Jul 112012

Jean-Paul Villere

It’s no secret that politics in New Orleans can get dodgy fast.  As voters, we can blame ourselves only so much for a politician’s decisions or behavior.  “Don’t Blame Me I Voted For the Other Guy” a bumper sticker reads.  Or more locally famous “Vote For The Crook – It’s Important” when Edwards went up against Duke some years ago; Edwards won, and both have since spent time in prison. 

Between crime stats, budget concerns, and yes even and of course scandals, as citizens our vote does matter, but if you don’t register to vote, your voice silences completely; you effectively vote not to participate.  Unless you just never registered?  Which if you just moved here or are moving here, it’s a strong possibility, wouldn’t you agree? Continue reading »

Jul 112012

NOPD detectives and officers respond to a robbery on Spruce Street on Monday night. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A couple was held up at gunpoint by a group of men Tuesday night in front of their Spruce Street home in a robbery that bears several similarities to two cases reported nearby the night before, authorities said. Continue reading »

Jul 102012

Tulane President Scott Cowen speaks about the proposed stadium before the City Planning Commission in June. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Councilwoman Susan Guidry will ask the New Orleans City Council to withdraw plans Thursday for a new zoning district that would have governed the construction of a football stadium on Tulane’s uptown campus, a day after university President Scott Cowen is scheduled to speak to neighbors about the plans. Continue reading »

Jul 102012

Officers with the NOPD Second District look along Maple Street for surveillance cameras that may have captured footage of a robbery that took place in the 7600 block on Monday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

An armed robbery on Maple Street on Monday night and a carjacking on Nelson about half an hour later may have been committed by the same group of men, police said. Continue reading »

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 »