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Audit finds $700 million missing in Katrina aid; 2 AmeriCorps teams pulled from New Orleans after homicide

The organizers of the Orleans Parish School Board’s two-day retreat in Houston, which starts Thursday, say it’s an opportunity for board members to build relationships. But some people question why they have to travel so far for professional development. ...

The New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance will live-stream the retreat; The Lens will live-blog it. The retreat begins with a dinner presentation at 7 p.m. Thursday. Things get underway at 9 a.m. Friday.

Under a bill approved by a Senate committee, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would retain responsibility for two shipping gates in the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier when local agencies in June take charge of the $14 billion storm-protection system built since Hurricane Katrina.

In fact, more than half of the nation’s pipelines were built before 1970. More than 2.5 million miles of pipelines run underground throughout the country. According to federal statistics, they have on average 280 significant spills a year. Most of these accidents aren’t big enough to make headlines. …

The National Transportation Safety Board director Debbie Hersman claims the system is safe, however, she says: “I will tell you 100 percent of the accidents that we’ve investigated were completely preventable. If companies invest in safety, we can get to zero accidents in the pipeline industry.”

People donate significantly more money to hurricanes that share their initials.  So Roberts, Ralphs and Roses donated on average 260% more to the Hurricane Rita relief fund than did people without R initials.  Also in 2005, people with K initials donated 150% more to the Katrina relief fund, and in 2004 people with I initials donated 100% more to the Ivan relief fund.

Should we consider changing the names of hurricanes based on this information?

Gusman’s lawyers will argue the city has some responsibility for conditions and activities identified in the lawsuit and addressed in the consent decree demands, and that it should remain a co-defendant even though the original lawsuit did not include the city. … Based on an email sent between Gusman’s lawyers and the U.S. Department of Justice in July, the city said Gusman is demanding an additional $22 million a year over five years to pay for the decree.

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About Mark Moseley

Mark Moseley blogs at Your Right Hand Thief. Until mid 2014, Mark Moseley was The Lens' opinion writer, engagement specialist and coordinator for the Charter Schools Reporting Corps. After Katrina and the Federal Flood he helped create the Rising Tide conference, which grew into an annual social media event dedicated to the future of New Orleans.