Jul 092012
 

Lycee Francais’ new St. Francis of Assisi campus on Patton Street. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

The French-immersion charter school Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans will partner with KIPP schools to create its first lunch program and welcome its first class of preschoolers funded by state grant money as it spreads to three Uptown campuses in its second year, officials said Monday night.

The school is nearly tripling its enrollment next year, and its plans for handling that growth formed the majority of a public hearing on the 2012-13 budget Monday night that took the form of a conversation between board members, the school business manager and a handful of parents and reporters. The budget will be voted on in a separate meeting Tuesday night. Continue reading »

Jul 092012
 

The modified floor plan being sought by the Domino’s Pizza on Freret Street. (via City Planning Commission)

The Domino’s Pizza location on Freret Street plans to expand its kitchen space and add two tables for outdoor dining, based on a request the City Planning Commission will hear Tuesday afternoon. Continue reading »

Jul 092012
 

Owen Courreges

This past week I had occasion to imagine police Chief Ronal Serpas as some latter day Victor Frankenstein. Serpas, presumably clasping his hands in a maniacal manner, announced his intention to reanimate something best left dead in the proverbial ground.

What is this metaphorical corpse of which I speak? Why, the New Orleans crime camera program. Serpas has seen fit to spit in the face of God and nature (well, at least the face of good government) and propose that the crime cameras, those icons of corruption and graft, be brought back on-line. The electricity, I’m told, will be provided via a lightening rod mounted on police headquarters, a.k.a. “Castle Serpas.” Continue reading »

Jul 072012
 

Craig Giesecke

We’ve been working for the past several days on a new menu — not so much changing what we offer (we’re adding a few things), but adjusting the pricing. It has been nearly two years since we’ve made these adjustments and, if you do any grocery shopping at all, you know things just don’t cost what they did two years ago. Continue reading »

Jul 072012
 

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” plays before a sold-out audience at the Prytania Theatre on Friday, July 6. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Film director Benh Zeitlin speaks to the audience at the Prytania Theatre. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

In “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” a little girl named Hushpuppy is told of her destiny to one day be “king of the Bathtub.”

On Friday night, as her creator fielded question after question about her, it was clear that the sold-out audience at the Prytania Theatre had been conquered. Continue reading »

Jul 062012
 

Even as education officials tout increases in test scores around Louisiana and in New Orleans, the only open-admissions school in Uptown New Orleans that exceeded state averages in any subject last year was New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School — and that was only in two of four subjects.

Among other high schools, New Orleans College Prep was only a few points off the state average in three of four subjects, and Eleanor McMain Secondary School generally trailed Prep by a few more points in each subject. But Sophie B. Wright Institute of Academic Excellence had decidedly mixed results, and the phasing-out Walter L. Cohen High School and the now-closed Sojourner Truth Academy scored even lower. Continue reading »

Jul 062012
 

A June 24 shooting on LaSalle, followed by a retaliatory shooting the next day in the 1200 block of Simon Bolivar, where a 5-year-old girl was shot to death in May. (map via NOPD.com)

More than a month after a 5-year-old girl was gunned down in a shootout at a birthday party on Simon Bolivar, another man was shot in front of the same location, and police believe that attack was in retaliation for the shooting of another man the day before.

And, in an apparently unrelated case, police are still trying to sort out the sequence of events that led to a man being shot and an SUV being overturned in a violent crash at Loyola and Louisiana earlier this week. Continue reading »

Jul 052012
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

The authors of this column are among the many thousands of Americans for whom the 4th of July is a lot more than an occasion to eat grilled hot dogs and barbecued chicken while enjoying the company of friends and their kids.

Allan and Danae are both progeny of families that underwent great hardship and took enormous risks to come to America and have found the U.S. to be a “golden land,” a place of great opportunities and freedoms. And, in New Orleans, Allan and Danae have found a culture that has welcomed them and allowed them to share in the unique blessings of a great city. Continue reading »

Jul 042012
 

A map of the proposed Uptown-University cultural district, marked in red. Previously existing cultural districts are shown in yellow. (map courtesy of the state Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.)

A major section of Uptown from Carrollton to Napoleon Avenue could soon become exempt from sales taxes on sales of original art, and most property owners in the area could become eligible for state tax credits for nearly any kind of renovations they do to their homes under a program on track for approval this summer. Continue reading »

Jul 042012
 

Lona Hankins, director of capital improvements for the Recovery School District, discusses the demolition of the Mary Church Terrell school before the Neighborhood Conservation District Committee on Monday.

A school that Gert Town residents have begged at repeated public meetings to see reopened was quickly approved for demolition by a city panel Monday. Continue reading »

Jul 042012
 

Jean-Paul Villere

As a father of four I’ve had the distinct pleasure of hearing each of my girls develop their language skills as they grow. Two are pretty far in, one is just now speaking in grunts and giggles, and the other? Well, her words often mean something other than what she says. “Wish the fork” comes to mind. “Wish” at this age translates to “with.” So the other night at dinner, she’s describing some eating scenario, and she blurts out exactly that. Wish. The. Fork. To me, the three words together lit up like instant dynamite. Continue reading »

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Jul 042012
 

The director and cast of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” — the film shot in the marshes of Terrebonne Parish that won over judges at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals — will appear for a question-and-answer session following a screening of the movie Friday evening at the Prytania Theatre. Continue reading »