In literature, typically anything with the word “master” before it is going to be something both controlling and nefarious. For example, if a science fiction novel references a “master computer,” you can bet your last credit that it is either threatening the existence of humanity, or has already wiped us off the globe.
This is why the idea of a “Master Plan” for the City of New Orleans has always been viscerally unsettling to me. It’s as though there’s some cold, unfeeling entity out there that seeks to control every aspect of using property in the city.
Gut feelings can be off, of course, but this one is not.
With fewer than 100 days until the mid-term Congressional and local elections, it’s no surprise that more than a few candidates and elected officials turned out Sunday for brunch and hobnobbing with Congressman Cedric Richmond. While Richmond could face opposition again from Gary Landrieu, the mayor’s cousin who ran two years ago, Richmond is expected to be easily reelected.
In addition to Richmond, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and Congressman Steve Scalise (who represents only a small portion of Orleans Parish but it unstoppable as the new House Majority Whip), there are 41 additional races that candidates could qualify for. Because of difficulty raising money, most incumbents will not draw opponents. On top of those races, we should add various millage items and other local initiatives that will appear on the November ballot.
When the neighbors around Constance and Harmony see the same space, they see a beloved pocket park, a crucial buffer between the modest homes of the Irish Channel and the busy commercial activity on Magazine Street. If Kohlmaier replaces the open area with a large building, they say, it will mean the removal of one of the few remaining green spaces in a neighborhood already under heavy redevelopment pressure.
Those conflicting viewpoints — simmering for weeks since Kohlmaier closed off the property with a sturdy iron fence — came to a head Tuesday afternoon at an unusually contentious meeting of the city’s architectural review committee.
A request to demolish the landscaping business at 8616 Oak Street was approved by a city panel last week, clearing the way for the proposed Oak Lofts condominium development to begin construction.
We can now officially say that the New Orleans City Planning Commission is insane. This week, the Planning Commission asked members of the Deutsches Haus to revisit the plans for their new building in Mid-City — because it is too Germanic-looking.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Now, when you go car shopping, you don’t say to the salesman: “I like this car, but it looks too much like, you know, a car. Don’t you have anything that looks like a bicycle?”
Kara Lynn Morgan died of melanoma July 15, the day before her 41st birthday, but the tireless neighborhood leader is far from finished with her battle against skin cancer.
She is still fighting it — she and her many allies in New Orleans and beyond — on the fields in the park of her beloved Irish Channel.
This week, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell’s office is launching a series of events — call it a blitz, maybe a crusade — promoting her vision of smoke-free bars across New Orleans.
Wednesday’s event at Carrollton Station was intended to be a forum for bar owners to discuss the issue. Despite personal invitations from her staff to proprietors and public announcements in a variety of media outlets, however, the only person from the public to show up was a single, angry, ardent smoker.
Why the low turnout? Carrollton Station owner Michael Miller — who took the bar smoke-free when he bought it last year — said that many of his colleagues likely see the smoke-free trend as inevitable, and may even be privately looking forward to such a ban.
“The opposition we’ve gotten has not been from bar owners,” Anna Nguyen, a Cantrell staffer, agreed afterward. “It’s been from patrons.”
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued an official welcome this week to Operation Save America, an anti-abortion organization that interrupted an Uptown church’s prayer service with its protests on Sunday and had plans to parade the alleged remains of a fetus around Jackson Square in the French Quarter.
The New Orleans RTA plans to restore Carrollton Bus Line 90 this fall, which runs from the intersection of South Claiborne through Mid-City and City Park to reach Gentilly, as part of a series of service changes announced as transit advocates question the slow return of bus lines and the agency’s finances.
Keeping your eye on the road matters. Sometimes it just prevents you from being a jerk, other times it can save somebody’s life.
Case in point: Earlier this past week I was going down Oak Street looking for a parking space on the street. When I saw one, I immediately hand signaled (my car is 63 years old and lacks turn signals) and slowed next to the spot. A white SUV was approaching behind me from the intersection, so I held the hand-signal for a few seconds, believing that the SUV would see the signal and leave me sufficient space.
An array of Uptown bars including Barrel Proof, the Maple Leaf and Tracey’s will be hosting events and participating in Smoke-Free Week this week, and City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell will host a town-hall meeting on the subject Wednesday at Carrollton Station.
We all know the NOPD is the primary law enforcement agency – but not the only law enforcement agency — in New Orleans. We also have the Harbor Police, the Levee Board Police, HANO Police, the OPSB Police, police forces around the college campuses, hospitals, and the private security details that neighborhood or business associations pay.
Why can’t these individuals receive the additional training necessary to increase their skill levels and become the “first responders” within their jurisdictions? With better training, they could be the primary eyes and ears in their geographic areas easing up some of the pressure on our woefully understaffed NOPD forces.
Your home is not a hotel, obviously. However, an ever-growing number of New Orleans homeowners want to run a hotel-type business on the side. With tourism booming in the midst of a generally weak economy, it’s a quick way to make some extra cash.
This is the nexus of the controversy over “illegal short-term rentals” that has been permeating local political discourse in recent months. Due to zoning and licensing laws, there’s simply no way for homeowners to rent a room out as a vacation rental. Most crucial is the fact that any lease has to be for at least 30 days (or 60 days in the French Quarter).
It won’t be long before Mayor Landrieu will begin telling us why we need to approve one or more of his tax proposals in the fall elections. Before you get out your checkbook, we have a few ideas that will create new jobs and generate additional taxes — if the Mayor and the City Council can be a little more flexible on zoning.
Tulane University has withdrawn its request to tear down a 100-year-old home used for offices of the Newcomb College Institute, city officials confirmed Tuesday, amid a growing protest from Newcomb alumnae and others.
The request to tear down a building to make way for the new Oak Lofts condo and gym complex and demolition requests in nearly every other corner of Uptown New Orleans were delayed by two weeks, after the city panel failed to gather enough members to hold a meeting legally on Monday — in part because five of its 13 seats are vacant, officials said.
This time of year, when the mercury starts erupting comically out of the top of every thermometer, every New Orleanians eyes turn worriedly to their electricity bill. This is because whenever temperatures spike, so does the monthly amount we owe Entergy New Orleans, our much-maligned local electric utility.
Many people have long believed that Entergy is gouging them. This is to be expected when bills skyrocket and people begin seeking out scapegoats.