Mar 122013

The Freret Neighbors United will hold an extended meeting tonight (Tuesday, March 12) to discuss a proposed new security district in the neighborhood, and the Milan Focus Group will meet Wednesday to hear from city and police officials. Continue reading »

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Mar 112013

Owen Courreges

State Senator J.P. Morrell is not letting this go – nor should he.

A month ago, a video was released showing the detention of two young black males, Sidney Newman, 17, and Ferdinand Hunt, 18, by eight plainclothes state troopers.  The video, taken on February 10, 2013 just after a parade, shows the two teens leaning against a wall in the 700 block of Conti Street.   Suddenly they are surrounded by State Troopers.

One of the youths took a few steps away and was jumped, grabbed by his shirt and flung around to the ground.  The other is pushed up against a wall.  It was a very fast and violent confrontation between the teens and the troopers. Continue reading »

Mar 112013

The former Dunbar’s restaurant at 4927 Freret is slated to become “The Muse on Freret,” a second location for owners of Three Muses on Frenchmen. (Robert Morris,

Shuttered since the floodwaters that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the former Dunbar’s building on Freret Street in Uptown New Orleans may soon be a popular restaurant once again, as the owners of Three Muses on Frenchmen Street said Monday morning that they plan to renovate the site for a second location. Continue reading »

Mar 112013

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

When it all got started, the idea of New Orleans entering into voluntary consent decrees with our good friends in the federal government seemed brilliant. After all, the management of the New Orleans Police Department and the Criminal Sheriff’s Office (Parish Prison) had been a shambles for years. Surely, a cooperative arrangement with the feds in both instances would lead to more professional and effective administration of both the cops and the prison. Continue reading »

Mar 072013

With Uptown New Orleans residents worried about robberies, shootings and other attacks that have taken place between the victims’ front doors and their cars, they frequently ask police officials how to make the front of their homes safer.

District commanders and crime-prevention officers usually suggest that one important step residents can take is to make their home a less appealing target for opportunistic criminals — by cutting back any shrubbery that offers a hiding place, for example, and particularly by increasing the amount of lighting.

In a city that can take years to repair its broken streetlights, an Entergy representative at a recent community meeting where that suggestion was made spoke offered his own solution: For a monthly fee, Entergy will install and maintain what it calls a security light to illuminate any dark areas in front of a customer’s home. Continue reading »

Mar 062013

Letter to the editor by Edwin Holmes Jr., New Orleans Fire Department

I am writing to clarify remarks made by New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) Assistant Superintendent Tim McConnell during an Uptown community meeting on Tuesday, which you attended, and referenced in your article on The Uptown Messenger website. At no time did Chief McConnell say that any fire company was being closed due to budget cuts. He did state that the City of New Orleans was fortunate to have received the “Staffing for Adequate Fire Emergency and Response” (SAFER) grant that allowed the department to hire firefighters in 2010 however; through attrition the department’s numbers have decreased back to the 2010 levels. The fact is the administration increased the amount of funding placed in the NOFD 2013 General Fund budget by more than $1.8 Million dollars. Continue reading »

Mar 052013

New Orleans Fire Department assistant superintendent Tim McConnell (left) points to the Audubon Riverside neighborhood on a map of ladder-truck coverage of Uptown after upcoming cuts. The yellow and pink areas can be reached by a ladder truck within eight minutes, but the unshaded area will take longer. (Robert Morris,

The ladder truck remains in the far-right bay of the Arabella fire station on Tuesday evening. (Robert Morris,

After upcoming budget cuts to the New Orleans Fire Department are complete, some Uptown riverside neighborhoods will be too far for a ladder truck to reach within the nationally recommended standard of eight minutes, fire officials say, though a pumper truck on Arabella Street will still be able to respond to a fire within four minutes. Continue reading »

Mar 052013

A gun is drawn outside the door of Cajun Express in the 4100 block of Washington Avenue in surveillance video of a fatal shooting there Monday afternoon. (via NOPD)

