Apr 092013
 

A wild monk parakeet pulls a twig from a tree outside the Newman Greenie House on Monday afternoon to add to its nest in a nearby stadium light. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Trees have been removed from the Jefferson Avenue neutral ground from Magazine to Danneel Street, and the clearing will continue later this year as preparations continue for the next phase of a major drainage project. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

When officials announced last month that a major new drainage project on Jefferson Avenue would begin in April, many Uptown residents worried about the effects on traffic, parking, rainwater drainage during the actual construction, and the removal of trees in the neutral ground.

But some residents who live closest to the avenue had a slightly more exotic concern: What would become of the little green monk parakeets that have colonized the palms along Jefferson Avenue?
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Apr 092013
 

Dean Kelly (via opcso.org)

Dean Kelly — the former Aerosmith video star facing several rape charges based on allegations that he lured college girls to his home, gave them alcohol and then sexually assaulted them — was accused by prosecutors two weeks ago of “hosting college-age girls at a Mardi Gras party in which he allegedly plied them with booze, obtained their cell phone numbers, then later sent suggestive and harassing text messages,” reports Mike Perlstein of WWL-TV. In response to that attempt to have Kelly’s $1 million bond revoked, defense attorney Frank DeSalvo has filed suit saying that the unconstitutional conditions in the prison would make a return there would jeopardize Kelly’s safety, Perlstein reports.

Update, 4:47 p.m. Tuesday: Kelly has been ordered back to jail with a new bond of $2.5 million, Perlstein reports.

Apr 092013
 

jewel bush

I’ve always been in awe and a bit intimidated by poetry. Bards have the gift for defining the abstract and manipulating the literal into newfangled perspectives. They illuminate the political with their verses and stanzas and wordplay. Poetry can be lyrical, yet still. Profound and pretty. Poetry can expose the ugly while dazzling. Poetry is symmetrical and incongruous at the same time. Poetry is the definitive expression of an era. Continue reading »

Apr 082013
 

Lycee Francais board members Jacquelyn Simon, Paige Saleun and Jean Montes (center) vote in favor of considering nominees to the board individually, while board members Dan Henderson and Catherine MacPhaille prepare to vote against. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Loud protests of broken promises filled the cafeteria of Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans on Monday night as the school’s governing board made an 11th-hour reversal on its earlier plan to add a group of new members en masse, instead picking through the six nominees individually and rejecting one popular candidate on a split vote. Continue reading »

Apr 082013
 

A dove painted on Eagle Street marks the place where Joseph Massenburg was shot to death on April 1, 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas speaks at a news conference Monday morning on Eagle Street, near the site of a fatal shooting a week ago. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Homicide investigators are looking for information about a white SUV that may have been near Eagle and Birch streets in west Carrollton the night an AmeriCorps was shot to death there, and, amid an unusual lack of tips from the public, CrimeStoppers is doubling the reward for new information to $5,000. Continue reading »

Apr 082013
 

(cartoon by Owen Courreges)

Owen Courreges

The ongoing clash over the cost of the consent decree governing Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) continues to bubble over.  This week we were greeted by the latest bombardment against Sheriff Marlin Gusman in the form of the release of a 2009 video featuring inmates openly mainlining heroin, smoking crack, popping pills, gambling, flashing cash, and even displaying loaded guns.  It looks like footage of a party at Marion Berry’s house.

Here’s a link to the video.  I’ve run it through a website that replaces the audio with “Yakety Sax” so it’s a smidge less depressing. Continue reading »

Apr 082013
 

Hundreds of people fill Jeanette Street as they silently walk with candles in a protest against violence in west Carrollton. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Just after dark on Sunday evening, for the third time in 24 hours, the blue lights of police cruisers passed down Jeanette Street behind the streetcar barns.

This time, though, there were no sirens. In fact, there was hardly a sound as hundreds of candle-carrying people followed on foot behind the police cars in silent contemplation of the blood that continues to spill in west Carrollton and around New Orleans. Continue reading »

Apr 072013
 

Location of Saturday night shooting in 1400 block of Monroe. Not shown by an icon but visible on the map is the 8500 block of Green, where a man was stabbed to death Sunday morning. (map via NOPD)

A 40-year-old man was stabbed to death Sunday morning on Green Street and two men were wounded in a shooting Saturday evening on Monroe Street in separate incidents, as neighbors were already preparing a Sunday evening vigil to remember an 18-year-old AmeriCorps volunteer shot to death less than a week ago. Continue reading »

Apr 062013
 

Crowds fill Freret Street between the vendor tents during the Freret Street Festival on Saturday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

With the assistance of perfect springtime weather, the Freret Street Festival drew a record 23,500 people on Saturday afternoon, officials said. Saturday’s attendance far exceeded the estimate of 15,000 in 2012, said Andrew Amacker, president of the Neighbors United community group, who conducts crowd counts every year.

Christy Lorio of Freret Street examines art at a booth in front of the new Gasa Gasa performance space on Saturday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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Apr 062013
 

Owen Courreges

Last Sunday was Easter.  It also marked the season finale of The Walking Dead on AMC, a series about a zombie apocalypse, and the premiere of the fantasy series Game of Thrones, which began with an army of zombie-like “wights” pushing towards an ancient wall, threatening the destruction of civilization.

Coincidence?  I think not. Easter and zombies: they go together like peas and carrots. Continue reading »

Apr 062013
 

The Kappa Sigma fraternity — where two students were arrested on drug charges in February, and two pledges then admitted to stealing 2,000 copies of the student newspaper reporting on the drug bust — has been returned to good standing after investigations into both incidents by Tulane University and the chapter’s national office, reports The Hullabaloo.

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Apr 052013
 

Craig Giesecke

One of the things we’re still working out in the new shop is staffing – how many people to bring in at what times of the day and how long they’ll be there. It’s a difficult balance, since you want professional, experienced folks – and those kinds of employees want and deserve a reasonable wage. But when some parts of the day are stronger than others, some have to be sent home and that makes no one happy. If good staffers don’t get enough hours, they go elsewhere in a hurry. Continue reading »

Apr 052013
 

“In reality, it wasn’t his fight,” the Rev. C. L. Franklin, who lives across the street from the place where 18-year-old AmeriCorps volunteer Joseph Massenburg was killed, told Paul Murphy of our partners at WWL-TV. “The volunteers come in and help us. It’s our fight. It’s our struggle. … This is the stigma that hangs over us, that people could come in to help us and this could happen to them.”

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