Jefferson Parish

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The real 'sanctuary city'

Posted By on Sat, Sep 10, 2016 at 2:23 PM

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has railed against "sanctuary cities," but it's Congress, not local communities, who are dropping the ball on illegal immigration. - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has railed against "sanctuary cities," but it's Congress, not local communities, who are dropping the ball on illegal immigration.

We hear a lot of noise these days about immigration, but not a lot of objective information. Let’s start with the basics: Immigration is a federal matter, not a local one. Nevertheless, in recent months some Louisiana politicians have grandstanded on the issue of so-called “sanctuary cities,” a term that isn’t even defined in the law. Even a cursory look at the facts proves the demagogues wrong on virtually every count.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Trader Joe's will open Sep. 23 in Metairie

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 6:31 PM

A Trader Joe's grocery. - CREATIVE COMMONS/MIKE MOZART
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/MIKE MOZART
  • A Trader Joe's grocery.

At long last, Trader Joe's — the grocery chain that has inspired a cult of fans since it opened in California in 1967 — will be opening a store in the New Orleans metro area. On Sep. 23, TJ's will open the doors at 2949 Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Metairie, introducing locals to the wonders of Triple Ginger Snaps, guacamole made with Greek yogurt, frozen flatbreads and, of course, Two Buck Chuck (which may not be two bucks any more, but the name stuck). 

TJ's also is hiring (and jobs start at $10/hour), so if you've always wanted to don a Hawaiian shirt while directing foodie-yuppies to the frozen Chickenless Orange Mandarin Morsels, get in your applications at the Veterans store from 10 a.m to 6 p.m.

In 2011, we explored why New Orleans didn't have a Trader Joe's yet, and the 2012 news that Baton Rouge was getting one set hopes high that the store soon would come to New Orleans. The Metairie location was announced in July 2015

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Where to help Louisiana flood victims: Donation drop points around New Orleans

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 12:01 PM

click image Shawn Wilson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, tweeted these photos Aug. 13 of the historic floods in central Louisiana. - TWITTER/@ONEVISIONARY
  • TWITTER/@onevisionary
  • Shawn Wilson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, tweeted these photos Aug. 13 of the historic floods in central Louisiana.

After several days of record-setting rainfall, devastating floodwaters poured into much of Southeast Louisiana this weekend, including East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Ascension and surrounding parishes. Multiple news organizations are reporting the rescue of more than 20,000 people from homes and vehicles as of Sunday.

As many New Orleanians know well, flooding robs families of resources large and small: it's not just cars and homes, but day-to-day personal effects, from clothes and blankets to shampoo and toothbrushes. Here's our ongoing list of sites to donate these much-needed supplies to flood victims, as well as several contacts for direct donations and volunteer opportunities. 

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Margaret Sanchez pleads guilty in 2012 killing of Jaren Lockhart

Posted By on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 10:58 AM

The Jefferson Parish Government Center in Gretna. - CREATIVE COMMONS/LEGORIKI
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/LEGORIKI
  • The Jefferson Parish Government Center in Gretna.
Margaret Sanchez, 32, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice in the 2012 stabbing death of Jaren Lockhart, 22, and been given a sentence of 40 years, 40 years and 20 years — the maximum possible sentences — all running concurrently. 

Judge Stephen Grefer of the 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna this morning accepted the plea deal worked out between the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's office and Sanchez's attorneys, Anna Friedberg and Cynthia Cimino. 

The plea ends a major chapter in a tragic and lurid local crime case, The reading of the agreement into record included a tearful victim impact statement from Donna Kulick, who is raising Lockhart's young daughter. After speaking of the suffering Lockhart's death had caused, Kulick momentarily appeared to go off-script: "I can't read this next sentence," she said, "At this point in time you're eligible for parole. Justice has not been served: you didn't get life." 

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Christmas tree recycling begins tomorrow

Posted By on Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Tinsel, ornaments and the stand need to be removed before leaving your old Christmas tree on the curb.
  • Tinsel, ornaments and the stand need to be removed before leaving your old Christmas tree on the curb.

Starting tomorrow, Orleans and Jefferson Parish residents can put out those droopy Christmas trees and have them picked up and recycled on their regularly scheduled trash collection day Jan. 7-9.

The annual recycling program is funded by the Office of Coastal and Environmental Affairs. The trees will be used in coastal zones to help prevent erosion of Louisiana's wetlands. Last year, according to numbers provided by the city, nearly 7,000 trees were airlifted into Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge.

Tinsel, ornaments and the stand need to be removed. Trees shouldn't be placed in bags or on neutral grounds, and flocked or artificial trees won't be taken.

Questions? Call the city's 311 information line. 

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bernie Sanders fires up New Orleans-area crowd at Pontchartrain Center

Posted By on Sun, Jul 26, 2015 at 8:08 PM

Vermont Sen. and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders takes the stage at Pontchartrain Center.
  • Vermont Sen. and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders takes the stage at Pontchartrain Center.


Vermont Sen. and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders roused the Democratic faithful tonight in a rally at Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.

A button vendor outside Pontchartrain Center was wearing a "Feel the Bern" T-shirt and vending Sanders campaign buttons — one for $5, three for $10.

