Aug 302014
 
Retired Gen. Russell Honore speaks at the GreenARMY Katrina commemoration at Xavier University. (Zach Brien for UptownMessenger.com)

Retired Gen. Russell Honore speaks at the GreenARMY Katrina commemoration at Xavier University. (Zach Brien for UptownMessenger.com)

As New Orleans continues to recover from the devastation that followed Hurricane Katrina nine years ago, the city should pass a law preventing any schools or daycare centers from being built on top of toxic soil — including the proposed rebuilding of the Booker T. Washington High School over the old Silver City dump site in Central City, retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honore and local allies said Saturday morning.

“We’re the oldest city in this part of the country, and we ought to be the first to make a stand,” Honore said. “We’re not going to put a school on a dump.” Continue reading »

Aug 282014
 
Lt. Gen. Russell Honore speaks in February at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore speaks in February at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Retired Gen. Russell Honore will lead a Hurricane Katrina commemoration breakfast at Xavier University on Saturday with speakers from New Orleans and surrounding communities giving updates on the fight for environmental justice in Louisiana and the upcoming 2015 legislative session. Continue reading »

Aug 192014
 
(Via Facebook)

Mike Stagg (photo via Facebook)

Environmental activist Mike Stagg, organizer of the March from Grand Isle to the Governor’s Mansion, will discuss Louisiana’s relationship with the oil and gas industry tonight (Tuesday, Aug. 19) in a public meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Church on South Claiborne. Continue reading »

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Jun 272014
 

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore speaks in February at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore speaks in February at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, who has become one of Louisiana’s most prominent environmental-justice activists since his retirement from the U.S. Army, spoke Thursday night at a rally at the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church against the rebuilding of the Booker T. Washington School on the 1930s-era Silver City waste dump site in Central City, where dangerous levels of arsenic, lead and other heavy metals reportedly remain in the soil. The Recovery School District says replacing the top layer of soil will be sufficient to make it safe for Walter L. Cohen High School to move in, reports Tania Dall of our partners at WWL-TV.

Continue reading »

May 152014
 

State Rep. Neil Abramson at a town hall in Carrollton in 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

State Rep. Neil Abramson at a town hall in Carrollton in 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

Two environmental activists called for state Rep. Neil Abramson to recuse himself from bills that would affect the wetlands-loss lawsuits against the oil and gas industry because his law firm represents one of the companies being sued, but Abramson defended his conduct with regard to the bills and said it has been ethical and without bias. Continue reading »

Mar 262014
 
Former Louisiana Govs. Buddy Roemer, Kathleen Blanco and Edwin Edwards share a laugh during one of the lighter moments during Wednesday night's panel discussion at Loyola University. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Former Louisiana Govs. Buddy Roemer, Kathleen Blanco and Edwin Edwards share a laugh during one of the lighter moments during Wednesday night’s panel discussion at Loyola University. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Although former Louisiana governors Buddy Roemer, Kathleen Blanco and Edwin Edwards have a number of political differences, all three agreed Wednesday night that no state officials — neither the legislature nor the current governor — should interfere with the local levee board’s lawsuit against oil companies. Continue reading »

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Mar 232014
 

A sign reading "Eat Local"  in the edible garden at Samuel J. Green Charter School. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

A sign reading “Eat Local” in the edible garden at Samuel J. Green Charter School.
(Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

An “Edible Evening” brings more than just food to the table. The annual fundraiser benefits children through the Edible Schoolyard’s garden, kitchen, and wellness education programming at five FirstLine Schools.

Wine, burgers, desserts, tacos and more will be provided during the outdoor garden party at the Samuel J. Green Charter School in the Freret neighborhood from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday (March 27). For those party goers arriving or staying late, for the first time in five years the party will go until 10 p.m., a “Late Wave” party with Company Burger and Cure. Continue reading »

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Mar 142014
 
(By Jean-Paul Villere)

(By Jean-Paul Villere)

Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

Digesting a maladjusted observation by new New Orleanian Tara Elders in a recent New York Times piece regarding her new city’s supposed lack of cosmopolitan sensibility and its apparent lack of kale requires equal parts restraint and forgiveness.  Questions surface.  Who is she?  Who cares.  Why the kerfuffle?  In short, New Orleanians take pride in themselves and this comment plays as a slight, however one frames it.  Adding this misfire into the whole of its missive stirs up other unsettlingly obtuse observations the article makes, but for brevity’s sake permit me to sum it up in a quote of one ex pat’s (though presently a New Yorker) Facebook update “I defy you to read this article and not want to set something on fire.” 

