In order to treat unsafe levels of lead and other toxic heavy metals, three feet of soil must be removed and replaced in areas of the Booker T. Washington High School site at 1201 South Roman Street that will not be covered by asphalt or buildings, according to state recommendations reported on by Mark Schleifstein of The Times-Picayune. Monique Harden, an attorney for the Walter L. Cohen Alumni Association, is asking the state to treat the entire site as a hazardous-waste site, Schleifstein reports.
City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, state Reps. Helena Moreno and Jared Brossett, the Red Cross and the New Orleans Police Department walked the streets of Central City on Saturday morning, personally delivering information to residents on fire safety, public health, anti-crime efforts and NOPD recruiting, all in the interest of rebuilding the community, according to a report by Antwan Harris of our partners at WWL-TV.
Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans may seek permission to give students in their paid preschool automatic admission to kindergarten next year, but the issue split parents and school leaders in a discussion Saturday morning.
Even Tulane alum Allan Katz thinks that Mike Perlstein of WWL and Gordon Russell of the Advocate certainly did a bang up job on their first-rate investigation regarding Tulane’s century-old scholarship program. Like many old habits in New Orleans, there is an aversion to change. But change is definitely necessary for this program.
Boh Brothers Construction Co., the contractor currently installing a drainage canal on Napoleon Avenue between Claiborne Avenue and Carondelet Street, won the contract last week for the final phase of extending that canal down to Constance Street, authorities said.
A few weeks ago I ventured forth into the world and viewed a glorious sight – the road markings on St. Charles Avenue have been redone!
Then I felt sad, realizing just how horribly low my expectations of city government must be for this to be perceived as such a triumph.
The state Department of Transportation and Development’s attempt to auction off the closed Jackson Avenue ferry landing for $1.65 million ended with no bidders Thursday, according to a report from Baton Rouge in The Times-Picayune. The state “will now have to consider its other options for selling the property, including bringing it back up for sale at a later date,” the article states.
Neighbors of the property had mixed feelings about its potential sale, with some suggesting that public coffers could benefit from the money, and others expressing hope that it could be included in a broader redevelopment of the riverfront, according to a report by Tania Dall and our partners at WWL-TV on Wednesday evening prior to the sale.
The creation of “Save Our Sons,” “NOLA For Life” and the Multi-Agency Gang Unit each year have been hopscotched by the deaths of 2-year-old Jeremy Galmon in 2010, 23-month-old Keira Holmes in 2011, 5-year-old Briana Allen last year and, shockingly, the deaths of 1-year-old Londyn Samuels and 11-year-old Arabiana Gayles just days apart at the end of this summer, all struck down by cruelly careless gunfire.
City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell had only been in elected office nine months when Samuels was killed in her district. Within days, she convened a summit of other City Council members, state lawmakers, judges and law-enforcement officials to discuss what more can be done on the violence issue. A common theme emerged, that more oversight is needed everywhere — of the New Orleans Police Department and its leadership, of the anti-crime programs in place, of the budgets for those entities and of the state law-enforcement agencies that also play crucial roles.
“Historically, the council has been really hands off on the police in general,” said state Sen. J.P. Morrell, one of the participants in Cantrell’s summit. “Both on the state and local level, we have to get more invested in the nuts and bolts of the different crime-fighting tools available to us.”
Sometimes so much can turn on so little. It was June 26, 2013, around 2 a.m. Marshall Coulter, a 14-year-old boy with a history of criminal behavior, jumped the locked driveway gate of a home in Mid-City. It was the home of a family: Merritt Landry, his pregnant wife and his young child.
Within the home, a dog barked. Landry was awakened and went to see if there was an intruder. He took a pistol with him. Once outside, he reported seeing Coulter and asking him to freeze. Coulter turned around to face him and appeared to be reaching for something on his hip. Landry fired once, hitting Coulter in the head. Coulter survived, but remains in critical condition.
Okay Louisiana lawmakers, I give up! The pelican state’s recent but maybe not altogether surprising archaic approach to finessing legal uses of handheld devices while driving has me questioning the logic over in Baton Rouge. As of last week, motorists (and presumably bicyclists too) are prohibited from use of social media while operating their vehicles, and while texting under similar circumstances was recently banned, general use of handheld devices and / or the internet remains legal. Whiskey – Tango – Foxtrot elected officials and boo on you. Isn’t this a little like saying you can hold a cigarette while driving but you can’t put it to your lips? Or you can totally hit the drive thru and grab some artery clogging fare, and again hold it in your hand, but don’t eat it!
Rainfall should be diverted out of Uptown via the Mississippi River instead of carrying it all the way to Lake Pontchartrain, and major drainage ditches like the Monticello Canal should be expanded into interior floodplains and water-storage features, according to two recommendations that illustrate how New Orleans should be better managing its water instead of just pumping it away.
The Water Management Strategy presented by architect David Waggonner to a standing-room only crowd Thursday evening at Xavier University is a regional plan for making more efficient use of rainfall, slowing it down and storing it in natural canals to reduce the sinking of the land that contributes to flooding. The recommendations in the Uptown area are only a small part of the plan, but they illustrate some of its key elements and some of its challenges.
“We’re proposing this is a new era for water management,” Waggonner said. “It’s not just about flood protection any more. It’s really about quality and sustainability.”
After a repaving project this fall, Nashville Avenue will trade the four driving lanes it currently has on the lake side of South Claiborne for two vehicle lanes and two dedicated bicycle lanes, officials said Tuesday.
Nothing in New Orleans is ever simple. For example, consider Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plan to move our obsolete City Hall over to vacant Charity Hospital.
Civil District Court Judge Michael Bagneris says that’s a fine idea for city government but it doesn’t work for the Civil Courts who have their own plans and money to refit the former state office building site in Duncan Plaza. “We won’t be moving to Charity Hospital,” says Judge Bagneris. Evidently many other CDC judges agree.
We are in mourning for our dear friend Hank Braden, a wonderful person, a gifted political strategist, an outstanding legislator and a visionary who put together coalitions of like-minded people from across racial lines.
That project will join a series of others — a similar repaving of Broadway Street, the ongoing construction of a new drainage canal under Napoleon Avenue, the recent commencement of the same project on Jefferson Avenue, the upcoming start of another canal project on Louisiana Avenue, and the year-long repairs to the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line — that place most of the major thoroughfares through the interior of Uptown New Orleans under some sort of roadwork.
State Senator Ed Murray, D-New Orleans, has been in the Louisiana Legislature for 22 years and says he thinks that Governor Bobby Jindal’s regime has been “a terrible disappointment, especially for the medically indigent and the state’s public education system from kindergarten to the graduate departments of our universities.”
Louisiana’s best hope, he says, is that the 2015 Governor’s race will produce a chief executive for the state who will undo the damage that the Jindal Administration has inflicted on public medical institutions and public education.
Lusher Charter School approved a $16 million budget on Monday night that includes a $641,000 deficit, but school officials hope to reduce the burden on the school’s reserves by more than half that sum when the state repays public schools for money improperly used to fund Gov. Bobby Jindal’s voucher program.