Jan 142013

From left, charter-school advocate Caroline Roemer Shirley, state official Raphael Gang and consultant Jeremy Hunnewell field questions from an audience of about 100 people at Lycee Francais on Monday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A team of three officials sent by the state’s top educator told a large group of Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans parents Monday night that their concerns about the school’s leadership have been heard, and that they intend to forge a plan to correct the problems and prevent them from being repeated.

Although many parents noted that they have been sharply divided over those issues, both sides expressed optimism about the arrival of the outside help. Several major questions remain, however, such as whether the cavalry has arrived soon enough to prevent any further damage to the school, and what ultimate authority the team’s recommendations will have. Continue reading »

Jan 142013

Robert Morris

By Robert Morris

Over the last two years, as Uptown Messenger has grown, readers from other parts of New Orleans often ask me when we’re going to expand into their neighborhoods — with those calls coming most frequently from Mid-City.

Today, I’m happy to announce that we are doing just that as I introduce MidCityMessenger.com, which will cover Mid-City crime, local government, business, schools, neighborhood groups and events. Continue reading »

Jan 142013

Owen Courreges

I may make some controversial statements in this column, but this is not one of them: Drinking is a well-established part of New Orleans culture. 

Frederick Law Olmsted, the legendary travel writer and landscape architect who designed New York’s Central Park (and whose firm later designed Audubon Park) once wrote that “light wines were drunk much more extensively in Louisiana than anywhere else in the United States,  to such an extent, indeed, that among the Creoles and more prosperous Americans claret was the common breakfast drink.” Continue reading »

Jan 132013

The Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans governing board will discuss a consultant’s work helping find a new school leader and hear reports on the 2011-2012 state audit, the coming year’s admissions process and current financials at its meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday in the cafeteria at 5951 Patton Street, according to the meeting agenda released Sunday afternoon. The board will also hold a closed-door session to discuss a pending lawsuit by a special-education teacher who was recently fired.

Jan 122013

A group of parents and teachers at Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans calling themselves the Rebuilding Trust Working Group sent a lengthy letter to the school board and numerous state officials outlining major problems with the school, including “unprecedented turnover” in leadership, micro-management by board members, an academic director who may not be credentialed in the French curriculum, board members who fill their own vacancies, lack of transparency about contracts and unresolved safety issues after recent budget cuts, according to a report at The Lens. The working group’s proposed solutions include removal of two board members, Jean Montes and Paige Saleun, or their recusal from the board until the lawsuit against them is resolved, involvement by the teaching staff in the search for a new school leader, a review of the academic director, the creation of nonvoting board members selected by teachers and parents and a renewed commitment to state Public Records and Open Meetings laws.

 Comments Off  Tagged with:
Jan 122013

The Dat Dog manager who was shot during a robbery attempt at the Freret Street store last month calls the bullet’s path through his shoulder a “miracle,” as he returns to work and discusses his support for a new $300-per-year tax on each property in the neighborhood to hire 24-hour private security patrols, according to a report by our partners at WWL-TV.

Jan 112013

Square Root is planned for the former Shop of Two Sisters on Magazine Street. (Image via Google Maps)

Marlon “Buck” Horton announces to the City Council that he is closing his restaurant, Finger Lick’n Wings. (via nolacitycouncil.com)

The new Square Root restaurant planned by Root chef Phillip Lopez for lower Magazine Street was granted permission to sell alcohol by the New Orleans City Council on Thursday, but the former City Council candidate who owns Finger Lick’n Wings said he is closing his restaurant after repeated denials of his request for alcohol sales. Continue reading »

Jan 112013

Craig Giesecke

All the rain over the past week has caused a severe shift in our eating habits, not only for our customers at the shop but also here at the house. We’ve also gone from raw chill to the lower 70s. Add to this the normal seasonal shifts with the beginning of Carnival Season and the acceleration of Crawfish Season, and the culinary options around here have gone from wonderful to unbelievable in a very short amount of time. Continue reading »

Jan 102013

Firefighter Michael Williams, right, and a city code inspector survey damage from the backyard of a house that collapsed Thursday afternoon in the 700 block of General Pershing. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

An image of the house dated March 2011 from Google Maps.

A house under renovation on General Pershing Street collapsed Thursday afternoon, briefly trapping two workers until neighbors could pull them out. Continue reading »

Jan 102013

Dat Dog owner Constantine Georges speaks in favor of a proposed security district to hire private patrols in the Freret neighborhood at a neighborhood meeting Tuesday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A fee of $300 per year on properties in the Freret neighborhood could generate enough money for around-the-clock private security patrols, organizers said this week after examining a map of tax-paying parcels. Continue reading »

Jan 102013

The three Second District officers of the year, holding plaques from left, are Sgt. Jennifer Dupree, Detective Nathan McGhee and Officer Nancy Parker. They are surrounded by members of COPS 2 and Second District Commander Paul Noel at far left. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A handful of officers in the NOPD’s Second District were honored as “the best of the best” this week with awards handed out by an Uptown-based group of citizens who support the district. Continue reading »

Jan 102013

The “My Lil’ Darlin’” all-star revue at 8 p.m. Saturday at Tipitina’s will feature performances by Paul Sanchez and The Rolling Road Show, Little Freddie King, Guitar Lightin’ Lee, Robert Parker, The Pfister Sisters and Clarence “Frogman” Henry, with special appearances by, and a tribute to, Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew, according to a post at “Treme” creator David Simon’s website. It will also include appearances by the cast and crew of the show, with ticket sales supporting the Roots of Music education program in New Orleans.

Tickets are available at the Tipitina’s website.

 Comments Off
Jan 102013

Adam Swickle, one of the investors remaining on the Market Street Power Plant redevelopment project after others were removed in bankruptcy filings, has an unpaid $600,000 judgement against him from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission “for setting up an allegedly fake foreign exchange trading house and making off with investors’ cash,” and “claims he didn’t even know about another $144,000 in judgments against him in New York, this time for knowingly selling real estate investment shares as a part of a fraud scheme that landed three others in jail,” according to a report by David Hammer of our partners at WWL.

 Comments Off
Jan 092013

A home in New Orleans can fetch $1,000 or more per night during the Super Bowl, based on online ads that frequently include Uptown properties. It is illegal in New Orleans to rent out a home for less than 30 days without a permit, but Charles Maldonado of The Gambit found that “the city has issued zero administrative subpoenas in the past six months” despite new ads for rentals being listed daily.

For more, see a followup report by Tania Dall of our partners at WWL-TV: