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Friday, December 21, 2007

Parking Enforcement in NorthWest Carrollton

Please be advised that the 2nd District is ticketing parking violations.

Please see the President’s response to a resident of NorthWest Carrollton who, almost, got a ticket this AM for parking facing the wrong direction.

Sent: Friday, December 21, 2007 12:15 PM
Subject: Re: how to lose members and infuriate people

(Name removed),

I can totally appreciate that almost getting a ticket at the holiday season is a bad experience. I’m very glad the policeman backed off when you said you’d move the car.

I’d like to give you a bit more background on NWC efforts.

We started asking the asking the police and city to enforce parking and speeding laws a year about a year ago. Working with the police to get them into the neighborhood is a very good thing. The second district didn’t know where we were in January 2006. Today the cop who was writing tickets knew the neighborhood. While this still doesn’t make almost getting a ticket fun, it is an improvement. We want the police to know who we are and where we are and not just when people are getting robbed or shot or stabbed.

Speeding on Pritchard is bad, but nothing compared to what happens during the school year on Apricot. We’ve asked for and gotten police ticketing folks for speeding in our neighborhood. Not as often as we’d like but they have responded. We’ll continue to ask for speeding enforcement throughout the neighborhood.

The parking issue has many layers.
One layer is associated with Mr. Russell, the neighborhood towtruck driver who parks abandoned cars all over the neighborhood and who the 2nd district just helped us get convicted last week. We have repeatedly asked for parking enforcement in our year long fight to get Mr. Russell to stop trashing the neighborhood.

Another layer is associated with our effort to plant trees in the neighborhood. People who park on the green space between the sidewalk and the street endanger our tree planting efforts. People who park on the sidewalk make pedestrians park walk in the street and this affects the walkabilty of the neighborhood and is not good either. Last weekend we planted 28 trees in NWC. We specifically and recently asked the 2nd district about parking enforcement because Mr. Russell was parking his tow truck right where a tree was slated to be planted.

One of the things I personally did throughout 2006 and 2007 was to place notices on cars that were parked illegally. I wanted to make sure that folks who lived in the neighborhood knew when they were parking illegally so that they could adjust their parking habits and avoid getting a ticket . You can ask (name removed) next door, I know I placed one on his car, specifically because he was parked facing the wrong direction. I don’t remember if I ever placed a notice on your car. I did this through out the summer & fall as often as I could to try and avoid just what happened to you today. We also talked about parking enforcement at our neighborhood meetings.

In order to make our neighborhood safe and clean and walkable and livable we need to work with the police as much as possible. It has taken almost a year to get parking enforcement. We expected it would take this long. Unfortunately we can not tell the police to selectively enforce parking ordinances. When they come into the neighborhood to write parking tickets all violations are fair game.

Again, I am very glad that the police did not write you a ticket and allowed you to move your car. I hope that this gives you a better understanding of our efforts and I hope that this understanding will help us not lose you as a member. I’m sorry you were infuriated. I’m home today working on house cleaning and repairs. If you’d like to come down and talk to me about this or any other concerns, I’d welcome a visit.

Jenel Hazlett

Sent: Dec 21, 2007 10:25 AM
Subject: how to lose members and infuriate people

So, this morning I almost got a ticket for parking against traffic in front of my own house. Luckily the policemen backed off when we said we’d move the car. He was very quick to apologize and point the blame at our NWC for hounding his sergeant to address this PROBLEM. Maybe you’d like to change your focus to speeding. We park the car in the street, NOT our driveway to slow the cars down.

If we had gotten the ticket you can bet that if NWC ever asked me for money again, I would say no. And the week before Christmas! I swear this is not the time to be adding $20 to people’s budget.

I can understand that you don’t like cars parked the wrong way. My personal pet peeve is cars that block the sidewalk. However, I think it would be appropriate to WARN members via email that this is a hot item for you so that we can be aware. Honestly!!! This is not the way to build neighborhood unity!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mr. Russell & Ramifications

Today our neighborhood tow truck driver went to Municipal Court.

Neighbors, Justin Schmidt- legal consul for Roberts, Quality of Life Officer Eddington from the 2nd district were in attendance and testified. See the letter NorthWest Carrollton provided to the 2nd district and the court below. Mr. Schmidt spoke of about the trailer full of gas tanks and the toxic remediation they had to do at the Roberts site. (Thank You Justin! Officer Eddington! and Captain Bouyelas!)

