Sep 182013
 
The Jackson Avenue ferry landing. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

The Jackson Avenue ferry landing could be yours for just a couple of million dollars. (photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Jean-Paul Villere

Landmarks loom in high supply the Crescent City over as the landscape tends to change largely on a glacial pace.  Many distinctive structures over decades have transformed from their intended utilitarian to cozy home spaces, mostly commonly seen in the ever rarer still in commerce corner grocery turned primary residence for an owner occupant.  At auction tomorrow, if you’ve got the coin to spare, you may bid in what some may call a prime example of notable, public use spaces.  Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you for your consideration: the Jackson Avenue Ferry Landing. Continue reading »

Sep 172013
 
John Hill, center, a former director of the Forum for Equality whose house was the target of anti-gay vandalism, introduces other victims of hate crimes at a forum at the Jewish Community Center on Tuesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

John Hill, center, a former director of the Forum for Equality whose house was the target of anti-gay vandalism, introduces other victims of hate crimes at a forum at the Jewish Community Center on Tuesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Laws that add additional punishments for crimes that are motivated by hate are necessary because they give equal protection to all citizens, not just “special groups,” an attorney for the Anti-Defamation League said Tuesday night.

Hate-crime laws punish acts of violence motivated by bias based on race, religion, sexual orientation or other characteristics, said ADL legal counsel David Barkey. And because everyone has a race, a gender or a sexual identification, everyone is protected, so everyone has a stake in making sure such incidents are reported and prosecuted, Barkey said in an educational session on hate-crime laws at the Jewish Community Center sponsored by his group and the Forum for Equality. Continue reading »

Sep 172013
 
Robert "Kool Black" Horton and Ameca Reali. (photo by jewel bush for UptownMessenger.com)

Robert “Kool Black” Horton and Ameca Reali. (photo by jewel bush for UptownMessenger.com)

jewel bush

Ameca Reali joins a small group at the corner of Orleans Avenue and North Galvez Street near the Lafitte Housing Development. Donning oversized shades, Reali recognizes that this particular day in September is a scorcher and immediately thanks the volunteers for braving the high temperatures, especially on a Friday afternoon.

After Reali leads a quick huddle, everyone takes off in separate directions to begin the task of distributing fliers for a unique community event she is organizing: an expungement fair.
Continue reading »

Sep 162013
 

Owen Courreges

Since the 1920’s, the French Quarter has been represented by Vieux Carre Property Owners, Residents, and Associates, Inc., or VCPORA for short.  Given recent events, perhaps they should recast themselves as the “Vieux Carre’s Persnickety Oligarchs Representing Authoritarianism.”

Case in point: This weekend at Rising Tide 8, a local conference geared towards discussing New Orleans’ future, a panel was held on tourism in New Orleans.  During panel discussion, Meg Lousteau, Executive Director of VCPORA, noted approvingly that Bhutan has a limit on the number of tourists allowed into the country each year.

I wasn’t present, so I cannot attest to whether every jaw in the room hit the floor at that moment or not. The Kingdom of Bhutan, for those not aware, is an independent nation located in Asia.  In order to preserve their Buddhist cultural heritage, Bhutan requires tourists to acquire visas before entering the country, and limits the number of tourist visas offered per year. Continue reading »

Sep 162013
 

SharedHousingShared Housing of New Orleans is a program to help elderly and/or disabled adults, who do not need to be in Nursing Homes, remain in their own homes by matching them with people looking for a place to live. All Shared Housing services are free, and we are seeking new referrals! Applicants are carefully interviewed and evaluated by experienced registered nurses; they also undergo a police check and, in some cases, a medical history.
Continue reading »

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Sep 152013
 
The casket  of 11-year-old Arabian Gayles is carried into the back of a hearse at the Prayer Tower Church of God in Christ on Willow St. Saturday. Gayles was shot multiple times, including in the head, after gunmen opened fire on a house in the 1300 block of General Ogden Street on Labor Day Weekend.  Two others were shot, but their injuries were not life threatening. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The casket of 11-year-old Arabian Gayles is carried into the back of a hearse at the Prayer Tower Church of God in Christ on Willow St. Saturday afternoon. Gayles was shot multiple times, including in the head, after gunmen opened fire on a house in the 1300 block of General Ogden Street on Labor Day Weekend. Two others were shot,  including her 11-year-old cousin, but they both survived. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Ashley Moffet, mother of Arabian Gayles, arrives at the Prayer Tower Church of God in Christ for her daughters funeral Saturday morning.  (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Ashley Moffet, mother of Arabian Gayles, arrives at the Prayer Tower Church of God in Christ for her daughter’s funeral Saturday morning. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Continue reading »

Sep 142013
 
(From left) Christopher Davis, Joseph Davis and Sheldon Jefferson (via opcso.org)

(From left) Christopher Davis, Joseph Davis and Sheldon Jefferson (via opcso.org)

Christopher Davis, 18, was sentenced to 35 years in prison and Sheldon Jefferson, 16, was sentenced to 30 years for their roles after pleading guilty this week in the February rape and kidnapping of a woman from in front of her Garden District home, according to a report by Mike Perlstein of our partners at WWL-TV. The third defendant, 17-year-old Joseph Davis, is set to be in court on Monday. Continue reading »

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Sep 142013
 
4609 Freret, the new home of Villere Realty, Du Mois Gallery and now Uptown Messenger. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

4609 Freret, the new home of Villere Realty, Du Mois Gallery and now Uptown Messenger. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Uptown Messenger and Mid-City Messenger have moved into the new location of the Du Mois gallery and Villere Realty at 4609 Freret, and the space will have its grand opening from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight (Saturday, Sept. 14) for the premiere of a new show at the gallery, “Bathworks,” featuring the art of Brett Reif and Arlyn Jimenez.

