Aug 032017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

When three of the Republican candidates vying to become state treasurer made their pitch this week to the Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee (OPREC), they were seeking not only an endorsement — but also greater access to the city’s close-knit network of Republican donors. Continue reading »

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Jul 272017
 

Breast cancer survivor Corinne DuCre-Villavasso, pictured with her family, started a foundation to help other cancer victims. (submitted photo)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

A consummate wife, mother and urban planning consultant, Corinne DuCre-Villavasso, was living the life she always dreamed of when in 2014 she tested positive for the Braca 1 gene mutation commonly associated with breast cancer. DuCre-Villavasso had just given birth to her third child and was visiting her physician for a post-partum check-up when told of her diagnosis. Continue reading »

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Jul 202017
 

Louis Gurvich (courtesy photo)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

New Orleans business leader Louis Gurvich, a long-time member of the Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee and the Republican State Central Committee, wants to be elected chairman of Louisiana’s Republican Party, now 900,000 members strong. If elected, Gurvich will succeed current state party chair Roger Villere, who is retiring after overseeing the Republicans’ rise to dominance in state politics over the last 14 years. Villere is the longest-serving state GOP chair in the U.S. and is vice chair of the Republican National Committee.

“When Roger first became chair, the Louisiana Republican Party was a much smaller, less powerful organization,” said Gurvich, who also previously served on the Orleans Parish Board of Election Supervisors. Secretary of State Fox McKeithen was the only Republican statewide elected official. Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards is the only statewide elected Democrat. The number of parish-level and regional Republican elected officials has also grown significantly. Continue reading »

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Jul 132017
 

Candidates for mayor by noon Thursday were (from top left) Michael Bagneris, LaToya Cantrell, Desiree Charbonnet, Charles Anderson, Bryon Cole, Matthew Hill, Johnese Smith. (photos by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

For anyone who loves politics, qualifying days for the October 14 election are exciting. It’s a time of reckoning when those who have been telling the public they will run have to pay the qualifying fees. All is revealed.

Close to 40 candidates along with family and friends and a large contingency of local media have already crowded into the offices of Clerk of Criminal Court Arthur Morrell, where the process takes place. Each candidate first completes the necessary paperwork and then raises his or her right hand to swear the accuracy of information presented. Candidates whose information – including compliance with residency and tax requirements – later proves to be inaccurate often face legal challenges. Continue reading »

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Jul 102017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

When it comes to the day-to-day concerns of ordinary New Orleanians, it has become increasingly clear that Mayor Landrieu has, to put it mildly, completely tuned out. Gone are those halcyon days when Landrieu at least gave lip service, if not substantive effort, towards governing our fair city.

It’s becoming clear that Landrieu’s attentions have been completely diverted, and his efforts have tilted entirely in favor of preening for a national audience. Continue reading »

Jul 062017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

When state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson told Gambit last week she was “doing all the due diligence that a serious potential candidate has to do” before entering the race for mayor, one of her chief tasks was a meeting with her protégée, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell.

Cantrell felt betrayed, disappointed, and hurt, according to sources close to the family, and the ever-feisty Cantrell quickly responded that she was in the mayor’s race to stay. Last night, the popular senator reversed course and announced that she would not join the mayor’s race after all. Continue reading »

Jun 262017
 

A screen shot of a five-unit AirBnB listing at the corner of Prytania and Josephine. (via airbnb.com)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

In the Federalist Papers, James Madison famously ruminated on the necessity of government.

“[W]hat is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” Madison asked rhetorically in Federalist No. 51. “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

It is because men are not angels (indeed, far from it) that we need the controls imposed by government. Even those laws that are overly restrictive and burdensome usually find their origins in the inability of citizens to do the right thing. Continue reading »

Jun 232017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

This week’s tropical storm Cindy is just the latest example that the New Orleans region and the entire Gulf Coast must become better at living with water rather than merely struggling to defeat it. From powerful waves breaking over the sea walls on Lakeshore Drive and in Covington to flooding caused by storm surge in Venetian Isles, Myrtle Grove and Grand Isle, we must employ what the Dutch call “inventive urbanism” to make our towns and cities more resilient. Continue reading »

Jun 172017
 

The Victorian coffeehouse on Nashville and Magazine Street predates the nearby chains by over twenty-five years. Café Luna is more than a neighborhood hangout; it’s become an Uptown fixture. Well known for its hip vibe, superior coffee, and Eastlake corner porch, it’s also a restaurant.

Strawberry Peach Muffins (Kristine Froeba)

Continue reading »

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Jun 152017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Indivisible New Orleans, a group of about 150 New Orleans voters aligned with the national “Indivisible” movement that sprung up to oppose President Trump’s agenda, are holding the first mayoral candidate forum of this campaign season Saturday morning at the Unitarian Universalist Church in uptown New Orleans.

Candidates LaToya Cantrell, Michael Bagneris and Desiree Charbonnet were invited. All three initially confirmed their participation. Charbonnet recently notified INO of a previously scheduled out of town trip to Washington, D.C. and will not be attending. Continue reading »

Jun 122017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Tensions have been boiling over between District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro and Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

On June 7, an opinion piece ran in the New Orleans Advocate by Cannizzaro accusing Landrieu of having “repeatedly placed politics above public safety.”

“The only objective of this policy has been to create the illusion of public safety, regardless of what is actually occurring on the streets,” Cannizzaro continued. “In so doing, he has ultimately endangered the citizens of New Orleans.” Continue reading »

Jun 092017
 

“Eating a good creole tomato is just like eating a strawberry.” – Uber Driver

(via Creole Tomato Festival)

They’re here: back-road vegetable stand tables and farmer’s markets laden with baskets of huge red homegrown tomatoes. Some might say that the Creole Tomato is a season unto itself in Louisiana. I guess we can add it to parade season, crawfish season, and football season. But, then again, New Orleans has always had its own way of telling time. Continue reading »

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Jun 092017
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Another senseless, cowardly act of violence occurred last night said Police Chief Michael Harrison as he described the city’s most recent shooting in Gentilly. With 23 New Orleanians shot just since last Saturday, it’s easy to see why New Orleans has the highest shooting rate in America — over 300 already this year.

Our high crime rate might also explain why so many individuals spend time at the Orleans Justice Center. We have more crimes being committed than the national average so we may need more beds than the national average. Continue reading »

Jun 072017
 

Is there a pothole on your street? How often does that same street flood in a heavy rain? Do you ever wish there were more opportunities for our youth, or better affordable housing solutions?

Residents of New Orleans are no strangers to wish lists. The city has an infinite number of problems and a very finite number of dollars with which to fix them. Balancing our city budget is no easy task; public pensions, pricey consent decrees and the pressing needs of our communities aren’t easy priorities to reconcile. Continue reading »

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