Aug 302014
 
Retired Gen. Russell Honore speaks at the GreenARMY Katrina commemoration at Xavier University. (Zach Brien for UptownMessenger.com)

Retired Gen. Russell Honore speaks at the GreenARMY Katrina commemoration at Xavier University. (Zach Brien for UptownMessenger.com)

As New Orleans continues to recover from the devastation that followed Hurricane Katrina nine years ago, the city should pass a law preventing any schools or daycare centers from being built on top of toxic soil — including the proposed rebuilding of the Booker T. Washington High School over the old Silver City dump site in Central City, retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honore and local allies said Saturday morning.

“We’re the oldest city in this part of the country, and we ought to be the first to make a stand,” Honore said. “We’re not going to put a school on a dump.” Continue reading »

Aug 292014
 
New Sixth District Commander Ronnie Stevens (right) speaks to Central City resident Lisa Martin at a reception on Wednesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Newly-appointed Sixth District Commander Ronnie Stevens (right) speaks to Central City resident Lisa Martin at a reception at Ashe Cultural Arts Center on Wednesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

When New Orleans Police Commander Bob Bardy was promoted to deputy superintendent earlier this month, he left behind an eight-year stint in the Sixth District where most people knew his name and many knew his personal phone number.

When residents had problems — even problems like being charged in shootings — they knew they could call Bardy and receive a fair hearing, they said. Now that Commander Ronnie Stevens has been named to take the lead in the Sixth District, Central City residents in particular are hoping that strong relationship continues.

“We have a strong partnership with the Sixth District police,” said Barbara Lacen-Keller, a Central City activist who now works in City Hall. “We are family.” Continue reading »

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Aug 292014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

It seems like just yesterday that we were packing up our TV cameras and computer hard drives to get out of Dodge before Katrina struck. Danae finally took Ray Nagin’s pleas seriously about 4 a.m. and began the long, slow journey to her parents in Arkansas with five dogs and our photographer. Allan, his sister Sandy Levy and their aged Mother, Miriam Katz, left several days earlier for Birmingham in an abundance of caution. Continue reading »

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Aug 282014
 
Lt. Gen. Russell Honore speaks in February at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore speaks in February at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Retired Gen. Russell Honore will lead a Hurricane Katrina commemoration breakfast at Xavier University on Saturday with speakers from New Orleans and surrounding communities giving updates on the fight for environmental justice in Louisiana and the upcoming 2015 legislative session. Continue reading »

Aug 282014
 
Jean-Paul Villere

Jean-Paul Villere

I want to tell you a story, though it’s a tired one.  It’s one of watermarks, floodlines, and rust.  It’s one of great sadness, overwhelming emotions, and glorious reunitings.  One that over the last 10 years most Americans are tired of hearing, and one that many New Orleanians have a version of.  It’s Katrina.  And Rita.  And levees breaking.  And the curious nine years that followed the moisture-rotted rollercoaster of events in latter 2005 in the Crescent City.  And while my tale unfurls I will ask you to remember two words: gumbo party. Continue reading »

Aug 262014
 
Streetlight repairs have been completed in neighborhoods marked in green, are underway in pink areas, and still to come in orange zones, as of August. (source: nola.gov/DPW)

Streetlight repairs have been completed in neighborhoods marked in green, are underway in pink areas, and still to come in orange zones, as of August. (source: nola.gov/DPW)

When New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu asked the residents of City Council District B how the city should spend their tax money Tuesday night, the answers nearly all involved streets: the holes in them, the lack of light on them, and the people who sleep on them.

Most of those problems — like all of those before the 300-year-old city — lack easy answers, and have been compounding for decades, Landrieu replied. But on at least one complaint, there is a glimmer of hope: the long-darkened streetlights along St. Charles Avenue are scheduled for repair in September. Continue reading »

Aug 262014
 
Work continued on Yulman Stadium (seen from Ben Weiner Drive) in August. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Work continued on Yulman Stadium (seen from Ben Weiner Drive) in August. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

With Tulane University’s first on-campus home game less than two weeks away, university officials and residents in the Uptown areas are discussing the details of the central question about the once-controversial stadium: What will game day look like in the neighborhoods around the stadium?

Will it be a return to the front-yard cocktail parties of the old Sugar Bowl days? A crasser, modern version, more akin to the obnoxious abuses of public property that draw complaints every Carnival season? Or will the parties largely follow the elaborate on-campus plans envisioned by university officials? Continue reading »

Aug 262014
 
City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell delivers her "State of District B" address Tuesday night (2013) at City Hall. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell delivers her “State of District B” address at City Hall in April 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell will host a public meeting on the coming year’s budget tonight (Tuesday, Aug. 26) at Touro Synagogue, and residents of Council District B are encouraged to come and share their thoughts on how the city’s tax revenue should be allocated. Continue reading »

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Aug 252014
 
The king's throne in the Krewe of Oak parade on Saturday was stolen, krewe members say. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The king’s throne in the Krewe of Oak parade on Saturday was stolen, krewe members say. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Krewe of OAK’s Mid-Summer Mardi Gras parade is intended to be “Outrageous and Kinky,” but not larcenous — so krewe members are genuinely outraged that the tricycle and cart with the king’s throne disappeared from in front of the Maple Leaf Bar after Saturday’s parade. Continue reading »

Aug 252014
 

Owen Courreges

I’m just going to come right out and say what everything is thinking: What the @#$% is going on with home prices in Orleans Parish?

It’s getting crazy out there. I’ve been seeing listings of renovated homes for over $300 per square foot on the edge of Central City.  A “fixer-upper” needing a “total renovation” on the edge of City Park recently hit the market for $700,000. Continue reading »

Aug 242014
 
Scenes from the Krewe of Oak parade Saturday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A merman and a mermaid pose before the Krewe of OAK’s Mid-Summer Mardi Gras parade begins to roll on Oak Street on Saturday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

With costumes to match their theme of “Rub it All Over Your Body,” the Krewe of OAK’s Mid-Summer Mardi Gras parade rolled Saturday evening through Carrollton and the Riverbend.

Scenes from the Krewe of Oak parade Saturday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A parade-goer in stilts marches up Carrollton Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Continue reading »