May 202013
 

Owen Courreges

Has the New Orleans Police Department been cooking the books on the city’s crime stats?  That’s the intimation made by a recent “special report” from the Times-Picayune.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Police Superintendant Ronal Serpas often argue that while New Orleans has a sky-high murder rate, its violent crime rate actually isn’t that bad, and in fact is better than a wide range of cities from New Haven, Connecticut to Orlando, Florida.  Hearing them speak, you might believe that the guy in the mouse suit at DisneyWorld is more likely to demand your wallet at gunpoint than the ribald denizens of Bourbon Street. Continue reading »

May 172013
 

Purple areas show those that a ladder truck can reach within the national standard of eight minutes under a New Orleans Fire Department redeployment plan set to take place this summer. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Despite official assurances that the removal of a ladder-equipped fire truck from the station on Arabella is part of the best possible future for the New Orleans Fire Department, Uptown residents who live nearby continue to worry that their level of fire protection is being reduced. Continue reading »

May 152013
 

The former Louisiana Seafood at 2900 LaSalle. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Cowbell chef Brack May

The chef who launched the popular Cowbell burger joint on Oak Street now plans a family-oriented restaurant with an emphasis on takeout meals in a former Central City seafood market, he told city officials on Tuesday afternoon. Continue reading »

May 142013
 

Wilbert Wilson (center) cuts hair in front of at Mr. Chill’s First Class Cuts on South Carrollton on Aug. 31, 2012, following Hurricane Isaac. His setup with a generator-powered fan and clippers is similar to what he used in a gas station parking lot after Hurricane Katrina. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The shop at the corner of General Pershing and South Derbigny streets where Mr. Chill’s Broadmoor Dogs and Sweet Pastries will open next month. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The opening of Mr. Chill’s First Class Cuts barber shop on South Carrollton Avenue following Hurricane Katrina was hailed as one of many signs of the New Orleans’ rebirth. Now, Mr. Chill is expanding back home to Broadmoor to open a hot dog and pastry shop in his old corner store in what should possibly be seen as evidence of the city’s further growth. Continue reading »

May 122013
 

A trench dug in early March to replace an underground pipe prior to the repaving of Broadway Street led to a power failure in the streetlights in the 1400 and 1500 blocks of Broadway, and the long wait for the streetlights to be repaired has frustrated even City Councilwoman Susan Guidry, according to a report by Bill Capo of our partners at WWL-TV.

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May 112013
 

The batteries on the solar panels that power the school-zone lights have died on both sides of the International School of Louisiana, and parents and school officials are both concerned that a student could get hurt if they aren’t repaired, reports Bill Capo of our partners at WWL-TV.

May 092013
 

Rather than tear down a century-old home in the 3900 block of Tchoupitoulas Street to make way for a filming lot, property owner Troy Keller and renovator Robert Brent will move the house next Tuesday to a lot Brent owns in the 3500 block of Tchoupitoulas for renovations, according to a report by Bill Capo and our partners at WWL-TV.

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May 072013
 

The grass situation at Behrman Park last summer, July 11, 2012. (photo by jewel bush)

jewel bush

Last summer, my son played baseball for a park run by NORDC, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, the dramatic voter-approved overhaul of which was supposed to be one of Mayor Landrieu’s first major accomplishments.

For months, his team practiced on a sliver of grass not on a baseball diamond. Although one game was played at Norman Playground, the rest were scheduled at Behrman Park — also on the Westbank — because we were told it was the only facility in NORDC that had operating field lights. There was only one bench for two dugouts to share. The team that arrived first claimed the bench leaving the other players to sit on the concrete slab or in the bleachers among the throngs of Little League supporters.

