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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

James Gill takes on Toris Young - Again

Take a look at James Gill's column today.

This time Mr. Gill did some foot work inside NorthWest Carrollton on the properties owned by Toris Young and Greater Bibleway. Anyone who reads this blog knows about Mr. Young and the Church of the Holy Sand Lot.

It's nice to have this issue brought into the light for a wider audience.

Thank you James Gill!

School Zone Ticket $1200

I can't find confirmation of this anywhere but this is the 3rd time I've seen this so either it is a wide spread urban myth or it's true.

Starting tomorrow
a speeding ticket in a school zone, even if it's one mile over the limit is going to be $1,200.00.
If you are going eleven or more miles over the limit you get the $1,200.00 ticket plus a citation and possible jail time. It will be considered a misdemeanor. Then you have to appear in court and pay court costs.

Also, starting tomorrow if you see a tooper on the interstate with someone pulled over you have to switch to the left lane before you pass him or you will get a $150.00 ticket.

Monday, April 27, 2009

2nd District Auto Burglaries

We are having a higher than average number of auto burglaries. The
targets of these thefts are GPS units and laptop computers left in the
vehicle. In most of these cases they smash a window and reach into
the vehicle and take the GPS and are gone in less than a minute.
Please take the time to take the GPS out of the vehicle when you exit
your vehicle even for a brief time period.

Remember to report any suspicious persons or activities you see in
your neighborhood by calling 821-2222. In an emergency, call 911

Major Bruce Little
Second District

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fig Street Follies

From: NorthWest Carrollton
To: Shelley, Joe, Robert, Andrew
Cc: action reporter , TP FIX THIS ,
Subject: Re: 8100 Block of Fig Street
Date: Apr 24, 2009


S&W Board has been busy on Fig Street. The large hole is now paved over. Unfortunately the leak is still there. This is NOT rainwater. This is a leak.

The section of the block closer to Carrollton and across the street from Ye Olde College Inn also has some lovely work.

Please note that sand and gravel have been spread over what was a lovely algae covered hole.

Please note the leak is still here too.

Please note how the sand is piled up so that when it rains it is going to wash into the drain and totally block it up so that one day when the leaks are repaired what we will have instead is a backed up drain and a still flooded street!!!!!

Please see the photo of Ms. Robinson who lives in the 8100 Block of Fig.

Her home was destroyed by fire, rebuilt and now she is living in a block where S&W Board has torn up the street and not repaired serious leaks and where a SHIPPING CONTAINER, is masquerading, apparently with the current permission of the city, as a "garage" and being used for COMMERCIAL STORAGE in a residentially zoned neighborhood on the Historic Register.

Please ask yourself if you would want your family members to have to put up with this kind of "progress"?

And if it's not, PLEASE send an eMail with the link below to

Jenel Hazlett for NorthWest Carrollton

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Safety tips from NOPD 2nd District

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 orsituation, leave right away and get help if necessary.

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.

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.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Levees.Org Rally for Van Heerden, Too True by Bob Marshall

In response to public outrage over Louisiana State University's decision to fire hurricane expert Ivor van Heerden, is announcing:

a rally at LSU's Health Sciences Center in downtown New Orleans
10am Thursday April 16
In front of the Ische Library at LSU Health Science Center
433 Bolivar Street - one half block off Tulane Ave

Dr. van Heerden led a team of independent geotechnical engineers who investigated the levee failures in metro New Orleans after Katrina. Van Heerden was openly critical about the design and construction mistakes by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Observers believe that has caused LSU officials to worry that federal funding might be put in jeopardy. Since our phones are ringing off the hook and our email boxes are filled with messages from people who are angry, we have decided to respond by hosting a rally so people can be heard. People want to do something to protest LSU's action. This action means south Louisiana will lose its only independent expert voice on hurricane and flooding issues. Mark your calendars, and I hope you can attend this important event.

Want to do more? Please view, comment and rate on this YouTube video.

Thank you,
Sandy Rosenthal

For a very good summary on why Dr. van Heerden got canned - and why that is a travesty - please see this excellent article in today's Times Picayune by staff writer Bob Marshal.

The article is also below.

