Dec 132012

Sixth District Commander Bob Bardy replied to an officer’s request for mountain-bike training as an incentive for good work by praising the idea but stressing the need for the evening shift to return to “its former proactive posture of 40 arrests a week” and saying he would not send anyone “who does not support these goals,” according to Mike Perlstein and our partners at WWL-TV. The ACLU says that message runs afoul of a state law against tying promotions to arrest quotas, WWL reports, but NOPD spokeswoman Remi Braden said it showed Bardy monitoring officer’s activity and motivating them to do better.

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Dec 132012

Nobert Estrella speaks to other International School administrators in May of 2011. ( file photo by Robert Morris)

Nobert Estrella, who led the International School of Louisiana’s Olivier Street campus in Algiers through its first year and this year became the first principal of the school’s new Jefferson Parish expansion, will resign next week and become a Spanish teacher at Helen Cox, according to a report at Estrella described “philosophical differences” and Head of Schools Sean Wilson called it Estrella’s “personal decision,” according to the report, which notes that family liaison Jessica Rodriguez will also be stepping down.

At the Nov. 28 meeting of the International School board, Wilson reported that the Jefferson Parish’s middle school was experiencing both disciplinary and academic issues that needed immediate attention. Classrooms were to be made smaller and teachers were to be retrained, Wilson said. Estrella was present at the meeting but did not speak about the issues at the time.

Dec 132012

M.S. Rau Antiques, a French Quarter landmark, has greeted its 100th year with nothing more than the best and is currently hosting its most important exhibition to date, Impressionism: Influences & Impact. The exhibit features work by such master artists as Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, and even the beguiling Vincent van Gogh.

The gallery is hosting a speaker series on Impressionism in collaboration with the exhibition.

Continue reading »

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Dec 122012

The New Orleans Loup Garous. It needs to happen.

Jean-Paul Villere

New Orleans and basketball possess an on again / off again romance over decades.  From losing the Jazz in 1979 to almost getting the Timberwolves in 1994 and finally, under ( * cough * cough * ) Nagin, not yet elected to his first mayoral term, use of the New Orleans Arena for the once upon time hockey foray called the Brass springboarded the Crescent City back into the NBA limelight, ultimately securing the Hornets.  Until now.  Before you can utter another holiday greeting expect the Big Easy’s b-ballers moving forward to be known as the Pelicans.  There’s a whole host of commentary on this change, both sides squawking over whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing; I’ll offer it’s nothing more than a missed opportunity.  Have none of you ever see Teen Wolf?  And for the record, it’s really okay if you’ve never seen Teen Wolf Too.  Poor Jason Bateman, poor poor Jason Bateman.  And today there’s a fairly boring TV series reboot of the story, which if you’re drifting through streaming Netflix, I’d say give it a go but leave your expectations at the door. Continue reading »

Dec 112012

A site plan for Magnolia Marketplace, as submitted to the City Planning Commission.

If you thought the new Taco Bell on South Claiborne was exciting news for Uptown New Orleans, just wait till you meet its new neighbors.

If Tuesday afternoon’s approval by the City Planning Commission is any indication, a major new shopping center called Magnolia Marketplace is soon headed for the large open area just off South Claiborne Avenue adjacent to the Harmony Oaks development. Continue reading »

Dec 102012

The Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans campus on Patton Street.

The Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans governing board approved the hiring of an interim CEO on Monday night, then several board members convened a private meeting with about 50 teachers and parents to discuss the decision and other issues facing the school. Continue reading »

Dec 102012

(Cartoon by Owen Courreges)

Owen Courreges

“The New Orleans Pelicans.”  That’s what Tom Benson wants to rename the New Orleans Hornets, our local NBA franchise.  Yes, dear reader – that was the sound of your jaw dropping.

The proposal has already ignited a firestorm amongst New Orleanians, providing a necessary distraction from far less sexy news stories, like the wholesale lack of transparency in the recent water and sewerage rate increases that were approved this week, the resignation of our U.S. attorney amidst a scandal in his office, and the results of the run-off election in City Council District B.  Snore! Continue reading »

Dec 092012

In this graphic, red represents precincts won by LaToya Cantrell with 80 percent of the vote or more. Orange are those she won by 56 to 79 percent, and light orange are those she won by 50.1 percent to 55 percent. Light green are those Dana Kaplan won by 50.1 percent to 55 percent, and dark green are those Kaplan won by 56 to 79 percent. (Graphic by Robert Morris,

In her runoff victory Saturday night, LaToya Cantrell not only won more precincts than Dana Kaplan, Cantrell also won her best precincts by far wider margins than Kaplan did, an analysis of the results shows. Continue reading »

Dec 092012

Some voters in the District B runoff on Saturday said they were impressed with LaToya Cantrell’s record in Broadmoor, while others said they admired Dana Kaplan’s advocacy for juvenile justice. Just as frequently, however, they said they wanted to support Councilwoman Stacy Head’s efforts to provide some balance against Mayor Mitch Landrieu — or that they wanted to show support for Landrieu’s work so far. Continue reading »

Dec 092012

In her victory speech, LaToya Cantrell emphasized the hard work that brought her through the runoff for the District B seat and that which is yet to come in the next 15 months.

After congratulating Cantrell in her concession speech, Dana Kaplan emphasized her own campaign’s success in promoting her ideas about the criminal justice system and economic opportunity.

See video of each candidate below: Continue reading »

Dec 082012

LaToya Cantrell laughs and claps as she arrives at her victory party at Dijon restaurant on Annunciation Street. (Robert Morris,

Dana Kaplan poses for a photo with a supporter at her election-night party at Wolfe’s. (photo by Marta Jewson for

LaToya Cantrell, the Broadmoor activist whose neighborhood’s recovery became a symbol of New Orleanians’ resilience, pledged to bring her tireless work ethic and open heart to a bigger stage Saturday night after winning a seat on the New Orleans City Council.

Cantrell won nearly 54 percent of the ballots cast Saturday with all precincts and early votes counted, according to the Secretary of State. Her opponent, Dana Kaplan, won just over 46 percent. Continue reading »

Dec 082012

Larry J. Haynes (via NOPD)

Lusher Charter School has changed all the locks at its high school campus this week and is consulting with police after learning that one of the school’s janitorial workers has been charged in a shooting in Central City that killed one woman and wounded three other people, officials said. Continue reading »