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Thursday, December 31, 2009

TREE Recycling - WETLANDS Restoration

Residents can recycle their Christmas trees by
placing their tree curbside
on January 6th
for collection on January 7, 8, and 9, 2010

Residents must remove all lights, tree stands, ornaments and tinsel from live trees. Flocked(artificial snow) and artificial trees will not be collected, and trees should not be placed on the neutral grounds.

Environmental Affairs and Sanitation Departments Announce
Annual Christmas Tree Recycling Program

NEW ORLEANS, LA (December 21, 2009) - In an effort to promote the restoration of Louisiana's wetlands, the City of New Orleans in partnership with the Louisiana National Guard, Bayou Land RC&D and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host the Annual Christmas tree recycling program that will help in rebuilding the wetlands and assist in the protection of the Louisiana coastline.

Residents interested in participating in the program can recycle their Christmas trees and are asked to place their tree curbside on January 6th for collection on January 7, 8, and 9, 2010. Residents must remove all lights, tree stands, ornaments and tinsel from live trees. Flocked(artificial snow) and artificial trees will not be collected, and trees should not be placed on the neutral grounds.

In January, volunteers will help bundle the trees, which will then be airlifted from the recycle site to Bayou Savage. Trees will then be submerged along the coastline where they will catch silt and sand, creating additional sites for plants and animals to live and grow. This will create new wetland habitats by stimulating the formation of new marsh and providing important habitat areas for fish and wildlife, resulting in a more highly productive marsh.

"We are encouraging all to come out and support this initiative to save our environment and hope that citizens will participate this season,"said Wynecta Fisher, Director of Environmental Affairs for the City of New Orleans.

Research shows that approximately 40% of the nation's wetlands are located in the State of Louisiana. Louisiana continues to lose 25 to 35 square miles of wetlands per year, with the highest rates occurring in the Barataria and Terrebonne basins. The Louisiana coast supports critical infrastructure including navigational waterways of national significance, ports and highways.

Volunteers are also needed to help collect and bundle donated Christmas trees following the holiday season on Friday, January 22nd and Saturday, January 30th from 8am until 2pm.

Volunteers wishing to participate in this service project must be 17 years of age or older. Recommended attire is layered clothing, long pants, long sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes. Volunteers are asked to meet at the corner of Recovery Rd and Chef Highway at 8am. Volunteers must bring their own lunch, water and gloves.

This project is funded by the Louisiana State Department of Natural Resources. For additional information, contact Wynecta Fisher, Director of Environmental Affairs for the City of New Orleans, at (504) 658-4070. Those interested in volunteering should also contact the Office of Environmental Affairs.

For more information call 311 (no don't as this number is one of the 2010 budget cuts), or visit

Monday, December 28, 2009


Posted on DECEMBER 21, 2009:

New Orleanians should not have to take ownership of an inferior federal product

By now it is abundantly clear that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intends to
stick New Orleans with the fatally flawed floodwalls the Corps designed and
built along the city's three outfall canals at London Avenue, Orleans Avenue
and 17th Street. No New Orleanian who lived through Hurricane Katrina will ever
forget that the London Avenue and 17th Street canals catastrophically failed
during the storm, playing a part in flooding tens of thousands of homes and
killing more than 1,000 people. We also know that, in the wake of the storm, the
defective floodwalls have not been fully repaired but merely patched where they
failed. That is unacceptable.

Col. Robert Sinkler, commander of the Hurricane Protection Office,
made the Corps' position known at a recent meeting with the New Orleans City
Council's recovery committee. Sinkler told council members that because of the
interim gates near the mouths of the outfall canals, the interior floodwalls are
no longer part of the federal flood control system ó and the feds therefore are
no longer responsible for them. To make sure we understood Sinkler's comment,
Gambit asked the Corps for clarification. We were told via email that operation
and maintenance of the outfall canal floodwalls are the responsibility of the
nonfederal sponsor, which means the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection
Authority-East. That's news to Tim Doody, president of SLFPA-East's board of
commissioners. "Those walls have not been decommissioned," Doody says. "They are
still part of the federal system."

During the same council meeting, Sinkler added that Corps civil
works projects are "typically" turned over to locals for operation and
maintenance upon completion. Sinkler has commanded the hurricane office only
since May, so perhaps he doesn't understand there's nothing "typical" about
those canal floodwalls other than their defective design and construction. New
Orleanians should not have to take ownership of an inferior federal product.

It has been suggested that the Corps will make $90 million in
repairs to rehabilitate and refurbish the floodwalls, which will somehow prevent
future breaches. Baloney. It doesn't take an engineering degree to recognize
that when you put the equivalent of Band-Aids on floodwalls that ruptured in
multiple places, there is no way to guarantee those floodwalls, some of which
still have the substandard "I-wall" design, will ever be made foolproof.

The safest approach is to start from scratch, and in this case, that
means adopting the plan known locally as "Option 2A," which includes permanent
pump stations at the end of the three outfall canals. This plan also would
remove the floodwalls and levees along the outflow canals and then deepen and
pave the channels, allowing water to use gravity to flow to the lakefront. Some
older New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board interior pump stations no longer
would be needed; the permanent lakefront pumps would become all-purpose,
year-round pumping stations. Additionally, the plan would add a pumping station
in Old Metairie to send water directly to the Mississippi River.

Unfortunately, in September, a U.S. House and Senate conference
committee rejected an amendment co-sponsored by Sens. Mary Landrieu and David
Vitter that would have directed the Corps to conduct a peer-review study with
cost estimates for this and other options. Landrieu blamed the Corps for
lobbying against the study, and she vowed to amend other bills to incorporate

We support Landrieu's idea of modifying another bill to include the
study, but we also think it's time for the Louisiana delegation to beat the
Corps at its own game. The Corps loves to say it can only do what Congress
authorizes, a posture that allows the Corps to claim it doesn't have the
authority to build Option 2A. If that's the case, then our delegation should
work with other members of Congress to direct the Corps to take full
responsibility for the floodwalls it builds as part of the region's federal
flood protection plan and to take all possible steps to prevent future
breaches, including a full study of Option 2A. There must be no doubt that the
feds are responsible for the local floodwalls.

We hope that once the Corps realizes it must build a holistic
flood-control system, it will recognize the need to tear down those walls, not
put $90 million worth of lipstick on them while leaving Louisianans in jeopardy
and proceed with Option 2A.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Earhart Boulevard repairs finally under way

Earhart Boulevard repairs finally under way
By Katie Urbaszewski, The Times-Picayune
December 26, 2009, 6:12AM

A long-stalled project to repair a heavily damaged stretch of Earhart Boulevard is finally under construction, thanks to an influx of federal stimulus money, officials said.

The $12.4 million project will completely rebuild one mile of the heavily traveled commuter route from Hamilton to Pine streets, including sewer, water and drainage pipes. Thousands of motorists travel the busy thoroughfare each day to get to and from downtown New Orleans via the Earhart Expressway.

Times-Picayune archiveIn 2004, repairs on Earhart Boulevard meant detours for thousands of motorists. The project was originally part of the state's Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic Development or TIMED program, which has financed the repair of four other segments of Earhart since 1999.

The state Department of Transportation program set aside $20 million to invest in the road's reconstruction, but after completing the fourth segment in 2006, ran out of money to finish the final stretch, said TIMED spokesman Sam Moore.

To proceed, the state would have had to seek federal funding, Moore said.

"Then this stimulus came along, and that was like manna from heaven for us," said Jeff Roesel of the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission.

Robert Mendoza, director of the city's Department of Public Works, said the initial stage of construction will cause minor lane restrictions in the first two months of 2010.

After that, vehicles will be routed to one side of the neutral ground at a time, creating more traffic, Mendoza said. The project is slated to end about a year from now, but officials say delays are likely.

Work rehabbing Earhart began in 1999, when two stretches from Magnolia to South Galvez streets and South Galvez to South Dupre streets were rebuilt. That was followed by a segment from Fern to State streets in May 2005. Construction on the fourth segment, from State to South Dupre streets, was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina and finally completed in April 2006.

Of the $12.4 million needed for this phase, $8.1 million will be covered by stimulus funds in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Another $2.5 million will come from the Federal Highway Administration, $1.2 million from the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board and $627,000 in leftover TIMED funds, city officials said. The contractor is Command Construction.

In addition to street repair, a U-turn lane will be added to the westbound lane of Earhart past the intersection of South Carrollton Avenue. A right-turn lane will also be added for westbound motorists at South Carrollton. Officials also plan to add sidewalks.

"This is in response to what the community wanted," Roesel said.

Planners took care to accommodate pedestrians as well as vehicles, Mendoza said. Originally, the planning committee wanted to add a left-turn lane to remove the need to make a U-turn at all.

"But you start to think of the intersection and Veterans and Clearview at that point," Mendoza said. "That's clearly a barrier for pedestrians."

Mendoza said this intersection is also a bus transfer location, and, based on neighborhood input, there were plenty of people who cross the street there.

"Our goal was not to cut this neighborhood in half," he said.

Mendoza said an independent traffic consultant inspected the plans and said the traffic will flow smoothly.

Moya Runyan Carroll, vice president of NOLA Box Supply Co. on 8501 Earhart Blvd., attended the Dec. 16 groundbreaking ceremony and said she is ecstatic to see construction finally happening.

"It's been a long time coming," she said.

Carroll said the improvements should make the street safer and might stop her building from shaking when trucks drive by. She said business could be hurt by the construction, but she fully supports it.

"No pain, no gain," she said.

Joey Helm, general manager of Helm Paint and Decorating at 8180 Earhart Blvd., said his company has seen the effects of past street construction, and it does take a toll on business.

"People will find you if they want to find you, but it's kind of inconvenient," he said.

That said, the road work will likely be worth it.

"In the end, it will be a better thing for our community and better for Helm Paint," he said. "But you've got to cringe when you see something like this coming."

Katie Urbaszewski can be reached at or 504.826.3330.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Missing Yorkie!!! Keep your eyes open

If you see a black & brown yorkie in the area please call him by the name CREEK and try to get him to come to you. Creek is a companion animal.

Here is the note I got from his owners:

12/23/09, We were just pulling up after a 7 hour drive from Atlanta when he got out of his travel kennel and darted across Earhart toward the old Barrow's restaurant wednesday night. We have been scouring the neighborhood every since looking for our dog. Creek is a companion dog for my father who is paralyzed. We are hopeful that someone will have a heart and return him to us soon. We are all saddened by the fact that he ran off. He has been seen in the area of Belfast and Monroe. A neighbor on Apple and Hollygrove also saw him.

Anything that you can do to help us find our beloved pet, we greatly appreciate it!

IF you see Creek please contact his owners @ 439-3024 or 486-1372

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Walgreens doing just fine

By Marley Seaman
Associated Press

NEW YORK — Concerned customers got more than 5 million flu shots at Walgreen stores in the fall, helping the company boost its quarterly profit by 20 percent.

The company administered 5.4 million seasonal flu shots between Sept. 1 and Nov. 30, compared with 1.2 million in last year's entire flu season, from October to February. The shots cost $24.99 at most Walgreen stores. Demand was strongest in September and October and then slowed last month, although sales could pick up over the winter.

Like other drugstores, Walgreen started giving the shots several weeks earlier than in 2008.

Two-thirds of the people who got flu shots had not filled a prescription at Walgreen in the last six months, the company said Monday.

Walgreen said prescription drug sales also improved, and its pharmacies are taking more market share. But it emphasized that consumers are cutting back on holiday shopping because of high unemployment, hurting sales of items other than drugs.

Walgreen added that it may get a boost as customers make a last-minute rush for Christmas gifts. However, compared with last year, the company said it will offer fewer post-holiday discounts because it is not carrying as many seasonal products.

The Deerfield, Ill., company earned $489 million, or 49 cents a share, in its fiscal first quarter, up from $408 million, or 41 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding 3 cents a share in restructuring costs, the company said
it earned 52 cents a share. Revenue rose 9.5 percent to $16.36 billion from $14.95 billion.

Wall Street forecasts called for 48 cents a share in profit and just under $16.3 billion in revenue, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

Walgreen is planning to remodel and redecorate thousands of locations to improve sales, keep costs down, and make the stores more pleasant for customers. It is testing a new store layout at 400 sites in Texas, and plans to switch about 3,000 of its 7,000 stores to the format by fall 2010.

It delayed the planned switch by about three months so it can make changes to the décor of its stores. Walgreen is also selling beer and wine at about 1,600 stores.

The company opened or relocated 150 stores during the quarter and had 7,147 retail locations as of Nov. 30.

Walgreen shares slipped 3 cents to close at $36.61 Monday.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Reports throughout NOPD 2nd District

Sorry to have to post this but it seems that ARMED ROBBERIES are on the up tick.

At least once a week in the 2nd District there have been similar reports to the ones below:

"On Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at approximately 6:02 pm the victim
parked his vehicle in the 2800 block of Audubon Street. The victim
exited his vehicle at which time he was approached by an unknown black
male who produced a blue steel semi-automatic handgun and demanded the
victim’s money. The victim gave the suspect his wallet. The suspect
began to walk away as he looked through his wallet. The suspect became
enraged and ran back towards the victim then demanded his car keys.
The victim complied and gave the suspect his keys. After receiving the
keys the suspect entered the victims’ vehicle and fled on Audubon
towards Earhart then unknown.

The suspect is described as a black male, mid twenties, 5’8”, 150
pounds, wearing baggy jeans, dark sweater, dark cap. He was armed with
a blue steel semi-automatic handgun."

"On December 15, 2009 at approximately 4:55 pm the victim observed an
unknown black male inside of his vehicle that was parked in the 3600
block of Coliseum Street. The victim confronted the suspect at which
time he gave the victim property that was taken from his vehicle and
fled on foot. The victim notified police and gave the dispatcher the
suspects’ description and direction of escape. Responding officers
were able to apprehend Gerard Hawkins, black male, 8-03-1970, who was
arrested and charged with the offense."

So as you walk the streets be on the lookout for strangers in hooded jackets.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

North Rampart Main Street

Dear Friends & Supporters of North Rampart Main Street:

North Rampart Main Street, Inc. (NRMSI) was established as a proven economic development model to revitalize the North Rampart corridor as “The Gateway to the Historic Neighborhoods of the French Quarter and Treme.” North Rampart is uniquely positioned to serve businesses, residents and visitors and to provide an easily accessible historic setting for an authentic exchange of goods, services, and experiences. Our goal is to strengthen existing businesses and attract new businesses to make the street safe and walk-able for residents and visitors.

Much has been accomplished, but there is so much more to do. As with most non-profits, funding is a major challenge. Our State funding has been significantly reduced due to the State’s revenue shortfall, and several of our key contributors have not been able to provide their usual funding due to the economy.

We need your support to continue this critical work in 2010.

Major progress has been made on North Rampart in the last three years:

Several businesses have located on or re-located to N. Rampart: Discoveries Furniture & Finds, Bar Tonique, Key’s Fuel Mart, Decadence Shoppe, French Quarter Citizens, Vieux Carre Property Owners, Residents, and Associates, and the New Orleans Athletic Club’s new parking area.

New Residences: Three condominium developments – one in the 200 block, the Colonial Condos in the 1300 block, and the Krauss Condos nearby on Basin Street have added many new residents to the neighborhood.

Façade Improvements: NRMSI has awarded five facade grants, which when combined with owner matching funds, have produced substantial facade improvements to: St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, Meauxbar Bistro, Wolfe’s Restaurant, Dr. Mike’s Animal House, and 710 N. Rampart (previously Funky Butt). And with your help we will be able to provide more façade grants and stimulate our economy!

Neutral Ground Improvements: We are working with the City to repair the street lights, and in March 2010 you will see new landscaping along the neutral grounds, with Covenant House maintaining the plantings.

Festivals: NRMSI inaugurated the annual “RampART” festival in Armstrong Park to promote the creative arts, local music and of course, our great food. This year we celebrated our 3rd annual event. We are also the official sponsor of the Satchmo SummerFest birthday celebration for Louis Armstrong held in Armstrong Park.

Armstrong Park Improvements: We worked with the City in the re-opening of Armstrong Park and the Mahalia Jackson Theatre.

Cultural Products Designation: NRMSI was instrumental in obtaining this designation, which provides tax credits for historic preservation and state sales tax relief for art.

Still, much more remains to be done. Please help us by making a contribution to the revitalization of North Rampart. All donations to our non-profit organization are tax deductible. Please make checks payable to: NRMSI, 632 N. Rampart Street, New Orleans, LA 70112.

