Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Siege Mentality

MARCH 29, 2010
Siege Mentality

I was home Saturday night hanging out with a friend, minding my own business. And when somebody starts a story with the old "minding my own business" routine — you know that other people are going to be minding his business, too, before it's all over.

  It was around 8:30; it had just gotten dark. And, seemingly out of nowhere, a fleet of police cruisers materialized en masse up and down the two streets in front of my little house on the corner. Cars were parked sideways across the streets to block all traffic and a bunch of cops fanned out on foot to form a perimeter around the block next to mine.

  It got real weird real fast. Cruisers continued to come and go, lights flashing. An officer was placed on guard at every corner to prevent anyone getting in or out. The police started swarming all over the place, charging down driveways, peering over fences, under cars and even into those big green trash cans.

NWCCA - JMH 2 cents.... OK Chris this is a tip off that something is going on that you probably should NOT WANT to get in the middle of. Hello... police charging down driveways... swarming all over, blocking the streets... could it be... no .. could it be that they are LOOKING FOR A BAD GUY and that the LAST place you should be is gathered on the corner watching???!!! But no..... that's EXACTLY what Chris and friends are going to do.

  OK, so we got a little curious. My friend and I gathered with a couple of other neighbors on my corner, just outside the police perimeter. We asked the uniformed officer posted in front of my house what was going on but he ignored us. Just then, a big, beefy guy walking toward us barked: "Get back in your houses."

  He forgot to say please. He kept his distance, stopped, fixed a stare on us and added: "Now!"

NWCCA JMH 2 cents.... Could it be.... no.... that he wanted to make sure that the bad guy didn't harm you.... Wait that's not possible... is it?

  I was standing in my own yard. I suppose I could have protested. But I've been in this town long enough to know that the only thing you learn when you challenge the cops' authority around here is whether they're serving cheese grits or bologna sandwiches for breakfast down at Central Lockup the next morning.

NWCCA JMH 2 cents... unfortunately there is truth in this.. but Chris... remember they are looking for a bad guy...

  So we retreated to my front stoop, half in my doorway, half out, watching the scene unfold. About 12 plainclothes guys showed up next, posse-style, with big sidearms strapped on their hips. The officers on the scene up to that point seemed to cede authority to these guys and they took over where the others had been, burrowing into shrubbery, inspecting garages, looking for ... who knows?

NWCCA JMH 2 Cents... If you don't know then you CAN'T help and maybe you should stay out of the way.

   The K-9 unit finally showed up. All around the block, they sniffed and searched. I called a couple of neighbors to see what they knew and one of them answered his phone to tell me there was a cop on his roof, scanning the yard below with a flashlight.

  "What did they tell you?"

I asked. "They told me to get inside my house and stay there," he said.

  This went on for about 90 minutes, maybe two hours. A resident halfway up the block tried to leave his house at one point ­— he was headed on foot to the streetcar line ­— but he was sent back inside. If any of us were in danger, nobody was saying so. Nobody was saying anything, for that matter. And then ...

  And then, as fast as it had begun, it was over. The cops blocking the streets started their engines and drove away. The plainclothes guys and the German shepherds wandered off and away. The only remaining indications that something had just gone down here were all the dogs in the neighborhood venting their agitation.

  The sudden arrival and swift disappearance of the cops, coupled with their menacing treatment of the neighbors, gave the whole affair the creepy, surrealistic sensation of secret police operations in Eastern European countries in the not-so-distant past.

  It felt like nothing more than Us vs. Them.

  And we were all left wondering: What just happened? Is it over? Are they coming back? And, again: Are we in danger?

NWCCA JMH 2 cents... and here is where Chris begins to make a critical point that NOPD... because they are so rightfully pissed about the rest of his story probably never saw. THEY - the NOPD - should tell US the people they serve what the hell was going on. Remember knowledge is power? This is why NWCCA has contact with the folks in the 2nd district so that if something goes down we can ask what happened. Now, sometimes the answers are straight forward and sometimes they are not. NOPD could work on that. But I do agree with Chris that communication is a key part of the fighting crime and winning hearts and minds puzzle. JUST NOT WHILE THEY ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF TRYING TO CATCH THE BAD GUY! They want you to stay inside so you don't become a statistic. Teaching Moment for you Chris.

  Now, here's the Teaching Moment: You might think, given the current apprehensive and distrustful relationship between the police and the populace, you might think someone would have been assigned to deal with the residents in some way other than talking to us like we were misbehaving second-graders and then putting us on lockdown. We were grounded!

  You might think someone would explain to us what was happening, maybe even thank us for our cooperation and maybe even apologize for the inconvenience. And the rough treatment.

  You might think.

  But it was not forthcoming. Whatever happened was over and we were forced to try and piece it together ourselves, which we did over the next 24 hours, gathering observations and accounts from folks who were in strategic locations during the incident.

