Oct 292013
 

the big issueKenneth Polite, the new U.S. Attorney charged with overseeing all federal prosecutions in New Orleans, grew up in the Calliope housing projects, but along the way lost a 23-year-old brother to street violence. After his brother’s death, Polite recalls walking into his brother’s bedroom and seeing the walls lined with pinned-up programs from funerals of his brother’s friends who had already been killed.

“That’s what he woke up to each day,” Polite said. “That type of environment, where that level of criminality becomes normal, has to affect your concept of life. It has to affect your concept of how you’re going to die. This is what he expected.”

That environment of death and violence that reaches into the home on a daily basis is the root cause of the decades of staggering murder rates in New Orleans, a panel of experts agreed Tuesday evening during the Tulane University Hillel Center “The Big Issue” debate. And the key to reducing the number of murders, the panelists said, is for citizens to personally intervene in those environments through mentoring at-risk children. Continue reading »

Oct 292013
 

Emory Douglas Postcard

jewel bush

Graphic artist legend Emory Douglas — whose work is on display now at the McKenna Museum in New Orleans — is responsible for crafting the Black Panther Party’s iconic visual identity, capturing the era’s intensity through fiery artwork that rose above the rhetoric and subterfuge of the day to reach an embattled community in ways words were unable to articulate. Continue reading »

Oct 282013
 

The brick "bumpout" corners installed last year on Freret Street will be replaced starting Nov. 4, officials said. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

The brick “bumpout” corners installed last year on Freret Street will be replaced starting Nov. 4, officials said. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Amid the unending saga of road construction on and around their commercial corridor, Freret Street business owners greeted with weary acceptance the latest promises from city officials Monday that the next round of sidewalk repairs will be finished with only a few days of disruption on each street corner.

“I want to give you what you deserve, and I know at this point that DPW does as well,” said City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell. “The goal is to get it done, in and out, and never have to come back again.” Continue reading »

Oct 282013
 
The Freret Neighborhood Center announces Tuesday's Halloween festival. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Freret Neighborhood Center announces Tuesday’s Halloween festival. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Racks of donated costumes fill the neighborhood center waiting to be handed out Tuesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Racks of donated costumes fill the neighborhood center waiting to be handed out Tuesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Continuing their tradition of ensuring a properly spooky holiday for local children, the Freret Neighborhood Center will host their seventh annual Halloween festival Tuesday afternoon — this year, at a new location, the Neighborhood Housing Services parking lot next to Publiq House. Continue reading »

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Oct 282013
 

Owen Courreges

Loyola University has staked out a clear position on its St. Charles properties: “We are not tearing down any mansions.”

However, many local residents are less than sanguine regarding Loyola’s intentions.  Loyola presently owns the Fabacher Mansion in the 7300 block of St. Charles Avenue.  The proposed comprehensive zoning ordinance will change the zoning on this iconic property from RM-4 (moderate residential density) to EC (Educational Campus). Continue reading »

Oct 282013
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, state Reps. Helena Moreno and Jared Brossett, the Red Cross and the New Orleans Police Department walked the streets of Central City on Saturday morning, personally delivering information to residents on fire safety, public health, anti-crime efforts and NOPD recruiting, all in the interest of rebuilding the community, according to a report by Antwan Harris of our partners at WWL-TV. Continue reading »

Oct 262013
 

After a meeting described as “contentious” last week, the board of Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orleans voted in favor of a plan for the 2014-15 school year to allow 33 4-year-old students paying tuition in the pre-kindergarten program automatic admission into the public kindergarten, followed by a lottery for 72 more seats with preference to children considered at risk, according to a report by Della Hasselle of The Lens. The board also voted to eliminate paid preschool for 3-year-olds, but outcry from parents led the board to amend their vote on the 3-year-old class to “undecided.” Continue reading »

Oct 252013
 
A construction worker touches up the area around a drain cover on a newly repaved section of Freret Street on Friday afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A construction worker touches up the area around a drain cover on a newly repaved section of Freret Street on Friday afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Just as the repaving of Freret Street comes to an end, the city is planning to return to the commercial corridor’s much-maligned corner bumpouts and sidewalks from November until the spring. Continue reading »

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Oct 252013
 

Dress your dog up for a Halloween parade, participate in a pet blessing, and learn about the city’s new pet laws Saturday at Coliseum Square park’s “Dog Bowl,” presented by City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell. Continue reading »

Oct 242013
 
The citywide satisfaction with the New Orleans Police Department is holding steady at 58 percent, according to the latest survey.

The citywide satisfaction with the New Orleans Police Department is holding steady at 58 percent, according to the latest survey.

Between March and August of this year, satisfaction with the New Orleans Police Department held steady at 58 percent, according to the results of the most recent independent survey of 600 city residents.

But during that same six-month stretch, satisfaction of residents in the Uptown-based Second District appears to have plunged by 10 percent, but soared by 12 percent in the Sixth District, right across Napoleon Avenue, according to the survey results. How much those widely divergent results actually reflect the attitudes of Uptown residents, however, is hard to ascertain because of the relatively small sample sizes in each individual district.
Continue reading »

Oct 242013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

A crowd of almost 200 people packed the Lakewood Country Club last night for retired judge and former mayoral candidate Nadine Ramsey’s kick-off for the City Council District C race against incumbent Councilmember Kristin Gisleson-Palmer.

Ramsey’s strong turnout, especially by the faith-based community who laid hands on Ramsey, sets the stage for a tough race at a time when African-American voters in Algiers feel empowered by their recent big victories including newly elected Algiers Constable Ed Shorty, Algiers Clerk of Court Darren Lombard and Second City Court Judge Teena Andersen. They say it is time for Algiers white elected officials to step aside. If District C African-American voters embrace Ramsey, not just in Algiers but in the French Quarter, Treme, the Marigny and Bywater, Gisleson-Palmer will have her hands full. Continue reading »

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