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 »

Sep 122013
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell (center) grasps hands with Andrea Samuels and Keion Reed on Sept. 1, the day after their 1-year-old baby was killed in Central City gunfire. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell (center) grasps hands with Andrea Samuels and Keion Reed on Sept. 1, the day after their 1-year-old baby daughter was killed in Central City gunfire. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

In a city where the pace of new anti-crime programs is matched year-for-year with funerals for children slain by stray bullets, a large group of New Orleans city council members and state lawmakers are now discussing ways to determine whether any of the efforts underway are actually working.

The creation of “Save Our Sons,” “NOLA For Life” and the Multi-Agency Gang Unit each year have been hopscotched by the deaths of 2-year-old Jeremy Galmon in 2010, 23-month-old Keira Holmes in 2011, 5-year-old Briana Allen last year and, shockingly, the deaths of 1-year-old Londyn Samuels and 11-year-old Arabiana Gayles just days apart at the end of this summer, all struck down by cruelly careless gunfire.

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell had only been in elected office nine months when Samuels was killed in her district. Within days, she convened a summit of other City Council members, state lawmakers, judges and law-enforcement officials to discuss what more can be done on the violence issue. A common theme emerged, that more oversight is needed everywhere — of the New Orleans Police Department and its leadership, of the anti-crime programs in place, of the budgets for those entities and of the state law-enforcement agencies that also play crucial roles.

“Historically, the council has been really hands off on the police in general,” said state Sen. J.P. Morrell, one of the participants in Cantrell’s summit. “Both on the state and local level, we have to get more invested in the nuts and bolts of the different crime-fighting tools available to us.” Continue reading »

Sep 112013
 
Renderings of the riverfront National Slave Ship Museum presented at City Council on Tuesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Renderings of the riverfront National Slave Ship Museum presented at City Council on Tuesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Lloyd Lazard, center, speaks to the City Council Economic Development committee. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Lloyd Lazard, center, speaks to the City Council Economic Development committee. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Described as a dream decades in the making with a vision that spans millennia, a museum built around a full-size replica of a slave ship is being planned for a site in the Lower Garden District riverfront near the former Entergy substation. Continue reading »

Sep 112013
 
The house at 1016 North Roman in Treme had already been bid to 1 percent halfway through the first day of the three-day auction. (Photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

The house at 1016 North Roman in Treme had already been bid to 1 percent halfway through the first day of the three-day auction. (Photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Jean-Paul Villere

Whether you realize it or not, now - right now – and through Thursday evening at 8 PM, the almost annual Orleans Parish Tax Sale is taking place via CivicSource.com.  It’s a big deal for many reasons, but also it can be rather fascinating if you’re a fan of Crescent City dwellings as well as archaic governmental proceedings.  Here’s why: you bid down.

It’s the same dollar amount to all bidders, but you bid down percentage of ownership.  Therefore conceivably one willing to purchase 1% of any given property’s tax year(s) becomes the de facto winning bidder and cannot be outbid, however they are settling for the smallest possible amount of ownership.  Very New Orleans, right? Continue reading »

Sep 102013
 

After the New Orleans Saints prevailed over the rival Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, the team’s new defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan, celebrated at Ms. Mae’s bar by buying a $100 round of drinks for everyone — an amount that goes a long way in the Magazine Street dive bar of legend, reports Emma Boyce of NOLA Defender.

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Sep 102013
 
Cherice Harrison-Nelson and Blenda Robertson participate in the Poems and Pink Ribbons workshop. (photo courtesy of Kelly Harris)

Cherice Harrison-Nelson and Blenda Robertson participate in the Poems and Pink Ribbons workshop. (photo courtesy of Poems and Pink Ribbons)

jewel bush

Sharon Carter Sheridan lost both of her parents to cancer – lung and colon. Barely in her teens, Sheridan’s sister died of uterine cancer at the age of 13 in 1951. Two of her brothers died of cancer – lung and pancreatic. And, she herself has been breast cancer free for 17 years.

