Dec 142018
 

With the potholes, power outages, and never-ending boil water advisories, one would think New Orleans has suffered enough. But no, the Bravo network seems fit to punish us further—with Season 2 of Southern Charm New Orleans.

While no formal announcement has been forthcoming, the worst has been confirmed by the New Orleans Office of Cultural Economy: Film New Orleans permitting department. Southern Charm New Orleans season 2 has been filming around the city. The filming permit states the filming dates as Oct. 13 to Dec. 17. Continue reading »

Dec 132018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

District 1 Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta and former District 3 Congressman Charles Boustany – both Republicans – are said to be considering the 2019 race for governor against Governor John Bel Edwards. Two other Republican candidates have already announced – Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone and District 5 Congressman Ralph Abraham, a physician and former veterinarian. Continue reading »

Dec 072018
 

State Senate President John Alario, criminal defense attorney Mike Fawer and Claude Kelly, who heads up the Indigent Defenders program at federal court, pose for a photo. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Surrounded by dozens of family, friends, and public officials, legendary criminal defense lawyer Michael Fawer unveiled his new memoir, “From The Bronx To The Bayou,” on Tuesday evening at Martine Chaisson Gallery. In concise, easy-to-read chapters that cover nearly every major case he ever handled, Fawer relives the hits and misses of almost 60 years representing some of Louisiana and Mississippi’s most colorful figures including Edwin Edwards, Aaron Mintz, Charles Evers, and Chief Judge Walter Nixon. Now in his early 80’s and on the verge of retirement, Fawer’s life has been his work. He tried more than 125 criminal cases to verdict and argued more than 25 appeals. Continue reading »

Nov 292018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

As President Trump and Melania travel today to the G-20 Summit in Argentina and a one-on-one meeting with Putin, he will be plotting how to stay close to his imaginary friends like Saudi Arabia and Paul Manafort and continue to create havoc for his current perceived enemies including humiliated Detroit automakers, thousands of poor immigrants crowded at the Mexican border, and the Chinese who are blamed with repeatedly stealing American technology and intellectual property. In the meantime business leaders nationwide and in New Orleans have been calling for an end to the trade wars and stability of interest rates which had affected the markets.

Closely watching all these developments is Louisiana’s freshman U.S. Senator John Kennedy who is primed to announce his candidacy for Governor against John Bel Edwards. Yesterday evening respected pollster Bernie Pinsonat refused to reveal the specifics of his new poll on the race, which will be released today. Reading between the lines, it’s easy to assume that Kennedy is extremely popular with urban and rural voters which will make him a tough competitor for the Deep South’s only Democratic governor. Continue reading »

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Nov 222018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Thanksgiving is more than the traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. It’s also a time when we should recognize, appreciate and be grateful for all the riches we have received. Today, take a minute to say thanks to the people in your life – friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.

Together, we make a better New Orleans. Continue reading »

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Nov 152018
 

Former Lt. Governor Jimmy Fitzmorris with Joseph Berry and Jeff Courere at NOMA for the film premiere of FITZ! (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

On the eve of his 97th birthday, almost 200 admirers turned out last night to honor former Lt. Governor Jimmy Fitzmorris at the NOMA premiere of a new documentary on his life and political legacy. Co-produced by Jeff Courere and his sister Pat Denechaud, the film will begin airing tonight on WLAE-TV at 8 p.m. and will also run on statewide public television in 2019. In his opening remarks, current Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser said that if today’s public officials “can do half the job Jimmy Fitzmorris did with love and passion for Louisiana, our careers would be a success.” Continue reading »

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Nov 092018
 

Congressman Steve Scalise and son, Harrison, hunt ducks on the bayou. (via Steve Scalise on Twitter)

The raison d’être of the Louisiana sportsman may be hunting and fishing, but after the hunt, placing fire under the game or haul is just as crucial. Recently re-elected U.S. Representative Steve Scalise, like most born to New Orleans, melds the two seamlessly.

He’s also not above sharing a cooking tip along the way: “My favorite recipe for venison involves taking the backstrap (tenderloin), marinating it with a little Worcestershire sauce, then wrapping it in bacon and throwing it on the grill.” The congressional leader deems the end result as pretty darn good too.

