Jan 282016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Though the April elections are still months away, Mayor Landrieu brought his pitch for additional taxes to hire 400 new police officers and fund millions owed firefighters to the often skeptical Bureau of Governmental Relations yesterday. Before getting to the money ask, Landrieu spun his story of accomplishments, just in case BGR members “hadn’t been paying attention” the last six years. He also explained that with only 831 days left in his term – he counts every day – he wants to go faster rather than slower, do more rather than less. Continue reading »

Jan 262016
 
The first, second and fourth categories of short-term rentals were approved by the City Planning Commission, but not the third. (graphic via City of New Orleans)

The first, second and fourth categories of short-term rentals were approved by the City Planning Commission, but not the third. (graphic via City of New Orleans)

New Orleans residents should be able to rent out part of their own home to tourists — or even the whole thing for a short period of time — using services like AirBnB, but the city is not yet ready to let absentee landlords do the same thing, City Planning commissioners recommended on Tuesday, setting the stage for further debate on the contentious issue at the City Council level. Continue reading »

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Jan 252016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

In March of 2015, Irvin Mayfield was downright cocky. He had recently opened the New Orleans Jazz Market, a home venue for his New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO).

In an interview with Jennifer Odell of Offbeat, he painted a picture colored with lofty notions and ideals. Waxing poetic, Mayfield boasted that “[o]ur work is about conveying truth, love and beauty.” Continue reading »

Jan 222016
 
A photo of the master plan under consideration during Tulane's presentation Thursday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A photo of the master plan under consideration during Tulane’s presentation Thursday evening. Red dots identify campus buildings under consideration for renovations. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Tulane University is considering a series of renovations to major buildings and moving some of its parking out of the center of its Uptown New Orleans campus, according to a first draft of a master plan newly required by city law. Continue reading »

Jan 212016
 
NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison (left) congratulates new Second District Commander Shaun Ferguson with a handshake during a community meeting this week at Touro Infirmary. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison (left) congratulates new Second District Commander Shaun Ferguson with a handshake during a community meeting this week at Touro Infirmary. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

In his first major community meeting with residents of the Uptown-based Second District, NOPD Commander Shaun Ferguson promised to make response times to emergency calls and reducing armed robberies his top priorities. Continue reading »

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Jan 182016
 
Mayor Mitch Landrieu describes the need for cooperation to move the city of New Orleans forward as he closes out the march at the Martin Luther King Jr. statue on South Claiborne Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Mayor Mitch Landrieu describes the need for cooperation to move the city of New Orleans forward as he closes out the march at the Martin Luther King Jr. statue on South Claiborne Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

New Orleans schools, city officials, social groups and others formed a massive parade through downtown and Central City on Monday morning in honor of the memory of civil-rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.

Marchers carry a banner describing the history of the founding of King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference in New Orleans. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Marchers carry a banner describing the history of the founding of King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference in New Orleans. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Continue reading »

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Jan 152016
 
The proposed Jackson Oaks redevelopment of the former Sara Mayo hospital. (rendering by Harry Baker Smith architects, via City of New Orleans)

The proposed Jackson Oaks redevelopment of the former Sara Mayo hospital. (rendering by Harry Baker Smith architects, via City of New Orleans)

LaToya Cantrell

LaToya Cantrell

A last-minute decision to grant an additional 100 residential units to developers of the former Sara Mayo hospital on Jackson Avenue should have included more than a promise that 11 of them would be deemed “affordable” housing, residents of the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association said Thursday. Continue reading »

Jan 132016
 
The former Our Lady of Good Counsel School has been proposed to be renovated into a 22-unit apartment building. (photo via City Planning Commission)

The former Our Lady of Good Counsel School has been proposed to be renovated into a 22-unit apartment building. (photo via City Planning Commission)

Plans to renovate the former Our Lady of Good Counsel school on Louisiana Avenue into a 22-unit apartment building received a initial approval from city officials on Tuesday, bolstered by support from neighbors in the Garden District Association. Continue reading »

Jan 112016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

We’ve long come to expect bizarrely poor public transit in New Orleans. Nothing runs on time, streetcars are useless following a modest fender-bender, and virtually half of bus service still hasn’t been restored after Katrina.

