Apr 302014

By Susan Larson

The New Orleans Public Library is so grateful for Jewel Bush’s warm and thoughtful article about the New Orleans Public Library; we appreciate her support and her advocacy — and her patronage!

I am writing this as the secretary of the New Orleans Public Library Board, of which I have been a member since 2011. Much has transpired since the drafting of the consultant’s report cited in the article. Continue reading »

Apr 182014

By Elizabeth Elliott, Davida Finger and Melissa Gallo

While the City has many responsible landlords, all too often in our practice at the Loyola Community Justice Clinic, our clients face landlords who refuse to repair substandard housing, wrongfully withhold deposits at the end of leases, try to illegally evict in order to rent to Mardi Gras tourists and other offenses that take advantage of the landlord-friendly laws. Louisiana has lagged far behind other states in protecting renters, and Senate Bill 298 is an attempt to find the correct balance between landlord and tenant rights and interests. Continue reading »

Mar 192014
(photo submitted by the Freret Neighborhood Center)

(photo submitted by the Freret Neighborhood Center)

By Liz Jurey, Freret Neighborhood Center

Have you ever wondered what happens in that yellow and red double shotgun house on Freret Street? You might be surprised to learn about the incredible work being done behind those blue doors! The Freret Neighborhood Center helps to offer resources to the Uptown / Central City area by providing access to a computer lab that is open to the public, conducting an afterschool program, organizing neighborhood clean-up efforts, and much more! We engage approximately 1,200 people, including residents, children, university students, as well as local and visiting volunteers.

This is a unique space where people from all walks of life are able to gather and work towards the betterment of this region. Show your support and celebrate our accomplishments by coming out this Thursday for an exciting event in our honor! Continue reading »

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Mar 142014

By Brooke Duncan III

It’s unfortunate that some have taken to social and other media to bash Audubon, one of the truly great success stories of local government in our time. The millage started out at 4.2 but was reduced a few years ago as a result of a state-wide reassessment of property values when values declined following Katrina. Without getting bogged down in semantics, the tax has been in place for a long time and the proposal returns the millage to its prior level. The difference for a home valued at $200,000 has been reported to be around $12 a year. The current taxes will end in 2021-2022. This is an effort to establish the taxes at the former millage; this is not a new tax in addition to the existing tax. Continue reading »

Mar 122014

By Clark Thompson

If you live in Uptown New Orleans, you’ve probably had the misfortune of driving on Octavia street in the past few months. The US Army Corp’s SELA project effectively closes Jefferson Avenue, and ends up sending lots of traffic onto Octavia, and the wear and tear of additional use is destroying the street. And the street is destroying cars, but that’s already been covered. Continue reading »

Mar 112014
Volunteers plant a tree while children play behind them at Wisner Playground in November 2010.  (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

Volunteers plant a tree while children play behind them at Wisner Playground in November 2010. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

By Ramsey Green and Sam Winston, members of Friends of Wisner Park

On Saturday, New Orleanians will vote on whether to approve a new 50-year tax increase with all revenue exclusively designated for the Audubon Institute. You should vote “No” – especially if you value having more functional green spaces in the city like the beautiful Audubon Park. Continue reading »

Mar 072014

By Tobias Arturi

In a state in which abstinence-only sex education is the norm, and locally accessible reproductive health services are scarce, and often demonized, Planned Parenthood has always remained a stalwart voice for the practice of safe sex and a resource for those who need real answers about sex other than “Don’t Have It”.
Continue reading »

Nov 192013

By Tracy A. Buccino

(image via norta.com)

(image via norta.com)

In response to Mr. Courreges’ recent piece regarding NORTA fare increases (“Necessary or not, RTA fare hike makes New Orleans two bits closer to unaffordable“), I suggest that one way to increase revenue without socking it to the poor, elderly, and others with no alternative would be to increase the single-ticket price while keeping the monthly-pass price the same or perhaps even lowering it. I would also suggest offering discounted monthly passes for the same categories (and perhaps others) that are currently offered for the single fares. Continue reading »

Nov 022013

By Ed Quatrevaux

Although Katz and Columbus are entitled to their opinions, it is shoddy journalism to falsely attribute quotes. I refer to the first paragraph’s attribution to the OIG of “marking down crimes“. That phrase does not appear in the report or any statement by the OIG and was invented by the authors of the opinion. Continue reading »

