Jun 182013

jewel bush

“When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.”  African proverb

Growing up, I loved summers and not just for the stereotypical reasons like no school or staying up late. The bookworm in me cherished the summertime because it meant enrolling in the summer reading program at the library.

I would go to the library once or twice a week to checkout new reading material. I don’t remember my top number of books read during the dog days or what I even read, though I vaguely recall one middle school summer checking out a hardback on voodoo that was later banned from the library system. Aside from having an affinity for literature, the incentives – bookmarks, gift certificates for personal pan-sized pies from Pizza Hut and coupons for Skate Country and Putt Putt Golf – didn’t hurt either.
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Jun 172013

Marshall Hevron (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

Marshall Hevron, a local attorney and an organizer of the reborn Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Uptown New Orleans, has decided not to challenge Susan Guidry for the District A seat on the New Orleans City Council, he recently announced. Continue reading »

Jun 172013

(image via projectnola.com)

In what may be the most ambitious plan to use security cameras to fight crime anywhere in the city, the Broadmoor Improvement Association has set a goal of installing 100 cameras around the neighborhood by the end of the year. Continue reading »

Jun 172013

After an initial budget proposal that showed a $700,000 shortfall, the International School of Louisiana held a public hearing on a balanced $16 million budget that increases fundraising expectations but reduces spending on counseling services and recalculates employee benefits, according to a report by Emmanuel Felton of The Lens.

Jun 172013

Slightly more than two-thirds of students (68 percent) who attended the now-closed James Weldon Johnson Elementary School will transfer to nearby Benjamin Banneker next year, though Banneker’s School Performance Score of 74.7 is considered ‘failing’ just as Johnson’s 70.9 was, according to a report by Jessica Williams of The Lens. Most of the Johnson students who are headed to Banneker (more than 80 percent) were assigned there automatically because their families did not apply to send them elsewhere, the report also states.

Banneker’s score was slightly better in the 2011-2012 school year than Johnson’s, rising 7 points and only missing the 75 needed to earn a ‘D’ by 0.3 points, compared to Johnson’s 3.8 points of growth that year. Only 21 percent of Johnson students will be going to schools rated C or D, according to figures compiled by The Lens.

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Jun 172013

Owen Courreges

I’m beginning to think there’s a conspiracy to keep Uptowners out of the Marigny and Bywater.  At the very least, if certain plans materialize, there will be no decent arterial past the French Quarter.

Presently, if I want to drive to the Marigny and points further East, I usually take the Claiborne Expressway or South Rampart.  I could certainly go through the Quarter, but that’s generally a nightmare.  I could also go further north, but reaching a road north of the expressway would be a major detour.  The options are pretty well limited. Continue reading »

Jun 152013

The McDonogh 7 building, photographed in May. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Audubon Charter School families are facing a cruel déjà vu — suddenly having the promise of a new facility snatched away from them because of concerns about lead contamination, but it is a situation that has implications across the city of New Orleans. Continue reading »

Jun 142013

Entergy outage map as of 7 p.m.

A power outage has left 12,000 customers without power around Uptown, between Louisiana and Jefferson avenues around 7 p.m., but was mostly restored by an hour later, according to Entergy maps. No word has been released on the cause.

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Jun 142013

A broken screen and window panes on the front door of a home in the 2000 block of Prytania, where a man was found shot to death early Friday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The house on Prytania near Josephine where a man was found shot to death early Friday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

After a man widely described as helpful and good-natured was found bound and fatally shot to the head in the living room of a Prytania Street home early Friday, neighbors are wondering what could have gone so wrong to bring him to such a shocking fate.

“He was cool,” said Liz Murillo, a cashier at the Zara’s grocery next door. “He never messed with anybody. That’s the shocking part — why him?” Continue reading »

Jun 142013

Audubon Charter School’s Carrollton campus.

The removal of lead paint from the McDonogh 7 school building on Milan Street will not be finished in time for Audubon Charter to move in by August, school officials said this week, meaning Audubon students will return to the decrepit Carrollton Courthouse building when school resumes next year. Continue reading »

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Jun 142013

Craig Giesecke

I love being a chef and a food columnist in one of the great food cities of the world. But a conversation with a friend last week got me to thinking about something not usually mentioned in most such writing here in New Orleans and elsewhere. Namely, as great a food city as New Orleans is, most of us can’t afford to go out to eat very often and, when we do, we’re seeking convenience and looking at price as much or more as we are at the menu. Continue reading »

Jun 142013

Twenty members of the 3-N-G gang based in the Hoffman Triangle are responsible for at least 10 murders since 2008 — including the killing of 2-year-old Keira Holmes in the B.W. Cooper housing complex in December 2011, according to an indictment charging them all in a racketeering plot to distribute illegal drugs, authorities said. Continue reading »

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Jun 132013

Pastor Andre Massenburg, leader of the City of Refuge Ministry in Chicago and father of slain AmeriCorps volunteer Joseph Massenburg, speaks at the Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church on Wednesday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Andreas Hoffman of Green Light New Orleans presents the parents of Joseph Massenburg with a plaque to mount on an oak tree planted in their son’s honor. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

With prayers for comfort, songs about shelter and scripture about sacrifice, the people of New Orleans offered their heartfelt apologies Wednesday evening to a pair of grieving parents for the loss of their son’s life on our streets.

The young man’s father, a church leader from Chicago, needed no apology, however. Instead, using an adopted pulpit in the far end of west Carrollton, he returned their condolences with a thundering message of resilience and defiance. Continue reading »

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