Jun 132012

Workers "clear the air" on Napoleon Avenue. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

A neighbor returned from a road trip last week, and their first text to me upon being back in New Orleans said, “What’s with the hack job on the oak trees on Napoleon between Freret and St Charles???”  Indeed. Continue reading »

Jun 122012

Tulane President Scott Cowen urges members of the City Planning Commission to reject an interim zoning district that would prohibit major construction projects on university campuses. (Robert Morris, UptownMessener.com)

The law that allows Tulane to build a football stadium on campus without any oversight from city leaders may be out of date, and the construction project may raise serious issues that need more scrutiny, but the university ought not to be made to follow regulations that are not yet on the books, the city planning commission ruled on Tuesday.

By a 7-1 vote, the commissioners will recommend against creating an interim zoning district that would require universities to seek city permission for large construction projects. What remains to be seen is whether Tulane’s victory Tuesday is fleeting — as the same City Council members who voted to begin the IZD process can ignore the recommendation and vote to approve it — or if it provides a spark of momentum that builds into a win before the City Council as well. Continue reading »

Jun 122012

By Nick Kindel

The City Planning Commission (CPC) is about to take a big step forward in getting resident participation in its decision making process. City Planning is working on its Neighborhood Participation Program (NPP), which is one important part of the City Charter’s call for “a system of organized and effective neighborhood participation in land use decisions and other issues that affect quality of life.” Continue reading »

Jun 112012

Lycee Francais' new St. Francis of Assisi campus on State Street. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

With its first year on the books, Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans approved the coming year’s budget Monday night and prepared to expand to a new campus with nearly three times as many students. Continue reading »

Jun 112012

Construction barriers and ripped-up sidewalk wrapped around the front door of the High Hat Cafe for 28 calendar days, running off potential customers for nearly a full month during the new Freret restaurant’s first JazzFest. A few blocks down, the owner of Kehoe Automotive believes his employees could do the work faster with hand shovels than city employees have. And another Freret restaurant owner has threatened that if construction in front of his front door lasts more than 10 days, he’s actually going to finish it himself.

“Our anger comes from a very honest place,” Michelle Ingram, owner of Zeus’ Place, told city officials during a Monday night meeting with The New Freret business and property owners’ association. Continue reading »

Jun 112012

Uptown residents who want the city to create a formal review process over the proposed construction of Tulane’s football stadium will head into a meeting Tuesday with one strike against them: the City Planning staff recommends against creating an interim zoning district governing large university construction projects. Continue reading »

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Jun 112012

Owen Courreges

For those of you who don’t know, I was arrested six weeks ago. The story of how this happened is chronicled in an earlier column of mine, one which is filled with intrigue, action and police corruption (well, actually none of those things, except perhaps the whole police misconduct angle).

The long story short is that Second District Police Officer Terry Baham arrested me for doing nothing more than standing on a public sidewalk. The charges were for Disturbing the Peace end Public Drunkenness, but I was guilty of neither charge because I wasn’t doing anything that would threaten anybody’s life, health or property (prerequisites to those crimes). Continue reading »

Jun 092012

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond delivers the keynote address at the NAACP New Orleans branch's annual Freedom Fund Banquet on Saturday night at Xavier University. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Control of the city of New Orleans is slipping out of local hands, U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond told the NAACP on Saturday night, urging the black community to reassert itself on crucial discussions surrounding charter schools, criminal justice and the economic development. Continue reading »

Jun 092012

Parishioners of St. Henry's excitedly discuss the return of daily Mass to the church on Saturday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Father Doug Brougher, who was stationed at St. Henry's from after Hurricane Katrina until it closed in 2009, laughs with parishioners inside the sanctuary. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

In January of 2009, as police forced St. Henry’s parishioners out of their 150-year-old sanctuary, Brenda Jobin removed from the foyer a plaque memorializing her son’s death in Iraq.

On Saturday morning, upon hearing Msgr. Christopher Nalty announce that weekday Mass would once again be celebrated at St. Henry’s — effectively reopening the church and reuniting a parish that had been torn by its closure — Jobin immediately ran home, grabbed the plaque from her living room, and returned Spec. Jeremy Heines to his place on the foyer wall.

“Now he’s back in church where he belongs,” Jobin said, her eyes shining. Continue reading »

Jun 092012

Craig Giesecke

I think it can pretty much be an accepted fact that eventually everyone comes to New Orleans for one reason or another. Simply Living Here means getting a lot of requests from long-lost friends and/or relatives as to where/what to stay, eat, wander and experience. It‘s a lot like living in Orlando, Las Vegas, New York City or Anyplace With A Beach — you’re a local so you’re supposed to know. Continue reading »