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 »

Dec 082012

Craig Giesecke

Gah! I have just gotten through wrestling with one of those rolls of plastic wrap (I won’t name names) we all have in our kitchens for wrapping food portions or bread or whatever is needed for use later. The stuff never unrolls without effort, then each brand has a different location for the cut-off strip. Is it on the box? On the boxtop flap? No matter where it is, it never does a clean job of tearing a straight edge. Then you’ve got a ragged, odd-shaped piece of wrap that either sticks to itself too much or not at all. All I wanted to do is wrap up some bread to put in the freezer. Frustrating. Continue reading »

Dec 082012

Chelsea Thornton (via

Chelsea Thornton, 23, does not understand the legal system and is too emotionally overwhelmed by the deaths of her two children at her hands in a Gert Town apartment to be able to assist in preparations for trial, but treatment in a mental hospital could change that, testified Dr. James McConville this week, according to a report by Claire Galofalo of The Times-Picayune. Judge Gerard Hansen is set to rule on the matter Monday.

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Dec 062012

(Graphic by

The race for the open District B seat on the New Orleans City Council has now generated more than half a million dollars in campaign cash, as the two candidates heading into Saturday’s runoff election are escalating their attacks on one another.

Dana Kaplan alone has raised well more than half of that money, while her runoff opponent LaToya Cantrell (who finished first in the Nov. 6 primary) has yet to match the money raised by former candidate Eric Strachan (who finished third and subsequently endorsed her). Meanwhile, Cantrell’s attacks on Kaplan have sought to paint her as a carpetbagging friend of criminals, while Kaplan’s team wants voters to see Cantrell as plagued with ethical problems. Continue reading »

Dec 062012

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Back in the late 1960s, the late Stewart Brehm, Director of the Sewerage & Water Board, told Allan, then a reporter for the States-Item, that the sewerage and drainage system that was a crucial part of New Orleans infrastructure was falling apart and would have to be replaced at the costs of tens of millions of dollars that the city didn’t have. Brehm said that as politically unthinkable as an S&WB rate increase at that time might be, it would have to be done.

Well, not exactly. Continue reading »

Dec 062012

Children build a tiny snowman in a layer of snow covering the front lawn of Loyola University on Wednesday evening. (Sabree Hill,

Despite temperatures in the mid-60s, the front lawn of Loyola University hosted a giant snowball fight on a carpet of snow Wednesday night for the annual “Sneaux” event. In addition to the snow, the university also provided hot chocolate, s’mores, cookies, Christmas music, activities for children and an appearance by Santa Claus.

Children of all ages play in the snow at Loyola’s “Sneaux” event Wednesday evening. (Sabree Hill,

Continue reading »