Aug 172012

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

The teams are complete, the matchups are clear. These guys don’t like one another and their philosophies could hardly be more different.

There was a time in America when then-Alabama Gov. George Wallace could run for President as an independent complaining that there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the Democratic and Republican candidates. That isn’t really a problem in 2012. The Obama-Biden view of the world is just about 360 degrees apart from the Romney-Ryan view of the world. Continue reading »

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Aug 152012

The former uniform store on Magazine Street near Louisiana is planned for a transformation into a new location of Dat Dog. (Robert Morris,

Dat Dog is one step closer to putting a smile on Magazine Street’s facade, after the City Planning Commission gave a positive recommendation to its request for alcohol Tuesday despite some objection by the Garden District Association. Continue reading »

Aug 152012

District B City Council candidate Dana Kaplan speaks at her campaign kickoff party Tuesday evening at Victory bar in the Central Business District. (Robert Morris,

On the day before filing officially opens for the District B City Council seat — having just turned in what they believe is enough signatures to get candidate Dana Kaplan on the ballot — her supporters were ready to party.

And to get to work.

“This is really real. This is it,” said Norris Henderson of Voice Of The Ex-Offender at Kaplan’s campaign launch party on Tuesday night. “But that was the easy part.” Continue reading »

Aug 142012

Hundreds of Uptown residents fill the auditorium at the Jewish Community Center on Monday night to discuss the city budget with Mayor Mitch Landrieu. (photo via WWL-TV)

Civics is hard, Mayor Mitch Landrieu told a packed room of hundreds of Uptown residents on Monday night, after hearing their calls for better roads, less blight, lower taxes, improvements to Gert Town, and full staffing of the fire department and city planning offices.

All those issues are undeniably crucial to the city’s future, Landrieu said in a sort of pregame show for the budget he will unveil after a series of community meetings around the city. How to allocate a limited amount of money to each of those priorities is where the real difficulty comes in. Take the firefighters, for example.

“I have great respect for them, [but] they are just like everybody else when it comes to budget,” Landrieu said. “When you spend a dollar on them, you can’t spend that dollar on anybody else.” Continue reading »

Aug 132012

Owen Courreges

Thankfully, mercifully, live music has returned to Circle Bar.  As I noted in last week’s column, the Circle Bar was among the most noteworthy establishments caught up in Mayor Landrieu’s senseless crackdown on live music venues, typically bars that have been operating for several years or more with live music and no complaints.

Apparently, Circle Bar had allowed its permit to lapse in 2004, and was rebuffed when it initially reapplied.  After some wrangling with the city and a very brief blackout, Circle Bar has received its permit and live music has resumed. Continue reading »

Aug 102012

A worker from the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans hands up a file he used to clean a broken water main under Adams Street before applying a steel clamp to it to seal the hole. (Robert Morris,

Seated on milk crates on the Adams Street sidewalk, Maple Street Patisserie owner Ziggy Cichowski and Babylon Cafe owner Alexander Sakla cheered on the arrival of large yellow Sewerage and Water Board trucks around noon Friday, even as water along the stretch was being shut off in preparation of repairs to leaks gushing in the street.

“Faster, faster!” Cichowski cried out as the trucks rolled up, to laughter from a number of onlookers. Continue reading »

Aug 102012

Kakkoii Japanese Bistreaux on Maple Street hopes to open later this month, now that it has won approval to sell alcohol with meals. (Robert Morris,

A new Japanese bistro is looking forward to opening later this month on Maple Street after winning City Council’s enthusiastic approval Thursday for its transformation of a previously problematic college bar.

Kakkoii Japanese Bistreaux, in the building at the corner of Hillary Street that was formerly the Doors bar, will offer a traditional Japanese menu of sushi, sashimi and hot dishes, said Toan Tran, one of its owners. The name is a Japanese term for something “awesome” or “cool,” he said. Continue reading »

Aug 092012

A New Orleans Police officer looks at the largest of the cracks on Adams Street flooding it and nearby Maple Street on Thursday afternoon. (Robert Morris,

Well after the rain cleared on Thursday afternoon, a group of gushing leaks erupted from a series of cracks in the pavement on Adams Street, sending streams of water pouring over the pavement just a few feet away from a busy commercial stretch of Maple Street. Continue reading »

Aug 092012

A rendering of the proposed Tulane stadium. (via

Parking, drainage, noise and litter — the same issues that dominated a series of town hall meetings about the proposed Tulane Stadium hosted by the university — remain major concerns with unanswered aspects for some neighbors of the proposed project, leading some to call for the creation of a permanent venue for the university to hear neighborhood issues. Continue reading »

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Aug 092012

The yellow-stucco mansion at the corner of Valence Street and St. Charles Avenue is the subject of a demolition request by Baton Rouge-based Crescent Road LLC, scheduled to be heard at 2 p.m. Aug. 20 by the Neighborhood Conservation District Committee, according to Karen Gadbois on her “Squandered Heritage” blog at The Lens.

Aug 072012

After sailing through the City Planning Commission in June, a project to move Reginelli’s across Magazine Street into the former WOW Wingery location on State Street got a similarly warm reception from the Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association on Tuesday evening. Continue reading »

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Aug 062012

Owen Courreges

Why does Mayor Landrieu hate live music?  And why did Stacy Head give him the “alley oop” do shut down virtually any bar he wants?

I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any means, but when two events feed into each other so perfectly that a connection is nearly impossible to ignore, you have to acknowledge your suspicions even if you’d prefer not to speculate and stick with verified facts.  There is something rotten at City Hall, and I just want to know why. Continue reading »

Aug 042012

Helena Moreno

Ending a subplot of the race for the District B seat on the City Council almost as soon as it began, state Rep. Helena Moreno said Saturday afternoon that she won’t be a candidate for the job.

“I love the legislature,” Moreno said in a telephone interview, describing a daily enthusiasm to go to work on state issues affecting the city. “I don’t think that’s something I’m ready to give up at this point.” Continue reading »

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Aug 022012

City Council Eric Strachan (left) speaks to Garden District resident Warren Hart during Thursday night’s launch party for Strachan’s campaign at Second Line Stages. (Robert Morris,

Five years ago, City Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson gave Eric Strachan his first job in City Hall. At a Thursday night election launch party, she gave him his first major endorsement as he seeks a seat alongside join her on the council. Continue reading »