The ordinance banning open containers on Jefferson Street and the McKinley and Surrey strips that failed on a 5-4 vote Tuesday could wind up back before the City-Parish Council in a couple of weeks, and the councilman spearheading the effort to revive the ordinance predicts a favorable outcome.
District 7 Councilman Don Bertrand tells The Independent he’s asked the council clerk to put the “go cup” ordinance on an upcoming agenda, hopefully for the Oct. 5 meeting. And Bertrand says his five colleagues who opposed the ordinance can expect some pressure in the intervening week and a half. “They’ll be hearing from the downtown business owners who have to deal with the mess,” Bertrand says.
The ordinance banning open containers was designed the address the problem of plastic cups used by bar patrons to transport their alcohol out of the bars, which creates a lot of trash littering the parts of town where bars have proliferated. It was one of two before the council Tuesday; the second, banning cruising by motorists, was pulled from the agenda after the open container ban failed.
The measures are two of a handful of ideas endorsed by some downtown business owners, the Durel administration and police to address the large, sometimes rowdy crowds that descend on the downtown on weekend nights. Banning loitering was also part of the conversation several months ago, but it never got traction in the form of an ordinance.
On Tuesday, Sept. 28, the council’s agenda includes a discussion item that many feel would be most effective in mitigating the crowd issue downtown: banning 18-20 year olds from bars altogether. Police allege — and bar owners dispute — that many of these underage patrons are managing to get alcohol despite the minimum legal drinking age of 21, exacerbating the crowd-control problems police have on weekends.
The measure is only a discussion item and it’s unclear whether it will ever be expressed in the form of an ordinance. Bertrand is doubtful: “If we can’t even pass an open container ordinance, I don’t see how an 18-20 year old ordinance would stand a chance,” he admits.
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DEC 4 This post on Philebrity, an arty Philadelphia blog, previews the lecture Bobby Jindal gave last night in the City of Brotherly Love. Sadly, not a lot of love headed Bobby's way in this post, which indicates a level of disdain for our Guv generally limited to residents of our lovely state.
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DEC 4 There's another story on state employee abuse of public credit cards in the news, and blogger CB Forgotston has the solution: get rid of them. We don't need them; it's more work without them to accomplish what you need to accomplish, but what's wrong with that, CB wants to know. The legislature needs to pass a law forbidding the things, he says.
DEC 4 Here's one of two recent posts on the Lens about spending at two charter school operations in New Orleans. This one is about training for less than 200 KIPP employees in Vegas -- which cost nearly $120,000. That's $120,000, with six figures. The other operation was the Friends of King schools, which sent the staff, including eight of nine board members, to a retreat at the beach. That cost $70,000. So far, the Lens is the only media covering this. One wonders if that would be the case if this level of spending had happened in a public school operation.
DEC 4 In the effort to lay blame for our disappearing coast, a board charged with protecting our coast voted to sue the US Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday, this story on NOLA.com says. One suit will seek to force the corps to pay for damage caused by the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet project, and the other will seek to force the corps to pay for a levee system in Algiers on the West Bank. Interesting.
DEC 4 Thanks to blogger Robert Mann's Facebook page, we know about this story in the Washington Blade, which says that the Louisiana National Guard has decided to process same-sex partner benefits. The story was posted Tuesday, following an interview with a guard chief by the Blade. That same day, the Advertiser ran this story, which said Louisiana is still a hold-out on same sex benefits. So which story is correct?
DEC 4 One Alabama fan shot another dead, this WWL story tells us, because she didn't feel the other fan was upset enough about Alabama's loss to Auburn. The women were at a party, and the dead lady, mom to three children, was joking with other party-goers about the loss, which didn't sit well with the shooter, the story says. Police think alcohol might have been a factor. Ya think?
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