Point of View
Ivor van Heerden pointed fingers at the feds after Katrina, and LSU decided its funding was at risk
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Bob Marshall

Ugly doesn't change, even when you see it coming. Neither does stupid.

I'm talking about the decision by LSU to fire Ivor van Heerden, the head of the LSU Hurricane Center who earned world-wide renown for his work before and after Hurricane Katrina. This move had been rumored and threatened almost since van Heerden began his post-storm work, but it was no less repulsive for its inevitability.

As someone who covered that story, I always thought the state should be rewarding van Heerden, not chasing him away, because metro area residents -- indeed, citizens of any U.S. community currently relying on federal levees to keep them safe -- owe Van Heerden a huge debt.

Here's why.
In the days immediately after Katrina, the world thought New Orleans had been ravaged by a huge storm simply too large for the high-tech flood protection system built at great cost by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. And according to some members of Congress and many media commentators, that's just what we deserved for living here, below sea level.

In fact, that was the official story being put out by the corps.

But about a week after the storm, as van Heerden and engineers on his staff began inspecting the deadly breaches in that system, the story began to change. They were expecting to see evidence of over-topping, signs Katrina was just too big for the system, the very scenario the center had predicted the day before the storm came ashore.

What they found was something else: Signs of catastrophic engineering failures. In other words, the floodwalls and levees failed not because they were too small, but because they had been either poorly designed, poorly built -- or both.

The world's media immediately gravitated to van Heerden not just because this was shocking news, but also because it came from a hurricane expert with a staff of geotechnical engineers qualified in the science of flood protection.

And he was the only person from this area even talking about the issue.
Incredibly, the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans -- the two political entities most grievously damaged by the disaster -- showed no inclination to launch their own investigations. They were content to leave the examination of the tragedy to the same outfit that built the system in the first place: the Corps of Engineers.

Thankfully, van Heerden wouldn't let this happen. He put together a group of engineers and scientists from LSU and the private sector and convinced the state attorney general and the Department of Transportation and Development to give "Team Louisiana" official status.
You'd think the university would take pride in one of its own leading such important work. Just the opposite happened.

From the start, van Heerden was pressured by LSU administrators to go easy. At one point he was issued a gag order. It seemed the more problems Team Louisiana uncovered, the more intense the sniping from Baton Rouge.

Some of that was due to classic campus politics: jealousies, rivalries and professional disputes. Some of it was self-inflicted; even van Heerden's admirers admitted he could be difficult to work with, due to an often uncompromising style and a penchant for going public with results before final drafts were approved.

But van Heerden's real danger to LSU was his threat to funding.

The federal government is the largest source of research funding for universities, and LSU was lining up tens of millions of dollars for coastal and wetlands work -- much of which might be partnered with the corps. Having one of its professors lobbing bombs at the feds made some at the university fear for the LSU pocketbook.

That's why members of Team Louisiana, as well as researchers from other universities, were warned to shut up or risk their careers. Fortunately for all of us they decided their ethics -- as professors, engineers and citizens -- compelled them to continue to work for the public good.

Anyone who thinks I'm overstating the case need only look at the Interagency Performance Review Task Force Report, the corps' official explanation of what happened during Katrina. After spending $20 million over eight months, the first page of the report states it found "no evidence of government or contractor negligence or malfeasance."


How about ignoring information that the structures they were building were as much as two feet lower than claimed? Or skipping over alerts that its storm modeling was outdated? Or failing to inspect projects as required by law? Or a mandatory review process that was so sloppy, it missed obvious mistakes by subcontractors?

And how about this verdict: If the project has been built properly, some of the flooding would not have occurred, and much of the rest would have been reduced to the point of nuisance instead of disaster.

That's just the start of a very long list.

Team Louisiana pointed the way to early exposure of these mistakes and many more. Van Heerden was the only Louisiana official to speak on the record, and loudly. If he hadn't persisted, who knows what the corps would have failed to find out, or how much more dangerous our lives would be today.

Now, rather than build on that very significant accomplishment, LSU has decided to clean out those who made it happens.
That's ugly and stupid.

. . . . . . .
Bob Marshall is a Times Picayune staff writer.
He can be reached at or 504.826.3539.

