Viewpoint: Classroom lessons guiding local math teacher’s Senate campaign

 

“America needs a national plan to deal with COVID-19 that includes testing and PPE in order for our schools to re-open safely,” said New Orleans math teacher Peter Wenstrup, a candidate for the U.S. Senate in the Nov. 3 election. One of four candidates challenging incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, Wenstrup announced his candidacy July 1 via video and social media. 

Wenstrup points to the return of the NBA and the aggressive testing program within President Trump’s inner circle as examples of how life and operations can continue “close to normal” when regular testing and personal protective equipment are available. “It represents a failure of leadership when we don’t have that same level of support for regular people,” he said. 

A native of Seattle and longtime resident of Cincinnati who attended Brown University, Wenstrup moved to New Orleans because he was looking for “a warm and inviting place where people valued people first.” Wenstrup visited the city once during college and wrote every school in New Orleans looking for a job before receiving an opportunity from Lusher’s CEO Kathy Riedlinger. He began work on Jan.

Viewpoint: Longtime watchdog gives Chief Ferguson an A for handling of NOPD during pandemic and protests

Metropolitan Crime Commission President Rafael Goyeneche said yesterday that NOPD Superintendent Shaun D. Ferguson deserves the highest accolades for his handling of the department since the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests began. “Chief Ferguson has been dealing with an issue that no police chief has had to deal with in 100 years,” Goyeneche said. “In the context of New Orleans, look at some of the unrest in other cities around the country. I want to give him nothing but an A as to the way things have gone here. “New Orleans had our George Floyd awakening 15 years ago on the Danzinger Bridge.

Yo Joe! Real Estate Advice for June 2020

Property Management and COVID-19: New Orleans Real Estate Expert Breaks It Down
Landlords and tenants across the nation are facing unprecedented circumstances as COVID-19 continues to pose some uncertainty across the rental housing market. As U.S. households feel the financial strain brought on by the pandemic, residential and commercial landlords are working hard to accommodate these challenges. For many, sudden financial losses and the difficulties of relocating safely have become an all too real and challenging prospect. For property managers, a shift in strategy is necessary to balance compassion for those with newfound financial issues, while also supporting their clients and delivering ROI on their investments. Through the first two weeks of June, we’ve seen 26 multi-family homes in Orleans Parish get to closing, projecting to 52 closings for the month.

Viewpoint: Who will help build a more equitable New Orleans?

As America come to grips with the inequities that have held back our country and many of its citizens, individuals, educational institutions and businesses large and small are beginning to envision what they can do to help right historic wrongs and build a more vibrant economy. Visionary leaders like Michael Fitts, president of Tulane University, have stepped up with promises of scholarships and meaningful programs. Late last week, Fitts and his wife agreed to donate $100,000, a little less than 10% of his annual salary, to fund scholarships for students who show leadership in racial equity and diversity activities. Fitts also pledged that Tulane would take transparent, measurable steps to further anti-racist goals including a race equity education initiative, develop a new hiring and management strategy aimed at the recruitment and retention of minority faculty members and establish a Health Equity Institute. On the national level, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife Patty Quillin recently unveiled a $120 million gift to two historically black universities and their parent organization, which is headed by former Dillard University President Dr. Michael Lomax. St.

Viewpoint: Free COVID 19 and antibody tests offered at DePaul Community Health Centers

DePaul Community Health Centers, formerly known as Daughters of Charity Health Centers, are offering free COVID 19 and antibody tests at nine of their 10 locations in metro New Orleans.  DePaul is working in partnership with Louisiana Health Care Connections and Quest Diagnostics to test both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals in under-served communities. Tests available include the COVID 19 PCR test, which will confirm an active virus, and the COVID 19 IgG serology test, which will identify a previous infection. Though free PCR tests are offered at several locations across the city, DePaul is currently the only provider of free antibody testing. Because I might have contracted the virus before Mardi Gras, I signed up for the serology blood test at the DePaul Uptown campus, 3201 S. Carrollton Ave.  I had previously tested negative for the virus. The health center’s attending physician, Dr. Frank Pascualin DePaula, provided clear and concise information about the antibody test and its benefits.

Viewpoint: In the midst of a pandemic, we need to prepare for an active hurricane season

With all the rain we’ve had recently and Monday’s official start of hurricane season, I spent time yesterday ensuring my closest catch basin is in good working condition. After all, New Orleans is a city that floods, especially during hurricane season. With this year’s ongoing pandemic along with predictions of even more storms than usual, getting prepared for the inevitable deluge and updating our personal evacuation plan are especially vital. Weaker trade winds and warmer than normal ocean temperatures might be the official reasons that the National Hurricane Center expects 13 to 19 named storms and three to six Category 3 or greater hurricanes this year. Yet we can’t forget the impact of weather disasters farther up the Mississippi River or the impact of a storm that sits above our city for days at a time.

Viewpoint: Workers required to take risks during pandemic deserve hazard pay

City Council President Jason Williams said last night that “all our essential workers deserve hazard pay during these unprecedented times. Everyone is singing the praises of our front line and thanking them for their sacrifice. They deserve more than just a pat on the back.”

In dozens of towns and cities across America, essential workers on the forefront of the pandemic are participating in protests, walk-outs and strikes to strengthen their demands for hazard duty pay and safer working conditions. Industries including food service, meat processing, retail, manufacturing, transportation and health care have been targeted by labor unions that view the pandemic as a unique opportunity to address core grievances. For more than three weeks, New Orleans sanitation workers who are contracted to Metro Services Group (also known as Metro Disposal) have been walking the picket line to press for more pay and personal protective equipment, or PPE.

Masks, gloves and good will: Volunteering during a pandemic

To the untrained eye, it looks like organized chaos. The lunchroom in Booker T. Washington High School, once filled with students, is now populated with HandsOn New Orleans volunteers in constant motion — packing meals into plastic bags, that are placed into boxes, which when filled are placed into cars to go to low-income housebound seniors and people who have medical disabilities. I became a part of that scene seven weeks ago when I signed up to volunteer with the organization. Like many people during the COVID-19 pandemic, I had time on my hands and knew this would be a productive way to help the community. It also got me out of the house and into a social setting with people.

Viewpoint: Magazine Street businesses prepare to reopen amid new protocols

Resilient Magazine Street merchants like Juliet Hainkel Holton and Desiree Petitbon are making final preparations for reopening their two shuttered shops on Saturday (May 15). The co-owners of the trendy boutiques Basics Underneath and Basics Swim & Gym, 5513-15 Magazine St., Holton and Petitbon were inspired to tiptoe into retail 21 years ago after a fateful trip to France. They realized a customer base existed Uptown for properly fitted foundation garments that are popular during the Mardi Gras season as well as for weddings and other special events throughout the year. What began as a fun little sideline blossomed into their main job. Through hard work and dedication, the two single moms steadily built a successful business that brought in more than $1 million annually until COVID-19.

Viewpoint: Everyone should get tested to speed up New Orleans’ recovery

I want to be a part of the city’s long-term economic recovery. That’s why I got tested for the COVID-19 yesterday at New Hope Baptist Church in Central City. Administered by Ochsner Medical Center, which has the in-house lab capacity to turn around results within 72 hours, the process was quick, easy and painless. I am a firm believer that everyone should get tested. It’s better to know whether you have the virus — or whether you are a carrier with no symptoms. In addition to determining who should be quarantined, test results serve as a useful guide for public health officials and elected leaders to determine where the virus is more prevalent, how it spreads, where to deploy resources and when to relax stay-at-home restrictions.