Mar 272017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

It was reported this week that New Orleans hit a milestone: In 2016, for the first time since Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that New Orleans suffered a deficit in terms of domestic migration. Put more simply, this means that more people moved out of the city to other parts of the United States than the reverse.

Meanwhile, another story reported that New Orleans hosted a record-breaking 10.45 million visitors in 2016, more than any year since before Hurricane Katrina. Those visitors also spent more than ever before – a whopping $7.41 billion dollars, to be precise. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Owen Courreges: More people want to visit New Orleans, and fewer want to live here. Coincidence?
Mar 242017
 

Verret’s Lounge at 1738 Washington Avenue, photographed in April 2016 (via Google)

Joanne Close, shown in her presentation to the Alcohol Control Board last month, wants to buy Verret’s Lounge from its current owner. (via City of New Orleans)

Verret’s Lounge on Washington Avenue may be in line for a new proprietor with a new wine-oriented focus, but first its owners are asking the city to release the establishment from a requirement for a security guard put in place after a man was fatally shot inside the bar last year. Continue reading »

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Mar 232017
 

Brian Trascher (submitted photo)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Early next week New Orleans based Republican lobbyist Brian Trascher will be escorting CEO Ed Carlson of Odyssey House New Orleans to meet with former Georgia Congressman Tom Price, now Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Donald Trump. “It will be my first meeting with a cabinet member,” said Trascher proudly.

Trascher meet Trump and his attorney in 2011 in New Orleans and offered to help if Trump ever ran for president. When Trascher received the call, he jumped onboard to play an important role in Louisiana and around the country. Trascher says he knew Trump was going to win about a week before the election when he saw the change in direction of highly targeted phone banks he was supervising in other states. Continue reading »

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Mar 222017
 

City Councilwoman Stacy Head

By Stacy Head, President, New Orleans City Council

The reason you, the voter, elect a City Council is to serve as a watchdog over the municipal budget. That is our primary function, and while our daily lives can be consumed with issues like public safety, quality jobs and working schools, most assume that government will act to promote and protect the public interest.

But when politics is concerned, this public interest can often be glossed over. That is why it is important that you hold your council members accountable and question why you are being asked to pay fines, fees and taxes without proper examination.

A prime example of this is on our agenda this week and grew out of the recent consideration of the often complicated, and always lucrative, utility contracts, which are awarded by the council for $6 million-a-year for a lengthy time period. For decades, these contracts have been awarded to out-of-state firms who have maintained strong political ties to local political organizations. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Guest Column: Billing guidelines for consultants would reduce utility bills
Mar 162017
 

NOPD Deputy Superintendent Paul Noel speaks as City Councilwoman Susan Guidry looks on Thursday night at a forum on crime at a town hall in Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Neighborhood leaders were troubled last year when the New Orleans Police Department reassigned all its quality-of-life officers to bolster the ranks of patrolmen on the streets, and on Thursday night took advantage of a town-hall meeting on crime with top NOPD officials to request their return. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Carrollton residents request return of quality-of-life officers at town-hall meeting on crime (live coverage)
Mar 162017
 

Councilwoman Susan Guidry talks with Gentilly residents at a Fight the Blight event in 2010. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

District A City Councilwoman Susan Guidry is hosting a town-hall discussion Thursday night of crime trends and crime prevention, featuring New Orleans police officials and CrimesStoppers. Continue reading »

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Mar 132017
 

After protests over the election of Donald J. Trump as President on Wednesday evening, a city employee begins pressure washing a “Black Power” slogan from the Robert E. Lee monument in New Orleans on Thursday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

The clock has been ticking for New Orleans’ Confederate monuments. Now, the final bell may have tolled.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plans to remove monuments to Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard and Jefferson Davis had benefited from a temporary reprieve while an appeal was argued in the U.S. Fifth Circuit. Now, that appeal has been denied, eliminating the last legal hurdle for removal. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Owen Courreges: New Orleans’ removal of Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard and Jefferson Davis monuments may lead to protection for others
Mar 102017
 

Helena Moreno (via morenocampaign.com)

State Rep. Helena Moreno announced a bid for the open at-large seat on the City Council in an event that framed her as a crusader for truth as a journalist and justice as a state lawmaker, but also gave the first glimpse into the issues that may dominate the race for control of city government this year.

