Government & Politics
Did NGOs comply with Open Meetings Law? | Forgotston.com – Longtime state politics watchdog C.B. Forgotston bets that non-governmental organizations that received state funds failed to comply with the state’s Open Meetings Law. I wouldn’t bet against him.
Auditor reviews Galvan’s taste for fine wine | FOX 8 WVUE – Investigative journalist Lee Zurik reports that “receipts tracked down by Louisiana’s legislative auditor show Dr. Peter Galvan, the disgraced former coroner of St. Tammany Parish, and his guests like wine — expensive wine.”
Wimpy Jr. pulls off miracle … deemed too crooked for Washington, D.C. | American Zombie — Filmmaker Jason Berry has an update on disaster-conference impresario William Loiry, who has promoted an endless string of energy and disaster-related “summits” in recent years. Berry questions whether some of these events actually took place, and links to a story about complaints the District of Columbia filed against Loiry for misrepresenting an energy summit. (Blog post contains adult language.) For more on Loiry’s dubious conferences, see these these 2011 Lens stories.
How Much is Louisiana Water Worth? | Gulf Restoration Network – According to a presentation made by James Devitt of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, the “fair market value” of underground water taken for industrial use averages a small fraction of a cent per gallon. Matt Rota of Gulf Restoration Network asks: “Who is that ‘fair’ to? Certainly not to the Louisiana citizens that own this public resource.”
Feds fine Apache for false Gulf of Mexico production data | Fuel Fix – According to the feds, Apache Corporation, which has sold over $3 billion of its holdings in the Gulf of Mexico to former BP honcho Lord Browne, filed false production data that lowered royalty payments.
The Interior Department’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue said the fines stem from the company’s “knowing or willful” decision to keep deducting transportation costs when calculating royalty payments for some of its Gulf leases, months after being rebuked for the practice.
Free at last | Gambit – Opinion writer Clancy Dubos makes a key point about the state’s Master Plan to restore the coast:
“Without funding, the coastal master plan is not a master plan at all. I’m not saying it’s a bad plan; I think it’s an excellent plan — but it’s not really a master plan. A real master plan has a start date and a completion date. It also has a budget, a specific revenue source, and realistic price tag. This plan has none of those. It’s more a strategic plan — which is important to have as a starting point — but it is not a true master plan. “
Mayor Landrieu, Sheriff Gusman reach deal on funding OPP reforms through 2013 | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The article includes links to the settlement agreement, approved by U.S. District Judge Lance Africk, between the city and Sheriff Marlin Gusman on paying for prison reforms mandated by a federal consent decree. The settlement agreement and judge’s order can be found on The Lens’ new documents page.
State’s supply of drug for executing prisoners has expired, says attorney for death-row inmate | The Lens – Louisiana State Penitentiary’s lethal-injection drug expired last month, a lawyer for a death-row inmate has concluded after reviewing documents provided by the state in an ongoing lawsuit. The Lens has been trying to pin down the Department of Corrections since February on the expiration date of the drug, and an attorney for the state has repeatedly said no record of the expiration date existed.
Our Views: Don’t ban Harper Lee | The Advocate – Plaquemines Parish recently began enforcing a ban on Harper Lee’s 20th-century literary classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Officials break ground on Iberville redevelopment | The New Orleans Advocate – “The full project is planned to include 880 units, including 304 public-housing apartments, 315 market-rate homes and 261 workforce units. The plan also includes the addition of 112 housing units for elderly Iberville residents at the former Texaco Building on Canal Street. Renovation of that building began in November.”
Planned Parenthood in New Orleans | Gambit – Construction of a women’s health facility on South Claiborne Avenue has renewed the abortion debate.
No quick solution in sight for area’s train problems | The New Orleans Advocate – Regarding a pricey, long-term solution to Metairie Road train traffic, a resident complained: “We’re going to be dead before this thing is built.” My cheaper alternative solution: Run most of the trains at night and during Saints games.
Tulane scholarship forms that disclose relationships aren’t public | The New Orleans Advocate – “Leaders of the Louisiana House and Senate have decided to keep secret hundreds of documents that disclose whether Louisiana’s 144 legislators are awarding Tulane University scholarships to relatives of fellow politicians.”
Building issues stymie Audubon charter | The Lens – Both of Audubon’s upper and lower schools are in temporary buildings now, waiting for repairs to other sites.
Race To The Politics! The Stakes On Common Core Are Getting Higher On The Right…And It’s Only 2013 | Eduwonk – “In the most recent release of Education Insider survey data from Whiteboard there were questions about Common Core participation in Wisconsin and Louisiana. “It’s hard to miss that pretty much every Republican who (a) has national aspirations in 2016 and (b) whose last name is not ‘Bush’ is moving away from Common Core.”