New Orleans Life

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

New Orleans City Planning Commission votes to ban whole home short-term rentals

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 10:15 PM

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Whole home rentals in residential neighborhoods are off the table in the short-term rental debate — for now — following the New Orleans City Planning Commission's (CPC) vote unanimously agreeing they should remain illegal. Following months of debate and years of discussion, the CPC approved a framework for short-term rental listings like Airbnb on Aug. 9. The recommendations from the CPC's staff now head to the New Orleans City Council, which could change up the new rules before a final vote — those recommendations are just that.

Following five hours of public comment and an hour of discussion among commissioners, the CPC approved its staff recommendations for three types of short-term rentals and voted to ban the controversial practice of renting out entire homes in residential areas. The CPC rejected those types of rentals earlier this year, but they were put back in play by Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration.

Several New Orleans City Council members have been critical of whole home rentals — District A Councilmember Susan Guidry told Gambit last month they pose "the biggest threat to the quality of life of our long-term residents." Councilmembers Jared Brossett and Stacy Head also expressed concerns about homes used as short-term rentals year-round in residential neighborhoods.

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Pete Fountain: 1930-2016

Posted By on Sat, Aug 6, 2016 at 4:06 PM

Pete Fountain and his "Half-Fast Walking Club" on Fat Tuesday 2009. - CREATIVE COMMONS/CARNAVAL.COM STUDIOS
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/CARNAVAL.COM STUDIOS
  • Pete Fountain and his "Half-Fast Walking Club" on Fat Tuesday 2009.

Pete Fountain, the clarinetist and one of New Orleans' premier 20th century ambassadors to the world, died this morning in hospice, according to the Associated Press. Fountain was 86.

A native New Orleanian, Fountain rose to fame in the 1950s on The Lawrence Welk Show before returning to New Orleans and opening an eponymous nightclub on Bourbon Street in the building that now houses the Oz dance club. In the coming years, he would appear many times on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, playing with the Doc Severinsen Orchestra and touring the country. In the 1970s, he closed his Bourbon Street club and established "Pete Fountain's Jazz Club" at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside, where he performed until 2003.

Fountain performed for Pope John Paul II at St. Louis Cathedral in 1987, and received the Big Easy Awards' Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. He also was known for his "Half-Fast Walking Club," a Mardi Gras marching group that wended its way into the French Quarter on Fat Tuesday morning. The group was too "half-fast" for Baton Rouge; in 2010, in its first appearance in a Mardi Gras parade there, organizers kicked Fountain and his krewe out of the parade for marching too slowly.


In a statement, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said, "He was an inspiring performer whose unmistakable sound defined our city's unique cultural heritage. We have lost one of the jazz greats, but his music will live on forever. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this very difficult time of grief.”

Gov. John Bel Edwards said, "Mr. Fountain and his clarinet filled our streets, homes and hearts with music and joy. Throughout his extensive career, Mr. Fountain was always a proud ambassador for the City of New Orleans."

Here's Fountain in one of his many performances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1979. Below the cut: some social media memories of Fountain:

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Jo 'Cool' Davis died

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 6:01 PM

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Jo "Cool" Davis died, according to WWL TV. He was 63.

Davis was a gospel singer who recorded prolifically. He won numerous awards, including two Big Easy Music Awards. 

Davis was a familiar face in the Gospel Tent at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and he brought gospel music to many secular venues. To many New Orleanians, he was the face they met at the door of the club Tipitina's, where he worked and performed for many years. 

Davis is survived by his wife Evelyn, twin brother George and daughter Charlene.

