As former New Orleans police officers Kevin Wheeler and Juan Vera appeal their termination from the force following their use of a Taser on an unarmed man, the case revolves largely around their assertion that they did not know the man’s weapon had been removed — despite clear evidence of that on a video from a Taser.
Hearings on pending complaints before the city Alcohol Beverage Control board against Santa Fe Tapas on St. Charles Avenue and a west-Carrollton barroom were postponed Tuesday until next month.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu has rejected an Uptown neighborhood association’s request that a ladder truck in Central City be removed from service rather than the truck on Arabella Street, saying that the squad in Central City responds to fires much more frequently.
This weekend saw the departure of the New Orleans Fire Department Ladder Truck No. 5 from the Arabella Fire Station. A final effort to save Ladder 5 came to naught when Mayor Landrieu’s office rejected an alternative plan proposed by affected Uptown residents.
The reason for the change was, of course, budgeting. The city, facing a tight budget, lost $4 million in funding to the NOFD with the lapse of the three-year federal grant. The NOFD wanted to keep all its pumper trucks, so two ladder trucks had to go. Of the ladder trucks serving the Uptown area, Ladder 5 was the most expendable.
That project will join a series of others — a similar repaving of Broadway Street, the ongoing construction of a new drainage canal under Napoleon Avenue, the recent commencement of the same project on Jefferson Avenue, the upcoming start of another canal project on Louisiana Avenue, and the year-long repairs to the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line — that place most of the major thoroughfares through the interior of Uptown New Orleans under some sort of roadwork.
Once upon a time with my wife and two wee daughters we used to live in a li’l ol’ shotgun in the Riverbend. We absolutely loved that house, but after the birth of our second child, 1200 sq ft was no longer so quaint or enjoyable. Too, where we were on the 800 block of Dublin often served as overflow parking for area retail, but worse, the density didn’t always bring the best drivers. Some days people would whip around the corner off Maple like they were in hot pursuit. And when you have toddlers and newborns you begin to see traffic and safety in a whole new way. It was at this point I began to wonder about the pros and cons of living on a dead end street.
Two redevelopments on major thoroughfares around the Garden District — an upscale national furniture retailer on Magazine, and a new location of a local coffee shop on Jackson Avenue — both won initial approval Tuesday from the City Planning Commission.
Broadmoor businesses and homeowners have begun installing the ProjectNOLA anti-crime cameras that the neighborhood hopes will reduce criminal activity as the area continues its commercial rebirth, according to a report by Monica Hernandez of our partners at WWL-TV. The residential cameras are installed by the homeowners and linked in to the private ProjectNOLA surveillance network, while 10 cameras along the Washington and Broad commercial corridor are being sponsored by City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell’s office.
There comes a time in every writer’s life when, owing to a unique combination of nostalgia and sloth, they turn wistfully back to their previous work and think of how they can milk it at least one more time. The result is always an uncomfortable cobbling of original material and hackneyed crap.
Thus, I am proud to present to you my retrospective column, with selected updates on various topics that I have previously addressed.
We only need to look at former Plaquemine Parish Sheriff Jiff Hingle’s sentencing yesterday — nearly 46 months for accepting bribes from contractors anxious to do business with his parish — to quickly realize that being a Louisiana sheriff with millions of dollars to dole out to greedy contractors and consultants can be a very slippery slope.
One Sheriff who never made a major misstep and could be coming back around for another term is former Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff Charles Foti. Now, in the private practice of law, Foti is bombarded by people every day who are asking him to take on his former protégé, Sheriff Marlin Gusman. It’s even possible that Foti’s cousin, Mitch Landrieu, is one of those speaking with him.
But despite the perception these incidents create, and in spite of a generally shrinking New Orleans Police Department, Uptown has seen a dramatic decrease of 50 percent or more in the number of armed robberies reported in 2013 from the same period of time last year, according to statistics compiled from NOPD sources.
Like Mardi Gras beads on a St. Charles crape myrtle, the debate over what to do with the New Orleans World Trade Center has lingered. The problem is that the World Trade Center, built in 1967, is widely regarded as a landmark. Nevertheless, its future is in peril. The city seems determined to see it scrapped. Others are raising their voices to have it preserved.
A dilapidated mansion on Baronne Street and a former school building nearby on Polymnia are among nine of the most endangered sites in in New Orleans this year, according to the Louisiana Landmarks Society.
The Broadmoor Improvement Association is withdrawing its name from a list of groups supporting an effort to strengthen the city’s noise ordinance, because its original inclusion was the result of a misunderstanding, an association official said.
Private donations and emergency repairs continue extending the lengthy career of the New Orleans Police station at the corner of Magazine and Napoleon bit by bit, but the 110-year-old building may finally be in line to retire from service in the next few years.
Money is already being allocated to replace the crumbling structure, city officials said Wednesday, but before the project can move much further, a decision must first be made on where the new Second District station will be.
City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, who has been spearheading a review of the city’s Mardi Gras ordinances, said she is open to exploring the idea of changing the parade schedule to include routes other than St. Charles Avenue, according to a report by Monica Hernandez of our partners at WWL-TV.
“It’s maybe reaching out to other neighborhoods to see who is interested in taking on the load,” Cantrell said. “Again, you don’t want to make those decisions that will involve and have an impact on neighborhoods without engaging them in the discussion.”