May 112013

Bricolage Academy, the new Orleans Parish Charter School that will open this fall on the campus of Touro Synagogue, has been awarded a $1 million New Schools for New Orleans grant from the $30 million NOLA Charter Excellence Fund, designed to create 15,000 high-quality public-school seats in the city. Continue reading »

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May 112013

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Doug Hammel was the clear favorite in political circles in the May 4 runoff election for a Juvenile Court judgeship but Yolanda King and her volunteers had a big surprise for him. In an election where the turnout was just about five percent, King won 54 percent of the vote.

As is almost always the case in New Orleans politics, race was a major factor. King, who is an African-American, was making her fifth race for a judgeship and was considered by some to be a perennial candidate. She spent just $7,750 on her campaign. Hammel, who is white, spent more than $125,000 and, in the view of many of his advisors, didn’t spend enough. Continue reading »

May 102013

Craig Giesecke

I was fortunate enough during JazzFest to do what I love most (at least professionally) — work in a creative kitchen with other inventive folks, tweaking the menu a little each night and leaving room for whatever inspiration happened to hit. While I was limited mainly to pantry work (salads, saucing and desserts), there was still plenty of back-and-forth about what might work and we could each throw out ideas for possible use. The creative spigot was wide open, even more so when things got busy. It was delightful. Continue reading »

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May 092013

A street gang known as the 110’ers — an umbrella organization of smaller neighborhood groups in the 10th and 11th wards — is responsible for 10 murders, authorities say, and 15 members of it have been charged in a 51-count indictment hailed Thursday as the “most sweeping street gang indictment” in the city’s history. Continue reading »

May 092013

James Weldon Johnson Elementary School on Monroe Street.

The Carrollton-Riverbend Neighborhood Association will hold its annual meeting at 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday, May 9) at the James Weldon Johnson school, bringing in a number of governmental agencies to update Carrollton residents on issues of local importance. Continue reading »

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May 092013

Rather than tear down a century-old home in the 3900 block of Tchoupitoulas Street to make way for a filming lot, property owner Troy Keller and renovator Robert Brent will move the house next Tuesday to a lot Brent owns in the 3500 block of Tchoupitoulas for renovations, according to a report by Bill Capo and our partners at WWL-TV.

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May 082013

A corporate finance director, a retired public-school superintendent and a program manager for a nonprofit housing developer are being recommended to join the Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans governing board this summer, ultimately resulting in a team of eight people to lead the school though its next year. Continue reading »

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May 082013

Jean-Paul Villere

As the 2013 close of another JazzFest leaves in its wake a thankfully healthy trail of mud, sweat, and beers I find myself at once indifferent but pleased, however mostly curious with one eyebrow raised just so.  You see, if I get to go any given year I generally only have the privilege of going one day, and I’m okay with that.  As such I tend to take it all in, looking to maximize my experience, people watching, carving out set times, and noting what, if any, differences from years past.  So color me dismayed this season when as I queued to purchase my ticket and then queued again to enter the fairgrounds, the security measures in place from previous fests seemed largely unchanged – or – maybe even exactly the same.  Bags searched?  Maybe.  Strollers examined?  Ha!  And the coup de gras of all contraband concealers the chair tube: opened?  Nary a one.  Frankly my fellow New Orleanians in a post Boston Marathon bombing world, this is not okay. Continue reading »

May 082013

July 15-August 2, 2013

The Young Writer’s Workshop is an intensive three-week workshop for inquisitive, creative high school students who are interested in becoming better readers and writers.

Students develop their critical reading and creative writing skills through a mixture of literature seminars and writing workshops. The program provides students with an opportunity to access their talents, express their creative ideas, and become stronger critical thinkers. College credit is available to qualified students. Continue reading »

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May 072013

Kara Morgan (right) and her sister, Kristine Rizzuto, at Morgan’s home in the Irish Channel. (Robert Morris,

For years, Kara Morgan has given her neighbors her time, love and energy as the tough, cheerful leader of the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association.

Now that the 39-year-old mother of two has been diagnosed with a deadly form of cancer, the Irish Channel is giving back to Morgan this weekend in the neighborhood’s own irreverent way — with a fundraiser for her medical treatment at a brewery, complete with burlesque dancers, musicians, and all the fierce, unyielding optimism that she and her community bear so proudly. Continue reading »

May 072013

Residents and school officials examine the yard behind the McDonogh 7 school building where temporary structures are planned for next year, when Audubon Charter is slated to move in. (Robert Morris,

Residents and officials gather in front of the McDonogh 7 building. (Robert Morris,

With Audubon Charter School slated to move out of its crumbling Carrollton courthouse and into the McDonogh 7 building on Milan Street next year, school officials held their first meeting Monday night with their new neighbors. Continue reading »

May 072013

The grass situation at Behrman Park last summer, July 11, 2012. (photo by jewel bush)

jewel bush

Last summer, my son played baseball for a park run by NORDC, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, the dramatic voter-approved overhaul of which was supposed to be one of Mayor Landrieu’s first major accomplishments.

For months, his team practiced on a sliver of grass not on a baseball diamond. Although one game was played at Norman Playground, the rest were scheduled at Behrman Park — also on the Westbank — because we were told it was the only facility in NORDC that had operating field lights. There was only one bench for two dugouts to share. The team that arrived first claimed the bench leaving the other players to sit on the concrete slab or in the bleachers among the throngs of Little League supporters.

The coach collected a modest sum from each participant to purchase uniforms. He never delivered the shirts and visors nor returned the cash. Continue reading »

May 062013

State Rep. Neil Abramson, left, speaks during a public meeting about the expansion of Children’s Hospital onto the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital property. (Robert Morris,

State law requires that the former New Orleans Adolescent Hospital site only be used for health-care purposes after Children’s Hospital buys it, lawmakers said at a public meeting Monday night. Meanwhile, the expansion of mental-health services at the former DePaul Hospital site on Calhoun street will no new construction, hospital officials said. Continue reading »

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