Feb 032013

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

John Georges’ “serious interest” in purchasing The Advocate, the state’s largest circulation newspaper with regional editions in several media markets around the state, would be a big win for New Orleans. Georges is the kind of savvy businessman whose mind is always at work thinking about different opportunities that interest him or might be helpful in assisting him to reach goals that would be good for him and the community he cares about. Continue reading »

Feb 022013

Lusher Charter School will extend health benefits to employees’ same-sex partners, the school board decided at a Saturday morning meeting.

The cost to the school is not immediately known — it is unclear how many same-sex couples are among the school’s staff, and of them how many would want to enroll with their partner’s health plan, officials said. But even if the cost was high, board chair Blaine LeCesne says the decision is the right one. Continue reading »

Feb 022013

Audubon Charter School’s Carrollton Avenue campus relocation to McDonogh No. 7 would require a variance from the city according to Operations Manager Alisa Dupre.

Dupre said the move would require four modular classrooms to be placed at the McDonogh No. 7 site, which would require a city variance. Dupre said the Orleans Parish School Board is currently working with the city on the variance while simultaneously doing repair work on the building.

Continue reading »

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Feb 012013

Craig Giesecke

As mentioned last week, I’m these days helping some friends do the groundwork for a new bar and restaurant in the Warehouse District. With most of the heavy lifting accomplished, we’re now in the dusty work of arranging things in certain locations while the workers around us install wiring, do the plumbing, put up insulation and do a lot of sanding. LOTS of sanding. A simple walk through the kitchen can sometimes leave one looking somewhat Mt. St. Helenish. Continue reading »

Feb 012013

Megan Wales, who was the victim of a July home-invasion robbery on Broadway Street in which Tulane linebacker Trent Mackey was later charged, was arrested in December on charges of stabbing her boyfriend on the back of the neck, an injury that required 10 stitches, according to a report by Kalia Lopez of the Hullabaloo student newspaper. Wales told the newspaper that her boyfriend attacked her first, and that the cut resulted from a ring she was wearing on her finger.

Jan 312013

Map of the sections of Broadway and Leonidas set to be repaved starting in the next few weeks — not to scale. (Map via pavinglaroads.com)

Rick Hathaway and Alex Wommack listen to residents’ concerns about the upcoming repaving of Broadway and Leonidas streets. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A $5.6 million project to repave two miles of Broadway Street through the university area and half-mile segment of Leonidas in Hollygrove will start in the next few weeks, but residents who attended an informational session about the project Thursday night were skeptical that the new surfaces will last long as old pipes continue to crumble underneath. Continue reading »

Jan 302013

The interim director of Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans was banned from the Audubon Charter School campus in 2010 over a dispute with a student, an incident she said this week stemmed from her attempt to prevent her daughter from being bullied there. Meanwhile, the school released a number of statements Wednesday addressing questions surrounding her hiring and other issues. Continue reading »

Jan 302013

A 15-year-old boy was sentenced to stay in state custody until he turns 21 after pleading guilty as charged in connection with the shooting of five people in Central City shortly after a Martin Luther King Day parade passed, and a second teen suspect has been identified and arrested, authorities said. Continue reading »

Jan 302013

The vacant lot at 2101 Prytania (image via Google maps).

Firefighters battle the flames consuming the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church on Prytania Street in January 2011. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

A vacant lot on Prytania Street in the Lower Garden District where a century-old church burned down two years ago could become a small development of eight homes, based on plans discussed Tuesday afternoon by the city’s architectural review team. Continue reading »

Jan 302013

Jean-Paul Villere

As recently as this past Monday evening as I walked home from work, I saw an older black couple gutting a house in my neighborhood, some seven-plus years after the events of 2005.  No volunteers, no fancy apparatus, no wrecking ball.  Just two people, a truck and flatbed, and work gloves, overalls and dust masks, the pungent mold wafting from across the street.  Where this house is, it’s unclear if the water came up or the water fell in, as the raised-pier home may or may not have taken flood water, and the roof while appearing to be halfway past its useful 30 year life did not appear to be damaged or compromised.  The how is almost moot.  Water up, water down, it doesn’t matter (unless you’re dealing with some damned adjuster).  Water damaged the home.  Whereas the why is more than evident.  So many years later some may ask Why now?  Why not choose to sell or abandon it all together?  This home means something to them, and now in 2013 they’re here, they’re able-bodied, and they’re doing it, seemingly unassisted.

One takeaway should be this: our journey in recovery is far from complete. Continue reading »

Jan 292013

Tulane sports-law professor Gabe Feldman introduces former Saints players Steve Gleason and Scott Fujita before a panel discussion on “The Future of Football,” as Tulane President Scott Cowen (sitting next to Gleason) smiles from the audience. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Public concern about the long-term risks of football on young children — including that expressed by President Obama this week — may ultimately represent the biggest threat to the future of the nation’s most popular pasttime, former Saints player Steve Gleason said during a panel discussion on the issue Tuesday night.

Until very recently, it would not have been uncommon for a 6-year-old boy to dream of growing up to be like San Diego Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau, Gleason said. But after Seau committed suicide last year — and was subsequently discovered to have signs of a depression-causing degenerative brain disease linked to repetitive head injuries — children may now be starting to decide they don’t want to be like NFL players, Gleason said. When the President of the United States speculates that if he had a son, he might not want him to play football, that’s one more major step in that direction, Gleason said.

“Now, that kid — and his parents — do not want to grow up to be like Junior. As a result, the talent pool is diminished, and the game slowly becomes less relevant,” said Gleason, who is also battling ALS. “Obama, with his hypothetical comment, in his own way diminished the hypothetical talent pool, which is the greatest asset the NFL has.” Continue reading »

Jan 282013

Freret resident Andy Brott, hydrologist W. Scott Lincoln and meteorologist Tim Erickson inspect a rain gauge on top of Brott’s house in mid January. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

For many New Orleanians, Hurricane Isaac will be remembered for the long week without power and the maddening uncertainty as to when it would return.

But for a group of National Weather Service researchers, Isaac has proven interesting for what did not happen — street flooding — despite their discovery of what appears to have been a band of abnormally heavy rainfall right across Uptown New Orleans.

“Our biggest question is, ‘Where did the water go?’” said emergency-response meteorologist Tim Erickson during a recent trip to Freret Street to investigate. Continue reading »