Jun 192012

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

Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans appears to have made a substantial effort to advertise their addition of a second grade next year to low-income and at-risk communities, state education officials said Monday in Baton Rouge. Continue reading »

Jun 182012

A map of game-day restricted access zones (via tulanestadium.com)

Tulane University described its plans Monday night to shuttle football fans to its proposed Uptown stadium from parking lots around the city, but nearby residents continue to question how they will access their own homes on game days. Continue reading »

Jun 182012

Owen Courreges

New Orleans has certainly received some good press in recent months regarding our business climate. A recent survey by Thumbtacks and the Kauffman Foundation ranked Louisiana one of the top five friendliest states for small business. The Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch named Greater New Orleans the “most improved” in its 2011 “Best Cities for Business” list. Forbes Magazine named Greater New Orleans “America’s Biggest Brain Magnet.”

In a nutshell, New Orleans is riding high in the saddle when it comes to economic PR. We’re gradually escaping the popular perception of New Orleans as insular, bureaucratic and corrupt. Continue reading »

Jun 172012

A rendering of the proposed football stadium on Tulane's Uptown campus. (via TulaneStadium.com)

Over the past week or so, the prospects for Tulane’s proposed Uptown stadium appear to have improved considerably.

A measure that would have required the university to receive the city’s approval for the project (known as an interim zoning district, or IZD) received a negative recommendation from the City Planning Commission, whose members said Tulane should only be held to current law, which allows construction of the stadium by right. Even if the City Council passes the IZD anyway, it is unclear whether its proponents could then muster five votes to overrule a veto by Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

(Tulane will hold its second community forum on the stadium, concerning traffic and parking issues, at 6 p.m. Monday at the Audubon Tea Room, 6500 Magazine Street.)

What do you think? Is Tulane within its rights to build a football stadium on campus? Or is the stadium too big for the residential Uptown neighborhoods altogether?

Jun 162012

Craig Giesecke

I was (again) saddened over the past week as more details spilled out about the changes at the Times-Picayune, including the decision to lay off well-known restaurant critic and food writer Brett Anderson. I don’t pretend to understand the thinking that went into this decision, if there was any, but we’d be a poorer city if he goes.

Turns out, now they say he can have his job back after he finishes his fellowship at Haaah-vahd. Anderson apparently hasn’t yet decided. I’m not in his shoes, so I don’t know which two-word combination I’d use to inform higher-ups of my decision. Continue reading »

Jun 152012

This weekend’s two-day “Juneteenth” celebration in Annunciation Square — held to commemorate the emancipation of the slaves 150 years ago — will feature an emphasis on fitness to dovetail with national efforts to fight obesity, organizers said.

Music for the free event will feature a variety of styles from jazz and soul to bounce, with Mardi Gras Indians and DJs, and food and craft vendors all over the park. But the theme of the day will be “Get Fit, Stay Free,” with a number of games and activities designed to get children moving, said Sheila Matute, an educator and organizer of the event. Continue reading »

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Jun 152012

New Orleans-area Teach For American director Kira Orange Jones, who was elected to a seat on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in November, may face a conflict of interest because BESE signs contracts with Teach For America, according to an opinion being considered by the state Ethics Board reported by The Lens. The board will consider whether Orange-Jones must choose between her employment and her elected position, or if she can simply recuse herself from votes about the TFA conflict, at a meeting in July.

Jun 152012

Homemade Thai salad (photo by Christy Lorio for UptownMessenger.com)

Christy Lorio (photo by Leslie Almeida)

Don’t get me wrong, I can tear into a fried shrimp po-boy with the best of them, but eating like that everyday is the equivalent of putting your name on a high cholesterol waiting list. As much as I adore Southern cooking, I attempt to eat healthy at home — that way all bets are off when dining out. Continue reading »

Jun 142012

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

New Orleans, which has survived the worst hurricanes, yellow fever epidemics, a terrible Oil Bust, military occupation and corruption, once again has to endure the unendurable as it watches the dismemberment of its daily newspaper that served the community for 175 years. Continue reading »

Jun 142012

The SUV stolen Monday night in the violent carjacking of an elderly couple on State Street was used the following day in a similar robbery on Fontainebleau, then later found abandoned in the Milan neighborhood, police said.

While they continue looking for suspects in that case, investigators have made an arrest in a robbery two weeks ago on Chestnut Street, and caught a man they said may have been breaking into a number of cars in the Carrollton area. Continue reading »

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Jun 142012

Red arrows mark the block of Joseph Street that will become one-way for a six-month trial starting Friday morning. (map by City of New Orleans)

On Friday morning, the city will embark on a six-month trial of one-way traffic on the first lake-side block of Joseph Street coming off of Magazine amid concerns that the road may be too narrow for parking on both sides of the street and two lanes of traffic, officials announced. Continue reading »

Jun 142012

A rendering of the proposed Tulane stadium. (via TulaneStadium.com)

Seeking to build on favorable momentum created by the City Planning Commission’s vote Tuesday to recommend against a special zoning district that would require Tulane to seek the city’s permission to build a football stadium on its Uptown campus, university president Scott Cowen publicly urged city council members Wednesday to either withdraw the motion altogether or vote on it before the month is out. Continue reading »