With a resolution in his honor and words of encouragement for his family, the New Orleans City Council pledged Thursday morning to ensure the sacrifice of Officer Rodney Thomas has a permanent place in the city’s memory.
The NOPD was dealt yet another black eye earlier this year when an investigation from the Inspector General’s Office revealed that off-duty officers were lining their pockets reviewing red-light camera tickets. Former 8th District Commander Edwin Hosli created a private company, Anytime Solutions, to manage the detail, where off-duty officers were paid $35 per hour to review camera evidence provided by another private company, American Traffic Solutions.
Hosli, a close friend of Chief Ronal Serpas, also made sure to provide the obligatory patronage that feeds on New Orleans like a malignant tumor. Anytime Solutions paid Serpas’s driver and his son-in-law, Travis Ward, who himself was previously suspended from duty after failing multiple breathalyzer tests when he totaled his NOPD cruiser back in 2009 (not exactly the type of person you want nit-picking other peoples’ driving habits).
Rainfall should be diverted out of Uptown via the Mississippi River instead of carrying it all the way to Lake Pontchartrain, and major drainage ditches like the Monticello Canal should be expanded into interior floodplains and water-storage features, according to two recommendations that illustrate how New Orleans should be better managing its water instead of just pumping it away.
The Water Management Strategy presented by architect David Waggonner to a standing-room only crowd Thursday evening at Xavier University is a regional plan for making more efficient use of rainfall, slowing it down and storing it in natural canals to reduce the sinking of the land that contributes to flooding. The recommendations in the Uptown area are only a small part of the plan, but they illustrate some of its key elements and some of its challenges.
“We’re proposing this is a new era for water management,” Waggonner said. “It’s not just about flood protection any more. It’s really about quality and sustainability.”
Less than two months after Mayor Mitch Landrieu celebrated its reopening with a jubilant splash, the pool at the Lyons Center is now closed for the summer, along with all the other outdoor pools in the city.
Closing the pools at the end of July was budgetary decision based on the return to school in August, but residents and some officials say another week or two would have been appropriate.
After a rash of robberies around the Lower Garden District earlier in July, the NOPD Sixth District chose the neighborhood for its monthly anti-crime march on Wednesday evening. The officers included a number of Sixth District detectives, and they were joined in the march by several members of the Coliseum Square Association as they spoke to residents and handed out CrimeStoppers flyers.
Isidore Newman School hosted parents and community members Tuesday night as the school moves forward with plans to more than double its early childhood facility.
Head of School Dale Smith and architect Mac Ball presented the 950-student school’s plans to expand enrollment offerings to its youngest attendees.
“I think it’s safe to say he’s a preservationist at heart,” Smith said of Ball — one of the reasons he was selected for the job.
After a repaving project this fall, Nashville Avenue will trade the four driving lanes it currently has on the lake side of South Claiborne for two vehicle lanes and two dedicated bicycle lanes, officials said Tuesday.
A broken, collapsing section of the 900 block of Webster has caused passing drivers to bottom out their cars or to take dangerous, last-minute moves to avoid it for a year or more, but it has finally been repaired after a project that required replacing underground pipes for most of the block, reports Bill Capo and our partners at WWL-TV.
Detroit has gone bust, announcing that it will seek Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. The Rust Belt icon of corruption, waste, and decay finally made the difficult decision to cut its losses.
In light of our own sordid history of corruption, waste, and decay, New Orleanians are understandably touchy about this development. First Deputy Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin recently penned an opinion piece for the Times-Picayune entitled “Detroit went bust, not New Orleans” which was ostensibly intended to reassure us that the Big Easy isn’t heading down the same road as the Motor City.
Personally, I did not find this very reassuring in concept alone. It’s vaguely unsettling that the moment a major American city goes belly-up , a major New Orleans official feels compelled to come out and say: “Don’t worry! We aren’t next!” It’s disconcerting because Kopplin senses that we have grounds to be worried.
On the instructions of a federal judge, the New Orleans City Council quietly retreated on Tuesday from its prohibition against overnight preaching on Bourbon Street.
Nothing in New Orleans is ever simple. For example, consider Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plan to move our obsolete City Hall over to vacant Charity Hospital.
Civil District Court Judge Michael Bagneris says that’s a fine idea for city government but it doesn’t work for the Civil Courts who have their own plans and money to refit the former state office building site in Duncan Plaza. “We won’t be moving to Charity Hospital,” says Judge Bagneris. Evidently many other CDC judges agree.
Although Uptown residents were told Wednesday that their water was safe to drink, some Carrollton residents may not have the chance as water pressure drops during repairs to the transmission line that broke Tuesday.
Residents around the 7800 block of Cohn were without power for much of Wednesday during the repairs, and that could happen again today as work continues, reports Bill Capo of our partners at WWL-TV.
The failures of the New Orleans city water system — first by a major water-line break that flooded an east Carrollton neighborhood Tuesday, and subsequently by the prohibition against using any water while it is tested for contamination — continue to affect Uptown residents a day after the incident.
The second boil-water notice of the year is causing businesses around Uptown to use bottled water to stay open, a routine they are getting used to, reports Monica Hernandez of our partners at WWL-TV. The water sample analysis will take until around 3:30 p.m. today (Wednesday), so the boil-water order will remain in place until at least that time, Hernandez reports.
Residents of a broad swath of Uptown New Orleans from the neighborhoods around St. Charles Avenue down to the Missisippi River should boil tap water before using it for drinking, cooking or bathing until further notice, authorities said.
A broken water main is flooding several Carrollton neighborhood streets this morning, causing low water pressure around Uptown as a result.