Mayor Cantrell kicks off series of community meetings in support of tax reallocation for parks

By Nicholas Reimann, Uptown Messenger

Mayor LaToya Cantrell took her administration’s push at reallocating property taxes for parks to the grassroots level Thursday, Feb. 7, speaking to a group of mostly supportive residents at a meeting at Lyons Recreation Center, asking them to approve a May 4 ballot measure doing so. It’s the first of five meetings the mayor plans to attend as she seeks campaigns for a $20 million millage reallocation that would affect city funding for the Audubon Commission, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, the Department of Parks and Parkways and City Park — the latter of which looks to get city funding for the first time in its 169-year history. Cantrell’s meeting Thursday was held in City Council District B, and directed at residents living there. She’s expected to attend four more meetings this month — one in each of the other City Council districts.

Forum to answer questions about plan to overhaul park and recreation funding

Voters in May will decide on milestone changes to how the city funds and operates its public recreational spaces. To give New Orleanians a clearer understanding of how these cherished city services could be overhauled, the Carrollton Area Network is holding a public forum Jan. 14. Presenters from the Audubon Institute, the New Orleans Recreation Development
Commission, Parks and Parkways and New Orleans City Park will discuss at a forum moderated by Keith Twitchell of the Committee for Better New Orleans. The ballot proposal would give City Park its first dedicated millage while reducing the millage for Audubon Park by nearly half.

Central Circle networking lunch features speakers on charter schools, community policing

The monthly Central Circle networking lunch will be held Wednesday, Dec. 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Dryades Public Market, 1307 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. If you plan to attend, you can RSVP here. Robert Morris of will speak about his work with Uptown charter schools, Marta Jewson from will talk about Edgar P. Harney Charter School, and Allison Cormier, the manager of the Police Community Advisory Board, will share the program’s role. In addition, each organization will give a brief overview of their work and progress in 2018.

Tonight: NORD Commission to host public forum for CEO finalists

via NORD Commission

The Executive Search Committee of the New Orleans Recreation Development (NORD) Commission will host a public forum with their three CEO finalists tonight (Nov. 26) from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall. The open forum will afford the public an opportunity to hear brief opening presentations from each candidate, followed by a moderated question and answer session. Members of the public can submit questions in writing via email at or in person at the public meeting. For those interested who may not be able to attend, the forum will be live streamed on NORD’s Facebook page.

Iconic ​Dew Drop Inn set for redevelopment, restoring music hall closed in 1970

By Nicholas Reimann

“Oh baby, Dew Drop Inn. I’ll meet you at the Dew Drop Inn.”

Those are words you might soon hear outside of just the 1970 Little Richard song “Dew Drop Inn,” as a developer takes the first steps in an ambitious project to restore the historic hotel and music hall on LaSalle Street in Central City — once a common stopping point for top African-American musicians performing in the Jim Crow South, including James Brown, Tina Turner and Ray Charles. The latter even lived in the hotel at one point. The project’s developers had their first chance to show their proposal for a revived Dew Drop Inn to the public at a neighborhood participation meeting Saturday, Nov. 17, where they took input as well as outlined the plan for a completely renovated two-story space totaling around 10,000 square feet — including 15 hotel rooms, a restaurant, music venue and museum of New Orleans music.

Proposed Rouses on Freret brings positive reaction from neighbors in ‘food desert’

By Nicholas Reimann

A proposed Rouses Supermarket on a busy stretch of Freret Street will have all the amenities shoppers would expect from their other stores, but on a much smaller scale, representatives from the project told a community meeting on Wednesday. The planned 10,000-square-foot Rouses would go at the site of the former Bloomin’ Deals thrift store — the site of Wednesday’s meeting — with a warehouse and office space on property next door at 4617 Freret Street. The planned overhaul of the northeastern corner of Freret and Valence streets was met with strong support from neighbors, who call the area a “food desert.”

“Are y’all firm on the 2020 opening? Can it be next week?” said Michelle Ingram, who owns nearby Zeus’ Place and lives in the area. Should the city approve three conditional use permits Rouses wants — to sell alcohol, expand the former Bloomin’ Deals space by 1,500 square feet and create a commercial space next door — construction would go forward in August with the store set to open by 2020.

Uptown Triangle Neighborhood Association holds spring meeting

The Uptown Triangle Neighborhood Association — which serves the area bounded by Broadway Street, St. Charles Avenue and the river — will hold its spring meeting tonight at the former Benjamin Banneker school, with both incoming City Councilman Joe Giarrusso III and retiring Councilwoman Susan Guidry expected to attend. The meeting will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the school, currently KIPP Believe Primary School, at 421 Burdette Street. In addition to Giarrusso and Guidry, NOPD Second District Commander Shaun Ferguson will also be speaking. More information about the Uptown Triangle Neighborhood Association can be found at their website.

NOLA Messenger talks news with WBOK this Tuesday

The NOLA Messenger team will be back on talk radio with Oliver “O.T.” Thomas for The Good Morning Show on WBOK 1230AM. Tune in tomorrow morning (Jan. 30) from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and hear us talk about recent stories of interest, including:

Special elections in March
New leadership in City Council
AirBnB issues & updates
School & school board news, and more

Joining O.T. this time will be Robert (Uptown), Claire (Mid-City), and Tyree (Gentilly). Got questions for us?

‘History of Activism’: Propeller to host panel discussion on local social action past and present

This Thursday (Oct. 12), Propeller and the Broadmoor Improvement Association will co-host a panel discussion about activism and action, past and present, in the Hoffman Triangle, Zion City, Broadmoor, Gert Town, and Central City neighborhoods. Entitled “Our Neighborhoods Part III: The History of Activism and Action”,  the discussion will take place at Propeller, located at 4035 Washington Ave. The panel will feature Goodwork Network’s Adele London, Jericho Road’s Kim Washington, and Church of the Annunciation’s Rev. Duane. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the event is free.

‘Power Coalition’ to host listening session about community issues

A Power Coalition of community organizations will hold a listening session in Central City about issues facing the community. The Power Coalition session will take place on Saturday, June 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ashé Cultural Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. Power Coalition organizations include Women with a Vision, Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), VAYLA New Orleans, Voice of the Experienced (VOTE), Stand With Dignity, and The Jeremiah Group. The listening session will be followed by a mix & mingle featuring food and music. For more information, call (225) 773-1530.