Back in the early days of his mayoral tenure, before things began to fall apart, Clarence Ray Nagin was a rock star. He didn’t know much about city government but he was cool, glib and very optimistic.
Did the city need an infusion of money? He’d sell the airport.
If you’ve ever built a house or otherwise been involved in construction or extensive remodeling of a building, you know any contractor’s standard answer is “two weeks.” You also know only too well how, particularly in this city, the wheels of the public utilities and their regulatory minions in city government grind v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y –- unless, of course, you’re late paying a bill.
As the owners of Jimmy’s Music Club continue to seek the reopening of their landmark Willow Street venue, they are employing an unusual legal strategy to get around the temporary ban on new alcohol licenses in the Carrollton area.
Instead of asking the City Council to grant them an exception to the moratorium, they are asking the city’s alcohol commissioners to rule that the latest iteration of that moratorium is illegal altogether and thus inapplicable to Jimmy’s.
Last July, Mayor Landrieu was on hand to announce a consent decree between the U.S. Justice Department and the City of New Orleans in a lawsuit that alleged widespread abuses of basic civil rights by the New Orleans Police Department. “Now, after more than two years of work, the consent decree is done,” Mayor Landrieu remarked at the time.
Well, perhaps not quite done. Apparently, Mayor Landrieu didn’t consider the fact a consent decree might be reached with respect to the city’s other constitutional abomination, Orleans Parish Prison. That’s exactly what happened. Landrieu spokesman Ryan Berni argues that “both the prison and NOPD consent decrees cannot be paid for at this time without raising taxes or laying off or furloughing employees.”
Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s replacement of a long-serving, outspoken member of the City Planning Commission from the Lower Garden District came with some controversy.
Contractors will be driving piles at the site of Tulane’s new Zimple House dorm on Saturday to make up for lost time during the rainy Mardi Gras season, university officials said. Meanwhile, the spelling of the dorm’s name is being questioned by history-minded locals.
With thunderstorms expected across New Orleans from Sunday morning until Fat Tuesday, many of the remaining parades will strive for earlier start times, officials announced Saturday afternoon.
Danae’s Mardi Gras is not complete without the annual trek to Gallier Hall for the Mayor’s Ball. Lucky for us, Gallier Hall is only four blocks from our office, so Danae walks over.
Last night’s event — as usual — was an outstanding gathering, a great place to people watch and do business. His Honor of course was present along with most of his senior staff and the majority of the City Council — LaToya, Cynthia, Jackie, Kristin and Susan — and their husbands. Danae overheard Mayor Landrieu speaking to a national journalist about the willingness of investors to bring their money to New Orleans, since the Mayor never misses an opportunity to promote the city. Honorary Dutch Consul Connie Willems, new president of the Consular Corp, was talking about how foreign governments are placing more emphasis on trade in this region.
A two-block stretch of Amelia Street that neighbors say has become an out-of-control gathering place for unruly teenagers during Mardi Gras will receive increased attention this week from both police and city officials who promise to end the problem.
The problem is different from the typical Carnival-time revelry that lines the Uptown route, neighbors and officials say. Instead, a vacant lot at the corner of Baronne Street — memorable to passers-by for a lone set of stone stairs in the center of it — has become a gathering point for teens, and they form a dense throng for two blocks between there and the parade on St. Charles Avenue.
New Orleans is the city of the pit bull. Last year Gambit reported that New Orleans has one of the highest rates of pit bull ownership per capita in the country. It is home to the Sula Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at “fostering responsible pit bull ownership” which raises money by selling yearly calendars of the “Pit Bulls of New Orleans.” It is home to “Ban Ignorance, Not Pit Bulls,” a group established to “advocate for pit bull rights and educate the general public in a positive way that will help lessen the ignorance concerning pit bulls.”
For you TV junkies out there, the evidence is even more apparent. The Animal Planet reality series “Pit Bulls and Parolees,” which pairs ex-cons with pit bulls, aired its 2012 season in New Orleans after relocating its rescue and adoption facility to the Lower 9th Ward from Los Angeles. The show cited onerous regulations as the primary driver of the move.
Freret Street motorists will not be able to cross Napoleon Avenue on Wednesday amid ongoing construction of the new drainage canal there, officials said.
For many New Orleanians, Hurricane Isaac will be remembered for the long week without power and the maddening uncertainty as to when it would return.
But for a group of National Weather Service researchers, Isaac has proven interesting for what did not happen — street flooding — despite their discovery of what appears to have been a band of abnormally heavy rainfall right across Uptown New Orleans.
“Our biggest question is, ‘Where did the water go?’” said emergency-response meteorologist Tim Erickson during a recent trip to Freret Street to investigate.
The food truck debate in New Orleans is stirring once again. City Councilwoman Stacy Head has floated legislation to loosen regulations of food trucks, which at present are largely unchanged from the 1950’s. These existing regulations make food truck operations a nearly impossible proposition, with draconian restrictions on permits, operating times and locations.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu released the details of the agreement his office has reached with Tulane governing the use of the university’s proposed stadium on Friday, drawing swift reaction from neighborhood groups that it is still too lenient.