In celebration of NOELA Services’ 10 year anniversary, items from previous editions of the NOELA Newsletter will be reintroduced. This week’s focus is on the year 2010.
See below for what occurred in Politics, Economic Development, Environment, Blight, Education, Healthcare, Culture & Recreation, Quality of Life, Real Estate, Beautification, Crime & Safety, Churches, Awards and Film.
- Former State Rep. District 101, Cedric Richmond, was elected to the 2nd Congressional District in November, replacing Congressman Anh Joseph Cao, the nation’s first Vietnamese American to hold that position.
- Former City Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis was elected to the State Senate District 2 seat in October. The seat was vacated by Ann Duplessis, who was selected as a Deputy Mayor by Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
- Mitch Landrieu was elected as Mayor in February, Jon Johnson as Councilman for District E, Cynthia Hedge-Morrell re-elected as Councilmember in District D, and Arnie Fielkow and Jackie Clarkson were elected as At-Large Councilmembers.
- State Rep. District 100, Austin Badon, announced in July that he secured a $70,000 grant for the East New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Commission for general operations to assist the various neighborhoods in the area tackle the issues affecting them.
- Lake Willow, Lakewood East and Oak Island established taxing districts in November.
- Domino’s Pizza on Chef Hwy. opened in March.
- Subway on Bullard opened in May.
- Dish Restaurant on Hayne Blvd. opened in August, offering upscale dining.
- Quinn Gordon launched Bleu Lily Photography in August.
- The attractively landscaped Autozone on Chef Highway opened in the Fall.
- Nu-Visions Hair Studio opened in October.
- Wendy’s on Read Blvd. opened in November.
- Papa John’s on Bullard opened in December.
- Popeye’s on Chef Highway opened in December.
- Jazz City Java closed in March, but prior to its closing, the owners hosted musicians, artists, authors, game nights, open mic nights and afternoon teas at 5555 Bullard.
- Sammie’s Chicken and Waffles on Lake Forest Blvd.
- The local economy was impacted by the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility’s loss of jobs due to federal budget cuts in the space program, the final production of the external fuel tanks used in rockets in July, and the loss of income for hundreds of local fishermen, due to the BP Oil Spill in April.
- La Bon Ton Roulé Marketplace, a micro mall, opened in March with virtual office space for local businesses.
- Textron Marine & Land Systems, which has a plant on Chef Menteur Highway, won several contracts to build armored vehicles for the U.S. Army. The company also received a Naval Sea Systems Command award which will provide for infrastructure improvements to increase safety and security of employees. This will include installation of approximately 1,200 feet of new sheet pile walls on the company’s waterfront bulkhead adjacent to Bayou Sauvage.
- Jacobs Technology, hired by NASA to manage its facilities, recruited businesses for the Michoud Assembly Facility site in eastern New Orleans to join existing tenants, GeoCent and Blade Dynamics. The company targeted green manufacturers, the Department of Defense, and commercial businesses in the space industry.
- Folgers took advantage of state incentives and expanded operations, increasing production and jobs, at its eastern New Orleans Available space and close proximity to ports were also factors.
- Fast Forward Main Street began accepting applications in June from small businesses to assist them with expansion and increasing net profits. The organization conducted a retail survey to track residents’ buying preferences and habits in November, and hosted a Community Roundtable in December addressing goals like blight reduction, increased retail, workforce training, and marketing.
- State officials announced in August that Blade Dynamics would move to the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility, bringing with it 600 direct jobs by 2015. The company planned to manufacture advanced wind turbine blades and wind turbine components, with the expectation of creating more than 970 indirect jobs, bringing in $35.8 million in state tax revenue, and $23.9 million in local tax revenue over the next 10 years.
- The Board of Zoning Adjustments denied a request for an Adult Establishment on Morrison Rd. in September.
- Agreements with Metro Disposal and Richard’s Disposal were reached in December, ensuring competitive rates, uninterrupted service, and the addition of curbside recycling.
- Over 380 jobs were listed in the newsletter, with approximately 80 of those jobs originating at the National Finance Cente in eastern New Orleans.
