Jan 202017
 
Flowers adorn the statue of Lady Liberty as it rests by the edge of the Mississippi River. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Flowers adorn the statue of Lady Liberty as it rests by the edge of the Mississippi River. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Combine President Donald J. Trump’s paltry 15 percent of the vote in New Orleans with an inauguration day during the Mardi Gras season, and a satirical, theatrical parade was all but inevitable.

About 200 people held a jazz funeral for Lady Liberty through the streets of the French Quarter on Friday morning, many clad in black or carrying signs mixing messages of protest and hope. A few dressed as the part of the female anatomy the President has boasted that he likes to grab, and one dressed as the new President.

Images from the jazz funeral for Lady Liberty through New Orleans. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A protester dressed as Donald Trump sneers presidentially over the coffin during a jazz funeral for Lady Liberty through New Orleans. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Continue reading »

Jan 192017
 

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond delivers the keynote address at the NAACP New Orleans branch’s 2012 Freedom Fund Banquet at Xavier University. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Though recent polls (including one from the Wall Street Journal/NBC News) call President-Elect Donald Trump the most unpopular incoming President in decades, more than a thousand Louisiana residents including Fenn French, Louis Gurvich, Adrian Bruneau, Eric Skrmetta, Brian Trascher, Billy Nungesser, Jeff Landry, and State Republican Party Chair Roger Villere with granddaughter Madison are taking in all the Washington’s sights and sounds this week in preparation for the 45th Presidential Inauguration. Continue reading »

Jan 162017
 

Clancy Dubos, left, Gambit editor and columnist, listens to Mary Matalin, right, speak in Rousell Hall at Loyola University as part of the Ed Renwick lecture series. Carville, a Democrat, and Matalin, a Conservative, are two prominent speakers in their respective political circles. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Husband-and-wife political strategists James Carville and Mary Matalin will lead a panel discussion of the 2016 Presidential election Tuesday evening at Tulane University, the university announced. Continue reading »

Jan 162017
 
An automated traffic-enforcement vehicle with a ticket on the windshield. (photo by Charles Schully, reprinted with permission)

An automated traffic-enforcement vehicle with a ticket on the windshield. (photo by Charles Schully, reprinted with permission)

Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

If aliens ever came down to Earth, they would quickly determine that the government of the city of New Orleans is at odds with its own citizens, working ceaselessly to render their lives more grueling and costly.

The latest escalation of this ongoing fracas consists of the use of 55 new speed cameras throughout the parish to close this year’s budget gap. If these additions were simply fixed cameras, they would have garnered less attention. Instead, motorists this week were greeted with a cavalcade of unmarked vehicles equipped with speed cameras parked along major streets. Continue reading »

Jan 122017
 
Kim Gandy of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (center) poses with Mariah Wineski of the  Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Judy Benitez also of NNEDV. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Kim Gandy of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (center) poses with Mariah Wineski of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Judy Benitez also of NNEDV. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Like thousands of women across the country, former New Orleanian Kim Gandy, President and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), is clearly concerned. Gandy fears that some of the Trump administration’s nominees for key cabinet posts “have historic positions that appear contrary to the rights and protections they will be charged to uphold.” It’s more important than ever, says Gandy, “for women’s voices to be heard and for women to be politically active in issues they care about.” Continue reading »

Jan 052017
 

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Former Congressman Bob Livingston, now a Washington D.C.-based lobbyist, told talk show host Larry King on Tuesday night that President-Elect Donald Trump is making a good start on his pledge to “drain the swamp” in Washington. “President-elect Trump has hired some outstanding people and is headed in the right direction,” said Livingston. Continue reading »

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Jan 022017
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

2016 is now mercifully over. Although the passage of time is normally bittersweet, this past year ranked more or less as the temporal equivalent of a swift kick to the groin. Thus, it was with some relief that New Orleans welcomed 2017 with champagne, food, revelry, and SWAT team members with M-16s placed menacingly about the French Quarter. Continue reading »

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Dec 292016
 

Governor John Bel Edwards greets National Urban League President Marc Morial while Urban League official Erica McConduit looks on. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Governor John Bel Edwards was grateful to receive an award from National Urban League President Marc Morial yesterday in New Orleans. Edwards knew his 2014 victory was due in part to the strong statewide support from African-American elected officials like Congressman Cedric Richmond (also an honoree) and their associated political organizations.

