Tuesday, November 21, 2017

As Mayor-elect Cantrell begins City Hall transition, Landrieu plans to "finish strong" and glimpses life after term

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 7:25 PM

Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell with Mayor Mitch Landrieu. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell with Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

New Orleans District B City Councilmember LaToya Cantrell celebrated her victory in the mayoral election over the weekend, but City Hall has been working on the transition from Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration to the next mayor-elect for several months.

When Landrieu entered office in 2010, inheriting a City Hall in “dysfunction” and “nearly bankrupt” under Mayor Ray Nagin, “We spent an inordinate amount of time just trying to understand how government was organized, what existed, and where things even were,” he said. “So much of our work in the early days was just trying to organize … I vowed to never leave the city in that shape for folks coming after us.”

In a joint press conference and display of harmony between the two politicians who often were at odds with the other through their terms in office, mayor-elect Cantrell ensured that after an abnormally long transition period, they’ll “not only come out on top but shine for the citizens of New Orleanians, because the people will definitely come first,” she said.

Exactly what will happen in the Cantrell camp within that long transition period (more than 160 days) and who will be a part of it — have not been announced, but some details emerged Nov. 21.

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Surveillance cameras in bars, homes could feed into New Orleans crime monitoring center

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 6:32 PM

The city's Real Time Crime Monitoring Center oversees a citywide crime camera network. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • The city's Real Time Crime Monitoring Center oversees a citywide crime camera network.

A time stamp appeared above each person wandering into the live feed of Jackson Square, streaming into a command center overseeing citywide crime cameras monitored in real-time.

On Rampart Street on the edge of the French Quarter, the city’s new Real Time Crime Monitoring Center hopes to centralize a “blanket” of surveillance cameras — all of them, from city-owned crime cameras and license plate readers to cameras installed by residents and bars — for round-the-clock monitoring.

On Nov. 21, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and officials announced the opening of the center, a $5 million renovation and a “major phase” of Landrieu's sweeping $40 million crime prevention package announced in January. That plan includes 40 cameras planted in crime “hotspots,” with another 250 planned by spring 2018, and 22 license plate readers, with another 80 coming online in the coming months, along with tightened security measures on Bourbon Street and around the French Quarter.

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Landrieu writing a book on race relations, Confederate-era monuments

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 1:56 PM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Here's something for your spring reading list: According to an Associated Press report, Mayor Mitch Landrieu is writing a book "about his views on race and his support for taking down four Confederate monuments earlier this year."

In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History will be published by Viking Press in March 2018. Here's what the publisher has to say about it:
“There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence for it.” When Mitch Landrieu addressed the people of New Orleans in 
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May 2017 about his decision to take down four Confederate monuments, including the statue of Robert E. Lee, he struck a nerve nationally, and his speech has now been heard or seen by millions across the country. In his first book, Mayor Landrieu discusses his personal journey on race as well as the path he took to making the decision to remove the monuments, tackles the broader history of slavery, race and institutional inequities that still bedevil America, and traces his personal relationship to this history. His father, as state senator and mayor, was a huge force in the integration of New Orleans in the 1960s and 19070s. Landrieu grew up with a progressive education in one of the nation’s most racially divided cities, but even he had to relearn Southern history as it really happened.

Equal parts unblinking memoir, history, and prescription for finally confronting America’s most painful legacy, In the Shadow of Statues will contribute strongly to the national conversation about race in the age of Donald Trump, at a time when racism is resurgent with seemingly tacit approval from the highest levels of government and when too many Americans have a misplaced nostalgia for a time and place that never existed.
Landrieu's predecessor in office, Ray Nagin, wrote his own memoir, Katrina's Secrets, and former Gov. Bobby Jindal penned two books, Leadership and Crisis and American Will: The Forgotten Choices That Changed Our Republic-And Offer Lessons for Its Future.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Mayor-elect Y@ Speak

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 5:00 PM

This week brings us LaToya Cantrell vs. Desiree Charbonnet, Rosie O'Donnell vs. Steve Scalise, Rep. Garret Graves vs. Puerto Rico, and the Saints vs. everyone, except Airheads, which we now will debate 1. how best to eat them and 2. which flavor is the best flavor. (Correct answers are 1. slapping them into the bottom of the packaging and 2. pink lemonade.)

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Longway Tavern to open in French Quarter

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 4:53 PM

Liam Deegan of Barrel Proof is designing the bar program for Longway Tavern.
  • Liam Deegan of Barrel Proof is designing the bar program for Longway Tavern.

