Anne Marie Hesson 
Member since Mar 1, 2016


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Re: “All bark, no park: what happened to plans for dog parks in New Orleans?

Despite the petitions, Rainey said pro-dog park enthusiasts were notably absent from all six of the Mayor's recent Budgeting for Outcomes meetings, where citizens can interact with all levels of city government regarding facilities that need updating or repair.

Several years ago, NORDC created Community Advisory Teams (CAT teams) to make recommendations for the parks in each council district. We have an active CAT team in district C, which represents Cabrini and several other parks. We meet regularly and forward recommendations to NORDC each month.

We do not want to be seen as a one-issue group and have focused our recommendations on issues common to all parks: having consistent hours (why is Cabrini open from 8 am to 6 or 7 pm in the most 24-hour neighborhood in the city when other NORDC parks are open from 6 am to 10 pm?), providing permanent seating so visitors of all ages and physical abilities can enjoy the parks, safety - why are the gates chained open next to busy streets (especially now with a major construction project underway just across the street from Cabrini)?, and maintenance issues such as lights, grass and portolet maintenance.

Most - not all - of our members are in favor of a design that serves all facets of the community at Cabrini - including an off-leash dog area and we have attended meetings of NORDC's governance committee in large numbers to express our desires.

We believe from anecdotal information that ours is the last active CAT team - that others grew frustrated with the lack of response from NORDC and ceased to meet. Even so, our members can only do so much and we've focused on being present at meetings where we knew our issues would be discussed. Please do not infer from our absence at the budgeting meetings that there is not strong support for off leash dog parks at Cabrini and elsewhere in the city.

17 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Anne Marie Hesson on 08/29/2016 at 4:07 PM

Re: “All bark, no park: what happened to plans for dog parks in New Orleans?

Richard acknowledged hiring the security guard, but said it was a move to protect the renovations that the city and neighbors had made to the park during the eight months it was closed. He said he wasn't aware of any complaints about the private security, and that it was a necessary measure to protect the grounds from damage.

If Vic Richard was unaware of complaints about the security guard, it wasn't because citizens didn't complain. Here's an email I sent to NORDC on Jan 20. I probably didn't copy Mr. Richard because of his prior lack of responsiveness to our group.


From: Anne Marie Hesson
Sent: Wed 1/20/16 3:44 PM
To: Deborah J. Langhoff (djlanghoff@nola.gov)
Cc: Mark Gonzalez (mark@markgonzaleznola.com); Wayne Williams (waynew@fqr.com); latoya@nola.gov (latoya@nola.gov); mayor@nola.gov (mayor@nola.gov)








Deborah,

At our last CAT team meeting, we discussed the presence of an armed guard at Cabrini Park.

First, we recommend and request the immediate removal of armed guards from Cabrini and any other park. We feel it is a matter of public safety that no guns be permitted in parks that are designated gun-free zones where children play.

Secondly, we would like to know the criteria used for assigning guards to NORDC's parks, to which parks guards are assigned and their assigned schedules.

On a personal note, I visited Cabrini Park last Friday about 3:30 pm. No guard was present when I first arrived. A friend pointed out a van parked on Burgundy and said that was where he hangs out when no one is in the park. Is that acceptable behavior?

My friend and I were nearly alone in the park, and had no dogs with us. However, the guard found it necessary to "tail us", usually staying within 20 feet. I felt as if I were being followed and intimidated. I don't find that behavior acceptable. Does NORDC or Falcon Security?

The guard on duty spat on the ground several times during my half hour visit. I find that behavior unacceptable and think most parents would be appalled at such behavior in front of their children. Is that behavior acceptable to NORDC or his employer?

Thank you for your help.
Anne Marie Hesson

17 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Anne Marie Hesson on 08/29/2016 at 3:48 PM

Re: “NORD is considering what should be done with Cabrini Park in the French Quarter. What do you think?

Why would zoning require an off leash dog park to be large enough to accommodate 125 dogs? Can you cite the ordinance? That requirement would make it almost impossible to have an off leash dog park based on size alone. From a behavior point of view, I wouldn't want my dogs in a park with 125 others. That's too many for owners to manage their pets.

New York has many smallish dog parks that seem to work very well. Many recommendations for dog parks seem to be based on cities that are less dense and more spread out cities than New Orleans. Like many facets of life, they need to be adapted to our reality,.

40 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Anne Marie Hesson on 05/20/2016 at 4:38 PM

Re: “The Broad Theater brings movies back to Mid-City

Please consider showing Fathom Entertainment programming: opera, theatre, concerts. Elmwood shows them now but really as an afterthought, starting late, ignoring sound issues, even showing an opera different than the one advertised. I think this neighborhood would support such programming.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Anne Marie Hesson on 03/01/2016 at 5:07 PM

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