by Will Abberger, Vice President, Director of Conservation Finance
The Trust for Public Land
On Saturday, May 4, Orleans Parish voters will have an opportunity to vote “Yes” to enhance places where kids and adults can run, play, experience nature, while improving stormwater management—all without increasing taxes. The Trust for Public Land urges Orleans Parish voters to vote “Yes” for parks and people. The Trust for Public Land is one of the nation’s foremost park experts. At the request of New Orleans’ park providers—City Park, NORDC, Parks and Parkways, and the Audubon Commission—The Trust for Public Land worked for three years to find ways to collaborate and strengthen New Orleans’ parks for all of its residents. The result of this partnership was a proposal to more equitably fund New Orleans parks to improve parks and recreation area safety, repair and upgrade playgrounds, conserve natural areas, provide natural flood water storage, and make parks more accessible.
There has long been a strong chess culture in New Orleans, and soon it will have a hub: the Morphy Chess and Cultural Center at 3714 B Earhart Blvd. The grand opening for the Morthy Chess and Culture Center is Friday, April 5, from 7 to 10 p.m. This nonprofit center will be a hub for chess, chess games, chess camps and chess lessons. The grand opening will be celebrated with music, food and, of course, chess. Events this Friday are free and open to the public. The center is named for Paul Morphy, a chess master from New Orleans considered the most brilliant player of the mid-1800s, whose influence on the game is still felt today.
The 2019 Shamrockin Run 8K race begins and ends in Audubon Park on Sunday morning and will close streets in the Uptown neighborhood. Traffic will be restricted along the route depicted below until the last participant passes and course materials are removed. Expect delays on the RTA 28 line. All RTA service alerts, updates, and detours can also be accessed by downloading the RTA’s GoMobile app. To learn more, visit www.norta.com or call Ride Line at 504-248-3900. START: Audubon Park Trail & Camp St.
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.
The 2019 Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon is slated for Sunday, Feb. 10. The international event attracts both the running masses and elite athletes. It also brings road closures, parking restrictions and traffic delays. St.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell and parks officials are holding a community meeting on the citywide parks and recreation millage proposal on Thursday, Feb. 7. The District B meeting will be held in the from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Lyons Recreational Center, 624 Louisiana Ave. The millage is reallocation of current property tax money for Audubon to include City Park, Parks and Parkways and the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission. Voters will decide May 4 whether to approve the city proposal to shift the current allocation of over $20 million in property taxes used to fund parks and recreation, which would notably provide City Park with city funding for the first time in its 169-year history.
On Sunday, Feb. 3, almost all of New Orleans boycotted the Super Bowl in one fashion or another, after the Saints were kept from the big game thanks to a missed call by the referees in the NFC Championship game against the Los Angeles Rams. For many, boycotting the game was more fun than watching the game. Among the Uptown venues hosting boycott events, Dat Dog threw a block party, Kingpin had a second line and Tracey’s served seafood. The boycott put a large dent in local viewership of the Super Bowl with a 26.1 rating. Nationally, the game’s viewership was the lowest since 2009 with a 44.9 rating.
Saints fans have filed a lawsuit in state court to compel the commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell, to apply implement Rule 17, Section2, Article 1 and 3, which gives the commission the power of “reversal of the game’s result or rescheduling a game either from the beginning or the point in which the extraordinary act occurred.”
The suit is in direct relation to the NFL’s referee’s no-call, or refusal to flag, a PI, or pass interference, and helmet-on-helmet violation — witnessed by over 30 million people during Sunday’s Divisional game between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams.
Civil District Court in New Orleans, located on Poydras Street, has published a copy of the lawsuit on its online database, and local attorneys are already discussing the outcome. The caption of the lawsuit reads:
Badeaux, Tommy, New Orleans Saints Ticket Holders, New Orleans Saints National Fan Base a/k/a the Who Dat Nation versus NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, et al. An observation by New Orleans attorney Duris Holmes is that the NFL’s attorney is usually the same attorney retained by the Bensons and the Saints football team. A Writ of Mandamus was also filed, “a writ directing a public officer or a corporation or an officer thereof to perform” certain duties. That duty for a corporation includes, “the performance of other duties required by the corporate charter or bylaws,” as explained by leading attorney Duris Holmes via social media.
A community meeting Monday night on the proposed parks and recreation overhaul brought out numerous questions, comments and criticisms from the public, as city officials faced a skeptical crowd trying to defend a proposed reallocation of tax dollars. Voters will decide May 4 whether to approve the city proposal to shift the current allocation of over $20 million in property taxes used to fund parks and recreation, which would notably provide City Park with city funding for the first time in its 169-year history. One concern not present Monday night was of the threat of higher taxes, though, as the current 6.31 mill rate would stay the same. Still, many questioned the wisdom of how the city plans to use their money. “What is the justification for continuing to give money to Audubon?” asked David Newman, a resident of Mid-City.
As Tulane men’s basketball team looked to get back on track in search of its first league win of the season, it gained a major win from some former students. Tulane almuni Avron B. Fogelman (Class of 1962) and Wendy Mimeles Fogelman (Class of 1963) have given $1 million to support Tulane University men’s basketball, the university announced. The gift, which reflects the Fogelmans’ commitment to student-athlete success on and off the court, establishes the Fogelman Life Preparation Program, which will teach life skills, financial training, career coaching and student success to men’s basketball players, and also supports an altitude chamber for the team. “I want to do all I can to see the Tulane basketball players enjoy a productive and successful life after playing basketball at Tulane. We owe them no less,” said Avron Fogelman, whose name is synonymous with Tulane men’s basketball.