Thank you Bob for saying what needed to be said and thank the Times Picayune for publishing it.

Blancher on neighborhood groups & Rock 'N Bowl

Take a look at a recent March 30th WWL interview

Apparently the Blanchers are upset because the City Planning Commission told them that they have to be in compliance with existing Inner City Corridor Ordinance for Carrollton Ave.

So instead of having a flat, bleak, hot parking lot with no trees (which was what was in the original plans) they are being required to plant trees and shrubs in the parking area. And this is blamed on the neighborhood group. The fact that the ordinance requiring landscaping existed BEFORE the Blanchers bought the property or started work on the Rock 'N Bowl or before the neighborhood organization existed doesn't come up in the discussion.

It seems that Mr. Blancher thinks that he should be allowed to do whatever he wants however he wants to do it. Rules aren't necessary for the good guys like John.

Lighten up John. What you don't seem to appreciate is how great it is to have NorthWest Carrollton watching your back and to be a part of the next coolest neighborhood in New Orleans. Whether you realize it or not we are VERY HAPPY to have the Rock 'N Bowl in the 'hood. We just wish you would have called it the Rock 'N Bowl and not MidCity Lanes. You're not in MidCity any more! Check out the PRC's map, you're in Carrollton now.
NorthWest Carrollton Map

Borah on Charity Hospital Plans

Friends & Colleagues,

I want to let you know about a new website that has been launched to address the controversial plan to build a LSU/VA medical complex and close Charity Hospital.The creators of this website have reached out to me, and I have found it be very informative and comprehensive. It definitely has a point of view, but it includes videos and documents and summaries of the issues that are useful tools regardless of whether you are concerned about the proposed medical complex, or just believe that the controversial development should be included in the master plan planning process.

Please visit the website by clicking here:

Please take a moment to forward this e-mail to others. This is an issue that demands our attention.

William E. Borah
President, Smart Growth for Louisiana
533 Esplanade Avenue, Suite B
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 944-4010 (504) 942-3176 Fax

Friday, April 10, 2009

Talk to the Governor

We encourage you to use this link to send the letter below to Governor Jindal.

The proposed medical centers in downtown New Orleans represent the single largest facilities project that will be undertaken in the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. They will involve massive federal spending, a major appropriation of state funding and should be a critical component to the rebirth of downtown New Orleans.

There are competing claims about the best way to bring a state of the art medical center to the city, with one plan espousing the benefits of rehabbing the historic Charity Hospital and another proposing the abandonment of Charity in favor of new construction.

Please bring an end to the back-and-forth speculation about which plan represents the best path to bringing quality health care back to New Orleans by commissioning an independent financial review of the two plans. Only by making an "apples to apples" analysis of the competing plans can the true costs and benefits of both options be brought to light, allowing officials to make the wisest use of taxpayers' dollars to construct a world-class medical center--a goal which everyone shares.

Thank you for your consideration.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Strategies for Rainwater Harvesting & Stormwater Management at Your Home

April Showers
Strategies for Rainwater Harvesting & Stormwater Management at Your Home

April is known for ushering in the rainy season.

The old saying "April showers bring May flowers" is especially true for New Orleanians. As we enjoy a beautiful spring in our city, with occasionally abundant rain and a mind toward sustainability, it is important to think about our watersheds and finding ways to utilize what we normally consider as waste water.

Join us this month as our panelists discuss local issues with water catchment and management, as well as highly informative presentations on alternatives such as rain barrels, water cisterns,
bioswales and creative rain gardening.
Panelists include engineer Joe Evans, of sustainable design firm FutureProof,
Demetria Christo, co-founder of EcoUrban Sustainable Landscaping,
and Global Green's Raymond Breaux, program manager, Build It Back Green.
Please join us for refreshments and a topical, informative discussion.


Global Green's New Orleans Green Building Resource Center
841 Carondelet Street
New Orleans, LA.

