Jul 182011
 

Owen Courrèges

I frequently receive critical comments in response to my columns.  However, sometimes criticism helps flesh out an issue beyond the (admittedly) narrow viewpoint being expressed.

Last week, I wrote about the hypothetical possibility of a Wal-Mart opening up in the French Quarter.  I stated that there was no legitimate basis for opposing a Wal-Mart in the French Quarter if it applied with all applicable laws.  One commenter, “Cousin Pat from Georgia,” responded that while a Wal-Mart could certainly open in the Quarter, the city “shouldn’t offer them any tax breaks or subsidies to open shop there.”

Now, to my knowledge Wal-Mart actually doesn’t normally receive subsidies or tax breaks to open new stores, and if anything, government tends to be more of an impediment than a benefactor to their business model. Continue reading »

Jul 182011
 

Uptown-based Orleans Parish School Board districts 5 and 6

Supporters of moving Johnson Elementary to the old Priestley site will make their case to state and parish school officials Monday night at a public hearing on school plans in School Board District 6, which includes the Carrollton, Audubon and university neighborhoods in Uptown New Orleans.

School officials have said these meetings will be a crucial part of the process of dividing a $2 billion FEMA settlement to rebuild schools across the city. After public hearings have been held in each school board district, officials have said they will create a final draft of the plan based on the comments they receive. Continue reading »

Jul 172011
 

"MO" denotes Loyola University's Monroe Hall, just behind the communications and music building on St. Charles Avenue. The building is scheduled for a major renovation and expansion in early 2012. (via loyno.edu)

Loyola University is planning a major renovation to one of its classroom buildings early next year, and the neighborhood is invited to a town-hall meeting Monday night to learn about the project. Continue reading »

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Jul 172011
 

Sgt. Chris Billiot of the NOPD Second District person’s crime division (right) plays with his band Random Access at the St. Jude Community Center Benefit Concert presented by Sounds of New Orleans at Mahalia Jackson Theater Saturday night. Irma Thomas, Gina Brown, Michael Baptiste, Jo "Cool" Davis, Judy Spellman, The Passion Band, Naydja Cole, Ceasar Elloie, Sharon Martin, Clark Knighten, Brass-A_Holics Brass Band, The Mystics and Miles Berry Quartet (Students from NOCCA) also performed. All proceeds from the concert went to the St. Jude Community Center. The center serves breakfast and lunch on weekdays; houses homeless working women; provides adult basic education; works with Second Harvest Food Bank to distribute food; houses volunteers staying in the city to help re-build post-Katrina and collaborates with Responsibility House in serving addicts. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Jul 152011
 

Audubon Charter School's Broadway campus.

Audubon Charter School has two new options for a temporary campus during a planned two-year renovation of its Broadway building — modular buildings in a parking lot behind the school board offices in Algiers or the site of the former Jean Gordon school near the University of New Orleans campus — but a deadline is looming in about two weeks for a decision, officials said. Continue reading »

Jul 152011
 

The NOPD Second District leadership will hold its July monthly meeting with community members at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 (a day later than its usual date), in the Coliseum Room on the second floor of Touro Infirmary, 1401 Foucher.

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Jul 152011
 

Redeemer Presbyterian Church is sponsoring a blood drive with Ochsner Blood Bank this Sunday, which will give a soldier a 20-minute, prepaid phone call home.

“Redeemer is involved in this because even in our small church we’ve had a couple of cases where some of our parishioners needed blood so I figured there is a need,” said Pastor Shane Gibson.

Continue reading »

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Jul 152011
 

Dressed in costume Paris Cocke, 16, and Madeleine Dixon, 17, wait for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 to begin shortly before midnight at Prytania Theater. "This is the most important part of our lives next to our weddings," said Dixon. Both Cocke and Dixon said it felt like their childhood was coming to an end. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Continue reading »

Jul 142011
 

The old Priestley campus, photographed in January (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

For decades an eyesore, the old Priestley school site on Leonidas now represents the neighborhood’s best hope for a community school, and the Carrollton-Riverbend Neighborhood Association is preparing to fight to be heard by state officials who currently plan to sell it. Continue reading »

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Jul 142011
 

The Sojourner Truth Academy community was stunned this week to learn that the school may not be returning to its current building on Freret Street next year, and on Thursday discovered its fate is entangled with a post-Katrina realignment of federal education money between the state and Orleans Parish. Continue reading »

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Jul 142011
 

The Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans will hold three of the six kindergarten classes it is opening this fall in classrooms at Audubon Zoo, officials said.

The school’s two 3-year-old pre-kindergarten classes and one 4-year-old pre-kindergarten class will still be held at the First Presbyterian Church on South Claiborne Avenue, but a second 4-year-old pre-kindergarten class and two kindergarten classes for 5-year-olds will be held at the Audubon Nature Institute space at the zoo, according to an email sent to parents this week. Continue reading »

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Jul 142011
 

It’s hot, and so is this sale! NOLA Til Ya Die is perfect for anyone who wants to show their local pride with a range of products – shirts, hats, water bottles, flasks, coozies, flags, and can coolers – with the iconic Hurricane Head logo (with the river in his grin). Don’t head out without stopping at NolaTilYaDie.com first.

See below for details of the July blowout sale.

Continue reading »

Jul 132011
 

A black car sits in the bushes outside the Magnolia Discount store where it was abandoned Wednesday night after a traffic stop that led to an officer firing on a suspect, police said. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A New Orleans police officer fired at a man who pulled a gun out during a traffic stop and threatened him with it Wednesday night, leading to a large search for the suspect just off South Carrollton in Gert Town, police said. Continue reading »