Longway Tavern, a new restaurant and bar from the folks behind Cavan and Barrel Proof, will open in the French Quarter next year.

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Cirque du Soleil brings Corteo to Smoothie King Center March 2-4

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 10:47 AM

COURTESY CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
  • COURTESY CIRQUE DU SOLEIL

Cirque du Soleil kicks off a U.S. tour of Corteo March 2-4, 2018 at Smoothie King Center. The show is a modern circus with a story about Mauro the Dreamer, a clown who images a his own funeral as a wildly festive parade, The show features acrobats performing on ladders, trampoline like beds, chandelier trapeze, teeter boards and more. It's a grand-scale production with a large performing space, plenty of acrobatic aerial rigging and more than 250 costumes.

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Gambit's Digital Edition, November 21, 2017

Posted on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 10:43 AM

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Da Winnas and Da Loozas of the 2017 election

Posted By on Sun, Nov 19, 2017 at 4:03 PM

The scene at LaToya Cantrell's victory party at the New Orleans Jazz Market. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • The scene at LaToya Cantrell's victory party at the New Orleans Jazz Market.

The 2017 citywide elections were indeed a watershed moment in New Orleans politics, just as I predicted in my column posted on Election Eve (Friday, Nov. 17). We not only got our first woman mayor, which was a foregone conclusion, but we also got our first Asian and Hispanic council members (the latter of whom was elected in the primary). The Council also went from five black members to three, and from four women to three.

More than that, the election of LaToya Cantrell as mayor and Cyndi Nguyen as councilmember from District E proves that the post-Katrina “bottom-up” electoral paradigm has gone citywide. Cantrell, a former community organizer and leader of the Broadmoor neighborhood’s comeback after Hurricane Katrina, mounted a grass roots campaign that mirrored both the style and substance of Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid. Cantrell also borrowed a page from former President Barack Obama in terms of her turnout operation, which used technology and social media to amazing effect. As a result, Cantrell becomes not only New Orleans’ first woman mayor but also our first truly post-Katrina mayor.

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Cantrell to become New Orleans' first woman mayor; Nguyen upsets Gray in District E; Banks beats Bloom by 131 votes in District B

Posted By , and on Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 11:29 PM

New Orleans mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell greets supporters before her victory speech. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • New Orleans mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell greets supporters before her victory speech.

LaToya Cantrell will be New Orleans’ first-ever woman to become mayor in the city’s nearly 300-year history. New Orleans voters elected the District B City Council member in the runoff against former municipal court judge Desiree Charbonnet, capping off a contentious election cycle marked by scandals over public credit card spending, attack ads and debate over the future of the city’s post-Katrina infrastructure, short-term rentals, crime, and the troubled Sewerage & Water Board.

“Almost 300 years, and we’re still making history,” Cantrell said at her campaign party at the New Orleans Jazz Market Nov. 18.

Cantrell spoke to Charbonnet over the phone earlier in the evening as early polling returns put Cantrell in the lead. “I said to her, ‘congratulations on standing with me on making history, because our history was two women in the runoff.’ And we both deserve to be proud of that,” Cantrell said.

Cantrell received roughly 60 percent of the vote in Saturday’s election, with Charbonnet earning 40 percent. An estimated 32 percent of New Orleans voters showed up at the polls.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Prospect.4 art expo opening events Nov. 18-19

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 2:59 PM

Prospect.4 artist Naama Tsabar created a performance piece in Miami Beach in 2016. - COURTESY PROSPECT NEW ORLEANS
  • COURTESY PROSPECT NEW ORLEANS
  • Prospect.4 artist Naama Tsabar created a performance piece in Miami Beach in 2016.

Prospect.4, the fourth edition of the Prospect New Orleans international contemporary art triennial, kicks off with a performance event at 11 a.m. Saturday in Washington Square Park. Artist Naama Tsabar has orchestrated a performance by 21 local women musicians, who will all stand on amplifiers. They're grouped into four bands, each playing a separate piece of music created for the event. Participating musicians include Helen Gillet, Meschiya Lake, Sarah Quintana, Kelly Mae, Julie Odell and others. The event is free. There also is an official ribbon-cutting ceremony opening Prospect.4 at 11 a.m. in the park.

There are a couple of performances during the P.4's opening weekend, as well as gallery talks and events. The opening Swamp Galaxy Gala is tonight (Friday) at the Sugar Mill. P.4 runs through Feb. 25, 2018.

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