LaToya Cantrell

Following a fatal shooting Monday near Washington and Broad, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell issued a statement Tuesday afternoon condemning the three murders in two years and deeming the Cajun Express store that the shooting took place outside of as a “public nuisance.” Continue reading »

Mar 042013

The fire station in the 1200 block of Arabella Street. (image via Google maps)

The Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association will have a public-safety focus at its March board meeting on Tuesday, hearing from the assistant fire superintendent about changes planned for the Arabella fire station and from the local NOPD commander about crime issues. Continue reading »

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Mar 042013

Owen Courreges

Beretta USA is now the belle of the ball.  New Orleans needs to be an eager suitor.

It all started in January when Maryland Governor Mike O’Malley proposed the “Firearm Safety Act of 2013.” This bill, which has now passed the Maryland state senate on a 28-19 vote, is grotesquely unconstitutional dreck that will severely restrict the Second Amendment rights of Maryland citizens. Continue reading »

Feb 282013

Jimmy Anselmo and Vance DeGeneres, bassist for The Cold. (submitted photo)

(submitted photo)

by Rex Rose

For many months, Jimmy Anselmo has been trying to get the New Orleans City Council to allow him to open Jimmy’s Music Club again at the historic location on Dublin and Willow Streets, across from the streetcar barn, but his application has been buried. The more I look at the issue, the more it seems like a simple lack of communication might be the main impediment.  I feel confident there would be few objections to Jimmy reopening his club if all concerned were provided with just a little background history on Jimmy and his club, which I will deliver from a personal perspective. Continue reading »

Feb 282013

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

New Orleans will end the first quarter of 2013 on a wonderful roll. In addition to the tens of millions of dollars spent in the local economy during the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras celebrations, the city reaped bushels of positive free publicity that could not have been bought at any price. Continue reading »

Feb 282013

The city official who approved the fence closing Newcomb Boulevard at Freret Street lacked authority to do so, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday, according to a post by Karen Gadbois of The Lens. If the state Supreme Court chooses not to hear the case, then the Newcomb Boulevard Association will likely need the City Council’s approval to keep the fence up, Gadbois writes.

Feb 272013

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell smiles as she takes notes on an issue raised by a member of the Bouligny Improvement Association on Wednesday evening. (Robert Morris,

The use of public space on the Mardi Gras parade routes improved slightly this year, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell said Wednesday night, but the city laws need to be reviewed starting now to make sure that less of the sidewalks and neutral grounds are unfairly co-opted by furniture, ropes and improperly-placed ladders. Continue reading »

Feb 272013

The 111-year-old jail on St. Phillip Street. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for

Jean-Paul Villere

Two days ago via Twitter New Orleans’ own PRC posted a link detailing a list of city owned property likely to soon be available at auction.  The Crescent City remains riddled with blight, therefore the city must own some of it, right?  Right!  My personal favorite on the list happens to be the old jail erected in 1902 at 2552 St. Philip in Treme.  It’s a gorgeous old brick and mortar bunker of a building; today’s new construction absolutely pales in comparison to this craftsmanship.  Unfortunately due to the city’s neglect this sweet corner piece has fallen well beyond disrepair, but fortunately not so far that it can’t be brought back. Continue reading »

Feb 262013

“[Richard] Hamilton is the essence of what I’m looking for,” NOPD Commander Paul Noel said of his 58-year-old rookie in the Uptown-based Second District, in the following report by Mike Hoss of our partners at WWL-TV. “When you see him out in the street, you know he not only walks the beat and talks to people, but you can tell he genuinely cares.”

Feb 252013

City Councilwoman Susan Guidry speaks at a town hall meeting Monday night at Lafayette Academy in Carrollton. (Robert Morris,

The prolonged stretches of darkness that have regularly fallen over Carrollton Avenue after sunset will soon be a thing of the past, City Councilwoman Susan Guidry told residents Monday night, reporting that the city plans to have all of the thoroughfare’s streetlights repaired within 90 days. Continue reading »