Jun 102013

Owen Courreges

As of this weekend, New Orleans is awash in twenty-something girls wearing hot pink t-shirts.  They’re advocating for Planned Parenthood, which is facing significant push-back from its latest opus – a proposed 7,000 square foot clinic on South Claiborne Avenue.

Planned Parenthood is absolutely hell-bent on seeing this clinic completed. A ceremony was held late last month to kick off the 4.2 million dollar construction project, the completion of which is slated for late 2014 or early 2015. Supporters opined that the clinic will be built “no matter what” because “women in Louisiana desperately need Planned Parenthood.”

The show of solidarity has engendered a strong reaction from pro-life advocates, which, though a rare breed in New Orleans proper, are a dime a dozen throughout the rest of Louisiana.  Planned Parenthood has made no bones about the fact that it will, in fact, be performing abortions at the Claiborne clinic, a first for Planned Parenthood in Louisiana.  Abortion, you may have heard, is a sore subject in this country. Continue reading »

Jun 102013

The nonprofit Family Center of Hope — which since 2007 has been building a $2.7 million community center at Washington and Broad where contractor disputes are blamed for no construction in more than a year — has received $40,000 from the city’s NOLA for Life fund for a separate mentoring program for Juvenile Court referrals, according to a report by Charles Maldonado of The Lens.

Jun 082013

Craig Giesecke

One of my hobbies, I guess you could call it, is going online to take a look at the various reviews of various restaurants and other businesses I know on social media and review sites like Yelp!, Urbanspoon and TripAdvisor. It’s not that I use these guides so much for choosing where I want to go, since I’m entirely capable of determining that for myself based on personal experience. It’s just that some of the amateur reviews are so beautifully written (“the place has the ambiance of the Arizona Dept. of Corrections”),  while others bear witness to what can be the sheer cluelessness of the reviewer. Continue reading »

Jun 062013

Newsflash: “Neighbors and nightclub clash over live music.” It sounds like a headline from any given day’s report from the City Council chambers, but it’s actually a story that’s nearly as old as New Orleans.

Whether New Orleans properly takes care of its musicians and other artists is another never-ending saga — but one that may finally be showing some improvement, according a panel discussion held at Tulane University on Thursday evening. Continue reading »

Jun 062013

New Orleans Firefighter Ross Lunz cuts a pair of shoes off the power lines above Evans Park on Thursday afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The year-round Mardi Gras beads that decorate the New Orleans skyline are probably still safe, but the tennis shoes that hang cryptically from neighborhood power lines have a new nemesis — NOPD Sgt. Byron Francois, the quality-of-life officer who removed dozens of the odd decorations Thursday afternoon from around the Uptown-based Second District with the help of the New Orleans Fire Department. Continue reading »

Jun 062013

Timothy Hartford

Joshua Hogan

Timothy Hartford, 28, and Joshua Hogan, 24, were found guilty on accusations of breaking into the Uptown Meat Market at 7th and Danneel streets amid ankle-deep floodwaters in Central City on Aug. 28 during Hurricane Isaac, according to a report by Claire Galofaro of The Advocate. Hartford and Hogan are the first of 42 people charged with Isaac looting to be convicted by jury, and will be sentenced on their attempted-looting convictions next month, Galofaro reports.

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Jun 062013

Test scores at Sophie B. Wright Charter School in 2012-13 “showed marked improvements almost across the board from last year’s numbers,” with 74 seniors graduating and accepted into college, according to a recent presentation reported on by April Siese of The Lens. Meanwhile, the school is preparing to make its move to the Johnson swing space campus in July during the two-year renovations and construction of a new gym, Siese reports.

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Jun 062013

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

There is no question that reforms are needed at the Orleans Parish Prison and the New Orleans Police Department. The voters know it, the Federal government knows it, the City Council knows it and even Mayor Landrieu. But where is the money to fund both decrees (ostensibly at the same time) going to come from?

We need a compromise with the Federal government and we need it now. The cost of the consent decrees is far beyond the city’s means and might mean bankruptcy. Is that the goal? Let’s hope not. Perhaps the city could agree to a consent decree governing Parish Prison now. After OPP has been straightened out, perhaps there could be another consent decree governing the NOPD. Continue reading »

Jun 052013

The Future Is Now charter management organization that operates John McDonogh High School will no longer govern the final graduating class of Walter L. Cohen High School, returning the remaining students to the Recovery School District next year until the transition to New Orleans College Prep (under the new name Cohen College Prep) is complete in 2014-15, reports Della Hasselle of The Lens.

Last fall, Cohen faculty were abruptly fired when the RSD passed management of the direct-run school to Future Is Now for what at the time was expected to be two years. The move led to a student walkout and protests over the disruption.

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Jun 052013

How the economy surrounding the culture of New Orleans can lead to gentrification — possibly threatening the authenticity of the culture for the future — will be debated by jazz musicians Ellis Marsalis and Shamarr Allen, as well as professor Richard Campanella, journalist Katy Reckdahl and business owner Mike Valentino in a forum Thursday at Tulane University’s Hillel Center. Continue reading »

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