With only a few days left before Saturday’s election, the five candidates running for the District A seat will meet twice in the Carrollton neighborhood this week — discussing housing issues on Tuesday and fielding questions from neighborhood leaders Wednesday.
After a year of discussion and a month of revisions, the New Orleans City Council met very little opposition Thursday morning to a series of changes to crowd behavior during Mardi Gras parades — including a six-foot setback for viewing ladders and a prohibition on roping off the neutral ground or placing private portable toilets on public property.
But one community activist running for City Council urged the city to take an additional step: banning smoking during the parades.
The New Orleans City Council is scheduled to discuss the proposed changes to the laws surrounding Mardi Gras parades, including a six-foot setback between ladders and the curb and a prohibition on roping off the neutral ground.
See below for live coverage.
While several of the candidates for mayor are talking what we think is the truth about the economic inequities that still divide New Orleans, it’s a fact that the New Orleans economy is in better shape today than it has been in years and that New Orleans has sprung back quicker after Katrina than many cities have since the financial markets’ collapse. But that does not mean our economic picture is rosy across the board.
The maritime industry is on an upswing under the capable leadership of Gary LaGrange. The tourism industry under Greg Rusovich, Mark Romig, Mavis Early, Bob Johnson and others is working hard to compete with glitzier marketing budgets and state-of-the-art convention centers across the country. Too many of our tourism industry jobs are low-paying and the opportunities for advancement – especially by undereducated and unskilled African-Americans workers stuck in minimum wage jobs – are minimal.
Although the site of the former Martin Wine Cellar on Baronne Street remains a quiet concrete foundation, neighbors have been cheered by the sounds of construction at the old New Orleans Bicycle Club building next door, and owner Cedric Martin says rebuilding his beloved grocery remains on track to begin in March and finish six months later.
Buildings along a 10-block stretch of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard are now eligible for grants of up to $50,000 to help with the costs of historic renovations, as part of a $1 million “Main Street”-style program across New Orleans announced by Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Tuesday.
Though the work is hard and much still remains, New Orleans is moving ever closer in tangible ways to becoming more like the community that Dr. Martin Luther King envisioned for America, city officials said Monday morning.
“Each generation for a moment grips the arc of history and bends it one way or another, but it does not bend on its own,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu on the steps of City Hall. “Here in New Orleans, there is no doubt we are moving forward together.”
City Councilwoman Susan Guidry stands by her record as she seeks a second term, but challenger Jason Coleman thinks New Orleans should be doing better. David Capasso would focus on raising workers’ wages, Stephen Gordon wants city government to run more like a small business, and Drew Ward thinks that New Orleans is being rebuilt in the wrong way.
These were the pitches the five candidates for the District A seat on the City Council made to the Alliance for Good Government this week, as they also debated issues such as how to fix the streets in Lakeview, a proposed railroad through Hollygrove and Mid-City, the behavior of corner stores and, of course, crime.
Two sitting members of the New Orleans City Council and all of their challengers said the city needs a new police chief on Wednesday night in a response to a question asked by the Alliance for Good Government.
A new petition protesting a plan to reroute freight trains through Hollygrove has gained 1,000 signatures, according to a report in Mid-City Messenger. “We Won’t Be Railroaded,” the coalition of Hollygrove and Mid-City residents behind the petition, hopes to have 10,000 signatures by mid-Spring, according to the story.
Sheriff Marlin Gusman and his predecessor, Charles Foti, blame each other for conditions at the Orleans Parish Jail. School board president Ira Thomas blames them both, and gardener Quentin Brown blames them all.
That question — whether the incumbents are responsible for shortcomings in New Orleans’ public institutions, or took poor situations and tried to improve them — resonated through the Alliance For Good Government forums in citywide races Tuesday night.
A New Orleans City Council committee is recommending a ban on roping off areas of the neutral ground during parades be added to a list of changes to the city’s Mardi Gras laws, they said Tuesday morning.
Howdy, folks! My name is Owen Courrèges and I’m here to regale you with my unique brand of stand-up comedy.
…So the City Attorney, the Head of the Taxi Bureau and the Chief of Police walk into a bar. The Taxi Bureau Chief says: “Barkeep! Three beers for these dedicated mayoral appointees!” Obligingly, the bartender slides three bottles of beer down the bar.
In December, the city of New Orleans announced the opening of the Wisner Dog Run, the first free, official place for dogs to play without a leash in the city limits, accomplished by a maze of new fencing between the existing Wisner Park softball field, basketball courts and playgrounds that allows pets ample room to romp.
“This is something that people in the neighborhood have been waiting for for a very long time,” said Sam Winston of the Friends of Wisner Park. “People are just thrilled.”
Though Uptown dog owners and neighborhood residents cheer the development, it represents a significant departure from a much more ambitious plan discussed at public forums throughout the city in 2012 for as many as 20 new dog parks and dog runs on vacant land across the city. Instead, city officials are now evaluating new spaces for dogs to get off-leash exercise on a case-by-case basis, and Wisner may represent the new model for the future of how dogs, their owners and other park-goers play together in New Orleans in the future.
Challengers David Capasso, Jason Coleman and Drew Ward debated issues of economic inequality, crime, public infrastructure and progress since Hurricane Katrina with City Councilwoman Susan Guidry last week at a candidates’ forum at Dillard University, according to Della Hasselle of MidCityMessenger.com.
On Saturday in Central City, volunteers, both local and visiting, came out to fix up A.L. Davis Park as well as Carter G. Woodson School as part of the sixth NOLA for Life Day effort.
A set of new laws concerning conduct during Mardi Gras parades will not ban toilet paper from being thrown from floats, in a change from a draft of the laws introduced by the City Council earlier this week.
Either the city of New Orleans made tremendous progress in the last four years, or it has not really come as far as its leaders are saying. Or, is it going in the wrong direction entirely?
These were the three positions staked out by Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Judge Michael Bagneris and NAACP President Danatus King in a debate before the Alliance for Good Government on Thursday evening. Landrieu, defending his first term, argued that his administration has made impressive strides in a city with both immediate and long-term problems. Bagneris accused Landrieu of misleading the public with distorted reports, and King argued that Landrieu has enacted policies that will ultimately weaken the city through the inequality they create.