CeaseFire hasn’t yet reduced Central City violence, but officials remain confident program will work — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Nearly a year after the announcement of the CeaseFire anti-violence program, killings and shootings in Central City have increased. Nonetheless, officials say the program needs more time to show positive results and that it has “prevented retaliatory violence in numerous instances, and it has had a positive effect on people’s lives.”
Live blog: Council to evaluate anti-violence measures — but lacks data from city — The Lens | The City Council’s criminal justice committee meets today to discuss the effectiveness of the mayor’s violence-reduction programs. But the administration hasn’t yet provided the detailed financial information they asked for.
New Orleans IG says he’s examining crime stats — The Advocate | “After state Sen. J.P. Morrell asked for an audit of New Orleans’ crime statistics, which show a curious lack of correlation between low gun assaults numbers and homicide rates, Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux said he had already begun such an inquiry and expects it to be complete by year’s end.”
The Mother’s Day shootings — Gambit | Alex Woodward summarizes the week that followed the tragic shootings that injured about 20 people at a second-line parade on Mother’s Day. One of the questions addressed in the article: Was this an act of terrorism?
Government & Politics
Busting debt limit to fund community colleges could imperil state’s bond rating — The Lens | Some lawmakers intend to raise the constitutional debt limit in order to spend $250 million on construction programs for community and technical colleges. This might cause rating agencies to downgrade the state’s bond rating.
Attorney General called out for giving contracts to top campaign donors — WWLtv.com | Critics allege that Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is using “illegal, contingency-fee contracts to hire his top supporters to represent the state in its biggest tort cases.” The Hayride website has investigated this story for a while and provides related documents in a post titled “THE BUDDY SYSTEM: Caldwell’s Illegal (And Expensive) Contingency-Fee Contracts.”
Effort to allow higher property tax in New Orleans to pay for police, fire departments sails through Louisiana House — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | After amendments to the bill, it’s unclear whether money from potential future property tax increases could to fund reforms pertaining to the federal consent decree for the New Orleans Police Department and Orleans Parish Prison.
The Metric System and Common Core — Education Week | Many of us of a certain age were taught the metric system (and then promptly forgot it). Iona College political science professor Jeanne Zaino argues that failed efforts to teach the metric system might be a cautionary tale about teacher buy-in for Common Core.
Chicago Communities Wary of Chicago School Closures – The New York Times
By uprooting elementary schools like Bethune, where around 98 percent of the students are black and from low-income homes, parents say officials are uprooting the personal and academic lifelines of Chicago’s neediest communities.
Public Spending Per Student Drops – The Wall Street Journal | U.S. public education spending per student falls for the first time in three decades.
Chat replay: Bob Marshall discusses challenges facing coastal Louisiana — The Lens | Coastal Desk reporter Bob Marshall talked with Lens readers in a Web chat about whether there’s hope for the coast. Is it too late to reverse the accelerating loss of land? Should we spend $50 billion on restoration projects?
Mystery in the Marsh: Where are the bugs? – FOX 8 WVUE | There’s a troubling paucity of insects, at the base of the ecosystem’s food chain, in Louisiana marshes affected by the 2010 oil spill. Researchers had predicted that the insect population would bounce back, but some “areas of the marsh, normally teeming with life, have fallen silent.”
Oyster leaseholders lose suit blaming oil spill berms for damage — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
Oyster growers on both sides of the Mississippi River who sued the state, dredge operators and BP claiming damages to their oyster leases in 2010 during the construction of berms designed to capture oil during the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill had their lawsuit thrown out in two different federal courts on Monday. The oyster growers contend that their oyster beds were smothered with sediment and sand during dredging to build the berms.
Vieux Carre Commission gives Habana Outpost tentative approval, neighbors threaten lawsuit — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | The contentious debate over a new restaurant at a blighted, dormant intersection of the French Quarter is, in my view, a revealing case study. “Supporters said the project would bring much-needed investment to a long-dormant corner and improve public safety at night. Opponents said the restaurant’s size would create parking and noise issues and damage the historic nature of the French Quarter.”
Some Airbnb Listings Could Be Breaking The Law — NPR | Travelers are increasingly staying at private homes instead of hotels, and using Web listing services such as Airbnb to find accommodations. The issue of illegal short-term rentals flared up in New Orleans a couple months ago.