TagNew Orleans noise

New Orleans needs to hit the brakes on proposed zoning amendments

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New Orleans has been through a lot of political and physical upheaval since 2005 and the days after Hurricane Katrina. But there is much that hasn’t changed at all. Because so much of our city—nearly 80 percent—was harmed by the levee breaks following Katrina, it made sense to give the updating of the City Zoning Ordinance and the attendant Master Plan a lot of attention since the storm...

Playing by the rules on Frenchmen Street

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In writing about noise pollution and quality-of-life issues that are plaguing key residential neighborhoods across New Orleans, one thing I’ve been clear and consistent about is this: The city would be in pretty good shape if police and code officers simply enforced the laws already on the books. But nowhere is that more true than the Marigny, the trendy zone just downriver from the French...

Action alert: Public comment on radical New Orleans zoning changes should be extended

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With little fanfare, the New Orleans city planning commission is finishing work on a new comprehensive zoning ordinance. I want to give some kudos to both the commission and their staff for getting this done — it clearly was a major, labor-intensive undertaking. Much of their work is perfectly fine in bringing the city’s zoning ordinance up to date, but there are also some major flaws...

How City Hall is killing the great neighborhoods of New Orleans

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The Landrieu Administration says it wants to celebrate the city’s 300th birthday in 2018. Funny. Because in just nine days, the Administration demonstrated how fast it could ignore the very people who live and work here to sustain one of the world’s truly great cities. How, you may ask. The main reason is that the mayor has not cleaned out the historically corrupt Safety and Permits Department...

If you’re going to New Orleans, be sure to pack some earplugs in your bag

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Mayor Landrieu and tourism leaders: We, the residents and property owners of New Orleans hear you loud and clear…at least we’re trying.   We’re ready for company but the cacophony is already building in the French Quarter from Superbowlers, Mardi Gras revelers, musicians, street performers and revelers!   Improved streets, working streetlights, the new streetcar lines and upgraded Convention...

There’s noise pollution and then there’s distortion

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Make no mistake — in New Orleans, we’ve always loved our jazzmen…from Louis Armstrong to Professor Longhair to Winton Marsalis to dozens of great stompers and shouters that you’ve probably never heard of. But I’ll tell you one kind of person we don’t stand for in the Crescent City: A strawman. This other day, a distinguished — or once-distinguished...

New Orleans memo: You can still have great music without noise pollution

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Sometimes a name can tell you a lot. In the past, I’ve told you about my enthusiastic support for a New Orleans group, active on Facebook and the Internet, that’s called “Hear the Music, Stop the Noise.” The title makes a powerful point: That it’s possible for a great American city like my hometown to continue having a spectacular and vibrant music scene without...

The sinkhole keeps getting bigger, and so do the lies of Texas Brine Co.

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The crisis involving the Bayou Corne sinkhole in Louisiana just doesn’t stop. In what’s becoming an almost daily headline, the sinkhole grew again, swallowing up more trees and even part of an access road: A 1,500 square-foot section caved in from the edge of a sinkhole in Assumption Parish Tuesday night and pulled down several trees and part of an access road, parish officials said...

Torn on the bayou: Sinkhole keeps getting bigger, more dangerous

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A lot has happened over the last few weeks. In the political world, the presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney sees a new kerfuffle every few hours. Down here in Louisiana, we’ve been whacked by Hurricane Isaac, and on the environmental front we’re still trying to get BP to pay its fair share for all the havoc it’s wreaked in the Gulf. But there’s one thing...

A temporary reprieve from Shell’s risky and reckless Arctic drilling scheme

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For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been consumed with the never-ending fallout from BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster. Some 29 months after the explosion that killed 11 people and spewed 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, we’ve seen a hurricane toss BP’s oil onto our once pristine beaches all over again. And we’ve also been fighting it out in the legal...

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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