Feb 172014
 
A map of "Dizneylandrieu" distributed by Krewe of Spank members during the Krewe du Vieux parade Saturday night. (image via @noladishu on Twitter; click for larger version)

A map of “Dizneylandrieu” distributed by Krewe of Spank members during the Krewe du Vieux parade Saturday night. (image via @noladishu on Twitter; click for larger version)

Owen Courreges

The past twenty years have seen the popularization of a relatively new word: Disneyfication. The Wikipedia article on Disneyfication defines it as “a term which describes the transformation of something, usually society at large, to resemble The Walt Disney Company’s theme parks.”

Many people, including me, have linked this concept to policies coming from New Orleans City Hall.

Those of you who went to see the Krewe du Vieux parade Saturday evening were greeted by a float emblazoned: “Dizneylandrieu.” Beneath a caricature of Mitch Landrieu as Mickey Mouse, Krewe members dubbed “Mitchkateers” distributed maps of “mayor-approved adventure[s] in the Gentrified Kingdom.” Continue reading »

Feb 152014
 
Lusher's operations director Frank Israel leads school board members in taking the state's newest standardized test. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Lusher’s operations director Frank Israel leads school board members in taking the state’s newest standardized test. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

In a scene reminiscent of the game show “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”, the Lusher Charter School governing board sat down Saturday morning and took the new standardized tests that students will face this spring. The stakes were much higher, however, as the exercise helped the board members understand the concerns educators have with the new tests.

In a separate issue, school officials discussed the upcoming renovations of the Lusher High School building, and the need for modular classrooms on campus to accommodate students during the project. Continue reading »

Feb 142014
 

The Jesuit Tampa Schola and Chamber Orchestra, a touring group from Jesuit High School in Tampa, will perform Gregorian Chant and polyphony, promoting Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI’s “vision of the liturgy”, during the 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Stephen Church on Sunday (Feb. 16). Continue reading »

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Feb 142014
 

Kara Morgan

Kara Morgan

By Kara Morgan

It has been exactly a year since I was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma, having fairly large tumors in my lung and my abdomen. The good news is that I feel great and I have less cancer in me today than I did a year ago. The bad news is that I still have one large tumor and, as of today, there is no cure.

I already knew what was ahead for me as I sat in the doctor’s office on Feb. 7, 2013, listening to him confirm that the lung tumor biopsy results showed my melanoma had returned, three years after I had it removed from my face. The lymph nodes had come back clear, and my dermatologist and I were celebrating moving the big decrease in the chances it would return — except, unbeknownst to us, it already had. I knew the percentages of patients with melanoma metastasis to the lungs who survive one, two and five years are 33%, 18% and 10%, respectively. I also knew there was hope, with many stage IV survivors out there and ground breaking new treatments on the horizon.

But more than anything, I knew I felt good and I needed to get to 8th & St Charles and start setting up for the Muses parade that night before there were no spots left.
Continue reading »

Feb 132014
 
The SMBC Mime Ministry in Gretna performs during the third annual "Get Yah Praise On" at Audubon Zoo in 2011. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The SMBC Mime Ministry in Gretna performs during the third annual “Get Yah Praise On” at Audubon Zoo in 2011. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

As part of the city’s “NOLA for Life” initiatives, New Orleans residents can visit the Audubon Zoo for free Saturday — the same day as the zoo’s “Get Yah Praise On” gospel celebration. Continue reading »

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Feb 132014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Good for the jurors who yesterday found former Mayor Ray Nagin guilty on 20 of 21 criminal charges in federal court.

Those of us who have watched Nagin closely for the eight years he was in office believe Ray thought he could con the jury, just as he fooled New Orleans voters in the 2002 and 2006 mayoral elections. His hubris brought to mind Danae’s initial impression after Ray’s emergence as a major candidate in the 2002 election. “Ray is a rock star,” Danae said. “He’s cool, handsome and clever. Ray’s not about substance. He’s about being Ray.” Continue reading »

Feb 132014
 

LaToya Cantrell

LaToya Cantrell

After a 6-year-old was killed by a passing car while waiting for a school bus earlier this month, New Orleans city and school leaders debated on Wednesday ways to make the school-bus system safer and more efficient, according to a report by Della Hasselle of Mid-City Messenger. Orleans Parish School Board president Nolan Marshall Jr. raised the question of a unified school bus system across the city, while others urged a greater use of public transit.

“We have a lot of work to do on transportation safety, we know that, as long as kids are waiting on the bus in busy intersections, crossing four-lane highways and walking on roads with speed limits up to 40 miles per hour,” said City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, who called the special meeting. “We have a real problem here, and we need to do everything we possibly can to provide real solutions.”

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Feb 132014
 
Investigators look for evidence Sunday night on Willow Street following a robbery nearby on State. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Investigators look for evidence Sunday night on Willow Street following a robbery nearby on State. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Robberies since Feb. 5. (map via NOPD)

Robberies since Feb. 5. (map via NOPD)

After a dozen robberies in a week’s time in the university and Broadmoor areas of Uptown New Orleans, investigators have traced most of the crimes to two groups of perpetrators — a handful of incidents to a group of young teens who have mostly been arrested, and the others to a group of adults riding in a black SUV, police said. Continue reading »

Feb 122014
 
John and Paula Keller Smith (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

John and Paula Keller Smith, with Cooper (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

“I play the cello, but I’m not a cellist,” clarifies Keller Strings’ Paula Keller Smith.  Paula, her husband John, and their charming 10 year old Boston terrier Cooper became Riverbend’s newest New Orleanians June 1, 2013, transplanting their decades-old business in stringed instrument restoration and repair from Kansas.  To meet them and hear their story is at once refreshing and uplifting: one part love story, two parts musical passion, and a liberal sprinkling of creativity and drive and voila! (or viola!), you have New Orleans’ latest — for lack of a better descriptor — “violin shop.” Continue reading »

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