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please contact Laurie Toups, Executive Director, at 504-256-4848 or

Thank you and Happy Holidays!
David Speights and Susan Klein, Co-Chairs

North Rampart Main Street, Inc.
632 North Rampart Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
504.256.4848 (O)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

2010 Budget Implementation Plan and Impact Statements

From the Mayors Office
(Personally I CAN'T wait until there is someone else in the Mayor's Office.
It seems like we are all having to hold our breath and wait until after the elections)


Below are links to an outline that was presented to local media organizations today of the 2010 Budget Implementation plan and the Impact Statements from City agencies that received additional cuts. This information is also on the Although city staff members continue to work on the implementation plans, there will be community meetings this week and after the holidays to review the 2010 budget implementation steps. Please stay tuned to local media outlets, the city's website and your email for announcements regarding possible service schedule changes as a result of the adopted 2010 budget.

Thank you for your continued dedication to OUR city's recovery and growth.

2010 Budget Adopted by NO City Council

2010 Budget Implementation Plan

Departmental Impact Statement Summaries

Departmental Letters on Budget Impact

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Construction to Begin on Earhart Boulevard

The City of New Orleans Department of Public Works, along with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission will hold a construction commencement ceremony for the reconstruction project to repair Earhart Boulevard from Hamilton Street to Fern Street.

The project will repair a heavily damaged one-mile stretch of the Earhart Boulevard thoroughfare that accommodates several businesses as a part of economic development recovery for the area.

The $12.4 million project is the final Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic Development (TIMED) project, and was primarily funded by $8.1 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or stimulus funds. Other sources of funding include $2.5 million from the Federal Highway Administration, $1.2 million from the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board and $627,000 in TIMED funds.

What: Construction commencement ceremony to commemorate the start of construction on Earhart Boulevard from Hamilton Street to Fern Street

When & Where: Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1:30 p.m., in the H&R Block parking lot on the corner of Earhart Boulevard and South Carrollton Avenue (also former Walgreens parking lot)

Hosted by: The City of New Orleans Department of Public Works, the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission (RPC) and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD)

Speakers: Mayor C. Ray Nagin, Public Works Director Robert Mendoza, DOTD Deputy Secretary Sherri LeBas and New Orleans RPC Executive Director Walter Brooks

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Independent Police Monitor

Office of Independent Police Monitor
Inspector General’s Office

Press Release

The Office of the new Independent Police Monitor (IPM) announces that it will hold a public outreach hearing in Council District “A” on Thursday, December 17 at 7:00-9:00 pm. The event will be held at the New Orleans Fair Grounds, 4th Floor Club House. The IPM is required to hold at least one public outreach meeting in each council district every four months.

Holly Wiseman, Deputy IPM, will discuss the purpose and structure of the IPM Office and will report on the Office’s activities during its first quarter of operations. The Deputy IPM will solicit information and feedback from the public regarding police operations in their district and their concerns with the IPM. “The purpose is more for the IPM to listen than to inform,” said Ms. Wiseman.

Residents are encouraged to attend to hear about how the new Independent Police Monitor will work to ensure public safety and police integrity.

When: Thursday, December 17, 2009 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Where New Orleans Fair Grounds
4th Floor, Clubhouse
1751 Gentilly Boulevard, New Orleans

Amy E. Chandler- Legislative Director - 504.658.1010 -
Holly L. Wiseman - Deputy IPM - 504.681.3229 -
The Independent Police Monitor, part of the Office of the Inspector General:

 Monitors the process by which the NOPD investigates allegations of misconduct by its staff. It does not itself investigate individual allegations of misconduct by NOPD but reviews completed NOPD investigations in order to report publicly on their fairness, thoroughness and timeliness.

 It collects and analyzes data about complaints and police operations in order to identify problem areas and their root causes. It provides these reports to the NOPD and to the public.

 It encourages constructive and informed public dialogue about systemic issues of police policies and procedural reform by making recommendations for reforms that meet best practices nationwide.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Budget & Blight - from the Mayor's Office

Mayor's Press Office
City of New Orleans
1300 Perdido Street, Suite 2E04
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112


Attention All Citizens and Neighborhood Associations,

On December 1st, the adoption of the 2010 budget for the City of New Orleans includes additional cuts to the City Attorney's Office. As we move forward to implement the City Council's 2010 Budget, I would like to first offer a basic primer on the responsibilities and caseload of the City of New Orleans City Attorney's Office. Such an understanding will assist in helping you to better understand the many functions this office provides and the impact of the cuts it faces.

Below are some basic facts that you may find helpful:

· Today, there are approximately 115,000 current and active legal matters in the various areas: General Litigation, Municipal & Traffic Court, Federal Litigation, ABO prosecution, Transactions, Housing & Finance and In-House.

· There are pending federal court matters that require, the City of New Orleans City Attorney's Office, to retain experts and incur other additional expenses. This is an additional cost. Other costs to manage the approximately 115,000 legal matters include depositions, research, payment of federal court filing fees, processing sheriff sale lien foreclosure proceedings, and retaining attorneys to assist with matters of ethical conflicts of interest. All of these costs must be paid through the "Other Operating" funds in the budget for the City Attorney's Office.

· Today, there are 46 Assistant City Attorneys. In order to handle all 115,000 legal cases, each Assistant City Attorney would handle approximately 2,500 legal cases each.

Aside from the costs of personnel, 2010 City Council Adopted Budget for the City Attorney's Office includes $4,857,023 for insurance and other costs related to risk management and an "Other Operating" amount of $700,822. Mayor Nagin's proposed budget for this office included $1.7 million for "Other Operating," but the City Council reduced the amount by $1 million.

As a result of this limited and insufficient appropriation of $700,822, the City Attorney's Office was forced to cancel contracts with all law firms, including some that assisted the City of New Orleans in taking advantage of revenue generating opportunities.

The following firms were sent notification of cancellation:

Goins Aaron, APLC
Jones Walker
First Southwest Company
Baker Donelson
LeBlanc Butler, LLC
Caraway LeBlanc
Bryant Miller Olive
Kelley Drye & Warren, LLP*

*All of the above contractors were included in the proposed 2010 budget except Kelley Drye.

Recovery has been a priority as the City Attorney's Office has worked to rebuild following Hurricane Katrina, when we lost more than 50 percent of our staff and even more of our funding and resources. One of our roles is in supporting Code Enforcement in the Administrative Hearing process where blight determinations are made. Please note that the total number of administrative hearing cases and resets handled through October 2009 is 11,070. In conjunction with their current duties and job responsibilities, the volume of hearings exceeds the capacity and resources of the existing city attorneys.

Just as importantly, the City Attorney's Office was advised in an earlier matter by a Federal Court judge that in an effort to remove any appearance of partiality by the City, it is prudent that the determination of blight, which in many instances may result in the expropriation of property, is determined by "third-party" attorneys rather than by assistant city attorneys. For example, the City of New Orleans cites, prosecutes, and defends appeals that may result from a determination of blight.

There are three firms that provide administrative hearing officers -- Leblanc, Caraway and Montgomery Barnett. Montgomery Barnett's contract expired in June 2009 and the firm has not executed the amendment sent to them by the City. The total costs to continue these services for 2010, based on anticipated increase in the volume of administrative hearings, is $250,000.

As you can clearly see, $700,882 is insufficient to ensure that the City of New Orleans, including all boards and agencies remains compliant with all local, state and federal laws.

Despite that, the Law Department has worked with Code Enforcement to reschedule all January hearings for 60 days--the hearings are not cancelled.

Again, the Law Department was forced to cut contracts. As City Attorney, I manage the limited dollars that the City Council appropriates to the Law Department's budget. Priority must be for those pending federal court matters, such as the Youth Study Center, that mandate the City Attorney's Office, to retain experts and incur other additional expenses as a requirement in resolution of the litigation.

In closing, I want to thank all of you for your continued dedication and participation with the Code Enforcement staff to achieve many of the milestones and success that we have seen in OUR fight against blight.

Penya Moses Fields
City Attorney
City of New Orleans

Kensley Evans

Lesley Eugene

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Caroling on the Steps of Incarnate Word

Sunday December 13, 2009
Incarnate Word, corner of Apricot & Dante
4:30PM - 6PM

Come a meet your neighbors for some caroling and holiday cheer.
Bring a treat (eggnog, cookies, etc.) and celebrate the holidays.

Cao to Host Town Hall on Chinese Drywall

Cao to Host Town Hall on Chinese Drywall

Washington, DC - Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (LA-2) will conduct a public town hall and briefing about Chinese drywall for Louisiana residents whose homes were rebuilt with this tainted material.

The event will be held on Monday, December 14, 2009 from 9:00am - 11:00am CST at The University of New Orleans (UNO), Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center.

Cao will lead a panel of government safety officials including representatives from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) and state elected officials to provide updates on the work each is doing to combat Chinese drywall.

Orleans and Jefferson Parish residents should attend this town hall to:

• Receive a briefing on the federal and state initiatives to help victims.
• Learn how to remove tainted drywall from their home.
• Register Chinese drywall complaints.

Cao said: “A large number of Chinese drywall cases have been reported in the 2nd Congressional district, and my constituents deserve answers to their questions about the damage to their homes and their health concerns.”

Cao is a member of the Congressional Contaminated Drywall Caucus. The Caucus is leading the Congressional investigation into Chinese drywall, and examining solutions to help affected families across the country.

Event: “Congressman Cao’s Chinese Drywall Public Briefing”
Date: Monday, December 14, 2009
Time: 9:00am - 11:00am CST
Location: The University of New Orleans, Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center
Address: 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA, building # 17, 2nd floor



Driving directions:
Take I-10 East to the Elysian Fields exit and go North towards Lake Pontchartrain. Travel 3.4 miles to Alumni Drive and take a left. Proceed to Milneburg Road and take a right. As it veers left onto Levee Road, go beyond the Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center (Building # 17 on the map) and park in the adjacent lot. Destination is the building with the tall smoke stack.

Friday, December 11, 2009

8301 Apple Blight Hearing

Blight Hearing for
8301 Apple St.
Kenny D. Grover of 2612 Dante St.
New Orleans, LA

Held on December 15, 2009 9:15 AM
at 1340 Poydras St. Suite 1100

This property was not on our 10 Worst List.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mayoral Debate - Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mayoral Debate
All Qualified Candidates for Mayor of New Orleans Invited To Participate
Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Location: Xavier University Student Center Ballroom
Time: 6pm – 7pm
(doors open at 515p and close at 5:45p to assure seating by start of program)

Moderator: Norman Robinson
The Event will be televised by WDSU Channel 6
& streamed online at

Sponsored By:
Common Good,
League of Women Voters,
National Council of Jewish Women New Orleans Section,
Urban League of Greater New Orleans,
Young Leadership Council,
NCBW 100,
The Links Incorporated - Pontchartrain Chapter,

Hosted by Xavier University

This event is open to the public. Parking is available.
Questions may be submitted from the audience during the event.
For more information, contact Joel Myers (972) 754-6604.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bringing Nature Back II

Bringing Nature Back II

Volunteers Needed to Plant Trees at Audubon Louisiana Nature Center


The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Entergy Corporation invite you to participate in a forested wetland restoration project at Audubon Louisiana Nature Center. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center was named one of the top five urban nature centers in the United States. The Nature Center suffered considerable damage from Hurricane Katrina which devastated its interpretive center, exhibits and an estimated 75 percent of the forest was destroyed.

This project is being completed through a partnership with Entergy Corporation, Restore America's Estuaries, Audubon Nature Institute, RPM Ecosystems, Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. Volunteers will plant over 1,000 pots of various species of wetland trees, including bald cypress, red maple and pecan.

When: Saturday, December 12th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Monday, December 14th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Tuesday, December 15th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Where: Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, 5600 Read Boulevard, New Orleans East (behind Joe Brown Park)

All planting equipment (gloves, shovels, dibbles, etc.) will be provided. Lunch and drinks will be provided to all volunteers. You can volunteer for one or more days. Additional information will be provided to volunteers after registration.

Register online or at or by calling (888) LACOAST

Friday, December 4, 2009

Meet & Greet the Candidates in NorthWest Carrollton

Tuesday December 8th, 2009
@ 7PM
@ 8410 Pritchard Place

Larry Halloran, NorthWest Carrollton resident, is holding a "Meet & Greet" for candidates running for public office.

Wine & Cheese Served.
All are Welcome.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

ATM Safety Tips

ATMs are popping up everywhere. They can not only be found at banks, but also at shopping malls, convenience stores, drug stores, grocery stores, etc. The list goes on and on.

The presence of an ATM poses some potential safety threats. A would-be robber will obviously know an individual using an ATM will usually be leaving the machine with money. While protecting one's money is indeed important, what's more important is protecting your well-being. The following are some ATM safety and security tips. Take a few minutes to read them over and try to remember them the next time you pay a visit to an ATM, particularly one that is unfamiliar to you.

• At a drive-up ATM, keep all windows closed except the one you are using. Keep all doors locked as well. Keep the vehicle running. Watch in front, behind, and on the sides. If someone walks up to your vehicle, cancel the transaction and leave.

• If you exit your vehicle to use an ATM, lock your doors. When walking back, have your keys handy so that you can re-enter your car quickly.

• When approaching the ATM, be alert for anything or anyone suspicious in the area. If something just doesn't look right, leave.

• Never approach an ATM if the lights at the site are not working.

• Before you approach the ATM, have your card ready, know your code and have any slips or forms already completed.

• When using an ATM and someone approaches and gets closer to you than you are comfortable with, cancel the transaction and wait in your locked vehicle until that person leaves - or go to another ATM.

• Memorize your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Do not write it down on your card or carry it in your wallet or purse.

• Select a PIN that is different from other numbers in your wallet or purse, such as your birth date, address, social security number, etc.

• When using the ATM, stand directly in front of it, blocking the view of others. Don't enter your PIN if someone else can see the keyboard. As unusual as it may sound, criminals have been known to use high powered equipment to see PIN's. If your card is stolen or a false card is manufactured, your money then becomes vulnerable.

• Never accept offers of assistance with the ATM from strangers.

• When your transaction is complete, immediately take your property - card, receipt, money, etc., put them in your pocket, wallet, or purse and leave immediately.

• Do not stand and count your money. Count it later. Besides, if it is wrong, you cannot discuss it with the machine.

• As you leave the machine, keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings.

• Never tell your PIN to anyone. Likewise, never lend your card to anyone. Treat it like cash or a credit card.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

8300 Block of Apple - Junked and Abandoned Vehicles

From: NorthWest Carrollton
To: Quality of Life Officer Eddington, Major Little, Robert Mendoza, Stacy Head, Shelley Midura, Safety & Permits Winston Reid
Cc: NWCCA Board
Subject: Junked and Abandoned Vehicles
Date: Nov 25, 2009 1:42 PM
We, the residents of NorthWest Carrollton, would like to have all junked and abandoned vehicles removed from our neighborhood. We know this is a never ending issue, but we also know that when the junked and abanboned vehicles are removed our neighborhood is better and safer. Yes, we think that broken windows theory has some validity.

Our Crime Liason, regularly reports problem vehicles on the street to our Quality of Life Officer. We have had much success in keeping to total number of junked and abandoned vehicles down.

But we are still fighting the good fight.

We'd like to see if it is possible to get this one specific car removed from the 8300 Block of Apple Street.
8300 Block of Apple
It has been here for almost 2 years and
it mets the criteria for junked vehicles on private property.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wish List - eliminate Junked & Abandoned Vehicles

Corner of Cambronne and Claiborne - 8415 Claiborne Avenue
there are multiple vehicles inside his yard and on the side of the house on Cambronne...a trailer and an old dump truck. It looks like a junk yard and we would like him to clean it up...anything you can do? He has been notorious for parking abandon vehicles on Cambronne and we have managed to get them towed, so now he is just dragging them inside his fenced yard.

8301 Claiborne corner Cambronne

8301 Claiborne corner Cambronne

8301 Claiborne corner Cambronne

This is NOT a commercially zoned property. How many cars can one person drive?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Security Camera Options

Information provided at Neighborhood Rep seminar by Nick Tassin of Tassin Security Systems

o Cameras can be mounted inside or on homes, private poles erected on-site, even public utility poles with Entergy's permission
o Possible to outfit a vehicle with discreet cameras giving 360-degree view, enabling mobile surveillance (DVR can run on batteries for days)
o Viewing possible over Internet (slower frame rate) or any computer network (faster), with passwords for each authorized viewer/operator
o All cameras constantly recorded on DVR (hard drive-based recorder) in real time, with time stamp & watermark for use as evidence at trial
o Footage easily stored, replayed, downloaded or 'burned' onto DVD, or emailed to authorities, insurance company, residents, news, etc.
o Each camera can be programmed to react to motion, even notify central monitoring station*, who can respond through loudspeaker or call 911
o *Optional video monitoring service available for monthly fee
o Programming can teach cameras not to react to certain areas (e.g. constant traffic on street), or block out certain views (e.g. bedroom windows)
o High quality, weatherproof infra-red (IR) cameras see clearly at night in B/W, and in full color by day, always recorded in full resolution
o Clarity of modern cameras permits long-range observation, sharp enough to see license plate numbers, faces, etc., over a block away
o System expandable from one camera to many as budget allows; DVR models available 4-, 8-, 12- or 16-camera capable
o Multiple remote camera installations can be grouped together on one screen, where operator can also pan/tilt/zoom each PTZ camera
o Tassin Security Systems offers turnkey systems - everything from design, purchase, install, setup, program, automate, monitor, upgrade, etc.
o References available upon request

If you are interested in Security Cameras for your property please follow up directly with Mr. Tassin if you want more information.

Nick Tassin
Tassin Security Systems (504-488-9664)
Office: 504-831-2599
Cell: 504-833-9664
Fax: 504-831-2960
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 55355, Metairie, LA 70055-5355

Burglar Alarms - Fire Alarms - Camera Systems - Home Theater - Home Automation - Intercoms

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is provided for educational purposes only, and does not represent an official recommendation of the products or services described, an endorsement of the provider(s) mentioned, nor any affiliation therewith, actual or implied.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What's it going to take?

2010 will start the 3rd year that we have complained about this property.
Please fine the owner of the property at 2940 Joliet.

The sand on the lot is too high. The Joliet Street sidewalk was completely covered with sand, until the recent FEMA repairs.
Joliet Street Road Cut
The sand WILL wash over the sidewalk and completely cover the drain. AGAIN!!!! It is only a matter of time.
As the drain disappears under the sand from the Church of the Holy Sand Lot

The Fig Street sidewalk and drain is completely covered over and unpassable.
Really there's a sidewalk under there

The container on the lot has been there WAY longer than 3 months or 6 months
Container on Joliet (near Fig)
Storage container on Joliet

FEMA Sidewalk repairs = my new driveway

How long do you think the sidewalk is going to last when it is used as a parking lot?

Sidewalk repairs = my new driveway

How many people do you think can use the sidewalk when cars are parked on it?

How soon are you going to start ticketing to raise funds for the city and stop existing infrastructure from getting trashed?

Photo is of Apple corner Joliet.

8329 Nelson - available at Auction

This house and property is much bigger and nicer than it may initially appear

8325 Nelson Auction

8325 Nelson Auction - Esquire Realty

Nelson Auction

Nelson Auction

Nelson Auction

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Junked and Abandoned Vehicle

From: NorthWest Carrollton Crime Liasion
Subject: car list for November
Date: Nov 22, 2009 2:46 PM
Good Afternoon!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Another short list of cars...I don't think anything has been moved since my last list and am wondering if we can get these moved sometime soon:

8216 Fig Street
Gold Buick Lesabre
Officer Eddington: This car was parked in front of 2421 Cambronne and reported several times. He moved it in front of his mom's house on Fig but it is still in the same condition.

2709 Dante Street
White Park AVenue
LA# RHN056

2709 Dante Street
Navy Blue Compactt
Smashed Windshield and Wrecked
Sitting in Driveway
Officer Eddington: this address is next door to Mr. Russell...coincidence?

8419 Belfast Street
Blue LeSabre
LA# IXR998

Corner of Cambronne and Claiborne - 8415 Claiborne Avenue
there are multiple vehicles inside his yard and on the side of the house on Cambronne...a trailer and an old dump truck. It looks like a junk yard and we would like him to clean it up...anything you can do? He has been notorious for parking abandon vehicles on Cambronne and we have managed to get them towed, so now he is just dragging them inside his fenced yard.

2421 Cambronne Street
Blue Ford Taurus
GA# ATT7178

2519 Cambronne Street
Green-Blue Buick parked on sidewalk (same guy who parked him LeSabre at his mama's on Fig
LA# ONV682

Corner Belfast/Cambronne ajacent to an empty lot
White Grand Am
LA# RZA811

2429-31 Joliet Street
Blue Ford Pick-up
LA# XO75929

Thanks so much. I hope you are doing well and will eat lots and lots of Turkey!
Kindest Regards,

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Priestley building

We understand the Orleans Parish School Board has hired someone to appraise its vacant property for the purpose of selling the property. Please write or email the OPS superintendent and urge him to include the Carrollton neighborhood in any discussions regarding the Priestley property on Leonidas. Carrollton United, together with the surrounding neighborhood has been urging the use of the building for an elementary school and community center. Copy Woody Koppel, President of the School Board.

Superintendant Darryl Kilbert’s email:

Woody Koppel’s email:

Good luck – Jean Fischer

Friday, November 20, 2009

Safety Tips from NOPD

Stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings, wherever you are.

Don’t be taken by surprise. Be aware and be prepared.

Stand tall and walk confidently. Don’t show fear. Don’t look like a victim.

Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, leave right away and get help if necessary.

Always lock your car and take the keys, even if you’ll be gone only a short time.

Lock doors while driving.

If you’re coming or going after dark, park in a well-lit area that will still be well-lit when you return.

Leave only your ignition key with a parking attendant. Don’t leave your house key, garage door opener, or other important items in your car.

Control your keys. Never leave an identification tag on your key ring. If your keys are lost or stolen, it could help a thief locate your car and burglarize your home.

If carrying packages or valuable items, store them in your trunk. If you do leave packages, clothing or other articles in the car; make sure they are out of sight.

Make sure that all doors to the outside are metal or solid, 1 ¾" hardwood.

Make sure all doors to the outside have good, sturdy locks.

Use the locks you have. Always lock up your home when you go out, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Secure sliding glass doors with commercially available bars or locks, or put a wooden dowel or broomstick in the door track.

Make sure your windows, especially at ground level, have good locks and use them.

Make sure all porches and other possible entrances are well-lit.

Trim any bushes or trees that hide doors or windows. Keep ladders, tools, toys, and recreational equipment inside when you’re not using them.

Don’t hide your house keys under the doormat or in a flowerpot. It’s much wiser to give an extra key to a trusted neighbor.

Don't leave your car keys in plain view, on a desk, or in a purse. If someone breaks in they might also take your vehicle if the keys are found.

Think carefully before buying a firearm for protection. Guns can be stolen and sold to anyone, or captured and used on you or the police. If you do own a gun, keep it locked up, with the ammunition secured separately, and learn how to use it safely.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


From: Envi RENEW
Subject: The Salvation Army Launches $10 Million EnviRenew Program

$10 Million Salvation Army Program Releasing RFP
on Friday 20th November in Riverview at 10am

The Salvation Army program EnviRenew will release its Request For Proposals (RFP) on Friday, November 20th at 10am. The release will take place at a groundbreaking at 1213-1217 Leboeuf Street in the Riverview neighborhood on the West Bank. The groundbreaking will witness the public release of the RFP to interested neighborhood organizations, developers and homebuyers.

EnviRenew is an initiative by the Salvation Army focused on promoting long-term affordability for homeowners by advocating for a comprehensive green building standard for households and neighborhoods. Prompted by ongoing recovery efforts in New Orleans, the program focuses on achieving long-term affordability by increasing energy efficiency and thereby lowering owner occupancy expenses. Lower utility bills and maintenance costs enable greater long-term savings for low-income households. Furthermore, by building environmentally sustainable homes and strengthening community capacity, the program serves as a model for neighborhood renewal and recovery.

Event Details
Who: The Salvation Army EnviRenew Program
What: Groundbreaking and RFP Release
Where: 1213-1217 Leboeuf Street, New Orleans, 70114
When: Friday, November 20th at 10am

Lindsay Jonker
Director, EnviRenew

Wednesday, November 18, 2009



On Thursday, November 19, 2009,
the City of New Orleans will host a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Small Business Conference designed to engage the city's small and disadvantaged businesses in the rebuilding and growth of the City of New Orleans.
The conference will be held at Gallier Hall,
545 St. Charles Avenue, from 8a.m. - 5p.m.

