Aug 012013
 

A rendering of a proposed floodplain park around the Monticello Canal in Hollygrove, similar to those proposed for other canals around the city in a new water-management strategy for New Orleans.

Rainfall should be diverted out of Uptown via the Mississippi River instead of carrying it all the way to Lake Pontchartrain, and major drainage ditches like the Monticello Canal should be expanded into interior floodplains and water-storage features, according to two recommendations that illustrate how New Orleans should be better managing its water instead of just pumping it away.

The Water Management Strategy presented by architect David Waggonner to a standing-room only crowd Thursday evening at Xavier University is a regional plan for making more efficient use of rainfall, slowing it down and storing it in natural canals to reduce the sinking of the land that contributes to flooding. The recommendations in the Uptown area are only a small part of the plan, but they illustrate some of its key elements and some of its challenges.

“We’re proposing this is a new era for water management,” Waggonner said. “It’s not just about flood protection any more. It’s really about quality and sustainability.” Continue reading »

Aug 012013
 

The Lyons Center pool is empty on Wednesday afternoon after all outdoor pools in the city closed Monday, July 29. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Less than two months after Mayor Mitch Landrieu celebrated its reopening with a jubilant splash, the pool at the Lyons Center is now closed for the summer, along with all the other outdoor pools in the city.

Closing the pools at the end of July was budgetary decision based on the return to school in August, but residents and some officials say another week or two would have been appropriate. Continue reading »

Jul 312013
 

NOPD Deputy Chief Darryl Albert greets a resident on Race Street during the NOPD 6th District anti-crime march through the Lower Garden District. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

After a rash of robberies around the Lower Garden District earlier in July, the NOPD Sixth District chose the neighborhood for its monthly anti-crime march on Wednesday evening. The officers included a number of Sixth District detectives, and they were joined in the march by several members of the Coliseum Square Association as they spoke to residents and handed out CrimeStoppers flyers.

Detective Claudia Bruce hands out CrimeStoppers flyers to a group of men sitting in Coliseum Square. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Continue reading »

Jul 302013
 

A rendering of the Isidore Newman School’s proposed new preschool building. (courtesy Isidore Newman School)

Isidore Newman School hosted parents and community members Tuesday night as the school moves forward with plans to more than double its early childhood facility.

Head of School Dale Smith and architect Mac Ball presented the 950-student school’s plans to expand enrollment offerings to its youngest attendees.

“I think it’s safe to say he’s a preservationist at heart,” Smith said of Ball — one of the reasons he was selected for the job. Continue reading »

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Jul 302013
 

The four driving lanes currently on Nashville Avenue will become two vehicle lanes and two bicycle lanes after an upcoming repaving project. (map via Google)

After a repaving project this fall, Nashville Avenue will trade the four driving lanes it currently has on the lake side of South Claiborne for two vehicle lanes and two dedicated bicycle lanes, officials said Tuesday. Continue reading »

Jul 302013
 

A broken, collapsing section of the 900 block of Webster has caused passing drivers to bottom out their cars or to take dangerous, last-minute moves to avoid it for a year or more, but it has finally been repaired after a project that required replacing underground pipes for most of the block, reports Bill Capo and our partners at WWL-TV.

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Jul 292013
 

(Cartoon by Owen Courreges for UptownMessenger.com)

Owen Courreges

Detroit has gone bust, announcing that it will seek Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. The Rust Belt icon of corruption, waste, and decay finally made the difficult decision to cut its losses.

In light of our own sordid history of corruption, waste, and decay, New Orleanians are understandably touchy about this development.  First Deputy Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin recently penned an opinion piece for the Times-Picayune entitled “Detroit went bust, not New Orleans” which was ostensibly intended to reassure us that the Big Easy isn’t heading down the same road as the Motor City.

Personally, I did not find this very reassuring in concept alone.  It’s vaguely unsettling that the moment a major American city goes belly-up , a major New Orleans official feels compelled to come out and say: “Don’t worry! We aren’t next!”  It’s disconcerting because Kopplin senses that we have grounds to be worried. Continue reading »

Jul 292013
 

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

The project to repave Freret Street, Nashville Avenue and Fontainebleau Drive — scheduled to begin in August — will be the subject of an informational meeting Tuesday evening in the student center at Tulane University, officials announced. Continue reading »

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Jul 292013
 

Tara Cox feeds chickens and roosters in her St. Roch backyard. (Marta Jewson, MidCityMessenger.com)

Roosters — such as the one that awakens Rob Schafer every morning on Carondelet Street — are now illegal to keep in the New Orleans city limits under a new law passed earlier this year, reports Marta Jewson of our sister site at MidCityMessenger.com.

Jul 252013
 

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

A hearing on the request to allow alcohol to be served at Jimmy’s Music Club — the key to reopening of the popular venue — was postponed by two weeks by the City Council, but neighbors and officials say an agreement over issues associated with the club is “very close,” perhaps just days away. Continue reading »

Jul 252013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Nothing in New Orleans is ever simple. For example, consider Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plan to move our obsolete City Hall over to vacant Charity Hospital.

Civil District Court Judge Michael Bagneris says that’s a fine idea for city government but it doesn’t work for the Civil Courts who have their own plans and money to refit the former state office building site in Duncan Plaza. “We won’t be moving to Charity Hospital,” says Judge Bagneris. Evidently many other CDC judges agree. Continue reading »

Jul 252013
 

Although Uptown residents were told Wednesday that their water was safe to drink, some Carrollton residents may not have the chance as water pressure drops during repairs to the transmission line that broke Tuesday.

Residents around the 7800 block of Cohn were without power for much of Wednesday during the repairs, and that could happen again today as work continues, reports Bill Capo of our partners at WWL-TV.


Continue reading »

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Jul 242013
 

The failures of the New Orleans city water system — first by a major water-line break that flooded an east Carrollton neighborhood Tuesday, and subsequently by the prohibition against using any water while it is tested for contamination — continue to affect Uptown residents a day after the incident.

The second boil-water notice of the year is causing businesses around Uptown to use bottled water to stay open, a routine they are getting used to, reports Monica Hernandez of our partners at WWL-TV. The water sample analysis will take until around 3:30 p.m. today (Wednesday), so the boil-water order will remain in place until at least that time, Hernandez reports.


Continue reading »

Jul 232013
 

Milton H. Latter Memorial Library during the First Annual Children’s Book Festival in 2010. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

The Latter Branch library will close Sunday (July 28) for the next three months for a third round of renovations that will include lead-paint remediation, officials said this week. Continue reading »

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Jul 232013
 

A car is partially submerged near the site of a water-main break on Cohn Street in the east Carrollton neighborhood. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

[Update: A boil-water notice has been issued for much of Uptown.]

A broken water main is flooding several Carrollton neighborhood streets this morning, causing low water pressure around Uptown as a result. Continue reading »