Hard work brings homelessness in New Orleans below pre-Katrina levels | The Lens – New Orleans has seen an 83 percent reduction in homelessness since 2007. Leaders of the Unity of Greater New Orleans nonprofit aim for a 100 percent reduction by next year.
New Orleans confronts unlicensed short-term rentals: to legalize or keep ban? | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
As the trend expands, some residents are lamenting the erosion of their neighborhoods’ character, while the established hospitality industry, subject to strict regulations, bemoans the unequal playing field enjoyed by the new, unfettered competition.
The Alliance for Neighborhood Prosperity says the solution is to legalize and regulate the rentals, many of them bed-and-breakfast operations popular with tourists.
New Orleans tour guide licensing law upheld | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune — “New Orleans tour guides will continue to undergo criminal background checks and drug testing in order to ply their trade after a federal appeals court upheld the city’s licensing system.”
Crime reports up, arrests down in New Orleans | The New Orleans Advocate – The annual report by the Metropolitan Crime Commission credits cooperative efforts by the police department and district attorney for increasing conviction rates as a proportion of felony arrests. However, the story notes, “the latest figures show that reported crimes continued to rise in 2013, with robberies, rapes and thefts all increasing.”
Judge denies Gregory McRae’s bid for new trial in Henry Glover case | The New Orleans Advocate
The ruling, which paves the way for McRae to be re-sentenced later this month, left standing the only conviction remaining from the far-reaching federal investigation into Glover’s fatal shooting and an alleged police cover-up that followed. It underscored the difficulty criminal defendants are having in capitalizing on an online-commenting scandal involving the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Legal scholars again urge Jindal to veto bill to kill lawsuit against oil, gas companies | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Legal scholars sent an updated open letter to Gov. Bobby Jindal warning that SB 469 risks scuttling the state’s BP oil spill claims. See the updated letter here.
Lionel Sutton Interview Part 3 – recipe for a zombie | American Zombie – In a multi-part series investigating the BP spill claims process, blogger and documentarian Jason Berry says fraudulent claims from plaintiffs in the seafood industry have been brought to the attention of the claims administrator, Pat Juneau. See part one and part two of Berry’s series.
Euthanization or rehab for oiled wildlife? | The Vancouver Sun – A Canadian organization tasked with cleaning up oil spills says efforts to save oiled wildlife are not the best use of resources and manpower during a crisis.
Government & Politics
Pulitzer Winning Journalist Tyler Bridges; Manship’s Renee Chatelain; Dr. Everett Ehrlich | WRKF – The Lens’ Tyler Bridges discusses the highlights of the now-completed legislative session, including Gov. Jindal’s decision to postpone signing controversial SB 469 until after a review by the state Attorney General.
Louisiana wants in on Super Tuesday 2016 | The Washington Post
The legislature passed a bill Monday that would move up the state’s first presidential vote by two weeks to March 5, adding Louisiana as a coveted “Super Tuesday” state. The state would also leapfrog a half-dozen others with mid-March votes, such as Ohio and Illinois.
What passed and failed in the legislative session | Associated Press – Full rundown of bills passed, organized by subject area.
New Orleans District Moves To All-Charter School System | NPR – Lens reporter Jessica Williams explains New Orleans’ Recovery School District to a national audience.
Enough Common Core political fighting, says Louisiana Education Superintendent John White | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
“We owe you no more change,” White told about 4,000 teachers and school administrators at New Orleans’ Morial Convention Center. “We owe you clarity. We owe you consistency. It is time for that.”