  Turns out some guy had smashed into a parked car around the corner. The guy got out of his car and ran. Word was he was drunk. Word was the car was stolen. And word was he had just robbed a fast food restaurant.

  Other than that, who knows? And anyway, the details of the crime itself are kind of moot now; in my neighborhood, we're stewing over the way the police were acting toward us. It's like the attitudes of the mayor and police chief are trickling down into every department of the city, where detachment and disinterest are the operating procedures.

  There's a sign on most of the police cars that were here Saturday night that says "To Protect and To Serve," and sometimes you have to wonder: Who's serving who?

  A police department that loses the trust and respect of its citizens is a lost and toxic entity. Us vs. Them has got to stop.

  Somebody needs to tell the chief and the brass: We are not the enemy.

NWCCA JMH 2 Cents.... BRASS of NOPD, Chris is right. He was Wrong in the beginning and Right in the End. We are all in this together. Ya'll are supposed to PROTECT, which you were obviously (to me if not to Chris) trying to do in the beginning of the story. What you forgot was that you are also supposed to SERVE and that's where the breakdown is. We... those US folks... really do care and when you talk to US it helps us to know that you care too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

District A SELA Meeting

In response to growing concerns among constituents,
on Thursday, September 23, District "A" Councilmember Susan G. Guidry
will host a community meeting to discuss street flooding and water management throughout the District. Discussion topics will include the upcoming Southeastern Louisiana Flood Control Program (SELA) projects, flooding in the University area and flooding associated with new construction and road work.

Residents are encouraged to attend and to bring photographs and written descriptions of the flooding they have experienced recently.

When: Thursday, September 23, 2010
Refreshments - 6 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Program - 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Where: St. Matthew UCC Church
– in coordination with the Central Carrollton Association
1333 South Carrollton Avenue

Who: - District "A" Councilmember Susan G. Guidry
- Representatives from the City of New Orleans
and the Department of Public Works
- Representatives from the Sewerage and Water Board
- Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Earhart Overlay - Finally - Vote is TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2010

ZONING DOCKET 86-10 - Request by CITY COUNCIL MOTION M-10-343 for a Text Amendment to the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance, No. 4,264 M.C.S., as amended, as well as the appropriate corresponding map changes to the official zoning base maps of the City of New Orleans, to amend Article 10, Section 10.3A “Inner City Urban Corridor District” to expand the area of applicability under section 10.3A.2 to include item (e) “Those lots or developments fronting on Earhart Boulevard in the area generally bounded by Jefferson Davis Parkway, Monticello Street, Forshey Street, and Pritchard Place.” (PD 3, 4)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Carrollton United Meeting


MONDAY SEPT. 13, 2010 AT 5:00 P.M.







ANNOUNCEMENTS - October 2nd Night Out Against Crine Palmer Park

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chris Rose says it for us - AGAIN, this time on DRAINS

This was a topic with Council Member Susan Guidry at our September 1 Neighborhood Meeting. Thank you Chris!

Fantasy On Ice by Chris Rose
Where are our Zambonis?

  I got to thinking about those big, lumbering ice resurfacing machines when the TV station I work for, WVUE, broke a story last week citing a backlog of 607 complaints filed with the New Orleans Department of Public Works about blocked and clogged storm drains.

First of all, I believe the actual number of clogged drains is significantly higher than 607 because I'm sure I'm not the only resident who long ago gave up on trying to get someone from the city to come clean drains where I live.

  Long ago.

  Over the years, getting the city to come clean out my storm drains began to seem as likely as getting someone from the sanitation department to come over and sweep the dust bunnies from underneath my bed. Just ain't gonna happen.

  Getting your storm drains cleaned around here sort of reminds me of the lottery; you hear about it happening, but it never happens to you. Or anyone you know. You just take it on faith that it's happening. Somewhere.

  Anywhere but here.

  For the past decade, it's been my habit — when there is news of a storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico — to grab a shovel and a long wooden pole and head out to my street to try and do the job myself, fruitlessly digging and poking, trying to open up some small passageway where water might escape underneath our streets.

  It's messy work, and it's rarely effective. The mud, branches, go-cups, litter and occasional missing persons that fill our storm drains are generally a solid and impenetrable muck that one man with a shovel is unlikely to defeat.

  Now, in a city that lies largely below sea level, you might think storm drain maintenance would be a high priority. You might think.

  Yet, to do this job, the city possesses just two heavy-duty storm drain vacuum cleaners. Two! As I noted last week, New Orleans having just two storm drain cleaners seems akin to North Dakota having just two snow plows to clear its streets in winter.

  I believe that's also the number of Pothole Killers the city owns — those alien-looking machines that resemble worker bees from the Mother Ship in War of the Worlds, spitting some strange melange of gravel-glue into our potholes and generally making a mess of the streets and sending tons of little rocks and cement chunks into our storm drains. Clogging them.