- 250 trees were planted by 100 volunteers at the Louisiana Nature Center in January, followed by weeding around 1,200 trees planted the previous winter and removing invasive Chinese Tallow in April and May through an Audubon Nature Institute Partnership with Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, RPM Ecosystems, Entergy, National Resource Conservation Service, and Restore America’s Estuaries.
- Amy LeGaux, of the Audubon Nature Institute, provided information in December on the significant environmental impact of the Louisiana Nature Center on the surrounding community.
- The City Planning Commission denied permits for borrow pits near Chef Menteur Highway in March and December.
- Amid protests from environmental groups and eastern New Orleans residents, Sun Energy’s plans to build a waste management plant near the Industrial Canal were derailed, although the company still sought a site in the New Orleans area.
- Two men, Cecil Person and Floyd Person, were charged by the Department of Environmental Quality with running an illegal landfill in the area. Environmental crimes should be reported to 225.219.3640 or 1.888.763.5424.
- Inspectors from Code Enforcement, Environmental Health, Safety and Permits, and residents swept the Rosedale Subdivision to address code violations in April. Over 80 properties were cited.
- Fountain of Youth Foundation and Sarah T Reed High School participated in a community clean up project in January.
- Michael Rideau, of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, began tours of the area over the summer and worked with neighborhoods to identify blighted properties for mitigation. Several subdivisions, including Kingswood, have had many properties demolished.
- The Mayor announced an ambitious effort in October to eradicate blight by removing 10,000 blighted properties in the next three years. This would be accomplished by increased legal action against owners of blighted property, removal of remaining FEMA trailers by January 1, more aggressive code enforcement, inspection of 1,600 properties per month, stricter control of hearing delays, and more action on seizure and selling of blighted properties.
- The blighted and very visible Parc Brittany apartment complex was removed in November.
- Ariel Lloyd graduated from Jackson State University with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
- Jihan Nicole James, Leigh Anna Marguerite, Alyseia Monet Darby, Blake Devereaux Hicks graduated in May.
- Loyola University Student Kristen Lee was selected to participate in a Pre Law Students Program in Chicago over the summer and received the Phi Eta Sigma Scholarship for high scholastic achievement.
- Several schools in the area, including Amachi Learning Center of New Orleans East, Upperroom Learners Academy, Fannie C. Williams, and Sarah T. Reed Elementary, Middle & High Schools were applying to become charter schools in November.
- Lake Forest Elementary Charter School announced plans in September to build a new school in Joe W. Brown Park. The move was met with opposition at a meeting in November by many members of the community, particularly when it became known that the proposed location was actually within the boundary of the Louisiana Nature Center, on federally-designated wetlands.
- Sci Academy, located at Read Blvd., and Dwyer Rd., was recognized by the Oprah Winfrey Show in September as an exceptional charter school. The school received $1 million from Oprah’s Angel Network.
- A Groundbreaking Ceremony was held at Mildred C. Osborne School in November.
- A Groundbreaking Ceremony was held at Fannie C. Williams School in December. Several elected officials (Senator Cynthia Willard-Lewis, State Rep. Austin Badon, and School Board Members Ira Thomas, Woody Koppel, and Louella Givens) attended, as well as community members from Cornerstone Church and others. Five FCW students and district officials participated. The first phase of the construction has started. The expected completion date was March 2012. Brice Construction would perform the work.
- Two Urgent Care clinics closed in the area, while Wellness Clinics were held at St. Maria Goretti in January through May.
- Congressman Cao hosted a Health Clinic at St. Maria Goretti in January.
- Cardiologist, Muhummad Khalid, returned to his practice in eastern New Orleans in April.
- A new Board was appointed for Orleans Parish Hospital Service District A in May.
- Abundant Life Full Gospel Church hosted a Community Health Fair and Screenings in August.
Culture and Recreation
- Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, whose King and Queen live in New Orleans East, held a Second Line Parade on Bullard Ave. in January.
- Fort Pike was added to Louisiana’s African-American Heritage Trail in February, but unfortunately, in July, it was announced that the site would close, due to lack of available state funding. Other state historic sites that were slated to close; however, they stayed open by limiting the hours of operation and using volunteers to help operate activities.
