All-but-certain loans and grants aimed at reviving key intersection in Broadmoor

By Ariella Cohen, The Lens staff writer |

Some corners in this city tell quintessentially New Orleans stories, and among them is the intersection of South Broad Street and Washington Avenue. There on the trafficky Broadmoor bend, King’s Meat Market and Grocery sells gumbo-ready mixes of seasoned poultry parts named for whichever store employee or customer first divined the recipe’s proportion of legs to necks to pickled tips.

Study of elevated I-10 over Claiborne to get underway; demolition being considered

By Ariella Cohen, The Lens staff writer |

After more than a year of delay, Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration soon will begin a long-anticipated federally funded study of how to revitalize the North Claiborne Avenue corridor, his planning director Bill Gilchrist said this week. The study, which is expected to take more than a year of work by a city-contracted consultant, will be partially financed by a $2 million grant awarded to the city by President Barack Obama’s administration in October of 2010.

Despite previous grumbling, council meeting verges on love-fest in passing budget

By Ariella Cohen, The Lens staff writer |

In a city confronting an ever-rising homicide count and profound infrastructural and economic challenges, one place remains relatively calm: City Hall. With a noticeable absence of strife or dissent, the City Council voted today to unanimously approve a  $497 million general operating budget for 2012 that looks remarkably similar in substance and detail to the budget proposed by Mayor Mitch Landrieu in October.

Fresh testing shows persistent formaldehyde contamination in region's FEMA trailers

By Ariella Cohen, The Lens staff writer |

More than six years after FEMA provided displaced Hurricane Katrina victims with trailers that were later revealed to be toxic, early tests suggest that dangerously high levels of formaldehyde linger in the more than 130,000 units still in use. An air quality test done last month in a FEMA trailer housing Hurricane Katrina victims in Mississippi showed levels of the carcinogen that exceeded levels deemed safe by the federal government.

Jesse Jackson stops by Occupy Nola to provide support as eviction hints get stronger

By Ariella Cohen, The Lens staff writer |

Backlit by the insistent neon signage of New Orleans City Hall, the Rev. Jesse Jackson last night told Occupy Nola protesters that they had a right to assemble peacefully in Duncan Plaza, the Loyola Avenue public green where Occupy first set up camp in early October. “This park is our park,” he said, employing the call and response speech structure of Occupy protests nationwide.