Jan 142014
 
City Council members Jackie Clarkson (left) and LaToya Cantrell present proposed changes to the city's Mardi Gras ordinances on Tuesday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Council members Jackie Clarkson (left) and LaToya Cantrell present proposed changes to the city’s Mardi Gras ordinances on Tuesday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A New Orleans City Council committee is recommending a ban on roping off areas of the neutral ground during parades be added to a list of changes to the city’s Mardi Gras laws, they said Tuesday morning. Continue reading »

Jan 122014
 
A group of dogs tussle at the Wisner Dog Run while their owners watch on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A group of dogs tussle at the Wisner Dog Run while their owners watch on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

In December, the city of New Orleans announced the opening of the Wisner Dog Run, the first free, official place for dogs to play without a leash in the city limits, accomplished by a maze of new fencing between the existing Wisner Park softball field, basketball courts and playgrounds that allows pets ample room to romp.

“This is something that people in the neighborhood have been waiting for for a very long time,” said Sam Winston of the Friends of Wisner Park. “People are just thrilled.”

Though Uptown dog owners and neighborhood residents cheer the development, it represents a significant departure from a much more ambitious plan discussed at public forums throughout the city in 2012 for as many as 20 new dog parks and dog runs on vacant land across the city. Instead, city officials are now evaluating new spaces for dogs to get off-leash exercise on a case-by-case basis, and Wisner may represent the new model for the future of how dogs, their owners and other park-goers play together in New Orleans in the future.
Continue reading »

Jan 102014
 
Toilet paper flies from the Krewe of Tucks' "Expelling the Culture" float in 2012. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Toilet paper flies from the Krewe of Tucks’ “Expelling the Culture” float in 2012. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A set of new laws concerning conduct during Mardi Gras parades will not ban toilet paper from being thrown from floats, in a change from a draft of the laws introduced by the City Council earlier this week. Continue reading »

Jan 082014
 
Ladders form a backdrop to the Krewe of Proteus on Napoleon Avenue in 2012. A proposed new law would require all ladders be six feet back from the curb. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Ladders form a backdrop to the Krewe of Proteus on Napoleon Avenue in 2012. A proposed new law would require all ladders be six feet back from the curb. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

All Mardi Gras ladders must be kept at least six feet back from the curb during parades, and may not be chained together, under a set of new laws being introduced this week before the New Orleans City Council. Continue reading »

Dec 172013
 
City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at her first re-election fundraiser on Oct. 9. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at her first re-election fundraiser on Oct. 9. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

After qualifying for the Feb. 1 city elections ended last week, LaToya Cantrell is the only member of the New Orleans City Council without a re-election battle on her hands.

With her first full four-year term ahead of her, Cantrell said this week that she can give all her focus to her priorities — blight and housing issues, crime and public safety, and, most immediately, revisions to the city’s Mardi Gras parade rules. Continue reading »

Dec 132013
 

Stephen Gordon

Stephen Gordon

Reid Stone

Reid Stone

An advocate for Lakeview street repairs and a marketing entrepreneur bring the field of candidates vying for Susan Guidry’s seat on the New Orleans City Council to six when qualifying closed Friday afternoon, but Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell drew no opponents. Continue reading »

Dec 052013
 

The fire station on Laurel Street near Wisner Park. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The fire station on Laurel Street near Wisner Park. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The proposal to create a coffee house called “Engine 37″ in the former Laurel Street fire station near Wisner Park won unanimous approval Thursday from the New Orleans City Council, whose members cited the support for it among neighbors and the benefits it will bring to the area. Continue reading »

Nov 242013
 
 Families navigate around the construction area on Napoleon Avenue to clamor for beads from the Krewe of Carrollton in January 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Families navigate around the construction area on Napoleon Avenue to clamor for beads from the Krewe of Carrollton in January 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

While it may be difficult to imagine Mardi Gras floats navigating around the cranes and construction fences that dominate an ever-growing swath of Napoleon Avenue, officials say the site should be secure in time for the coming year’s parades to pass without disruption.

