Nov 182013
 

Owen Courreges

Thirteen years.  That’s how long New Orleanians have been paying $1.25 fares for one-way trips on streetcars and buses.   In an era characterized by major increases in city fees and taxes, transit fares have remained relatively low.

Now, it appears that $1.25 fares may not be quite enough.  Veolia Transportation Services Inc., the French corporation contracted to manage services for the Regional Transit Association (RTA), revealed this past Tuesday that there will not be enough money left in reserves to fund services by 2015 unless a fare increase is enacted. Continue reading »

Nov 142013
 

A rendering and tenant list of the Magnolia Marketplace shopping complex planned for South Claiborne Avenue. (via City of New Orleans)

A rendering and tenant list of the Magnolia Marketplace shopping complex planned for South Claiborne Avenue. (via City of New Orleans)

Neighbors of the proposed Magnolia Marketplace retail development got their first chance Thursday evening to publicly air their questions about the project and the tax increase that supports it, as city officials prepare for a public hearing next week that will likely lead to the tax being officially levied. Continue reading »

Nov 132013
 
Napoleon Avenue neutral ground, minus crepe myrtles. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere)

Napoleon Avenue neutral ground, minus crepe myrtles. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere)

Jean-Paul Villere

For as long as I’ve known her my wife has had it out for ligustrums, while I’ve always found crepe myrtles to be, well, creepy.  But I’m also a weirdo who doesn’t see the need to willy-nilly go Lawnmower Man on Mother Nature in the name of progress. Or, maybe I’m just quizzical as to why in the lower leg of the Napoleon Ave drainage project the neutral ground trees were decimated recently, while earlier in the project above St. Charles Avenue the greenery was saved and replanted nearby in Samuel Square.  Incongruity and the decisions made by bureaucrats and contractors go together like peas and carrots, I tell ya.  (Still waiting on that oak to be trimmed across the street from me, but I digress.) Continue reading »

Nov 122013
 
The owners of Oak wine bar plan to convert the former medical supply store into a gastropub called Ale, with a courtyard replacing the driveway next door. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The owners of Oak wine bar plan to convert the former medical supply store into a gastropub called Ale, with a courtyard replacing the driveway next door. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

oak logoThree years after opening the popular Oak wine bar, the owners are planning to expand with a new gastropub next door on Oak Street called Ale, joined with a courtyard between them. Continue reading »

Nov 112013
 

Owen Courreges

News travels fast in New Orleans.  On Sunday, my inbox began piling up with reports of an altercation that allegedly took place over the weekend.  Altercations in New Orleans are no big news, but here the incident allegedly occurred between an employee of the Taxicab and For Hire Bureau, Wilton “Big Will” Joiner, and Wendy Bosma, a tour guide operating the in the French Quarter.

From what I gather (here’s a WWL report on the incident), it happened like this:  On November 9, 2013, Bosma was conducting a Haunted History Tour down Royal Street near Governor Nicolls.  She was guiding a tour group near the infamous LaLaurie Mansion (made more famous by “American Horror Story: Coven” currently airing on the FX Network).

Bosma claims that Joiner approached her and claimed that was closer than 50 feet to another tour group in violation of the law.  Joiner demanded her tour guide license, which was pinned to Bosma’s purse.  Bosma refused, noting that she was the only guide on the street.  Joiner then suddenly reached out and grabbed her license and identification off of her purse. Continue reading »

Nov 072013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Mayor Landrieu could be encouraging his CAO Andy Kopplin to enter the At-Large Council race against Stacy Head in order to preserve his legacy when the Mayor runs for Governor, according to the hottest rumor circulating among politicos lately — and the theory may make some sense. Continue reading »

Nov 022013
 

By Ed Quatrevaux

Although Katz and Columbus are entitled to their opinions, it is shoddy journalism to falsely attribute quotes. I refer to the first paragraph’s attribution to the OIG of “marking down crimes“. That phrase does not appear in the report or any statement by the OIG and was invented by the authors of the opinion. Continue reading »

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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 »