Jun 142018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

As an elementary school student attending PS #38 in Jersey City, New Jersey, this author has vivid memories of her school’s annual June 14th Flag Day celebration, where students whose families hailed from many countries paraded with their flags in a show of patriotism, hope and freedom. Americans should see plenty of those same feelings exhibited today as President Donald Trump (as well as House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, former congressman Billy Tauzin, and Louisiana-born Facebook Exec Campbell Brown) celebrates his birthday and a re-invigorated House Whip Steve Scalise returns to the Nationals ballpark to take on the Democrats just one year after his near-fatal shooting. Continue reading »

Jun 092018
 

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum holds a yearly “Made in Louisiana” festival. The fest features merchants, chefs, distillers and all-around interesting people with locally made products available in New Orleans. I was lucky enough to be invited, and I plan to introduce you to some of those people and their products.

Part One
Bulldog Pepper Jelly: Jelly with a Bite

Bulldog Pepper Jelly sisters Kim Johnson White and Cindy Johnson Anders (photo by Kristine Froeba)

Everyone should have the pleasure of meeting the Bulldog Farm Pepper Jelly sisters, Kim Johnson White and Cindy Johnson Anders. These ladies are contagiously happy, high energy, hard-working and Louisiana to the core. These are Robert Harling characters come to life, southern belles, vivacious go-getters whose beloved bulldogs, Jolie Blanc and Rocco, inspired their brand name. Their entry into the food market is Pepper Jelly. It’s good pepper jelly, and it’s now available at Rouses in New Orleans. Continue reading »

Jun 072018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Who among us isn’t frustrated by the time and money wasted because the Louisiana Legislature cannot pass a balanced budget? Though we might be infuriated, we only have to look toward Washington to see much worse. Today House Republicans will grapple with immigration reform in an attempt to come to agreement on at least some of the policies that have divided the Republican Party and the nation for several years now. Continue reading »

May 312018
 

Andi Saizan, Mimi Methvin and Tammy Savoie (submitted photo)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

As the anti-Trump #MeToo wave sweeps across America, three Democratic Louisiana women – Tammy Savoie, Andi Saizan, and Mimi Methvin — are mounting challenges to incumbent Republican members of Congress in this year’s Nov. 6 midterm elections. A resident of Lakeview, Savoie is taking on iconic House Whip Steve Scalise in the 1st Congressional District which includes portions of uptown New Orleans and the lakefront. Livingston Parish resident Andi Saizan is up against the popular 6th District Congressman Garrett Graves. Lafayette attorney and mediator Mildred “Mimi” Methvin has targeted shoot-from-the-hip Clay Higgins in the 3rd Congressional District. Continue reading »

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May 242018
 

Judge Clare Jupiter had a deep commitment to her family including (left to right) grandaughter Ayanna Perry, mother Ramona Felton Jupiter, daughter Nia Bryant and granddaughter Amani Allison. Not pictured husband Pat Bryant and son Kwame Bryant. (photo by Danae Columbus)

More than 1,000 people are expected to crowd the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church tomorrow morning for the funeral of Civil District Court Judge Clare Jupiter, who passed away last Friday from complications of a recent stroke. After proudly completing a strenuous exercise session at Touro Infirmary’s rehab center Friday afternoon, Jupiter’s heart just gave out.

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Jupiter’s January stroke came four years after a heart attack suffered in her courtroom. It took almost an hour to revive Jupiter that fateful day but EMS officials would not give up. One of them attended New Life Ministries with Jupiter and knew of her character, kindness, and giving nature she expressed to everyone she met. A week after that heart attack, a determined Jupiter walked out of the hospital and back into the courthouse. Continue reading »

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May 182018
 

U.S. Reps. Cedric Richmond (left) and Steve Scalise (right) pose for a photo during a prayer breakfast. (submitted image)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Whether the Democrats or the Republicans controls Congress after the 2018 midterm elections, Louisiana will be a big winner because of what Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) calls the “great bond” him and Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) enjoy. Scalise of course is the exceedingly popular Majority Whip who was shot June 14, 2017 during a practice session of the Republican Congressional baseball team. Richmond chairs the powerful Congressional Black Caucus, whose members represent the largest Democratic block. Continue reading »

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May 172018
 

The official engagement photo of His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales and Ms. Megan Markle (photo by Alexi Lubomirski via @KensingtonRoyal Twitter)

Prince Henry Charles Albert David Windsor-Mountbatten, the Brit, and Ms. Meghan Markle, the Yank, are to be married this weekend.

Not since 1956 has an American actress married a Prince. Then, it was Oscar-winning movie star Grace Kelly; this time we have cable actress Meghan Markle. The last American Royal wedding went off without a hitch. This time around, it’s a tad more drama-filled. In lieu of Philadelphia’s waspy Main Line, we have the warring Markles.

