For the second time in two years, the New Orleans City Council denied a request to tear down three homes in front of a car wash on the upper end of Tchoupitoulas last week.
Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell is set to preview the next installment in her cavalcade of “progressive” policies enacted by other cities. This past week, she announced her intention to introduce a non-binding “Welcoming Resolution” early next year that will include a laundry list of policies proposed by immigrant rights groups.
Don’t get me wrong – some of the policies being suggested are perfectly reasonable. I can hardly dispute the need for multi-language signs and forms at City Hall, or for hiring more Spanish-speakers in the NOPD and in government offices. We’re relatively close to the Mexican border, and we do need to accommodate the needs of Spanish-speakers.
However, Cantrell’s brief tenure thus far has shown that she has never been one to stop with reasonable policies. Thus, she also announced that she wants to create a system of municipal identification cards, ostensibly so that illegal immigrants can have photographic identification and proof of residence.
New Orleans Anti-Corruption Coalition is a new bipartisan organization that is working to raise local awareness of the large influence of money in political campaigns, after the most expensive Senate election in Louisiana history. The coalition is launching today with a free screening of the new film “Pay2Play: Democracy’s High Stakes” at the First Universalist United Church Auditorium.
The micro-distillery aspect of the proposed Lula restaurant that is slated to replace the Halpern furniture store on St. Charles Avenue easily won the approval of the City Planning Commission on Tuesday, despite some concerns from neighbors about the impact of larger development plans for the block.
Jonah Bascle, the 28-year-old local comedian ran for mayor as a platform to bring attention to New Orleans’ lack of accessibility for the disabled, died Tuesday morning of complications relating to muscular dystrophy — but friends and supporters vowed to ensure both his love of good humor and his activism to improve the city live on.
The 2000 block of Coliseum Street — between Josephine and St. Andrew streets — will be closed today (Wednesday, Dec.) to through-traffic for repairs to a leaking water main, a day after the problem was described in an Uptown Messenger opinion column.
Procrastinating until something becomes absolutely critical is undeniably an American tradition. And when it comes to procrastinating, New Orleans is always at the forefront.
There’s an example of this phenomenon just down the street and around the corner from my house. In the 2000 block of Coliseum Street there has long been a broken water or drainage line (it’s unclear which). It first became obvious over seven years ago when the street began to sink and the adjacent brick sidewalk began to break apart.
Danae arrived in Arkansas just in time for the annual Thanksgiving dinner at The Brookfield, where Vera, her 88-year old mother, resides. A place card on the table proclaimed “I am thankful for Vera.” It made her also reflect on the many things in New Orleans we are thankful for this year.
Aldous Huxley once wrote that “a fanatic is a man who consciously over compensates a secret doubt.” This helps explain the bizarrely-detailed 25 page anti-smoking ordinance proposed this past Thursday by Councilwomen Latoya Cantrell and Susan Guidry.
Even I didn’t predict the staggering scope of the ordinance. Instead of being content to simply ban most indoor smoking, already a contentious proposal, the bill seeks to ban most outdoor smoking as well and treats electronic cigarettes, which produce no smoke, the same way as traditional cigarettes. It contains no exceptions for hookah lounges or cigar bars.
Members of the Faubourg Avart Neighborhood Association will meet Thursday evening to discuss issues relating to drainage, streets and the new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, organizers announced.
NOPD Commander Paul Noel — who led the NOPD Special Victims Unit prior to his appointment to the Uptown-based Second District — has been named the leader of a task force to re-investigate sex cases ignored by detectives since his departure and recommend new policies to reform the unit, officials announced Tuesday.
There’s an old joke that “NOPD” stands for “Not Our Problem, Dude.” When it comes to investigating sex crimes, alas, it’s simply the reality of the situation.
A report from the New Orleans Office of the Inspector General released this past week showed that the NOPD is essentially ignoring the vast majority of sex crimes. The OIG report studied 1,290 sex crime incidents from 2011 to 2013 assigned to five detectives (almost a third of the 16 detectives in the Special Victims Section). Of those, only 179, or 14%, included a supplemental report reflecting that the claim had been properly investigated.
A proposal to renovate a blighted Carrollton storefront into a commercial kitchen expanded into far broader discussion Tuesday of how the rapid rate of development in New Orleans affects the city’s long-time residents, but officials ultimately decided that those societal issues can’t be saddled onto an individual business owner and voted in favor of the project.
A proposed commercial kitchen on Willow Street dubbed the “Carrollton Commissary” will return to the City Planning Commission this week, after city officials suggested two weeks ago that the business owners needed more time to discuss the project with neighbors who vocally opposed it.
Separate proposals for a Mexican restaurant in Broadmoor and a commercial kitchen for catering operations in Carrollton found themselves facing frustrated neighbors and hesitant officials during a City Planning meeting on Tuesday afternoon.
A chef at a popular Mid-City eatery hopes to open her own Mexican restaurant in Broadmoor, but first she will need to obtain commercial zoning for a former Broad Street drug store that neighbors have long fought to keep residential.
When it comes to Alcoholic Beverage Outlets (ABOs), the city is an irredeemable bully. Unless Mayor Landrieu steps in, it’s likely to continue.
Case in point: The Country Club, a bar and restaurant located in the Bywater, has long been famous for amenities such as its pool and sauna. It is also known for its freewheeling, hedonistic atmosphere particularly characterized by its “clothing optional” policy.