By Tracy A. BuccinoIn 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.
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.
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.
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.
By Kimberly Clarke Armatis
How many of us have hesitated to notify the police when we see something or someone suspicious? We all say we are going to call, but many of us hesitate when the time comes.
I’m about to offer up some tough love, for this city and the fez-wearing simian we’ve been toting around unawares:
Citizen engagement in New Orleans has reached an impasse. There, I said it.
[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.
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.
[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.”
[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.]
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.
[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!
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.