Streamlining Medical Parole to Ensure Public Safety and Protect Taxpayers | The Pelican Post – The libertarian think tank argues that current medical parole law is too restrictive, and improvements could rein in costs as inmate populations age.
More violent incidents at Parish Prison prompt fresh criticism | The Advocate – Recent fights, injuries and a death at the New Orleans jail raise questions about the enactment of reforms mandated by a federal consent decree. A former inmate spoke to Fox 8 News about the fight that preceded the death of that inmate, Willie Lee. The witness said a guard didn’t intervene early enough and even encouraged the fight.
Louisiana high court sides with judge over use of grand jury transcripts | The New Orleans Advocate – The state Supreme Court ruled prosecutors in the New Orleans DA’s office acted properly when they distributed copies of grand jury testimony to the trial jury after a lone witness in an alleged gang killing invoked the Fifth Amendment rather than confirm his earlier testimony.
UN global warming report finds serious impact, but Rep. Scalise says ‘radical environmentalists are at it again’ | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise says ice coverage in the Great Lakes — which would seem to be an indicator of weather variation, not climate change — undercuts findings by top scientists. A climatologist at Auburn University put it this way: “If we’re saying global warming is a myth because it’s cold, are Alaskan people saying global warming is real because it’s unexpectedly warm … in the middle of the winter season?”
Stephanie Grace: Ex-govs agree on worth of lawsuit | The New Orleans Advocate – The columnist describes a stark contrast in political support for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies. Ex-governors Buddy Roemer, Kathleen Blanco and Edwin Edwards say it’s a common-sense approach to hold energy interests accountable for coastal laws. Current officeholders, however, have stayed mum.
Plaquemines rushes to restart halted levee project | FOX 8 News –Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser says he doesn’t know why a contractor stopped paying a subcontractor for levee construction. The subcontractor walked off the job and Nungesser says the project will have to be re-bid.
Managing Menhaden: A New Plan For ‘The Most Important Fish In The Sea’ | WWNO – Watchdog groups worry that Menhaden, a vital link in Gulf water ecosystems, is being overfished.
A Massive Chemical Plant Is Poised to Wipe This Louisiana Town off the Map | Mother Jones – Industrial facilities already surround the tiny, centuries-old hamlet of Mossville. Now the Sasol chemical plant will be built nearby. Some residents have petitioned the government to pay for their relocation.
Wow, Lots of New Retail Coming to Lower Garden! | Canal Street Beat – A summary of new developments along Magazine Street.
Good Old Raze | NOLA DEFENDER – A collection of photos showing development in Marigny and Bywater.
There’s Another Jazzland Plan and This One Includes An Ark | Curbed NOLA – A new proposal for the vacant site in eastern New Orleans includes a 450-foot replica of Noah’s Ark.
Government & Politics
BREAKING: Calculation error in budget creates $47 million hole | LaPolitics
Shifting the dynamics of the budget debate, lawmakers will soon learn that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s spending plan for 2014-2015 is short by $47 million due to an error in calculating last year’s tax amnesty program.
Louisiana Absentee governor, Jindal, and floundering legislature | Bayou Buzz – Lens reporter Tyler Bridges analyzes the slow start to the legislative session with Bayou Buzz Publisher Stephen Sabludowsky and former Insurance Commissioner Jim Brown.
Newspapers Face Off Before the Legislature | MyNewOrleans.com – Errol Laborde comments on a recent Lens story about the Advocate’s effort to change the law so it can bid for contracts to publish legal notices. Laborde notes that legal notices have “historically been a lifeline for rural papers for which the government is the main advertiser.”
LGBT Fair Housing Bill Struck Down in La. Legis. | NOLA DEFENDER
The bill, authored by Rep. Jared Brossett (D), aimed to ban housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Legislative report on sex education policies compares Louisiana with other states | The Louisiana Weekly – The report finds that teen birth rates and sexually-transmitted diseases are lower in districts where schools are mandated to teach sex ed.
NOCCA president drops out of Orleans school superintendent search | The Advocate – The president of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts dropped out of the running to become the next superintendent of the Orleans Parish School Board. He indicated displeasure with the board’s lukewarm response to the first crop of recommended candidates. This morning, news broke that another candidate — Edmond Heatley, the education commissioner of Bermuda — also pulled out.
Common Core ‘pause’ in works | The Advocate – “Superintendents statewide are negotiating with sponsors of a bill that critics said would end Common Core in Louisiana, triggering charges Monday of backroom dealmaking on the eve of a key vote.”
New funding for colleges clears first hurdle | The New Orleans Advocate – The bill would have Louisiana colleges compete for a slice of a $40 million fund to encourage more graduates with certain majors needed by employers.