Oct 312013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

It’s no surprise to us that the OIG and the Legislative Auditor have been bearing down on the New Orleans Police Department. Once people know you are weak, everyone comes around to take a punch. The OIG’s claim of police “marking down crimes” in the 8th District, the French Quarter, is nothing new. That kind of stuff has been going on since the 1980s. Continue reading »

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Oct 282013
 

The brick "bumpout" corners installed last year on Freret Street will be replaced starting Nov. 4, officials said. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

The brick “bumpout” corners installed last year on Freret Street will be replaced starting Nov. 4, officials said. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Amid the unending saga of road construction on and around their commercial corridor, Freret Street business owners greeted with weary acceptance the latest promises from city officials Monday that the next round of sidewalk repairs will be finished with only a few days of disruption on each street corner.

“I want to give you what you deserve, and I know at this point that DPW does as well,” said City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell. “The goal is to get it done, in and out, and never have to come back again.” Continue reading »

Oct 282013
 

Owen Courreges

Loyola University has staked out a clear position on its St. Charles properties: “We are not tearing down any mansions.”

However, many local residents are less than sanguine regarding Loyola’s intentions.  Loyola presently owns the Fabacher Mansion in the 7300 block of St. Charles Avenue.  The proposed comprehensive zoning ordinance will change the zoning on this iconic property from RM-4 (moderate residential density) to EC (Educational Campus). Continue reading »

Oct 282013
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, state Reps. Helena Moreno and Jared Brossett, the Red Cross and the New Orleans Police Department walked the streets of Central City on Saturday morning, personally delivering information to residents on fire safety, public health, anti-crime efforts and NOPD recruiting, all in the interest of rebuilding the community, according to a report by Antwan Harris of our partners at WWL-TV. Continue reading »

Oct 252013
 

Dress your dog up for a Halloween parade, participate in a pet blessing, and learn about the city’s new pet laws Saturday at Coliseum Square park’s “Dog Bowl,” presented by City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell. Continue reading »

Oct 242013
 
The citywide satisfaction with the New Orleans Police Department is holding steady at 58 percent, according to the latest survey.

The citywide satisfaction with the New Orleans Police Department is holding steady at 58 percent, according to the latest survey.

Between March and August of this year, satisfaction with the New Orleans Police Department held steady at 58 percent, according to the results of the most recent independent survey of 600 city residents.

But during that same six-month stretch, satisfaction of residents in the Uptown-based Second District appears to have plunged by 10 percent, but soared by 12 percent in the Sixth District, right across Napoleon Avenue, according to the survey results. How much those widely divergent results actually reflect the attitudes of Uptown residents, however, is hard to ascertain because of the relatively small sample sizes in each individual district.
Continue reading »

Oct 242013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

A crowd of almost 200 people packed the Lakewood Country Club last night for retired judge and former mayoral candidate Nadine Ramsey’s kick-off for the City Council District C race against incumbent Councilmember Kristin Gisleson-Palmer.

Ramsey’s strong turnout, especially by the faith-based community who laid hands on Ramsey, sets the stage for a tough race at a time when African-American voters in Algiers feel empowered by their recent big victories including newly elected Algiers Constable Ed Shorty, Algiers Clerk of Court Darren Lombard and Second City Court Judge Teena Andersen. They say it is time for Algiers white elected officials to step aside. If District C African-American voters embrace Ramsey, not just in Algiers but in the French Quarter, Treme, the Marigny and Bywater, Gisleson-Palmer will have her hands full. Continue reading »

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Oct 222013
 
The planned location of the "Red Dog Diner" next to Rum House on Magazine Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The planned location of the “Red Dog Diner” next to Rum House on Magazine Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The owners of the Rum House on Magazine Street plan to open a new restaurant next door, the “Red Dog Diner,” serving a wine-country comfort food in a casual Old World atmosphere, they said Tuesday. Continue reading »

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Oct 212013
 
The building at 1020 Erato, currently used by the French Truck coffee company, is slated to become the home of The Courtyard Brewery. (submitted photo)

The building at 1020 Erato, currently used by the French Truck coffee company, is slated to become the home of The Courtyard Brewery. (submitted photo)

courtyard brewery logo

The Courtyard Brewery, a new “nano” brewery with a small taproom, is planned for a warehouse on Erato Street in the Lower Garden District, its founders told neighbors Monday night. Continue reading »

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Oct 212013
 
City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at her first re-election fundraiser on Oct. 9. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at her first re-election fundraiser on Oct. 9. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Marlon "10th Ward Buck" Horton -- appearing at right in the video for his song "St. Thomas" -- is the lone challenger to have announced thus far against Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Marlon “10th Ward Buck” Horton — appearing in the video for his song “St. Thomas” — is the lone challenger to have announced thus far against Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

As speculation heats up about possible candidates in the upcoming New Orleans city elections, Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell so far faces only one announced challenger in her first bid for re-election: bounce artist Marlon “10th Ward Buck” Horton. Continue reading »

Oct 212013
 

Owen Courreges

This past week, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal ordered the reinstatement of yet another New Orleans police officer on grounds that the NOPD violated the “Police Officer’s Bill of Rights” by taking too long to investigate his misconduct.

