Aug 182015
 
Ecole Bilingue is developing a formerly vacant lot at 820 General Pershing into a school garden. (submitted photo by Faye Lieder)

Ecole Bilingue is developing a formerly vacant lot at 820 General Pershing into a school garden. (submitted photo by Faye Lieder)

For years, neighbors and preservationists fought to save a century-old home at 820 General Pershing Street from the wrecking ball, and despaired when it was finally demolished late last year.

But instead of the commercial parking lot they once dreaded, the vacant lot is instead becoming a school garden for the nearby Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans, and neighbors say they are unexpectedly pleased by its appearance. Continue reading »

Aug 142015
 
City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and property owner Ruppert Kohlmeier (seated, front row) listen to a question from the audience at the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association meeting Thursday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and property owner Ruppert Kohlmeier (seated, front row) listen to a question from the audience at the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association meeting Thursday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Just when the Irish Channel had come to accept that the little plot of land on Constance Street just off Magazine is not a park, on Tuesday — through the most tortured machinations of New Orleans bureaucracy — it became a park.

Of course, the little patch of ground is still not really a park. But what it will become after it stops being not-a-park remains stubbornly unclear, leading to a heated discussion Thursday night among the property owner, the Irish Channel Neighborhood Association and City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell. Continue reading »

Jul 212015
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell listens to a question during a panel discussion in late May at Tulane Hillel. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell listens to a question during a panel discussion in late May at Tulane Hillel. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Amid statistics showing that mental illness goes untreated at far higher rates in minority populations than among whites, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell will host a forum this evening with a panel featuring Coroner Jeffrey Rouse and other experts to discuss ways of finding more ways of addressing the issue before it turns to tragedy. Continue reading »

Jul 132015
 
The Jefferson Davis monument on South Jefferson Davis Parkway and Canal Street (photo by Alicia Serrano, MidCityMessenger.com)

The Jefferson Davis monument on South Jefferson Davis Parkway and Canal Street (photo by Alicia Serrano, MidCityMessenger.com)

As the City Council voted last week begin discussing the removal of four Confederate statues throughout the city, they also outlined the legal process by which it will take place, and many Council members shared their views on the issue. Continue reading »

May 282015
 
City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell gestures as she responds to a question Wednesday night at "The Big Issue" panel discussion on gentrification at Tulane Hillel, while Flozell Daniels of the Foundation for Louisiana listens. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell gestures as she responds to a question Wednesday night at “The Big Issue” panel discussion on gentrification at Tulane Hillel, while Flozell Daniels of the Foundation for Louisiana listens. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

As the cost of living in New Orleans continue to rise, pressuring low-income families to give up homes they have held for years, the city has a dedicated tax that raises nearly $4 million a year intended to promote affordable housing.

But that money, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell told a standing-room only crowd Wednesday night, is instead being spent by the city on code-enforcement efforts — which can actually increase the pressure on poor families to sell their homes in gentrifying neighborhoods. Continue reading »

Apr 082015
 
The vacant lot at 820 General Pershing was overgrown and littered when photographed in late March. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The vacant lot at 820 General Pershing was overgrown and littered when photographed in late March. The rectory, under renovation next door, can be seen behind the wall. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The vacant site of a century-old home on General Pershing Street — demolished last year despite sustained outcry from its neighbors — may finally see some use this fall as green space for the nearby Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans. Continue reading »

Mar 272015
 
A rendering of the new CVS pharmacy slated for the corner of Louisiana and Magazine. (courtesy of Avery Koontes / Sherman Strategies)

A rendering of the remodeled CVS pharmacy slated for the corner of Louisiana and Magazine. (image by Genesis Design Group, courtesy of Avery Cootes / Sherman Strategies)

The New Orleans City Council gave enthusiastic approval to a plan to remodel the former Blockbuster Video building at the edge of the Garden District into a CVS pharmacy, but several members said the city should be looking for a way to restrict the growing density of chain stores on Magazine Street. Continue reading »

Mar 262015
 
Robert C. Blakes Jr., son of Bishop Robert C. Blakes Sr., speaks to the New Orleans City Council amid a full house seeking the renaming of two streets after Blakes' father and another pastor, John Raphael. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Robert C. Blakes Jr., son of Bishop Robert C. Blakes Sr., speaks to the New Orleans City Council amid a full house seeking the renaming of two streets after Blakes’ father and another pastor, John Raphael. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

New Orleans City Council president Stacy Head speaks Thursday morning while Councilman Jason Williams listens. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

New Orleans City Council president Stacy Head speaks Thursday morning while Councilman Jason Williams listens. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Following a heated discussion on Thursday, the New Orleans City Council voted in favor of requests to rename sections of two streets in Central City after prominent local pastors. Continue reading »

Mar 122015
 
The Carrollton and Uptown historic districts (the two large areas on the left) may be subject to stricter scrutiny for new construction. (map via nola.gov)

The Carrollton and Uptown historic districts (the two large areas on the left) may be subject to stricter scrutiny for new construction. (map via nola.gov)

Stacy Head

Stacy Head

New construction across much of Uptown, Carrollton and Broadmoor could be regulated as closely as it is in the Irish Channel or Garden District, based on the results of a study authorized by unanimous vote of the New Orleans City Council on Thursday morning. Continue reading »

Mar 042015
 
A photo of 3008 Lowerline Street included in city documents. (via nola.gov.)

A photo of 3008 Lowerline Street included in city documents. (via nola.gov.)

Stacy Head

Stacy Head

LaToya Cantrell

LaToya Cantrell

A demolition request on Lowerline Street by St. Mary’s Dominican High School received approval from a split New Orleans City Council last week, reopening the debate about the role of historic preservation that has simmered between prominent members over the past year. Continue reading »

Jan 272015
 
Catherine Raphael is comforted by Pastor Jamal Weathersby as she speaks to the City Planning Commission on Tuesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Catherine Raphael is comforted by the Rev. Jamaal Weathersby of New Hope Baptist Church as she speaks to the City Planning Commission on Tuesday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A portion of two Central City streets could be renamed in honor of two prominent pastors who recently died, after positive votes Tuesday by the City Planning Commission in spite of some members’ concerns about the process for changing street names in New Orleans. Continue reading »

Jan 212015
 
Andrew H. Wilson Charter School principal Logan Crowe speaks to more than 100 people gathered at the school Tuesday night. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Andrew H. Wilson Charter School principal speaks to more than 100 people gathered at the school Tuesday night. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The impending loss of the charter at Andrew H. Wilson charter school in Broadmoor — one of New Orleans’ most deeply established and celebrated charter schools, but also one of the city’s lowest ranked campuses in state scores — has parents in the community deeply upset.

The school’s strengths, they said at a heated public meeting Tuesday night, run far deeper than superficial and unfairly-calculated test scores show, and they fear that the individualized care they are used to their children receiving will give way to a cookie-cutter approach if a larger operator takes over. Continue reading »

Dec 152014
 
The old Hubert building at 4401 South Broad Street. (via Google maps)

The old Hubert building at 4401 South Broad Street. (via Google maps)

Lindsey McLellan, a chef at Lola's restaurant who plans a new restaurant in Broadmoor called El Pavo Real, speaks to the New Orleans City council on Thursday, Dec. 11. (via nolacitycouncil.com)

Lindsey McLellan, a chef at Lola’s restaurant who plans a new restaurant in Broadmoor called El Pavo Real, speaks to the New Orleans City council on Thursday, Dec. 11. (via nolacitycouncil.com)

Citing the landlord’s extensive negotiations with neighbors, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell cleared the way last week for a new restaurant in a Broadmoor building with a controversial history. Continue reading »