Last week, there was a crime reported on the Lafitte Greenway, and this news caused quite a stir. The reaction sort of surprised me, but it shouldn’t have. We lie to ourselves about crime in this city, and this was just another example on display. You see, the Greenway isn’t some magical yellow brick road that naturally wards off lions, tigers, and bears. It is, at heart, a bicycle and pedestrian path that runs through the city of New Orleans. The city of New Orleans has a well-documented crime problem, and it isn’t really a stretch to say that crime could happen anywhere at any time to anyone in this city. This is a damn shame, but that is our reality. In truth, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that a crime was reported on the Greenway. It was bound to happen sometime, just like crimes are reported in the French Quarter, Uptown, Broadmoor, Lakeview, Gentilly, and anywhere in Mid-City.
The Morris Jeff Board of Directors discussed a new succession plan during their meeting Monday at Morris Jeff Community School, which covered increasing members on the board from the minimum seven members to nine, and finding a way to add fundraising experience in the process.
The Mid-City group Neighbors of McDonogh 31, whose members last year requested that developers be barred from creating high-density projects in their neighborhood and others, lost their fight during a contentious New Orleans City Council meeting last week.
The issue was sparked by a plan to convert the now-closed Morris F.X. Jeff Sr. Elementary School into apartment buildings, when local neighbors realized the density outlined in the developer’s plans was higher than what they expected.
Upon closer inspection, members of the group realized that New Orleans’ City Zoning Ordinance, which sets rules for development, doesn’t fully align with the Master Plan, a blueprint of sorts made by city residents in 2008 that envisions the city’s physical and economic future.
A man who said he was robbed at gunpoint while riding his bicycle along the Lafitte Greenway last week is sticking to his story as police ask for a lie detector test, according to a report by WWL-TV.
The 40-year-old man, who is identifying himself only as “Sergio,” said he was biking towards the French Quarter when three armed men surrounded him, demanded he get down on the ground, robbed him of $200 and put a gun to his temple, according to the news story and a New Orleans Police Department report.
Sunday concluded the 11 annual Bayou Boogaloo festival on Bayou Saint John. The three-day festival featured music from local, national and international acts. The festival also invests in the Mid City neighborhood, including funding to plant more trees along the bayou.
The Friends of Lafitte Greenway will host a free outdoor fitness class called Get Fit the Green Way this Monday, May 23 from 6 to 7 p.m. The free class, led by The Sweat Social, will be a high-energy bodyweight workout for participants aged 16 and above of all fitness levels.
Melt, a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant that will serve small plates, sandwiches, cheese and charcuterie is slated to open on Banks Street in Mid-City this June, according to Gambit Weekly.
It’s the second grilled cheese specialty restaurant to open in the neighborhood in the past two years. The restaurant the Big Cheezy opened in 2015 at the former Liberty’s Kitchen location at 422 1/2 Broad Street.
By Topher Balfer
Special to Mid-City Messenger
During the final meeting before the end of the 2015-16 school session, the board of directors for Warren Easton Senior High School voted to approve the school’s budget for next year, reporting a slight drop in revenue from the year before.
Although the budget was open for public comment at a hearing preceding the board’s convention, there was no public attendance, according to financial officer Mike Greer. The financial committee approved the budget before sending it to the board for a final vote.
The fence erected on Bayou St. John in anticipation of Bayou Boogaloo was taken down Wednesday morning, following protests by Councilwoman Susan Guidry and several local neighbors.
On Wednesday morning, Bayou Boogaloo organizer Jared Zeller released this statement:
To our community,
We heard you. The fence is coming down. We were trying to pro-actively solve a couple of issues but the cure was worse than the disease and we are removing the fence. After the festival there will be a year to have more nuanced conversations with neighbors about moving forward.
We pride ourselves on hosting a true neighborhood festival. That’s why we started the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo back in that first spring after Katrina, and the community love it has produced is what keeps our crew going each year.
Our festival has evolved through those years, and we’ve made many changes along the way.
This year we made a significant one by temporarily fencing a portion of the bayou across from our main stage area, and we also made a mistake by not communicating better with our neighbors and supporters about this change.
Our intent is not to keep anyone out, but rather to encourage more people to participate. We want to keep admission free so that all community members have the opportunity to attend.
The Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo has always been fueled by great New Orleans music, food, art and crafts and, perhaps most of all, community. It also requires money, time and positive relationships with all involved.
To be a true neighborhood festival requires community participation. Some do this by volunteering, by becoming members of the Mothership Foundation and our Canopy Club, by sponsoring the festival or simply by attending and supporting our vendors.
The decision to add temporary fencing this year along one side of a stretch of the bayou was made in light of a number of issues we face in producing our event, many of which extend beyond the grounds where we hold our event.
These include trash, safety, traffic, liability, neighboring properties, and outside beverages. The installation of a temporary fence along this small section was an attempt to mitigate the issues mentioned here.
So please, consider why we made this decision, come enjoy the music and food, spend time with your neighbors and friends and enjoy the community festival we strive to produce.