Indeed. Continue reading »

Mar 102014
 
(courtesy of The Audubon Nature Institute)

(photo via The Audubon Nature Institute)

On Saturday (March 15), Orleans Parish voters will decide on more than just runoff races for City Council seats. A property tax worth up to $11.9 million a year is up for vote for the Audubon Nature Institute, the organization that supports the Uptown-located Audubon Zoo, as well as the Aquarium downtown and other sites around the city.

Supporters of the millage say it is a renewal of an already-existing tax. But dissenters say that it’s a new tax, because it could mark an increase in funds for the Institute for a period of 50 years. Continue reading »

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Feb 242014
 
Lt. Gen. Russell Honore addresses the Louisiana Landmarks Society on Monday evening at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore addresses the Louisiana Landmarks Society on Monday evening at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, best known for his no-nonsense leadership in New Orleans immediately following Hurricane Katrina, returned to the city Monday night in his new role: condemning entire generations of Louisiana lawmakers for an acquiescence to major chemical companies that is now compromising the future of the state.

Speaking before the Louisiana Landmarks Society at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in the center of Uptown New Orleans, Honore may have been preaching to the choir, or, as he calls them, his “Green Army.” What they really wanted to know — like so many audiences the general has spoken to around the state — is whether Honore plans to run for governor. Continue reading »

Feb 242014
 

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, who was widely hailed for his leadership in New Orleans immediately following Hurricane Katrina and is now considering a run for governor, will speak about the threats to Louisiana’s environment at 7 p.m. tonight (Monday, Feb. 24) at First Unitarian-Universalist Church, 5212 South Claiborne Avenue. Continue reading »

Feb 202014
 

law summit

19th Annual Tulane Summit on Environmental Law & Policy panelist topics (via  the Tulane Environmental and Energy Legal Society)

19th Annual Tulane Summit on Environmental Law & Policy panelist topics (via the Tulane Environmental and Energy Legal Society)

The public is invited to listen to thought-provoking expert panelists discuss environmental hot topics such as the Orleans Parish Levee Board lawsuits, the Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” and the state’s “cancer alley” at the 19th Annual Tulane Summit on Environmental Law & Policy on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 21-22), in Tulane Law School’s Weinmann Hall. Continue reading »

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Dec 112013
 

(map via DOTD)

(map via DOTD)

City Councilwoman Susan Guidry called a proposal to reroute freight trains from Old Metairie to Hollygrove “totally unacceptable” before an audience in Mid-City on Monday evening, and Hollygrove residents formed a new committee called “We Won’t Be Railroaded” to fight the project Tuesday, according to a report by Della Hasselle at our sister publication, Mid-City Messenger. In addition to the environmental and quality-of-life concerns, there may also be civil-rights issues involved in the use of federal money on a project that would widen the disparity in property values between the two communities, Mid-City Messenger reports.

Nov 132013
 

"That one time I saw them in the snow," writes Jeffrey Bostick. (via http://librarychronicles.blogspot.com, used with permission)

“That one time I saw them in the snow,” writes Jeffrey Bostick. (via http://librarychronicles.blogspot.com, used with permission)

Library Chronicles author Jeffrey Bostick (also sometimes known as “a prolific local tweeter, who calls himself Skooks”) posts an elegiac photo essay on the changing of the recently-removed Napoleon Avenue crepe myrtles through the seasons, writing of his “habit of keeping time by those trees.”

Nov 052013
 

In order to treat unsafe levels of lead and other toxic heavy metals, three feet of soil must be removed and replaced in areas of the Booker T. Washington High School site at 1201 South Roman Street that will not be covered by asphalt or buildings, according to state recommendations reported on by Mark Schleifstein of The Times-Picayune. Monique Harden, an attorney for the Walter L. Cohen Alumni Association, is asking the state to treat the entire site as a hazardous-waste site, Schleifstein reports.

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Oct 102013
 
The undivided two-way traffic pattern that dominates Jefferson Avenue on the river side of St. Charles Avenue will soon extend to South Claiborne as the drainage-canal installation proceeds. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The undivided two-way traffic pattern that dominates Jefferson Avenue on the river side of St. Charles Avenue will soon extend to South Claiborne as the drainage-canal installation proceeds. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Although the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for overseeing the construction of four major drainage canals around Uptown New Orleans, the federal-government shutdown caused the agency to miss a planned public meeting Thursday about the beginning of the latest phase on Jefferson Avenue. Continue reading »