Continue reading »

 Comments Off on State Rep. Helena Moreno announces bid for at-large seat on the City Council
Mar 092017
 

State Sen. J.P. Morrell (left) and state Reps. Helena Moreno and Walt Leger hold a legislative briefing for constituents in May 2015. All three are considered viable contenders for major city offices this year. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

The New Orleans City Council is entering a transition phase as popular term-limited At-Large City Councilmember Stacy Head prepares to leave office and fresh new faces like State Representative Helena Moreno and others prepare to run for the City Council.

While Head reviews her bucket list of initiatives she still wants to accomplish or shore up during her remaining thirteen months in office, Moreno is holding a news conference tonight where she is expected to announce this evening that she will seek one of the two councilmember-at-large seats. With qualifying just four months away, other candidates are beginning to make similar announcements. Continue reading »

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Mar 082017
 

A portion of Patton Street will be closed most of Wednesday for sewer work, while stretches of Audubon Place, Law Road and Louisiana Avenue will all experience low water pressure in the next few days for line installation and repairs, according to the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Patton Street to close for sewer work; Audubon Place and Louisiana Avenue to have low water pressure
Mar 062017
 

Mayor Mitch Library reads “How to Dress A Po-Boy” to a group of Waldorf School elementary students at the Nix Library in Carrollton after it reopened Monday morning following extensive renovations. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

New Orleans city leaders and Carrollton residents celebrated the reopening of the Nix Branch Library after five months of renovations Monday morning with an official ribbon cutting, and officials promised to begin studying ways to address community members’ pleas for access for disabled patrons in the months to come. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Nix Library reopens after renovations, and city will study wheelchair access users next
Mar 062017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

There’s no way to sugar-coat this: We came in dead last. Economically, New Orleans is the municipal equivalent of the 2008 Detroit Lions.

According to a report released by the Brookings Institute, New Orleans ranked last among America’s 100 largest cities in terms of economic prosperity between the years of 2010 and 2015. Everything decreased – worker productivity, average standard-of-living, and average wages. Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Owen Courreges: Secret’s out — the economy of the “new” New Orleans doesn’t help New Orleanians
Mar 022017
 

City Councilwoman Susan Guidry rides down St. Charles Avenue in the Krewe of King Arthur parade in 2012. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

After serving two terms representing Uptown, Mid-City and Lakeview on the New Orleans City Council, Susan Guidry said Thursday morning that she plans to retire next year instead of seeking another office in the fall elections.

Guidry is term limited, and had been considering a run for one of the council’s two at-large seats. Instead, she said she will serve out the remainder of her term that ends in May 2018, without running for any office in the Oct. 14 election. Continue reading »

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Feb 232017
 

Green Tea owner Yung Lau pauses from final touches on the new building’s interior. The restaurant opens Friday at the corner of Napoleon and Louisiana. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Green Tea restaurant’s new building overlooks the corner of Napoleon and South Claiborne. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Two years ago, Yung Lau could scarcely believe that his Green Tea restaurant at the edge of the Garden District was about to be displaced by a national pharmacy chain in a city as in love with mom-and-pop eateries as New Orleans.

The CVS did indeed move in, but on Friday, Lau will reopen Green Tea in a brand-new building that is being hailed as another landmark in the continuing redevelopment of another major Uptown corridor, South Claiborne Avenue. Continue reading »

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Feb 232017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

As LaToya Cantrell and others step up their pace for the 2017 race for mayor of New Orleans, political insiders wonder if the best way for the Landrieu family to hold on to their power and the associated riches is to elect former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu as New Orleans’ next mayor. Continue reading »

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