Viewpoint: As we give thanks today, remember those who are less fortunate

Why is Thanksgiving special? After all, the early Pilgrims weren’t such great folk. They muscled their way onto this continent and used weapons not available to its indigenous population to seize land, food and people while eliminating anyone who got in the way. They brought diseases that tribes had no means to combat. They broke up homes and destroyed villages and sacred grounds.

Viewpoint: Inspector General Ed Michel is on the right track

It was refreshing to hear Inspector General Ed Michel tell the City Council on Tuesday (Nov. 15) about his plans to audit or investigate an important group of city departments and agencies showing a troubling performance for some time. The Sewerage & Water Board’s billing issues are legendary. The performance of the 911/311 call system has often been questionable. What about short-term rentals that advertise themselves at “two bedrooms sleep eight” instead of four as required by the permitting process?

Viewpoint: Boissiere says ‘dark money’ forced PSC race into a runoff

Incumbent District 3 Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Lambert Boissiere III launched a scathing attack Wednesday night (Nov. 9) on outside forces that he said precipitated the runoff in his bid for a fourth and final term on the PSC. “Almost $1 million dollars in dark money poured into my race from donors outside of Louisiana. Their purpose was not to support another candidate but just to pull votes from me,” Boissiere told a roomful of New Orleans Democratic leaders. The PSC race is the only New Orleans contest on the Nov.

Viewpoint: Does civility still exist in our society?

I am disappointed that Rock ‘n’ Bowl owner John Blancher posted what he considered a harmless photograph of a patron in his establishment last weekend who was wearing a T-shirt that posed the question “Where’s Nancy?” The customer was also holding a sledge hammer that mimicked the hammer used to beat on octogenarian Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, at their San Francisco home recently.  

When questioned by a NOLA.com reporter, Blancher said it was not his intention to offend anyone or drive customers away from his place of business. He somehow did not realize the post was, at minimum, in bad taste and lacking in the courtesy and politeness that are hallmarks of a civil society. Courtesy and politeness — do those attributes even exist in today’s politics? Blanchard isn’t the only well-known Louisianian who has disappointed me recently. Let’s move on to U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, R-Lafayette, who promoted a false conspiracy theory about the Pelosi attack on Twitter.

Viewpoint: Early voting a big hit with New Orleans residents

During the first two days of early voting, which began Tuesday (Oct. 25), almost 10,000 New Orleanians cast their votes either in-person or by mail. Those numbers continue to grow for every election, as people become more accustomed to finalizing their decisions earlier in the election process. Candidates have also noticed and are pushing out mail, social media and other forms of advertising to meet the early voting deadlines. 

In Orleans Parish, 9,490 registered voters turned in the ballots during the first two days. As usual, more Black (5,573) than White (3,530) residents have voted early.

Viewpoint: NOLA Coalition takes on city’s crime problem because ‘New Orleans is worth saving’ 

Attorney and current GNO Inc. Chair Richard F. Cortizas believes there are a lot of positive things going on in New Orleans. “Hotel occupancy rates are holding steady and room rates are increasing,” he said earlier this week. “Events at the Morial Convention Center are at about 90% of pre-pandemic levels. The proposed development of the Rubenstein Hotel on Canal Street is an encouraging indicator that folks still want to make an investment in our great city. That’s all extremely promising.

Viewpoint: Nov. 8 ballot includes 8 constitutional amendments

In addition to the races for U.S. Senate, Congress, judges, clerks and the School Board on the ballot, New Orleans voters will choose among eight constitutional amendments in the November election. All amendments were passed by the Louisiana Legislature during the 2021 or 2022 regular session. Each proposed amendment had to receive a two-thirds favorable vote in the House and Senate to reach the ballot. The Public Affairs Research Council has created a well-researched guide to the amendments. which is available on their website, parlouisiana.org. 

Amendment No.

Viewpoint: Crime and Cantrell will hurt the city’s bottom line

Like many New Orleanians, I’ve been inundated with national and international news reports about New Orleans’ crime and Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s missteps. This week’s piece in the New York Post is only one of many recent examples. With New Orleans’ designation as “Murder Capital of the U.S.” and the lack of progress being made in reversing that trend, I expect those stories to become more frequent. Bourbon Street is still hopping and no conventions have cancelled because of the record number of murders, armed robberies and carjackings. Perhaps some are naïve enough to believe that crime and Mayor Cantrell are not hurting our economy.

Viewpoint: Norman C. Francis documentary showcases WYES’ commitment to New Orleans

“We knew he was destined for something, because he had all the qualities of a leader,” said the city’s former First Lady Sybil Morial about her friend and college classmate Norman C. Francis. A courageous civil rights icon, chairman of Liberty Bank, original investor in the Saints, and former president of Xavier University, where he served with honor and distinction for 47 years, Francis is the subject of a new documentary on WYES-TV that will premiere Tuesday (Sept. 27) at 8 p.m.

Produced by WYES Executive Vice President Dominic Massa and moderated by Sally-Ann Roberts with Thanh Truong, the documentary is filled with interviews from key community leaders, including former Tulane President Scott Cowen and former Mayors Marc Morial and the late Moon Landrieu, as well as members of the Francis family. Born into a working-class family in Lafayette, Francis was steeped in the Catholic faith and the importance of receiving a good education. The nuns at Lafayette’s St.