A dispute between a Prytania Street property owner and the city over the paving of a yard for parking at an apartment complex is headed to Civil District Court, according to a recent report by Karen Gadbois of The Lens. The yard paving took place after Katrina without city permission, and the Board of Zoning Adjustments has denied a request by property owner Henry Rosenblat to keep it, Gadbois reports, but attorney Joel Loeffelholz convinced a city hearing officer to delay any further administrative action for 90 days while the issue plays out in court.
“We’re going to get some things done,” said Deputy Mayor Judy Reese Morse said at New Hope Baptist Church in Central City. “The grant will provide seed money to groups who are interested in actually working together to achieve something positive in our city.”
When officials introduced the program Monday night, however, they were met with both skepticism that any real results will be accomplished and promises from participants that they will press forward despite their misgivings.
The New Orleans Public Library System is in trouble.
Next year, the city has to find an additional $3 million just to keep the 13 current libraries open. That’s keep-the-lights-on money. Purchasing new books or investing in new library technologies are both out of the question under this scenario.
The Welcome Table New Orleans — a grant-funded effort “to facilitate meaningful and honest discussions about race in respectful, safe and structured spaces” — will launch tonight (Monday, April 28) with an informational session at New Hope Baptist Church at 1807 Lasalle Street in Central City.
Elk Place has seen better days, and poor transit planning is the most obvious culprit. Near the intersection with Canal, transit users wait alongside derelict and ill-maintained structures with inadequate shelter and seating. Drivers buzz by as throngs brave the elements to make their connections.
This is what happens when over 20 transit lines converge at one location, with over 5,000 riders boarding and disembarking streetcars and buses.
It’s a notorious disgrace. The immediate area has been slow to redevelop. The sidewalks are difficult to navigate and litter is an ongoing problem. Not only have transit users suffered – local businesses and property owners are dissatisfied as well.
Even after the fence blocking one end of Newcomb Boulevard has been removed, controversy surrounding traffic flow along the street lingers on, as the New Orleans City Council postponed a decision Thursday on whether to make the street one-way.
The Faubourg Avart Neighborhood Association — which formed last year to represent the area between Prytania and the river, from Upperline to Valmont — will host City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell for a discussion of quality-of-life issues at a meeting tonight (Wednesday, April 23) at St. Katharine Drexel Prep, 5116 Magazine.
The South Claiborne fast-food corridor seems poised to get yet another entry, as Krystal is planning to open a burger restaurant in the old Kentucky Fried Chicken store near Washington Avenue.
Two of the Crescent City’s best springtime offerings — the Coliseum Square Association’s annual crawfish boil fundraiser and a showing of “The Goonies” in the New Orleans Film Society’s Moonlight Movies series — will converge on the same evening in an unexpected but possibly perfect pairing next month.
A film production will simulate a car crash and gunfire on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, closing the road to traffic nightly at the Martin Luther King Boulevard intersection, city officials said.
Did you hear the news? Mayor Landrieu is proposing… (drum roll please)… tax increases!
This shocking development stems in large part from the consent decrees with the U.S. Justice Department over the widely-acknowledged and widespread constitutional violations routinely committed by the New Orleans Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office vis-à-vis Orleans Parish Prison. Those settlements have hefty price tags attached.
Who could have predicted this? Not to toot my own horn, but I certainly did.
At least two sections of the controversial Newcomb Boulevard fence were removed Tuesday morning, and city officials say the intersection will re-open to two-way traffic in about a week.
An interesting column appeared last month in the Winston-Salem Journal entitled “About that Desire for Streetcars.” Winston-Salem (famous for being the headquarters of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco) is moving forward with a contentious $179 million boondoggle to build a streetcar line through downtown. And apparently New Orleans’ streetcar system is being cited as an exemplar.
The column, which was written by the aptly-named John Railey, takes the form of a parody of the Tennessee Williams masterpiece “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
“What we really need is a real streetcar line, like the one we had in New Orleans,” says the thickly satirized protagonist. “Such a streetcar line would be worth any cost. It’s just silly that some critics say we should first spruce up and expand the city bus lines. Silly taxpayers, being so pettily pessimistic about the streetcar line prospect.”
The City’s announcement last week that after months of meetings, negotiations were still ongoing with Gatehouse Capital should prompt the New Orleans Building Corporation to re-open the bid process and invite new proposers.
This is especially true with several new Council and NOBC members coming on board in a few weeks and the change of NOBC leadership when Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant moves on to the Sewerage & Water Board. With the multi-million dollar high-end outlet mall by the Howard Hughes Corporation set to open at the Riverwalk next month, the WTC development project would attract new bidders – possibly including the Hughes group. Hughes’ portfolio is very diverse and the WTC could be a good fit for them, especially if they do not choose to build condos or a hotel on top of the Riverwalk in a second phase.
What will become of the controversial iron gate blocking the boulevard at Freret Street remains unclear, however. Unlike most City Planning decisions, Tuesday’s vote will not automatically be forwarded to the City Council for review — though officials said it was unclear whether additional avenues remain open for the Newcomb residents.
Dianne Honoré has been a French Quarter tour guide off and on for more than 20 years; and this, she said, is the worst it’s ever been.
“My heart breaks when I walk through the French Quarter sometimes,” Honoré said sipping a coffee in Treme Café on St. Philip Street. “It disgusts me the lack of protection, the level of filth.”
Honoré is talking about the all-time high population of “gutter punks” that blanket the French Quarter. The gutter punk colonies run along the river, along Decatur Street. The 500 block of Bourbon Street is a gutter-punk haven; basically all over the French Quarter is, she said.
City officials approved a developer’s request Monday to tear down the Roly Poly building on Tchoupitoulas, to the dismay of the restaurant’s current employees, but the new bank intended for the site is still lacks permission to tear down an adjacent house.
The entrepreneurship boom in New Orleans is a real phenomenon, and a crucial factor in the city’s continued rebirth — but it must also be accompanied by more economic opportunities for the unsustainable number of jobless African-American men in the city, a panel of business leaders said Thursday evening.
“We can get there,” said Rod Miller, CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “We are a ‘new’ New Orleans, but we’re not our best New Orleans.”