Feb 152018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Trying to resolve Louisiana’s ongoing budget crisis is at the heart of the Legislature’s special sessions which begins Monday. One of the potential solutions to balance the state’s budget that will not be discussed until the March 12 regular session is the opportunity to derive more income and create more jobs through an expansion of legalized gaming. Continue reading »

Feb 082018
 

(Front row, left to right) David Bossie, Corey Lewandowski, and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry at Trump book signing. GNOR hosts John Tobler and Phil Brickman are in the back row. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Donald Trump was elected President of the United States because he “rekindled a dream for millions of
Americans” at a time when the Washington establishment “failed to stand up for the people they were elected to represent,” said former Trump insiders Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie. The duo was in Metairie earlier this week for a luncheon and signing of their recent book, “Let Trump Be Trump.” Hosted by the Greater New Orleans Republicans, the event also featured Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry who introduced the authors. Continue reading »

Feb 042018
 

Breaux Mart King Cake (via Kristine Froeba)

My commentary is usually filtered through nostalgia—in this case, my fond memories of Mardi Gras. Two words sum that up: McKenzie’s and Doubloons.

Mardi Gras was fun, easy, laissez-faire, with no tattletales, no politics, no bead safe-spaces, and no King Cake scalping—yes, this is really a thing in 2018.

Why can’t we just enjoy the greatest free show on earth without government intervention, irate commentary, division, and scary cakes? Continue reading »

Feb 012018
 

LAGOP chair Roger Villere with former White House Chief Of Staff Reince Pribus, Jimmy Delery and Congressman Ralp Abraham, R-Louisiana, at the Elephant Stomp. (submitted photo)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Louisiana Republican Party chair Roger Villere believes Louisiana citizens are already living the “new American dream,” that President Trump described in his SOTU speech Tuesday night. In Washington this week for the annual winter meeting of the Republican National Committee where President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence also are speaking, Villere praised Trump’s remarks. Continue reading »

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Jan 252018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

While many New Orleanians are singularly focused on Mardi Gras, candidates running for State Legislature, Civil District Court and Appeals Court are spending their evenings talking to neighborhood, civic and political organizations including BOLD and the Alliance for Good Government – both of whom met last night. The three quick Alliance forums were probably the first real opportunity for the city’s political players to see the candidates side by side. Continue reading »

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Jan 192018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Republicans in Louisiana and around the country are in a celebratory mood this week as they applaud what they see as President Donald Trump’s many successes and look to the future. Ardent supporters call Trump’s America First policy “forceful and transactional” and declare 2017 was the best first year ever for a U.S. president.

Local Republican elected officials including members of the Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee celebrated at OPREC’s annual fundraiser Thursday night at the American Sector. Former RNC Chairman and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is the special guest at Saturday’s Louisiana Elephant Gala where Congressman Steve Scalise will be honored. Finally, President Trump and First Lady Melania are also celebrating their 13th wedding anniversary this weekend. Continue reading »

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Jan 122018
 

Saints Feasts, Playoffs, and homemade King Cake!

Gerald and Missy Young Duhon #saintscooking (via Missy Young Duhon’s Facebook Page)

Can we get a #WhoDat?
The Black and Gold are back in the playoffs, and locals are talking about more than just Kamara’s yardage. What’s cooking this Sunday is a hot topic as New Orleanians plan to watch the game from home. Viking’s fans can have their frozen chicken wings, brat dogs, and bagged chips, but the Ain’ts aren’t having it.

Saints fans have oiled the jambalaya pots, chilled the Abita, and connected the gas-line to the burner. Epiphany’s passing the week before the playoffs guarantees King Cakes are ordered—or better yet, about to be baked. Yes, it’s crawfish and King Cake season in NOLA. Continue reading »

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Jan 112018
 

Sister Jane Remson and Deacon John talk in front of the Jax Beer mural at Rock N Bowl where they are hosting an 8Oth birthday party for Allen Toussaint Sunday night that will raise funds for the New Orleans Artists Against Hunger & Homelessness. (photo via Danae Columbus)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Sr. Jane Remson, O’Carm, has devoted her entire life to serving the community. Descended from a line of hearty Germans who brewed Jax Beer and owned Frey Meats, Remson took her vows right out of Mt. Carmel Academy as an expression of her faith.