Meanwhile, tourist lines soak up the lion’s share of capital dollars while residents who live paycheck-to-paycheck wonder whether they’ll actually be able to get to work the next day. In short, transit is a basket case.

In the midst of all of this inefficient blundering, one would at least expect that RTA could get one thing right – using technology. Continue reading »

Jan 082016
 
The apartments at State and Tchoupitoulas, photographed in August 2011. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The apartments at State and Tchoupitoulas, photographed in August 2011. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The cluster of brick apartment buildings at State and Tchoupitoulas got initial approval for demolition this week to make way for a new condo building, while city officials also considered requests to tear down homes on Jena, Laurel and Coliseum streets. Continue reading »

Jan 062016
 
An aerial photo of the Fly at Audubon Park, showing the area where the new soccer field will be located. (via Google Maps)

An aerial photo of the Fly at Audubon Park, showing the area where the new soccer field will be located. (via Google Maps)

A site plan for the new Carrollton Boosters athletic complex by Torre Design Consortium (via city of New Orleans)

A site plan for the new Carrollton Boosters athletic complex by Torre Design Consortium (via city of New Orleans)

The Carrollton Boosters plan to build a major new athletic complex featuring a multi-purpose sports field next to the baseball facility on The Fly at Audubon Park, they told city officials this week. Continue reading »

Jan 042016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

It is often said that prefacing bad news with good news helps soften the blow. We have now cross the threshold into 2016, which seems to be giving New Orleans equal parts of each. Thus, at the risk of sounding trite, I have some good news, and some bad news. Continue reading »

Dec 302015
 
NOPD Lt. Shaun Ferguson (second from right) marches in an anti-crime march through west Carrollton in September 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

NOPD Lt. Shaun Ferguson (second from right) marches in an anti-crime march through west Carrollton in September 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

Commander Shaun Ferguson will return to lead the New Orleans Police Department’s Uptown-based Second District, where he has previously held several leadership roles as an investigator, officials announced Wednesday morning. Continue reading »

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Dec 242015
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

While many of our readers are busy making their last minute holiday preparations, we always remember December 24th as the day that one of New Orleans’ greatest champions for the African-American community – Ernest N. Dutch Morial – died 26 years ago. Morial grew up in a highly segregated society where racism was pervasive and dedicated his life to bringing racial reform.

While critics often called Morial pompous, arrogant, vindictive, and ruthless, others viewed Dutch as a confident and decisive leader and civil rights trailblazer. The son of a seamstress and cigar maker who nicknamed his son “Dutch” because he resembled the boy on the label for Dutch Boy paints, Morial played an extremely significant role in improving the lives of African-Americans in New Orleans. Continue reading »

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Dec 242015
 
NOPD Second District Commander Paul Noel, center, discusses armed robberies at a September 2015 news conference surrounded by (from left) Deputy Chief Bob Bardy, Second District Lt. Jennifer Dupree, Sixth District Commander Ronnie Stevens and Chief Michael Harrison. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Second District Commander Paul Noel, center, discusses armed robberies at a September 2015 news conference surrounded by (from left) Deputy Chief Bob Bardy, Second District Lt. Jennifer Dupree, Sixth District Commander Ronnie Stevens and Chief Michael Harrison. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Sixth District Commander Bob Bardy and Central City activist Barbara Lacen-Keller speak at a crime scene in August 2014. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Sixth District Commander Bob Bardy and Central City activist Barbara Lacen-Keller speak at a crime scene in August 2014. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Deputy Superintendent Bob Bardy is retiring from the New Orleans Police Department after a career spanning four decades, and Second District Commander Paul Noel has been promoted to the department’s second-in-command position in his place. Continue reading »