May 142018

City Councilmen Jay H. Banks (left) and Joe Giarrusso III attend their first meeting of the City Council on May 7, 2018. (Robert Morris,

Following his campaign pledge to make the ongoing problems with the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans a primary focus, Councilman Joe Giarrusso and his colleagues have demanded the agency’s leaders appear before the City Council next month and answer a specific set of questions. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Giarrusso, other council members demand June meeting with Sewerage & Water Board
May 112018

Sandra Stokes of the Louisiana Landmarks Society speaks in front of the Carrollton Courthouse in June 2015. (Robert Morris,

A long-awaited decision on historic landmark status for the Carrollton Courthouse may be decided by city officials next month, now that the sale of the building from the Orleans Parish School Board was finally completed in the spring. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Landmark status for Carrollton Courthouse may be decided next month
May 102018

The building at 4306 Magazine Street will be the home of Mona Lisa restaurant’s second location. (image via city of New Orleans)

The owners of the Mona Lisa restaurant in the French Quarter plan to open a second location of the Italian eatery Uptown on Magazine Street, they said this week. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on French Quarter’s Mona Lisa Italian restaurant to open Magazine Street location
May 072018

Staffers and supporters clamor for a photo of the new members of the New Orleans City Council as they convene for their first official meeting on Monday, May 7. (Robert Morris,

With high hopes for the future and a promise to serve the city that elected them, the new members of the New Orleans City Council met for their first official meeting Monday, moments after being sworn in.

The Landry-Walker choir sings during the first official meeting of the newly sworn-in New Orleans City Council. (Robert Morris,

Continue reading »

 Comments Off on New City Council members hold first meeting after swearing-in (live coverage)
May 022018

A rendering of the Drive Shack golf facility under consideration at the former Times-Picayune site at Howard Avenue.

The Drive Shack golf facility under consideration for the former Times-Picayune site on Howard Avenue nabbed a recommendation for rezoning approval from City Planning staff, subject to a few building design changes suggested by the Design Advisory Committee. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on City Planning staff recommend rezoning for proposed Drive Shack golf facility
May 022018

(image via city of New Orleans)

The proposed new Subway sandwich shop in the corner unit of a strip mall on Magazine Street has become the latest flashpoint in the ongoing battle over chain fast-food restaurants on the historic Uptown thoroughfare, with a broad array of neighborhood and civic activists organizing opposition as a vote by the City Council approaches. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Opposition swells against new Subway proposed for Magazine Street as City Council vote approaches
Apr 282018

Capt. James Baldassaro, of New Orleans Private Patrol, does a key round while patrolling the Upper Hurstville area in 2010. (Sabree Hill, Uptown Messenger)

While the only election many New Orleanians are considering today is whether to get the crawfish bread or shrimp bread, residents of the Upper Hurstville and the Garden District neighborhoods will vote on whether to renew their security districts. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Upper Hurstville, Garden District security districts up for renewal in election today
Apr 262018

Prytania Street was transformed into a pit in 2015 for the installation of new drainage canals underground. (photo courtesy of Manual Mondragon, @mm_dragon on Twitter)

Joe Giarrusso III

Susan Guidry

With only weeks before her retirement, outgoing District A City Councilwoman Susan Guidry could hardly be more blunt in her assessment of the problems at the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans.

In the very same conversation, however, her successor Joe Giarrusso III, speaks just as resolutely about his intent to fix the beleagured agency. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on District A Council members pledge unrelenting focus on Sewerage & Water Board “insanity”
Apr 262018

Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell rides in the Krewe of Zulu on Mardi Gras day, 2013. ( file photo by Sabree Hill)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

If her choice of performers for the May 7 inauguration is any indication, it’s already clear that Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell will not be bound by traditional convention as she charts a new path forward for New Orleans future. Cantrell will govern “The Cantrell Way,” with citizens adapting to her style and priorities that will surely include creating a system of governance that is more reflective of our voting majority and their needs.

Women, people of color, LGBTQ and low-income communities have always been historically marginalized, according to the Women’s Donor Network which made a presentation in New Orleans earlier this week. With her grass-roots, social worker background, Cantrell is expected to push for greater inclusion, empowerment and economic equity. Spreading the wealth and the power will be her mantra. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Mayor-elect Cantrell will challenge the gatekeepers of New Orleans
Apr 252018

The building at 1020 Thalia will become the new headquarters for the Krewe sunglasses brand. (Robert Morris,

The New Orleans-based sunglasses brand Krewe — heralded in Hollywood as a favorite of stars Beyonce and Gigi Hadid — is converting a Thalia Street warehouse into its global headquarters, but some Lower Garden District neighbors are worried about the owner’s evolving plans for an outdoor courtyard. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on High-fashion sunglasses designer Krewe building new headquarters in Lower Garden District warehouse
Apr 232018

The site plan of the proposed Starbucks store on South Claiborne Avenue. (via City of New Orleans)

The Starbucks proposed for a shopping center on South Claiborne Avenue in Central City got an extremely enthusiastic approval from the New Orleans City Council last week, allowing it to press forward quickly with its construction plans. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Starbucks get final approval — and a “Woo hoo!” from the City Council — for South Claiborne location
Apr 232018

City Councilwoman Susan Guidry applauds and city hall staffers shoot video as Deacon John Moore sings on the City Council dais on Thursday, April 19. (photo via City of New Orleans)

When City Councilwoman Susan Guidry asked Deacon John Moore to reflect on his 60 years in the music business last week, he wished them off with a rendition of Nat King Cole’s “For All We Know.” Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Watch Deacon John serenade the New Orleans City Council
Apr 202018

A map of short-term rental licenses issued in the Uptown area. More than 4,500 licenses have been issued in the city. (via city of New Orleans)

The City Planning Commission will hold its first public hearing Tuesday afternoon as it considers reforms to the city’s laws allowing short-term rentals like AirBnB, and expects to issue recommendations based on those comments and its own research this summer. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on City to begin public hearings on short-term rental reform Tuesday; recommendations expected in July
Apr 192018

Nearly 60 short-term rental licenses have been issued to units in the commercial 800 Common building in the Central Business District, city records show. (photo by Danae Columbus)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

New Orleans residents who are concerned that STRS (short term rentals) are destroying the fabric of their neighborhoods will probably pack the City Council Chambers next Tuesday when the City Planning Commission receives public comment as part of a study commissioned by Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell and the City Council to determine if any modifications are warranted to existing STR regulations. It goes without saying that numerous changes are expected to be recommended. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Danae Columbus: Short-term rentals — City Hall created them, so City Hall must fix them