May 092016
 
The Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard statue is located on Esplanade Avenue near the entrance of New Orleans City Park (Photo courtesy of James/Flickr).

The Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard statue is located on Esplanade Avenue near the entrance of New Orleans City Park (Photo courtesy of James/Flickr).

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

I’m not sure that you could ever find two political figures more disparate than Mayor Mitch “Sinkhole” Landrieu and Pierre T. G. Beauregard.

This is not to say that there aren’t similarities. Beauregard, like Landrieu, was born into a wealthy and influential family. However, unlike Landrieu, Beauregard soon established himself independently of his family name. Continue reading »

May 032016
 

LaToya Cantrell

LaToya Cantrell

As New Orleanians continue to grapple with affordable housing, with about 70 percent of residents spending more than 36 percent of their incomes on rent or mortgage, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell is urging city residents to get more involved in a citywide plan that, among other things, dictates the framework for the city’s land-use rules. Continue reading »

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May 022016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

sinkhole

noun sink·hole \ˈsiŋk-ˌhōl\

: a low area or hole in the ground that is formed especially when soil and rocks are removed by flowing water

The most appropriate metaphor for Mitch Landrieu’s tenure as mayor of New Orleans would be a sinkhole. If there’s a monument to the Landrieu’s legacy, it will be a gigantic Hell-maw (the devourer-of-Hondas) located right smack in the middle of a major thoroughfare. Continue reading »

Apr 282016
 
Audubon Nature Institute CEO Ron Forman, left, and Audubon Commission chair Kelly Duncan listen to comments from residents on Thursday afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Audubon Nature Institute CEO Ron Forman, left, and Audubon Commission chair Kelly Duncan listen to comments from residents on Thursday afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The new public-notice policies that the Audubon Commission has offered concerning proposed development are a good start, Uptown residents said on Thursday afternoon, but should be significantly improved before they are adopted. Continue reading »

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Apr 252016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Perhaps the most crucial skill a citizen can have when viewing the myriad policies proposed by politicians is knowing the difference between that which is substantive, and that which panders. The electorate should know when a politician is genuinely trying to make the world better, as opposed to merely looking like they’re trying to make the world better.

Alas, New Orleanians were exposed to the latter this past Friday, when Mayor Mitch Landrieu, flanked by Councilmembers Jason Williams and James Gray, proposed a five-part ordinance “aimed at promoting gun safety in New Orleans.” Continue reading »

Apr 192016
 
The LaFon Fountain in its prime, in a photo dating to the 1970s. (courtesy of Coliseum Square Association)

The LaFon Fountain in a photo dating to the 1970s. (courtesy of Coliseum Square Association)

The LaFon fountain in its current state. (photo by Kara Mattini, courtesy of Coliseum Square Association)

The LaFon fountain in its current state. (photo by Kara Mattini, courtesy of Coliseum Square Association)

Members of the Coliseum Square Association are planning a fundraising push to better service the parks and fountains throughout the Lower Garden District. Continue reading »

Apr 152016
 
The pothole on Maple Street filled with oyster shells in March. Tulane professor Richard Campanella said he believes it was an expression of frustration from a driver tired of hitting potholes. (photo submitted by Emily Branan)

The pothole on Maple Street filled with oyster shells in March. Tulane professor Richard Campanella said he believes it was an expression of frustration from a driver tired of hitting potholes. (photo submitted by Emily Branan)

Article by Emily Branan, video by Lawson Box

Richard Campanella was on his way to get his morning cup of coffee when he noticed an interesting addition to the Maple Street landscape: oyster shells.

Campanella, geographer and senior professor of practice at the Tulane School of Architecture, said he enjoys studying urban cityscapes and thought the pothole filled with oyster shells made an interesting subject to study. Continue reading »

Apr 142016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

The voters’ rejection of Mayor Landrieu’s tax proposal to fund additional police officers and pay firefighters’ back pensions was not a vote against the need for the tax but a clear sign of voter dissatisfaction and mistrust of Mayor Landrieu’s public safety policies and leadership. While the mayor obviously needs to address that anger, new sources of funding are still desperately needed if devastating cuts are to be avoided.