The conference will focus on relevant topics for current and potential DBE's and small business owners in recovery related industries such as design and construction. Workshop session include;
· How to find a skilled workforce
· How to become a certified DBE
· Small business financing, including joint venturing, access to bonding and capital
· The benefits of "Green" building and construction training
· 1p.m. - 4p.m.-one/one DBE certification assistance

Loan applications will be processed on site by local banking institutions and steel framing certification will also take place on site.

Individuals can register at and click on the "DBE Small Business Conference" tab located on the right side of the City's homepage. Registration ends on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at 5:00p.m. The link to register for the DBE and Small Business Conference is also available at the following websites:

Urban League of Greater New Orleans :

New Corp, Inc:

New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce:

All questions about the conference can be directed to
Ms. Pamela Dorsey at 504-658-8450 or e-mailed to

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

8300 Block of Claiborne

In the 8300 Block of Claiborne 2 problem properties sit side by side.

8300 Block of Claiborne

The first house, a double, at 8315 & 8317 S. Claiborne can still be saved. But it has open windows and trash and high grass. And surprise, surprise, it has a Metairie-based owner:

The next house a single, at 8325 S. Claiborne seems pretty hopelessly rundown and unstable.
8325 Claiborne
The assessor's web site says the owner lives here. We don't see how anyone can or should live in this house.

The lot next to this house is consistenly covered with high grass and weeds.
Lot next to 8325 Claiborne

Ramped corner to no where - Fig & Joliet

We have more than one lovely sign indicating that minor streets and sidewalk repairs are underway in our neighborhood. This is good news. For the most part, any infrastructure repair in our neighborhood is good news. Especially since we are in a part of the city where some streets have curbs and drains and some streets have neither. Am I the only one who wonders why that's not the case in Lake Vista or the Garden District? But I digress.

FEMA did the initial assessment on sidewalk damage. And we all know how logically FEMA works. So I'm sure this one thing contributing to the arbitrary nature of the repairs.

But folks this is ridiculous.
Joliet Road Cut
We've complained to the City, for literally years, about this empty lot with its illegally high mountain of sand, an abandoned car and container. But so far nothing has happened.
EXCEPT that the sidewalk repairs have created the equivalent of a "Road Cut" on the Joliet side of the mountain of sand. What we are guaranteed is that this new sidewalk will very shortly be covered over with sand... again and that this sand will be making its way to covering over the storm drain... again.

But wait there's more.
Joliet @ Fig ramped corner to no where
The repairs on Joliet have exacerbated the problem on Fig. The repairs have created a ramp to no where. You can't see the sidewalk on Fig because of its has been overwashed with sand and now new sand from the "Road Cut" made into the mountain of sand is covering up the grass.

When is something going to be done about this Vacant lot? Vacant lots are blight too. This lot is blighted and owned by infamous Toris Young's BibleWay Baptist Church.

But wait there's even more. What we were told when we asked about having the owner of the lot fined and the sidewalk restored was that sidewalk repairs are the responsibility of the property owner. Now if this is the case why isn't it the property owners responsibility to get the dollars from FEMA to repair the sidewalk? Why is the city "doing this for us" if the city has no responsibility for sidewalks? I don't know. Apparently I'm not smart enough for the bureaucracy.

Could someone at City Hall PLEASE, PLEASE, do something about the Lot on the corner of Cambronne and Fig. One day we'd like to see the rest of the sidewalk. Even it it isn't as lovely as the sections of sidewalk provided to us by FEMA.

Blight Properties in the 8300 Block of Claiborne

From: NorthWest Carrollton
To: "" ,,,,,,,,
Subject: Problem Properties 8300 Block of Claiborne
Date: Nov 17, 2009 4:06 PM

In the 8300 Block of Claiborne 2 problem properties sit side by side. NorthWest Carrollton requests that inspectors be sent to the properties shown below for Blight assessment.

The first house, a double, at 8315 & 8317 S. Claiborne can still be saved. But it has open windows and trash and high grass. And surprise, surprise, it has a Metairie-based owner:
8300 Block of Claiborne

The next house a single, at 8325 S. Claiborne seems pretty hopelessly rundown and unstable. The assessor's web site says the owner lives here. We don't see how anyone can or should live in this house.
8325 Claiborne

The lot next to this house is consistenly covered with high grass and weeds.

Your attention to this is greatly appreciated,

Jenel Hazlett for NorthWest Carrollton

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Want to reduce your electricity bills?

Have you ever wondered what type of insulation is best for your home?

Global Green's "Build it Back Green" program is hosting a
Home Insulation Panel Discussion
to help homeowners and other interested parties learn more.

Choosing the correct type of insulation for our hot, humid climate can be a daunting task, but we have invited several vendors to discuss their product in a format that will allow us to learn more about the qualities of their product. Whether it be cellulose, fiberglass batts, rigid foam board, or spray foam, this will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about how to reduce your electricity bills through properly insulating your home.

The Home Insulation Panel Discussion will take place
at our Green Building Resource Center
at 841 Carondelet St.
on Tuesday evening, November 17th from 6:00-8:00 pm.

This event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be provided.

We look forward to seeing you then! For those unable to make it, feel free to stop by our Resource Center on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday from 10 am to 3 pm and Saturdays by appointment.

For more information please contact Heidi Jensen by phone at 504-252-2121 or email

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tree Planting Volunteers Needed

THANKS! to EVERYONE who helped.
We planted 59 TREES in NorthWest Carrollton this past Saturday.

Hike for KaTREEna is helping NorthWest Carrolton plant more than 50 trees this



Starting at 9AM

we're meeting at the corner of Pritchard Place and Carrollton Ave.

This is a bring your own shovel party.

Many of our neighbors are not able to plant their own trees

so every strong arm and shovel is appreciated.

Arts & Gardens Event

New Orleans Botanical Garden and KK Projects Life is Art Foundation
team up to unveil Sculptures from International Artists,
A part of arts+gardens+new orleans

Special Preview Event November 12, 2009
6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

The New Orleans Botanical Garden has partnered with the KK Projects Life is Art Foundation to present a series of large-scale art works for public viewing inside the Garden. The sculptures first gained attention while they were on view during last weekend's VOODOO Experience in City Park, and have now been brought into the Botanical Garden where they will stay through January.

Cone by Sachs and Kretzer

Some of the larger-than-life pieces include the Cone by German artists Hans Sachs and Manuel Kretzer, a light based sculpture that rotates with human force. Watch your Eyes, by Elliott Coon, and Light Harps, by Jen Lewin will also be on display. Additionally there is a piece commissioned by City Park from Eric Ehlenberger called Venusian Swamp Lily that will hover above the Botanical Garden's renowned Lily Pond. All of the sculptures are lighted, and some are kinetic, and interactive. All of the sculpture will be on display and open to the public for Celebration in the Oaks which runs from Friday November 27th to Wednesday December 30th.

The sculptures will be on exhibit for a special preview event at the New Orleans Botanical Garden on Thursday, November 12, from 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. The Garden encourages members of the artistic, gardening, and cultural community to view the sculptures and take part in the ongoing vitalization of New Orleans as an arts and gardens destination.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Welcome Home Open House

Rosalie's Open House
Open House on Belfast

8223 Nelson Street
10am to 2 pm
Saturday, November 7th

Monday, November 2, 2009



The Council will hold hearings on the Mayor’s proposed 2010 budget, beginning on Friday, November 6, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. in the City Council Chamber. Hearing dates for individual departments and agencies are in the schedule below












Note: Hearings on the proposed budgets of the following outside agencies, enterprise funds, and special districts may be re-scheduled to a later date)






Saturday, October 31, 2009

NorthWest Carrollton Resident plays at VooBoo Fest

McGehee Orff Ensemble

The McGehee School Orff Ensemble will play VooDoo Fest's children's area, called VooBoo Fest, on Sunday November 1 at 11:00am.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Lagnaippe Rocky Horror Review

Courtesy of JPASJust in time for Halloween, JPAS stages 'The Rocky Horror Show, ' starring Richard Hutton, center, as Dr. Frank 'N Furter, and featuring, clockwise from top, Chris Wecklein, Marlene Thian, Helen Jane Planchet, Lara Grice and Diana Macera.


What: The musical cult classic finds a naive couple stumbling into the lair of the "sweet tranvestite from Transexual, Transylvania." Costumes encouraged for the 10:30 p.m., especially on Halloween.

When: Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. through Nov. 7.

Where: Westwego Performing Arts Theatre, 177 Sala Avenue in Westwego.

