Nov 262012
 

(cartoon by Owen Courreges)

The New Orleans Police Department recently announced that it will be dropping the use of pepper spray and using Taser devices exclusively.  This reform came pursuant to the consent decree the city has entered into with the U.S. Justice Department, ostensibly over concerns of overuse of pepper spray and its greater potential for physical harm.

Sometimes, however, even good reforms can be a mixed bag. Continue reading »

Nov 242012
 

Jean-Jacques Grandiere, photographed during the school’s playground build in 2011. (photo via facebook.com/ lyceefrancaisnola/)

The general director of Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans resigned his position on Friday, and the board chair and another board member will take on some of his responsibilities until a new leader can be found this summer through a national search. Continue reading »

Nov 242012
 

The Junior Buckjumpers in 2011.

The Original Men, Original New Orleans Ladies and Junior Buck Jumpers will start their annual second line on Earhart Boulevard near Carrollton at noon and head down the Washington and Louisiana avenue corridor to finish at Seventh and Dryades in Central City at 4 p.m., according to a route sheet published by Gambit’s Big Red Cotton.

Nov 242012
 

Craig Giesecke

As low-key as I try to keep any holiday anymore, at least at home, the opposite was certainly true at work over the past week. I’m still in recovery mode.

Each year, more and more folks are buying what a friend calls “pre-fab” holiday meals. These are the ones that are pre-cooked and packaged all in one box. All you have to do is pick up, heat up (about an hour for the turkey or ham), transfer to serving plate or bowl (or not) and there ya go – all the smells and (most of) the flavors (everyone’s family is different) and a lot less of the cleanup. Continue reading »

Nov 232012
 

Protesters rally late Friday morning at the entrance of the Walmart store on Tchoupitoulas in criticism of the corporation’s employment practices. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The “Black Friday” madness may have been over late Friday morning at the Walmart on Tchoupitoulas — the parking lot was less full than on an average weekend evening — but a line of a different sort formed around 11 a.m.: several dozen protesters shouting their disapproval of the retail behemoth’s employment practices.

“They say ‘Rollback,’” the protesters cried. “We say ‘Fight back!’” Continue reading »

Nov 232012
 

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

Who’s ready for some serious shopping today?  Prepared to fight the masses for a 2-for-1 special on socks? Willing to get elbowed in the ribs for some celebrity endorsed perfume gift sets? Risking life and limb for a deeply discounted flat screen TV? No thanks, I think I’ll pass. Continue reading »

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Nov 222012
 

Volunteers Noel Bitner and Dat Nguyen, photo by Marta Jewson for www.UptownMessenger.com

As they handed out hundreds of turkey plates, each with all the fixings, volunteers at the annual Bridge House / Grace House Thanksgiving dinner described Thursday morning as their chance to give back.

“I’ve done this for a few years,” said volunteer Dat Nguyen from the serving line. He added, “My family lives all over the country, so this is my time to help out.” Continue reading »

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Nov 222012
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

We will never get out of our minds the picture of then-U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert in the wake of Hurricane Katrina asking of New Orleans, “Why would anyone want to rebuild there?” He later apologized but we thought the question marked Hastert as forever an idiot. Continue reading »

Nov 212012
 

Bricolage Academy will become the next new charter school to open from the ground up in New Orleans next fall, after the full Orleans Parish School Board voted unanimously in favor of the project Tuesday evening.

The next step for the fledgling school is to nail down a location — with Uptown options a priority — before opening admissions for four small classes of kindergarten students. Continue reading »

Nov 212012
 

Chelsea Thornton (via opcso.org)

Chelsea Thornton, 23, can recall shooting her 3-year-old son and drowning her 4-year-old daughter in the bathtub of their Gert Town apartment, but now that she is on medication for her bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can’t believe that she did it, attorney Lon Burns told John Simerman of the Times-Picayune. She is suicidal with grief and barely able to discuss it, said Burns, who intends to defend Thornton as not guilty by reason of insanity.

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Nov 212012
 

In this image from “It’s A Wonderful Life,” a young George Bailey makes a wish for a million dollars. I’d settle for a dozen birthday balloons. — Jean Paul Villere.

Jean-Paul Villere

Last week when my 4 year old made, well, 4 neither my wife nor I thought too much about snagging a bag of birthday balloons from a nearby, preferably local, business, but man, were we wrong.  If you live in Uptown New Orleans I challenge you to discover where those in need of a good old-fashioned latex balloons might find them and report your results right back here, but I’ll tell you now, you won’t be reporting much (though I hope you do).  Here’s what we encountered: Continue reading »

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