Dec 132016
 
Firefighters' pension tax results, by precinct: Precinct 14-26 (in red) was the only Uptown precinct to vote against the tax. Five others (in yellow) voted yes but with narrow margins of 50 to 55 percent. Everywhere else (in green) the tax passed easily. (map by UptownMessenger.com)

Firefighters’ pension tax results, by precinct: Precinct 14-26 (in red) was the only Uptown precinct to vote against the tax. Five others (in yellow) voted yes but with narrow margins of 50 to 55 percent. Everywhere else (in green) the tax passed easily. (map by UptownMessenger.com)

In the weeks leading up to Saturday’s vote to renew a property tax that funds one-third of the city’s drainage operations, Sewerage & Water Board general superintendent Joe Becker spoke openly about his fear that this year’s seemingly anti-establishment mood could scuttle the tax, leading to deep cuts for the agency.

“We’re very concerned that people are just going to walk into the booth, see ‘Taxes’ and vote no,” Becker said in November, barely a week after Donald Trump’s Electoral College upset shocked the nation.

It turns out, Becker had little reason to be concerned. Bolstered by support from nearly every public official and watchdog agency in the city, the drainage tax renewal passed easily. Meanwhile, a smaller new property tax to restore funding to the firefighters’ pension fund was not as popular, but still managed to pass. Continue reading »

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Dec 082016
 
The Leo Benewell play spot at Pleasant and Tchoupitoulas is under consideration for conversion into a dog park, though some residents and city officials said they would prefer a larger space farther away. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Leo Benewell play spot at Pleasant and Tchoupitoulas is under consideration for conversion into a dog park, though some residents and city officials said they would prefer a larger space farther away. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Nearly three years after the opening of a dedicated “dog run” at Wisner Park, the city of New Orleans is launching a new round of discussions about potential locations for another dog park — partly in hopes of reducing some of the unauthorized off-leash use of other major parks around the Irish Channel and Lower Garden District by dog owners. Continue reading »

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Dec 022016
 
Joe Becker, general superintendent of the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, describes the need for voters to approve a property-tax renewal that funds drainage operations in the city before the Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association on Thursday, Dec. 1. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Joe Becker, general superintendent of the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, describes the need for voters to approve a property-tax renewal that funds drainage operations in the city before the Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association on Thursday, Dec. 1. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

With barely more than a week before the Dec. 10 election, officials with the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans are making their final effort to spread the word about voting to renew a tax that provides the agency with a third of its budget for draining the city. Continue reading »

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Nov 282016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

“It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.”

Vietnam War Correspondent Peter Arnett claimed to have overheard this quote from an unnamed American major regarding the shelling of of Bến Tre city in early 1968. Its veracity is questionable, and in any event, Bến Tre was largely rubble due to attacks from the north before US artillery began its assault to rout the Vietcong.

However, that dubious quote has lingered as a paradigmatic example of a peculiar brand of cognitive dissonance: the notion that you can intentionally eradicate something in the midst of preserving it. Obviously, you can’t have it both ways, but a similar idea has come to mind in the wake of the shooting on Bourbon Street this past weekend in which one person was killed and nine others were wounded. Continue reading »

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Nov 282016
 
City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at her first re-election fundraiser on Oct. 9. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at her first re-election fundraiser on Oct. 9. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell — long considered one of the most likely top contenders as a candidate for New Orleans’ next mayor — announced to supporters last week that she is indeed considering a run for the position. Continue reading »

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Nov 232016
 
A rendering of the proposed apartment development was on display at Monday's meeting of the Coliseum Square Association. (photographed by Claire Byun, UptownMessenger.com)

A rendering of the proposed apartment development was on display at Monday’s meeting of the Coliseum Square Association. (photographed by Claire Byun, UptownMessenger.com)

Lower Garden District residents have mixed emotions about the 211-unit apartment complex proposed to replace a former grocery store, but some are just appreciative it’s not a big-box retail store. Continue reading »

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Nov 162016
 
Sewerage and Water Board superintendent Joe Becker speaks with a resident amid flooding from a broken water main on Cohn Street in July 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Sewerage and Water Board superintendent Joe Becker speaks with a resident amid flooding from a broken water main on Cohn Street in July 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

The property tax that generates one-third of the Sewerage & Water Board’s budget for draining the city of New Orleans is up for renewal on the Dec. 10 runoff ballot, and officials are pleading with neighborhoods to spread the word amid the current climate of electoral uncertainty.