Tickets: $30 for adults, $27 for seniors (65 and older) and $20 for students. No children's tickets will be sold due; parental discretion is strongly advised. Call 504.885.2000, or visit

Under the direction of Jerry Lee Leighton, the musical's ghoulish characters continuously gyrate and swirl around the perverse master of the house (Richard Hutton), a rakishly regal transvestite from the planet Transsexual who eventually seduces his two unwary houseguests. Every conceivable sci-fi and horror-story device, from hacksaws to lasers, from outer-space aliens to a laboratory-concocted muscle man, are compiled into this madcap Hitchcock-gone-haywire plot, set to boisterous rock ' n' roll.

Rocky Horror Show group

'70s campy cult classic does the time warp again in Westwego
By The Times-Picayune
October 30, 2009, 5:00AM

A naive young couple's car breaks down on a desolate road. Who do they turn to for help? Why, to the same mad transsexual scientist who has been "helping" stranded innocents for three decades, of course.

Dr. Frank-N-Furter, along with his cast of campy miscreants of "The Rocky Horror Show" have taken to the stage at the Westwego Performing Arts Theatre, and judging by opening-night audience reaction, the 36-year-old spoof of 1950s B-rated horror movies hasn't lost any luster.

Richard O'Brien wrote "The Rocky Horror Show" book, music and lyrics for the original, 1973 stage production at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in London. The show had a U.S. preview at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles before a short Broadway run in 1975. Later the same year, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" movie was released and became a cult hit.

The innocent couple wanders into a creepy castle where a transsexual convention happens to be taking place. Janet (Lucy Adair Faust), our Kewpie doll-faced, pony-tailed heroine, is initially reluctant to become drawn into the decadence. Her nerdy, bespectacled fiancé, Brad (Matias Grau III), is more game, if only for the chance to call for roadside assistance.

Like New Orleans college freshmen experiencing their first Mardi Gras, Brad and Janet are at first astonished and later liberated from their inhibitions.

Noting the silver-haired, conservatively dressed crowd at the Jefferson Performing Arts Society's early-bird show, I doubted I'd witness the essential audience participation that has traditionally accompanied both film and stage versions of "Rocky Horror." Since 1977, audiences have joined in by costuming, shouting favorite lines and doing the "Time Warp" again.

But I was wrong. Before Brad and Janet even stepped out into the stormy night, a rowdy, costumed group of 20-somethings, wearing black eye makeup and carrying props, jump-started the action. At the top of the second act, the theater's front row began denigrating the play's narrator (Jerry Lee Leighton). By the finale, the entire audience was on its feet, enthusiastically doing the pelvic thrust in a reprise of the "Time Warp" dance.

"The Rocky Horror Show" would not reach its comedic zenith without the strong performance of Hutton as the delightfully wicked Dr. Frank-N-Furter. He magnificently struts around the stage, outfitted in a black patent leather corset, pearls, fishnet stockings and crimson high heels, belting out "Sweet Transvestite." He displays a more dignified decadence than Tim Curry's lascivious screen personification, but delivers the carnal punch nonetheless.

His lively sidekicks Columbia (Lara Grice) and Magenta (Marlene Thian), handyman Riff Raff (Chris Wecklein) and the exceedingly buff Rocky (Brandon Sutton) contribute their own comically horrific hijinks.

An excellent small band with musical direction by Alan Payne keeps cast members rockin' and rollin'. A simple set with effective lighting and playful black costumes set the stage for chaotic madness.

The result is a lot of campy fun, no matter whether you're reliving youthful indiscretions or experiencing this nonsensical show for the first time.

-- Mary Rickard, The Times-Picayune

Thursday, October 29, 2009

NOPD - Preventing Auto Theft - newer vehicles

There have been a few cases in the last several months where people were victim's of an Autotheft or Burglary after they believed they locked there vehicles.

It has come to our attention that some newer model cars will not lock and/or trunk will not close if you have a valet key or a remote key fob inside the vehicle. Please be cognizant of the fact and check to see if your vehicle has this feature.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sex Offender Notification

Russel Counterman
Male - Caucasian - 5'8" - 180 lbs - Brown Hair (bald) - Hazel eyes - 48 years old

8422 Nelson St Apt 2

Date: 5/17/2006
RS Code/Description: 14.81.1 - Pornography involving juveniles
Federal Conviction - Possession Child Pornography - 18 USC 225(a)(4)(B)

City Budget Suggestions

My personal suggestion is that we cut garbage pickup to ONE DAY a week and cut the Sanitation Contracts in half. It takes our family 2 weeks to get close to filling the behemoth garbage can.

BGR Report - Master Plan - Citizen Participation

Click here to read the BGR's report

Key points in the BGR that I personally agree with:

- Develop a participation system that connects neighborhoods directly to the City Planning Commission.

- Redraw the planning district boundaries (as necessary) to better reflect neighborhood boundaries and interconnections.

- Deploy planning staff in a strategic manner. (AMEN! HALLELUJAH!, especially if this means that neighborhoods get a planner who will know the neighborhoods and the people and understand hot button issues and hopes because there is an existing direct relationship - see the first bullet)

- On matters that affect two or more neighborhoods, bring the relevant neighborhoods together. (We're probably talking to each other already, but YES please bring the affected neighborhoods together!)

- Require an official response to neighborhood concerns. (Yes, please make this required. It happens sometimes. It would be great if it were consistently done.)

- Either extend the comment period for the draft master plan or remove the community participation program from the draft plan. (Yes... a new layer of semi-elected, unofficials scare the bejessus out of me! Let the CPC work directly with concerned citizens and neighborhood groups. I know they, CPC, know how to do this.)

Thanks very much but the one thing that we have PROVEN, REPEATEDLY is that we can quite effectively speak for ourselves.

Jenel Hazlett

Nola Stat - reducing waste in the City Budget

From: Brian Denzer
Subject: [NolaStat] How do we live within our means without cutting essential city programs and services?
Date: Oct 27, 2009 10:38 AM

The public was been invited to City Council chambers last night to comment on what the city's budget priorities should be.

From my own analysis of the "Budgeting for Outcomes" process over the last two years, I intend to make the comment that the process of yearly performance reviews as part of an annual budget cycle is insufficient for managing government performance. We certainly will have to balance the budget this year, but severe budget imbalances are predicted for the foreseeable future. We have to ensure that budget adjustments don't adversely impact essential city services, or community priorities.

No family could ever live within a budget or fulfill its goals if it only reviewed its finances and priorities once a year. Government is no different.

How do we live within our means without cutting essential city programs and services?

Achieving annual performance goals while observing fiscal discipline requires regular review as part of a weekly or bi-weekly process. This is the lesson from a dozen other cities that have implemented “stat” processes. It's also essential that the entire community be invited to participate in an inclusive process of setting priorities.

Baltimore's CitiStat process reduced waste by $350 million over seven years. CitiStat didn't just reduce wasteful expenditures. It allowed mayors Martin O'Malley and Sheila Dixon to reinvest resources in improving access to affordable housing, reducing violent crime, moving blighted houses back into commerce, reducing lead poisioning in children with abatement activities, faster street repairs, building modern schools, improving equity in the city's economic progress, greening the city, and increasing drug treatment programs. And in order to keep the public informed of agency performance, all reports compiled for CitiStat meetings are posted on the city's Web site for the public to view.

Washington, D.C.'s CapStat process went even further, posting agency data on the city's Web site. Public access to city data became the basis for Apps for Democracy, allowing the community to tap city data to build new ways to inform themselves about government operations, including an iPhone application that alerts neighborhood residents of all building permit applications to help eliminate surprise land use changes.

I have been conducting policy research over the last several months to advance a NolaStat policy reform for New Orleans. NolaStat is envisioned as a process to manage the performance of city agencies, and to improve public access to city data. It is a policy that is completely consistent with community participation in the budget process, and that fulfills the vision of the Master Plan to improve community input in land use decisions. In short, a NolaStat reform offers New Orleanians the opportunity to create a better and more participatory government. It isn't just about changing the people we elect to office, but instead, it's about changing the operating system of New Orleans.

My hope is that all candidates for municipal office in 2010 will adapt their platforms to include the creation of a NolaStat policy, using the best practices in other cities to model a solution for New Orleans that improves the performance of city agencies, and that improves public access to city information.

