At a meeting of the New Orleans City Council's Housing and Human Needs Committee today, bed-and-breakfast operators, property owners and representatives of the city's tourism industry demanded more stringent enforcement of short-term property rental laws, saying the city's apparently lax attitude toward the problem takes business from legitimate bed and breakfasts and hotels and costs tax dollars.
"Every year legitimate operators lose $13 million in potential bookings to illegal short-term rentals," said bed and breakfast operator Brian Furness, giving the estimates of the French Quarter Citizens Illegal Short-Term Rental Committee. Based on taxes paid by licensed and permitted facilities, he added, "Those illegal operators would owe $1.4M annually in taxes. Against this backdrop, the city's lack of enforcement is perplexing."
Under city code, property owners without hotel or bed and breakfast permits cannot rent out their homes for less than 60 days in the French Quarter or 30 days elsewhere in the city. The city enforces the law by sending out notices to property owners or agents advertising illegal short-terms. But in January, Gambit found that the city had not sent out any such notice during the entire second half of 2012, despite flagrant online advertising in the run-up to the Super Bowl. Nor had city government ever provided a semi-annual report on enforcement efforts, as required by the law.
(More after the jump)
According to a press release from the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office, 1,681 people were arrested in New Orleans between Friday, Jan. 25 and the end of Tuesday, Feb. 12, including 289 arrests during Super Bowl weekend. The Advocate reports 879 Carnival season arrest actions — a number that includes suspects who received summonses rather than being taken into custody — in the New Orleans Police Department's Eighth District, which covers the French Quarter and the Central Business District. That compares to 1,056 Eighth District arrests last year.
According to Lindsay Meaux, a spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office, the numbers released today represent only people who were arrested and brought into custody.
Average daily arrests over the season (Jan. 25-Feb. 12), based on OPSO's numbers:
88.47 per day overall.
72.25 per day during Super Bowl festivities.
92.8 per day for the Carnival season not including Super Bowl days.
The Metropolitan Crime Commission reported in May that 33,117 people were arrested in all of 2011. That works out to an average of about 90.7 per day.
(Read the press release after the jump)
New Orleans City Council's Utility Committee today held a special meeting with officials from Entergy and the Superdome to investigate the cause of a power outage that led to a 30-minute interruption in play during the Super Bowl. The meeting came shortly after the company issued a statement placing fault with an electrical relay device that mistakenly triggered during the game.
Though District D Councilwoman and committee chair Cynthia Hedge-Morrell said in a prepared statement that the meeting was intended for fact-finding purposes rather than a "laying of fault," she and other Council members occasionally appeared to betray frustration with the company.
"Where do you go now? You've narrowed it to the relay switch. You're now going to do something to correct that," she said to Entergy New Orleans CEO Charles Rice, requesting that the company perform third-party inspections and equipment testing. "What are you going to do to ensure the integrity is there?"
Rice and Entergy Louisiana vice president for transmission and distribution Dennis Dawsey told council members they are still determining why the device — manufactured by Chicago company S&C Electric and installed to protect Superdome equipment — failed.
"That's what we're still investigating," Dawsey said.
[1 p.m.] Times-Picayune reporter Richard Thompson got in touch with S&C. The company blames Entergy for the failure.
(More after the jump)
The Winnipeg Sun asked its readers what they thought was the best part of the Super Bowl ...
Reuters reporter Matthew Keys recorded emergency radio communications during Sunday's power outage in the Superdome.
He notes a couple of interesting moments in the traffic. At about seven minutes into the recording: "The Dome may have lost power. If you do have a loss of power, just please say so on the radio."
That is followed by several minutes of back and forth about how extensive the power outage is. At 8:45: "They are on emergency power inside the Dome. Be prepared for perhaps a hasty exit."
18:26: "Just be advised the FBI's currently tracking the Occupy NOLA movement," advising anyone to who sees members to contact the security operations center. (Occupy NOLA members had staged protests earlier in the day.)
Go to Keys' Soundcloud page for the full recording.
Blue skies with temps in the upper 60’s to low 70’s, depending if you were in or out of the sun, made the hours leading up to the game very enjoyable. It was weather that made Super Bowl weekend seem like a mixture of Fat Tuesday meets French Quarter Fest as sidewalks from the CBD to the French Quarter were crawling with purple and red colored fans. Visitors and local enjoyed the weekend of music and food and on Sunday it all came together for one final big day.
There are plenty of storylines heading into this game: Hey, did you hear that the head coaches are brothers! How about Ray Lewis is retiring and how many times have you Googled something or anything to do with deer antler spray?
San Francisco and Baltimore are two very good football teams. They are well coached, thrive on emotion and bring a sense of physicality both offensively and defensively to the field. Quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick are intriguing. Frank Gore and Ray Rice are two of the best running backs in the NFL. Michael Crabtree, and Vernon Davis have made big plays in the passing game for San Francisco; Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith have been big play receivers for the Ravens. Ray Lewis and Randy Moss are a pair of future Hall of Famers that have made it clear they want to put their imprint in this game, quite possibly the last in their careers. Lastly, both teams have made names for themselves based on their defenses.
Crowds swarmed Decatur Street on Saturday afternoon, gathering at the would-be entrance to Jackson Square — dubbed this week as "CBS Super Bowl Park at Jackson Square." The network has taken over most of the park with four stages for sports, news and talk shows as the network home to Super Bowl XLVII. Across the street past Washington Artillery Park, the network's assembly of trailers, equipment and newsrooms. Tourists snapped photos past security to catch a glimpse of the CBS sports desk. Hare Krishnas followed a faux second line of San Francisco 49ers fans. Others wandered with Hand Grenades or Mardi Gras beads, and the street deadlocked traffic with pedestrians.
But inside the gates, dozens of CBS crewmembers worked silently as stages broadcast just feet from Andrew Jackson's statue.
Two TV cameras focused on Scott Pelley, anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News, framing him against St. Louis Cathedral. His team on-set and plugged in from New York, where the show typically is broadcast, makes final adjustments down to the second before cameras roll. "There's a person in Los Angeles, probably a computer, ready to cut me off when it comes to that last second," Pelley says with a foot propped on a red steel utility box. Minutes later the show begins.
The headlines: a report from Mali, day five of the Alabama hostage, online hackers, and three stories from New Orleans — catching up with Russell Honore ("the man who faced down Katrina") inside the Superdome, a profile of Trombone Shorty by Michelle Miller, and a look at the Loyola streetcar line and economic boosts to the city ("they don't need a football game to tell them what they already know," reporter Jim Axelrod says).
"Beautiful piece," Pelley tells Axelrod. "Well written, nicely shot."
The broadcast wraps, and a "Krewe of CBS Sports" second-line emerges from Cafe du Monde outside the gates.
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