Wednesday, April 15th 5:30pm to 7:30pm


Free and open to the public. Continuing Education Credits Apply.
For more information please contact Global Green:
504-525-2121, or

Friday, April 3, 2009

General Meeting April 8th

Come meet your neighbors and discover what's going on in
NorthWest Carrollton
When: Wednesday, April 8th 7:30pm – 8:30pm
Where: Incarnate Word - 8316 Apricot Street
After 3 years of being meeting location vagabonds
we now have a permanent home @ Incarnate Word.
Many thanks to Catholic Charities.


· Robert Mendoza - City of New Orleans Public Works - Street Repairs
· Louisiana State Representative Walker Hines - S&W Board issues

· Sewerage & Water Board repairs on Apple, Apricot & Cambronne
· PRC's SELLebration (May)
· The Orchard on Fig
· Monthly magazine exchange
· CitiWalk & RainGardens - planned for future meetings
· Discussion of any other neighborhood issues important to you!

A trip to New York

The Peabodys will be awarded during a May ceremony in New York City.

NOAH Housing Program Investigation (WWL-TV)WWL-TV, New Orleans
Dogged inquiry by anchor/reporter Lee Zurik embarrassed the New Orleans Authority Housing Program, a non-profit agency intended to help poor and elderly victims of Hurricane Katrina, and prompted a federal investigation of its misuse of funds.

Congrats, Lee AND KAREN. I see that WWL cries poor at the end of the article below. Poor or not it seems that they have acknowledged the contributions of Karen Gadbois and are making sure that she is in New York when Lee accepts the Peabody. New Orleans has recovered due to the endless energy and commitment of regular working folks. It is too easy to forget that this is a citizen lead recovery. The citizens who are working so hard for the NEW New Orleans deserve every bit of recognition they can get. Thanks again Lee & Karen.

Investigative stories earn WWL a Peabody
Friday, April 03, 2009
Dave Walker

WWL-Channel 4 is one of 36 recipients of a George Foster Peabody Award, announced Wednesday by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The honor came for reporter Lee Zurik's investigative stories about the now-defunct New Orleans Affordable Homeownership Corp. (NOAH), which on Tuesday won the top prize -- the IRE Medal -- in a story competition sponsored by Investigative Reporters and Editors.

The Peabody is considered broadcast journalism's highest honor. The awards, begun in 1940, recognize "distinguished achievement and meritorious public service by TV and radio stations, networks, producing organizations, individuals and the World Wide Web," according to the Peabody Web site, and are decided by a panel of TV critics, broadcast professionals and academics.

WWL last won one for its Hurricane Katrina coverage; this is the seventh time the station has been recognized by the Peabody judges.

The Hearst-Argyle TV-station group, which owns New Orleans NBC affiliate WDSU-Channel 6, also won a Peabody, for its "Commitment 2008" coverage of local and regional political contests. In March, the station group's political coverage won a USC Annenberg Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.

Also honored with a Peabody was National Public Radio's "36 Years of Solitary: Murder, Death and Justice on Angola," a story about two inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola who have been kept in solitary confinement for more than three decades.

"Black Magic," the ESPN documentary about the integration of college basketball, for which several men with Louisiana ties (including Ben Jobe, Bob Love and Harold Hunter) were interviewed, and for which Chris Paul and Wynton Marsalis served as narrators, also won.
Other Peabody winners include ABC's "Lost," AMC's "Breaking Bad," public radio's "This American Life," YouTube and "Saturday Night Live."

The Peabodys will be awarded during a May ceremony in New York City.

WWL-Channel 4 is laying off five employees -- all technical or clerical, none in news -- as part of a cost-reduction effort by its Texas corporate parent, Belo Corp. Bud Brown, the station's general manager, said the staff reduction was prompted by the nation's depressed advertising climate.
"These are all good people," he said. In mid-March, Belo, which owns 20 TV stations, announced a company-wide suspension of 401(k) matching contributions for all employees, a 5 percent salary reduction for managers, and layoffs totaling 150.

Free Recycling

Lab Recycling LLC, a locally owned business since 2004, is currently offering home pickup service of the following recyclables:

PAPER: Newspaper, Cardboard, Magazines, Telephone Directories, and Mixed Office Paper

PLASTICS: Water, Soft Drink/Sport Drink Bottles, Milk Jugs, Grocery/Retail Bags, Plastic Food Containers/Tupperware, Clothes Hangers, CDs and DVDs

ELECTRONICS: Desktop PC’s, Monitors, Printers/Scanners, Laptops, Cell Phones, and Ink Jet Cartridges

Lab Recycling, LLC provides recycling containers to its participants for a one time $20 fee.
For any questions, contact Owner Ron Labrano at 710 4833.
To sign up send eMail to

A one-time $20 fee covers bin delivery. Pickup is once every two weeks.

