Nov 082012
 

David Bedell, the former business manager at Lycee Francais, defends his work creating the school’s current budget amid heated discussions of a recently-discovered $90,000 shortfall. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans has an as-yet-unexplained hole of at least $90,000 in the current year’s operating budget that required the sudden layoffs of three staff members, the school’s board president said Wednesday evening, leaving many of the young school’s teachers openly fearful for their jobs and drawing angry protests from a room full of parents.

The school board has already engaged a team of auditors to help it gauge the true state of the school’s finances, board president Jean Montes said, and they hope to know the full extent of any future cuts needed within the next three weeks. For the audience of more than 150 people at the meeting of the school’s parent-teacher organization, however, the revelations only raised more questions. Continue reading »

Nov 072012
 

Water sprays several feet in the air from a broken water main at the closed intersection of Nashville and Claiborne avenues shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday, with more than an hour of voting still to go at the nearby Eleanor McMain High School. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

By Professor Karissa Haugeberg

I moved to New Orleans from Iowa City last year. In Iowa City, a town with 68,000 residents, I could choose to vote early at one of 12 early voting sites, which included libraries, grocery stores, and public buildings located throughout town. In contrast, New Orleans’s 360,000 residents had only three early voting sites.

One location would have required me to pay to park. I would have had to take a toll bridge or ferry to another location. The third site was a full ten miles from the center of town. The city’s most densely populated neighborhoods, including Uptown, had no early voting sites. Residents who can no longer drive or who cannot afford public transportation were shut out of early voting sites altogether. Continue reading »

Nov 072012
 

One up, two down. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Jean-Paul Villere

There’s an artist among us, a modern day Rodin if you will, a sculptor with a keen eye.  And their chosen medium?  Mine and my neighbor’s green, over-sized garbage cans, 4 all told.  Twice a week I come home to some of the most amazing formations left in the wake of our city’s waste service program employees.  Among the explanations I can come up with is their creativity must be stifled, and the random placement of these utilitarian mess vessels provides an outlet otherwise unmet.  On the one hand, I’m happy to help, but on the other hand, give me a break! Continue reading »

Nov 072012
 

Orange precincts represent those won by LaToya Cantrell; green by Dana Kaplan; blue by Eric Strachan. Those in which no single candidate approached 50 percent of the vote but two rose above 33 percent are shown with a diagonal split; those in which three or more fell below 33 percent are shown in yellow. The maroon district was led by Marlon “Buck” Horton. (map by Robert Morris based on data from the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office.)

LaToya Cantrell dominated the precincts in a large swath of District B — including her home neighborhood of Broadmoor, as well as Central City and the Mid-City portions of the district — to cinch nearly 40 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election, according to an early analysis of precinct-level results.

Dana Kaplan, meanwhile, consistently came in second-place in precincts in nearly every precinct won by either of her rivals, Cantrell or Strachan, to earn 31 percent of the vote and a place in the Dec. 8 runoff. Continue reading »

Nov 062012
 

Photo at left: LaToya Cantrell speaks to City Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer, an early supporter of the Cantrell campaign. (By Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com) At right: Dana Kaplan addresses supporters flanked by state Rep. Walt Leger, who endorsed her last month. (By Marta Jewson for UptownMessenger.com)

Article by Robert Morris and Marta Jewson

Two community activists who have devoted themselves to rebuilding New Orleans in different ways since Hurricane Katrina — one in revitalizing a neighborhood marked for abandonment, and the other in reforming the city’s troubled criminal justice system — will face each other in a runoff next month for an open seat on the New Orleans City Council, based on Tuesday night’s election results. Continue reading »

Nov 062012
 

By Nick Kindel

With Election Day finally here, most of our attention will be on the Presidential race, but two local races will also have a significant impact on our lives in New Orleans. Districts B and E will each elect new Councilmembers who may soon be thrown into one of City Council’s most important duties, passing the City’s 2013 budget. City Council’s budget hearings kick off tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov. 7) and culminate with passing the budget on Nov. 30. Continue reading »

Nov 062012
 

The reward offered for information leading to the recovery of “Skeeter,” an 11-year-old Chihuahua mix taken in a carjacking on Burdette Street last week, has climbed to nearly $4,000 with the recent donation of $2,500 from the owners of Bourbon Street’s famous “hand grenade” purveyors at Tropical Isle. Continue reading »

Nov 052012
 

ENCORE Academy School Leader Terri L. Smith leads tour of a kindergarten classroom in September. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

ENCORE Academy leader Terri L. Smith, who brought nearly 30 years of experience in education to open the first new Orleans Parish School Board charter since Hurricane Katrina, aims to create a strong academic program alongside a heavy investment in the arts, particularly music, reports Jessica Williams of The Lens.

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Nov 052012
 

Signs indicate polling places at Eleanor McMain High School in 2010. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Ongoing repairs to a 48-inch water main will keep the intersection of South Claiborne and Nashville avenues blocked Tuesday, but voters will be able to access Eleanor McMain High School from Willow Street, officials said Monday afternoon. Continue reading »

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Nov 052012
 

The Upper Audubon, Audubon Area, Upper Hurstville, Hurstville, Twinbrook, Touro-Bouligny and Garden District security districts in Uptown New Orleans. (map by Brendan McCarthy of WWL-TV)

The nearly 30 neighborhood security districts around the city of New Orleans — ranging from the relatively small districts around Uptown to the massive districts in Mid-City, Lakeview and the Central Business District — generated approximately $6 million in taxes and fees this year, enough to hire an additional 85 officers on the New Orleans Police Department, according to recent investigation by Brendan McCarthy of our partners at WWL-TV.


Continue reading »

Nov 052012
 

Administrators at the International School of Louisiana have decided to abandon an unpopular plan to create separate elementary and middle schools at the Camp Street and Algiers campuses, and will instead try to preserve the current K-8 structure at each by finding more space for the Eastbank students next year, they have announced. Continue reading »

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