Sep 112014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

With the court challenge period mostly over and marginal candidates having dropped out, the hard-ball campaigns for various judgeships, the DA, and State Representative have begun in earnest.  Though several organizations like the AFL-CIO, RDO and LIFE, the group founded by former mayor Dutch Morial, completed their endorsements early, we attended three public forums in the last week – the Orleans Parish Republican and Democratic Executive Committees and the Independent Women’s Organization — to get a first-hand look at all the remaining candidates.

Last night’s contest at OPDEC (the Democrats) was a real slug fest with numerous candidates hurling allegations of impropriety at each other which made that crusty audience gasp.  One of the moderators, Jason Coleman, found himself inviting candidates up for the next round, as if it were a boxing match. Continue reading »

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Sep 092014
 
Retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honore (center) and other advocates discuss contamination in the soil at the former Booker T. Washington site in front of what remains of the former school. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honore (center) and other advocates discuss contamination in the soil at the former Booker T. Washington site in front of what remains of the former school. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

When Lt. Gen. Russell Honore led 20,000 federal troops into the city of New Orleans for search-and-rescue missions in the aftermath of the collapse of the federal levees following Hurricane Katrina, he instructed his soldiers not to let the contaminated water touch them.

Nine years later, Honore said, the risk of pollution to New Orleanians is coming not from the failures of the federal government, but from decisions made by leaders right here in the city and state — such as the plan to rebuild Booker T. Washington High School in Central City on top of heavily contaminated soil at the old Clio Street dump. State documents show that in some locations, cancer-causing compounds are present in levels more than 100 times what is considered acceptable.

“As we worked nine years ago to help save this city, we’re going to work now to help save this city from itself,” Honore said. “Because you know what? It’s not the White House doing this. It’s not President Bush doing this. It’s the leaders in New Orleans doing this, and it’s people we did not put in the office — the RSD.”

Many alumni of Booker T. Washington, however, believe that the Recovery School District’s plan for treating the contamination is sufficient, that Honore’s concerns are an unnecessary excess of caution, and that it is time to move the long-delayed construction of a state-of-the-art school forward. Continue reading »

Sep 092014
 
An undated photo of the basketball court at Evans Playground on LaSalle Street. (via Kaboom.org)

An undated photo of the basketball court at Evans Playground on LaSalle Street. (via Kaboom.org)

As Freret residents continue to organize an “official” booster club that would make Evans Playground eligible to host city-sponsored events such as free Movies in the Park and organized sports, they are hoping to attract support and sponsorships from the businesses on the commercial corridor. Continue reading »

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Sep 092014
 
Surveillance image from the third armed robbery, Monday, Sept. 8. (via NOPD)

Surveillance image from the third armed robbery, Monday, Sept. 8. (via NOPD)

(map via NOPD)

(map via NOPD)

After three armed robberies within as many weeks on the same auto-parts store, New Orleans police are now looking for the heavily disguised “serial robber” believed to be responsible for all three brazen mid-afternoon attacks, authorities said. Continue reading »

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Sep 082014
 
(cartoon by Owen Courreges for UptownMessenger.com)

(cartoon by Owen Courreges for UptownMessenger.com)

Owen Courreges

Armed only with flashlights and imbued with a bare modicum of power, they’re soon to hit the streets of the French Quarter.  These proud few will deal with parking issues and other quality-of-life complaints.  They will respond to traffic accidents not resulting in injury.  They will give directions to tourists.

They are… The NOLA PATROL.

Late last month, Mayor Landrieu made the grand announcement that his office would be forming the NOLA Patrol, a force of approximately 50 civilian employees .  The operations of these young bucks are slated to be funded with a 0.25-percent hotel/motel tax instituted last year, which will bring in an estimated $200,000 per month. Continue reading »

Sep 072014
 
Tulane players, filled with energy, wait in the smoke-filled tunnel to make their debut in Yulman stadium. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Tulane players, filled with energy, wait in the smoke-filled tunnel to make their debut in Yulman stadium. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Article by Jamal Melancon; photos by Zach Brien

Tulane may have lost against Georgia Tech 21-38, but the home game experience of Uptown tailgating, pregame festivities, and on-field energy all contributed to vibrant inauguration for Yulman Stadium. Continue reading »

Sep 062014
 
A group of "football wives of New Orleans" enjoys drinks on a back porch prior to the game. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A group of “football wives of New Orleans” enjoys drinks on a back porch prior to the game. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Tulane fans pass Yulman Stadium, seen from Calhoun Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Tulane fans pass Yulman Stadium, seen from Calhoun Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Long before Yulman Stadium even received its name, questions of how football games would impact the neighborhoods around Tulane University dominated discussions about the return of college football to the Uptown campus.

On Saturday, those questions were finally answered: On-street parking may have been tough to find, but traffic was relatively light, and many neighbors were thrilled to revive the front-yard parties associated with memories of the old Sugar Bowl stadium.

“Going to the Dome spoiled my football experience at Tulane. I’m so glad, 40 years later, that we’re back, and I’m shocked at how quiet Audubon Boulevard is,” said Seph Dupuy, a 1970 Tulane graduate as he attended a small gathering there. “I’m pleasantly surprised how well controlled and easy it is to get around.” Continue reading »

Sep 062014
 

The Tulane University Green Wave returns Uptown on Saturday, kicking off its inaugural game in the new on-campus Yulman Stadium against Georgia Tech at 3 p.m.

See below for live coverage of the stadium’s impact on the neighborhood before the game, and for live coverage of the game once it begins.

Live Blog Tulane football returns to Uptown with home opener against Georgia Tech (live coverage)

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Sep 052014
 
820 General Pershing Street, photographed in December 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

820 General Pershing Street, photographed in December 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

LaToya Cantrell

LaToya Cantrell

Stacy Head

Stacy Head

In early 2013 — barely a month after she was sworn into office — City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell issued a statement forcefully proclaiming her opposition to the demolition of a century-old house at 820 General Pershing that was essential to the “the residential fabric of the community,” she said.

On Thursday — citing an impasse that fellow Councilmember Stacy Head described as a more of a “hostage” situation — Cantrell voted to approve the demolition of the same property. Cantrell declined to explain the reason for her change of heart, but residents who met with her extensively leading up to the decision said it may have to do with concerns about the viability of the city’s overall process for denying the demolition of historic properties. Continue reading »

Sep 052014
 
The front door of the Priestley school building in west Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The front door of the Priestley school building in west Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The board of directors overseeing Lycée Francais de la Nouvelle-Orleans have decided to make an offer to buy the old Alfred C. Priestley Junior High School building from the Orleans Parish School Board.

“We’re excited about the property and what we can do there,” said board member Mary Jacobs Jones, who is chair of the school’s facilities committee.

The board unanimously voted to submit an offer letter for the long-shuttered west Carrolton school building Friday, the day the bid closes to schools. Under state law, charter schools have first dibs at the Priestley building, because it is currently considered surplus by the OPSB and slated for public auction. Continue reading »

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Sep 042014
 
820 General Pershing Street, photographed in December 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

820 General Pershing Street, photographed in December 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

After nearly two years of opposition by neighbors and repeated rejections from city officials, the demolition of a century-old home on General Pershing just off Magazine Street was approved Thursday by the New Orleans City Council. Continue reading »