Jan 182014
 
Drew Ward (from left), David Capasso, Stephen Gordon, Jason Coleman and Susan Guidry speak at the Alliance for Good Government candidates forum Wednesday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Drew Ward (from left), David Capasso, Stephen Gordon, Jason Coleman and Susan Guidry speak at the Alliance for Good Government candidates forum Wednesday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman Susan Guidry stands by her record as she seeks a second term, but challenger Jason Coleman thinks New Orleans should be doing better. David Capasso would focus on raising workers’ wages, Stephen Gordon wants city government to run more like a small business, and Drew Ward thinks that New Orleans is being rebuilt in the wrong way.

These were the pitches the five candidates for the District A seat on the City Council made to the Alliance for Good Government this week, as they also debated issues such as how to fix the streets in Lakeview, a proposed railroad through Hollygrove and Mid-City, the behavior of corner stores and, of course, crime. Continue reading »

Jan 162014
 
Stacy Head and Eugene Green. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Stacy Head and Eugene Green. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Freddie Charbonnet, Cynthia Hedge-Morrell and Jason Williams. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Freddie Charbonnet, Cynthia Hedge-Morrell and Jason Williams. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Two sitting members of the New Orleans City Council and all of their challengers said the city needs a new police chief on Wednesday night in a response to a question asked by the Alliance for Good Government. Continue reading »

Jan 122014
 

David Capasso (from left), Jason Coleman, Susan Guidry and Drew Ward at Dillard University. (Della Hasselle, MidCityMessenger.com)

Challengers David Capasso, Jason Coleman and Drew Ward debated issues of economic inequality, crime, public infrastructure and progress since Hurricane Katrina with City Councilwoman Susan Guidry last week at a candidates’ forum at Dillard University, according to Della Hasselle of MidCityMessenger.com.

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Jan 082014
 
David Capasso, Jason Coleman and Susan Guidry appear before the Independent Women's Organization on Monday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

David Capasso, Jason Coleman and Susan Guidry appear before the Independent Women’s Organization on Monday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Violent crime in neighborhoods, economic development and opportunity, balancing the city budget and even gay marriage and marijuana legalization were all discussed Tuesday night by Democratic candidates in the New Orleans city elections, many appearing on the same stage for the first time a mere three weeks before the Feb. 1 election day.

The pace was brisk and the tone was mostly — though not always — genial as the Independent Women’s Organization asked a handful of questions to more than two dozen Democratic candidates for mayor, City Council and other citywide offices. Continue reading »

Jan 042014
 
A police lieutenant demonstrates an extension of the body cameras that can be mounted on a visor or helmet. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Lt. Travis St. Pierre demonstrates an extension of the body cameras that can be mounted on a visor or helmet. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas models a body camera during a news conference Friday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas models a body camera during a news conference Friday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

New Orleans Police officials modeled the new cameras Friday that will be part of all on-duty officers’ uniforms this year, as efforts continue to recruit more officers to shore up the ranks of the shrinking police force. Continue reading »

Jan 022014
 

Mayor Landrieu shoots baskets in the rebuilt Lyons Center gym at the reopening ceremony in June 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Mayor Landrieu shoots baskets in the rebuilt Lyons Center gym at the reopening ceremony in June 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Mayor Mitch Landrieu used the Lyons Center — fully renovated and reopened this past summer after languishing since Hurricane Katrina — as a backdrop Thursday morning for a news conference touting New Orleans’ progress in public recreation in 2013. Continue reading »

Dec 232013
 

Drew Ward

Drew Ward

Reid Stone

Reid Stone

The two Republicans running for the New Orleans City Council District A seat are effectively joining forces in the Democratic district, with entrepreneur Reid Stone announcing his withdrawal Monday afternoon and joining the campaign of neighborhood-activist Drew Ward. 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 132013
 

Jason Coleman

Jason Coleman

David Capasso

David Capasso

What had appeared to be a quiet re-election campaign for District A City Councilwoman Susan Guidry is heating up, with the unexpected entry of two more candidates: Jason Coleman, a Democratic activist and member of the Coleman Cab Company family, and David Capasso, an attorney active in progressive causes. Continue reading »

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Dec 112013
 

Drew Ward

Drew Ward

Susan Guidry

Susan Guidry

LaToya Cantrell

LaToya Cantrell

On the first day of qualifying for the Feb. 1 City Council elections, LaToya Cantrell and Susan Guidry both filed for re-election, and Guidry drew her first challenger, a Riverbend neighborhood activist. Continue reading »

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Dec 112013
 

(map via DOTD)

(map via DOTD)

City Councilwoman Susan Guidry called a proposal to reroute freight trains from Old Metairie to Hollygrove “totally unacceptable” before an audience in Mid-City on Monday evening, and Hollygrove residents formed a new committee called “We Won’t Be Railroaded” to fight the project Tuesday, according to a report by Della Hasselle at our sister publication, Mid-City Messenger. In addition to the environmental and quality-of-life concerns, there may also be civil-rights issues involved in the use of federal money on a project that would widen the disparity in property values between the two communities, Mid-City Messenger reports.

Oct 032013
 

Jonah Bascle

Jonah Bascle

Susan Guidry, the incumbent representative for District A on the New Orleans City Council, has drawn her first announced challenger for her re-election: 27-year-old comedian Jonah Bascle.

But Bascle, confined to a wheelchair by muscular dystrophy, says he remains just as serious about making New Orleans accessible to people with disabilities as he was when he ran for mayor in 2010.

“It’s been four years,” Bascle said. “Stuff that I thought would be done by now still isn’t.” 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 »

Sep 202013
 

Costco cofounder Jeff Brotman (left), Costco New Orleans employee Henry Lagarde and Mayor Mitch Landrieu laugh together during the Costco grand opening ceremonies. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Costco cofounder Jeff Brotman, Costco New Orleans employee Henry Lagarde and Mayor Mitch Landrieu laugh together during the Costco grand opening ceremonies. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A row of cakes, cookies and desserts stretched down Costco's center aisle. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A row of cakes, cookies and desserts stretched down Costco’s center aisle. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Maybe it was the spirit of economic rebirth, maybe it was New Orleanians’ natural talent for celebrating, or maybe it was the enticing prospect of free samples, but the grand opening ceremony for Costco’s warehouse store on Carrollton Avenue drew a crowd of hundreds that company executives said surprised them.

For their 650 other stores around the country, they mostly just opened the doors and people started shopping, the executives said.

“We’ve never been treated like this before,” Costco cofounder Jeff Brotman said. “You guys know how to throw a party.” Continue reading »

Sep 122013
 

Competing sets of proposals for a new ordinance outlining how sound and noise issues should be enforced in New Orleans were discussed Thursday evening before a Carrollton neighborhood group, but the presentations from each group were so gently put that neighbors wondered where the actual controversy lies. Continue reading »