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City budget time! Public hearings start 6/23, online

At the link is the schedule for the PUBLIC hearings related to the Capital Improvement Plan, requests from various departments for funds (library, parks & parkways, DPW, Juvenile Justice Intervention Center, Audubon, Dept of Sanitation, SWB, among others. You can watch online.

“The City Planning Commission, in accordance with Sections 3-117, 5-402, and 6-104 of the Home Rule Charter of the City of New Orleans, will hold public hearings to consider Capital Budget requests by the departments and agencies of the City for the 2022-2026 program years.  All hearings will be held via video/teleconference or in a designated conference room located in New Orleans City Hall, at 1300 Perdido Street, 7th floor, New Orleans, Louisiana, on the dates and times.”

It’s good to hear what they’re asking for, especially because there may be items on the November ballot. Here’s more info: https://nola.gov/city-planning/capital-improvement-plan/

Get a CRNA yard sign!

They are tastefully small, yet mighty, and feature our very own Mr. P. Let me know if you’d like one; they’re $8.00 each. (We’re working on setting up a PalPal for CRNA, but for now, it’s just cash.)

Reminder: Together Louisiana mtg w/ Gov Edwards Monday 6/14

“I’m writing to remind you of an upcoming meeting with Gov. John Bel Edwards, Together Louisiana is hosting Monday, June 14 at 2 p.m.

Register here to attend.

Please join the meeting at 1:40 p.m. to prepare for Gov. Edwards, who is expected at 2 p.m.

The meeting is an opportunity for us to review the 2021 legislative session, strengthen our relationship with Gov. Edwards and propose a few pieces of legislation we’d like him to consider vetoing in the interest of our communities.

Hope to see you there!”

Marsalis Harmony Park!

Thanks to Carrollton United, Councilmember Joe Giarusso, and Carrollton-Riverbend NA, and neighbors who engaged in the polls, surveys, and discussions about renaming Palmer Park. The result–Marsalis Harmony Park–has been approved by the Marsalis family; Joe G will submit the required paperwork to the Council and City. Copied below is the letter sent by Ellis Marsalis, III to Joe G (I have removed his contact info). As info about a dedication comes, it will be shared.

Councilman Joseph Giarrusso
City of New Orleans District A
City Hall, Room 2W80
1300 Perdido Street
New Orleans, LA 70112 10 June 2021


Dear Councilman Joseph Giarrusso,


On behalf of the direct descendants of Ellis and Dolores Marsalis, each of us – Branford, Wynton, Ellis, Delfeayo, Mboya and Jason agree to and would be honored to have the name of the current Palmer Park changed to honor our family’s varied civic contributions.

Moreover, let this dedication be presented as an affirmation of the present and not a rebuking of the past or the turning of a political tide.


Even though we have lived in the pigeon town section of Leonidas since 1975, our family’s presence is much longer as our dad purchased the house from his dad, Ellis L Marsalis Sr. We went to school here, we went to church here, we grew up here.


If there is anything that we may do to assist you or the community organizations involved with this process please do not hesitate to contact us at any time and we look forward to further engagement and next steps.


Thank you, Councilman Giarrusso, as well all the members of Carrollton United and Carrollton Riverbend Neighborhood Association for supporting this effort.


Yours Truly
Ellis L Marsalis III

Free Native Plants @ Delta Flora Fri & Sat!

Delta Flora, free native plants Fri & Sat. 2710 Touro St. Really great people and plants. Go native!

FREE PLANTS this Friday and Saturday at Delta Flora! That’s right! Are you curious about native plants? This is our closing weekend, so it’s your last chance this season to take home a new plant friend from Delta Flora Native Plants! We’re offering ONE FREE SMALL PLANT to EVERY VISITOR this Friday and Saturday. We want these babies to go home with you, get into the soil, and thrive! We have a wide variety of plants available for purchase and/or for the free plant giveaway! Swipe thru to see a small selection of available beauties: wild bee balm, wood sage, lemon beebalm, blue woodland phlox, white wild indigo, spiderwort, pineland hibiscus, and red wild Columbine.

The only string attached to your free small plant is a Solemn Oath: you must swear to ~personally~ remove the plant from its pot & carefully plant it in the ground in an appropriate location! Then you must water it regularly as it grows in. (Preferably at this point you would also hold minor conversations with your free plant & give it some encouraging words, but you don’t have to swear to that). Hope to see y’all this Friday and Saturday!