“We’re very concerned that people are just going to walk into the booth, see ‘Taxes’ and vote no,” said Joe Becker, general superintendent of the Sewerage & Water Board, at a meeting of the Delachaise Neighborhood Association on Tuesday. “But if people understand the consequences what that ‘no’ vote is, I think they’ll vote intellectually and see the benefits of moving forward with this.” Continue reading »

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Nov 152016
 
The New Orleans Veterans of Foreign War Post 8973 (VFW) commemorates the official groundbreaking for their new facility with members of the post, public officials, and the project’s general contractor, Design Management Group. Pictured: (l-r) Marshall Hevron, Fernando Rivera, Councilmember Latoya Cantrell, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Doug Thomas, owner of DMG Ryan McCroskey, Elvin “Ray” Bass, and James Reiss. (photo courtesy of Serah Ridolfo)

The New Orleans Veterans of Foreign War Post 8973 (VFW) commemorates the official groundbreaking for their new facility with members of the post, public officials, and the project’s general contractor, DMG. Pictured: (l-r) Marshall Hevron, Fernando Rivera, Councilmember Latoya Cantrell, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Doug Thomas, owner of DMG Ryan McCroskey, Elvin “Ray” Bass, and James Reiss. (photo courtesy of Serah Ridolfo)

The New Orleans Veterans of Foreign War Post 8973 (VFW) celebrated the official groundbreaking for their new facility at 531 Lyons Street on Veterans Day (Nov. 11). Together with members of the post, public officials, and the project’s general contractor, Design Management Group, the VFW celebrated the beginning of the post’s renovation and construction after more than six years of planning and fundraising. Continue reading »

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Nov 142016
 
An employee of the City of New Orleans begins erasing the "Black Power" slogan from the monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Thursday, Nov. 10, following protests over the election of Donald J. Trump. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

An employee of the City of New Orleans begins erasing the “Black Power” slogan from the monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Thursday, Nov. 10, following protests over the election of Donald J. Trump. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

It’s probably an understatement to say that the results of last Tuesday’s presidential election were a shock to many. I personally stayed out on election night and was treated to many dejected laments. Some drowned their sorrows, while others engaged in angry diatribes.

Here in Uptown, Donald Trump only won a few precincts around State Street and St. Charles Avenue. The wider New Orleans metropolitan area was divided. Elsewhere, in the sea of red that surrounds New Orleans, Trump won by a whopping 20 points. Continue reading »

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Nov 142016
 
The first phase of lane closures on Soutjh Broad Street is expected to detour traffic around the Gravier Street intersection until Tuesday, Nov. 15. (map via City of New Orleans)

The first phase of lane closures on Soutjh Broad Street is expected to detour traffic around the Gravier Street intersection until Tuesday, Nov. 15. (map via City of New Orleans)

The Broad Street route between Uptown and Mid-City will be affected for the next month by a series of lane closures in three phases as part of an ongoing Gravier Street reconstruction project, New Orleans city officials announced. Continue reading »

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Nov 082016
 
A photo of the Newman building to be torn down, and a rendering of the new science building to replace it. (via City of New Orleans)

A photo of the Newman building to be torn down, and a rendering of the new science building to replace it. (via City of New Orleans)

The Isidore Newman School received permission from city officials to tear down and replace one of the buildings on its campus, and an Audubon Boulevard homeowner will be able to tear down a Cohn Street home to extend his backyard. Continue reading »

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Nov 082016
 
via uselectionday2016.com)

(via uselectionday2016.com)

With today’s election being such a spectacle for the past few months, and a race that is reportedly very close, America’s next four years will be decided and revealed tonight. With such angst and uncertainty across the nation, local businesses and others are coming together to watch the election results, mostly over drinks and more drinks. Here’s a quick list of places having Election Watch Parties in Uptown. Continue reading »

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Nov 032016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Rampant voter frustration, anger, and resentment is all around us — from the Dillard University students and others who tried to crash last night’s televised debate to the local and national candidates who have shown a definite lack of civility — and these sentiments unfortunately could be the hallmark of all future elections. Continue reading »

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