A trained medical technologist who opened hospital laboratories in the Philippines and was a leukemia researcher at Tulane, Remson was director of Bread For The World at Loyola University when Allen Toussaint and Aaron Neville approached her about raising money to feed and house New Orleanians in need. With support from former Mayor Dutch Morial and his then city attorney Michael Bagneris, the New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness NOAAHH), held their first benefit concert which took in $30,000.

More than 35 years and $3 million dollars later, NOAAHH will celebrate Allen Toussaint’s “Legacy of Caring” with a benefit concert Sunday evening at the Rock ‘N’ Bowl. Marcia Ball and Deacon John and the Ivories will headline the show. “As a co-founder, Allen Toussaint was incredibly instrumental to the success of the NOAAHH all these years. Because of his generosity and the support of dozens of other musicians, NOAAHH has been able to help feed thousands of people and address the problems of homelessness in our community,” said Remson, who now serves as NOAAHH’s president emeritus. Continue reading »

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Dec 282017
 

The First 72+ provides services to formerly incarcerated people immediately after they return to society. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Legislators from across the state were beaming last June during Governor John Bel Edward’s “historic moment” when he signed a 10-bill criminal justice reform package aimed at saving the state millions annually and reducing incarceration.

Authored by such bipartisan heavyweights as State Senate President John Alario, Senators Danny Martiny and Dan Claitor, and Rep. Helena Moreno, Walt Leger and Joe Marino, the new legislation was designed to help formerly incarcerated individuals more easily reintegrate into their communities by reducing their financial burdens and helping them have better access to jobs and other necessities including occupational licenses and food stamps. Continue reading »

Dec 212017
 

State Senator Troy Carter talks with Councilman-elect Joe Giarrusso and Clerk of Second City Court Darren Lombard at Wednesday’s meeting of local Democrats. (photo by Danae Columbus)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

When the local Democratic Parish Executive Committee and friends met last night to celebrate the holiday season, they just didn’t talk about which candidates would be qualifying for the spring elections, but how the Democratic Party nationally is rebuilding from the grass roots. Continue reading »

Dec 152017
 

Brigtsen’s Roast Duck a l’Orange with Dirty Rice & Louisiana Citrus Sauce and Pan-Roasted Pork Chop with Roasted Autumn Vegetables & Apple Cider Pan Gravy. (photo by Katherine Kimball, katkimballphoto.com)

Brigtsen’s, one of our most esteemed restaurants is among the few Uptown to commemorate the Creole tradition of le Réveillon de Noël.

“Many of our guests have made a visit to Brigtsen’s for Réveillon part of their own Holiday tradition. There is a festive air and a shared joy in our dining rooms. It’s really quite beautiful,” Chef Frank Brigtsen said.

During the colonial period, the French Catholic meal began after a full day of religious observance and abstinence ending in Midnight Mass, or “la Messe de Minuit”. After midnight, the solemnity ended, and le Réveillon celebration, or “the eve”, would begin. Continue reading »

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Dec 142017
 

Clerk of Court Dale Atkins leads a class on the court’s new electronic filing system. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Citing a desire to continue as “an instrument of justice,” long-time Clerk of Civil District Court Dale N. Atkins will enter the spring 2018 race for an open position on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal. The seat was vacated by Judge Madeleine Landrieu who recently became Dean of Loyola University’s Law School. Continue reading »

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Dec 072017
 

Camille Whitworth via Facebook).

Danae Columbus

Incoming Councilmember-At-Large Helena Moreno became a state legislator after first enjoying a successful career as a WDSU-TV newscaster. Now Camille Whitworth, another former WDSU reporter and anchor, is considering making a bid for Moreno’s soon-to-be-vacated District 93 legislative seat.

Born in a Houston suburb, Whitworth has spent almost 25 years as an award-winning broadcast journalist. She worked in Louisville, Kentucky and Raleigh, North Carolina before joining WDSU in 2003. She left in March 2016 when the station chose not to renew her contract but decided to rebrand herself as a New Orleans-based media pro and public speaker. Whitworth is also currently the on-air personality for East Jefferson General Hospital’s “Healthy Lifestyle” infomercials that air weekly on WWL-TV. Continue reading »

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Nov 302017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Attorney General Jeff Landry has had a pretty good November. He dined at Mar-a-Lago with Trump insiders, took part in a high-level fundraising reception where he made important contacts, and is poised to soon assume the presidency of the National Association of Attorneys General. Back home, Landry can’t wait to pour over mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell’s city credit card statements he has subpoenaed with a fine tooth comb. Continue reading »