The possibility that an upscale student-housing development may be planned for the large block of Freret Street where the former Frank’s Steakhouse still remains a shuttered landmark is being met with concern and questions by people in the neighborhood.
By Timothy D. Ray, J.D., for Uptown Messenger
A crowd of almost 300 relatives of soon-to-be released inmates gathered at Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s office to celebrate their family members’ (known collectively as ‘Crew 26’) completion of a re-entry program designed to cut the recidivism rate of former O.P.P. inmates. In its third year, Gusman’s re-entry program has brought the recidivism rate of inmates who’ve completed the program down to 13.6 percent compared with 25.6 percent for inmates that do not complete the program, compared to a national average between 40 percent to 50 percent.
Uptown Messenger columnist jewel bush, founder of the MelaNated Writers Collective, will be speaking at 10 a.m. Saturday as part of a panel discussion on “Creating Community for Writers of Color” at the Rising Tide new media conference on the future of New Orleans at Xavier University. Below, find a short series of questions and answers with Bush:
How did the MelaNated Writers Collective get started?
I was in newspapers for 6 years, and when I left to begin doing communications and marketing for nonprofits and various organizations, I missed the camaraderie of the newsroom. I freelanced for awhile, but it’s not the same as being in a space with other writers. Around this time, I started to take my creative writing seriously and began attending literary workshops around the country like VONA (Voices of our Nation) the only multi-genre workshop for writers of color, co-founded by the Pultizer-prize winning author Junot Diaz and Callaloo when it was at Texas A&M. Spending time with other writers, talking shop with them was amazing. It was what I needed and as close as I could get to the newsroom energy without being in the newsroom. In fact, it was a little bit better, because this bunch of creatives weren’t as jaded or cynical as newsies can often be. They were motivated and psyched about writing.
After I did Callaloo and did VONA for the first time, I knew a week here or two weeks there of this was great, but it wasn’t enough. I knew I wanted and needed this year round at home. I knew I needed to recreate this here; and that’s what I did. I began talking to other writers, poets, bloggers, MFA students/graduates, journalists, teachers about this idea; and from there, the writers I knew introduced me to writers they knew and before you knew it there were nearly 20 people in my living room talking about their work and what it meant to be a writer of color living in New Orleans.
Investigators are looking for a white, 2013 Volkswagen CC Sport that was allegedly used in the shooting that killed 11-year-old Arabian Gayles in west-Carrollton, New Orleans police said.
Competing sets of proposals for a new ordinance outlining how sound and noise issues should be enforced in New Orleans were discussed Thursday evening before a Carrollton neighborhood group, but the presentations from each group were so gently put that neighbors wondered where the actual controversy lies.
New Orleans Police recently recovered a stolen, high-end racing bicycle but have been unable to track down its original owner to return it, they said Wednesday.
In our opinion, C. Ray Nagin was the worst mayor of our lifetimes. It is entirely possible that Nagin was the worst mayor in New Orleans’ 295-year history, going all the way back to the French and Spanish chief executives whom Danae has been studying recently.
However, being a terrible mayor is not of itself a crime. Later this month, a jury will be convened in federal court to consider whether accepting some $200,000 in cash and gifts, along with several truckloads of free granite, is indeed a federal crime. The jurors will presumably hear Nagin’s Chief Administrative Officer Greg Meffert and big-time vendor Mark St. Pierre, both of whom are currently doing time in the federal pen.
The creation of “Save Our Sons,” “NOLA For Life” and the Multi-Agency Gang Unit each year have been hopscotched by the deaths of 2-year-old Jeremy Galmon in 2010, 23-month-old Keira Holmes in 2011, 5-year-old Briana Allen last year and, shockingly, the deaths of 1-year-old Londyn Samuels and 11-year-old Arabiana Gayles just days apart at the end of this summer, all struck down by cruelly careless gunfire.
City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell had only been in elected office nine months when Samuels was killed in her district. Within days, she convened a summit of other City Council members, state lawmakers, judges and law-enforcement officials to discuss what more can be done on the violence issue. A common theme emerged, that more oversight is needed everywhere — of the New Orleans Police Department and its leadership, of the anti-crime programs in place, of the budgets for those entities and of the state law-enforcement agencies that also play crucial roles.
“Historically, the council has been really hands off on the police in general,” said state Sen. J.P. Morrell, one of the participants in Cantrell’s summit. “Both on the state and local level, we have to get more invested in the nuts and bolts of the different crime-fighting tools available to us.”
Described as a dream decades in the making with a vision that spans millennia, a museum built around a full-size replica of a slave ship is being planned for a site in the Lower Garden District riverfront near the former Entergy substation.
Whether you realize it or not, now - right now – and through Thursday evening at 8 PM, the almost annual Orleans Parish Tax Sale is taking place via CivicSource.com. It’s a big deal for many reasons, but also it can be rather fascinating if you’re a fan of Crescent City dwellings as well as archaic governmental proceedings. Here’s why: you bid down.
It’s the same dollar amount to all bidders, but you bid down percentage of ownership. Therefore conceivably one willing to purchase 1% of any given property’s tax year(s) becomes the de facto winning bidder and cannot be outbid, however they are settling for the smallest possible amount of ownership. Very New Orleans, right?
After a man on a bicycle robbed a woman stopped at a stop sign Saturday afternoon on Washington Avenue in Broadmoor, New Orleans police hope fingerprints he left and other leads will help lead to his identification, according to a report by Tania Dall and our partners at WWL-TV.
After the New Orleans Saints prevailed over the rival Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, the team’s new defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, celebrated at Ms. Mae’s bar by buying a $100 round of drinks for everyone — an amount that goes a long way in the Magazine Street dive bar of legend, reports Emma Boyce of NOLA Defender.
Sharon Carter Sheridan lost both of her parents to cancer – lung and colon. Barely in her teens, Sheridan’s sister died of uterine cancer at the age of 13 in 1951. Two of her brothers died of cancer – lung and pancreatic. And, she herself has been breast cancer free for 17 years.
But it wasn’t until her sister, her dearest friend and confidant died from the disease that Sheridan became incensed.
“Cancer didn’t make me angry until my older sister was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010. That’s when I got mad,” said the New Orleans woman. “A lot of people around me have died from cancer – friends, cousins, family – but it was just something about my sister getting it that I just didn’t think was fair, and I’ve been angry ever since.”
After a masked gunman tried to rob the Shell gas station at Magazine Street and Jackson Avenue on Sunday evening, police have released a photo of the suspect and are seeking the public’s help identifying him, according to a report by our partners at WWL-TV.
The streetscape project that caused Freret Street businesses so much pain in 2012 will be repeated this fall as the city rebuilds each of those “bumpout” corners, but officials promise a quicker and smoother process this time around.
On August 29, 2013, Londyn Samuels, a one year old child, was shot and murdered in Central City.
Her murder was not an aberration. Three other children 5 years old or younger have been murdered in Central City during the past three years. Mayor Mitch Landrieu calls it “a drumbeat of death that is taking the precious from us.”
Naturally, these tragedies have increased calls for the police to do something. Times-Picayune columnist James Varney recently discussed using more aggressive policing tactics such as the controversial “stop-and-frisk” that has been notably employed in New York City, ultimately expressing “ambivalence” over whether it should, or even could, be successfully adopted here.
The funeral for Londyn Samuels, the 1-year-old who was shot to death last week while in her babysitter’s arms, was held Saturday morning at New Hope Baptist Church on LaSalle Street.