May 092013
 

Rather than tear down a century-old home in the 3900 block of Tchoupitoulas Street to make way for a filming lot, property owner Troy Keller and renovator Robert Brent will move the house next Tuesday to a lot Brent owns in the 3500 block of Tchoupitoulas for renovations, according to a report by Bill Capo and our partners at WWL-TV.

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May 072013
 

The grass situation at Behrman Park last summer, July 11, 2012. (photo by jewel bush)

jewel bush

Last summer, my son played baseball for a park run by NORDC, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, the dramatic voter-approved overhaul of which was supposed to be one of Mayor Landrieu’s first major accomplishments.

For months, his team practiced on a sliver of grass not on a baseball diamond. Although one game was played at Norman Playground, the rest were scheduled at Behrman Park — also on the Westbank — because we were told it was the only facility in NORDC that had operating field lights. There was only one bench for two dugouts to share. The team that arrived first claimed the bench leaving the other players to sit on the concrete slab or in the bleachers among the throngs of Little League supporters.

The coach collected a modest sum from each participant to purchase uniforms. He never delivered the shirts and visors nor returned the cash. Continue reading »

May 062013
 

State Rep. Neil Abramson, left, speaks during a public meeting about the expansion of Children’s Hospital onto the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital property. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

State law requires that the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital site only be used for health-care purposes after Children’s Hospital buys it, lawmakers said at a public meeting Monday night. Meanwhile, the expansion of mental-health services at the former DePaul Hospital site on Calhoun street will no new construction, hospital officials said. Continue reading »

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May 022013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Today is an important milestone in Councilman-at-large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson’s life. It is the beginning of her last year as City Council President. She is slated to take over today from the effervescent Councilwoman-at-large Stacy Head who made lots of headway on projects she considers important. Continue reading »

Apr 302013
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell delivers her “State of District B” address Tuesday night at City Hall. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell laid out a holistic vision for stronger neighborhoods with more opportunities for young people and healthier residents with better jobs, but said she will need the support of her entire district to bring it to reality.

“I wanted to truly bring our district together, much how we did in Broadmoor. We subdivided to figure out our needs, but we came together as a neighborhood,” Cantrell said. “Tonight, I want us to come together as a district. With your help, we can truly build a District B that we can believe in.” Continue reading »

Apr 302013
 

A project rendering by the city of New Orleans.

After merchants and residents aired their frustrations last month about the long delays in upgrades to O.C. Haley Boulevard, city officials will present the most current plans for the project tonight (at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30) at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center. Continue reading »

Apr 302013
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks to the Bouligny Improvement Association in February. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

After several months attending meetings of nearly every neighborhood group she represents — and holding a few community meetings of her own — City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell will present her findings and her goals for District B in an address this evening (6 p.m. Tuesday, April 30) at City Hall. Continue reading »

Apr 292013
 

(cartoon by Owen Courreges for UptownMessenger.com)

Owen Courreges

“The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the only legitimate object of good government.”

– Thomas Jefferson, 1809

“Good government is practically applying the principles which make a man a good citizen.”

– Theodore Roosevelt, 1902

“We are trying to resolve this behind closed doors cause that is good government.”

– Jackie Clarkson, 2013

How does that old Sesame Street tune go? “One of these things is not like the others…” Continue reading »

Apr 252013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

For many years, the 33-story World Trade Center overlooking the Mississippi River was one of New Orleans’ most important centers of business.

