Aug 162018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

What do Julie Stokes, Richard Perque, A.G. Crowe, Chelsey Richard Napoleon, Marie Williams, Heather Cloud and Omar Mason have in common? All are candidates for state or local office in the November 6, 2018 elections who made sizeable personal loans to their campaigns. By beefing up fundraising totals, these candidates became more viable which in turn helps future fundraising. Several other contenders – Kyle Ardoin, Kenneth Plaisance, and Renee Fontenot Free – also loaned themselves the fees needed to qualify and were quickly reimbursed. Continue reading »

Aug 092018
 

New York City’s progressive mayor, Mayor Bill De Blasio, speaks at the Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

“It could be a toss-up,” said former Congressman Bob Livingston when asked Monday if he thought the Republican Party would stay in power after the November 2018 mid-term elections. “I believe the GOP will remain in control, but I have been wrong on occasion. The Ohio congressional special election will be a good test of Republican strength.” Readers probably know that Republican Troy Balderson, 35, declared victory over Danny O’Connor, 31, after narrowly leading Election Day voting in Ohio earlier this week. The outcome could change — or not — after thousands of provisional ballots are counted. Continue reading »

Aug 022018
 

Need to Impeach organizer Tom Steyer talks with voters who attended his town hall meeting last night at the Audubon Tea Room. (Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

An anti-Trump spirit was clearly in the air last night as a standing room only crowd participated in the “Need to Impeach” town hall meeting at the Audubon Tea Room. The event was sponsored by billionaire investor Tom Steyer, the founder and president of Need to Impeach and NextGen America, thought to be U.S.’s largest progressive political operation aimed at the 2018 midterm elections. Barnstorming the country as part of a well-funded national outreach, Steyer will address the Netroots Nation conference currently underway at the Morial Convention Center later today and is sponsoring a Pub Quiz Friday evening. Continue reading »

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Jul 262018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

I used to think that purchasing a “whole house” generator or putting a dozen or more solar panels on my roof was an unnecessary expense. Now I am reconsidering those options after surviving a recent brownout on one of those 100 degree days – and realizing the electricity is going out in New Orleans neighborhoods far too often. Continue reading »

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Jul 202018
 

New Orleans Baby Cakes Burger grilled with caramelized bacon onion jam and cream cheese on a Mardi Gras glazed sugar brioche bun. (photo credit: Julie Couret)

#TeamBabyCakes

via twitter.com/cakesbaseball

If there is one thing New Orleans likes more than controversy—and even baseball–it’s a social media war. This time it’s not the kale lady, the Disney gumbo video (an abomination), or even that New York travel writer (#besafe). But, yes, the yanks are at it again, literally.

The New York Yankees’ minor league baseball affiliate are attacking our team’s king cake baby on several fronts. The Scranton Baby Bombers, to put it delicately, are battling our New Orleans Baby Cakes. Not all of it is nice, not at all. Continue reading »

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Jul 192018
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

With qualifying currently underway for clerk and other positions in both First City and Second City Courts, good government advocates are questioning why Orleans Parish still operates two separate courts with two clerks and constables that basically perform the same function – handling small claims. Continue reading »

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Jul 132018
 

La Crêpe Nanou’s Classic garlic wine broth Moules et Frites (Kristine Froeba)

France’s La Fête Nationale, or national celebration, commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. La Crêpe Nanou, our resident French bistro, has been an Uptown touchstone since 1983. At 35 years of age, it hasn’t a long history, but in restaurant years, remarkable nonetheless.

In a city where things are changing more often than not, the familiar is appreciated. A plate of steaming Moules et Frites bathed in a garlicky white wine sauce and a crusty baguette at La Crêpe Nanou’s qualifies. Continue reading »

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Jul 122018
 

Lawyer and activist Megan Kiefer, pictured with her uncle Chris Kiefer, believes that younger voters will change politics. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

As President Trump continues to reshape American politics, millennials like New Orleans personal injury lawyer Megan Kiefer, 34, are no longer willing to sit on the political sidelines. A married homeowner living in Bywater, Kiefer is a passionate advocate for issues she believes important and recently played a leadership role in defeating the proposed Sun Yard hotel project. “People want to live comfortably, happily and want a government that will allow them to do that,” said Kiefer. Continue reading »

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Jul 062018
 

California residents Teila Evans, Zena Dave’, Destiny Bennett head to the second line parade which kicked off the 24th annual Essence Music Festival. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Oakland California residents Teila Evans, Destiny Bennett and Zena Dave’ couldn’t be more excited about the 24th Annual Essence Music Festival which opened Thursday and runs through Sunday. “This is our first time to attend Essence. We’ve been planning this trip for months and are going to take in as many activities as possible,” said Evans, who manages client partnerships at a California company called Envoy. Dave’ is a marketing manager and Bennett works in social media. Female professionals are Essence’s target audience.

Since the Essence Festival began in 1994 almost 500,000 people have attended the empowerment seminars and marketplace at the Morial Convention Center, the evening concerts at the Louisiana Superdome and the myriad special events. This year will be no different. The empowerment seminars have become so popular that they are now dubbed the “Essence Empowerment Experience” and will occupy an even larger footprint. Already 70,000 people have signed up for one of the eight conference tracks. Continue reading »

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Jul 012018
 

The Sassy Private Chef’s Shrimp n’ Grit’s Recipe as featured on Bravo

Bravo’s Chef Benny Poppins aka Benjamin Levasseur (photo by G. Doucet)

Each series has one breakout character, and while the Bravo Southern Charm New Orleans series offered little to locals other than indigestion, it did present us with the sass of New Orleans’ private cook, Mr. Benny Poppins.

Poppins, aka Benjamin Levasseur, originally from Algiers, plies his trade amongst New Orleans’ families as a personal cook. “The name ‘Benny Poppins’ came from working closely with families and their children as a personal chef, and it stuck,” said Levasseur. Continue reading »

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Jun 282018
 

Jared Brossett (at left) is considering a challenge to the new clerk of court, Chelsey Richard Napoleon (at right). (submitted photos)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

With qualifying still three weeks away, the contest to replace longtime Civil District Court Clerk Dale Atkins has already heated up with two strong candidates – Interim Civil District Court Clerk Chelsey Richard Napoleon and District D Councilmember Jared Brossett. Continue reading »

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Jun 212018
 

Dress for Success volunteers and staff Carly Hart (left to right), summer intern Ruth Samuel, Stephanie Garcia-Bonato and Operations Director Lori Byargeon prepare for the opening of new Dress For Success offices at 1700 Josephine. Hart and Garcia-Bonato volunteered through their employer Athleta. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

“I call it my life-changing suit,” exclaimed IT professional Cheryl Butler, 2017 Dress for Success New Orleans Client of the Year. Since 1997 Dress for Success has been empowering women – including more than 400 New Orleanians each year — to achieve economic independence. Founded by Nancy Lublin, the global non-profit provides professional attire for low-income women as well as provides professional networking, job search and interview skills.

As the agency prepares to move to larger, more-centrally located facilities, DFS New Orleans is holding an inventory reduction sale today through Saturday at 6117 Magazine. Shopping hours are from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Continue reading »

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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 »

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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 »

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