Jul 212016
 
Paul Bonin shares a chuckle after qualifying to run for Criminal District Court. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Paul Bonin shares a chuckle after qualifying to run for Criminal District Court. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Political insiders are shaking their heads this week as to why Paul Bonin, a widely-popular 4th Circuit Court of Appeals judge who has more than five years remaining on his current term, would decide to run for a lower-paying judgeship in the rough-and-tumble Criminal District Court. Continue reading »

Jul 202016
 
Surrounded by his family, Ben Kleban files to run for a seat on the Orleans Parish School Board. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Surrounded by his family, Ben Kleban files to run for a seat on the Orleans Parish School Board. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Woody Koppel

Woody Koppel

The founder of the New Orleans College Prep charter network qualified Wednesday morning to run for the open District 5 seat on the Orleans Parish School Board, and current school board member Woody Koppel also filed for re-election in his District 6. Continue reading »

Jul 172016
 
U.S. Senate candidate Caroline Fayard speaks at a rally at Urban South Brewing on Tchoupitoulas Street on Saturday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

U.S. Senate candidate Caroline Fayard speaks at a rally at Urban South Brewing on Tchoupitoulas Street on Saturday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

In the competitive race for the U.S. Senate seat soon to be vacated by David Vitter, attorney Caroline Fayard sought to distinguish herself in a New Orleans campaign stop Saturday by focusing on two themes that have played a role in this year’s Democratic Presidential primary — reducing the burden of student debt to spur small-business creation, and promoting equal pay for women. Continue reading »

Jul 142016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

The 75 Louisiana Republicans heading to next week’s national convention in Cleveland are gearing up for several exciting days of politics and parties as presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump moves quickly to solidify his base heading into the November election battle against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Continue reading »

Jul 122016
 
A protester holds a sign during a rally demanding justice for Eric Harris on Friday, July 8. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

A protester holds a sign during a rally demanding justice for Eric Harris on Friday, July 8. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Louisiana became a flashpoint this week for the seemingly never-ending debate over police shootings. Alas, the general reaction has been to draw the wrong conclusions and debate the wrong issue. Continue reading »

Jul 092016
 
The mother of Eric Harris, who was shot to death Feb. 8 by Jefferson Parish deputies, marches with a sign demanding justice for her son following a rally in Central City on Friday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The mother of Eric Harris, who was shot to death Feb. 8 by Jefferson Parish deputies, marches with a sign demanding justice for her son following a rally in Central City on Friday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Exactly five months ago, while Lundi Gras parades rolled just a few blocks away, the street outside Thaunta Kirk’s front door rapidly devolved into bloody chaos after 22-year-old Eric Harris crashed into a utility pole and Jefferson Parish deputies shot him to death while he sat in his front seat.

On Friday, Kirk watched a very different scene unfold from her Phillip Street porch — a large group of people from all walks of life gathered not only to remember Harris, but to demand accountability from the police system that killed him. Continue reading »

Jul 082016
 
(via https://www.facebook.com/events/286132271741029/)

(via https://www.facebook.com/events/286132271741029/)

The Family of Eric Harris, a man who was recently killed in the Central City by deputies from the Jefferson Parish Sherriff’s Office, and organizers for #JusticeForEricHarrisNOLA will hold a solidarity press conference, rally and community march at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 8.

According to organizers, the press conference is being held to communicate a stand of solidarity with the family and communities of both Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile of St. Paul, Minnesota, who were both killed by police in recent days. Continue reading »

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Jul 062016
 
Children play dodgeball during the Freret Get-Together at Evans Park in December 2014. The event was hosted by the Evans Park Booster Club, with activities organized by Eric and Claudean Capers of Anytime Fitness. (Photo by Liz Jurey, courtesy of Freret Neighborhood Center)

Children play dodgeball during the Freret Get-Together at Evans Park in December 2014. The event was hosted by the Evans Park Booster Club, with activities organized by Eric and Claudean Capers of Anytime Fitness. (Photo by Liz Jurey, courtesy of Freret Neighborhood Center)

The Urban Conservancy and the national landscape architecture firm of Asakura Robinson will host a workshop this weekend aimed at bolstering the public outreach requirements and revenue goals for parks in New Orleans through amendments to the city’s master plan. Continue reading »

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Jun 302016
 
U.S. Senate candidate Josh Pellerin speaks with voters in a video produced by his campaign. (via YouTube)

U.S. Senate candidate Josh Pellerin speaks with voters in a video produced by his campaign. (via YouTube)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Even today, many older Americans still may have a hard time admitting that an ancestor is bi-racial. But not 34-year-old U.S. Senate candidate Josh Pellerin, a Franklin, La., native and energy company owner based outside Lafayette who views his complex ancestry — and the way it mirrors the history of the state — as part of his appeal to Louisianans. Continue reading »

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Jun 272016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

I’ve only been to New York City once in my life, on a family vacation when I was in my early teens during the notorious reign of Mayor David Dinkins. We stayed in a hotel on Times Square rising high above the debauchery below.