The Windsor wedding airs in New Orleans on Saturday morning at 6 a.m. Full BBC coverage begins at 3 a.m. This gives local Anglophiles plenty of time to stock up on Pimm’s, Earl Grey, Devonshire Double Cream, and of course, its delivery platform, the scone. Back to the proper menu in due-time (pinkies up)! Continue reading »

May 102018
 

The cover of the “Collector’s Edition” Stormy Daniels issue of Penthouse magazine, which was on sale at her appearance at the Penthouse Club on Wednesday. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

“I’m here for Stormy,” said famed New Orleans horn man James Andrews, one of several hundred people who paid a $20 cover charge to see 39-year old Scotlandville, La., native Stephanie Gregory Clifford’s three-song performance at New Orleans’ Penthouse Club last night. Labeled “Pet of the Century” in the latest edition of Penthouse, Daniels has successfully used her 2006 encounter with now President Donald Trump to build her brand and her bank account as the woman whose very public body could topple the presidency. Continue reading »

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May 032018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Who would want to be groped or sexually harassed as part of his or her job? Certainly not the eight women – including Gayle Benson – who have ownership interests in NFL teams. Those eight women owners should take a leadership role in working with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to bring an end to former Saintsation Bailey Davis’ discrimination claim.

Tomorrow (May 4) is the deadline that attorney Sara Blackwell – who represents Davis and former Dolphins cheerleader Kristan Ware – set for Goodell to respond to their request for a meeting. The women have suggested a $1 settlement offer in exchange for meaningful dialogue with Goodell. Continue reading »

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May 022018
 

Where to begin with this contrived foolishness?

I’ll start with the rent-a-voodoo princess who wears the bejeweled and feathered turban of a Hindu Maharaja. If that isn’t enough, she also travels with a Home Decor store crystal ball, Italian Tarot cards and sprinkles Arabian frankincense and myrrh from a miniature broom–the type my grandfather kept under the seat of his car.

Princess Catherina, available for readings, housewarmings, and bat mitzvahs (screenshot from Southern Charm New Orleans, Bravotv.com)

Bravo states that the Southern Charm New Orleans television series will follow an “elite circle of friends…born into prominent families,” presumably from New Orleans. “Presumably” being key. Continue reading »

Apr 302018
 

By Simone Levine, executive director of Court Watch NOLA

Simone Levine

The criminal justice system affects all of us. We pay for it through our taxes, we go to the polls to elect people to run it and then we often try to close our eyes to ignore it the rest of the year. Yet in poll after poll, New Orleans citizenry rank public safety and the criminal justice system as their number one concern.

Truthfully, we often cannot just close our eyes to the criminal courts, but instead go through a series of sentiments of trust and mistrust of the criminal courts depending on what we hear from our fellow citizens and from the news media. In fact, citizen and community confidence in our criminal justice system is one of the most integral elements of a civil society. If we do not believe the police or the prosecution will thoroughly investigate, we will be less likely to report crime. If we do not believe the courts are effective or fair, we will
feel it is a waste of our time to appear in court as a juror, witness, victim, or defendant. Continue reading »

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Apr 262018
 

Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell rides in the Krewe of Zulu on Mardi Gras day, 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

If her choice of performers for the May 7 inauguration is any indication, it’s already clear that Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell will not be bound by traditional convention as she charts a new path forward for New Orleans future. Cantrell will govern “The Cantrell Way,” with citizens adapting to her style and priorities that will surely include creating a system of governance that is more reflective of our voting majority and their needs.

Women, people of color, LGBTQ and low-income communities have always been historically marginalized, according to the Women’s Donor Network which made a presentation in New Orleans earlier this week. With her grass-roots, social worker background, Cantrell is expected to push for greater inclusion, empowerment and economic equity. Spreading the wealth and the power will be her mantra. Continue reading »

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Apr 192018
 

Nearly 60 short-term rental licenses have been issued to units in the commercial 800 Common building in the Central Business District, city records show. (photo by Danae Columbus)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

New Orleans residents who are concerned that STRS (short term rentals) are destroying the fabric of their neighborhoods will probably pack the City Council Chambers next Tuesday when the City Planning Commission receives public comment as part of a study commissioned by Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell and the City Council to determine if any modifications are warranted to existing STR regulations. It goes without saying that numerous changes are expected to be recommended. Continue reading »

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Apr 122018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

While a new national survey shows that a growing interest by young people in voting, younger New Orleanians – still don’t “get” the importance of going to the polls on Election Day based on the turnout in the March 2018 elections. According to the Louisiana Secretary of state, 255,378 New Orleanians were registered to vote on March 24, 2018, the date of our last elections. Only 34,406 (13.5%) actually took the time to vote that day when a new civil district court judge, an appeals court judge and a state representative were selected. Of those who did go to the polls, 7,090 (20.6%) were 18 to 44 years of age. That means 27,313 voters (a whopping 79.4%) were 45 or older. It is also sad to note that 86.5% of registered voters chose not to vote at all. Continue reading »

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Apr 052018
 

Rev. Dr. Kenneth Stephens talks with parishioners about Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Although significant civil rights progress has occurred since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel 50 years ago this week, national and local church leaders – including Rev. Kevin U. Stephens, Sr., M.D., J.D., former director of the New Orleans Health Department and current pastor of Christian Unity Baptist Church – believe that much work remains unfinished.

‘I can see a tremendous difference in the lives of African-Americans here in New Orleans in the delivery of quality health care, better schools, higher paying jobs, and the election of African-American officials including mayors and members of the City Council,” said Stephens who became pastor at Christian Unity in 2017. Stephens says the struggle for equality and economic equity began with Cain and Abel – the first two sons of Adam and Eve – and will continue. Continue reading »

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