Jan 252018
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

While many New Orleanians are singularly focused on Mardi Gras, candidates running for State Legislature, Civil District Court and Appeals Court are spending their evenings talking to neighborhood, civic and political organizations including BOLD and the Alliance for Good Government – both of whom met last night. The three quick Alliance forums were probably the first real opportunity for the city’s political players to see the candidates side by side. Continue reading »

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Jan 242018

Eldon Anderson, Kenny Bordes, Royce Duplessis and Danil Faust have all qualified to run for the District 93 seat in the state House of Representatives. (submitted photos)

With the state of Louisiana facing a $1 billion shortfall this year, candidates for the special election for House District 93 said they believe eliminating tax exemptions is a better approach than the governor’s proposed “doomsday” cuts to education and healthcare. Continue reading »

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Jan 192018
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Republicans in Louisiana and around the country are in a celebratory mood this week as they applaud what they see as President Donald Trump’s many successes and look to the future. Ardent supporters call Trump’s America First policy “forceful and transactional” and declare 2017 was the best first year ever for a U.S. president.

Local Republican elected officials including members of the Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee celebrated at OPREC’s annual fundraiser Thursday night at the American Sector. Former RNC Chairman and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is the special guest at Saturday’s Louisiana Elephant Gala where Congressman Steve Scalise will be honored. Finally, President Trump and First Lady Melania are also celebrating their 13th wedding anniversary this weekend. Continue reading »

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Jan 112018

Sister Jane Remson and Deacon John talk in front of the Jax Beer mural at Rock N Bowl where they are hosting an 8Oth birthday party for Allen Toussaint Sunday night that will raise funds for the New Orleans Artists Against Hunger & Homelessness. (photo via Danae Columbus)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Sr. Jane Remson, O’Carm, has devoted her entire life to serving the community. Descended from a line of hearty Germans who brewed Jax Beer and owned Frey Meats, Remson took her vows right out of Mt. Carmel Academy as an expression of her faith.

A trained medical technologist who opened hospital laboratories in the Philippines and was a leukemia researcher at Tulane, Remson was director of Bread For The World at Loyola University when Allen Toussaint and Aaron Neville approached her about raising money to feed and house New Orleanians in need. With support from former Mayor Dutch Morial and his then city attorney Michael Bagneris, the New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness NOAAHH), held their first benefit concert which took in $30,000.

More than 35 years and $3 million dollars later, NOAAHH will celebrate Allen Toussaint’s “Legacy of Caring” with a benefit concert Sunday evening at the Rock ‘N’ Bowl. Marcia Ball and Deacon John and the Ivories will headline the show. “As a co-founder, Allen Toussaint was incredibly instrumental to the success of the NOAAHH all these years. Because of his generosity and the support of dozens of other musicians, NOAAHH has been able to help feed thousands of people and address the problems of homelessness in our community,” said Remson, who now serves as NOAAHH’s president emeritus. Continue reading »

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Jan 092018

Eldon Anderson, Kenny Bordes, Royce Duplessis and Danil Faust have all qualified to run for the District 93 seat in the state House of Representatives. (submitted photos)

Musician James Andrews poses in a publicity photo on his website. (via jamesandrewsmusic.com)

Jazz musician James Andrews formally filed his notice Monday to withdraw from the special election for Helena Moreno’s seat in the House of Representatives on Monday, leaving four remaining candidates to compete in the March 24 election. Continue reading »

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Jan 052018

Eldon Anderson, Kenny Bordes, Royce Duplessis and Danil Faust have all qualified to run for the District 93 seat in the state House of Representatives. (submitted photos)

Danil Faust, a French Quarter bartender who has made two previous bids for public office, filed paperwork Friday afternoon to run for the state House of Representatives seat to be vacated by Helena Moreno, bringing the official qualifying period to a close. Continue reading »