The judge gave Mr. Russell a $500.00 fine, and 30 days, which were suspended. BUT
The judge also gave Mr. Russell 40 hours service with the Sanitation Department riding the garbage trucks. Quality of Life Officer Eddington will be following up with Mr. Russell.

We hope Mr. Russell sees the error of his ways.

**Letter sent to New Orleans Municipal Count below **

I am the president of NorthWest Carrollton Civic Association. The boundaries of our neighborhood are Earhart-Carrollton-Claiborne-Leonidas.

Mr. Russell lives in our neighborhood. He also operates his towing business illegally inside our neighborhood. He tows cars into the neighborhood and dumps them on our streets. He leaves these abandoned and non-functional cars on our streets until he has striped them down. This process can take weeks. He dumps the toxic fluids indiscriminately on the ground. He leaves tires that are not picked up by city services strewn on our streets. He leaves other useless car parts behind in his wake. He is disrespectful and abusive when neighbors attempt to talk to him about his illegal activities.

NorthWest Carrollton has worked with the NOPD 2nd District Commander and the Quality of Life officer to encourage Mr. Russell to change his ways. The 2nd District Commander rode with Mr. Russell in a squad car and had Mr. Russell show them which cars dumped in the neighborhood were his. He has been given numerous warnings by NOPD. He still continues his illegal activities. Cars are still dumped in the neighborhood.

Mr. Russell has used the paved lot behind AutoZone to dump and strip cars. Mr. Russell used the old Canal Villere Parking lot to dump and strip cars. He has been chased from one end of our neighborhood to the other. His current primary operating location is Apple Street. (see the enclosed picture) Approximately once every 2 months members of NorthWest Carrollton ride around and compile a list of abandoned vehicles and provide this to the 2nd District Quality of Life Officer. We also pick up Mr. Russell’s abandoned tires. In pursuit of anything that could get Mr. Russell to follow the laws, we contacted the State Police and were told by Major Minor that Mr. Russell does not have a valid Tow Truck license.

In addition to 2 years Katrina recovery, the neighbors of NorthWest Carrollton have spent 2 years of cleaning up after Mr. Russell. We ask that the court take this information into consideration.

Jenel Hazlett - President
Karen Gadbois - Vice President
Scott Andrews - Secretary
Kim Carver - Treasurer
Debi Theobold - At Large & Crime Liaison

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Mr Russell gets caught

We heard last week that the Mr. Russell has finally been “caught in the act”. Towing cars into the Neighborhood and dumping and stripping them.

Thanks to Officer Eddington for taking time on his rare day off to follow Mr. Russell and arrest him.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Why New Orleans?

Post Katrina many of us were told that we were stupid for living in New Orleans and that New Orleans should not even "be here".

Anyone saying this does not understand the history of the United States much less the history of the city. It's like saying there should not be a San Francisco (because of earthquakes) or a Seattle (because of volcanos) or a Venice or a Tokyo or ....

Click on the link for a quick lesson on "Why New Orleans" is here and should be here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Neighborhood Watch

NorthWest Carrollton has a representative at each 2nd District New Orleans Neighborhood Police Anti-Crime Council (aka NONPACC) monthly meeting. These meetings are held the 3rd Tuesday of each month at Touro Hospital at 7PM. We have actively worked to have the drug & crime issues in our neighborhood addressed by the NOPD.

NorthWest Carrollton was recognized by the NOPD as a Neighborhood Watch Area at the 2007 Night Out Against Crime in Palmer Park.

Crime Fighting takes everyone. NorthWest Carrollton is in NOPD's 2nd District.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Straightening the Street Signs and hope for replacement signs

During our March 10th, 2007 cleanup 2 of our board members took a ladder around the neighborhood and did their best to straighten our twisted street signs. Our neighborhood still has missing or ruined signs. City Hall advises that the street sign repair project is still "east of Broadway". According to City Hall, "because of the number of signs to be replaced DPW will not be responding to individual requests for sign replacement but will go back at the end of each contract for each district and conduct a quality control sweep to identify any that were missed or misspelled."
Details on that can be found at this website:

December 2006 Holiday Home Tour

In December 2006 our members opened 5 historic homes – all with some damage from Katrina – to the public.
This was our first official fund raiser. We raised enough money to provide our Firehouse at Carrollton & Nelson with a commercial grade BBQ Pit. The event was advertised on WWNO & WWOZ and was coverage was broadcast on WWL Channel 4 TV. The coverage called us "the little neighborhood that could". We were sure that the BNOB had gotten the message that we had “proved” our viability.

