If there’s a foreign policy incident, the Secretary of State should probably be consulted. If there’s a disease outbreak, the head of the Center for Disease Control should probably be on board. Want to gauge response to a major crime? Let’s see what the chief of police has to say.
And if you want to take some radical step pertaining to city streets, like taking out a traffic lane in the middle of downtown New Orleans, surely you’d want to know what Chief Traffic Engineer Allen Yrle thinks of it. Heck, you might think his support would be considered crucial.
Alas, you would be wrong.
Investors in the U.S. and around the world have been getting an economic reality shock as the markets are adjusting to a new normal. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen five percent in the last five days. Though certainly not the biggest loss in history, it does send a clear message that growth has been slowed in every corner of the planet — probably by “bad policy making and political inaction”, according to TIME.
A plan to sell off a vacant lot formerly used as a filling station for New Orleans Police Department vehicles near the rebounding Broad Street commercial corridor has been postponed indefinitely while city officials try to determine the extent of soil contamination under the site, but Broadmoor activists say it will likely attract strong interest once it goes to auction.
As the start of construction nears on a new community center funded by a state investment of more than $1 million, members of the Carrollton neighborhood remain apprehensive about the organization chosen to operate it — despite repeated assurances from officials that this is the most effective use of the land and the money moving forward.
No, you’re not imagining things. Violent crime in New Orleans is definitely getting worse.
Alas, the NOPD’s proposed “solutions” aren’t getting any better.
Just this month, the so-called “brown paper bag bandit” robbed two people in separate incidents two days apart – both within spitting distance of Trinity Episcopal Church. Those robberies especially stuck with me because they occurred with a couple of blocks of my house.
It’s called the “BigBelly,” and it’s being pitched to cities across the country as a miracle of American innovation. It’s a solar-powered trash compactor designed to replace ordinary city trash receptacles. There is practically no green-tech buzzword that doesn’t apply to these things.
I first began seeing the BigBellies in New Orleans last year along the Canal Streetcar line. The website Clean Technica reported in December 2012 that the city hoped to have “at least 150 solar-powered trash compactors installed,” before the Super Bowl and that, contracts and bidding permitted, “[t]his number could be expanded to 242.”
Presently, the city is planning on expanding the BigBelly receptacles to the French Quarter and Downtown Development District. The bid date is set for October 30th at 11 a.m. It’s happening, and it’s happening soon.
What hasn’t happened, at least as far as I can see, is proper due diligence.
As contractors have begun digging deep underneath South Claiborne, Jefferson, Napoleon and now Louisiana avenues to install new drainage ditches, Uptown New Orleans residents have asked pointed questions prior to each project about what the neutral ground will look like when the projects are finally done over the next three years.
On Tuesday night, those residents got their first look at possible answers, including a continuation of the walking path down Napoleon Avenue, public art installations on South Claiborne, tall palms restored to Jefferson Avenue and a variety of landscaping options on Louisiana. For many, however, those answers led to more questions — such as whether the projects will incorporate ideas from the city’s new water-management strategy, which plants could be harmful to traffic visibility in certain locations, and how the canopies over the avenues will look with the finished projects.
“Look both ways before crossing the street.”
Every child is taught that line, the essence being that before you step off the curb, you’d better have verified that three tons of automotive engineering won’t be bearing down on your fleshy, fragile form. Being a pedestrian is perilous, and you have to take precautions.
However, in the City of New Orleans, it is often a great deal more dangerous than it ought to be.
For years, as celebrated New York City restaurateurs Sean Josephs and Mani Dawes made visits to see Dawes’ mother in New Orleans, the idea of opening a restaurant in Dawes’ hometown was never far from their minds.
“There were a lot of runs around Audubon Park where we fantasized about leaving New York and moving here,” Josephs said. “I didn’t understand that if you marry someone from New Orleans, they’ll always bring you back.”
Sure enough, Josephs and Dawes are now planning a restaurant just a stone’s throw from her mother’s house and Audubon Park, anchoring a redevelopment already underway at the corner of Magazine Street and Nashville Avenue.