Landrieu and the City Council could shore up our tax base by ensuring New Orleans becomes the next American city to enact a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. A “sin tax” on the purchase of carbonated soft drinks is on the books in many countries around the world including France, Barbados and Mexico, where consumption of sodas declined after the tax was enacted. Continue reading »

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Apr 112016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

On Saturday, around 11:30 p.m., former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was driving through my neighborhood. He was with his wife, Racquel. As he approached Felicity Street while driving eastbound on Sophie Wright Place, he was allegedly rear-ended by one Cardell Hayes.

Hayes and Smith exited their respective vehicles and got into a heated argument. Hayes pulled a gun, at which point Smith ostensibly turned. Hayes then sprayed out a hail of bullets, hitting Smith in his back and right torso. Smith bled out at the scene. Raquel was struck in her right leg.

Smith was much beloved in New Orleans, and this senseless act of violence has thus struck a chord with many. A makeshift memorial appeared Sunday near the scene of the shooting. Continue reading »

Apr 082016
 
A rendering of the new configuration of Jackson Avenue through the Garden District, after a repaving project scheduled to start later this year. (via city of New Orleans)

A rendering of the new configuration of Jackson Avenue through the Garden District, after a repaving project scheduled to start later this year. (via city of New Orleans)

As part of an upcoming repaving project on Jackson Avenue, the portion of the street through the Garden District will be reduced from two travel lanes to one and a bike lane added on each side of the road, New Orleans city officials told nearby residents in a meeting Thursday evening. Continue reading »

Apr 072016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Now serving his eleventh year as Orleans Parish’s top jailer, Marlin Gusman could easily be called the “Teflon Man”. Whether being attacked by the Legislative Auditor, Federal Judge Lance Africk, the consent decree monitors, Mayor Landrieu, the City Council or even the VOTE (Voice of The Ex-Offender) organization, the criticisms just roll off him. Continue reading »

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Apr 042016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

New Orleans is not a kind place to renters. Last week, CNN/Money named our fair city one of the worst cities for renters in the U.S. Last year, the Atlantic opined about the “myth” of New Orleans’ affordability, highlighting our low wages, increasing rents, and lack of habitable housing units. In general, the press has been rather negative of late.

Worst of all, we can’t say it isn’t true. Continue reading »

Mar 312016
 
A row of new street lights and two lanes of traffic on Napoleon Avenue can be seen approaching Freret Street on the evening of March 31. Construction on this section will be finished in April, and on the entire avenue by the end of the year, officials said. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A row of new street lights and two lanes of traffic on Napoleon Avenue can be seen approaching Freret Street on the evening of March 31. Construction on this section will be finished in April, and on the entire avenue by the end of the year, officials said. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The long-awaited end of the Napoleon Avenue drainage-canal project is now expected to be the end of the year — all of it — and landscaping on the neutral ground should be done next year, officials with the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told neighbors Thursday night. Continue reading »

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Mar 282016
 
Neighbors rally around the sculpture at "The Fly" on Feb. 15. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Neighbors rally around the sculpture at “The Fly” on Feb. 15. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Carrollton Boosters are withdrawing their plan to create a new sports complex on the Audubon Riverview park known as The Fly, following two months of protests by activists who said the project claimed too much valuable open space along the Mississippi River. Continue reading »

Mar 282016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

New Orleans drivers, I’ve found, are not particularly fond of pedestrians. Venturing forth on New Orleans roads seems to have become an exercise in big game hunting, as some cars actually speed up to honk and shout obscenities at people whose only crime is walking. The closer they come to running them down, the greater their warm fuzzy.

New Orleans pedestrians, on the other hand, often seem to have little regard their own lives. They seem to be unaware of these strange strips of pavement adjoining streets called “sidewalks” and instead saunter about in the middle of the roadway, appearing inconvenienced when a car has the sheer audacity to attempt to use a traffic lane for its intended purpose.

Both sides need a lesson in the law and simple etiquette. Continue reading »

Mar 232016
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks before a neighborhood group in August 2014. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks before a neighborhood group in August 2014. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A temporary site for a centrally located “low barrier” shelter for the homeless in New Orleans that would provide protection from the elements and access to public services could be open as soon as October, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell said this week. Continue reading »