The coach collected a modest sum from each participant to purchase uniforms. He never delivered the shirts and visors nor returned the cash. Continue reading »

May 062013
 

State Rep. Neil Abramson, left, speaks during a public meeting about the expansion of Children’s Hospital onto the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital property. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

State law requires that the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital site only be used for health-care purposes after Children’s Hospital buys it, lawmakers said at a public meeting Monday night. Meanwhile, the expansion of mental-health services at the former DePaul Hospital site on Calhoun street will no new construction, hospital officials said. Continue reading »

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May 022013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Today is an important milestone in Councilman-at-large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson’s life. It is the beginning of her last year as City Council President. She is slated to take over today from the effervescent Councilwoman-at-large Stacy Head who made lots of headway on projects she considers important. Continue reading »

Apr 302013
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell delivers her “State of District B” address Tuesday night at City Hall. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell laid out a holistic vision for stronger neighborhoods with more opportunities for young people and healthier residents with better jobs, but said she will need the support of her entire district to bring it to reality.

“I wanted to truly bring our district together, much how we did in Broadmoor. We subdivided to figure out our needs, but we came together as a neighborhood,” Cantrell said. “Tonight, I want us to come together as a district. With your help, we can truly build a District B that we can believe in.” Continue reading »

Apr 302013
 

A project rendering by the city of New Orleans.

After merchants and residents aired their frustrations last month about the long delays in upgrades to O.C. Haley Boulevard, city officials will present the most current plans for the project tonight (at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30) at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center. Continue reading »

Apr 302013
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks to the Bouligny Improvement Association in February. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

After several months attending meetings of nearly every neighborhood group she represents — and holding a few community meetings of her own — City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell will present her findings and her goals for District B in an address this evening (6 p.m. Tuesday, April 30) at City Hall. Continue reading »

Apr 292013
 

(cartoon by Owen Courreges for UptownMessenger.com)

Owen Courreges

“The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the only legitimate object of good government.”

– Thomas Jefferson, 1809

“Good government is practically applying the principles which make a man a good citizen.”

– Theodore Roosevelt, 1902

“We are trying to resolve this behind closed doors cause that is good government.”

– Jackie Clarkson, 2013

How does that old Sesame Street tune go? “One of these things is not like the others…” Continue reading »

Apr 252013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

For many years, the 33-story World Trade Center overlooking the Mississippi River was one of New Orleans’ most important centers of business.

Powerful people, companies and government agencies including the Port of New Orleans occupied suites at the WTC. The 30th floor restaurant, the Plimsoll Club, was usually packed. You needed a reservation to get a table. The World Trade Center suite on the 29th floor was often the site of important civic press conferences and educational seminars. Located at the foot of the Mississippi River at the end of Canal Street, the WTC offered incredible views of the river, especially from the Plimsoll Club. At the top of the building a revolving bar called the Top of the Mart was an important social spot. During her years as a lobbyist for the Dock Board, Danae worked at the WTC Building and enjoyed it. She, along with her colleagues, thought the Plimsoll Club was a neat place for lunch. Continue reading »

Apr 232013
 

(Image via facebook.com/pizzahut)

When more than 40 Pizza Hut locations suddenly closed across New Orleans in January of 2011, some saw it as an early sign of the Mayan apocalypse. That date came and went last December without the world ending, and, right on cue, Pizza Hut is now preparing to return to Orleans Parish. Continue reading »

Apr 222013
 

Owen Courreges

The other day, I heard an anecdote about a man who parked in a gas station in Orleans Parish and wound up in a confrontation with a tow company.  Apparently, he’d pulled in to buy something from the convenience store, but first decided to check out the menu posted in the window of a restaurant next door.  When he came back less than five minutes later, a tow company was already hooking up his car and demanded $90 to release it.  The man protested and the police were called out, who promptly backed the tow company. Continue reading »

Apr 192013
 

This power plant on Spruce Street houses a backup turbine that is the source of gear oil in a mist-like form that has covered neighbors’ homes and cars, Sewerage and Water Board officials say. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

West Carrollton residents beset by an oily sheen over their homes, cars and gardens are bearing the brunt of providing drinking water to the rest of the city from a century-old facility hobbled by emergency measures taken after Hurricane Katrina, officials said, and it may be another year before repairs progress enough to make a difference in the problem. Continue reading »

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