Nov 142013
 

The one-day “After Katrina: Transnational Perspectives on the Futures of the Gulf South” conference Friday at the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University will feature keynote presentations by Richard Campanella and Kalamu ya Salaam, as well as a range of other local cultural figures, neighborhood leaders, activists and academics. Continue reading »

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Nov 142013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Things that work well in other cities often don’t work in New Orleans. The recent dust-up about the Vera Institute and their lucrative Pre-Trial Services contract funded by the City of New Orleans boils down to a lack of trust on the part of criminal justice officials.  

The Vera Institute (VI for short) analyses each arrested individual’s record and determines their likelihood to return for trial if allowed bail. VI provides this information and their recommendation on bail to the court, whose officials make a final bail decision. Continue reading »

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Nov 142013
 
Rev. Elizabeth Lott and family

Rev. Elizabeth Lott and family

Rev. Elizabeth Lott will officially begin her pastorate the week of Nov. 12 and will preach for the first time this Sunday, Nov. 17, which happens to be the date on which we celebrate the church’s 115th birthday. Founded in 1898, St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church has been blessed with many excellent pastors known for strong preaching and innovative leadership. In calling Rev. Lott, the church acknowledges she follows in this esteemed tradition. Continue reading »

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Nov 132013
 

"That one time I saw them in the snow," writes Jeffrey Bostick. (via http://librarychronicles.blogspot.com, used with permission)

“That one time I saw them in the snow,” writes Jeffrey Bostick. (via http://librarychronicles.blogspot.com, used with permission)

Library Chronicles author Jeffrey Bostick (also sometimes known as “a prolific local tweeter, who calls himself Skooks”) posts an elegiac photo essay on the changing of the recently-removed Napoleon Avenue crepe myrtles through the seasons, writing of his “habit of keeping time by those trees.”

Nov 132013
 
Napoleon Avenue neutral ground, minus crepe myrtles. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere)

Napoleon Avenue neutral ground, minus crepe myrtles. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere)

Jean-Paul Villere

For as long as I’ve known her my wife has had it out for ligustrums, while I’ve always found crepe myrtles to be, well, creepy.  But I’m also a weirdo who doesn’t see the need to willy-nilly go Lawnmower Man on Mother Nature in the name of progress. Or, maybe I’m just quizzical as to why in the lower leg of the Napoleon Ave drainage project the neutral ground trees were decimated recently, while earlier in the project above St. Charles Avenue the greenery was saved and replanted nearby in Samuel Square.  Incongruity and the decisions made by bureaucrats and contractors go together like peas and carrots, I tell ya.  (Still waiting on that oak to be trimmed across the street from me, but I digress.) Continue reading »

Nov 122013
 
The owners of Oak wine bar plan to convert the former medical supply store into a gastropub called Ale, with a courtyard replacing the driveway next door. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The owners of Oak wine bar plan to convert the former medical supply store into a gastropub called Ale, with a courtyard replacing the driveway next door. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

oak logoThree years after opening the popular Oak wine bar, the owners are planning to expand with a new gastropub next door on Oak Street called Ale, joined with a courtyard between them. Continue reading »

Nov 122013
 

Church AlleyChurch Alley Coffee Bar (on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd) serves up freshly roasted, freshly brewed French Truck Coffee. We grind and pour each cup to order; no more hours-long old coffee or weeks-old stale coffee beans!

Drop by for a yoga class at Divine Yoga upstairs and stay for a made-just-for-you cup of espresso or pour over coffee. It’s not just the coffee that you’ll love; you will be surrounded by original art from local Central City artists Gary and Elizabeth Eckman! We offer our customers free wifi and a dog-friendly environment for dog-friendly dogs. 6 year old Beau, Church Alley’s young-at-heart Shih Tzu mix, is here everyday. (Be warned, he loves to be loved, and you might find him sitting in your lap!) If these amenities don’t convince you to stop in, here are five reasons to love Church Alley. Continue reading »

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Nov 112013
 

The Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans campus on Patton Street.

The Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans campus on Patton Street.

As Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans prepares to join the OneApp common citywide enrollment process in the coming year, the French-immersion charter school will reserve roughly two-thirds of its kindergarten seats for students whose families’ income qualifies them for free or reduced lunches. Continue reading »

Nov 112013
 

Owen Courreges

News travels fast in New Orleans.  On Sunday, my inbox began piling up with reports of an altercation that allegedly took place over the weekend.  Altercations in New Orleans are no big news, but here the incident allegedly occurred between an employee of the Taxicab and For Hire Bureau, Wilton “Big Will” Joiner, and Wendy Bosma, a tour guide operating the in the French Quarter.