Planning Recovery: Lambert & UNOP and Apple Street

In May of 2006 NorthWest Carrollton started actively working with the City Council’s Planning Team lead by Paul Lambert & Shelia Danzey. Ideas and concerns were shared at neighborhood meeting in June and July. During the August neighborhood meeting detailed plans were shown for West Carrollton/Leonidas and other Planning District 3 neighborhoods. A project to revive the NorthWest Carrollton section of Apple Street is included in these plans.

In October 2006 the final Lambert Plans were posted to this web site . These the official Neighborhood Recovery Plans of the City of New Orleans that were unanimously approved by the New Orleans City Council and accepted by the Louisiana Recovery Authority on November 6th, 2006. While having our hopes documented in these plans does not automatically provide funding for revitalization efforts for Apple Street, it is an important first step.

NorthWest Carrollton continued to participate in the UNOP process. Our participation was primarily to assure that the work we had done with the City Council / Lambert planning efforts were not lost in the process and to ensure that other “Dry” neighborhoods didn’t make decisions for our recovering neighborhood.

Walgreens & Roberts corner of Carrollton & Claiborne

In March of 2006, Walgreens was planning to put a suburban style store in the middle of the block and fronting Claiborne. Many neighborhoods in the area were concerned about this. What the neighborhoods really wanted was a grocery store. The original plan violated the zoning laws for Carrollton Avenue and would have placed the Roberts grocery store effectively “behind” the Walgreens. This plan would have also caused increased truck traffic through the neighborhood. The plan also did not respect the historic character of our neighborhood and the fact that the development is at the end of the historic street car line. Many people thought our determination to have Walgreens follow the zoning laws was more than a little misplaced.

But as a result of the NorthWest Carrollton group’s insistence and with the support of many neighbors throughout the Carrollton Area and the rest of the city, by August 2006, Walgreens changed their plan so that the store is on the corner of Carrollton and Claiborne (following the zoning ordinance). Roberts will be set back from the Claiborne at the corner of Nelson & Dublin and readily visible from Claiborne. The delivery truck traffic will be concentrated to the center of the parking lot and along Nelson Street. The delivery times for Roberts must be approved by the NorthWest Carrollton Civic Association. The 2 stores will have a similar look and share a tree shaded parking lot. The style of the buildings should look like the “Old Bubble Gum Factory" (Hopkins Imports) at the corner of Fig & Dante, off Earhart. The Bubble Gum Factory is on the National Historic Register as a historic building. The Walgreens and Roberts stores are to open up at about the same time in August or September (date subject to change).

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Recognition by and work with the Preservation Resource Center (PRC)

In August 2006 NorthWest Carrollton was recognized in the Preservation Resource Center’s – Gulf Coast Recovery – One Year later with this write up:
“North of Claiborne Avenue about half of the homes flooded. A newly-formed neighborhood association – Northwest Carrollton Civic Association – has responded to the crisis by organizing workshops and participating in the city’s planning initiative. They have set up a Web site for neighbors to post blogs and distributed crime-prevention flyers with relevant phone numbers, Web sites and recommended citizen action. Neighbors stood fast and succeeded in gaining a neighborhood-friendly design for a proposed Walgreens at a busy intersection at the end of the historic St. Charles streetcar line.”

In September, NorthWest Carrollton worked with the PRC (Preservation Resource Center) to highlight the efforts to save a historic home on Cambronne. It was the best attended PRC Renovators Happy Hour at that date.

We hope to soon be working with the PRC’s Rebuilding Together Program to help low income senior members repair and maintain their homes. See this web site for more details.:

PostKatrina Planning & NORA

What a shame that the NORA description of District 3 misrepresents the makeup of the Broadmoor and West Carrollton Areas (including NorthWest Carroltlon) ,HollyGrove and Dixon so badly AND that it equally misrepresents the impact the storm had on us. Additionally you would never know by reading the description that when you look at a MAP and the statisics at least half of District 3 was serioulsy impacted by the levee failures postKatrina.

The statistics at the bottom of the NORA page indicate that the district was seriously impacted as well. While Broadmoor has gotten much of the press associated with postKatrina impact and recovery, Broadmoor was not the only area impacted. Many areas of District 3 while working hard to recover are still only at the 50% recovered mark, despite our proximity to the "sliver on the river". At this point in New Orleans history and in at this point in the postKatrina recovery efforts it sad that District 3's diversity and the needs associated with that diversity can not be better communicated. District 3 has always been a tale of 2 cities, but never more so than now. If NORA is to be our new new knights in shinning armor we should be very afraid..... because it seems the emperor still has no clothes.

NORA, You can do better.