As the construction zone grows past St. Charles Avenue in the next year, however, Carnival season in 2015 is expected to bring some changes. Continue reading »

Nov 212013
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

As the New Orleans City Council voted Thursday evening to increase the sales tax by 1 percent in the shops in the new Magnolia Marketplace, Central City residents voiced concern that the city’s highest sales taxes will be in one of its poorest neighborhoods, and Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell responded with her vision of a retail renaissance that makes Claiborne Avenue a citywide shopping destination. Continue reading »

Nov 202013
 

(image via projectnola.com)

(image via projectnola.com)

Residents around the Baronne Street corridor will soon have the opportunity to join the network of nearly 600 security cameras privately monitored by the Project NOLA nonprofit, with the cost offset by $100 per home or business contributed by the Delachaise Neighborhood Association. Continue reading »

Nov 142013
 

A rendering and tenant list of the Magnolia Marketplace shopping complex planned for South Claiborne Avenue. (via City of New Orleans)

A rendering and tenant list of the Magnolia Marketplace shopping complex planned for South Claiborne Avenue. (via City of New Orleans)

Neighbors of the proposed Magnolia Marketplace retail development got their first chance Thursday evening to publicly air their questions about the project and the tax increase that supports it, as city officials prepare for a public hearing next week that will likely lead to the tax being officially levied. Continue reading »

Oct 282013
 

The brick "bumpout" corners installed last year on Freret Street will be replaced starting Nov. 4, officials said. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

The brick “bumpout” corners installed last year on Freret Street will be replaced starting Nov. 4, officials said. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Amid the unending saga of road construction on and around their commercial corridor, Freret Street business owners greeted with weary acceptance the latest promises from city officials Monday that the next round of sidewalk repairs will be finished with only a few days of disruption on each street corner.

“I want to give you what you deserve, and I know at this point that DPW does as well,” said City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell. “The goal is to get it done, in and out, and never have to come back again.” Continue reading »

Oct 282013
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, state Reps. Helena Moreno and Jared Brossett, the Red Cross and the New Orleans Police Department walked the streets of Central City on Saturday morning, personally delivering information to residents on fire safety, public health, anti-crime efforts and NOPD recruiting, all in the interest of rebuilding the community, according to a report by Antwan Harris of our partners at WWL-TV. Continue reading »

Oct 252013
 

Dress your dog up for a Halloween parade, participate in a pet blessing, and learn about the city’s new pet laws Saturday at Coliseum Square park’s “Dog Bowl,” presented by City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell. Continue reading »

Oct 212013
 
City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at her first re-election fundraiser on Oct. 9. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at her first re-election fundraiser on Oct. 9. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Marlon "10th Ward Buck" Horton -- appearing at right in the video for his song "St. Thomas" -- is the lone challenger to have announced thus far against Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Marlon “10th Ward Buck” Horton — appearing in the video for his song “St. Thomas” — is the lone challenger to have announced thus far against Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

As speculation heats up about possible candidates in the upcoming New Orleans city elections, Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell so far faces only one announced challenger in her first bid for re-election: bounce artist Marlon “10th Ward Buck” Horton. Continue reading »

Oct 102013
 

A sample menu for the planned Pizza Domenica chalked onto the wall of the building during August's open house. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A sample menu for the planned Pizza Domenica chalked onto the wall of the building during August’s open house. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

If there was ever any doubt about the city’s stance on the new Pizza Domenica restaurant that John Besh is proposing for Magazine Street, the New Orleans City Council dispelled it Thursday afternoon with a unanimous vote in its favor — including the use of go cups. Continue reading »

Oct 082013
 
A rendering and tenant list of the Magnolia Marketplace shopping complex planned for South Claiborne Avenue. (via City of New Orleans)

A rendering and tenant list of the Magnolia Marketplace shopping complex planned for South Claiborne Avenue. (via City of New Orleans)

Improvements to utilities around the new Magnolia Marketplace on South Claiborne will be paid for by an additional 1-percent sales tax on purchases there that should last around 15 years, based on legislation being forwarded to the New Orleans City Council for approval Thursday. Continue reading »

Sep 252013
 
The NOPD Second District holds its monthly anti-crime march through west Carrollton on Wednesday evening. The Uptown-based district has one of the lowest numbers of officers in the city. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The NOPD Second District holds its monthly anti-crime march through west Carrollton on Wednesday evening. The Uptown-based district has one of the lowest numbers of officers in the city. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

New Orleans has lost 300 more officers than it hired since 2010 amid what some city leaders are calling a staffing crisis, officials said Wednesday. Even with new recruitment efforts finally underway and the promise of hiring 100 new officers over the next year, the City Council is looking for new ways to put more police on the streets faster. Continue reading »