Message from CRNA President

Friends and Neighbors:

If you pay attention to the news at all, you know that the Legislature is in session and is drawing new district boundaries for state representatives, senators and congresspersons. 

For the past ten years, those of us in the four precincts closest to the river have been represented by Rep. Cameron Henry, whose district is primarily in Jefferson Parish.  Nothing against Mr. Henry personally, but many of us have been seeking to have the district boundaries changed so that we would be represented by a person with an Orleans parish base—and that our Carrollton/Riverbend neighborhood and Carrollton generally would be not be divided up in such a way that no one has our part of Orleans as a base (and, therefore, no one feels responsible to “speak for Carrollton.”)

In a bill that now seems to have considerable impetus, the situation could be even worse.  Marshall Hevron, an attorney and former CRNA board member, has been following this process fairly closely.

He sent me the following a little earlier and suggested that I might send it to our CRNA membership:

Dear Neighbors,

            As you may know, the State Legislature is in the middle of its once a decade re-districting session. During this session, lawmakers use census data to draw new districts for the State House, State Senate, and Congress.

            The Jefferson Parish legislative delegation is pushing a plan that would place Carrollton and parts of Uptown in the legislative districts of Jefferson Parish representatives John Labruzzo and Cameron Henry (see the attached map). Under this plan, known as Amendment 248 to House Bill 1, residents of Bucktown and Uptown would be in the same district. Additionally, the Carrollton neighborhood would be carved up and represented by two different Jefferson Parish politicians. The result is less representation for the Carrollton, University, and Uptown neighborhoods. The plan may come up for a vote as early as Tuesday afternoon (March 29) and appears to have Governor Jindal’s support.

            Please call or e-mail Speaker Jim Tucker at:  or (504)393-5646. Let him know that you want our neighborhoods united in the legislature and that you oppose Amendment 248 to House Bill 1.

            Also, please call State Rep Nick Larusso (R-Lakeview). Rep. Larusso is the only State House member from Orleans Parish to support the plan. Rep. Larusso can be contacted at or (504)483-4711.


This is Jerry again:  If you look at the attached map, you will see that TWO Jefferson-based districts would now divide up Carrollton (and parts of Uptown) and another that is heavily Lakefront-based would also take in several of our precincts.

If you care, the information for taking action appears above.  Re-districting of the state senate and of Congress, where similar issues affect us, remain more up in the air at the moment.  We’ll try to keep you informed.

General Meeting

We are also planning a General Meeting of the neighborhood association for Thursday evening, April 14 at 6:30, at St. Andrew’s, Carrollton and Zimpel.  More info on speakers and guests (city agencies, etc) — and food — to follow.  Please mark your calendars and plan to join us.  

Best, Jerry

Jerry Speir, President

Carrollton/Riverbend N’hood Assn.

 Amdt 248 Map


Fall 2010 CRNA Newsletter

CRNA Fall 2010 Newsletter

Letter from CRNA President, Jerry Speir

Friends and Neighbors CRNA Letter from President October 2010

Spring 2010 CRNA Newsletter

CRNA 2010 Spring Newsletter

The word is: Chickens

What do I hear more talk about at backyard parties this summer? Not house prices or crime.

Chickens. (And the heat, of course.)

Urban chicken ranching is a growing phenomenon all over the US, apparently.  And it’s not always a popular idea with the neighbors. See this video from Salem, OR. 

I hear we can have up to 3 chickens, but no roosters, here in our fair city.

Urban Farming

Large scale commercial urban farming is about to begin in Detroit, a city with more vacant city blocks than Our Fair City even has.

The just announced proposal would use 70 acres on Detroit’s lower east side for the first venture, which would aim to grow fruits and vegetables.  While few details are available other information released by the developer/farmer, the Hantz Group, envisions plots with a variety of produce (even Christmas trees), windmills for electrical power and horse riding and hiking/running trails.  Many jobs would be created.


Difficult details include land assemblage and costs. 

Article links: Detroit Free Press, Detroit News

The blog I found this on in the first place:  Detroit Army

Maybe this is something that has potential here in the City of NO.  No?

General meeting/special districts

The spring general meeting was held tonight at St. Andrews. Our new City Inspector General, Robert Cerasoli, made an enjoyable presentation about how he came to be here and the enormous task his office faces in plumbing the depths of the inner workings of our city government. His first task is to measure the beast, something that perhaps has never been done. So far he has uncovered the existance of 142 quasi-governmental boards and commissions that spend our money and potentially saddle us with debts for years to come. (Ever heard of the “Planetarium Commission”? Me neither. ) It should be an interesting ride.

