Oct 172019
 

Notarial Archives Research Center staffer Tabitha Theophile holds up pre-Civil War notarial volume that includes information on slave emancipation. Also pictured are Siva Blake, Keith Guglielmo, Clerk of Court Chelsey Napoleon Richard and archivist Sally Reeves. (Danae Columbus)

The history of New Orleans – as told through its notarial acts and other civil records – is currently on display during National Archives Month at the New Orleans Archives Research Center, 1340 Poydras St., Suite 360. Continue reading »

Oct 132019
 

Gov. John Bel Edwards kicks off his campaign July 8 with a rally on Thalia Street in the Lower Garden District. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Gov.  John Bel Edwards will face Republican Eddie Rispone in a Nov. 16 runoff in part because he was unable to get out all his base. While 45.3% of voters statewide cast their ballots in the race for governor yesterday, only 38.4% of New Orleanians voted. Continue reading »

Oct 102019
 

Patrons at Bayou Road’s Half Shell on the Bayou watch the gubernatorial debate on Wednesday, Oct. 8. (Danae Columbus)

Despite heavy attacks from his Republican opponents and their related political action committees, Gov. John Bel Edwards was sailing toward a primary victory. Armed with an abundant war chest and a bipartisan coalition that was holding together, Edwards’ team could smell victory until two negative spots about former senior staffer Johnny Anderson hit the airwaves. Sources say Anderson had a history of sometimes being “a bad boy.” Until the #MeToo movement began, his habits were tolerated. Continue reading »

Oct 032019
 

Affordable housing units on Washington Avenue. (Danae Columbus)

Why are thousands of New Orleans working-poor families struggling to find a decent place to live? The answer is simple: Our government leaders are dragging their feet in making enough affordable housing available to meet the need.

“We are in the midst of a crisis in New Orleans,” said Housing NOLA Executive Director Andreanecia Morris, one of the city’s most knowledgeable housing experts. The rising cost of living in New Orleans is most severely impacting residents who earn less than 80% of the area’s annual medium income ($53,000 for a family of four). Many of these individuals work in the service industry. With no clear end in sight, the crisis is only becoming even worse. Although Mayor LaToya Cantrell has provided some funding for new units and has millions of dollars more in the pipeline, for the second year in a row the overall number of affordable units has decreased. Continue reading »

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Sep 262019
 

New Orleans Opera Association Director Robert Lyall, far right, works with the cast of Carmen at the Carrollton Avenue Methodist Church on Tuesday evening.  (Danae Columbus)

When the New Orleans Opera Association kicks off its 77th season Friday, Oct. 4 with Bizet’s Carmen, it will continue a tradition that has been flourishing for more than 200 years. Though many consider New Orleans the birthplace of jazz and Big Freedia’s twerk, New Orleans also stands out as the first city of opera in America.

“We take great pride as the first producers of opera in America,” said Robert Lyall who has been the director of the New Orleans Opera Association for 22 years. Opera began in New Orleans in 1796 as a direct cultural pipeline from Paris. Continue reading »

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Sep 202019
 

Aimee Adatto Freeman, Kea Sherman, Carlos Zervigon, Max Chiz, Ravi Sangisetty, Marion “Penny” Freistadt (Danae Columbus, Uptown Messenger)

The race to fill the important House District 98 legislative seat being vacated by the term-limited Rep. Neil Abramson is perhaps the most exciting contest in this election cycle because of an outstanding field of highly qualified candidates.

In passionate presentations laced with personal stories that added depth and color to their well-thought-out plans, six Democratic contenders vied for an endorsement last night from the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee. Attorney Kea Sherman won the endorsement. Continue reading »

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Sep 192019
 

State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson shares a moment with her husband, Dana Peterson, and her campaign team at the OPDEC on Wednesday night. (Danae Columbus, Uptown Messenger)

In preparation for tonight’s first televised gubernatorial debate, the age-old question comes to mind — is politics more than just a popularity contest? Do citizens vote for the candidates they like best, regardless of their stand on issues or personal shortcomings? By all accounts, Gov. John Bel Edwards is popular and remains ahead in all the polls, despite numerous attacks. President Trump, please take note. Continue reading »

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Sep 152019
 

Sponsored by Korman Gerrity Real Estate

I’m Joe Gerrity, local businessman, investor and Real Estate Broker. For my monthly “Yo Joe!” column, I’ll be answering your real estate questions as well as providing market information and housing statistics.

I believe the main responsibilities of a Realtor are to add value and facilitate mutually beneficial transactions, and through this column I hope to help the New Orleans community make more informed decisions about their housing future.

Yo Joe! It’s been a while. What’s going on?

Yes, it has. Honestly, I’ve been taking on a lot more than I’m used to, and writing this fell by the wayside. I’m formally bringing on a few partners who I’ve been working with for a while,  and together we’re rebranding the brokerage. I launched a New Orleans-based CBD manufacturing company, Crescent Canna, which is now on shelves all over the city. 

Also, I’m still a child at heart so I have a hard time doing anything that can even be conceived of as “school” work during summer vacation…

With that said, I’m handing this edition off to William “Buddy” King, who is the Senior Realtor at Korman Gerrity. He’s been working locally with buyers and sellers for over five years after spending time as a New Orleans teacher. Buddy is without a doubt one of the most professional and competent realtors I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.