After we arrived, I ventured off briefly on my own to see a smattering of strip clubs, peep shows, purveyors of adult materials and the like. There was virtually nothing I could legally enter. I finally caught sight of a video arcade, which seemed wholesome enough. It was wallpapered floor to ceiling in pornography. Continue reading »

Jun 232016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Now that Sheriff Marlin Gusman has acknowledged that he must cede day-to-day jail operations to a government-approved independent compliance director, how will the millions in reforms be paid for? The new expenses include the compliance director’s salary and benefits, other costs for new staff he or she will bring in as well as the new dollars needed to reach the federal government’s consent decree goals. It will be pricey for sure because the task is so large. Continue reading »

Jun 222016
 
Detective Claudia Bruce hands out CrimeStoppers flyers to a group of men sitting in Coliseum Square during an anti-crime march in July 2013.  (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Detective Claudia Bruce hands out CrimeStoppers flyers to a group of men sitting in Coliseum Square during an anti-crime march in July 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Members of the Coliseum Square Association floated the idea of adding a private patrol in the Lower Garden District on Monday night – a suggestion that was met with both strong support and staunch opposition from residents. Continue reading »

Jun 202016
 
Police investigate reports of gunfire in the 2200 block of Prytania Street. (photo by Owen Courreges)

Police investigate reports of gunfire in the 2200 block of Prytania Street. (photo by Owen Courreges)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

POP-POP-POP-POP-POP-POP-POP!

I awoke as the shots rang outside my bedroom window in the wee hours on Saturday. By the time I emerged from my house, wearing a garish, plaid Sears robe with my trusty shotgun in hand, there was nobody to be seen save a lone security guard. He crept forward from Eiffel Society, a venue down the street, his pistol drawn and at the ready.

The police arrived, shutting off the 2000 block of Prytania, but aside from collecting a few random shell casings there was ostensibly little investigation to be performed.

Naturally, I was unnerved by the experience. However, my fear was not turned against a mere instrumentality. Alas, the same cannot be said of the reaction of many Americans to the mass shooting that took place a week ago in Orlando. Continue reading »

Jun 132016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

“These modern verandahs . . . afford a perfect shelter from the sun and weather, to passers by the front of the houses to which they are attached. In sultry climates, the necessity of shade from the sun, to health, and comfort, has universally introduced the custom of balconies or verandahs; which in this respect, are equally beneficial to the inmates of the houses, and to wayfarers.”

Durant v. Riddell, 12 La. Ann. 746, 747 (La. 1857)

“It is a matter of public and judicial history that galleries, or ‘verandas,’ as they are also called, have been sanctioned by usage in New Orleans almost from time immemorial.”

Lambert v. American Box Co., 144 La. 604, 611 (La. 1919).

An iconic feature of New Orleans architecture, particularly in the French Quarter and present on most historic commercial strips, is the wrap-around, double-balcony – also called a “gallery” or “veranda” – that extends over the sidewalk. They serve not only as an attractive architectural element and to provide outdoor space for the owners of homes and commercial buildings, but they also shield passers-by on the sidewalk from the elements, thereby providing a public good. Continue reading »

Jun 092016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

The race to replace retiring 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Max Tobias is already heating up with three lower court judges – Criminal Court Judge Laurie White and Civil District Court Judges Tiffany Chase and Regina Bartholomew Woods – tossing their hats in the ring. Attorney Kevin Guillory who previously ran for a Criminal Court judgeship is also campaigning. Continue reading »

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Jun 082016
 

By Julie Schwam Harris

I feel compelled to set the record straight. Owen Courreges recently published a piece opposing a meaningful Equal Pay for Women bill and opposing State Rep. Helena Moreno’s actions to promote women’s equality in elected representation, economic opportunity and freedom from fear of violence.

It is critical to recognize the link between the two events that inspired Moreno to action with the “It’s No Joke” campaign. Rep. Havard’s sexist “joke” about a bill trying to prevent young strippers from being mired in potentially dangerous situations on May 18 and the defeat of a good compromise Equal Pay bill on May 19 are linked because they are two sides of the same coin – sexism and unintended discrimination against women – that are hurting women, families and the economy in Louisiana. Continue reading »

Jun 062016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

State Rep. Helena Moreno is on something of a tear lately following recent events in the legislature. First, one of her fellow state representatives, Rep. Kenny Havard, submitted a controversial amendment to a bill requiring exotic dancers to be of the age of majority. The amendment would have also tacked on a maximum age of 29 and a maximum weight of 160 lbs.

Havard tried to pass off the amendment as a “joke” about the dangers of overregulation. However, he ultimately voted in favor of the unamended bill, which tended to refute the notion that he was somehow satirizing government overreach. Continue reading »

Jun 022016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Dozens of heavy hitters from throughout metro New Orleans arrived at the Windsor Court Tuesday night to greet Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell who, according to a poll released yesterday, is the leading Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by David Vitter.

The fundraiser was hosted by Gov. John Bel Edwards whom Campbell endorsed early on and raised significant dollars for last year. Fans of the governor will automatically like Campbell because of his common sense, straight-talking approach. Continue reading »