Thomas McMasters illegally arrested two women in 2009 for prostitution loitering, which requires a conviction for prostitution within the previous year.  McMasters, however, failed to check for a previous conviction and neither woman had one.  Since women don’t appreciate being mislabeled as whores (imagine!), they filed complaints.  McMasters admitted during the investigation that he knew the law but simply didn’t follow it. Continue reading »

Oct 182013
 
The members of "Helping Mothers Heal" gather in a prayer circle at one of their weekly meetings on September 26, 2013. Helping Mothers Heal is a group of mothers who have lost a child to violence. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The members of “Helping Mothers Heal” gather in a prayer circle at one of their weekly meetings on September 26, 2013. Helping Mothers Heal is a group of mothers who have lost a child to violence. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The grief that follows the loss of a child to violence is one of the most unbearable burdens life can impose on a mother. It is one of life’s mysteries, then, that by gathering a dozen such heavy souls in one room, the burden on all of them becomes lighter.

“It hurts deeply to lose a kid, and you just don’t know why,” said Ann Dimes, a member of the “Helping Mothers Heal” group at the Watson Teaching Ministries on St. Charles Avenue. “So you reach out to another mother, another sister … because life is precious. Life will continue to go on.” Continue reading »

Oct 172013
 

The westbound lanes of Earhart and the side streets will be closed Thursday and Friday. (via Google maps)

The westbound lanes of Earhart and the side streets will be closed Thursday and Friday. (via Google maps)

The westbound lanes of Earhart Boulevard will be closed Thursday and Friday around the former B.W. Cooper development (now called Marrero Commons) for filming, New Orleans officials said. Continue reading »

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Oct 162013
 

Santa Fe Tapas on St. Charles Avenue (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Santa Fe Tapas on St. Charles Avenue (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

After months of negotiations, New Orleans city attorneys finally reached an operating agreement with Santa Fe Tapas on Tuesday — but only after an 11th-hour dispute over the use of go cups at the establishment nearly brought the matter to trial. Continue reading »

Oct 142013
 
An overview of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance in Planning District 2, which covers part of Uptown. The St. Charles and Magazine corridors, where a design-review committee will evaluate major projects, is highlighted in light blue. (via nola.gov)

An overview of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance in Planning District 2, which covers part of Uptown. The St. Charles and Magazine corridors, where a design-review committee will evaluate major projects, is highlighted in light blue. (via nola.gov)

Any planned development larger than 40,000 square feet or with a substantial presence on a major thoroughfare will be specifically evaluated on whether its design meets city standards under the new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, which New Orleans officials hope to ratify as law by February — after years of planning and public meetings. Continue reading »

Oct 142013
 

Owen Courreges

Update, Oct. 25: Subsequent to writing this piece, I was notified by the mayor’s office the woman in the WWL story upon which this piece was based had rented the car she was ticketed for, and that she was thus still responsible for the ticket. While that information does change the story, it still presents some issues about the camera system, which are addressed in a postscript below.

Those traffic cameras certainly are insidious.  It was once assumed that you could avoid getting a red-light camera ticket, at the very least, by simply not owning a car.  That commonsense presumption has now been proven false. Continue reading »

Oct 132013
 

A woman who sold her car in March received a red-light ticket in June from the camera at Carrollton and Palmetto, but the ticket showed another vehicle that was not hers at all, according to a report by Jaclyn Kelly of our partners at WWL-TV. And in order to appeal the ticket, the woman must pay a $50 administrative fee, Kelly reports.

Update, Oct. 23: After city officials determined that the car in the photo was a rental, the woman acknowledged to WWL that she had rented it during that time.
Continue reading »

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Oct 132013
 
Planning District 2 (via nola.gov)

Planning District 2 (via nola.gov)

A public meeting for residents of the Central City, Garden District and adjacent Uptown neighborhoods will be held at 6 p.m. Monday on the latest draft of the new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. The meeting will be at the Dryades YMCA at 2220 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, and it will cover changes in Planning District 2, which runs generally from Napoleon Avenue to the Pontchartrain Expressway. Continue reading »

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