Of more immediate concern: The proposed Carrollton/Riverbend Security District and the proposed Pensiontown Improvement District. Senator Gray has made a pre-filing of bills designed to establish each. The details are subject to change up until late May when the legislature is scheduled to adjourn.

Here is a link to a copy of each bill, as it reads today: CRNA Security District Pensiontown Improvement District

Oh, the details…

There was much confusion by the end of the meeting regarding a host of issues:

  • There are 3 possible types of districts: Security, Improvement and Development, with the latter having the widest scope. Which is most desirable or appropriate?
  • The legislation defines two districts, effectively cutting CRNA in half. Is this the best way to go? Is the reason (security districts should be compact) acceptable, or accurate? (What about economies of scale?)
  • The name “Pensiontown”–few had ever heard of it and fewer liked it. It has historical roots, but it might be seen as derrogatory. This seemed to be important to many people.
  • Much confusion about overlapping neighborhood association borders. CRNA, Palmer Park and the Pensiontown borders all overlap. May or may not be a problem, depending on the situation. I wonder, though: If the CRNA Security District is approved, will the boundaries of the CRNA efectively shrink to the area between Carrollton, the river and the parish line? (It extends up to Claiborne, now.)
  • Does a Pensiontown Nhb Assoc. really exist, officially? No one seemed sure. Does it matter?
  • These are just a few of the general issues that came up tonight. There are more specific questions about the mechanics of the districts, such as:

  • What kinds of properties get assessed (just residential, or commercial, too? Vacant lots?)
  • How multi-tenant buildings get assessed.
  • What happens if property owners refuse to pay?
  • What do you think? What are your questions? Answers? Opinions?

    Leave a comment. Let’s get a discussion going.

    There will be another public meeting soon, place and time to be announced.

    A bit of news from your neighborhood association

    CRRA President Jerry Speir writes (on 9/22),

    Friends and neighbors:

    OAK STREET – As many of you know, there have been plans to “re-do” Oak Street for years. It’s finally about to happen. This will be a total renovation: water lines, sewer lines, storm drains, and then a new street and sidewalks. We expect the work to start in the first half of 2008, some time after Mardi Gras. Obviously, this will be a major disruption to traffic and immediate neighbors, but most importantly to the merchants on the street.

    Details will be discussed at a meeting next Thursday, September 27, 6:30 – 9:00, at St. Joan of Arc Catholic School Auditorium, corner of Cambronne and Freret. A panel discussion is scheduled to start at 7:00, featuring Councilwoman Midura, the director of Public Works, representatives of the Mayor’s office and the project director. This is your opportunity to get information and provide your input to the project. The meeting is being organized by the Oak Street Association. You can submit questions in advance for the panel at (all questions will be screened to expedite the meeting).

    For more information, see the OSA website at We hope to minimize impacts on residents and businesses alike to the extent possible. Total construction time is expected to be 9-12 months. Some of the overhead wires will be eliminated, but not all. [Full disclosure: I am a board member of the Oak Street Association – Jerry]

    CRIME: I continue to hear unsettling reports of crime in the neighborhood. Just today, I’ve heard two disturbing reports: Rev. Garrison tells me that a woman was robbed at gunpoint last night (Friday) in the 1200 block of Cambronne, by a medium-height and -build black male of light complexion riding a bicycle. Annette Bak reports an armed robbery by a “young kid” (pedestrian) of a woman as she was leaving the Ninja restaurant in the 1100 block of Joliet on Thursday evening. Both of these are said to have happened in the 8-9 p.m. time frame. I’ve not yet had any communication from the police about these.

    Last week, about 10:30 p.m., in the1100 block of Cambronne, a woman had a young man follow her into her driveway as she was coming home for the evening. As she got out of the car, he struck her and demanded her keys. She resisted, a scuffle ensued, neighbors showed up, and the man ran away. A few evenings ago, a woman was robbed of a gym bag on Oak Street about 6 p.m. by a young man who approached her from behind and claimed to have a gun. There have been numerous reports of gunfire in the neighborhood.

    Our new police captain in the Second District sends “e-mail blasts,” as he calls them, to neighborhood association presidents when there are “persons crimes” (as opposed to property crimes) in the neighborhood. We post these on our website Crime data can also be accessed on the website. We’re still working to improve the timeliness of that data. There will be another meeting of our inter-neighborhood group on crime issues on Thursday, October 4, 7:00p.m. at St. Matthew’s Church on Carrollton. These are not general neighborhood informational meetings but working/planning meetings. But anyone who is interested in being involved is welcome to attend. If you or a neighbor are the victim of a crime, please report it to the police, so that we (and they) have a complete picture of crime in the neighborhood. Also, if you would, report it to me. I’d like to be able to check our data against the official data and see if there are any discrepancies.

