On the fourth day of the ancient Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, President Barack Obama told an audience of 500 people that freedom can prevail over tyranny. Hope can triumph over despair. Light can prevail over darkness.
Today we are seeking the light in two divisive issues, Donald Trump’s controversial call to block the entry of all Muslim refugees to the United States, and the best solution on our very own monument controversy. Though very different, both issues are bringing out the best and worst in people and reminding us of dark times in our past.
The sale of alcoholic beverages at a neighborhood café on Panola Street and outdoor seating for a fast-food fried chicken restaurant on St. Charles Avenue were both granted initial approval by city planning officials on Tuesday.
A request to demolish part of a Laurel Street home to prepare for an addition was rejected by city officials on Monday afternoon, but requests regarding two homes on Toledano and Amelia streets were approved.
Despite construction underway on nearly every major transporation artery in Uptown New Orleans less than two months away from Mardi Gras, the City Council approved a 2016 parade schedule this week that suggests krewes follow their traditional routes.
The facilities operated by the Audubon Nature Institute are unquestionably premiere attractions for families in our region. Forty years ago, a 20-something geeky but industrious low-level employee of the City Planning Commission named Ron Forman caught the eye of then mayor Moon Landrieu who had been frequently embarrassed by the conditions and management at the run-down Audubon Zoo. He quickly dispensed the young Forman to clean it up. Without weeks, the director resigned, Forman took charge and over time convinced New Orleans business and Uptown communities that the zoo was worth supporting.
Low water pressure is expected along two blocks of Joseph Street on Thursday to facilitate construction of a new water line serving the area, according to the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans.
There are few silver linings to the spate of high-profile violent crimes in New Orleans of late, but there is one thing we can be confident of: that our criminal class is staggeringly incompetent.
Three major new Uptown developments that together represent more than 350 residential units all received City Council approval Thursday, despite neighbors’ objections to one of the projects and the developers’ desire for more density at another.
Yesterday’s announcements about the rise of armed robberies and that Councilmembers Jason Williams and Susan Guidry want to prioritize funding for 911 operators both illustrate the importance of better funding agencies involved in criminal justice.
“We are one mistake away from disaster and tragedy,” said Williams, who serves as Council President. “And it is unacceptable.”
Over at Eater New Orleans, Gwendolyn Knapp sums up the ill-fated “Jack & Jake’s” grocery project quite aptly – as a money pit.
The project began in 2011, when Alembic Community Development bought the former Myrtle Banks Elementary School on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. The school, built in 1910, had closed in 2002 and was gutted by fire in 2008. The Orleans Parish School Board had already determined that it wasn’t cost-effective to preserve the building, but Alembic was determined to save the façade.
By William Khan
Hiking the cost of parking meters would be economically counterproductive and regressive. It would take a greater bite of incomes from service workers, and it would be especially harmful to the hospitality workers and businesses that make the city’s economic engine—tourism—run.
By Brendan Frost
Sean Partridge, the owner of Crescent City Vape on Magazine Street — and my boss at the store — was at the Thursday night Saints-Falcons game when halftime rolled around and he felt like having a vape. Since the New Orleans City Council passed the indoor smoking and vaping ban that took effect on April 22, Saints fans who want to vape must step outside into the designated smoking area that hugs the Super Dome.
“You’re not allowed to leave the stadium and come back,” Sean said. “So you have to go to this area closed off with police barricades. It’s a group of rowdy people packed in shoulder-to-shoulder, and almost every single person is smoking cigarettes.”
“Citizens of New Orleans, as your mayor, I am mindful of the ever-increasing cost-of-living in our fair city. Wages are not keeping pace, and many of our most economically vulnerable workers feel that they can no longer afford to live here.”
“For too long, your elected leaders have not only ignored this problem, but abetted it. Today, I pledge to ensure that we do better by our citizens – that we make their lives easier, not more difficult.”
You can file the above under “Things Mayor Landrieu Will Never Say.” Under his watch, the cost of pretty much everything has skyrocketed. Taxes, water rates, fees – they’re all higher. If Landrieu has the slightest notion of how this has affected the lives of the people he serves, he hasn’t been inclined to show it.
The City Of New Orleans is recommending that residents move trick-or-treating and other Halloween activities to Friday, Oct. 30, due to the weather this weekend. The suggested activitiy time is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Dr. Jeffery Rouse, New Orleans’ recently elected Coroner, is one of the standouts among a new generation of leaders in the city.
He is bringing sunshine, energy and a new concept of community service to an office that had become a medical slum under former Coroner Dr. Frank Minyard. Dr. Rouse brings great academic credentials to the office – a 1992 Jesuit High School valedictorian and a Duke University Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Rouse is energetic, optimistic and visionary. He is completely reorganizing the office and has convinced fellow Jesuit alum Mayor Mitch Landrieu to grant a 23-percent budget increase to the perennially underfunded Coroner’s Office. In December, if all goes well, the Coroner’s Office will move to spiffy new quarters in the under-construction Forensics Center on Earhart Boulevard.
Two major residential development projects in the Irish Channel and Broadmoor received initial approval from the City Planning Commission on Tuesday, but both with fewer units than the developers had originally proposed.
Halloween is approaching, and thus our minds venture to the spooky and weird – to goblins, witches, ghouls, vampires … and ghosts. Especially ghosts.
As American cities go, New Orleans is an old one, and so ghosts have long been a component of local lore. Ghost tours pepper the French Quarter, with throngs of tourists being treated to tales such as the Ax Man of New Orleans and the horrors of the LaLaurie House.
A request to separate the lot that houses the closed Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church on Napoleon Avenue from the school on the same block was unanimously approved by the City Planning Commission last week.
Several blocks of the river-bound side of Broadway Street in the university area will close this weekend so that workers can begin repaving there, in anticipation of bad weather next week, the Sewerage & Water Board announced.
Pavement restoration will begin 7 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, and continue through 6 p.m. Sunday in the riverbound lanes of Broadway from Willow to Plum streets, as well was from Green to Birch, according to the S&WB announcement. The final roadway restoration is scheduled to take place Monday morning, the announcement states.
“Contractors working for the Sewerage and Water Board will perform surface restorations to last week’s water line repairs,” the announcement states. “Remaining work includes street surface removal and asphalt overlay. Full lane closures on the riverbound side of Broadway Street will expedite the restoration process in anticipation of inclement weather next week.”