- A Minnesota developer expressed interest in redeveloping the former Six Flags theme park in April, but withdrew plans several days later.
- Approximately $20 million of improvements were announced for Joe W. Brown Park in August, including the restoration of the community center, indoor pool, ground enhancements, baseball fields, park grounds and shelters. Work on the pool began in September.
- Between $62,000 and $78,000 worth of repairs were announced for the Kingswood Playground.
- A list of 100 projects to be completed included Joe W. Brown Park, the New Orleans East Regional Library (work began in November), Michoud Front Door Infrastructure Improvements, Alcee Fortier Blvd. Streetscape, Streetscape Improvements on Read Blvd., Lake Forest Blvd., and Crowder Blvd., NOFD Engine 10 on Morrison Rd., NOPD Seventh District Station on Dwyer Rd., New Orleans East Community Health Clinic on Chef Menteur Hwy., and New Orleans East Hospital Land Acquisition & Development.
- Friends of Joe W. Brown Memorial Park & Louisiana Nature Center in partnership with Parkway Partners and the Department of Parks and Parkways, hosted monthly park cleanup days and/or family activities beginning in August through the end of the year with assistance from groups like Teaching Responsible Earth Education, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, St. Augustine High School, St. Mary’s High School, Community Legion, the Student National Medical Association, and residents and businesses in the area.
- The East New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Commission held the first major community-wide holiday social event for the area in December, with over 500 partygoers in attendance, and some of the city’s most popular performers providing entertainment.
Quality of Life
- The New Orleans Saints won the NFC Championship in January, and the Super Bowl in February, bringing joy to the entire area. In response, the National Finance Center held a second line parade, with throngs of employees celebrating at its facility in eastern New Orleans.
- Transform-Her began meeting to work on community issues.
- Kingswood Neighborhood residents and KaBoom! volunteers built a new playground in Kingswood Park in July.
- Over 1,000 residents turned out in August for the New Orleans East Town Hall Meeting with the Mayor and many other city representatives and elected officials. The meeting was held at Household of Faith Church.
- Digby Park in the Pine Village neighborhood received a new KaBoom! playground in October.
- The web site for the City of New Orleans changed in October from cityofno.com to www.nola.gov in an effort to provide a more positive association with the city, bringing to mind the past change in name of the New Orleans Business Industrial District (no bid) to the New Orleans Regional Business Park.
- Intercultural Charter School and KaBoom! volunteers built a new playground in November.
- Alex Selico Dunn was selected as the Customer Service Manager for Entergy New Orleans District E office.
- The Times-Picayune published an article in December confirming a population for New Orleans East of 71,000 and a median income of more than $41,000.
- Residents contacted The Times-Picayune because New Orleans East was not included in its Real Estate articles in January, failing to mention the beautiful homes in a variety of price ranges for sale in great neighborhoods.
- Franklin Avenue Baptist Church purchased 8181 Lake Forest Blvd. for almost $2.9 million in January, which will be the site for a new church that will seat 4,000 people, have 2,000 on site parking spots, and will cost over $15 million to build.
- Read Boulevard East, bounded by Interstate 10, Chef Menteur Highway, Paris Road and Read Boulevard, was featured in the Times-Picayune’s InsideOut magazine in August.
- New Orleans East was featured in the Times-Picayune’s Real Estate section in October.
- The January freeze caused massive loss of vegetation in local landscapes, including a large number of palms and other tropical plants in local landscapes.
- Volunteers organized by America’s Wetland Conservation Corps and the Youth Wetlands Education and Outreach Program planted hundreds of bald cypress trees near Fort Pike in celebration of Earth Day.
- Parkway Partners graduated its first Tree Troopers class in eastern New Orleans in June, with distinguished speakers that included LSU Horticulturist, Author, Times-Picayune Columnist and WWL-TV/Radio speaker Dan Gill; Ann Macdonald of the Department of Parks and Parkways, and Amelie Oriole of Gentilly’s 10 4 the Hood. The graduates included Gail Rousseve, Jennifer Prout, Ann Kennedy, Sheila Julien, Dawn E. Hebert, Irene Brooks, Chris Remee, Marilyn Feldmeier, Lisa Stafford, Brenda Bailey, Cathy Charbonnet, Claude Reese, Theresa Guillen and John Guillen.
