Dec 132013
 

Stephen Gordon

Stephen Gordon

Reid Stone

Reid Stone

An advocate for Lakeview street repairs and a marketing entrepreneur bring the field of candidates vying for Susan Guidry’s seat on the New Orleans City Council to six when qualifying closed Friday afternoon, but Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell drew no opponents. Continue reading »

Dec 132013
 

UPDATE: Saturday’s event has been canceled and rescheduled for Jan. 11.

At a "Fight the Blight" event in March 2011, Mayor Mitch Landrieu paints a gate around the pool at Taylor Park in Hoffman Triangle with Laquinn Huey, who was 8 at the time. NOLA For Life Day, a continuation of those efforts, will be held Saturday at A.L. Davis Park in Central City. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

At a “Fight the Blight” event in March 2011, Mayor Mitch Landrieu paints a gate around the pool at Taylor Park in Hoffman Triangle with Laquinn Huey, who was 8 at the time. NOLA For Life Day, a continuation of those efforts, will be held Saturday at A.L. Davis Park in Central City. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

The city of New Orleans will bring a host of governmental agencies and nonprofits to A.L. Davis Playground in Central City on Saturday for the sixth “NOLA For Life” Day in an effort to reduce crime in the city through improving quality of life. Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Dec 122013
 
The First Spanish-American Baptist Church building at 1824 Sophie Wright Place. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The First Spanish-American Baptist Church building at 1824 Sophie Wright Place. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The latest request to demolish the First Spanish-American Baptist Church building in the Lower Garden District — listed in 2011 as one of the most endangered historic structures in New Orleans — was denied with more stern words from city officials Thursday, but the fate of the structure remains uncertain as it continues to decay. Continue reading »

Dec 122013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

We are not fans of racial divisiveness. But lots of time in politics, voting occurs along racial lines. This election cycle may be a prime example of that.

Danae drove to Judge Michael Bagneris’ home early this morning because she wanted to be among the first to show her support for the Bagneris For Mayor Campaign. Actually, Danae should have gone yesterday evening when a small crowd gathered on Bagneris’ doorstep. In light of Bagneris’ resignation yesterday from his long-time post at Civil District Court, chances are very strong that he will qualify prior to the 4:30 p.m. Friday cutoff. Continue reading »

Dec 112013
 

(map via DOTD)

(map via DOTD)

City Councilwoman Susan Guidry called a proposal to reroute freight trains from Old Metairie to Hollygrove “totally unacceptable” before an audience in Mid-City on Monday evening, and Hollygrove residents formed a new committee called “We Won’t Be Railroaded” to fight the project Tuesday, according to a report by Della Hasselle at our sister publication, Mid-City Messenger. In addition to the environmental and quality-of-life concerns, there may also be civil-rights issues involved in the use of federal money on a project that would widen the disparity in property values between the two communities, Mid-City Messenger reports.

Dec 102013
 

The house at 2247-2249 O.C. Haley Boulevard. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The house at 2247-2249 O.C. Haley Boulevard. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City officials and neighborhood have proudly trumpeted their fight against blight and the revitalization of O.C. Haley Boulevard, but a request to convert a small shotgun house on the street into a commercial office or shop ran into reluctance from city planners Tuesday. Continue reading »

Dec 092013
 

Owen Courreges

There is little uglier in this world than rent seeking, particularly when it’s specifically aimed at eliminating competition by reducing opportunity for others.  Longstanding, established businesses can be especially guilty of this.  After all, why beat your competition fairly and squarely when you’ve been around so long that you can simply send in the cops?

Recently, rent-seeking has come to Frenchman Street. Continue reading »

Dec 052013
 

A concrete-batching plant under construction on a lot about a block from the South Broad Street overpass has been halted temporarily amid opposition from residents of the Zion City neighborhood; rapidly rising home prices in the Irish Channel made the area the focus for a recent case study of post-Katrina gentrification; and the dramatic reduction in appraised value of an assisted-living center on Magazine Street is being questioned, according to recent reports. Continue reading »

Dec 052013
 

The fire station on Laurel Street near Wisner Park. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The fire station on Laurel Street near Wisner Park. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The proposal to create a coffee house called “Engine 37″ in the former Laurel Street fire station near Wisner Park won unanimous approval Thursday from the New Orleans City Council, whose members cited the support for it among neighbors and the benefits it will bring to the area. Continue reading »

Dec 052013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Kristin Gisleson-Palmer had to make a tough decision this week about her future on the New Orleans City Council — a decision she may not have been planning to make even days before. Kristin thought she was doing a good job. She enjoyed the support of Mayor Mitch Landrieu and had carried some of his key legislation — especially Mitch’s ideas about changes in the taxicab industry — but also made enemies along the way.

Then came retired Judge Nadine Ramsey and the realities of the changing demographics in Algiers. Still, Kristin was carrying around a new poll from a nationally recognized Democratic pollster that showed her with a healthy lead over Nadine. Some insiders doubted the numbers but that didn’t stop Kristin from showing it to heavy hitters. Continue reading »

Dec 042013
 

Freret Street will host two different rallies tonight (Wednesday, Dec. 4), a Christmas-themed roundup of food trucks at Dat Dog, and a $50-per-person fundraiser for Mayor Mitch Landrieu at Publiq House headlined by the Brass-A-Holics. Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Dec 022013
 

Tulane University has unveiled new plans for a campus focusing on coastal science on the riverfront property now occupied by Mardi Gras World; small local vendors are thriving at the weekly LaSalle market; a 146-year-old synagogue on Jackson Avenue in the Irish Channel is slated for redevelopment as luxury apartments, and an illegal parking space on Octavia Street has been removed, according to recent development reports. Continue reading »

Dec 022013
 

Owen Courreges

In the wake of recent high-profile complaints about the New Orleans Taxi Bureau, one suggestion has been for New Orleans to emulate New York’s system for regulating taxi cabs by creating a new taxi/limousine commission and adopting a medallion system.  In my view, this is a monumentally bad idea.

An impetus for this proposed change is related to complaints against the New Orleans Taxi Bureau and its chief,  Malachi Hull, including an incident I wrote about previously when a Taxi Bureau inspector, Wilton “Big Will” Joiner, slammed a tour guide in the side of a parked car full view of a crowd of appalled tourists.  This was troubling because Taxi Bureau investigators aren’t peace officers; they lack authority to detain or arrest anybody.

It’s clear that the Taxi Bureau is ill-managed and corrupt, and institutional changes certainly shouldn’t be rejected out of hand.  However, New York’s supposed “reforms” are not something New Orleans should replicate. Continue reading »

Nov 292013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Recent complaints about the City’s Taxi Cab Bureau, its director Malachi Hull and several members of his staff lead us to ponder whether it is time to replace the Taxi Cab Bureau with a state-of-the-industry Taxi and Limousine Commission modeled after New York City’s, which was created more than 40 years ago. Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Nov 262013
 
An initial rendering of the Oak Lofts project sent to neighbors. (via the Carrollton-Riverbend Neighborhood Association)

An initial rendering of the Oak Lofts project sent to neighbors. (via the Carrollton-Riverbend Neighborhood Association)

A New Orleans developer presented his vision for a five-story condo building with a large ground-floor gym to Oak Street residents and neighbors Tuesday night, drawing questions and concerns about the scale of the project among expressions of general enthusiasm for the concept. Continue reading »