Jan 112017
 

A beagle named Maggie plays in Wisner Park in 2012, prior to the creation of a dog park there. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Residents who live nearest Annunciation Square in the Lower Garden District turned out Tuesday night to voice opposition to a proposal to create a dog park there, sending city officials back to the drawing board before moving forward. Continue reading »

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Jan 042017
 
The former Times-Picayune building at 3800 Howard Avenue (photographed in August 2016 by Google  Maps)

The former Times-Picayune building at 3800 Howard Avenue (photographed in August 2016 by Google Maps)

The group of local investors who bought the former Times-Picayune building last year are requesting mixed-use zoning from the New Orleans City Council — suggesting yet another major redevelopment in the works along the Pontchartrain Expressway. Continue reading »

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Jan 022017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

2016 is now mercifully over. Although the passage of time is normally bittersweet, this past year ranked more or less as the temporal equivalent of a swift kick to the groin. Thus, it was with some relief that New Orleans welcomed 2017 with champagne, food, revelry, and SWAT team members with M-16s placed menacingly about the French Quarter. Continue reading »

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Dec 292016
 

Governor John Bel Edwards greets National Urban League President Marc Morial while Urban League official Erica McConduit looks on. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Governor John Bel Edwards was grateful to receive an award from National Urban League President Marc Morial yesterday in New Orleans. Edwards knew his 2014 victory was due in part to the strong statewide support from African-American elected officials like Congressman Cedric Richmond (also an honoree) and their associated political organizations.

With almost 20 elected offices on the ballot during 2017 — including mayor, city council, sheriff, assessor, clerks of court and at least three judgeships — grassroots political organizations, faith-based coalitions, political action committees and civic groups who support candidates and/or issues are all gearing up for an active campaign season. Also active will be the two parish executive committees and their affiliates. Continue reading »

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Dec 282016
 
The house at 506 Nashville photographed in June 2015, and the vacant lot in April 2016. (via Google maps)

The house at 506 Nashville photographed in June 2015, and the vacant lot in April 2016. (via Google maps)

The New Orleans City Council enforced a $42,195 fine this month for the destruction of a Nashville Avenue home that the owner blamed on bad weather, but that city officials attributed to the condition he had left the home in. Continue reading »

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Dec 192016
 

The warehouse at 3035 Earhart Boulevard is slated to become an “indoor trampoline facility” by Barry Kern. (image via Google Maps)

A new indoor amusement center centered on trampolines planned by Barry Kern for a warehouse on Earhart Boulevard near the Superdome will be able to move forward after the City Council cleared the way for it last week. Continue reading »

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Dec 192016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

The cutest Internet video of the week from New Orleans was, inarguably, that of “disco cop.” NOPD Sgt. L.J. Smith was providing security at the Luna Fete light/art festival as electronic dance music brayed from a nearby DJ when he began enthusiastically dancing along with the crowd.

In a city beset by violent crime that has been braced with recurring police scandals, the sight of a cop stepping side-to-side and blowing his whistle in time with the music was a welcome diversion. Continue reading »

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Dec 152016
 

A member of the 610 Stompers leads a cheer as the Krewe of Hermes rolls past Napoleon Avenue construction fences in 2016. All construction on Napoleon will be complete for 2017, the U.S. Army Corps says. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Napoleon Avenue parade-goers can get their “Neutral Ground Side” T-shirts out of the mothballs for Mardi Gras 2017, because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced that all construction on the avenue will be complete before the first parades roll in 2017. Continue reading »

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Dec 152016
 
A rendering from Magazine Street of the proposed Investar Bank. (courtesy of Robert Kocher)

A rendering of the view from Magazine Street of the proposed Investar Bank. (submitted photo)

A small Baton Rouge bank intends to enter the New Orleans market with a new location on Magazine Street, and neighbors hope that the building design and drive-through they plan will fit in well with the neighborhood. Continue reading »

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Dec 152016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

This week’s announcement by State Rep. Helena Moreno that she is launching the new nonprofit, bipartisan Ignite Advocacy Network (igniteforchange.org) is the latest example of women tapping into the national discontent over a lack of equal opportunities and channeling those feelings into action. The election of Donald Trump is also inspiring liberal and conservative women around the country to consider a career in government. Continue reading »

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Dec 132016
 
Firefighters' pension tax results, by precinct: Precinct 14-26 (in red) was the only Uptown precinct to vote against the tax. Five others (in yellow) voted yes but with narrow margins of 50 to 55 percent. Everywhere else (in green) the tax passed easily. (map by UptownMessenger.com)

Firefighters’ pension tax results, by precinct: Precinct 14-26 (in red) was the only Uptown precinct to vote against the tax. Five others (in yellow) voted yes but with narrow margins of 50 to 55 percent. Everywhere else (in green) the tax passed easily. (map by UptownMessenger.com)

In the weeks leading up to Saturday’s vote to renew a property tax that funds one-third of the city’s drainage operations, Sewerage & Water Board general superintendent Joe Becker spoke openly about his fear that this year’s seemingly anti-establishment mood could scuttle the tax, leading to deep cuts for the agency.

“We’re very concerned that people are just going to walk into the booth, see ‘Taxes’ and vote no,” Becker said in November, barely a week after Donald Trump’s Electoral College upset shocked the nation.

It turns out, Becker had little reason to be concerned. Bolstered by support from nearly every public official and watchdog agency in the city, the drainage tax renewal passed easily. Meanwhile, a smaller new property tax to restore funding to the firefighters’ pension fund was not as popular, but still managed to pass. Continue reading »

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Dec 082016
 
The Leo Benewell play spot at Pleasant and Tchoupitoulas is under consideration for conversion into a dog park, though some residents and city officials said they would prefer a larger space farther away. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Leo Benewell play spot at Pleasant and Tchoupitoulas is under consideration for conversion into a dog park, though some residents and city officials said they would prefer a larger space farther away. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Nearly three years after the opening of a dedicated “dog run” at Wisner Park, the city of New Orleans is launching a new round of discussions about potential locations for another dog park — partly in hopes of reducing some of the unauthorized off-leash use of other major parks around the Irish Channel and Lower Garden District by dog owners. Continue reading »

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Dec 022016
 
Joe Becker, general superintendent of the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, describes the need for voters to approve a property-tax renewal that funds drainage operations in the city before the Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association on Thursday, Dec. 1. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Joe Becker, general superintendent of the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, describes the need for voters to approve a property-tax renewal that funds drainage operations in the city before the Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association on Thursday, Dec. 1. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

With barely more than a week before the Dec. 10 election, officials with the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans are making their final effort to spread the word about voting to renew a tax that provides the agency with a third of its budget for draining the city. Continue reading »

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Nov 282016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

“It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.”

Vietnam War Correspondent Peter Arnett claimed to have overheard this quote from an unnamed American major regarding the shelling of of Bến Tre city in early 1968. Its veracity is questionable, and in any event, Bến Tre was largely rubble due to attacks from the north before US artillery began its assault to rout the Vietcong.

However, that dubious quote has lingered as a paradigmatic example of a peculiar brand of cognitive dissonance: the notion that you can intentionally eradicate something in the midst of preserving it. Obviously, you can’t have it both ways, but a similar idea has come to mind in the wake of the shooting on Bourbon Street this past weekend in which one person was killed and nine others were wounded. Continue reading »

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Nov 282016
 
City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at her first re-election fundraiser on Oct. 9. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at her first re-election fundraiser on Oct. 9. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell — long considered one of the most likely top contenders as a candidate for New Orleans’ next mayor — announced to supporters last week that she is indeed considering a run for the position. Continue reading »

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