Come by, see our beautiful new home (right in the middle of the block with our great neighbors at Zeus’ Place, the Freret Neighborhood Center, Dennis Barber Shop and Bloomin’ Deals and across from Company Burger), enjoy some drinks and some live music. Hope to see you there!

Sep 132013
 

Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson of our sister site at Mid-City Messenger will be speaking about her work covering charter schools Saturday morning at the Rising Tide conference on new media and the future of New Orleans. The panel discussion, “Charter School Access and Accountability,” begins at 11:30 a.m. and will be moderated by attorney Scott Sternberg, who has also represented Uptown Messenger.

See Mid-City Messenger for a discussion with Jewson about the charter-school system.

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Sep 132013
 
The former Frank's Steakhouse site on Freret Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The former Frank’s Steakhouse site on Freret Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The possibility that an upscale student-housing development may be planned for the large block of Freret Street where the former Frank’s Steakhouse still remains a shuttered landmark is being met with concern and questions by people in the neighborhood. Continue reading »

Sep 132013
 
Graduates of Crew 26 line up. (photo by Timothy D. Ray for UptownMessenger.com)

Graduates of Crew 26 line up. (photo by Timothy D. Ray for UptownMessenger.com)

Sheriff Marlin Gusman speaks at the graduation ceremony. (photo by Timothy D. Ray for UptownMessenger.com)

Sheriff Marlin Gusman speaks at the graduation ceremony. (photo by Timothy D. Ray for UptownMessenger.com)

By Timothy D. Ray, J.D., for Uptown Messenger

A crowd of almost 300 relatives of soon-to-be released inmates gathered at Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s office to celebrate their family members’ (known collectively as ‘Crew 26’) completion of a re-entry program designed to cut the recidivism rate of former O.P.P. inmates.  In its third year, Gusman’s re-entry program has brought the recidivism rate of inmates who’ve completed the program down to 13.6 percent compared with 25.6 percent for inmates that do not complete the program, compared to a national average between 40 percent to 50 percent. Continue reading »

Sep 132013
 
jewel bush

jewel bush

Uptown Messenger columnist jewel bush, founder of the MelaNated Writers Collective, will be speaking at 10 a.m. Saturday as part of a panel discussion on “Creating Community for Writers of Color” at the Rising Tide new media conference on the future of New Orleans at Xavier University. Below, find a short series of questions and answers with Bush:

How did the MelaNated Writers Collective get started?

I was in newspapers for 6 years, and when I left to begin doing communications and marketing for nonprofits and various organizations, I missed the camaraderie of the newsroom. I freelanced for awhile, but it’s not the same as being in a space with other writers. Around this time, I started to take my creative writing seriously and began attending literary workshops around the country like VONA (Voices of our Nation) the only multi-genre workshop for writers of color, co-founded by the Pultizer-prize winning author Junot Diaz and Callaloo when it was at Texas A&M. Spending time with other writers, talking shop with them was amazing. It was what I needed and as close as I could get to the newsroom energy without being in the newsroom. In fact, it was a little bit better, because this bunch of creatives weren’t as jaded or cynical as newsies can often be. They were motivated and psyched about writing.

After I did Callaloo and did VONA for the first time, I knew a week here or two weeks there of this was great, but it wasn’t enough. I knew I wanted and needed this year round at home. I knew I needed to recreate this here; and that’s what I did. I began talking to other writers, poets, bloggers, MFA students/graduates, journalists, teachers about this idea; and from there, the writers I knew introduced me to writers they knew and before you knew it there were nearly 20 people in my living room talking about their work and what it meant to be a writer of color living in New Orleans. Continue reading »

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Sep 132013
 

Surveillance image of a car believed to have been used in the shooting death of an 11-year-old girl in west-Carrollton. (via NOPD)

Surveillance image of a car believed to have been used in the shooting death of an 11-year-old girl in west-Carrollton. (via NOPD)

A showroom model of a 2013 Volkswagen CC Sport, for illustration purposes (via NOPD)

A showroom model of a 2013 Volkswagen CC Sport, for illustration purposes (via NOPD)

Investigators are looking for a white, 2013 Volkswagen CC Sport that was allegedly used in the shooting that killed 11-year-old Arabian Gayles in west-Carrollton, New Orleans police said. Continue reading »

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Sep 122013
 

Competing sets of proposals for a new ordinance outlining how sound and noise issues should be enforced in New Orleans were discussed Thursday evening before a Carrollton neighborhood group, but the presentations from each group were so gently put that neighbors wondered where the actual controversy lies. Continue reading »

Sep 122013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

In our opinion, C. Ray Nagin was the worst mayor of our lifetimes. It is entirely possible that Nagin was the worst mayor in New Orleans’ 295-year history, going all the way back to the French and Spanish chief executives whom Danae has been studying recently.

However, being a terrible mayor is not of itself a crime. Later this month, a jury will be convened in federal court to consider whether accepting some $200,000 in cash and gifts, along with several truckloads of free granite, is indeed a federal crime. The jurors will presumably hear Nagin’s Chief Administrative Officer Greg Meffert and big-time vendor Mark St. Pierre, both of whom are currently doing time in the federal pen. Continue reading »