Jul 182013
 

A detour sign directs motorists off of the 5100 block of Freret on Wednesday while work crews replace an underground water line. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The 5100 block of Freret Street will be closed for a month to replace an underground water line prior to an upcoming repaving project there, and cars are being detoured through the neighborhood while crews dig into the pavement. Continue reading »

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Jul 182013
 

Maybe it was just a pot of jambalaya, or maybe the calm before a storm, but by all accounts Wednesday night was a positive step on the road back for Jimmy’s Music Club — about 30 supporters, neighbors and city officials all sharing a bite to eat and some casual conversation before heading into a week that could bring a formal operating agreement and approval from the city to reopen. Continue reading »

Jul 182013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

We are in mourning for our dear friend Hank Braden, a wonderful person, a gifted political strategist, an outstanding legislator and a visionary who put together coalitions of like-minded people from across racial lines. Continue reading »

Jul 172013
 

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. Continue reading »

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Jul 162013
 

Homicides (in red) and gun cases (in blue) in the west Carrollton area in the last six months. (map via NOPD)

Although violent crime is down by 15 percent since last year in the New Orleans Police Department’s Uptown-based Second District, residents of west Carrollton say they remain concerned about the shootings and drug dealing they see and hear in their neighborhood. Continue reading »

Jul 162013
 

The former Jimmy’s Music Club location at 8200 Willow. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

As the operators of Jimmy’s Music Club proceed with their request for liquor sales that would allow the venue to reopen, they are inviting neighbors and city officials to join them for an open house Wednesday evening. Continue reading »

Jul 162013
 

A map of fire incidents in the city from 2008 to 2013. White areas represent 0 to 10 fires in that time; red represents 76 to 90. (via city of New Orleans)

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. Continue reading »

Jul 152013
 

Ladder 5 at the Arabella fire station, photographed in March. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Owen Courreges

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. Continue reading »

Jul 142013
 

Map of upcoming repaving projects on Freret, Nashville and Fontainebleau. (via pavinglaroads.com)

In a matter of weeks, construction is set to begin on a new project to repave Freret Street and to try yet again to correct the installation of new “bump-out” corners at the intersections.

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. Continue reading »

Jul 102013
 

On the downtown side of Samuel Square, where Loyola once crossed Napoleon, the dream of a dead end street is temporarily realized in July 2013. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Jean-Paul Villere

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. Continue reading »

Jul 092013
 

The building that housed Pippen Lane (photographed in March 2011 by Google Maps) is slated for redevelopment as a two-story location of national retailer West Elm.

Cornelius Payne proposes a coffee shop for the 800 block of Jackson Avenue before the City Planning Commission on Tuesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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. Continue reading »

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Jul 082013
 

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.

Jul 082013
 

Owen Courreges

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. Continue reading »

Jul 042013
 

Under the watchful eyes of the lions guarding Audubon Park, cars make the turn off Magazine Street around faded crosswalks. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Graffiti in the men’s restroom in the Riverview area behind Audubon Park. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

As The Fly continues to increase in popularity as a riverfront recreation spot and the uppermost end of Magazine Street continues to suffer under heavy traffic, the Audubon Commission is asking city officials for $8.7 million in long-overdue upgrades to both. Continue reading »

Jul 042013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

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. Continue reading »

Jul 022013
 

All reported robberies around Uptown New Orleans in 2013. (map via NOPD)

The procession of high-profile Uptown robberies may seem unabated lately: a Garden District couple held up on their front porch, masked men barging into Cooter Brown’s in search of the safe, or a trio of very young teens in skeleton masks demanding money at gunpoint on Broadway Street, all just in June alone.

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. Continue reading »

Jul 022013
 

Owen Courreges

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. Continue reading »