Jun 062013
 

Test scores at Sophie B. Wright Charter School in 2012-13 “showed marked improvements almost across the board from last year’s numbers,” with 74 seniors graduating and accepted into college, according to a recent presentation reported on by April Siese of The Lens. Meanwhile, the school is preparing to make its move to the Johnson swing space campus in July during the two-year renovations and construction of a new gym, Siese reports.

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Jun 062013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

There is no question that reforms are needed at the Orleans Parish Prison and the New Orleans Police Department. The voters know it, the Federal government knows it, the City Council knows it and even Mayor Landrieu. But where is the money to fund both decrees (ostensibly at the same time) going to come from?

We need a compromise with the Federal government and we need it now. The cost of the consent decrees is far beyond the city’s means and might mean bankruptcy. Is that the goal? Let’s hope not. Perhaps the city could agree to a consent decree governing Parish Prison now. After OPP has been straightened out, perhaps there could be another consent decree governing the NOPD. Continue reading »

Jun 052013
 

The Future Is Now charter management organization that operates John McDonogh High School will no longer govern the final graduating class of Walter L. Cohen High School, returning the remaining students to the Recovery School District next year until the transition to New Orleans College Prep (under the new name Cohen College Prep) is complete in 2014-15, reports Della Hasselle of The Lens.

Last fall, Cohen faculty were abruptly fired when the RSD passed management of the direct-run school to Future Is Now for what at the time was expected to be two years. The move led to a student walkout and protests over the disruption.

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Jun 052013
 

How the economy surrounding the culture of New Orleans can lead to gentrification — possibly threatening the authenticity of the culture for the future — will be debated by jazz musicians Ellis Marsalis and Shamarr Allen, as well as professor Richard Campanella, journalist Katy Reckdahl and business owner Mike Valentino in a forum Thursday at Tulane University’s Hillel Center. Continue reading »

Jun 052013
 

Jean-Paul Villere

Last week during a home inspection I attended, the inspector – whether he knew it or not – endlessly whistled Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep.”  At first it was amusing, which led to mild irritation and then it got downright invasive.  You see, a 10-year-old girl wasn’t doing the home inspection, a 40-year-old man was.  And it’s summer, Adele was so last year (and overplayed), but music reminds you of things.  So now that song will further tie together my oldest daughter to a top 40 hit to one particular real estate professional.  And let’s just say it’s stuck with me enough to write about it.  Why?  Two words: movie themes. Continue reading »

Jun 042013
 

Three years ago, Uptown Messenger was just a crazy idea about how local news should be reported. Now, as we’ve grown into two sites covering breaking news, civic affairs, local schools and public events in two neighborhoods of New Orleans, we are clearly in need of a workspace where we can collaborate with one another in person and meet with our readers, sources and supporters. Continue reading »

Jun 032013
 

Lusher Charter School approved a $16 million budget on Monday night that includes a $641,000 deficit, but school officials hope to reduce the burden on the school’s reserves by more than half that sum when the state repays public schools for money improperly used to fund Gov. Bobby Jindal’s voucher program. Continue reading »

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Jun 032013
 

As the Crocker Arts and Technology school prepared for its final day of classes before New Orleans College Prep takes over the campus next year, the charter school’s leaders looked back on its founding in 2008, its journey from Gentilly to the former Free School in Uptown, followed by an emergency move to the former McDonogh 7 building on Milan Street before landing at the rebuilt campus on Marengo Street this past school year, reports Erin Krall of The Lens.

Last month, the board named several areas of the new school after its founders: “The gymnasium, library, black box theater and cafeteria were named in honor of the following: Alfred Saulny II, founding board member, Glenda Sawyer, board treasurer 2006 to 2008, Anthony Correro III, board member, and Thomas Arceneaux Sr., RSD project manager and director of building commissioning and energy management,” Krall reports.

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Jun 032013
 

Mayor Mitch Landrieu joins hands with several children to jump into the pool at the Lyons Center after a grand re-opening ceremony Monday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Irish Channel Neighborhood Association president Kara Morgan gestures to indicate the wide range of communities that use the Lyons Center at its re-opening celebration Monday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the crowds of city and neighborhood officials with him had a nearly perfect soundtrack of every step of their way through the newly reopened Lyons Center in the Irish Channel on Monday morning.

In the lobby, it was the tinkling of an electric piano as ballet dancers rehearsed in a studio behind the news conference podium. In the gym, it was a group of musicians performing the Harlem Globetrotters theme “Sweet Georgia Brown” as Landrieu shot a few baskets. They kept up the music out by the pool, but were hard to hear over the squeals and splashing as the mayor gently dunked some of his youngest constituents.

Even the background chatter was on message, as the kindergarten-aged “Bears” group of day campers lined up in a hallway and gawked at the TV cameras passing by.

“You’re going to be on the news!” instructor Valencia Delair whispered, a stern smile on her face as she kept the 5-year-olds corralled. “You are super-stars. You are going to be on the news — for all the right reasons!” Continue reading »

Jun 032013
 

Owen Courreges

The Times-Picayune has adopted a new crusade – renter’s rights.

It started with a series of pieces from Times-Pic staff writer Richard Webster regarding the limited rights tenants have in Louisiana.  Webster noted that housing advocates are pushing for Louisiana to adopt the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act of 1972, which has only been adopted in a minority of states with significant variations (hence, it isn’t very “uniform”). Continue reading »

Jun 032013
 

Loyola Alumni College attendees can also take special tours, including a visit to Irish Channel churches and a look at the Sicilian side of New Orleans.

For one weekend only at Loyola University New Orleans this June, the public is invited to go back to college to experience classes on sculpture, Mardi Gras history, cybercriminals, millennialism, terrorism, global climate change and many other topics. Attendees can also take special tours, including a visit to Irish Channel churches and a look at the Sicilian side of New Orleans, and hear a special performance of the music of Chopin. Continue reading »

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Jun 012013
 

Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans board member Erin Greenwald will join the committee searching for a new CEO after the previous nominee rejected an offer from the school, according to a report by The Lens. Meanwhile, board member Dan Henderson has resigned as he had suggested he would at the board’s last regular meeting, opening the spot for another of the new members to be seated, the report states.