Aug 052014
 
Egyptologist Melinda Nelson-Hurst (center) examines a coffin housed at Tulane University. (photo by Rene Guitart for the Middle American Research Institute, reprinted with permission from Tulane University)

Egyptologist Melinda Nelson-Hurst (center) examines a coffin housed at Tulane University. (photo by Rene Guitart for the Middle American Research Institute, reprinted with permission from Tulane University)

Egyptologist Melinda Nelson-Hurst of Tulane University is “amazed at the amount of detail” she has been able to discover about the 3,000-year-old mummy of Djed-Thoth-iu-ef-ankh, a priest and overseer at the Temple of Amun in Thebes, according to an article by Carol Schlueter in the New Wave university news service. The mummy is one of two that have resided at Tulane since 1852, but the other — that of a 15-year-old girl — has not given up its secrets as easily, the article states.

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Aug 052014
 
The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus -- shown here on Oak Street in 2011 -- are stalwarts of the Mid-Summer Mardi Gras parade, which this year is set for Aug. 23. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus — shown here on Oak Street in 2011 — are stalwarts of the Mid-Summer Mardi Gras parade, which this year is set for Aug. 23. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

Prepare to leave behind your summer doldrums — and perhaps most of your clothing — as the Krewe of O.A.K. has set (Saturday) Aug. 23 as the date for its annual Mid-Summer Mardi Gras parade. Continue reading »

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Aug 042014
 
The Future Land Use Map in the city of New Orleans' Master Plan identifies a lot at Constance and Harmony as "parkland" when it is actually a privately-owned lot. (via nola.gov)

The Future Land Use Map in the city of New Orleans’ Master Plan identifies a lot at Constance and Harmony as “parkland” when it is actually a privately-owned lot. (Source: nola.gov)

Owen Courreges

In literature, typically anything with the word “master” before it is going to be something both controlling and nefarious. For example, if a science fiction novel references a “master computer,” you can bet your last credit that it is either threatening the existence of humanity, or has already wiped us off the globe.

This is why the idea of a “Master Plan” for the City of New Orleans has always been viscerally unsettling to me. It’s as though there’s some cold, unfeeling entity out there that seeks to control every aspect of using property in the city.

Gut feelings can be off, of course, but this one is not. Continue reading »

Aug 012014
 
Dozens of Entergy volunteers are joined by City Councilmen Jared Brossett and Jason Williams as they prepare the playground at the former Benjamin Banneker campus for KIPP Believe students to move in next week. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Dozens of Entergy volunteers are joined by City Councilmen Jared Brossett and Jason Williams as they prepare the playground at the former Benjamin Banneker campus for KIPP Believe students to move in next week. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The former Benjamin Banneker campus will become home to KIPP Believe Primary this month, returning open-admissions elementary education to the Carrollton corridor after a number of recent school closings. Continue reading »

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Aug 012014
 

A homeless woman was beaten and robbed of her backpack as she walked through Central City, a bicyclist was beaten by a homeless man underneath the Pontchartrain Expressway overpass and New Orleans police are investigating a rash of recent shootings committed against homeless people around the Central Business District, in a trio of recent crimes that demonstrate the violence that can be a part of life on the streets. Continue reading »

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Jul 312014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

With fewer than 100 days until the mid-term Congressional and local elections, it’s no surprise that more than a few candidates and elected officials turned out Sunday for brunch and hobnobbing with Congressman Cedric Richmond.  While Richmond could face opposition again from Gary Landrieu, the mayor’s cousin who ran two years ago, Richmond is expected to be easily reelected.

In addition to Richmond, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and Congressman Steve Scalise (who represents only a small portion of Orleans Parish but it unstoppable as the new House Majority Whip), there are 41 additional races that candidates could qualify for. Because of difficulty raising money, most incumbents will not draw opponents. On top of those races, we should add various millage items and other local initiatives that will appear on the November ballot. Continue reading »

Jul 312014
 
Officer Erica Whitley delivers a crime stoppers pamphlet to Ella Adams Gaynor on the porch of her mother's home on Laurel street. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Officer Erica Whitley delivers a crime stoppers pamphlet to Ella Adams Gaynor on the porch of her mother’s home on Laurel street. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

On Wednesday evening, New Orleans police officers from the department’s Sixth District joined with neighborhood residents for an anti-crime walk Uptown on Laurel, General Pershing, Constance and Delachaise streets. The officers and residents passed out CrimeStoppers pamphlets encouraging residents to report any suspicious criminal behavior. Continue reading »

Jul 302014
 
The International School of Louisiana's outgoing board president Matt Amoss (far right) welcomes new member Vanessa Diaz to the board. Dominique Wilson (far left) will serve as the board's new president. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The International School of Louisiana’s outgoing board president Matt Amoss (far right) welcomes new member Vanessa Diaz to the board. Dominique Wilson (far left) will serve as the board’s new president. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

After a busy spring choosing a new leader for the International School of Louisiana’s three campuses, the school’s governing board made its own leadership transition on Wednesday night, electing a new president and preparing to say good-by to two long-time board members. Continue reading »

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Jul 302014
 
A black iron fence surrounds a green space at Constance and Harmony owned by Ruppert Kohlmaier. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A black iron fence surrounds a green space at Constance and Harmony owned by Ruppert Kohlmaier. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Approximate area of green space highlighted. (map by Uptown Messenger via Google Maps)

Approximate area of green space highlighted. (map by Uptown Messenger via Google Maps)

From the front window of the woodworking shop just off Magazine Street his father bought in 1930, Ruppert Kohlmaier can see a little wedge-shaped green space he also owns, and what he sees is a problem. Over the years, he has been threatened with lawsuits by people who claimed to be injured playing under its shady oaks, and now that he wants to build on it, his neighbors are angry at him.

When the neighbors around Constance and Harmony see the same space, they see a beloved pocket park, a crucial buffer between the modest homes of the Irish Channel and the busy commercial activity on Magazine Street. If Kohlmaier replaces the open area with a large building, they say, it will mean the removal of one of the few remaining green spaces in a neighborhood already under heavy redevelopment pressure.

Those conflicting viewpoints — simmering for weeks since Kohlmaier closed off the property with a sturdy iron fence — came to a head Tuesday afternoon at an unusually contentious meeting of the city’s architectural review committee. Continue reading »

Jul 302014
 

Ernest J. Gaskin Jr. (via opcso.org)

Ernest J. Gaskin Jr. (via opcso.org)

New Orleans police arrested an alleged heroin dealer with a stash of heroin valued at nearly $18,000 early Tuesday morning, on a stretch of Washington Avenue notorious to Irish Channel residents for its frequent bursts of violence, authorities said. Continue reading »

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Jul 302014
 
A man who met this woman, "Ali W," on a social network earlier this month was robbed on St. Anthony Street in a case similar to Monday's carjacking on Danneel Street. (image via NOPD)

A man who met this woman, “Ali W,” on a social network earlier this month was robbed on St. Anthony Street in a case similar to Monday’s carjacking on Danneel Street. (image via NOPD)

Don’t go looking for love in all the wrong places — or at least, use some caution in arranging dates with strangers met online, New Orleans police warned on Tuesday after the carjacking of another luckless suitor in Central City. Continue reading »