Powerful people, companies and government agencies including the Port of New Orleans occupied suites at the WTC. The 30th floor restaurant, the Plimsoll Club, was usually packed. You needed a reservation to get a table. The World Trade Center suite on the 29th floor was often the site of important civic press conferences and educational seminars. Located at the foot of the Mississippi River at the end of Canal Street, the WTC offered incredible views of the river, especially from the Plimsoll Club. At the top of the building a revolving bar called the Top of the Mart was an important social spot. During her years as a lobbyist for the Dock Board, Danae worked at the WTC Building and enjoyed it. She, along with her colleagues, thought the Plimsoll Club was a neat place for lunch. Continue reading »

Apr 232013
 

(Image via facebook.com/pizzahut)

When more than 40 Pizza Hut locations suddenly closed across New Orleans in January of 2011, some saw it as an early sign of the Mayan apocalypse. That date came and went last December without the world ending, and, right on cue, Pizza Hut is now preparing to return to Orleans Parish. Continue reading »

Apr 222013
 

Owen Courreges

The other day, I heard an anecdote about a man who parked in a gas station in Orleans Parish and wound up in a confrontation with a tow company.  Apparently, he’d pulled in to buy something from the convenience store, but first decided to check out the menu posted in the window of a restaurant next door.  When he came back less than five minutes later, a tow company was already hooking up his car and demanded $90 to release it.  The man protested and the police were called out, who promptly backed the tow company. Continue reading »

Apr 192013
 

This power plant on Spruce Street houses a backup turbine that is the source of gear oil in a mist-like form that has covered neighbors’ homes and cars, Sewerage and Water Board officials say. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

West Carrollton residents beset by an oily sheen over their homes, cars and gardens are bearing the brunt of providing drinking water to the rest of the city from a century-old facility hobbled by emergency measures taken after Hurricane Katrina, officials said, and it may be another year before repairs progress enough to make a difference in the problem. Continue reading »

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Apr 182013
 

Children’s Hospital signed a lease in January for the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital that required mental-health services there as a way to continue negotiating to purchase the building outright, but planned all along to keep its psychiatric services at the DePaul campus nearby, hospital officials told the New Orleans City Council on Thursday morning. Continue reading »

Apr 152013
 

A watercolor rendering of the new event venue proposed by Joel Dondis for 1911 Magazine Street.

A new event venue from the founder of La Petite Grocery and a new “third wave” coffee shop from the owners of the Saint bar are both planned within a block of each other off the Lower Garden District section of Magazine Street. Continue reading »

Apr 152013
 

(Cartoon by Owen Courreges for UptownMessenger.com)

Owen Courreges

“Occupy the lane,” they say.  By “they” I mean an increasing number of bicycling enthusiasts who don’t want to be relegated to keeping to the far right of the street to allow motorists to sneak by, thus allowing themselves to be frequently “buzzed” by motorists.

This is a genuine concern, and it’s a good argument for educating motorists, but it’s just not the law.  New Orleans Municipal Code Section 154-1415 provides that “[e]very person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right-hand side of the roadway as practicable[.]” Continue reading »

Apr 132013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

We’ve known Marlin Gusman for a long time and we have a high regard for him. Marlin is a smart guy who graduated from Jesuit High School and the Wharton School of Business. He was an excellent Chief Administrative Officer in the Marc Morial administration and a pretty good City Councilman.

But our friend Marlin Gusman has had nothing but trouble at the Orleans Parish Prison. His allegation in a recent interview in the New Orleans Tribune that people are being critical of him because he’s African-American is strongly agreed with in many quarters of the black community. Our African-American friends – including several elected officials – say that Gusman has acknowledged the problems at the prison by accepting the terms of the Consent Decree and that Mayor Landrieu should focus his attention on Police Chief Ronal Serpas and our city’s ongoing crime problems so that fewer cab drivers, grandmothers, or young children become victims. Continue reading »

Apr 092013
 

A wild monk parakeet pulls a twig from a tree outside the Newman Greenie House on Monday afternoon to add to its nest in a nearby stadium light. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Trees have been removed from the Jefferson Avenue neutral ground from Magazine to Danneel Street, and the clearing will continue later this year as preparations continue for the next phase of a major drainage project. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

When officials announced last month that a major new drainage project on Jefferson Avenue would begin in April, many Uptown residents worried about the effects on traffic, parking, rainwater drainage during the actual construction, and the removal of trees in the neutral ground.

But some residents who live closest to the avenue had a slightly more exotic concern: What would become of the little green monk parakeets that have colonized the palms along Jefferson Avenue?
Continue reading »