Another Year, Another Video Thursday, May 29 2008 

Congrats Pre-K Sacred Heart girls on another school year in the books.  Once again, The Weathers Report has obtained an advance copy of the (unauthorized) end-of-the-year video.  Have a great summer girls!  Next up?  KINDERGARTEN.  Wow!  Sorry parents, no more deducting the tuition as childcare expenses.  Ouch!

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Saturday, Feb 16 2008 

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School’s Out Thursday, May 31 2007 

Congratulations to the Nursery girls of the Academy of the Sacred Heart.  They are moving on to Pre-K, and have worn the green dresses and red shoes of the Little Hearts for the last time. Next year: blue dresses and blue shoes. A video year in review for ’06-’07 is below:

It Was Carnival Time! Tuesday, Feb 20 2007 

It was Carnival Time! Unlike last year, nobody in Houston complained that New Orleans was going forward with Mardi Gras, and by all accounts it was hugely successful. An estimated 700,000 tourists came to town to enjoy the fun. Some of the sights are below:

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A little girl hopes to get the baby in the King Cake.

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King Hermes LXVII

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The Hon. David S. Gorbaty, Founder and President-in-Perpetuity of the Mystic Sub-Krewe of the White Boot, Krewe of Hermes.

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These ladies may be drinking for quite a while.

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Hermes Rider

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The Lieutenant Governor at the Hermes Parade

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Throw Me Something Mister!

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The Tulane Marching Band, in the Thoth Parade. Included here for the benefit of loyal reader WJF. Don’t blink or you’ll miss them!

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Mother and Daughter enjoy the Thoth parade, which resumed its Henry Clay/Magazine Street route Uptown.

 

Efforts Taken to Enlighten St. Charles Avenue Friday, Feb 9 2007 

One of the grandest thoroughfares in the nation, St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans was hit hard by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The street did not flood, but several of the beautiful oaks that lined the Avenue were damaged and had to be removed. Due to fallen electrical lines, the romantic street cars that rolled up and down the street have been replaced by belching city buses, at least until the end of year. And the traffic light situation has been ridiculous.

When stoplights on the Avenue have gone down, either due to malfunction or a Saturday night vehicle allision, it seems as if City Hall “don’t care what they’re saying Uptown.” Not only does the light stay down for months, but the city puts up four-way stop signs that scream “Get used to it, this could be a while.”

Yet things may be looking up. Allen Yrle, a senior traffic engineer at City Hall, assures The Weathers Report that fixing the lights on St. Charles Avenue is a highest priority. Recognizing that the city’s traffic engineering problems could not be adequately addressed by the three field engineers who remained on staff – there were seven before the storm – the city actually hired a contractor to finally do the work. On Tuesday, Yrle predicted that the contractor would finish work on the light at St. Charles and MLK later that day, and he was right. The light on Washington is ready to go, says Yrle, as soon as the RTA finishes its inexplicable work at the intersection. And according to Yrle, the only other downed light on the Avenue, theaggravating mess at Jefferson Avenue, should be fixed in 10-14 days. The delay has been necessary because the system is being completely replaced, with new underground lines and traffic lights on each corner.

Hopefully it will be replaced and soon. If so, we will have a good chance of resisting that urge to get out of the car and beat those temporary stop signs with a baseball bat.

Kids Mourn Removal of Pit Jump at Danneel Park Sunday, Sep 3 2006 

danneel-park.jpgThe park is nestled between million-dollar mansions and beautiful oak trees on historic St. Charles Avenue, and is absolutely . . . awful. Kids romp on old rusted playground equipment, and swing over a concrete block. (The rubber safety mat was blown away by Katrina.) The roof of the small shelter is partially collapsed, trash pickup is sporadic at best, and the grass and weeds are rarely cut. Welcome to Danneel Park.

000_01991.JPGYet the kids who patronize this historic playspot never complain. In fact, they were outraged when some meddlesome parents got together and removed the park’s “pit jump” attraction. The pit jump was actually an old slide that had been shredded by a tree felled by Katrina, leaving only the steps. Kids claim jumping into the pit below was “fun,” but concede it was not exactly “safe.”

Someone also set up an old tether ball pole, but after a few weeks the ball disappeared and has been replaced by a stick on a string. When you’re a three-year old it’s undoubtedly fun to hang on the stick and be twirled around the pole by your dad like a human tether ball. Of course, a child safety expert might raise a condescending eyebrow.

000_0200.JPG Recently, a group of concerned parents and neighbors organized to get the park updated with new equipment and maintain it, through a combination of pressure on city government, private dollars, and volunteer work days. The organizer of the group has met with the Director of NORD and enthusiastically reports complete cooperation. Progress is evidently being delayed, however, because FEMA needs to “record” the damaged structures before they are removed or the city will not get reimbursed.

Leave it to FEMA to ruin another aspect of life in New Orleans. Granted, the bumbling bueraucracy has resisted the temptation, at least as of press time, to turn the green space into a FEMA trailer park. (Former councilman Jay Batt has claimed his efforts prevented such a debacle.  If they did, he should be commended.)

To be fair, the park did sustain extreme damage in Katrina (pictured below on September 4, 2005), and the restoration of an Uptown park does not top the list of the city’s priorities.  But it’s been over a year, and an effort to improve they city’s parks will improve the quality of life in a city struggling to rebuild. For more information on the efforts to restore Danneel Park, contact Mamie Favor at mamie.favor@nmfn.com.

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From the humorously outdated City Guide New Orleans:

Constructed in memory of Hermann and Maria Louisa Grace Danneel, this new Uptown playground provides an excellent time-out for parents and kids alike. Situated along the streetcar line on beautiful St. Charles Avenue, the grounds feature three swing and slide equipped jungle gyms as well as a climb and slide, big red dinosaur. Swings include bucket seats for the little ones and strap swings for the bigger kids. There is plenty of plain ol’ running around room and a few benches for parents to watch the activity and talk to one another. The whole area is fenced in and every area of the park is easily visible. Danneel Playspot is clean and well-maintained.