On FB: https://www.facebook.com/deltafloranativeplants/

Ripping out six public clay tennis courts?

Yesterday, Sandy Rosenthal (of levees.org) was on the radio to talk about Audubon Nature Institute’s discussions with Tulane University to rip out six PUBLIC clay courts. She talked with Newell Normand, then was on WBOK with Oliver (OT) Thomas.

If you haven’t yet, please sign this letter! https://rallystarter.com/r/622/

Here’s a link to the discussion with Oliver Thomas’s show: https://levees.org/…/06/6-8-21-Sandy-Rosenthal-on-WBOK.mp3

Update: SWB T4 & T5

Poor old T1 sounds like it’s in (loud) terrible pain when it’s running.

Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans Provides Update on Power Generating Turbines

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 9 2021

New Orleans – Today, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans provided an update on two power generating turbines, Turbine 4 and Turbine 5:

Both SWBNO teams and its contractors have been working diligently to stabilize the power generating redundancy ahead of the 2021 Hurricane Season. Last month, we brought Turbine 4 back online. Working with a machine built in 1915 will inevitability come with significant challenges. The commissioning of this machine was met with several issues and setbacks, which were addressed as quickly as possible.

As recently as rain event on Saturday, June 5, Turbine 4 tripped offline and could not be brought back on. The SWBNO team quickly diagnosed the issue as a problem with an electrical component of the machine and immediately contacted the appropriate vendor to make the repair.

The vendor was onsite yesterday, June 8, and determined that three electrical components need to be replaced. Because of the age of Turbine 4, we cannot source these parts off the shelf. Therefore, they must be custom made. The initial timeframe for the fabrication of these parts is approximately 8 weeks. We recognize that this timeframe takes us into the thick of Hurricane Season, which is why we are working with our contractor to investigate all possible options to expedite this process.

Additionally, as reported in SWBNO’s last Board Meeting, nationwide steel shortages are delaying the repairs to Turbine 5. Turbine 1, Frequency Changers and EMD’s will continue to be utilized as needed until repairs to Turbine 4 and Turbine 5 are completed.

While SWBNO teams and vendors are working hard to expedite the replacement of the parts for T4 and T5, these issues further validate our utility’s current path to modernize our power system through a dedicated Entergy substation and modern Turbines for redundancy.

“We know that fully modernizing our power generation system is key to both the future of this agency and this city,” said Ghassan Korban, Executive Director, Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans. “That is why we are working tirelessly, in coordination with Entergy, to bring a dedication Entergy substation to our Carrollton Water Plant as we as bringing a new, state-of-the-art Turbine to our arsenal of power.”

Interview with Councilmember Joe G

Big Easy magazine did an interview with Joe Giarusso, our District A City Councilmember. For those who don’t know him, here’s a good intro. (And, he attends every CRNA monthly meeting.) See our Resources link for contact info.

New Orleans IS Different from the rest of the state

Aimee Freeman (our LA Dist 98 rep) HB 372 would have increased fines for bad apple developers (who we know best from their doubles-to-dorms activities). She presented it to the Committee of Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs at the State Capitol on Thursday morning (May 13), joined by Councilmember Joe Giarrusso. It would authorize the City of New Orleans to impose a daily penalty for building code and zoning violations (for residential structures only)—and for working/demolition/occupancy without a permit. It was deferred for another term. Below is Keith’s excellent letter in response to what we hear all too often: ignorance and resentment from elected officials outside New Orleans. Be SURE to watch the video, starting at minute 9:00, to see Aimee and Joe G, and the hostile questions and responses to their statements.

To:luneauj@legis.la.gov <luneauj@legis.la.gov>Cc:millsf@legis.la.gov <millsf@legis.la.gov>; barrowr@legis.la.gov <barrowr@legis.la.gov>; boudreauxg@legis.la.gov <boudreauxg@legis.la.gov>; en26@legis.la.gov <en26@legis.la.gov>; sen11@legis.la.gov <sen11@legis.la.gov>; mizellb@legis.la.gov <mizellb@legis.la.gov>; poper@legis.la.gov <poper@legis.la.gov>; hse098@legis.la.gov <hse098@legis.la.gov>; joseph.giarrusso@nola.gov <joseph.giarrusso@nola.gov>; bouiej@legis.la.gov <bouiej@legis.la.gov>; petersonk@legis.la.gov <petersonk@legis.la.gov>; harrisj@legis.la.gov <harrisj@legis.la.gov>; duplessisr@legis.la.gov <duplessisr@legis.la.gov>; hse091@legis.la.gov <hse091@legis.la.gov>; hse097@legis.la.gov <hse097@legis.la.gov>; carterg@legis.la.gov <carterg@legis.la.gov>; hilfertys@legis.la.gov <hilfertys@legis.la.gov>; hse100@legis.la.gov <hse100@legis.la.gov>Sent: Tuesday, June 8, 2021, 1:47:58 PM CDTSubject: HB 372: New Orleans is different, whether you like it or not
Senator Luneau:

I was shocked to watch, at the link below, you and other committee members complain about having to help the City of New Orleans deal with scofflaws who brazenly violate zoning laws and refuse to remove their illegal constructions.  Whether you like it or not, New Orleans is a unique city.   Walker Percy once remarked that if aliens abducted you and then put you back in the US, you would only know where you were if they dropped you in San Francisco, New York, or New Orleans.  New Orleans takes in millions of tourists every year, and is on the same A-list as Manhattan, Miami Beach, and San Francisco.  It is the birthplace of jazz, and many other forms of music have prospered here. Many writers, actors, and other celebrities, either born here or attracted by the creative atmosphere of the city, have lived here – Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, Brad Pitt, John Goodman, Trent Reznor, Tennessee Williams, Lil Wayne, William Faulkner, James Carville, Wendell Pierce, Anne Rice, just to start, and young creative people move here on almost a daily basis. The City is home to several universities and major corporations, and is a major seaport and railroad connection. Because of its historic heritage, because it has miraculously managed to retain whole intact historic neighborhoods full of homes, large and small,  in architectural styles unseen anywhere else on the planet, and because it is a center of culinary invention, whose chefs are known world-wide, many visitors want to stay here — often in our neighborhoods in short term rentals.  

Because people from all over the world want to visit, live, work and create  in New Orleans, there is a high demand for housing, not only for wealthy celebrities and tourists, but also for the people who will cook for them, run the streetcars for them, and clean up the streets after they leave, not to mention those of us who haven’t given up our day jobs.  Running a City with that many tourists and long term visitors is a complex task.  Older houses need constant renovation. Parking needs to be regulated. Alcohol and food safety regulations need to be enforced.   Streets need to be fixed, and water, drainage and sanitation have to be provided.  The big bucks that can be made in in historic neighborhoods attract the best contractors and operators, who follow regulations and obtain and comply with permits, and unfortunately, also attract the worst, who illegally convert residential housing into rentals for tourists and other short term visitors, driving up housing costs for the rest of us.  Often, these violations are not discovered until the work is complete. If told to remove illegal constructions, the bad apples often ignore regulators.

To suggest that Louisiana should have one-size-fits-all state statutes regulating maximum penalties for zoning violations is to ignore the differences between New Orleans and much of the rest of the state. If  the legislature doesn’t want to adjust state law through local and special amendment to allow the City to do what it needs to do to effectively regulate construction because legislators see it as New Orleans asking to be treated “special,” then perhaps you should just set New Orleans and the rest of the municipalities in the state free, by removing many of the state laws limiting local autonomy, including caps on local government’s ability to set fines. We know what works for us, and I imagine the rest of the local governments feel the same.

The problems that Councilmember Giarrusso and Rep Freeman presented are real problems that currently –right now, today– affect me and many other New Orleanians. If lobbyists have problems with the proposed changes, they should be made to make their objection in open hearings, not by whispering in the ears of legislators.

I am profoundly disappointed to see this innocuous legislation shunted off for another term because too many thin-skinned legislators get their egos bruised by having to make the effort to understand the unique problems confronting the City of New Orleans. If your children have different needs and desires, do you force them to fit the same mold?  Do you complain about or celebrate their differences and eccentricities? Once again, the legislature has shown us why Louisiana is last in almost everything, controlled by petty jealousies and lacking in reason, charity, and understanding.

https://senate.la.gov/s_video/videoarchive.asp?v=senate/2021/06/060621HW

CRNA meeting, Thurs 10 June, 6:30

Agenda:

6:30: Money, then updates from Joe G

7:00: Khalida Lloyd of Together Louisiana
7:45: CRNA things–yard signs, picnic, blog

8:00-8:15: Adjourn

Zoom link:Time: Jun 10, 2021 06:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
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