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Aug 182013

By Alfred Bostick

The recent Uptown Messenger article “Good neighbors: Freret’s revival has largely avoided the issues that often accompany gentrification” is an intelligent and well considered fine piece of writing on a complicated subject. It is much appreciated. I also would have liked to have seen some treatment of the larger economic change that has hit the traditional middle-class quite devastatingly, not only here, but nationally and world-wide. I know it sounds like an extraneous issue to raise and examine in such a tightly focused urban neighborhood discussion, but it seems to me to play a pivotal role. Continue reading »

Mar 062013

Letter to the editor by Edwin Holmes Jr., New Orleans Fire Department

I am writing to clarify remarks made by New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) Assistant Superintendent Tim McConnell during an Uptown community meeting on Tuesday, which you attended, and referenced in your article on The Uptown Messenger website. At no time did Chief McConnell say that any fire company was being closed due to budget cuts. He did state that the City of New Orleans was fortunate to have received the “Staffing for Adequate Fire Emergency and Response” (SAFER) grant that allowed the department to hire firefighters in 2010 however; through attrition the department’s numbers have decreased back to the 2010 levels. The fact is the administration increased the amount of funding placed in the NOFD 2013 General Fund budget by more than $1.8 Million dollars. Continue reading »

Sep 222011

[The following letter to the editor was written by Tim Garrett, State Street Drive neighborhood activist and administrator of NOLAhoods.com and AskNOLA.com]

As the owner/manager of AskNOLA.com, I may be biased, but I suspect many other native New Orleanians share my assessment of the current “citizen complaint hotline” hosted by City Hall:

Its hours are too restricted: Try dialing 311 at 5:01pm or during the weekend.  A recording asks you to call another day; you cannot leave a message.  The operators are poorly trained: Many of my calls get routed to the wrong department (“I said street light, not traffic signal”), and I’m forced to redial.  That’s quite an inconvenience, especially for tourists, drivers and cyclists. Continue reading »

May 242011

By Andrew Brott

Upon further review of the Freret streetscape plans, the longer they take the better.

As best as I and many others can tell, they plan to narrow Freret Street with 42-foot-long street “bump-outs” similar to those on Oak Street. This is a horrible idea that must be stopped. Continue reading »

Jan 152011

[Editor's note: The following letter was written by Garden District resident Owen M. Courrèges.]

In reference to your article of January 8th, “Six alarm fire consumes historic lower garden district church, nearby building:”

I am concerned that your article allowed Rev. Moses S. Gordon and his flock to paint themselves in a sympathetic light, claiming that they are truly saddened by the loss of the church and the historic townhouse next door, also owned by Rev. Gordon. For example, you quote church member Joseph Byrd as saying “[i]t’s a great loss, the loss of the memories, and the historic building too.” Rev. Gordon himself is quoted as saying “We went through Katrina; we’ll get through this.” Continue reading »

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Dec 082010

[Editor's note: The following letter was sent by Greg Sonnier, owner of The Uptowner, to the Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association after that group decided to withhold their support for his restaurant Tuesday night. Sonnier also sent a copy of the letter to UptownMessenger.com as a comment on the original story, and it has been reprinted here in full.]

Dear ARNA,

I was notified by a reporter from the UptownMessenger.com of the ARNA meeting where our application request for Gabrielle restaurant at 438 Henry Clay Ave was brought up. I apologize for not being able to attend but would like to take the time to address my request for the zoning change from non-conforming use to a restaurant (table service).

I think it best to summarize our predicament for you from the beginning in order to present the facts. Continue reading »

Dec 062010

[The following letter to the editor was written by Tim Garrett, administrator of NOLAhoods.com]

I would like to propose some changes to the way New Orleans Police Department uses NOLAReady.info to disseminate information. Currently, the volume of email being generated through NOPD’s 12 “channels” – representing eight Districts along with four administrative offices – is so enormous that it overwhelms readers’ in-boxes. In fact, since it first began using the City’s NOLAReady service in mid-August, NOPD traffic has been several times that of all the other channels (for example, weather advisories, Amber Alerts and boil water orders) combined! Continue reading »

Oct 082010

By Matthew “Whalehead” King

The Refrigerator Bandit kicked in our back door to take a bunch of grapes out of the fridge. Left a cell phone, computers, and jewelry untouched even though he opened all our dresser drawers. NOPD was on the scene soon after we called, recognized the M.O., took fingerprints, and were very professional and diligent about the whole thing. We got a timely response by a patrolman and, after an end-of-shift wait, Detective Waldron showed up to investigate and explain what had happened based on past experience. Continue reading »

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