June 9, 2023 12:39 am

Iron beams and other developing supplies, worth $300,000, had been stolen from the building web-site at 3800 Howard, the former Occasions-Picayune home. (Danae Columbus)

By Danae Columbus, Uptown Messenger

When I want to know what New Orleanians are considering about the news of the day, I need to have not appear any additional than the app Nextdoor to get an unvarnished, uncensored view.   

Gina Melita posted about a carjacking at Sycamore close to Carrollton. Laurel Street’s Avi Scott wrote about two teenage males who had been pulling on door handles on her block. A clearly aggravated James Henderson in Algiers Riverview shared a video of his “lazy G-Man,” who picked up the trash bag on the curb but ignored the trash can. De Borah Wells in Milan posted a photo of Sir Paul, a Doberman she was mourning just after his passing. Jenn C in Huntlee Village was warning neighbors about a hustler prying for information and facts about her house safety method.  

Then there’s Paulette Perrien from Maple Location who, along with a number of dozen other people, remarked about the May well 20 early-morning theft of $300,000 worth of iron beams and further sheet metal from the former Occasions-Picayune web-site at 3800 Howard Ave., exactly where the upscale 5 O Fore driving variety is below building.

The beams had been later located, broken, about a mile away at Uptown Recycling on South Claiborne and Earhart. “I can not think about the anger and upset this improvement enterprise leaders are experiencing,” stated Marlyville’s Valerie Lowe. Right after the building’s foundation and assistance structure had been “swiped away,” Lowe wondered who would want to invest in New Orleans. 

Larry Wolford from Central Carrollton bemoaned the reality that the theft demonstrated the threat of improvement in New Orleans. “This just shows how shamefully risky it is to do organization right here,” he stated. Tracy Michele of Milan questioned how the theft of enormous iron beams, weighing practically a ton every single and requiring the use of a forklift and a flatbed to steal, went unnoticed. Marlyville’s Lynnda Gerson drew the conclusion that New Orleans is “shooting itself in the foot” just about every day. “New Orleans is in a genuine crime crisis. Sadly no a single want to invest in the city,” Gerson stated.  

 “It’s like the wild west out right here,” Wesley West, Jr. of nearby Trident Provide told WVUE-Television. “You would feel a policeman would see them for the 3 days they had been stealing from this job web-site.” Given that New Orleans has so couple of police officers, maybe no on-duty officers had been in the region. It is quick to say that the developer Alex Ziao need to have had an in-individual safety presence rather than just cameras. Honestly, how lots of thieves would target heavy iron beams and sheet metal? 

Some say they suspect an inside job. The perpetrators knew about the safety limitations, when workers would be on the web-site, and that a forklift was readily available for their use. Did a safety camera capture the license plate on the get-away18-wheeler with the attached flatbed trailer? What information and facts did Uptown Recycling call for from the seller? What recycler would agree to buy loads of developing material that appeared brand new?  

New Orleans hasn’t been a genuinely very good location for adventurous entrepreneurs — except in the hospitality sector — in very a whilst. But developer Ziao was prepared to take a opportunity in spite of the city’s ongoing reputation as a crime capital.  Ziao did not have insurance coverage for the stolen supplies and is providing a $five,000 reward for strong leads. If we want other multi-million dollar corporations to invest in the city, New Orleans owes it to Ziao and his group to bring the culprits to justice and then to make 5 O Fore a resounding achievement. Let’s send a signal that New Orleans is nevertheless open for organization.

Danae ColumbusDanae Columbus, opinion columnist

Danae Columbus, who has had a 30-year profession in politics and public relations, delivers her opinions on Thursdays. Her profession involves stints at City Hall, the Dock Board and the Orleans Parish College Board and former clientele such as former District Lawyer Leon Cannizzaro, former City Councilman Jared Brossett, City Councilwoman at-significant Helena Moreno, Foster Campbell, former Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, former Sheriff Charles Foti and former City Councilwomen Stacy Head and Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. She is a member of the Democratic Parish Executive Committee. Columbus can be reached at swampednola@gmail.com.&lt/em

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