New Orleans Not Very Miserable Monday, Feb 9 2009 

Congratulations are in order for the City of New Orleans, which did not rank on the Forbes.com’s top ten list of America’s Most Miserable Cities. Instead, cities like Chicago, Memphis, and Flint, Michigan topped the list.

However, the results were misleading as the study was done prior to the imminent reopening of Pancho’s Mexican Buffet.

Pancho’s Threatens to Reopen in Ho-Hos Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

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Our worst fears have been confirmed. According to a post on the Facebook group “R.I.P. Pancho’s on Veterans,” a misguided group that places their gluttonous desire for flag-raising-on demand sopapillas over any disdain for the Texas company that abandoned the city after Katrina, Panchito Metairie writes that Pancho’s is in fact opening in the old Ho Ho Super Buffet location as early as March 2009.

The best thing to come out of Hurricane Katrina next to a single assessor . . . is no more.

Panchito Metairie wrote
at 12:37pm
Yes, it’s true! We are opening in the old Ho Ho Super Buffet location, and are shooting for sometime in March. We don’t want to give a firm date yet, because we don’t want to disappoint anyone if we run into delays. We will keep you updated.

In the meantime, be thinking of what you want to wear for the Grand Opening Photos. We want to take lots of them so we can create a “Wall of Fame” to honor our fans who did not give up!

We are thinking of displaying some pictures of the old location as well, so if you have some you would like to share, let us know.

Demolishing the Old Exxon Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

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The corner of St. Charles Avenue and Louisiana is coming to life with the recent opening of the Borders bookstore in the once creepy old funeral home and today, the demolition of the lousy boarded-up Exxon gas station.

The wannabe sandwich shoppe with its ridiculous processed cheese has been leveled on one corner and the Rite Aid, which took its sweet time reopening after Katrina, appears to be running full speed.

As for the old Exxon locale, must we settle for another boring bank branch? Unite people, is it too much to hope for a drive-through daiquiri shop? Don’t even get us started on the wild Pancho’s rumors.

Multiple Trees Remain Down in Baton Rouge Tuesday, Sep 23 2008 

Photographs of the devastation in Baton Rouge continue to trickle in from the survivors of Hurricane Gustav.  To make matters worse, Baton Rouge lacks the undocumented workers needed to recover from the disaster, and hurricane-stricken Houston is unwilling to share.  It could be days, even a fortnight, before Baton Rouge is back to normal.

Louisiana Prepares to Shut Down for BCS Game Saturday, Jan 5 2008 

As the BCS national championship game in New Orleans approaches and LSU and Ohio State begin final preparations for Monday’s slugfest, Louisianians have begun shutting down their lives in eager anticipation.

Last month, a state court judge near Baton Rouge agreed to postpone a trial scheduled to start on game day in response to an impassioned entreaty of defense counsel. The formal motion is below. Notably, the motion was unopposed, which is not surprising considering that both lawyers are members of the Tiger Pimp Nation, a group that visits LSU away games donned in the colorful garb of prostitute managers. Loyal readers of this space will recall Louisiana now has a precedent for upsetting trial dates on the eve of historic football games; a New Orleans judge postponed a jury trial scheduled for the day after the New Orleans Saints’ first trip to the NFC Championship game.

Closer to home in New Orleans, at least one private school utilized its emergency telephone and e-mail notification system to alert parents that classes would not begin until 10:00 a.m. on the morning after the game. This in evident anticipation of the late night revelry in which the pre-kindergarteners will no doubt partake after the imminent LSU victory. And imminent it is.

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Santa Expected in New Orleans at 10:15 PM CST Monday, Dec 24 2007 

Santa Claus is expected to arrive in New Orleans at 10:15 p.m. CST this Christmas Eve, a spokesperson for NORAD tells The Weathers Report. NORAD is using the government’s state-of-the-art satellite technology to track Santa’s around-the-globe trek. As of press time, Santa was in the Central Republic of Congo, heading west, and right on schedule. For more updates, call NORAD at 1 (877) 446-6723.

