Sep 152016
 
A rendering of the play yard planned for Stuart Hall School for Boys on South Carrollton Avenue (via City of New Orleans)

A rendering of the play yard planned for Stuart Hall School for Boys on South Carrollton Avenue (via City of New Orleans)

The house at 2014-2018 South Carrollton will be demolished to make way for the play yard. (via City of New Orleans)

The house at 2014-2018 South Carrollton will be demolished to make way for the play yard. (via City of New Orleans)

Stuart Hall School for Boys easily won approval for its plan to replace a vacant home on South Carrollton Avenue with a new play yard, even though the request renewed neighbors’ complaints about traffic that have been festering for more than a decade. Continue reading »

Sep 152016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

As Election Day grows closer, there is lots of political jockeying at the national and local level. Hillary Clinton has decided to be more open about her health, Donald Trump is calling for paid maternity leave and tax credits for working parents, and Sept. 16 birthday boy Governor John Bel Edwards is making progress after two relatively successful trips to Washington to help flood victims. Continue reading »

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Sep 122016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

There is a strain of thought in some police circles that cops need the ability to charge citizens with a crime for doing nothing more than disrespecting them. In order to command respect on the streets, the trope goes, mouthing off to a cop can’t be tolerated.

This pernicious notion is the source of much police misconduct, and it persists to this day. Continue reading »

Sep 082016
 
Orleans Parish Assessor Erroll Williams speaks to Jefferson Avenue residents on Thursday evening at First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Orleans Parish Assessor Erroll Williams speaks to Jefferson Avenue residents on Thursday evening at First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Should the residents who live along the Uptown corridors that have been blocked for years amid the construction of major new drainage canals also be subject to substantial increases in their property taxes this year? Or do the inconveniences they suffer diminish the value of their homes enough to stave off the higher taxes until construction is complete?

Those competing points of view formed the basis for a sometimes-contentious meeting Thursday night between City Councilwoman Susan Guidry, Orleans Parish Assessor Erroll Williams, and a room full of Jefferson Avenue residents. Continue reading »

Sep 082016
 
State Rep. Helena Moreno and Orleans Parish School Board member Nolan Marshall speak during last night's meeting of local Democrats. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

State Rep. Helena Moreno and Orleans Parish School Board member Nolan Marshall speak during last night’s meeting of local Democrats. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

For the first time in many years, the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee gave candidates an opportunity to meet with their voting members prior to their upcoming endorsement meeting. Last night’s meeting brought out more than a dozen candidates for U.S. Senate, Congress, various judgeships and the Orleans Parish School Board. They distributed hand cards and football schedules while pouring on the charisma and munching on finger sandwiches. Continue reading »

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Sep 062016
 
The intersection of Freret and Jefferson -- photographed in May 2015, officials say. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The intersection of Freret and Jefferson — photographed in May 2015, officials say. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Motorists on Freret Street will be unable to cross Jefferson Avenue for the next five months or so, and will be detoured again around the intersection through the side streets, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans announced. Continue reading »

Sep 062016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Samuel Johnson once said that “[e]very man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it.”

Many armchair commentators from the past couple of weeks should heed Johnson’s words. When San Francisco 49’ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem, many of his supporters immediately began spouting platitudes about freedom of speech and the First Amendment. Kaepernick, the trope went, was being squelched by his critics Continue reading »

Sep 062016
 

New Orleans City Council will hold a press conference on Tuesday, September 6 (today) to kick off the Geaux Blue NOLA Day celebration. Geaux Blue NOLA Day is an annual day designated to recognize the vital importance of the New Orleans Police Department to the well-being of the community. Continue reading »

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Sep 012016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Mitch Landrieu is one smart cookie. Residents all across New Orleans are salivating that their neighborhood streets might get repaired with the $2 billion FEMA allocation, the starting point of the city’s massive $5 billion street rebuilding project. Continue reading »

Aug 262016
 

Emily Arata, then deputy mayor, addresses the New Orleans City Council on behalf of Mayor Landrieu in a March 2015 meeting. (via City of New Orleans)

Emily Arata, then deputy mayor, addresses the New Orleans City Council on behalf of Mayor Landrieu in a March 2015 meeting. (via City of New Orleans)

Former deputy mayor Emily Arata was confirmed to the board overseeing the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad on Thursday after overcoming the City Council’s concerns that she remains too close to Mayor Mitch Landrieu to fairly evaluate whether the entity should be sold to a private company. Continue reading »

Aug 252016
 
The corner of St. Charles Avenue and Melpomene Street, slated to become a temporary parking lot for Lula restaurant. (via City of New Orleans)

The corner of St. Charles Avenue and Melpomene Street, slated to become a temporary parking lot for Lula restaurant. (via City of New Orleans)

A conceptual drawing of Phase I of the Avenue Oaks Hotel on St. Charles at Melpomene. (courtesy of Wayne Troyer, Studio WTA)

A conceptual drawing of Phase I of the Avenue Oaks Hotel on St. Charles at Melpomene. (courtesy of Wayne Troyer, Studio WTA)

The Halpern family that owns the property on St. Charles Avenue that will become Lula Restaurant Distillery and, later, the expanded Prytania Park Hotel is seeking permission to convert a vacant lot into temporary parking for patrons and customers while development is underway. Continue reading »

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Aug 242016
 
The corner lot at the beginning of the summer. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere)

The corner lot at the beginning of the summer. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere)

Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

As summer’s sizzle dissipates over the coming weeks, the back-to-school throngs may muse on their most recent season away from academia, and some may even have it as their premiere assignment upon recommencement.  While I don’t really recall in my younger years a time when this was asked of my fertile student mind, my 42-year-old memory ain’t what she used to be.  So color me pseudo-nostalgically amused when my oldest had this very task put to her and she wrote about our family train trip to Chicago.  Which I totally dug too.  Except, and in honest reflection, my real takeaway for summer 2016?  Pecking away, hours over days and largely singlehandedly, at an overwhelmingly under-maintained vacant corner lot in my neighborhood. Continue reading »