    LOST AND FOUND – Cindy Morse reports that she has wound up with “3 big beautiful umbrellas” that were left at our August 18 picnic: one is black with “All the Kings Men” in red, one is green and white with “Property of Wayzata Country Club” on it, the third blue and white. If you recognize any of these as yours, you can reach Cindy at or 866-2410.

    GROCERY STORE: There has been much concern that the promised grocery store (Robert’s Market) at Carrollton and Claiborne has not been started. There was a bit of a scare last week when we learned that the Gulf Opportunity Zone (“GO Zone”) funding that is critical to the project might not be approved. We have now learned that the project has, in fact, cleared a major hurdle (a committee approval) this week and only has one more hurdle (relatively minor, we hope) at the state level and the governor’s signature in its path before construction can begin. It is expected that these last impediments will be cleared up within the next 2-3 weeks. Mr. Robert promises to start driving pilings within a week of final approval. Councilwoman Midura is credited with helping to move the process past these recent hurdles.

    SCHOOLS: We had another scare last week when it was reported that the School Board had put the Priestley School building on Leonidas on the “surplus property” list and that it might be sold. There are plans, of course, to renovate that building (assuming funding can be found)—as a major revitalization project for that part of the neighborhood–for the new Priestley Charter School of Architecture and Construction. The school is presently housed temporarily at St. Henry’s near Magazine and Napoleon (and doing quite well, with more than double the students it had last year), but it hopes to be able to move into at least temporary buildings at the Leonidas site within a year. School Board member Una Anderson is credited with forstalling the listing of the property for sale. In other schools news, two of our board members, Kevin Brown and Cindy Morse, have been invited to be part of the Leadership Team at Johnson School. We are still seeking funding, through Kevin’s excellent work, to help improve parental involvement and neighborhood involvement at the school.

    ZONING: Our board has dealt with two zoning related issues recently. First, the board voted to condone a beer and wine license for the Jazmine Café in the 600 block of S. Carrollton, on condition that the Café owners enter into a contractual agreement with us limiting alcohol service to dining customers, limiting operating hours, prohibiting video poker, and the like. Second, the board voted to oppose a change in the non-conforming use of the property at S. Carrollton and Cohn, where a coffee shop was proposed. The board agreed with the staff report of the City Planning Commission that the coffee shop would be a more intensive use of the property, increasing parking and other impacts on the immediate neighborhood.

    COUNCIL FORUM: There will be a forum for all candidates for the vacant council-at-large seat on Thursday evening, October 4, at 7:00 in Nunemaker Hall at Loyola. CRRA is one of many associations sponsoring the event. Nunemaker is a bit hard to find. It’s a third floor auditorium in Monroe Hall, the most modern-looking of the buildings on the Loyola campus; one side of Monroe is on Calhoun St, behind the Roussel Hall complex at the corner of St. Charles and Calhoun.

    VOLUNTEERS: There are lots of ways you can help out with the association’s work. We need individuals to help out with distributing flyers occasionally so that we can reach out to the full neighborhood, not just to those for whom I have e-mail addresses. Seriously, can you help? We need a volunteer to attend the monthly meetings with the police department and bring back the news. And we are always looking for more people to be involved in our basic committee work: Zoning/Planning/Land Use, Quality of Life (with an Education sub-committee), Crime/Security, and Events. I’d be happy to put you in touch with the committee of your choice.

    DUES—There, I’ve said it again. Our board has decided that we want to be as inclusive as possible and has, therefore, made dues voluntary. That said, the organization can’t operate without funding. We have established recommended dues as follows:

    $10 – individual
    $25 – family/household
    $50 – supporting
    $100 – sustaining

    THANKS to those who’ve contributed since the last letter. Dues can be sent to our Treasurer, Cindy Morse, at 8601 Zimpel, NOLA 70118.

    NEXT BOARD MEETING: Our next Board meeting will be Monday, October 8, at 7:30, in the back dining room of Asian Cajun on Oak Street. Our meetings are open. We hope to have the principal of Johnson School join us. And there is always lots of interesting stuff to talk about.


    Jerry Speir, President
    Carrollton Riverbend Residents Association

    CRRA Newsletter

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    Louisiana Rebuilds website

    If you listen to All Things Considered on NPR, you have often heard the interesting one-minute summary of rebuilding and recovery information presented just before MarketPlace at 6 PM. Well, here’s the link to the Louisiana Rebuilds website:

    There are lots of links to all kinds of information there.