Before the rally, Sanders made an appearance at the home of Dr. Gilda Reed, a University of New Orleans professor and former candidate for Louisiana's 1st Congressional District. Addressing about 40 people in Reed's living room, Sanders asked what Louisiana voters were concerned about — the answers included a raise in the minimum wage, universal health care, a ban on fracking and GMOs. Sanders said Vermont labels genetically modified foods, expressed his view that "corporate media" deflects attention from important issues and asked whether the people in the room thought Louisiana would support a raise in the minimum wage to $15 per hour. (The answer: yes.)

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Jefferson Parish becomes first in the state to issue same-sex marriage licenses

Posted By and on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 11:15 AM

Celeste Autin and Alesia LeBoeuf, both employees of the Jefferson Parish Clerk of Courts office, applied for and received a marriage license in Jefferson Parish this morning. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • Celeste Autin and Alesia LeBoeuf, both employees of the Jefferson Parish Clerk of Courts office, applied for and received a marriage license in Jefferson Parish this morning.

As of this morning, Jefferson Parish is issuing marriage licenses to any adult couple who applies, confirmed a spokeswoman for Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court Jon Gegenheimer.

One couple already has applied, she said. That couple is Celeste Autin and Alesia LeBoeuf, both employees of the clerk's office, who were wed at 10:32 a.m.

The couple is from Marrero and met in high school. They've been together 38 years.

"It's not so much about being the first one to get the license as it is just getting a license," LeBoeuf told Gambit.

Michael Robinson and Earl Benjamin, who were turned away from receiving a license in Orleans Parish on Friday, are now filling out paperwork for a Jefferson Parish license.

Earl Benjamin fills out a marriage license form in Jefferson Parish. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • Earl Benjamin fills out a marriage license form in Jefferson Parish.

Earl Benjamin and Michael Robinson back in Orleans Parish with their Jefferson Parish-issued marriage license, awaiting Judge Paula Brown, who will perform their ceremony. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • Earl Benjamin and Michael Robinson back in Orleans Parish with their Jefferson Parish-issued marriage license, awaiting Judge Paula Brown, who will perform their ceremony.

Orleans Parish, along with every other parish in the state, is still waiting on advice from Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the Louisiana Clerks of Court Association. As of yesterday, Gov. Bobby Jindal said the state would comply with Friday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling only after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its own ruling — a position that legal scholars said was unsupported. 

This is a developing story.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gov. Bobby Jindal announces candidacy for President to cheering crowd

Posted By , and on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 5:13 PM

Gov. Bobby Jindal announced his candidacy for president this afternoon at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner. - CHARLES CODY SILER
  • CHARLES CODY SILER
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal announced his candidacy for president this afternoon at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.

As expected, Gov. Bobby Jindal today announced he would seek the Republican Party's nomination for President in the 2016 election. His campaign made it official this morning, hours before Jindal was set to make the formal announcement at Kenner's Pontchartrain Center.

Though the "Geaux Bobby" logo announcement featured the words "New Orleans" and a silhouette of the city's skyline, Jindal actually made his announcement to a crowd of about 1,500 at the Pontchartrain Center, about a 25-minute drive from downtown New Orleans, in a speech carried live on Fox News and C-SPAN3. 

A crowd that organizers estimated at 1,500 picked up "Geaux Bobby" signs and American flags at the door, massing in front of a giant American flag in front of which the candidate would speak. (Some who had RSVP'd for the event reported getting cancellation notices just hours before Jindal was set to speak.) In the crowd: Tea Party stalwarts state Rep. Lenar Whitney, R-Houma and Col. Rob Maness, as well as Stephen Waguespack, head of the Louisiana Association of Business & Industry.

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What you need to know about Gov. Bobby Jindal's announcement today

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 11:12 AM

The official "Geaux Bobby" koozie.
  • The official "Geaux Bobby" koozie.


Is Gov. Bobby Jindal going to announce he's running for president today?

Come on. There's even a koozie. And here's the official announcement.

Where will the event be held?

Pontchartrain Center in Kenner. 

Will there be protests?

A Facebook group has been organized for those who wish to protest. As of this morning it had 3,639 members, but no telling how many will show up. They'll gather on the levee across from Pontchartrain Center at 3:30 p.m., and organizers say they've coordinated with the Kenner Police Department.

Are there hashtags?

Need you ask? The campaign has designated #GeauxBobby (see koozie), while the protestors have colonized #NeauxBobby.

Will Gambit be covering?

We'll be livetweeting from inside Pontchartrain Center, as well as from any protests, at @The_Gambit and at our special event tweet stream @The_GambitLIVE.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Watch: Jindal to Wall Street Journal: I'll keep the American dream from becoming the European nightmare

Posted By on Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 1:18 PM

Gov. Bobby Jindal told The Wall Street Journal: "We don't just need a Republican in the White House; we need a Republican that's going to make big changes."
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal told The Wall Street Journal: "We don't just need a Republican in the White House; we need a Republican that's going to make big changes."


Gov. Bobby Jindal's "Geaux Bobby" event will be held Wednesday at Kenner's Pontchartrain Center, where he'll end all the suspense and let us in on his decision whether or not to run for the Republican nomination for president. He sat for an interview Friday with The Wall Street Journal's Reid Epstein, and outlined the case he'd make if he does run:

If I run, it'll be to make big changes in D.C. My big concern is President Obama is in the process of changing the American dream into the European nightmare — defining success as government dependence, government spending, government borrowing. We don't just need a Republican in the White House; we need a Republican that's going to make big changes.

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