A handful of officers in the NOPD’s Second District were honored as “the best of the best” this week with awards handed out by an Uptown-based group of citizens who support the district.
Adam Swickle, one of the investors remaining on the Market Street Power Plant redevelopment project after others were removed in bankruptcy filings, has an unpaid $600,000 judgement against him from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission “for setting up an allegedly fake foreign exchange trading house and making off with investors’ cash,” and “claims he didn’t even know about another $144,000 in judgments against him in New York, this time for knowingly selling real estate investment shares as a part of a fraud scheme that landed three others in jail,” according to a report by David Hammer of our partners at WWL.
A home in New Orleans can fetch $1,000 or more per night during the Super Bowl, based on online ads that frequently include Uptown properties. It is illegal in New Orleans to rent out a home for less than 30 days without a permit, but Charles Maldonado of The Gambit found that “the city has issued zero administrative subpoenas in the past six months” despite new ads for rentals being listed daily.
For more, see a followup report by Tania Dall of our partners at WWL-TV:
In last week’s column I discussed the assault weapons ban being bandied about by local politicians and activist groups, concluding that the term “assault weapon” is vague, ill-defined, and does not refer to characteristics of firearms that have any significant impact on the danger they pose. Nothing has changed my mind about that.
However, the agenda we’re seeing with respect to guns goes further than just the assault weapons ban. A couple of weeks ago, the New Orleans City Council unanimously passed a resolution asking for “renewed scrutiny” of gun control laws. Although the resolution’s unspecific language may sound like non-committal pabulum (and it certainly is that), the resolution was generally received as being a call for more gun control.
Whereever we go this week, we hear New Orleanians complain about their own “fiscal cliff,” increased property tax bills. What’s wrong with Erroll Williams, they say? Doesn’t he know we like our properties to be under-assessed? No one likes their taxes to go up. And paying the new bills might cause some of us to eat out a few less times or cut down on our Mardi Gras expenses. But all in all, life in New Orleans is pretty darn good.
District B City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell will join a group of physicians and children’s health advocates leading a vigil against gun violence at 5:30 p.m. tonight on the steps of City Hall.
The upstart Krewe of Freret that had hoped to join the Mardi Gras parade schedule this spring issued a statement Thursday suspending those plans because of what it termed a “misunderstanding” by the New Orleans Police Department, but said it has already begun work to roll for the first time in 2014.
Amid prayers and trumpet solos, LaToya Cantrell was sworn in Wednesday afternoon as the District B representative on the New Orleans City Council.
“My heart is in this,” Cantrell said after taking the oath. “This is not about a position. This is about improving the quality of life for people.”
I had the chance this week to go over to the upstart Atelier Vie operation in the Art Egg building under the Broad Street bridge, a jaunt that served as yet another reminder of the cadre of creative and forward-looking folks that seems to be growing rapidly around here these days.
NOPD Sixth District Commander Robert Bardy found himself in a bit of a controversy this past week after an e-mail message was released in which he seemed to be urging an informal arrest quota. WWL-TV Eyewitness News obtained the message, which was sent in response to another e-mail by a member of the second platoon requesting that select officers be provided with mountain bike training as an incentive for exceptional police work.
Personally, my reaction to this would have been: “You consider mountain bike training to be a reward? In this climate? I mean, it’s December and I’m comfortable in short sleeves. Honestly, me – I’d ask for a bonus or time off, but whatever floats your boat, man.”
That Sheriff Marlin Gusman has entered into a consent agreement with the U.S. Justice Department regarding the governance of Parish Prison is great news for those who have long been advocating for an effective, just and equitable criminal justice system for New Orleans.
How to revitalize the Claiborne Avenue corridor from Napoleon Avenue down through the Treme area — such as whether to remove the Claiborne Avenue overpass — will be discussed in a final public meeting tonight (Thursday, Dec. 13) at the Dryades YMCA in Central City.
If you thought the new Taco Bell on South Claiborne was exciting news for Uptown New Orleans, just wait till you meet its new neighbors.
If Tuesday afternoon’s approval by the City Planning Commission is any indication, a major new shopping center called Magnolia Marketplace is soon headed for the large open area just off South Claiborne Avenue adjacent to the Harmony Oaks development.