Jan 092014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

In simple terms, many of New Orleans’ races this year’s races are breaking down to the status quo (incumbents) and those who say not good enough for us (the challengers). This “Tale of Two Cities” campaign theme was imprinted by new New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and is inspiring progressives and liberals around the country including Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Minor.

There is more consistent and insistent talk about income equality, which even President Obama has called “a fundamental threat to the American dream.” Even the newly elected mayor in Seattle, home of many prosperous tech companies and their high-paying jobs, has created a task force to examine the issue. de Blasio says there is a progressive movement in America that is having a real effect with mayors from around the country talking about fighting inequality and poverty and expanding access to early childhood education. Continue reading »

Jan 082014
 
Ladders form a backdrop to the Krewe of Proteus on Napoleon Avenue in 2012. A proposed new law would require all ladders be six feet back from the curb. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Ladders form a backdrop to the Krewe of Proteus on Napoleon Avenue in 2012. A proposed new law would require all ladders be six feet back from the curb. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

All Mardi Gras ladders must be kept at least six feet back from the curb during parades, and may not be chained together, under a set of new laws being introduced this week before the New Orleans City Council. Continue reading »

Jan 082014
 
David Capasso, Jason Coleman and Susan Guidry appear before the Independent Women's Organization on Monday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

David Capasso, Jason Coleman and Susan Guidry appear before the Independent Women’s Organization on Monday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Violent crime in neighborhoods, economic development and opportunity, balancing the city budget and even gay marriage and marijuana legalization were all discussed Tuesday night by Democratic candidates in the New Orleans city elections, many appearing on the same stage for the first time a mere three weeks before the Feb. 1 election day.

The pace was brisk and the tone was mostly — though not always — genial as the Independent Women’s Organization asked a handful of questions to more than two dozen Democratic candidates for mayor, City Council and other citywide offices. Continue reading »

Jan 072014
 
(photo by jewel bush for UptownMessenger.com)

(photo by jewel bush for UptownMessenger.com)

jewel bush

It’s 34 degrees at daybreak; and the temperature is rapidly dropping. The day is as dreary as it is gray, but not even the hawk — or the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) — can keep Brandan “BMike” Odums away from the Florida Projects.

He’s not breaking and entering in the name of creation this time around. The visual artist, who is equally dexterous with spray paint as he is with acrylic and pen and ink, is there to reflect on #ProjectBe, an organic participatory art odyssey that began last summer. #ProjectBe sparked debates among the arties — and authorities – about what makes “legitimate” art and whether a weather-beaten public housing development can ever be more than an underground thrill. Continue reading »

Jan 072014
 

Following the holidays, New Orleans voters may feel like the Feb. 1 elections are coming on a compressed schedule, with Election Day just three weeks from Saturday. But several civic groups are quickly mobilizing to provide residents with opportunities to hear from the candidates first-hand in the next two weeks, starting today (Tuesday, Jan. 7). Continue reading »

Jan 062014
 

By Louise Hoffman, St. Charles Avenue Association

All the discussions about how to – and how not to – change New Orleans’ sound management efforts is much like being in a bar with too much noise: A lot of raised voices, so you have to strain to understand what’s going on. So here is some context and additional information I hope you’ll find useful.

On December 19, 2013, the City Council introduced some amendments to the city’s current sound ordinances. All seven of the City Council members signed on as co-sponsors. No one, including and especially any New Orleans’ politician, wants to kill our local music scene as has been alleged on the Internet. If all the City Council members signed on, they don’t believe this will change music as we know it. It won’t. Continue reading »

Jan 062014
 

Owen Courreges

When it comes to noise laws, the constitutional issues arise on both ends.  The way the law is written is crucial, because it must be narrowly tailored.  The way the law is enforced is equally essential, because Courts will look to practical realities.

All of this is essential to understanding the problems inherent in New Orleans’ proposed revisions to its noise ordinances. Continue reading »

Jan 042014
 
A police lieutenant demonstrates an extension of the body cameras that can be mounted on a visor or helmet. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Lt. Travis St. Pierre demonstrates an extension of the body cameras that can be mounted on a visor or helmet. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas models a body camera during a news conference Friday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas models a body camera during a news conference Friday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

New Orleans Police officials modeled the new cameras Friday that will be part of all on-duty officers’ uniforms this year, as efforts continue to recruit more officers to shore up the ranks of the shrinking police force. Continue reading »

Jan 022014
 

Mayor Landrieu shoots baskets in the rebuilt Lyons Center gym at the reopening ceremony in June 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Mayor Landrieu shoots baskets in the rebuilt Lyons Center gym at the reopening ceremony in June 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Mayor Mitch Landrieu used the Lyons Center — fully renovated and reopened this past summer after languishing since Hurricane Katrina — as a backdrop Thursday morning for a news conference touting New Orleans’ progress in public recreation in 2013. Continue reading »

Jan 012014
 
The Claiborne bus line is shown in purple, and the Jackson route through Uptown is in tan. (via norta.com)

The Claiborne bus line is shown in purple, and the Jackson route through Uptown is in tan. (via norta.com)

Starting next week, daytime buses on South Claiborne Avenue and nighttime buses on Jackson Avenue will run more frequently as part of a series of upgrades to New Orleans bus service around the city for 2014, officials said. Continue reading »

Dec 302013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

That old Morial magic still works.

When the invitations went out from National Urban League CEO Marc Morial’s office for a Friday luncheon at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, you could feel the stir in the political community. Last Friday, with the restaurant closed for the private event, there wasn’t an empty chair in the place. Continue reading »

Dec 232013
 

Drew Ward

Drew Ward

Reid Stone

Reid Stone

The two Republicans running for the New Orleans City Council District A seat are effectively joining forces in the Democratic district, with entrepreneur Reid Stone announcing his withdrawal Monday afternoon and joining the campaign of neighborhood-activist Drew Ward. Continue reading »

Dec 232013
 

Owen Courreges

This past Thursday, the City Council introduced an ordinance to strengthen New Orleans’ noise regulations.  Predictably, I am less than thrilled.  Because the issues involved are multifaceted and I always seek to edify my valued readers, I have written the following Q&A regarding these newly proposed noise laws. As a holiday bonus, the questions will be asked by the ghost of John Wayne. Continue reading »