Viewpoint: One thing is certain about Saturday’s District 93 election: low turnout

The election on Saturday (Feb. 18) to replace former state Rep. Royce Duplessis in House District 93 is a popularity contest, pure and simple. The ultimate winner will be the candidate who does the best job of getting his or her friends, family and admirers to the polls on Endymion Saturday. Duplessis was sworn into the state Senate last week during a well-attended ceremony at Xavier University. Fast, furious and barely funded, the race includes six competitors who reflect the district’s geographic and ethnic diversity.

Viewpoint: Could Tyre Nichols’ killing have happened in New Orleans?

My heart went out to RowVaugh Wells as she watched the evidence unfold last week against the seven rogue Memphis police officers and three first-responders who are alleged to be responsible for the untimely death of her son Tyre Nichols. A 29-year-old Black man, Nichols died on Jan. 10, three days after a fatal encounter with the MPD’s Scorpion police unit. Nichols made the mistake of trying to run away from the officers during a traffic stop. Running from the police is never a wise move and usually leads to an ugly chase.

Viewpoint: On Holocaust Remembrance Day, proud the U.S. is standing up to evil and autocracy

By Arnie Fielkow, guest columnist

I have never been so proud of my country and my president, Joe Biden. I write these words after returning from a whirlwind trip to central Europe in order to lead an initiative helping Ukrainian youth, to try to get one of my daughters’ sisters out of Ukraine, and to enjoy my truly favorite part of the world. So why such gratitude and proudness? Because we in America — as well as our NATO allies — continue to do the absolutely right thing in supporting Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, including the recent decision to supply much-needed new tanks and ammunition to combat the criminal activities of Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin. These tanks will allow the Ukrainian military to fight back against Russian aggression, and hopefully recapture Ukrainian land wrongly taken by Russia over this past year as well as previously with regards to the Crimea.

Viewpoint: Who will take the lead in addressing the city’s crime epidemic?

Watching yesterday’s special City Council meeting on crime was very painful. It put a spotlight on the fear, frustration and anger of thousands of New Orleanians who recognize that the city has probably never been so unsafe. Voters also realize that New Orleans political, business, civic and grassroots leaders are not working together as a team. No one person appears to be in charge. While many government leaders are making worthwhile suggestions, the proposed solutions to a safer city are all over the place.

Viewpoint: Has gun retaliation become a part of New Orleans culture?

Why are so many New Orleanians and visitors getting shot and even killed recently? The answer is fairly simple. People, especially our young people, are turning to guns to resolve the disputes that used to be handled less dramatically by cooler heads. Over the past few years, retaliatory violence has become as much a part of New Orleans culture as red beans and rice. We can’t arrest our way out of New Orleans’ crime problem.

Viewpoint: Campaign season starts again with House District 93 race

2023 will be a busy election year in Louisiana. A new governor, other statewide officials, and multiple judges will be selected. Yet the first race of the new year will fill a vacancy in Orleans Parish’s legislative delegation. Qualifying begins Wednesday (Jan. 11) for a candidate to represent the Louisiana House District 93 seat previously held by Royce Duplessis.

Viewpoint: Will Interim Superintendent Michelle Woodfork be able to make a difference?

The citizens of New Orleans are shell-shocked, no pun intended, by the highest homicide rate in more than 25 years. Armed robberies have also skyrocketed. Numbed by the ongoing crime wave, residents are no longer surprised when they hear gunshots. After multiple shots rang out last Friday afternoon (Dec. 23) at Rouses on Baronne Street, people across the city were astounded by the brazen act of violence that took the life of comedian and social media sensation Brandon “Boogie B” Montrell.  

On Christmas morning, a 16-year old was injured in a Central City shooting.

Viewpoint: All I want for Christmas is a safer New Orleans

It’s hard to turn on the news these days. There are far too many stories about innocent people who have been assaulted, murdered or carjacked. Also, I am not so naïve as to believe that all the crimes committed end up in police reports. 

The results of the NOPD Recruitment and Retention Survey, released Wednesday (Dec. 14) by Council President Helena Moreno and the Fraternal Order of Police, only make matters worse. Conducted by the AH Datalytics, the survey shows the high level of dissatisfaction officers feel about cronyism, favoritism and promotions based more on who you know than ability and experience.