http://nolafemmes.com/2011/03/02/mg-meet-new-admin/ ) Chief Serpas states: "The sale was asked to be moved inside the bar premises at time." However, Flea Market founder, Cree McCree, tells me this: "Chief Serpas is wrong. We were initially told to move vendors off the sidewalk by two female agents (who I later learned were from the revenue department). We had started to do that when a male NOPD officer, in full blue mufti, said we would have to clear the premises and shut the entire sale down. He warned us they would come back to check if we've complied with that order. Needless to day, we did. We have several witnesses to this action, including Jesse Paige (Owner of the Blue Nile) himself. Had we merely been asked to clear the sidewalk, I would certainly have continued the sale inside. We were totally shut down." While Lunanola suggests that this is the work of City Hall, rather then the NOPD, I would suggest that it is both. When the Chief of Police has no qualms about openly lying to the press, how can the officers of the NOPD be expected to act in a way considered appropriate for members of an urban police department anywhere? Certainly, there were permit issues involved. Perhaps a warning, such as the Revenue Agents seemed ready to accept, would have sufficed. Closing down the entire event was pure meanness. The City has responded, so far, by telling us all that about $940 in permits are required for a "market, fair, festival, carnival, circus, road show, trade show, concert, display, exhibition or other public event." It also requires a bond of $10,000 if there are to be more than 3 vendors, or artists, involved. I would love to see these rules enforced on the Julia Street Galleries, the first Saturday of every month, if they are to be foisted upon the St Claude Art District & other Marigny/Bywater/St Roch art shows. If only 20 of the galleries showing on the Second Saturday Open Gallery Walk in the St Claude Art District were charged this way, it would equal $18,800 in permit fees every month to stay afloat. Are those of us who returned to these neighborhoods, post K, and rebuilt them with our own hands, time & money, to be bilked by the same city that refuses to address the soaring murder rate, never mind the bully tactics of the 5th District? I, for one, cannot accept this from a police chief openly caught in lies. I urge each & every one of you to begin calling City Hall ( 504 658-4000 ) and asking for Chief Serpas to explain this series of lies, or step down. ART IS NOT A CRIME.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Caught in the Lies; Part 2
Since the ridiculous Art Bust at the Blue Nile, on Frenchmen Street (Sunday, 2/27/11) there has been scuttlebutt about what really happened, and why the NOPD would shut down a once a year flea market, in it's 20th year, selling some original costume designs by local artists. The press has carried various accounts so far, and these are the things that have come to light: "There was a problem with retail sales tax." Lie #1. This is an Artist Tax Free Zone, set down by the City of New Orleans, called the St Claude Corridor. Each artist is to keep their own records, and submit the totals, sans actual tax. As far as I know, we pay taxes, albeit documented, by the honor system. When was the last time you saw cops ANYWHERE, checking out register receipts? "The bar had no manager on duty." Lie #2. As a veteran of both bartending in & owning bars in the 8th District, no manager's license is required of the Bar Owner, and if that owner is 'on the floor' no other manager need be present & the bartender is not required to possess a manager's license. The owner was certainly present, as witnesses will prove, and, in fact, spoke to & was ticketed by the NOPD. And then there's this; In a press release (see it here :