Being the social butterflies that we are here at The Lens, we’ve overbooked our calendar with you, our readers, for next week.
We will skip our Breakfast with the Newsmakers event, previously scheduled for Thursday, May 22 at 8 a.m. Instead, we invite you to join us at another, more intimate event that evening.
The Lens’ reporters and editors will Talk the Beat with friends and supporters at the fascinating BrottWorks Design Studio on Freret Street. This is a chance to hear from reporters examining blight, education, New Orleans politics and state legislative issues.
You’ll also get to tour a home and studio that is on the front edge of environmentally conscious design and construction, and enjoy food and refreshments from Freret Street restaurants. And the art that comes out of this studio is simply stunning to see in person.
We hope to have a chance to talk with you at length on Thursday.
Proposed EPA rule would reduce refinery flaring, require fence line monitoring of toxic chemicals | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The Environmental Protection Agency, proposes mandatory fence-line monitors to measure harmful emissions from petroleum refineries. The industry opposes the plan.
Unlearning Katrina’s lesson: Bills would again make levee board a governor’s plaything | The Lens – Ruthie Firerson, founder of Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, urges legislators to vote against Senate Bill 553 which would weaken post-flood reforms to the levee board.
Live webcast: Charles Maldonado discusses NOPD, OPP consent decrees | The Lens – “You can watch “Reshaping a Greater New Orleans: Criminal Justice — Change by Decree” on the video embedded at this page.
Orleans DA declines to charge Merritt Landry, Marigny homeowner who shot teen in gated drive | The New Orleans Advocate –
After [Marshall] Coulter’s recent arrests on a pair of burglary counts, “any case that this office had against Landry was irreversibly damaged,” Cannizzaro said in a written statement.
New Orleans Police Hope To ‘Win The City Back,’ One Kid At A Time : Code Switch | NPR – Police are taking steps to reach pre-teens, including going to schools to discuss a short film on the dreariness of prison life.
Guardian challenges lethal injection secrecy in landmark Missouri lawsuit | Law | The Guardian – “Show-me” state? Not when it comes to revealing information about execution drugs and suppliers. The Guardian, the Associated Press and three Missouri newspapers filed a lawsuit against the state to lift lethal injection secrecy laws. The Guardian has a state-by-state list of secrecy laws.
Live blog Friday: What’s the future of John McDonogh High School? | The Lens – Alumni, advisory groups to talk about what will happen when the school reopens after renovations.
Ben Franklin High School board votes to recognize teachers’ union | The Lens – The school will collectively bargain with teachers after 85 percent said they wanted to join a union. Read our live blog coverage of the board vote.
Behind The Test: Louisiana Grapples With How To ‘Test’ Its Youngest Learners | WWNO – The Lens, Hechinger Report and local NPR affiliate WWNO have teamed up in this series that looks at how schools prepare and deal with high-stakes tests.
US schools largely resegregated 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education | Christian Science Monitor – According to a report, schools became more integrated after the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 until the late 1980s, Since, the trend has reversed, due in part to complex demographic changes throughout the country. “At the peak of integration, 44 percent of black students in the South attended majority white schools, but by 2011, just 23 percent did, dipping back to levels seen in the late 1960s. Yet the South is currently the most integrated region for black students.”
Bizarre complaint threatens children’s opportunities | Between The Lines – LSU political science associate professor Jeffrey Sadow dismantles a recent argument behind a civil-rights lawsuit filed against New Orleans charter schools. The state education chief would likely concur with Sadow’s scathing analysis. Superintendent John White characterized the complaint as ‘a joke.’
Brad Pitt’s Make It Right redevelopment reaches the 100 home mark and produces an A-list gala | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune –
At first, Make It Right made homes available only to former residents of the immediate neighborhood. Then they expanded home ownership to people who were displaced from the flooded Lower 9th Ward and some people who merely had family ties to the area. They also opened home ownership to teachers, police officers, emergency medical technicians and other first responders.
Puzzling WTC building saga continues – but why?: David Garcia | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The president of the local development partner to Gatehouse Capital, the firm with whom the city recently terminated negotiations, is still baffled by the city’s handling of the World Trade Center.
After a year and a half, we are left with more questions than answers. How much is enough? Does the city really believe another private developer can pay more than $100 million to lease the WTC? How could the city expect to complete this large, complex deal with so few meetings and no experts on its negotiating team?
Are Streetcars Just for Tourists? | CityLab – “Outside of New Orleans, no major streetcar accounts for more than 2 percent of all passenger miles traveled on city transit.”
Government & Politics
Open House seat drawing interest | LaPolitics – Term-limited Sen. Ed Murray and Sidney Cates V, the president of NOLA Building Group, are said to be possible contenders for the House District 97 seat. Jared Brossett formerly had the seat, but left it to run, successfully, for City Council.
Legislature: Teen sex survey draws debate | American Press – “[Rep. Patricia] Smith said a $750,000 grant in the governor’s office to teach ‘abstinence only’ sex education reaches about 19 schools out of the state’s 69 school districts. She said it’s important to teach sexual education to students, especially since Louisiana ranks sixth in the nation in teen pregnancy.”
Recapturing legislative seats | Gambit – Recent population projections have Greater New Orleans gaining House seats when the district lines are redrawn after 2020.