From what I gather (here’s a WWL report on the incident), it happened like this:  On November 9, 2013, Bosma was conducting a Haunted History Tour down Royal Street near Governor Nicolls.  She was guiding a tour group near the infamous LaLaurie Mansion (made more famous by “American Horror Story: Coven” currently airing on the FX Network).

Bosma claims that Joiner approached her and claimed that was closer than 50 feet to another tour group in violation of the law.  Joiner demanded her tour guide license, which was pinned to Bosma’s purse.  Bosma refused, noting that she was the only guide on the street.  Joiner then suddenly reached out and grabbed her license and identification off of her purse. Continue reading »

Nov 102013
 
Cathy Rickmon (left) and Martha Bullock (right) sit on the porch where their sons Orlando “Lanny” Rickmon and Desmond O’Neal Bell were murdered on April 23, 2013. "Losing a child is like losing half a heart," said Rickmon. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Cathy Rickmon (left) and Martha Bullock (right) sit on the Baudin St. porch where their sons Orlando “Lanny” Rickmon and Desmond O’Neal Bell were murdered on April 23, 2013. “Losing a child is like losing half a heart,” said Rickmon. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Cathy Rickmon and Martha Bullock had been casual friends for years, but a burst of violence in Mid-City sealed their fates together forever.

“We weren’t close until the tragedy of our sons,” Rickmon said.

“We will always have a bond because someone who we loved, that we loved very dearly, was lost on the same day,” said Bullock. Continue reading »

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Nov 102013
 
MargaretWashington0001

Margaret Washington sits in her daughter Marguerite LaJoy Washington’s room, while holding LaJoy’s McMain graduation gown and medal for Physics. LaJoy was shot and killed while visiting her new boyfriend’s home just months after graduating from high school. “She loved stuffed animals,” said Washington while sitting in her daughter’s pink room.  (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Marguerite LaJoy Washington came to her adoptive mother Margaret Washington at 3 months old, and from the beginning she was the family’s princess.

“She was my shadow,” said Washington, a former nursing instructor. “She grew up in my church, in my sorority, at Charity school of nursing, with my nursing alumni group. Wherever I was, she was there. It allowed her to be exposed to positive things, positive values and allowed her to get maturity much earlier then the average child.” Continue reading »

Nov 102013
 
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Ann Dimes stands where she last saw her son Danny Joseph Robert, remembering how it felt to hug him goodbye. Minutes after saying goodnight to her son, he was shot seven times in the face just blocks from where they had just been. “My life changed from that minute to this moment, to try to do the right thing toward my son, tell his story through all the hurt and pain. It came happen to any mother just like this,” said Dimes.   (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

On a May evening in 2011, Ann Dimes stood outside a Ninth Ward home with her 26-year-old son, Danny Joseph Roberts. Roberts had been through a bout with a kidney stone, and Dimes, a surgical technician, wanted to check on him.

Danny, a longshoreman since the age of 16 years old, had just gotten a settlement check from the BP oil spill and felt on top of the world in spite of his medical problems. His mother reminded him he needed to keep his car door locked, but he brushed her concerns off by telling her to give him a hug. Then his phone rang.

A voice on the other end of the line – one Dimes has never identified, but will never forget overhearing – asked to borrow a shirt to wear to the club. Danny told his mother he loved her and would see her the next day, so she turned around, closed the door and went inside.

Minutes later, Dimes’ own phone began ringing – Danny was dead, shot seven times in the face just blocks from where they had last hugged goodbye.

“I am not the same person,” Dimes said. “It haunts me all the time. I just can’t understand the purpose of killing him that way.” Continue reading »

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Nov 102013
 
Linn James says a prayer to her son Christopher Guilbeau Jr. and tells him she loves him while visiting his grave in Avondale on Oct. 28, 2013. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Lynn James says a prayer to her son Christopher Guilbeau Jr. and tells him she loves him while visiting his grave in Avondale on Oct. 28, 2013. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

When 26-year-old Christopher Guilbeau Jr. was shot on Elysian Fields Avenue in 2007, he survived but was stricken blind. When he suddenly died from his injuries in 2009, it was his mother’s life that plunged into darkness.

“The people who are doing the murdering are not just hurting the mothers and the fathers of the child they are hurting,” Lynn James said. “They are hurting generations of people. They are hurting those young men’s children and cousins and nephews and grandparents. You are hurting a whole world of people who you will never know because of something senseless.” Continue reading »

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