But it wasn’t until her sister, her dearest friend and confidant died from the disease that Sheridan became incensed.

“Cancer didn’t make me angry until my older sister was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010. That’s when I got mad,” said the New Orleans woman. “A lot of people around me have died from cancer – friends, cousins, family – but it was just something about my sister getting it that I just didn’t think was fair, and I’ve been angry ever since.” Continue reading »

Sep 092013
 
The brick "bumpout" corners installed last year on Freret Street are all scheduled to be replaced this fall, officials said. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The brick “bumpout” corners installed last year on Freret Street are all scheduled to be replaced this fall, officials said. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The streetscape project that caused Freret Street businesses so much pain in 2012 will be repeated this fall as the city rebuilds each of those “bumpout” corners, but officials promise a quicker and smoother process this time around. Continue reading »

Sep 092013
 

(map via NOPD)

(map via NOPD)

A woman stopped at a traffic signal on Washington Avenue in Broadmoor was robbed at gunpoint Saturday afternoon by a man on a bicycle, and an armed-robbery attempt was reported Sunday night at a business on Magazine Street in the Lower Garden District, New Orleans police said. Continue reading »

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Sep 092013
 

Owen Courreges

On August 29, 2013, Londyn Samuels, a one year old child, was shot and murdered in Central City.

Her murder was not an aberration.  Three other children 5 years old or younger have been murdered in Central City during the past three years.  Mayor Mitch Landrieu calls it “a drumbeat of death that is taking the precious from us.”

Naturally, these tragedies have increased calls for the police to do something.  Times-Picayune columnist James Varney recently discussed using more aggressive policing tactics such as the controversial “stop-and-frisk” that has been notably employed in New York City, ultimately expressing “ambivalence” over whether it should, or even could, be successfully adopted here. Continue reading »

Sep 072013
 
"I was there for her first steps. It hurts so much. The hurt won't stop. But she was a bundle of joy. She wouldn't want to see us cry," said  Keion Reed, while speaking at the funeral of his 1 year-old daughter Londyn Samuels at New Hope Baptist Church Saturday morning.  Samuel's was shot to death in her babysitterÕs arms on Saratoga Street on Thursday, August 29, 2013. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

“I was there for her first steps. It hurts so much. The hurt won’t stop. But she was a bundle of joy. She wouldn’t want to see us cry,” said Keion Reed, while speaking at the funeral of his 1 year-old daughter Londyn Samuels at New Hope Baptist Church Saturday morning. Samuels was shot to death in her babysitter’s arms on Saratoga Street on Thursday, August 29, 2013. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The funeral for Londyn Samuels, the 1-year-old who was shot to death last week while in her babysitter’s arms, was held Saturday morning at New Hope Baptist Church on LaSalle Street.

Andrea Samuels (far right), mother of Londyn Samuels, cries as she looks at her daughter in her casket at the funeral Saturday morning. "She was extraordinary," said Samuels about her daughter. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Andrea Samuels (far right), mother of Londyn Samuels, cries as she looks at her daughter in her casket. “She was extraordinary,” said Samuels about her daughter. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

Continue reading »

Sep 072013
 
Lusher has bought two homes on the corner of its Willow Street campus. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Lusher has bought two homes on the corner of its Willow Street campus. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Lusher Charter School has purchased two houses on the corner of its Willow Street campus in a strategic move to complete ownership of the block, but no specific plans for the new space have been determined, officials said.

“We know space is going to be at a premium, even though we haven’t decided on an exact use for that space,” said Blaine LeCesne, president of the school’s governing board. “Completing that square was important to us.” Continue reading »

Sep 062013
 
Freret Street Po-Boy and Donut Shop boasts its new extended hours on a recent afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Freret Street Po-Boy and Donut Shop boasts its new hours on a recent afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

After getting some national exposure on the Travel Channel, the bright blue Freret Street Po-Boy and Donut shop has begun serving its traditional New Orleans homecooking into the evening hours — but owner Troy Rhodies is quick to point out it has nothing to do with the TV show host’s teasing during the episode.
Continue reading »