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 »

Sep 302013
 

536The Prytania Theatre will host a free screening at 8 p.m. tonight (Monday, Sept. 30) of “Gasland II,” a documentary about “the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil,” followed by a question-and-answer session with the director. Continue reading »

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Aug 272013
 
A spray-painted welcome to President Bush on St. Claude Avenue on Aug. 29, 2006. (photo by jewel bush)

A spray-painted welcome to President Bush on St. Claude Avenue on Aug. 29, 2006. (photo by jewel bush)

jewel bush

When President George W. Bush’s motorcade drove down St. Claude Avenue on August 29, 2006 — the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina — there were many signs, like sentries, stationed along his route to Fats Domino’s house in the Ninth Ward, one stop on his itinerary of ceremonial rounds.

The messages, posted on signs lined along the neutral ground and on the actual storm-clobbered buildings, weren’t flattering greetings from the city’s welcome committee. The collective reverberation to the commander in chief’s obligatory pilgrimage to the place he neglected a year earlier was that of a shimmering rage, pithy and piercing in delivery.

One of the strongest indicators of this sentiment was a lop-sided, green Port-a-Potty positioned on the very edge of the neutral ground somewhere along St. Claude, a strategic locale sure to catch the eye of, if not, the president himself, someone in his party. Among protest notes scribbled in gold spray paint on all four sides of this freestanding structure, the standout read: “Reserved for Bush.”

Mr. President, welcome to New Orleans. Continue reading »

Aug 262013
 

The remaining trees along Jefferson Avenue between South Claiborne and Danneel will be removed starting this week. (UptownMessenger.com file photo from April 2013)

The remaining trees along Jefferson Avenue between South Claiborne and Danneel will be removed starting this week. (UptownMessenger.com file photo from April 2013)

The trees remaining in the Jefferson Avenue neutral ground between South Claiborne Avenue and Danneel Street will be removed starting today (Monday, Aug. 26) in preparation for the installation of a major new underground drainage canal, authorities said. Continue reading »

Aug 012013
 

A rendering of a proposed floodplain park around the Monticello Canal in Hollygrove, similar to those proposed for other canals around the city in a new water-management strategy for New Orleans.

Rainfall should be diverted out of Uptown via the Mississippi River instead of carrying it all the way to Lake Pontchartrain, and major drainage ditches like the Monticello Canal should be expanded into interior floodplains and water-storage features, according to two recommendations that illustrate how New Orleans should be better managing its water instead of just pumping it away.

The Water Management Strategy presented by architect David Waggonner to a standing-room only crowd Thursday evening at Xavier University is a regional plan for making more efficient use of rainfall, slowing it down and storing it in natural canals to reduce the sinking of the land that contributes to flooding. The recommendations in the Uptown area are only a small part of the plan, but they illustrate some of its key elements and some of its challenges.

“We’re proposing this is a new era for water management,” Waggonner said. “It’s not just about flood protection any more. It’s really about quality and sustainability.” Continue reading »

Jun 232013
 

The McDonogh 7 building on Milan Street. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

The students of the Crocker Arts and Technology charter school had one of the most harrowing journeys through the post-Katrina education landscape of any school in New Orleans, bouncing around four campuses in the city over five years before the school finally lost its charter this year among stagnant test scores.

Now, finally settled into their long-promised new building on Marengo Street with a new operator preparing for next year, Crocker parents are now faced with yet another worry — enough peeling lead paint has been discovered in the campus where Crocker kids spent the longest part of their odyssey to warrant an emergency remediation before the building can be used again. But with lead poisoning known to affect intelligence levels, the broader question of how many other students are at risk around the city remains unanswered. Continue reading »

Apr 192013
 

This power plant on Spruce Street houses a backup turbine that is the source of gear oil in a mist-like form that has covered neighbors’ homes and cars, Sewerage and Water Board officials say. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

West Carrollton residents beset by an oily sheen over their homes, cars and gardens are bearing the brunt of providing drinking water to the rest of the city from a century-old facility hobbled by emergency measures taken after Hurricane Katrina, officials said, and it may be another year before repairs progress enough to make a difference in the problem. Continue reading »

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