Aug 072013

Jean-Paul Villere

Okay Louisiana lawmakers, I give up!  The pelican state’s recent but maybe not altogether surprising archaic approach to finessing legal uses of handheld devices while driving has me questioning the logic over in Baton Rouge.  As of last week, motorists (and presumably bicyclists too) are prohibited from use of social media while operating their vehicles, and while texting under similar circumstances was recently banned, general use of handheld devices and / or the internet remains legal.  Whiskey – Tango – Foxtrot elected officials and boo on you.  Isn’t this a little like saying you can hold a cigarette while driving but you can’t put it to your lips?  Or you can totally hit the drive thru and grab some artery clogging fare, and again hold it in your hand, but don’t eat it! Continue reading »

Aug 062013

The suspect in a robbery just off Magazine Street is arrested in the 5200 block of Laurel on Tuesday afternoon. (Robert Morris,

Officer James Porter directs his police dog to search under a home at Joseph and Annunciation. (Robert Morris,

A man suspected of robbing a woman at gunpoint just off Magazine Street was found hiding between two homes on Laurel Street and arrested after a four-hour manhunt Tuesday afternoon, with police shutting down streets in two neighborhoods to search house-to-house with tracking dogs. Continue reading »

Aug 062013

jewel bush

The war for the most New Orleansest grocery store in Mid City has been waged.

Winn-Dixie’s grand opening pomp and circumstance have included giveaways of all sorts, folks in patriotic-esque costumes meandering around the grocery – to add to the celebratory atmosphere, I suppose – and a saxophonist serenading produce shoppers to add Big Easy flair among other jazzy gimmicks.

Not to be upstaged by the new kid on North Carrollton Avenue, Rouses Market had a brass brand – tuba, trombones, trumpet, snare drum — playing near the store’s entrance, a block party hosted by WWOZ and a Sunday Gospel Brunch. Continue reading »

Aug 052013

Owen Courreges

The NOPD was dealt yet another black eye earlier this year when an investigation from the Inspector General’s Office revealed that off-duty officers were lining their pockets reviewing red-light camera tickets.  Former 8th District Commander Edwin Hosli created a private company, Anytime Solutions, to manage the detail, where off-duty officers were paid $35 per hour to review camera evidence provided by another private company, American Traffic Solutions.

Hosli, a close friend of Chief Ronal Serpas, also made sure to provide the obligatory patronage that feeds on New Orleans like a malignant tumor.  Anytime Solutions paid Serpas’s driver and his son-in-law, Travis Ward, who himself was previously suspended from duty after failing multiple breathalyzer tests when he totaled his NOPD cruiser back in 2009 (not exactly the type of person you want nit-picking other peoples’ driving habits). Continue reading »

Aug 022013

Craig Giesecke

While we’re still packing boxes, spinning off furniture and generally preparing for our move, I’ve had to take time out to schedule one final Big Event while we’re still in New Orleans. While others get involved in White Linen Night or the Red Dress Run, I’m gearing up for the Louisiana Restaurant Association Expo at the Convention Center this weekend.

I love food shows, but the LRA Expo is more than just your average feed-me-for-free event. It’s part reunion, part discovery expedition and all playground for those of us in the food biz. It’s not just a gathering of folks from around Louisiana or the Gulf South, but also from around the country. Though each year brings some different offerings, we can always depend on tremendous hospitality from Wendy Waren and the entire LRA crew. Continue reading »

Aug 012013

A rendering of a proposed floodplain park around the Monticello Canal in Hollygrove, similar to those proposed for other canals around the city in a new water-management strategy for New Orleans.

Rainfall should be diverted out of Uptown via the Mississippi River instead of carrying it all the way to Lake Pontchartrain, and major drainage ditches like the Monticello Canal should be expanded into interior floodplains and water-storage features, according to two recommendations that illustrate how New Orleans should be better managing its water instead of just pumping it away.

The Water Management Strategy presented by architect David Waggonner to a standing-room only crowd Thursday evening at Xavier University is a regional plan for making more efficient use of rainfall, slowing it down and storing it in natural canals to reduce the sinking of the land that contributes to flooding. The recommendations in the Uptown area are only a small part of the plan, but they illustrate some of its key elements and some of its challenges.

“We’re proposing this is a new era for water management,” Waggonner said. “It’s not just about flood protection any more. It’s really about quality and sustainability.” Continue reading »

Aug 012013

The Lyons Center pool is empty on Wednesday afternoon after all outdoor pools in the city closed Monday, July 29. (Robert Morris,

Less than two months after Mayor Mitch Landrieu celebrated its reopening with a jubilant splash, the pool at the Lyons Center is now closed for the summer, along with all the other outdoor pools in the city.

Closing the pools at the end of July was budgetary decision based on the return to school in August, but residents and some officials say another week or two would have been appropriate. Continue reading »

Aug 012013

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

We are among the many thousands who are remembering Lindy Boggs with love today, relishing the moments we spent with her and celebrating her remarkable life.

Although we were certainly not members of her inner circle, Lindy always treated us – and everyone else – as though we were.

Allan always thought there was a special feminine bond between Lindy and other women, especially those like Danae, who were driven by a great work ethic and a desire to get things done. For thousands of women of accomplishment, Lindy was the ultimate role model who got things done in Congress, at the Vatican and in her own private life. Danae loved to be in Lindy’s company. Allan thought they both glowed when they laughed together and swapped stories about their lives. Continue reading »

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Jul 312013

NOPD Deputy Chief Darryl Albert greets a resident on Race Street during the NOPD 6th District anti-crime march through the Lower Garden District. (Robert Morris,

After a rash of robberies around the Lower Garden District earlier in July, the NOPD Sixth District chose the neighborhood for its monthly anti-crime march on Wednesday evening. The officers included a number of Sixth District detectives, and they were joined in the march by several members of the Coliseum Square Association as they spoke to residents and handed out CrimeStoppers flyers.

Detective Claudia Bruce hands out CrimeStoppers flyers to a group of men sitting in Coliseum Square. (Robert Morris,

Continue reading »

Jul 312013

Only four years after opening, Freret Street Po-Boy and Donuts will take on culinary landmarks — Willie Mae’s Scotch House and the Acme Oyster House — for the title of “Best Daym Takeout” in New Orleans in tonight’s premiere of a new show on the Travel Channel starring Daymon Patterson. Continue reading »