- State Rep. Austin Badon reported in August that work would begin in October to update fencing and landscaping along I-10 in New Orleans East. The work would be completed by Spring 2011. He also reported that work would begin on an overlay at I-10 near Irish Bayou and a Danziger Bridger/Old Gentilly Rd. overlay in 2011.
- Several neighborhoods got new subdivision signs, or decorated existing ones, including Kenilworth, Pine Village, West Barrington, Idlewood, and McKendall Estates.
- Other establishments beautifully landscaped their properties, including Popeye’s on Read, City Church, Brother’s Food Mart on Bullard & I-10, and McKendall Estates.
- The Department of Parks and Parkways planted much needed trees on Bullard Avenue, Crowder Blvd., Wright Road, Dwyer Road.
- Parkway Partners provided free trees to residents of Lake Bullard and other neighborhoods through its ReLeaf program in February
- The Venetian Isles Civic and Improvement Association, with the help of Parkway Partners, planted trees along Chef Menteur Highway in May.
- Several neighborhoods showed their Christmas spirit by beautifully decorating their neighborhood signs in December, including Lake Forest Estates, Lake Carmel, Idlewood, Lakewood East, Spring Lake, Lake Bullard, and others.
Crime & Safety
- New Orleans Police Department got a new email address in May to provide a way for citizens to express concerns and have easy access to the NOPD – NOPDChief@nola.gov.
- NOPD began weekly COMSTAT meetings in May at 10555 Lake Forest Blvd., in addition to the monthly NONPACC meetings on the 3rd Wednesday of the month.
- The City of New Orleans encouraged residents to sign up for emergency text message alerts at nolaready.info in June.
- Bel Air East Subdivision began its Neighborhood Watch Program in July.
- Lawrence Dupree became the Community Outreach Coordinator for the 7th District in July. Soon after his appointment, Sgt. Dupree began providing informative weekly reports and tips from the 7th District.
- The 7th District had the largest turnout of all districts in the annual Night Out Against Crime event in August with 51 associations or groups participating.
- The new Fort Pike Firehouse was dedicated in December.
- NOPD got a Facebook Page in December.
- Suburban Baptist Church on Chef Menteur Hwy celebrated its 50th
- Maria Goretti allowed access to their community center for hundreds of community meetings, free of charge.
- James Haynes retired as Pastor of Cornerstone United Methodist Church in June after 10 years at that location.
- Andrew Goff became Pastor of Cornerstone United Methodist Church in July.
- Alvin Richard, President and CEO of Richard’s Disposal, received Rickey Jackson’s Friends Forever Foundation Award which honors community leaders who have shown excellent leadership, dedication to the Saints, and outstanding support to the people of New Orleans.
- Melia Neighborhood Association received the Neighborhood Partnership Network’s Good Neighbor to Neighborhoods Award in November for being the neighborhood group that best supports others by sharing their knowledge, and serving as a valuable resource for other neighborhood organizers.
- Melia, Rosedale, Pine Village and NORD (Digby Park) received the Neighborhood Partnership Network’s Best City-Neighborhood Partnership Award in November for excellent partnering between the city of New Orleans and a neighborhood that allows the neighborhood and the city to grow and prosper.
- Henry Coaxum, McDonald’s franchisee, received the Ronald Award in November, for outstanding service to both the McDonald’s branch through exemplary operations, marketing and employee relations practices, as well as to his local community.
- Sean-Michael Bruno had a major part in the hit HBO show Treme, playing the youngest son of Wendell Pierce’s character. During filming of the second season, in December, scenes were filmed on Bullard Avenue.
- Filming of the Green Lantern near the Lakefront Airport closed the overpass between Hayne Blvd., and the Sen. Ted Hickey Bridge (Seabrook Bridge) in May.
- The movie The Courier filmed scenes at the former Six Flags theme park in October.