Oct 172012
 

Uptown Messenger readers,

I’m Eric Strachan, candidate for District B City Council. I was born and raised in District B, and have the best experience for the job. I would appreciate your support at the polls, but first I want to introduce myself to you directly, and talk to you about what’s important to me– safer streets, strong neighborhoods, and more effective city government. Continue reading »

Oct 162012
 

Allegations that Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans is structured to favor well-off students and that it does not appropriately serve the city’s African-American population resurfaced on Tuesday afternoon when a series of complaints about the new French-immersion charter school were aired before the state education board in Baton Rouge.

Among the complaints were that the school has failed to follow through on an outreach program to a Central City daycare promised in its charter, that it is using state money to subsidize its private preschool, that students in the school’s new second grade are not being given adequate remedial instruction in French and that state education officials are intentionally ignoring those issues. No action was taken on the complaints, but the board asked its staff to investigate the claims and report its findings next month at a meeting in New Orleans. Continue reading »

Oct 162012
 

Construction related to the installation of new drainage canals under Napoleon Avenue will block motorists from being able to cross Napoleon on Freret Street on Wednesay and Thursday, according to Alexander Navarro of Boh Brothers Construction. If the weather permits, workers hope to have the intersection reopened by Friday, Navarro said.

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Oct 152012
 

Owen Courreges

Just a block over from my house is Mr. John’s Steakhouse. In my humble opinion, it offers the best steaks in the city. They use only the finest cuts seared in butter and cooked to perfection. And of course, like all of the finest steakhouses, they are not cheap. Mr. John’s is synonymous with special occasions.

This is not, however, the case for the Board of Trustees for the New Orleans Firefighters’ Pension and Relief Fund. Apparently, they believe in spending thousands of dollars at a time at Mr. John’s and other expensive restaurants in the city. Continue reading »

Oct 132012
 

Students’ projects from September 2009 still hang on a bulletin board in a corridor at the New Orleans Free School at 3601 Camp Street. The building was abruptly abandoned three months later because of structural issues, and is now headed for auction. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The former New Orleans Free School on Camp Street.

Students’ work still hangs on the walls three years after it was turned in, and their art lays strewn about the floor of the old Free School. A few children’s books sit in crates, toys lay abandoned on the dirty floor, and pigeons flutter in and out of the dark fourth-floor attic. To the trained eye, however, the most insidious problem is the sudden dips in the hardwood floor.

The century-old Free School on Camp Street looks as though it was abandoned overnight, as it almost literally was in December of 2009 when critical structural problems were discovered there. Next month, the building is one of seven former school sites around the city scheduled to be auctioned off by the Orleans Parish School Board, raising the possibility that it might finally be redeveloped into something new, or even one day hold students once again. Continue reading »

Oct 112012
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

The 2012 Republican Party platform is a voluminous document that is filled with wisdom and purported wisdom. But, sadly, one of the few possible subjects of Republican wisdom that is omitted is the fate and future of American cities. Now, to be fair, the platform does excoriate the City of Washington D.C. as an example of every urban failing that can be attributed to the incompetence of Big Government – i.e., the Democrats.

But, the fact of the matter is that American cities, including Washington D.C., Uptown New Orleans and Jefferson Parish, are filled with Republicans. And, in many cases, as often occurs in Uptown New Orleans, these registered urban-living Republicans reside right next door to conservative Democrats who regularly and predictably vote Republican in Presidential and other elections. Continue reading »

Oct 112012
 

By Dana Kaplan

As I knock on doors and attend community meetings and forums throughout the district, I get to listen to the concerns of voters – real people rather than polls – but real people who are truly concerned about the direction of their neighborhoods. And, the most common question is in some form or another, “What are you going to do about crime?” Continue reading »