Government & Politics
Jindal drains economic development fund to subsidize projects around the state | The Lens – Jindal inherited $150 million to fund economic development projects, but now the fund is nearly empty and it appears it won’t be replenished anytime soon.
Live blog: Mayor Landrieu holds public meeting on city budget; District A tonight | The Lens – Mayor Mitch Landrieu will likely explain why the budget is excruciatingly tight due to factors outside of his control — such as federal consent decrees and pension obligations — and will require numerous tough choices and shared sacrifice.
Audit shows privatization of mental health services in Louisiana increased costs | Associated Press – “The audit says the privatization has caused problems with claims payments, which have increased costs for the human services districts and have made it more difficult for the districts to get reimbursed for their services.”
State moves to fill 3 East Bank levee authority seats, including posts held by president, vice president | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Attention is focused on the process of reappointing or replacing levee authority members, due to the Jindal administration’s opposition to the board’s coastal erosion lawsuit against oil and gas companies.
Documents describe fees, hiring of private attorneys for coastal loss lawsuit | The Lens – The Jindal administration has contended that the local levee authority, the Southeast Louisiana FloodProtection Authority – East, acted improperly in suing oil and gas companies. The Lens provides the the lawsuit documents, so readers can judge for themselves.
Trying to wash us away | Gambit – Gambit Political Editor Clancy Dubos doesn’t mince words about the Jindal administration’s efforts to halt the flood authority’s lawsuit against Big Oil. He also criticizes news organizations that have sat silent as Jindal applies strong-arm tactics.
Jindal now hopes to replace commissioners whose terms have expired, particularly historian John Barry, who has been the most outspoken in favor of the litigation. Barry, who wrote Rising Tide, is one of the nation’s leading authorities on flood control policy.
It’s no stretch to compare Jindal’s moves against the commissioners to the brazen tactics of Huey Long and Edwin Edwards. Yet, there’s been nary a peep out of the large daily newspapers that regularly railed against the Kingfish and the Silver Zipper. Such is the power of Big Oil and some daily newspapers’ slavish devotion to Jindal.
Gulf Spill Sampling Questioned | New York Times – A new study indicates that the 2010 BP oil spill may have contaminated water and seafood more than early research indicated.
New report on New Orleans noise ordinance calls for sweeping changes, gets mixed reaction | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune –
A new report commissioned by the New Orleans City Council on how best to revise the city’s noise ordinance was challenged as too lenient by several residents who spoke Monday at a meeting of the council’s Housing and Human Needs Committee. On the other side, members of the local music community urged the council to tread lightly and respect the city’s cultural heritage.
Owen Courreges: Are go-cups about to go? | Uptown Messenger – Courreges skillfully summarizes last week’s controversy about the supposed demise of go-cups in New Orleans and, in my opinion, gets to the heart of the matter:
No changes to open container laws are in the offing. Rather, this is yet another front in the ongoing war that pits ABOs [Alcoholic Beverage Outlets] against the city and neighborhood groups. However, just because we’re not discussing proposed legislation doesn’t mean that we should accept the city at face value when it says, “Move along, there’s nothing to see here,” like some cop working crowd control. The truth is that neighborhood groups have gotten increasingly aggressive in their demands on ABOs, and the city’s enforcement efforts against ABOs have gotten far more severe.
Oil and gas building to become mixed-income apartments | The Louisiana Weekly – “Plans are underway on the renovation of the old Oil and Gas Building at 1100 Tulane Avenue, with the goal of turning it into mixed-income apartment housing.”
Education department notes board’s open meetings violation | The Lens – The public wasn’t allowed to comment on individual items before the New Beginnings Schools Foundation board meeting in June.
Orleans Parish School Board committee questions minority participation in superintendent search | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
An Orleans Parish School Board community committee halved the list of prospective superintendent search firms Monday, amid concerns about the political hot potato of minority contracts. As a result, it appears almost impossible to meet the School Board’s goal that 35 percent of each contract go to disadvantaged business enterprises.
Orleans DA forfeits shooting conviction, says evidence wasn’t given to defendant | The New Orleans Advocate – In a rare concession, Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro admitted that his office violated the law by failing to turn over key evidence on a battery case.
Death Row air conditioning rare in Southern states | The Advocate – Arkansas has air conditioning in its death row buildings, but other Southern states don’t. Heat index temperatures have allegedly soared to nearly 200 degrees during the summer at Angola’s Death Row, but Warden Burl Cain “testified last week that prison officials believe inmates deliberately manipulated Death Row thermometers in ways that falsely enhanced temperature readings in past years.”