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Y@ Speak: "the sky's the limit"

Posted By on Mon, Aug 1, 2016 at 7:34 PM

Lil Wayne endorses Hillary Clinton after she maybe referenced Da Drought (or, more likely, her own speech in 2008), the Louisiana delegation steals the show, and New Orleans in deep summer means exploding streets, snakes eating bicyclists, and tourists who should be fired into the sun.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tulane Avenue improvements coming in August

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 5:15 PM

click image Tulane Avenue in 2015. - PAUL SABLEMAN/FLICKR
  • PAUL SABLEMAN/FLICKR
  • Tulane Avenue in 2015.
When officials with the Regional Planning Commission first announced a $10 million beautification project to a stretch of Tulane Avenue in Mid-City, they described a plan that would “significantly improve visual quality” along the corridor, as well as enhance pedestrian and bicycle mobility and safety.

Five years and nearly $5 million later, officials still tout final plans for a safer, wider street reduced from six lanes to four, thanks to improvements that will extend from South Carrollton to South Claiborne avenues.

What didn’t make the cut, however, are features that could have helped “reinvent” Tulane Avenue, as neighbors had hoped.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Y@ Speak: #DavidDukeLooksLike

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 7:45 PM

Deflated pink balloon David Duke, high on the fumes of Donald Trump's coronation at the Republican National Convention, is running for U.S. Senate (and nearly 4,000 people on Twitter said they'd vote for him). Also this week: New Orleans might host the NBA All-Star Game in 2017 and DeRay's bookbag is still in Baton Rouge.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

New Orleans wants to host the 2017 NBA All-Star game

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 5:40 PM

New Orleans hosted NBA All-Star games in 2008 and 2014.
  • New Orleans hosted NBA All-Star games in 2008 and 2014.

New Orleans might host the 2017 NBA All-Star game following the league’s objections to LGBT discrimination laws in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the game was scheduled next February. Today the league announced it's pulling out.

North Carolina’s House Bill 2 requires transgender people use public restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates, and it omits and limits LGBT protections from statewide anti-discrimination laws, including workplace discrimination. The law has been widely derided by touring performers, companies and events that canceled gigs or business in the state.

“Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community — current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans," reads a statement from the NBA. "While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2."

The NBA will announce its replacement city "the coming weeks." According to Yahoo Sports, New Orleans is on the top of that list. New Orleans hosted All-Star games in 2008 and 2014. The event is scheduled Sunday, Feb. 19, with a week of events leading up to it — in New Orleans, this means an All-Star weekend in the middle of the last weeks of Carnival, with the game a little more than a week before Fat Tuesday.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Y@ Speak: #BatonRouge, "I got you"

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Following Alton Sterling's death, protests against police brutality and Sterling's funeral, more tragedy in Baton Rouge. Also this week: Skip Holden and Pokemon fever.

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Y@ Speak: #AltonSterling and #BatonRouge

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Twitter allows us nearly minute-by-minute live accounts of anything happening at any time, including the overwhelming, war-like response to protests and marches in the wake of Alton Sterling's death by Baton Rogue police officers last week. Reports from the weekend's protests have used words like "standoff" to describe what was more like a one-sided riot response — where there was no riot. This week's edition follows last week's vigils, rallies and updates from Baton Rouge, all aired on Twitter by the hundreds of witnesses who were there.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

New Orleans' National Underwear Day parade is August 5

Posted By on Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 4:06 PM

Burlesque dancer Trixie Minx is queen of New Orleans' National Underwear Day Parade.
  • Burlesque dancer Trixie Minx is queen of New Orleans' National Underwear Day Parade.

In the new New Orleans, it seems people can't get enough parades or burlesque, and the two public displays are merging in a National Underwear Day parade, announced by organizers Ryan Ballard of the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus and Xena Zeit-Geist, founder of the Society of Sin burlesque troupe. 

The parade is Friday, Aug. 5. There's a pre-party and gathering in Washington Square in Marigny at 6 p.m. The procession departs at 7 p.m. and travels to Castillo Blanco, the Chewbacchus den, where the group will hold its "Free Ball." Organizers have named royalty for the day. Chris Leonard, Executive Director of New Orleans Pride, is the King. Burlesque performer Trixie Minx is Queen. Admission to both events is free.

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