May 252017

By Claire Byun

A plan to expand the Orleans Justice Center to include 89 beds for mentally-ill inmates is headed to the City Planning Commission after approval from City Council.

The proposal requires the CPC to start planning for a new 89-bed facility next to the Mid-City jail housing mentally-ill prisoners and is backed by the New Orleans Sheriff’s Office. The council approved the motion 5-1 after hours of debate and public comment at their meeting last week.

The second proposal, which was not approved by council but backed by Councilmember Susan Guidry, asks the commission to retrofit the Orleans Justice Center to house mentally-ill prisoners while reporting back to the council during planning. Continue reading »

May 232017

The bronze of P.G.T. Beauregard and his horse was lifted from its base a little after 3 a.m. Wednesday (Claire Byun).

By Claire Byun


After last week’s removal of the P.G.T. Beauregard monument from its pedestal in front of the New Orleans Museum of Art, the City Park Improvement Board is meeting soon with city officials about the space, and board members spent about 40 minutes during their regular board meeting Tuesday in a closed-door discussion of “the board’s legal position on the monument” with City Park attorneys, board chair Steve Pettus said.

“We had to bring our board up to date about what’s been going on, and we’ll have discussions with the city in the next few days before bringing it back to our board,” said Bob Becker, City Park CEO. Continue reading »

May 232017

All litter drains to Lake Pontchartrain (File photo, Patrick Armstrong).

It’s everywhere, in every neighborhood and on almost every street in the city. Litter – whether it’s old fast food packages or used tires – has been a problem around Mid-City and beyond for years.

While occasional community cleanups are helpful, Jake Rickoll, president of the Tulane Canal Neighborhood Association, said it’s not enough to stem the barrage of litter found all over the city. A combinations of city-sponsored programs – such as Keep New Orleans Beautiful – and education in schools is needed “for anything to change.”

“There needs to be a cultural shift,” Rickoll said. “I want to get people riled up about this because we need to be angry.” Continue reading »

May 182017

Ani DeFranco, folk singer and feminist icon, leads the crowd in a protest song on the steps of the Orleans Parish Criminal Courthouse (Claire Byun).

Complete with a folk singer and feminist icon, protestors called for a recall of Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro while urning people to stay active in the fight to reform New Orleans’ criminal justice system.

Ani DiFranco, New Orleans resident and folk star and feminist icon, led several dozen protestors in song Tuesday afternoon on the front steps of the Orleans Criminal District courthouse. Rally-goers focused on Cannizzaro’s use of “fake subpoenas” and material witness warrants, which have lately caused controversy that ran all the way to City Council. Continue reading »

May 172017

The bronze of P.G.T. Beauregard and his horse was lifted from its base a little after 3 a.m. Wednesday (Claire Byun).

By Claire Byun

Days after the Jefferson Davis monument was removed, a second Mid-City monument was dismantled over seven hours early Wednesday morning.

About 200 people gathered near the P.G.T. Beauregard monument near City Park late Tuesday as crews removed the seven-ton bronze statue from its marble base. Pro-monument groups were separated from monument protestors with metal barricades – similar to the setup at Jefferson Davis – and with occasional yelling matches between the groups. Continue reading »

May 162017

A monument supporter rests as crews set up equipment to remove the Jefferson Davis Confederate memorial last week (Claire Byun).

In light of the recent controversy surrounding the city’s Confederate monuments, members of the Green Party of New Orleans released a clear, concise stance on the “symbols of white supremacy.”

The party released a statement supporting the removal of New Orleans’ Confederate monuments last week just before the statue of Jerfferson Davis was removed overnight. While party members are working to revamp their statement in light of the state legislatures’s efforts to halt the removal, party officials wanted a clear, cohesive stance on the issue that’s caused protests, counter-protests and marches. Continue reading »

May 152017

School officials are proposing several renovations to the existing building in order to house more ages.

By Claire Byun

The Cathedral Montessori School is working to revamp its campus to accommodate more age levels, and the project recently got the go-ahead from the city.

School officials wants to relocate a modular classroom while adding to an existing building in order to house more students. There are also plans to demolish an existing carport and replace it with a covered play area, which gained approval from the City Planning Commission last week. Continue reading »

May 112017

More than 100 people – both for and against the monument – gathered to watch its removal early Thursday. Crews lifted the bronze statue with a crane (Claire Byun).

By Claire Byun

Nineteen days after protestors held a vigil at Mid-City’s Jefferson Davis monument, the bronze statue was removed.

More than 100 monument supporters and counter-protestors stood guard early Thursday (May 11) as crews removed the century-old statue from the corner of Jefferson Davis Parkway and Canal Street. A small group of monument supporters had gathered in front of the statue since April 23, when the New Orleans Monument Task Committee held a candlelight vigil to show support. Continue reading »

May 102017

The proposed apartment project would include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units.

By Claire Byun

The historic McDonogh 31 school building left vacant for years is once again under the city’s radar as developers are hoping to turn the shuttered structure into apartments.

Neighbors approve of the plan that would bring the historic building back to life, but limited parking in an already-tight block have some concerned. Continue reading »