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Jan 052018

Royce Duplessis

Kenny Bordes

“El” Anderson

With only a few hours remaining in the filing period, community organizer Eldon Anderson is the latest candidate to join the race for the District 93 seat in the state House of Representatives, while musician James Andrews now says he lives outside the district and may instead run for another seat later. Continue reading »

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Jan 042018

Judicial candidates (top from left) Richard Perque, Ellen Hazeur and (bottom left) Taetrece Harrison qualified by Thursday morning, and Richard Duplantier was expected to do so soon. (photos by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

New Orleans attorney and former judicial candidate Richard Perque was waiting in the cold yesterday with his family to be the first candidate to qualify for Civil District Court Division A. The seat was formerly held by Tiffany Chase who was recently elected to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal. The Louisiana Supreme Court appointed longtime civil rights activist Henry Julien, husband of CDC Judge Ethel Julien, to sit ad hoc. Continue reading »

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Jan 032018

Royce Duplessis

Kenny Bordes

The first two candidates to qualify to run for the state House of Representatives seat to be vacated by Helena Moreno are a private attorney who specializes in civil-rights law and the entertainment industry and the current chair of the City Planning Commission, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Continue reading »

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Dec 212017

State Senator Troy Carter talks with Councilman-elect Joe Giarrusso and Clerk of Second City Court Darren Lombard at Wednesday’s meeting of local Democrats. (photo by Danae Columbus)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

When the local Democratic Parish Executive Committee and friends met last night to celebrate the holiday season, they just didn’t talk about which candidates would be qualifying for the spring elections, but how the Democratic Party nationally is rebuilding from the grass roots. Continue reading »

Dec 152017

District B City Councilman Jay H. Banks speaks while Faubourg Delachaise Neighborhood Association president Debby Pigman listens on Thursday, Dec. 14. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

As he continues to meet constituents on his way into the District B City Council office, Jay H. Banks recently heard what he calls a “horror story” about the proliferation of AirBnB in Uptown neighborhoods.

A woman who lives Uptown told him that she now has whole-home short-term rentals on either side of her house. She regrets the loss of permanent neighbors but generally tries to make do, until recently the house on one side of her was booked for a bachelor party, while the house on the other side was booked by an unrelated bachelorette party the same weekend.

That coincidence, Banks said, led to an easily predictable conclusion. Continue reading »

Dec 142017

Clerk of Court Dale Atkins leads a class on the court’s new electronic filing system. (photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Citing a desire to continue as “an instrument of justice,” long-time Clerk of Civil District Court Dale N. Atkins will enter the spring 2018 race for an open position on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal. The seat was vacated by Judge Madeleine Landrieu who recently became Dean of Loyola University’s Law School. Continue reading »

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Dec 132017

State Rep. Helena Moreno speaks during a candidates’ forum Aug. 5 during the race for the At-Large seat on the New Orleans City Council. Moreno won and will resign from the state legislature prior to being seated on the Council in May. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The special election to fill state Rep. Helena Moreno’s seat in the state legislature has been set for March — with qualifying less than a month away in January — and the newly-elected member of the City Council says she will resign from the legislature as soon as her replacement is elected so that the seat does not go unfilled during the busy upcoming legislative session.

“When a new representative is elected and ready to go in, I’m absolutely happy to step aside and let them take over,” Moreno told Uptown Messenger on Wednesday morning. “I just want to make sure we are never missing representation.” Continue reading »

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Dec 012017

At least four incoming City Council members have expressed serious concern with short-term rental laws, said incoming Councilman Joe Giarrusso III at a Carrollton neighborhood meeting Thursday night. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

With a majority of incoming New Orleans City Council members having campaigned on frustration with the rapid conversion of residential homes into small temporary hotels, tightening the city’s short-term rental laws is likely to be a top early priority when they are seated next year — while they get a grasp on larger issues like fixing the drainage system, incoming City Councilman Joe Giarrusso III told Carrollton neighborhood activists. Continue reading »