Impeachment for Judge Porteous? Thursday, Dec 20 2007 

The 5th Circuit Judicial Council has determined that United States District Judge G. Thomas Porteous of New Orleans has engaged in conduct that might constitute grounds for impeachment, including making false statements in his Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, receiving gifts and things of value from attorneys who had cases pending before him, and submitting inaccurate and misleading financial disclosures from 1994-2000. The panel has forwarded the record on to the Judicial Conference of the United States, which could make a similar recommendation to Congress.

Developing . . .

Manning Mansion Gets Higher Assessment Friday, Oct 19 2007 

In 2007, according to the Orleans Parish Board of Assessor’s website, Archie Manning’s Greek Revival Mansion in the Garden District was appraised for assessment purposes at $406,100 ($100,500 land; $305,600 building). That amount is less than the $450,000 he evidently paid for it in 1982.

This year, the 4th District Assessor’s non-certified assessment listed the appraised value as substantially higher: $1,299,000 ($188,150 land; $1,110.850 building).

However, Manning appears to have successfully appealed his assessment during the recent round of hearings at the Louisiana Superdome.  According to the New Orleans Tax Appeal website, the property with Manning’s tax bill number has been reduced to $880,000 ($220,000 land; $660,000 building).

Despite the victory, Manning continues to have a losing record in the Superdome.

Rave Reviews For Firm Handling Assessment Appeals Wednesday, Sep 19 2007 

Taking care of business with the government can be a miserable experience. Public servants are too often underpaid, surly, and incompetent.

This need not be the case, as evidenced by the massive tax assessment appeal process presently underway in the Superdome. Frilot, L.L.C., the law firm that was contracted by the City Council to handle the appeals is getting rave reviews for being well prepared and customer-friendly. Residents are getting a fair shake and being treated with respect in the process. A letter to the Council from one such resident is below.

One can only imagine how much better off the region would be had Frilot or a local firm like it been hired to administer the Road Home program.  Or to run the City.

******
—– Original Message —–
From: XXXXXX
To: Arnie Fielkow
Sent: Tue Sep 18 13:39:11 2007
Subject: Tax Appeals

Hello Arnie,

We wanted to give you some feedback on the tax appeal process.

XXXXXX and I went for our appointment today for seven appeals at 11:30 AM and for the record we wanted you to know that the firm handling the appeals was well prepared.

When we drove into the parking lot the attendant had our name on the list and when we entered the dome another sign in desk had our name listed. Then we went to another sign in desk and they had our appointment listed and we were given the number of the hearing officer. We only had a three minute wait to see the hearing officer.

Everyone that we came in contact with was very helpful and extremely nice to us and we were treated with respect.

Thanks to you and the rest of the City Council for the manner that this very sensitive issue is being handled.

As you know the results will not be known by the taxpayer until the end of October but no matter what the outcome will be we wanted to share with you our feelings and to thank you and the Council for a job well done.


You may share this e-mail with whomever you would like.

XXXXXX

New Orleans Tax Appeal Process Taking Shape Monday, Sep 10 2007 

From its inception in December 2005, The Weathers Report has advocated a fairer and more transparent tax process for the City of New Orleans, including the elimination of the silly seven-assessor system. The success of the assessor consolidation movement has resulted in, not surprisingly, dramatically higher assessments for many of the city’s residents for 2008.

While only a handful of assessments have been challenged in years past, the city is now faced with adjudicating over 5000 individual appeals for the 2008 tax year. Determined to ensure a timely and equitable appeals process, the New Orleans City Council has turned to Frilot L.L.C., a local law firm with experience handling mass disputes, to administer the process.

All appeals hearings will occur between September 17 and October 15 before qualified hearing officers, many of whom will be experienced local realtors. Each taxpayer filing an appeal will be provided with a toll free number to reschedule a hearing if given a hearing date that is inconvenient. All residential appeal hearings will likely be held in the New Orleans Superdome, at the Club Level, courtesy of the Louisiana Superdome.

Additional information on the tax appeal process can be obtained at www.neworleanstaxappeal.com.

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