Continue reading »

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Sep 122019
 

The PRC exhibit at 923 Tchoupitoulas St. shows the lifestyle Pontchartrain Park residents enjoyed in the 1950s and ’60s. (Danae Columbus)

The Preservation Resource Center opens a new exhibit tonight on the history of Pontchartrain Park, the city’s first suburban-style subdivision for middle-class and affluent African-American residents.

Featuring historic neighborhood ads and newspaper clippings, information about architectural style and neighborhood design, as well as incredible personal family photos and stories from some of Pontchartrain Park’s founding residents, the exhibit is being mounted as a celebration of a joint submission to the National Register of Historic Places. The PRC and the Pontchartrain Park Neighborhood Association collaborated on the application for designation. Continue reading »

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Sep 052019
 

Wages for many working-class residents have not risen, hurting their ability to pay higher property taxes. (Danae Columbus)

In an effort to reduce their 2020 property tax bills, thousands of New Orleanian property owners will begin pleading their cases for tax relief to the New Orleans Board of Review on Sept. 17. Homeowners who filed a property tax appeal by Aug. 22 should receive letters next week indicating their appeal date. According to Councilman Jared Brossett, who chairs the council’s review process, the hearings are set for Delgado Community College’s Lac Maurepas Meeting Room in the Student Life Center, 916 Navarre St.

Baring a national disaster, it is fairly common for the value of houses and vacant land to increase every year, certainly every four years. A large number of New Orleanians can ill afford a property tax increase because they have not amassed wealth. Simply put, wages are not rising. Perpetual low-paying jobs or a lack of training that could lead to better opportunities holds our citizens back. Increased costs of everything from milk to diapers make for tighter budgets. In addition, our large community of renters is also impacted whenever landlords raise monthly fees to cover additional taxes. Continue reading »

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Aug 302019
 

Dryades Public Market, 2017. (photo by Ashlin Washington)

Dryades Public Market has been a favorite space of mine for years. The news of its closing, reported by NOLA.com, was unexpected, and a bit saddening. I’ve spent many lunchtimes in the mezzanine space with my laptop in front of me and a deli sandwich on the side. Chef Allison was almost always there to greet me when the hot food bar opened for lunch and the first batch of mac-and-cheese made its presence known.

The managers were gracious, open and willing to try different ways to serve quality food options to its neighbors. I’ve hosted several events and planning meetings there. Its interior architecture — beams, brick, and the built-in schoolhouse vibe — make me appreciate the effort as much as the space.

With this bad news also comes room for imagination, I think. Here are some wild ideas for the former grocery store space. Mind you: I haven’t the funds to make any of these dreams come true, and I also understand that reality. Continue reading »

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Aug 292019
 

The 400th anniversary of Africans being brought to America as slaves was on my mind last Sunday when I read the obituary of the late Yorke Nicholson Corbin, a former reporter and member of the family who owned the Times-Picayune and its predecessors for almost 100 years. Continue reading »

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Aug 222019
 

U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, second from the right, with JoAnn Paulin, Kirk Williamson and Nina Roland at the Home Defense Foundation meeting. (Danae Columbus)

Gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham told a New Orleans audience last week that he would move Louisiana in the right direction by cutting spending, changing the tax structure, building the economy and creating jobs. The pledge was made during remarks to the Home Defense Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the right of citizens to bear arms in their homes as well as gun safety and training.

Abraham didn’t spend a minute talking about banning assault weapons or universal background checks. Why? Because the room was filled with Second Amendment advocates — men and women already committed to taking personal responsibility to defend themselves and their families. I believe their philosophy is the wave of the future. Background checks and assault weapon bans won’t keep criminals away from guns.  Continue reading »

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Aug 152019
 

District A Councilman Joe Giarrusso discusses the new property assessments Tuesday at a new Lakeview Civic Association meeting. (Danae Columbus)

The math is simple: Higher assessments plus higher millage rates equal higher property taxes. In neighborhood after neighborhood, residents are meeting to learn the ins and outs of filing property tax appeals by the Aug. 22 deadline.

“This is obviously a white-hot issue,” said District A Councilman Joe Giarrusso to the more than 400 lake area residents who gathered at St. Dominic’s School on Tuesday night. “I’ve never seen so many people at a Lakeview Civic Association meeting.”

Continue reading »

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Aug 122019
 

The star of Bravo’s Southern Charm New Orleans talks loving his new life

Former Saints player Jeff Charleston at the 2019 Saints training camp participating in the Saints Legends program and meeting fans.(Credit Evan Myers/NFL/Saints)

Former Saints player and Southern Charm New Orleans star, Jeff Charleston has a lot to say about his life, and the gist is that he’s loving every minute of it. An interview with Charleston reveals a man excited about new beginnings and a fresh start in his adopted hometown.

“I cannot wait to move back to New Orleans,” said Charleston. “I just have to figure out where in the city I want to live again.”

New Orleanians who don’t watch the Bravo reality series know him as No. 97, the Saints Defensive End who played in the Black and Gold Super Bowl.

He says that year felt like a fairy tale and that experiencing the support of the city after the Saints win is one the greatest moments of his life.

“It really changed the city,” said Charleston. “I felt like after the win, I was adopted by New Orleans.” Continue reading »

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