With almost 20 elected offices on the ballot during 2017 — including mayor, city council, sheriff, assessor, clerks of court and at least three judgeships — grassroots political organizations, faith-based coalitions, political action committees and civic groups who support candidates and/or issues are all gearing up for an active campaign season. Also active will be the two parish executive committees and their affiliates. Continue reading »

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Dec 222016
 
U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise shares a holiday smile. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise shares a holiday smile. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

House of Representatives Majority Whip Steve Scalise took his own victory tour this week when area Republicans came to honor him as their Man of the Year. An early supporter of President-elect Donald Trump and nationally recognized as a conservative leader, Scalise will have Trump’s ear and the ability to shape legislation to benefit Louisiana. Continue reading »

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Dec 192016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

The cutest Internet video of the week from New Orleans was, inarguably, that of “disco cop.” NOPD Sgt. L.J. Smith was providing security at the Luna Fete light/art festival as electronic dance music brayed from a nearby DJ when he began enthusiastically dancing along with the crowd.

In a city beset by violent crime that has been braced with recurring police scandals, the sight of a cop stepping side-to-side and blowing his whistle in time with the music was a welcome diversion. Continue reading »

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Dec 152016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

This week’s announcement by State Rep. Helena Moreno that she is launching the new nonprofit, bipartisan Ignite Advocacy Network (igniteforchange.org) is the latest example of women tapping into the national discontent over a lack of equal opportunities and channeling those feelings into action. The election of Donald Trump is also inspiring liberal and conservative women around the country to consider a career in government. Continue reading »

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Dec 082016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Dear President-elect Trump,

Thank you for including Louisiana on your victory tour.

While the majority of Louisiana’s citizens cast their votes for you, the voters of New Orleans did not. We’re a little different because of our unique history and culture. Yet, we’ve got lots of needs we hope you will address. Continue reading »

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Dec 022016
 
Joe Becker, general superintendent of the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, describes the need for voters to approve a property-tax renewal that funds drainage operations in the city before the Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association on Thursday, Dec. 1. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Joe Becker, general superintendent of the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, describes the need for voters to approve a property-tax renewal that funds drainage operations in the city before the Audubon-Riverside Neighborhood Association on Thursday, Dec. 1. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

With barely more than a week before the Dec. 10 election, officials with the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans are making their final effort to spread the word about voting to renew a tax that provides the agency with a third of its budget for draining the city. Continue reading »

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Dec 012016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Criminals are stalking the streets of America and killing innocent victims at unprecedented rates. “Police have to gain control of this tremendous crime wave that’s hitting the U.S.,” said President-Elect Donald Trump on “Meet The Press” recently. “Cities need strong police protection.”

There is no question that crime is out of control in New Orleans too. Yesterday’s four shootings with a two-hour period, including one fatality, brought the 2016 number of homicides to 164, equal to last year. Who knows how many homicides will take place in December? Continue reading »

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Nov 282016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

“It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.”

Vietnam War Correspondent Peter Arnett claimed to have overheard this quote from an unnamed American major regarding the shelling of of Bến Tre city in early 1968. Its veracity is questionable, and in any event, Bến Tre was largely rubble due to attacks from the north before US artillery began its assault to rout the Vietcong.

However, that dubious quote has lingered as a paradigmatic example of a peculiar brand of cognitive dissonance: the notion that you can intentionally eradicate something in the midst of preserving it. Obviously, you can’t have it both ways, but a similar idea has come to mind in the wake of the shooting on Bourbon Street this past weekend in which one person was killed and nine others were wounded. Continue reading »

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Nov 282016
 
City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at her first re-election fundraiser on Oct. 9. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at her first re-election fundraiser on Oct. 9. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell — long considered one of the most likely top contenders as a candidate for New Orleans’ next mayor — announced to supporters last week that she is indeed considering a run for the position. Continue reading »

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Nov 242016
 
Local musicians entertain Bayou Classic visitors in New Orleans. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Local musicians entertain Bayou Classic visitors in New Orleans. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Whether thrilled with the election of Donald Trump or still mourning Hillary Clinton’s dramatic loss, there is much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Since its founding in New England, Thanksgiving has always been a great American festival of domestic and moral influence that has brought citizens together around common goals and promoted our national spirit. Continue reading »

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Nov 212016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

The owners of the erstwhile New Orleans Zephyrs have earned our gratitude. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, which pitted friends and family against each other, New Orleanians needed a common enemy – a foil so blatantly awful that it would distract from divisive partisan politics and give time to heal the wounds.

The “New Orleans Baby Cakes” will serve that role. Continue reading »

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Nov 172016
 
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser speaks Monday at the kick-off of Tulane University's new ByWater Institute fellowship program. (photo by Paula Burch-Centano, courtesy of Tulane University)

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser speaks Monday at the kick-off of Tulane University’s new ByWater Institute fellowship program. (photo by Paula Burch-Centano, courtesy of Tulane University)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

Speaking Monday at the kick-off of Tulane University’s new ByWater Institute fellowship program, Lt. Governor Billy Nungessser said that President-Elect Donald Trump will create jobs and economic opportunities in Louisiana, especially in the oil and gas industry. “President Trump is going to be good for business in Louisiana,” said Nungesser. Continue reading »

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