Brian Denzer

This is my personal favorite part of Brian's report:
1) Many offices have no measurable outcomes indicated other than a description of what the office does. There were 62 offices in which no outcomes were offered. Instead, a disclaimer was used as a placeholder, “Measures to be developed in 2009.”

He is RIGHT. How can we know what to cut and where in the budget
IF we don't really know what each department does?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rocky Horror Review

A review by Bradley Troll at theatrebelowsealevel

I was a Sophomore in college the first time I watched the movie version. My best friend Julie brought over this VHS with a big pair of lips on the cover, and she promised that my life would never again be the same. I settled in and watched–determined to find the meaning, understand the symbolism and waited for that moment when every odd thing I was watching would suddenly be explained, make sense. I didn’t heed Frank-N-Furter’s advice; I didn’t simply “give myself over to absolute pleasure.” When it ended, I was perplexed. I watched it again the next week, didn’t think too hard, and something finally soaked in. Julie was right; my life was never the same.

Forgive the indulgence of that story, but I promise it relates ot my most recent theatrical excursion–over to see JPAS’s production of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show. Now I’ve been avoiding the stage play for many years because the movie (you know, with the additional word “Picture” in the title) is so unique and specific and special to me. And even though I knew the play was the predecessor and deserved artistic respect as such, I always believed that any staged production that I would see would attempt to recreate the movie experience and, ultimately, be a big disappointment. But on opening night at JPAS, I gave myself over to absolute pleasure once more and left with something unexpected: an entirely new love of the story.

At this point in the review, I usually try to give a brief synopsis of the plot, but for this story, I find that to be a somewhat unusual talk. What can I say? I could tell you, if you’re unfamiliar, that it is the tale of a young couple, a transvestite alien, and the creation of a human monster sex toy. Or I could say that it’s a mix of B-movie parody, rock musical, science fiction, and tragedy. Then again I could say it’s a fable, illustrating the consequences of unabashed hedonism. Or is it the ultimate story of self-acceptance? Perhaps it would suffice to say that it’s glam comedic theatrical spectacle overload. Let’s just leave it at this: if you don’t know the story by now, shame on you!

There are a few choices to make when staging something that has been made iconic by film: recreate the movie, do something entirely new and different, or find a happy medium between the two. Director Jerry Lee Leighton makes the latter choice in his production–a wise move. He captures the spirit of the cult film by incorporating just enough of the familiar to keep us connected (even encouraging audience participation) and just enough of the new to keep us surprised. Several audience members who had come prepared with costumes, props, and a rowdy spirit played along with what they knew and were delighted by the unfamiliar.

Leighton, aside from directing, leads us through the tale in the role of the Narrator, and serves as a wonderful guide. His irreverent sarcasm sneaks in through his academic rhetoric, making him a delightfully cantankerous storyteller who isn’t afraid to shoot the bird to the audience when they accuse him of having no neck; you don’t get that in the film. As the young lovers Brad and Janet, Matias Grau III and Lucy Adair Faust become progressively corrupted by the scandalous Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Grau goes full-force in his portrayal of Brad, cleverly pushing the nerd to the absurd. Faust, though she has a beautiful singing voice, is unfortunately a bit more subtle, and I’m not sure her transition from goody-goody to… well, you know what they call Janet… ever really happens.

Iconic characters Magenta (Marlene Thian), Riff Faff (Chris Wecklein), and Coumbia (Lara Grice) are played a bit differently from the film version, and we feel as though we’re meeting them for the first time. Wecklein, especially, creates a more sinister servant than one might expect and follows through with wonderful comedic timing and a great singing voice. Grice’s Columbia is wackier than the girl you may remember, and the zaniness fits her well. However, it is Armando L. Leduc who comes through as a real scene-stealer in his dual roles of Eddie and Dr. Scott. Especially in the latter role, Leduc puts a bad-boy intellectual spin on the stodgy character that makes for unexpected laughs; you will leave talking about it.

In the film, the doctor’s muscular creation, Rocky, had all of his dialogue removed from the script. For this reason, it was nice to see Rocky come to spoken life through the near-nude Brandon Sutton who gave Rocky a rarely-heard voice. And it would be a crime not to praise the amazing ensemble of Transylvanians that make this world truly come to life. Often draped around the set as voyeuristic eyes, each member creates a character for him/herself that is distinct and interesting. Beyond that, they nail the harmonies and rich tones of the deceptively simple musical score that is executed wonderfully by the orchestra/band under the direction of Alan Payne.

But of course the big question remains: what about Frank-N-Furter? In the make-it-or-break-it role of the show, Richard Hutton does not disappoint. His performance is reminiscent of Tim Curry , but he doesn’t set out to duplicate or imitate–if anything it is an homage. Completely comfortable in his skin-baring fabulousness, Hutton is funny, shocking, and ultimately heartbreaking as he sings of going home.

Minor technical issues aside, such as some microphone buzzing and auditory issues due to the onstage band, JPAS’s The Rocky Horror Show makes me a believer in the possibilities in tackling the iconic. With JPAS’s signature hospitality and encouragement of good-natured chaos, a time-warping trip to Westwego makes for an evening of near-absolute pleasure and the rediscovery of a classic.

The Rocky Horror Show runs through November 7 with Friday and Saturday showings at 7:30 and Saturday late-night showings at 10:30. For more information, call (504) 885-2000 or visit

Rocky Horror standing

Monday, October 26, 2009

Districts A and B Budget Town Hall


Districts A and B Budget Town Hall

Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers!


- Educate citizens on 2010 Budget Crisis
- Encourage public engagement in budget process
- Elicit public input on priorities for budget expenditures and revenues
- Galvanize support for a democratic budget process

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Model City for the 21st Century

Shaping our image post-Katrina.
by Scott S. Cowen, President of Tulane University and co-founder of the Fleur de Lis Ambassadors program.

October 24, 2009, 7:00AM
Next summer, New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region will commemorate the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. This anniversary is likely to be the last one to garner considerable national visibility as Katrina fades from the American consciousness.

It is crucial that we take the time now to think about how we want others to perceive our city and our rebuilding efforts, and take the necessary steps to ensure that the anniversary message we send is the one we want people to hear.

After President Obama's recent visit, Amy Liu of the Brookings Institute aptly stated that the fifth anniversary of Katrina will be a major milestone in the city's projected long-term recovery. She asked: What will be the community's unified message about its progress and vision for the future? How we answer this question will shape the perceptions others have of New Orleans and establish expectations about the city's future.

Personally, I hope our message is that New Orleans is not only en route to a full recovery but is thinking beyond recovery, with the aspiration to become "The Model City for the 21st Century," a city defined by its resiliency and by a commitment to community transformation and civic activism.

New Orleans has the potential to become such a model. It has retained its distinctive characteristics while dramatically transforming itself in ways that can serve as an example for other cities. New Orleans has been resilient and is demonstrating the power of citizen activism as it converts tragedy into opportunity and positive change.

By the fifth Katrina anniversary, we must articulate a vision and describe it in an inspirational and credible set of powerful messages both for ourselves and the world. We also must hold ourselves accountable for achieving the vision.
If we do, we can proudly say that Katrina did not defeat us; it made us stronger and better as we went beyond recovery to community renewal.

During his visit, President Obama told us "change is hard, and big change is even harder." New Orleans knows this well.

The improvements in public education and ethics reform prove that we are capable of significant, positive change. Likewise, our desire to improve health care, the criminal justice system, neighborhoods, transportation, wetlands restoration and flood protection show that we recognize what is important as we look to our future.

Sadly, this opportunity for civic transformation would probably not have occurred absent Katrina. We owe it to those who suffered and sacrificed to take Katrina's tragedy and transform it into sustainable positive change.

If tragedy leads to a substantially better future for all of us, New Orleans will be "The Model City for the 21st Century" because our experiences -- positive and negative -- can inform others around the country committed to community revitalization. It will demonstrate our character as New Orleanians.

The key to defining, communicating and realizing our vision and community message lies in superb leadership throughout the community. With capable leadership, anything is possible. Each one of us has the responsibility to exhibit exemplary individual leadership in whatever we do and to support deserving political and organizational leadership in others. Let's embrace the people who can help develop a vision for our city, and who can passionately and persuasively communicate this vision to others while also demonstrating the courage and administrative experience to make the vision a reality. We should expect no less of ourselves and those who represent us.

Let's commemorate the fifth anniversary of Katrina as the rebirth of a city, a celebration of resilience, and a desire to succeed no matter the odds.