“I first started hunting with my dad. He used to take me deer hunting every fall at a friend’s camp in Georgia. We would drive up together every year, just he and I, and it was a great way to bond with him. We came home with a big ice chest full of venison. I fell in love with it,” said Scalise. Continue reading »

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Nov 082018
 

Chelsey Richard Napoleon (second from left) poses for a photo with her daughter, mother and grandmother after filing her election paperwork on July 18, 2018. ( UptownMessenger.com file photo)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

The impact of women marching to victory across America are played out in Louisiana where three women either won their races or are headed into runoffs. Democrat Gwen Collins-Greenup, a lawyer, accountant and minister from East Feliciana Parish who only raised $3000 and rarely campaigned in New Orleans, stunned the state’s political establishment by running a strong second for Secretary of State in a crowded field. Continue reading »

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Nov 012018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

While President Donald Trump and others barnstorm the country for that elusive vote, local candidates — plagued by slow fundraising — are stretching resources to include robust Get Out The Vote plans. Only a few campaigns, such as the Unanimous Jury amendment, seem to have the money needed. Continue reading »

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Oct 252018
 

Mary Keller Zervigon (submitted photo)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Uptown resident and long time activist-philanthropist Mary Keller Zervigon epitomizes the best in service to the community. When the United Way of Southeast Louisiana was looking for a worthy New Orleanian to induct into their Alexis de Tocqueville Society on Nov. 1, Zervigon – an heir to the Louisiana Coca-Cola Bottling Company fortune – was an easy choice. Zervigon’s grandfather Alfred Bird (A.B) Freeman began selling the new-fangled bottled drink in 1906. Several decades later, the family’s well-documented history of philanthropy began. Continue reading »

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Oct 192018
 

The insanely rich, dark, mahogany hued Quail Gumbo, from the kitchen of Gabrielle’s Chef Greg Sonnier. (Photo Credit: Gabie Sonnier)

The return of Gabrielle Restaurant last October was literally the talk of the town. Not “literally” in the way millennials misuse the word, but literally, as in literally.

Twelve years is a long time to miss a menu. And few chefs and kitchens have been as missed by locals as James Beard-nominated Chef Greg Sonnier and his beloved Gabrielle.

The original Gabrielle—located on Esplanade in the historic Faubourg St. John–opened to critical acclaim in 1992, but like so many of New Orleans’ culinary institutions, was lost to Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters in 2005. Continue reading »

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Oct 182018
 

Congressional candidate MiMi Methvin poses with Bobbie Hill and Micah Fincher at an Uptown fundraiser hosted by Seth and Julie Schwam Harris. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Women leaders around the state are excited about congressional contender MiMi Methvin – a Democrat running against incumbent Republican Clay Higgins in Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District. They expect Methvin, a former federal magistrate who was educated at Newcomb College, to take full advantage of the #Me Too Movement against sexual harassment. Numerous polls show that white, college-educated women are moving toward more culturally sensitive Democratic candidates and away from those who embrace President Donald Trump and his often divisive rhetoric. Continue reading »

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Oct 112018
 

Martha Lemoine talks about the US Constitution to students of the Nancy Marsiglia Institute. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

In a fiery speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Gold Star father Khizr Khan talked about falling in love with the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. A Pakistani immigrant whose son Army Captain Humayun Khan was killed in Iraq in 2004, Khan offered to lend Donald Trump his copy so Trump could look up the words “liberty” and “equal protection under the law.”

New Orleans civic activist Madalyn Schenk was inspired by Khan’s speech and decided to form a different kind of book club – one that exclusively studied the Constitution and accompanying documents. That “constitution club” has now grown into the Nancy Marsiglia Institute, a 12-week cooperative program between Loyola University Law School and the United Way of Southeast Louisiana. The late philanthropist Nancy Marsiglia was the first person Schenk approached to participate. Soon other women including Councilmember Helena Moreno, Patty Riddlebarger, Ruth Kullman and United Way COO Charmaine Caccioppi joined in. Constitution expert Martha Lemoine Palmer, a mentor teacher and national judge for the Center for Civic Education’s We the People project, agreed to lead the class. Loyola Law School Dean Madeleine Landrieu – then Appeals Court Judge – bestowed the first graduation certificates. Continue reading »

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Oct 052018
 

Three Weekends of das Oktoberfest!

German beers on tap at Deutsches Haus’ Oktoberfest

German beers on tap at Deutsches Haus’ Oktoberfest (Kristine Froeba)

Prost! Deutsches Haus and Oktoberfest are back in town.

Das Deutsches Haus, New Orleans’ German cultural and heritage center, aka the German house, is back in the city proper and celebrating Oktoberfest. This year marks the organizations 90th anniversary and its inaugural Oktoberfest at its new location in Mid-City.

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense that New Orleanians celebrate the most Bavarian of holidays down on dah bayou—Bayou St. John to be exact. Continue reading »

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Oct 052018
 

Southern Poverty Law Center advocate Curtis Davis II, New Orleans League of Women Voters President Rosalind Blanco Cook, and State Senator J.P. Morrell discuss constitutional amendments on the Nov. 6 ballot. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

The Nov. 6 election ballot doesn’t just include federal, state and local races. Citizens will also have the opportunity to vote yes or no on six statewide constitutional amendments and on legalizing fantasy sports betting in Orleans Parish. “New Orleans voters should get the information about the pros and cons of the constitutional amendments on the November ballot so they can make informed choices at the polls,” said New Orleans League of Women Voters President Rosalind Blanco Cook. Continue reading »

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