Dec 032012
 

Officer Kevin Wheeler (left) receives a plaque from Second District Commander Paul Noel in July of 2012 after being named officer of the month. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

On Nov. 14, NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas opened his presentation on the 2013 budget with an example of the department’s excellent everyday police work with an anecdote about Officer Kevin Wheeler.

“Just two weeks ago I was reading reports, and an officer by the name of Wheeler in the Sixth District was riding around in his car, paying very close attention, hears the description of a vehicle wanted for armed robbery and within seconds catches four people who had just committed an armed robbery at Louisiana and Magazine,” Serpas said.

Fourteen days later, the department issued a news release stating that the same officer Wheeler was being dismissed from duty for deploying his Taser on an unarmed subject and for allegedly being untruthful about his report on the incident afterward. Continue reading »

Dec 032012
 

Owen Courreges

SCENE:                  GRAND INQUISITOR’S CHAMBERS, NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION (FICTIONAL)

PLAYERS:

APPLICANT:        (Proposing a gas station on an industrial road)

INQUISITOR:      (The singular embodiment of the stubborn will of an association)

(Lights rise slowly.)

(The room is dim. A single spotlight shines on the applicant. He stands flustered before the tribunal as sweat drips from his brow.) Continue reading »

Nov 272012
 

The red section represents the area of South Claiborne Avenue already reduced to two lanes for the next two years; the purple area will close Wednesday until spring of next year. (map by Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Starting Wednesday (Nov. 28), another stretch of Claiborne Avenue in the Carrollton area will be reduced to two lanes until at least March of next year as a new underground drainage canal is built under the neutral ground, officials announced today. Continue reading »

Nov 272012
 

City Council president Stacy Head (right) embraces LaToya Cantrell after endorsing her bid for the District B council seat Tuesday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

LaToya Cantrell was endorsed Tuesday morning in her bid for the District B seat on the City Council by Council President Stacy Head, a popular and influential voice in Uptown politics who twice won the seat in 2006 and 2010. Continue reading »

Nov 262012
 

(cartoon by Owen Courreges)

The New Orleans Police Department recently announced that it will be dropping the use of pepper spray and using Taser devices exclusively.  This reform came pursuant to the consent decree the city has entered into with the U.S. Justice Department, ostensibly over concerns of overuse of pepper spray and its greater potential for physical harm.

Sometimes, however, even good reforms can be a mixed bag. Continue reading »

Nov 202012
 

The Daiquiri Place Cafe (via Google Maps)

The Daiquiri Place Cafe has long brought too much litter, traffic and noise to St. Charles Avenue with little respect for neighboring businesses, and has made little effort to keep promises made five years ago to clean up its act, officials said Tuesday in a nuisance hearing before the city’s Alcohol Beverage Control Board.

The daiquiri shop’s owner blamed the problems in part on a restaurant in the next block and on the unruly crowds of “second liners” themselves, but his arguments did little to sway the the commissioners, who voted unanimously to revoke his liquor license.

“This is intolerable,” said commissioner Robert Jenkins of conditions created by the bar. “This is horrible.” Continue reading »

Nov 192012
 

A proposed change to city law that would allow gas stations on Tchoupitoulas Street in the Lower Garden District failed to find support Monday evening among members of the Coliseum Square Association, but the Sterling Express fresh-food store planned for one intersection there will press forward with its opening whether its fuel pumps are approved by the City Council or not, developers told the group. Continue reading »

Nov 192012
 

The new owner of Jazz Daiquiris — the popular South Claiborne Avenue second-line stop and nightclub where reputed Central City crime lord Telly Hankton killed Darnell Stewart in 2008 and where his lieutenant, Walter Porter, allegedly killed Curtis Matthews, the former owner’s brother, last year — is “suing the city for denying an alcohol permit,” reports The Louisiana Record. Jeffrey Thomas and attorney Ed Washington argue that the alcohol permit should have followed with the sale of the property, the report states.

 Comments Off
Nov 192012
 

A drawing of the proposed Sterling Express building on Tchoupitoulas submitted to the City Planning Commission.

A proposal to allow two fueling bays for large trucks at an upcoming Sterling Express location on Tchoupitoulas will be discussed by the Coliseum Square Association tonight (Monday, Nov. 19). Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Nov 192012
 

(Cartoon by Owen Courreges for UptownMessenger.com)

Owen Courreges

The Pontchartrain Expressway homeless encampment is no more.  This past Friday morning, police swept the remaining homeless people from the encampment in the underpass that separates the Central Business District from Uptown New Orleans.  The number of persons removed was 55 persons by the city’s count, but closer to 100 according to the New Orleans Mission, which adjoins the expressway.  By either count, it was a significant encampment. Continue reading »

Nov 152012
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

This month marks the 35th anniversary of the election of Ernest Nathan “Dutch” Morial, the first African-American mayor in New Orleans history, who swung the doors open at City Hall for minorities and women.

It was an epic campaign, and it changed the city forever. Continue reading »

Nov 142012
 

Blue Frenzy performs at the second annual Magazine Street Blues Festival in 2010. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

Now in its fourth year, the Magazine Street Blues Festival returns to Laurence Square on Saturday with performances by Rockin’ Dopsie, the Soul Rebels and other bands, as well as food trucks, art sales and a kids’ area — all to raise money for a citizens’ group that supports the New Orleans Police Department’s Uptown-based Second District. Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Nov 142012
 

Dale Smith, associate head of school at Newman, listens to a question about a sketch of the new L-shaped preschool building planned for the corner of Soniat and Danneel at a Tuesday night meeting of the Freret Neighbors United. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Officials from the Isidore Newman School envision a new, larger preschool building on the Soniat Street side of campus to open in 2014, as well as the renovations to athletic and science facilities farther down the road, they told the Freret Neighbors United group Tuesday evening.

Members of the association, meanwhile, are continuing preliminary discussions about creating a security district to increase the number of officers patrolling the area. Continue reading »

Nov 122012
 

The former assisted living center at 2101 Louisiana Avenue will reopen next summer as a 42-unit apartment building next summer, half of which wiil be transitional housing for the homeless with on-site case management, and the other half will be for low-income renters, reports Monica Hernandez of our partners at WWL-TV.

 Comments Off
Nov 122012
 

A popular travel website called Airbnb.com lists hundreds of rooms for short-term rent in private homes — including at least 150 listings around Uptown New Orleans — even though it is against city ordinance to rent rooms for less than 30 days without a license, reports Maria Clark of New Orleans City Business in an article distributed by the Associated Press.