To sign up, email
with your name, address, and phone number.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Congratulations (again!) Karen (and Lee)

Karen Gadbois has worked tirelessly for the city of New Orleans and NorthWest Carrollton. Nobody, but NOBODY has her energy or nose for what's really going on. It is wonderful to see Lee honor Karen for her commitment and work. Thanks to Lee for being able to listen when no one else would. Here's hoping this kind of recognition (again folks, again!) gets Karen the funding she needs to continue her work. Lest we forget Karen does this kind of work for FREE. She is currently working for a non-Profit and funding will run out any day.

Full Story below

WWL-TV's Lee Zurik honored by investigative reporters and editors group for NOAH stories

Posted by Dave Walker, TV columnist, The Times-Picayune
March 31, 2009 10:05AM

A story that originated with watchdog legwork by local blogger Karen Gadbois has won WWL-Channel 4's Lee Zurik one of journalism's most coveted prizes, the Investigative Reporters and Editors' IRE Medal.
Zurik's 2008 investigation of the now-defunct New Orleans Affordable Homeownership Corp. (NOAH) also won the ire of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who called the initial story in the series "biased and inaccurate," and charged Zurik and WWL with retarding the city's recovery.
"How is that report helping this recovery?" Nagin said at a July news conference. "It is not, and it's hurting this city, and you need to stop it."
The award was announced Tuesday (March 31). Coincidentally, the New Orleans City Council was slated to receive an update the same day on efforts to recoup payments by NOAH to contractors whose post-Katrina home-remediation work could not be verified.
"Getting the highest honor from this organization and being recognized alone, I was shocked," said Zurik while en route to City Hall to report the update story for WWL. "I sent an e mail to some of the people who helped us. Obviously, Karen is the main person. I told her, 'Take a big bite out of this award. It wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for you.'"
A New Orleans native who worked as an intern in WWL's sports department as a 15-year-old student at Isidore Newman School, Zurik is a graduate of the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. He worked at TV stations in Greenville, Miss., Montgomery, Ala., and Baton Rouge before returning to WWL as a sports anchor and reporter in 2001. He moved from sports to news post-Katrina, and currently anchors WWL's weekend newscasts.
Zurik's NOAH stories "uncovered corruption in a city agency charged with helping rebuild homes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina," wrote the IRE contest judges. "Zurik and his team ... found that money was paid to contractors to repair homes that never received any improvements--or didn't exist at all. WWL's investigation found close ties between agency managers, Mayor Ray Nagin, and the contractors doing the alleged improvements. The journalist stuck to the story in the face of public intimidation and strong initial denials by Nagin. In court, WWL forced the city to disclose agency records. The results were impressive: The program was suspended, the employees were fired and a federal grand jury launched an investigation."
Other media outlets honored by the IRE include the Detroit Free Press, the Seattle Times, "60 Minutes" and National Public Radio for a report about Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, two Louisiana Sate Penitentiary at Angola inmates who were held in solitary confinement for 36 years after being convicted for the murder of guard Brent Miller.
The IRE is a nonprofit formed in 1975 "to create a forum in which journalists throughout the world could help each other by sharing story ideas, newsgathering techniques and news sources," says the group's website.

Donate a Mammogram - no cost to you

Some of you know that our friend and neighbor and New Orleanian of the year Karen Gadbois fought off breast cancer as part of her PostKatrina Workout. Some of you don't.

Karen is an advocate for getting women getting mammograms. A mammogram and her innate strength and resilience is why we have her fighting for the neighborhood today.

So WE have a favor to ask, it only takes a minute....

The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on 'donating a mammogram' for free (pink window in the middle).
This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising..

Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.


Demolition of Sav-A-Lot on Carrollton

Apparently there is a permit in place to demolish the Sav-A-Lot.