Arts Market returns to Palmer Park on Saturday

The Arts Market of New Orleans will host 115 visual artists as well as the usual assortment of food and drink vendors, live music and children’s activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in Palmer Park, at the corner of South Claiborne and Carrollton. From the Arts Council website:
At the Kid’s Tent, the fun starts at 10:30 with African drumming for the kid’s with Seguenon Kone, followed by Make a Maraca and more craft activities all day. Live Music starts at 1:00 with Patrick Cooper, followed by Smoking Time Jazz Club at 2:30.

Blight fight comes to Freret and Milan this weekend

On Saturday morning, two of the Uptown New Orleans neighborhoods that have been most energetic in seeking their own revitalization will receive a shot in the arm from the city and hopefully hundreds of volunteers on “Fight the Blight” day at Samuel Square park. Samuel Square sits on both sides of Napoleon Avenue near Loyola Avenue, placing it in both the Freret and Milan neighborhoods. Over the past year, the Freret commercial corridor has surged with new businesses opening, and Milan residents have entered a new level of partnership with police to quell crime on their streets. Improvements to the park will be the focal point of the “Fight the Blight” efforts, with volunteers picking up trash, installing new park benches and picnic tables, painting swing sets and repairing the basketball court. But city officials will extend their fight against blight in a five-block radius around the park, going deep into both the Freret and Milan neighborhoods to identify nuisance properties for targeted enforcement.

Advertiser Bulletin: CGHC’s Black Tie Bowling Fundraising Gala w/ Honorary Event Chair Irvin Mayfield

Common Ground Health Clinic invites you to be part  of the“ Black Tie” Bowling Fundraiser” on Thursday, September 29th at Rock n’ Bowl located in Mid City from 7pm – 10pm.  The event,  CGHC’s, first ever fundraising gala, will be a fabulous affair featuring food, drink (can you say “open bar”?), live music and, of course, bowling. Honorary Event Chair Irvin Mayfield will be on hand and festivities will include a silent auction and the presentation of awards celebrating the legacies of two of our community elders who have passed on, Keith Jones and Ed Burks. The evening will wrap up in true New Orleans style with a brass band send-off and the presentation of awards for the best dressed, so you may want to plan your outfit with an eye towards our costume contest categories: Most D.I.Y., Most Bling-tastic and Classiest Act. Silent auction items will include hotel stays, gift certificates for area restaurants and unique pieces from a variety of local artists. Corporate teams (6 bowlers) and individual bowlers must be reserved in advance (lanes reserved, as first come, first serve).

Octavia Books to host Stephen King for presentation of new novel

In the rear of the store at Octavia Books is a little corner where literary figures make near-daily appearances, but a bit more space is going to be needed for the latest author they’ll be hosting: Stephen King. King, whose dozens of novels have sold millions of copies around the world, will be presenting his latest novel, “11/22/63,” on Nov. 12 in the fine arts center at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. The book is a cross between historical fiction about the Kennedy assassination and a time-traveling fantasy, a story about an English teacher who travels back to 1958 on a mission to prevent President Kennedy from being killed. Tickets are $35 and include a copy of the novel, and Octavia suggests you don’t wait around.

Uptown land-use matters postponed by City Council

After the appointment of interim Councilman Eric Granderson, a lengthy presentation on energy rates and a two-hour battle over the height of a Canal Street redevelopment project, the New Orleans City Council decided to postpone four Uptown property-use matters Thursday. Specifically, decisions on a variety of requests by Whole Foods, the Isidore Newman School, CVS Pharmacy and Poydras Home were all postponed without comment until the Oct. 6 council meeting.

Letter to the editor: 311 Words on the Sad State of NOLA 3-1-1

[The following letter to the editor was written by Tim Garrett, State Street Drive neighborhood activist and administrator of and]

As the owner/manager of, I may be biased, but I suspect many other native New Orleanians share my assessment of the current “citizen complaint hotline” hosted by City Hall:

Its hours are too restricted: Try dialing 311 at 5:01pm or during the weekend.  A recording asks you to call another day; you cannot leave a message.  The operators are poorly trained: Many of my calls get routed to the wrong department (“I said street light, not traffic signal”), and I’m forced to redial.  That’s quite an inconvenience, especially for tourists, drivers and cyclists. The City’s dialup-only hotline accepts just a handful of report types, excluding common complaints like water leaks (call S&WB), utility poles (call Entergy), highway signs (call DOTD), chemical spills (call DEQ), stray animals (call SPCA), etc.  (AskNOLA forwards all of these and many more by phone, mobile app or email 24/7.)  Callers receive no confirmation, callback or status report.  Worst of all, others have no way to check whether a problem has already been submitted (AskNOLA maps existing complaints), so reports are constantly duplicated.  For most citizens, the 3-1-1 system remains a frustrating black hole – items check in, but they never check out! One year ago, the Landrieu administration promised us a fully operational, multi-service, GPS-enhanced, mobile-enabled 2-way system for Orleans Parish.  It was presented, discussed and funded by City Council. But when will it ever materialize?  Last summer, they said “November.”  Then we heard “wait until March,” and later “end of Q2.”  At a BlightStat meeting in June, we were told “not until September,” while at the Mayor’s August town hall meeting, his staff indicated “November of this year.”  Don’t hold your breath, I say. In the meantime, City Hall warned everyone (NOPD included) not to use (see Jan.

Employee charged with theft of hundreds of pairs of designer jeans

Detectives on a drug raid found a stash of hundreds of pairs of designer jeans from a local boutique, apparently stolen by a store employee, police said. Investigators searching a home for drugs Friday in the NOPD Fifth District discovered between 200 and 300 pairs of jeans with the tags still on them, said Sgt. Warren Keller of the NOPD Second District property-crimes division. A woman arrested during the raid, 40-year-old Untrell U. Nicholas, was an employee of Jean Therapy, a boutique with shops on Magazine Street, in Canal Place and in Metairie’s Lakeside Shopping Center, and the jeans were traced to the Magazine Street store, Keller said. “That’s about $20,000 worth of jeans,” estimated Lt. Mike Montalbano, interim commander of the Second District.

Johnson Elementary community, Carrollton neighbors beseech RSD superintendent for Priestley site

Stung by the pain of a broken promise, members of the James Weldon Johnson Elementary School community did their utmost Wednesday night to convince the new chief of the Recovery School District to resurrect a plan to move their campus to a safer, more prestigious site a few blocks away. The Priestley site on Leonidas would symbolize social change, many said — traditionally, white schools in New Orleans were built on major thoroughfares like Leonidas, while black schools were tucked behind them in the neighborhood, like Johnson. But more importantly, the Priestley site is in a safer part of the neighborhood, they said. “The crime is very high here,” said Johnson principal Wanda Brooks. “This school year, we had a killing in the back by the cafeteria.”

Archdiocese: “No plans to demolish” rectory at St. Henry

The Archdiocese of New Orleans denied any current plans to demolish the rectory at St. Henry Catholic Church, though it acknowledged inquiring about the possibility of doing so in order to host an exhibit on John Paul II. The statement released by the Archdiocese late Wednesday afternoon follows in its entirety:

We have received several inquiries about a possible John Paul II exhibit at St. Henry. The Archdiocese of New Orleans is interested in hosting this exhibit, and we are in the process of looking for resources to make this possible.