N.O. politics briefs for Jan. 26, 2013

Nagin stays positive after indictment

Shortly before a federal grand jury handed up a 21-count indictment against former Mayor Ray Nagin on Jan. 18, hizzoner took to Twitter, retweeting a life-affirming message from Houston megachurch pastor Joel Osteen.

The next afternoon Nagin, who is expected to fight the charges, again took to the social media site with another positive note. “‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ MLK Jr.,” @RayNagin tweeted.

Remembering that during his infamous “Chocolate City” speech on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2006 Nagin claimed to have had a conversation with the late civil rights leader, Twitter user @skooks quipped: “Was this another direct conversation?”

Clarkson: Council to thank for renovation

One after another, elected officials and business leaders took to a podium setup inside of Louis Armstrong International Airport to offer mutual backslaps and attaboys last week for a job well done on a $300 million renovation of the facility in time for the Super Bowl.

When it was her turn to take the microphone, New Orleans City Council President Jackie Clarkson made sure to point out who was really to thank for the work: her and her colleagues.

“We could’ve been the blockade,” Clarkson said. Instead, she said, she and her colleagues expedited the process that would allow the work to happen and be completed by game time.

“We pushed this through faster legally than anything we’ve ever done,” Clarkson said with a laugh. “There’s a fine line there, but we did it.”

After lauding the council’s work, Clarkson took a moment to recognize everyone else — sort of.

“We are one team,” Clarkson said. “This City Council has never been prouder to be a part of this team.”

The best part of waking up ...

Some of the improvements officials noted at the airport news conference were upgrades to the retail and food concessions.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said he was most pleased with the new options to buy reading material for a long flight. Jefferson Parish President John Young said the extended operating hours for the restaurants pleased him.

“I’m happy that when we take those early morning flights to get money from Mitch’s sister we can get a cup of coffee,” Young said.

Landrieu tries Super Bowl pick once more

Mayor Mitch Landrieu was 1-1 in his predictions of the NFL’s conference championships, correctly picking the San Francisco 49ers to make the big game, but mistakenly picking the New England Patriots to win the AFC title.

Asked this week whom he now sees hoisting the Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 3, Landrieu said he’s going with the 49ers.

While Landrieu is often confident about decisions he makes, handicapping the game, he admitted, hasn’t been his strong suit.

“A couple of weeks ago I was pulling for Peyton (Manning) and I fell on the floor in the fourth quarter when he didn’t make it back home,” Landrieu said. “And then I was pretty sure that Tom Brady was coming back last week. And so my pick is about what it is, so you shouldn’t follow me lead.”

Guidry remembers
original N.O. Pelicans

A day after Tom Benson revealed he is renaming the Hornets the Pelicans, Councilwoman Susan Guidry and a local baseball fan took time to recognize city’s original Pelicans team.

Guidry and Jacob Ginsberg, an Army specialist who also enjoys baseball and history, on Friday unveiled a new historical marker at South Carrollton and Tulane avenues to recognize the site of Heinemann Park, later known as Pelican Stadium, home to the New Orleans Pelicans baseball team from 1915 to 1957.

Few people beyond a certain generation might remember New Orleans once had a minor-league baseball team before the Zephyrs. Even fewer people might remember the corner, on which a Burger King and a storage facility in the old Fontainebleau Hotel now sit, was ever home to a baseball stadium.

“Baseball has had a long and storied history in New Orleans,” Ginsberg said. “One of my goals in this project has been to bring this history to light.”

The New Orleans Pelicans were a minor-league professional baseball team founded in New Orleans in 1887. The Pelicans were based in the city and became members of the Southern Association in 1901.

The team played at Pelican Park, located on Carrollton across the street from Jesuit High School, until 1915, at which point it moved down the avenue.

During its existence, the New Orleans Pelicans was affiliated with several major-league teams, including the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees.

Compiled by

Danny Monteverde