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.
In her runoff victory Saturday night, LaToya Cantrell not only won more precincts than Dana Kaplan, Cantrell also won her best precincts by far wider margins than Kaplan did, an analysis of the results shows.
Some voters in the District B runoff on Saturday said they were impressed with LaToya Cantrell’s record in Broadmoor, while others said they admired Dana Kaplan’s advocacy for juvenile justice. Just as frequently, however, they said they wanted to support Councilwoman Stacy Head’s efforts to provide some balance against Mayor Mitch Landrieu — or that they wanted to show support for Landrieu’s work so far.
In her victory speech, LaToya Cantrell emphasized the hard work that brought her through the runoff for the District B seat and that which is yet to come in the next 15 months.
After congratulating Cantrell in her concession speech, Dana Kaplan emphasized her own campaign’s success in promoting her ideas about the criminal justice system and economic opportunity.
See video of each candidate below:
LaToya Cantrell, the Broadmoor activist whose neighborhood’s recovery became a symbol of New Orleanians’ resilience, pledged to bring her tireless work ethic and open heart to a bigger stage Saturday night after winning a seat on the New Orleans City Council.
Cantrell won nearly 54 percent of the ballots cast Saturday with all precincts and early votes counted, according to the Secretary of State. Her opponent, Dana Kaplan, won just over 46 percent.
Motorists on Freret Street will be unable to cross Napoleon next week as the intersection closes so work can continue on the installation of a new drainage canal under the neutral ground, officials said.