Mar 192013
 

Support Growing Across the City for More Compact Development

The Board of Directors and membership of the Lengsfield Lofts Condominium Association, the adjoining property owners to the proposed 16-story, 187-foot tall Tracage condominium project in the Historic Warehouse District Area, voted unanimously on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, to withhold their support for any project on that site that exceeds the 125 feet height limit recommended in the draft comprehensive zoning ordinance created to accompany the city’s new master plan.

Tracage Development appeared before the City’s Board of Zoning Adjustments on March 11 seeking an extension of time to “allow us to have some additional runway to ensure that we appease our neighbors,” according to Stephen King, Spectrum Capital vice president. The BZA granted their request. But neighbors are far from happy. Continue reading »

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Mar 192013
 

Myron Miller (via Facebook)

jewel bush

Last summer, New Orleans teenager Myron Miller traveled to the Highlander Center in Tennessee. Derided by segregationists as the “Communist Training School,” burned down and forced to close multiple times by racists over the years, the educational facility in the shadow of the Smokey Mountains has a long tradition of training activists including such historical figures as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. There, in the Seeds of Fire youth camp, Miller learned the language and methodologies to describe years of work he had already been doing in the city – organizing his community in an emotional and controversial battle to save Sarah T. Reed High School.

“I never knew what an organizer was, but I was actually already doing it,” Miller said. “It was a life changing experience for me to attend Highlander. Dr. King and Rosa Parks studied there. When I got that knowledge from Highlander, I knew it was time to go back home and do some nonviolent direct action.” Continue reading »

Mar 182013
 

A “person of interest” police hope to identify and locate for questioning in connection with the March 2 shooting death of Kendal Williams. (via NOPD)

On the day when New Orleans police released photos of a “person of interest” in the March 4 shooting death of a 21-year-old man on Washington Avenue near Broad Street, frustrated Broadmoor residents gathered to discuss how best to encourage businesses to cut down loitering in an effort to end the violence there. Continue reading »

Mar 182013
 

Owen Courreges

The New Orleans City Council appears to be proposing that St. Claude Avenue be made into a pathetic two-lane road, but Mayor Landrieu is at least showing some sense on the issue.

Here’s the background:  As most New Orleanians are aware, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) recently promulgated preliminary plans for installing a new streetcar line along Rampart St. and St. Claude Avenue from Canal Street to Elysian Fields Avenue.  As with the widely-panned Loyola-UPT Streetcar line, rather than restoring the historic norm of having the streetcar tracks running in the neutral ground, the plans call for slapping the tracks down in the traffic lanes adjoining the streetcar line (sharing the lanes with vehicles).  It’s stupid, ahistorical and ugly. Continue reading »

Mar 182013
 

The Broadmoor Improvement Association will focus its annual meeting tonight (Monday, March 18) on violent crime on Washington Avenue with a discussion with City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, and the Coliseum Square Association will hold its monthly meeting as well. Continue reading »

Mar 162013
 

The McDonogh No. 7 building on Milan Street in the Touro neighborhood. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A top Orleans Parish School Board administrator will present plans detailing Audubon Charter School’s proposed move out of the old Carrollton courthouse and into the vacant McDonogh 7 building on Milan Street at a meeting Wednesday evening, school officials said. Continue reading »

Mar 152013
 

Revelers mix combine green attire with their skivvies in preparation for the inaugural Shamrockin Underwear Run outside Tracey’s bar in the Irish Channel. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The spirits of the Emerald Isle flowed freely on Third Street in the Irish Channel on Thursday afternoon for the annual block party launching St. Patrick’s Day weekend festivities. Continue reading »

Mar 152013
 

Gary Magee (via NOPD)

The sprawling investigation into a May 2012 gun battle near a birthday party on Simon Bolivar that killed a 5-year-old girl now includes another name: Gary Magee, a 22-year-old man deemed a “person of interest” who is also wanted on gun and drug charges, police say. Continue reading »

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Mar 152013
 

Craig Giesecke

As we get ready to open a new venture, we’re loading up the place with all the groceries and various other supplies needed to begin operations. We’re also hiring staff, assembling furniture, arranging shelves and working with various placements of things to make them as ergonomic as possible. At least we think so. But you can be sure we’re also forgetting plenty, and whatever it is will come quickly into sharp focus once paying customers start walking in the door.

Of course, this type of activity means lots of deliveries of various items from dry goods to produce to liquor to stainless steel tables. One of the unspoken truths about such deliveries is they show up when they show up. As much as we might want certain items delivered, say, “mid-morning,” the timing is usually no more specific than the cable company asking you to be home “between 8 a.m. and noon.” This is a sure clue they will show up at 2 p.m. Continue reading »

Mar 142013
 

Rendering of the new Sophie B. Wright gym from the Jena Street side. (courtesy Jacobs / CSRS Program Management)

Sophie B. Wright Charter School, from Napoleon Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The long-sought dream of the Sophie B. Wright Charter School community of a gym on campus appeared one step closer to reality Thursday night during a meeting to review plans for its construction, but students and teachers will first have to spend the next two years in an unfamiliar campus in west Carrollton.

“We are just keeping the big picture in mind,” said Sophie B. Wright principal Sharon Clark after the meeting. “We’re getting a state-of-the-art facility to educate the children of New Orleans, and it doesn’t get any better than that.” Continue reading »

Mar 142013
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Tourism officials were smiling this week as new reports detailed the growing number of visitors attracted to Metro New Orleans in 2012 and the number of passengers who passed through Louis Armstrong International Airport.

Nine million visitors — spending an incredible $6 billion — came to Metro New Orleans in 2012, the most since 2004. It should be remembered that New Orleans back then was celebrating a record year that saw 10.4 million visitors come here. There was tremendous optimism until late August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina and poorly-constructed levees shattered everything. Continue reading »

Mar 132013
 

LaToya Cantrell

Residents of the Milan neighborhood who in recent years have witnessed ever-larger crowds of “wall-to-wall drunken teenagers” gathering on Amelia Street during Mardi Gras parades thanked the police officers and city councilwoman who brought the problem to an abrupt end this year. Continue reading »

Mar 132013
 

Sage advice at the corner of Jena and LaSalle. (Photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

Jean-Paul Villere

Have you seen this?  Glossing over the city council’s recently revised pet ordinance for Orleans Parish, the 43 page manifesto reads more like ripe Swiss cheese than feathered or four-legged law du jour.  Yes, it happens to be noteworthy in what it addresses, but in my opinion it is equally so for what it fails to.  Chalk it up to bureaucratic puffery, poor surveying and/or shamelessly ostracizing the elephant in room.  Whatever could I mean?  Read it!  Saddle up Snuffleupagus, among the things you won’t find are what I’ll call my Big 3: Continue reading »