Jul 292015
 
The old Carrollton courthouse, photographed during an Audubon Charter School event in 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file)

The old Carrollton courthouse, photographed during an Audubon Charter School event in 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file)

After more than a dozen speakers took the microphone at a forum dedicated to saving the Carrollton Courthouse on Wednesday night, a common theme emerged from their comments: The best future for the landmark structure is some sort of public use.

Some described a new community center or an expanded library, perhaps to replace the nearby Nix branch. Others mentioned museums about the history of public education, of the city of Carrollton, or even New Orleans music. If not that, then flexible museum space, they said, where the city’s other museums could rotate exhibits. The large space could host city archives or recreation offices, they said, and its grounds would be perfect for park space with the crumbling old temporary buildings removed.

The question looming over the courthouse’s fate — and likely defining it — is who will actually own the building. And to that question, no answers emerged Wednesday night. Continue reading »

Jul 292015
 

Sandra Stokes of the Louisiana Landmarks Society speaks in front of the Carrollton Courthouse on Wednesday, June 24. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Sandra Stokes of the Louisiana Landmarks Society speaks in front of the Carrollton Courthouse on Wednesday, June 24. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Following the recent designation of the Carrollton Courthouse on a national list of endangered historic buildings, local preservationists will host a forum tonight to solicit ideas about what the landmark could become. Continue reading »

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Jul 282015
 
Attendees of the Maple Street Dishcrawl in July 2014 sample the fare at Little Tokyo, a Japanese restaurant in a space occupied by a college bar just a few years ago. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Zach Brien)

Attendees of the Maple Street Dishcrawl in July 2014 sample the fare at Little Tokyo, a Japanese restaurant in a space occupied by a college bar just a few years ago. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Zach Brien)

Whether you call it a “crackdown” or a “cleanup,” there is no doubt that Maple Street has changed dramatically over the last five years amid intense scrutiny by New Orleans city officials.

Now, a debate over whether the City Council should continue to have oversight over whether new restaurants on Maple Street are allowed to sell alcohol has split the neighborhood association and local businesses, with residents on both sides.

Is the City Council’s traditional role as a gatekeeper for alcohol sales at restaurants a crucial element of the new peace on Maple Street, or does it give neighborhoods and their elected officials too much influence over which businesses can open? Continue reading »

Jul 282015
 
A new Lycee Francais banner hangs from the roof at the former Priestley campus. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A new Lycee Francais banner hangs from the roof at the former Priestley campus. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The trees and overgrowth have been trimmed, a new Lycee Francais banner hangs from the roof, lights are being installed, and for the first time in decades, schoolchildren will soon begin gathering at the former Priestley campus in west Carrollton in the mornings. Continue reading »

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Jul 272015
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Before every great tragedy lies a series of rash policy decisions.

When 9/11 struck, we rapidly passed the Patriot Act and created the Transportation Security Administration. Provisions of the former permitted unconstitutional searches, while the latter subjected us to overly-intrusive searches executed by a frenzied, unfeeling bureaucracy.

The most recent tragedy we’ve experienced was on a much smaller scale, but it hit relatively close to home. On July 23, at the Grand Palace 16 movie theater in Lafayette, a man now know to be John Russell Houser fired a pistol into the crowd 20 minutes into the viewing of the Amy Schumer comedy “Trainwreck.” Continue reading »

Jul 242015
 
A rendering of the proposed Jackson Oaks development on display Friday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A rendering of the proposed Jackson Oaks development on display Friday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The long-shuttered, grafitti-covered former Sara Mayo hospital on Jackson Avenue is slated for redevelopment into a 211-unit, eight-story apartment complex with ground-floor restaurants and offices, neighbors learned Friday morning.

The vacant former Sara Mayo hospital, seen from Josephine Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The vacant former Sara Mayo hospital, seen from Josephine Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Continue reading »

Jul 232015
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Scrappy New Orleans entrepreneur Kishore “Mike” Motwani’s $8.175 million purchase this week of Oz, New Orleans premiere gay dance club, this week is another sign that this often-despised self-made millionaire puts his money where his mouth is. Much to the dismay of ardent preservationists, Motwani is living the American Dream by remaking downtown New Orleans in his own image. Continue reading »

Jul 222015
 

Saints Tight End Benjamin Watson will be the Saints celebrity dogmaker on Thursday, July 23rd from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Dat Dog on Freret. Watson will dress dogs, sign autographs and greet fans to raise money for Son of a Saint, a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of fatherless boys, providing guidance through mentors.

nationalHDday_datdog

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Jul 222015
 

By Brendan Valentine, David Brown and Kevin Caldwell

According to Dr. Ken Roy, the passage of Louisiana’s Senate Bill 143 is “a sad day for science, a sad day for medicine and a sad day for the State of Louisiana.” Dr. Roy is concerned that it isn’t currently feasible to expect physicians to prescribe a Schedule I substance, due to FDA regulations. He also strongly implies that there are no legitimate therapeutic uses for marijuana in a natural form. Continue reading »

Jul 212015
 
The houses at (top row) 1600 Carondelet and 1032 Upperline, and (bottom row) 1020 Upperline and 5922 Patton were all discussed by the Neighborhood Conservation District Advisory Committee on Monday. (graphic by UptownMessenger.com; images via City of New Orleans.)

The houses at (top row) 1600 Carondelet and 1032 Upperline, and (bottom row) 1020 Upperline and 5922 Patton were all discussed by the Neighborhood Conservation District Advisory Committee on Monday. (graphic by UptownMessenger.com; images via City of New Orleans.)

The debate between historic preservation and private-property rights flared again Monday as a panel of New Orleans officials considered requests to tear down four more Uptown homes, pitting preservationists against property owners and neighbors against neighborhood associations. Continue reading »

Jul 212015
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell listens to a question during a panel discussion in late May at Tulane Hillel. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell listens to a question during a panel discussion in late May at Tulane Hillel. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Amid statistics showing that mental illness goes untreated at far higher rates in minority populations than among whites, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell will host a forum this evening with a panel featuring Coroner Jeffrey Rouse and other experts to discuss ways of finding more ways of addressing the issue before it turns to tragedy. Continue reading »