Jan 172018

The freezing weather that covered much of New Orleans in a thin layer of crunchy ice overnight continued Wednesday morning, and officials urged residents to minimize their driving and take other precautions as schools and businesses remained closed.

(image via National Weather Service New Orleans)

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Jan 122018

The property at the corner of Carondelet and St. Mary streets. (image via Google)

Another commercial rezoning request — this time just off St. Charles Avenue — led to another round of heated allegations of ulterior AirBnB-related motives on Thursday, as Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell said the issue reaffirms the need for her proposed reform of short-term rental laws just days after the City Planning Commission rejected them. Continue reading »

Jan 112018

A rendering of the proposed storage facility. (via City of New Orleans)

A three-story self-storage facility planned for most of a city block on Tchoupitoulas Street won easy approval from the City Planning Commission on Tuesday, sending it to the City Council for a final decision in the coming weeks. Continue reading »

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Jan 092018

The former Zara’s property at 2042 Prytania Street, following extensive renovations. (photographed in April 2017 by Google Maps)

The first proposed restriction on short-term rentals in New Orleans hit a snag Tuesday when city planners said it was likely to create more problems than it would solve, but the proposed rezoning of the former Zara’s property in the Lower Garden District that prompted the proposal is still pressing forward with negotiations. Continue reading »

Dec 212017

State Senator Troy Carter talks with Councilman-elect Joe Giarrusso and Clerk of Second City Court Darren Lombard at Wednesday’s meeting of local Democrats. (photo by Danae Columbus)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

When the local Democratic Parish Executive Committee and friends met last night to celebrate the holiday season, they just didn’t talk about which candidates would be qualifying for the spring elections, but how the Democratic Party nationally is rebuilding from the grass roots. Continue reading »

Dec 202017

A rendering by architect Jared Ducote of the proposed storage facility on Tchoupitoulas. (via City of New Orleans)

A three-story self-storage facility is planned for construction on Tchoupitoulas Street at the corner of Upperline Street, and is scheduled for a hearing before city officials early next month.

A rendering of the proposed storage facility along Tchoupitoulas Street. (via City of New Orleans)

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Dec 182017

A rendering by Garrity & Accardo architects of the proposed community center at New Hope Baptist Church. (via city of New Orleans)

New Hope Baptist Church received final approval from the New Orleans City Council last week to build its new, 18,000-square-foot community center along Felicity Street in Central City. Continue reading »

Dec 152017

District B City Councilman Jay H. Banks speaks while Faubourg Delachaise Neighborhood Association president Debby Pigman listens on Thursday, Dec. 14. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

As he continues to meet constituents on his way into the District B City Council office, Jay H. Banks recently heard what he calls a “horror story” about the proliferation of AirBnB in Uptown neighborhoods.

A woman who lives Uptown told him that she now has whole-home short-term rentals on either side of her house. She regrets the loss of permanent neighbors but generally tries to make do, until recently the house on one side of her was booked for a bachelor party, while the house on the other side was booked by an unrelated bachelorette party the same weekend.

That coincidence, Banks said, led to an easily predictable conclusion. Continue reading »

Dec 142017

A rendering of the Chipotle proposed for 2801 Magazine Street. (via city of New Orleans)

Developers of the proposed Magazine Street Chipotle restaurant have come to a good neighbor agreement with residents of the Garden District and Irish Channel, which still allows for the chain eatery but hopefully stems a “proliferation of fast food” in the historic district. Continue reading »

Dec 062017

The City of New Orleans is activating its Citywide Freeze Plan (CFP) beginning overnight Dec. 9, 2017, as the National Weather Service forecasts the temperature or wind chill to fall below the plan’s activation threshold of 35 degrees. The City’s freeze plan will be in effect to provide temporary shelter for homeless residents, two of which are in the Uptown/Central City area.

Residents are encouraged to seek appropriate shelter since the current weather forecast predicts “feels like” or apparent temperatures at or slightly below freezing during overnight hours on both days (Dec. 9 & 10). Residents should also bring in their pets and check on neighbors and the elderly to ensure they are prepared.

Individuals needing shelter will be accepted at the following locations under the following conditions:

  • The Salvation Army, 4530 S. Claiborne Ave. – will accept males and females beginning at 4 p.m.
  • New Orleans Mission, 1130 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. – will only accept male and/or female adults beginning at 4 p.m.
  • Ozanam Inn, 843 Camp St. – will accept males only beginning at 4 p.m.
  • Covenant House, 611 North Rampart St. – will accept males and females between the ages 16-21, their dependent children, and any female with dependent minor children. Mothers with small children may come anytime.

All shelters will be open, free of charge, to those seeking shelter during this period of inclement weather.

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Dec 012017

At least four incoming City Council members have expressed serious concern with short-term rental laws, said incoming Councilman Joe Giarrusso III at a Carrollton neighborhood meeting Thursday night. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

With a majority of incoming New Orleans City Council members having campaigned on frustration with the rapid conversion of residential homes into small temporary hotels, tightening the city’s short-term rental laws is likely to be a top early priority when they are seated next year — while they get a grasp on larger issues like fixing the drainage system, incoming City Councilman Joe Giarrusso III told Carrollton neighborhood activists. Continue reading »

Nov 272017

Seth Bloom speaks to supporters on election night, Nov. 18. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

After a recount concluded Monday morning narrowing the margin of his loss to 128 votes, Seth Bloom has conceded the District B election to Jay H. Banks, he announced Monday afternoon. Continue reading »

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Nov 272017

Darren Mire (left) and Thomas Robichaux confer with elections director Sherri Hadskey over a ballot during the District B recount on Monday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The recount of absentee ballots in the District B City Council race added a net of three votes to Seth Bloom’s total, but he still trails Jay H. Banks by 128 votes, according to tallies released by election officials.

Bloom campaign manager Gary Solomon Jr. said that over the last week, they have identified more than 128 irregularities and discrepancies in the individual vote totals, but will not likely continue to challenge the outcome of the election. After conferring with Bloom, the campaign will issue a report on its findings later this afternoon, as well as a determination on what next steps to take.

“We want to continue the challenge the process, but not necessarily the race. Seth wants to make sure we hold the process accountable,” Bloom campaign manager Gary Solomon Jr. said. “Seth will likely concede today.” Continue reading »

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Nov 232017

Newly elected Judge Nicole Sheppard and supporters. (submitted photo)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Newly elected judge Nicole Sheppard, Civil District Court Division J, has the common touch. In a relatively low budget campaign with few paid consultants, Sheppard coasted to a very comfortable victory over attorney Omar Mason by conducting an old-fashioned grassroots campaign in the churches and the streets.

“We definitely worked hard. The voters believed in me, my sincerity and my independence. They could feel my passion to serve the people,” Sheppard reflected yesterday. The CDC vacancy occurred due to the election of Judge Paula Brown to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal. Continue reading »

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Nov 212017

Gary Solomon Jr. (center), campaign manager for Seth Bloom, and Joe Casler (left), an attorney for Jay Banks, photograph documents from a voting machine from the city’s 10th Ward as part of the inspection process Tuesday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The process of making a final determination as to whether Jay H. Banks won the runoff for the District B seat on the New Orleans City Council took its first step Tuesday morning when officials inspected each voting machine from the district. Continue reading »

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