New Orleans Skyline Saved From Freeways Thanks To SF — CBS San Francisco | A CBS news affiliate interviews New Orleans attorney William Borah, who recounts how citizens rose up to defeat plans to build a freeway through the French Quarter in the 1960’s. At the time, the mayor, city council, and governor all supported a riverside interstate that would have blocked access to the river and marred the city’s skyline. Local opponents of the plan found support from activists in San Francisco, who pointed to the Embarcadero freeway in their city, which blocked much of their coastal view. Plans were changed to route the freeway through the heart of Treme. San Francisco voters ultimately voted to demolish the Embarcadero in 1989.
Library Chronicles: Bike friendly? | At his blog, Jeffrey quotes from a study that claims new bike lanes on Carrollton Avenue and other streets have promoted more cycling. Jeffrey, as always, is a bit skeptical. He posts photos of signs around town that seem to indicate a new trend of banning bicycles being locked up “where, just a few years ago, no one would have had any problem with it. If we’re investing so much effort in becoming a ‘bike-friendly’ city, maybe we should be more friendly when it comes to bike parking too.“
Government & Politics
New Orleans City Council President: Superdome blackout will never happen again, won’t rule out city in 2018 – CNN.com | Council President Stacy Head appeared on CNN and emphasized that the city’s Super Bowl week shouldn’t be defined by the power outage.
Charter school’s international basketball team raises oversight questions — NC Policy Watch | A charter school in North Carolina has become a national basketball powerhouse by recruiting students from outside its district. It has used its charter status to opt out of the state’s high school athletic association, which enforces recruitment rules. The situtation “offers a window into the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s struggles to hold charter schools accountable as the schools become a larger piece of the state’s public education system.”
The Link Between Kids Who Walk or Bike to School and Concentration – The Atlantic Cities | A study finds that “kids who cycled or walked to school, rather than traveling by car or public transportation, performed measurably better on tasks demanding concentration.”
Bill would allow 2 workers per Miss. school to carry guns | The Clarion-Ledger
Mayor touts construction of new Juvenile Justice Center – FOX 8 WVUE | The new $32 million, 59,000-square-foot Juvenile Justice Center will fulfill a 2010 federal consent decree to replace the much-maligned Youth Study Center, which houses juveniles accused of serious crimes who are awaiting trial.
The complex will offer “myriad services for juvenile delinquents 24 hours daily, including mental health and family services. … The new buildings will include [a] courthouse, a 40-bed detention center for arrested youth awaiting trial, and offices for the Orleans Parish public defenders and district attorney’s juvenile division.”
According to a NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune report, Landrieu surprised Juvenile Court judges when he revealed that there are only four courtrooms in the complex. Landrieu believes that the number of Juvenile Court judges can be reduced from six to three, which would require action by the state Legislature.
The Fox report quotes Landrieu: “It would cost us six million more dollars to build two other courtrooms that all objective studies say are not necessary. The city can’t keep wasting money, you know, and overspending on things that we can do for less.”
Gulf operators, contractors get ready for busy 2013 – Offshore magazine | Deepwater drilling permits have returned to pre-Macondo levels. “In 2012, the Obama administration issued the most deepwater drilling permits for the [Gulf of Mexico] since 2007.” However, new regulations on exploration and development plans “now take about 150 days compared with 54 days in the past.”
“Today we see cooler heads and more pragmatic leadership with the regulators in Washington,” observed James Noe, general counsel for Hercules Offshore. “Things are now working more smoothly in the Gulf.”
Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu – Bloomberg Businessweek | Charlie Rose asked Landrieu a bizarre question that implied the flooding during Katrina was a natural disaster that primarily affected the “North Ward.” Landrieu disabused Rose of some, but certainly not all, of the pernicious Katrina myths embedded in the query. Then Landrieu used the city’s new school system as an example of the fresh thinking that should accompany disaster recovery.
Charlie Rose: As you know, when the Hurricane hit here it hit the North Ward with huge force. And so many people suffered so much. And questions were raised about race and other issues. Where are you with rebuilding the North Ward?
Mitch Landrieu: The storm did not discriminate. This storm really put the entire city under water… Not every part of the city is back, and this is not a surprise. … The Ninth Ward is still struggling [it] had 15,000 people in it before the storm. They have 2,500 people now. … It is going to take us time to rebuild the entirety of the city. You’ll have the same exact experience in the Northeast as you try to rebuild the Rockaways. And you’ll see some neighborhoods come back faster than others. And you’ll have frustrations with FEMA getting money to the ground. The essential component though is for people to not to build it back like it was. To really think about what it should have always been. For example, in concrete terms. If a school building got destroyed, instead of putting that building back and painting it like it was build a new 21st century school, build a sustainable school… build a school system that’s going to teach to a knowledge-based economy. And that’s what we’ve done in New Orleans because we realized that the foundations that were in place were taking us someplace that we didn’t want to go.