Sep 282017
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Ever since I kicked my first political envelope at age 12, I have been passionate about politics. I look forward to every campaign season. I speculate who will qualify, pour over campaign literature, attend forums, devour polls, analyze campaign finance reports, and eagerly await election returns.

Somehow this campaign season is different. Although early voting begins Saturday September 30 and continues through October 7, a high number of voters – more than 30 percent by several accounts- have still not decided who they would support. Early voters- including many chronic voters- now make up twenty percent of total voters. Candidates who fare well in early voting are more likely to win. Continue reading »

Sep 272017

With just weeks left before New Orleans voters decide on a brand new City Council District B representative, several Mid-City neighborhood groups are offering up the chance to hear each candidate’s stance on a plethora of issues.

The candidate forum kicks off Thursday at 6 p.m. and will address issues such as homelessness, budget priorities, blight and several public safety topics. Additional questions will be emailed to each candidate after the forum so they have a chance to respond to other issues not covered during the forum. Continue reading »

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Sep 272017

An early rendering of the facade of the two-story expansion of the University Shell on South Claiborne Avenue. (image by Professional Designs Group)

The plan to expand the University Shell gas station on South Claiborne Avenue received a positive recommendation from the City Planning Commission on Tuesday, sending it on to the City Council for a final decision over neighbors’ requests for more time to consider the proposal. Continue reading »

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Sep 262017

Seth Bloom speaks at a candidates’ forum Sept. 12. (Sabree Hill,

In the race to build a war chest for the six-way race for the open District B seat on the New Orleans City Council, former School Board member Seth Bloom has amassed a clear lead over his rivals. Continue reading »

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Sep 252017

Candidates for the District A seat on the New Orleans City Council — Joe Giarrusso III, Dan Ring, Tilman Hardy, Toyia Washington-Kendrick, Drew Ward and Aylin Maklansky — debate during a town hall hosted by Carrollton neighborhood groups on Sept. 14. (Sabree Hill,

With a month before election day, the race for the open District A seat on the New Orleans City Council has already drawn more than $300,000 in political contributions — with the clear majority to Joe Giarrusso III and a strong second place by Aylin Acikalin Maklansky.

But who is paying for their campaigns? Continue reading »

Sep 222017

How to spur economic development on traditional business corridors like South Broad Street – and how to make sure it benefits longtime local businesses, instead of only transplants – formed the topic of debate for nearly a dozen candidates for mayor of New Orleans on Thursday afternoon. Continue reading »

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Sep 192017

Chipotle plans to open its first New Orleans location in the former Radio Shack at 2801 Magazine Street in the Garden District. (Robert Morris,

The imminent arrival of fast-growing Chipotle chain burrito restaurant on Magazine Street — plunging directly into competition with beloved local Latin restaurants — has local residents beginning to explore legislation that might limit the influx of national brands on the uniquely Uptown New Orleans thoroughfare.

“No one comes to New Orleans to see Veterans Avenue,” said Coliseum Square Association member Frank Cole. “I don’t want to see an Arby’s on Magazine Street.” Continue reading »

Sep 192017

Carrollton residents packed the cafeteria of St. Mary’s Dominican High School last week for a debate between the six candidates for District A on the New Orleans City Council, but if you didn’t make it, here’s your chance to watch full videos of each section of the forum.

Tilman Hardy speaks during a District A candidates’ forum Thursday, Sept. 14, at St. Mary’s Dominican High School. (Sabree Hill,

Continue reading »

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Sep 182017

From Mid-City Messenger

City Council District A candidates all have varying solutions for the ongoing Sewerage and Water Board fiasco, including hiring staff with water management experience and using spare Department of Public Works employees to clean out catch basins.

All agreed, however, that more oversight is needed for the state-created entity. Continue reading »

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Sep 182017

The three highest-polling mayoral candidates — Michael Bagneris, LaToya Cantrell and Desiree Charbonnet — will debate housing and preservation issues such as short-term rentals and zoning law in a forum Tuesday evening at Loyola University. Continue reading »

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Sep 152017

Jay H. Banks speaks after receiving the endorsement of Gov. John Bel Edwards. (Robert Morris,

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards made the unusual step of involving himself in a district-level local government election on Friday morning, announcing his support for Jay H. Banks to fill the New Orleans City Council seat being vacated by LaToya Cantrell.

In his appearance at Delgado Community College in Mid-City, Edwards also noted, however, that he will not be endorsing in the mayor’s race. Read the full story and watch live video of the event at Mid-City Messenger.

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Sep 152017

Candidates for the District A seat on the New Orleans City Council — Joe Giarrusso III, Dan Ring, Tilman Hardy, Toyia Washington-Kendrick, Drew Ward and Aylin Maklansky — debate during a town hall hosted by Carrollton neighborhood groups on Thursday evening. (Sabree Hill,

City Council District A is home to a plethora of the city’s parks and greenspaces, and their management and sustainability remains an important issue as the city grows. All six District A candidates said they’d fight to keep greenspaces across the city, though they presented different preservation tactics.

Two candidates stressed the importance of zoning ordinances and the city’s Master Plan in protecting current greenspace, while others argued for legislation protecting trees and living plants. Some candidates said they’d look into unifying park management into one entity, if it proves efficient. Continue reading »

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