Carjackings reported in Irish Channel, Fontainebleau neighborhoods

Two carjackings were reported this week in Uptown neighborhoods. On Monday (Aug. 23), a 30-year-old woman was carjacked in the 600 block of Toledano Street. She was inside her sport utility vehicle at about 10:40 p.m. when a group of male and female juveniles pulled up in a sedan, the New Orleans Police Department reported. One of them got out and demanded the victim turn over her vehicle.

Viewpoint: New WYES leadership team has deep local roots

With the recent retirement of WYES president Allan Pizzato, two native New Orleanians who are driven to broadcast excellence, Robin Cooper and Dominic Massa, have taken the helm to bring new ideas to the Crescent City’s iconic public television station. 

Leading the station since 2013, Pizzato oversaw the station’s tricentennial coverage, the creation of new shows and documentaries, and the construction of the $17 million headquarters that opened in 2017. The chief operating officer under Pizzato, Cooper assumed the position of president and CEO last month, leaving her previous spot available for long-time WWL-TV Executive Producer of Special Projects Dominic Massa. “WYES was built by some of the city’s best and brightest leaders, who believed in the power of television to educate, inform and inspire. That mission couldn’t be more important or needed today,” Massa said. By all accounts, Massa is one of the hardest working and most respected broadcasting professionals in New Orleans television.

Hangout Ramen on Carrollton and Willow offers Asian comfort food

Hangout Ramen, a ramen spot and sushi bar, made its debut Aug. 22 on South Carrollton Avenue and Willow Street. The restaurant is in the building that was home to Little Tokyo Small Plates and Noodle Bar and, most recently, Masterp1ece Japanese Cuisine, which closed earlier this summer. Owner Iwan Santoso, who is from Indonesia, brings some of his own culture to the menu that also includes Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese flavors. True to its name, the ramen menu is extensive and promises to bring the Japanese favorite to an area that has been lacking.

Porch concerts respond to canceled music festivals

Porch concerts had been popping up throughout the city when Milan area residents Natalia and Guy Gonzalez began hosting concerts on their Marengo Street front porch. The tradition started for the Gonzalezes in the fall of 2020, after a musician asked Natalia’s 94-year-old mother if she would put on a porch concert to help out the Radio Bird Quartet. She agreed, and then Natalia took on the project. “We have had Radio Bird, of course, as well as The Walrus, a Beatles cover band,” Natalia Gonzalez said. “In fact, recently when their Zony Mash show got canceled, they came to our porch and played the concert there.”

They are now presenting shows twice monthly, with Mia Borders booked for an upcoming show.

Demolitions create a tear in the fabric of a neighborhood, Faubourg Delachaise residents say

Three rundown ranch-style buildings that the Historic District Landmarks Commission recently approved for demolition were classified by HDLC staff as “non-contributing,” a label given to buildings found to be “not historically or architecturally significant.”

To the Faubourg Delachaise neighbors who addressed the commission on Aug. 4, however, the one-story four-plexes at 900 Aline St., 901 Foucher St. and 909 Foucher contributed to the neighborhood in ways that may not be evident to a casual observer or HDLC commissioner. “I live right across the street from this property,” said Laurel Street resident Debby Pigman. “And although I will not be very distressed to see the buildings disappear, I am very distressed that a lot of my friends in the area were forced to move.”

The loss, she said, is not just personal — it’s a loss to the entire neighborhood.

Viewpoint: ‘We are one Louisiana … and have to act that way,’ says Congressman Troy Carter

In wide-ranging, almost hour-long remarks on Wednesday (Aug. 18), U.S. Rep. Troy Carter — who has yet to serve 100 days in office — touched on issues from the pandemic to the American Rescue Plan Act, the Child Tax Credit and support for small businesses. Throughout the Zoom speech to the Bureau of Governmental Research, he emphasized that common sense solutions can make a real difference. 

“I want to be that bridge of reasonableness,” the New Orleans Democrat told the BGR. “When you’re building relationships, it’s policy over politics, people over politics.” 

Carter said that Louisiana does not have the luxury of divisiveness. “We need to concentrate on things that bring us together — education, infrastructure, health care, safety, flooding.