  And this would be funny, were it so decidedly not.

  I saw one of the Pothole Killers drive down my street about a year ago, never to be seen again. I have this image of them parked next to the storm drain vacuums in a city lot somewhere, locked behind a chain-link fence because the city laid off the mechanics who kept them running.

  This is, let me state for the record, sheer speculation. Either that, or the driver of one of them stopped to get a Coke somewhere and the parking enforcement people booted the vehicle.

  And maybe it was the thought of winter storms — I can't really say — that made me think of the Zambonis. If I remember correctly, there were two — the magic number! — down at the Municipal Auditorium back in the days when the New Orleans Brass hockey team played there.

  For all I know, they're still down in some dark nook or cranny of that building which, as the years pass, begins to resemble more or less the set of The Phantom of the Opera, and God knows who or what lives in that building now.

  I don't know, maybe I'm the only one who thinks it's almost funny that New Orleans has as many Zambonis as it does storm drain cleaners and pothole fillers.


  I went on the Zamboni website — yes, there is one, all things Zamboni — to see if I could learn anything about retrofitting the vehicles to do things like vacuum storm drains or smooth over potholes, but I had no luck.

  It all makes me nostalgic, remembering how a bright, young entreprenuer managed to convince the city back in the '90s that what it needed was a hockey team which, of course, was a ludicrous idea from the start — and that's how it is that we managed to end up with a pair of idled Zambonis somewhere in this city, to go along with our pair of Pothole Killers and storm drain vacuum cleaners.

  You could tell this bright, eager young huckster was cut out for big things, a man of inventive wit and ambitious ideas, very few of which — other than a hockey team and two Zambonis — ever materialized.

  His name was Ray Nagin.

You Trash can tempt criminals, label your stuff

Hello Everyone,

Over the past few weeks the Second District has been experiencing a series of home burglaries. In these burglaries the stolen items of choice have been large screen televisions (36"and over), laptop computers and other household appliances.

Commander Albert would like to take this opportunity to pass on a few suggestions that would aid in the retrieval of property and possible apprehension of suspects involved in these crimes.

First, it is very important that you retain the serial numbers for all of your household appliances including televisions and computers. It is also strongly recommended that you have your driver's license number etched onto all of your items in some fashion so that it can be readily noticed. This links the item directly to you.

Next, if you do not retain your sales receipt you should at least make certain you know from which store the item was purchased. This can be helpful due to the fact that most large retail stores will record the sale with your name, telephone number and all of the numbers associated with the item.

In addition, it is also a good idea to take photographs of all of your property. This will record any identifiable marks or item condition which can then be used as a tool to link the property to your household.

This information is important so that your property can be identified if it should end up in a pawn shop or is recovered in another investigation.

Finally, you should never advertise a new purchase by placing the box or carton it came in out for garbage pick up. This is as good as an invitation to thieves to break into your home and help themselves. If you have a large purchase being delivered, ask that the delivery persons remove the carton or box it was delivered in. For smaller purchases, which you carried out of the store, try to break the carton or box into smaller pieces then place them in dark garbage bags.

In closing, on behalf of Commander Albert, I would like to thank all of you for your continued support and enthusiasm in our endeavor of making a Greater New Orleans.

Thank you,
Sergeant Robert W. Kirton, III
Community Outreach Coordinator
2nd District
4317 Magazine Street
NOLA 70115

Off. 658-6020


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

American Cab... Rape

eMail fron

September 8, 2010

New Orleans Police Department-Public Information Office
Suspect Wanted for Rape

New Orleans, LA - The New Orleans Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in the identification of an unknown, Middle-Eastern male, wanted in connection for rape. The offense occurred on July 31, 2010, shortly after 2:00A.M., near the 300 block of Cherokee Street.

According to investigators, the suspect, an American Cab Company cab driver picked up the victim and her male acquaintance at the intersection of Saint Phillip and Royal Streets. The victim’s male acquaintance was dropped off at the intersection of Saint Charles and Louisiana Avenues. The suspect then drove near the 300 block of Cherokee Street where he raped the victim.

The suspect was driving a newer model white van, possibly a Dodge or Toyota, an American Cab.

Attached is a
a photograph of the American Cab.
American Cab

and a compsite sketch of the suspect
Composite Sketch
Wanted: Unknown, Middle-Eastern Male
Wanted for: Rape

Anyone having information concerning this crime is asked to call Crimestoppers at 822-1111 or toll free for long distance at 1-877-903-STOP (7867). Callers do not have to give their name nor testify in court.

Officer Shereese Harper

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Get information straight from NOPD

At the Northwest Carrollton meeting last night, some of you asked about the NOPDs NOLA info emails, whereby the NOPD inform the public through emails of certain goings on in the city.

If you want to subscribe for this free service, go to: