Inside the Newsroom
The Lens launches The Vault to bring greater openness to government contracting | The Lens – Starting with the city of New Orleans, we’re uploading thousands of government contracts to make it easier to keep tabs on how local governments spend your money. What will you find?
Landrieu drops plans to create civic center at former Charity Hospital | The Lens – City Hall will be renovated after the mayor cites financial constraints as the reason for ending his effort to turn the iconic hospital into the new home of government, as well as new digs for Civil District Court. The future of the court remains in flux, though Landrieu envisions keeping it in its current location next to City Hall.
With Wal-Mart, retail marks a return to N.O. East | The New Orleans Advocate “After a nine-year absence, the world’s largest retailer reopened its doors Wednesday in New Orleans East, helping to fill a retail gap that has raised persistent quality-of-life complaints from residents, who often have to travel outside the city limits for groceries and other goods.”
Government & Politics
Louisiana GDP facts: “Jindal miracle” or mirage | BayouBuzz – BayouBuzz publisher Steve Sabludowsky cites recent state Gross Domestic Product figures that run counter to the governor’s claims about a booming economy in Louisiana.
GOP Senate candidate Rob Maness calls Bill Cassidy a ‘Cantor clone’ on amnesty | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The illegal immigration issue contributed to the stunning primary upset of Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia. Tea party favorite Rob Maness took note, and said: “Congressman Cassidy and Congressman Cantor are two peas in a pod; unable or unwilling to hear the message that their constituents are sending them.”
R.I.P. Fiscal Hawks | Forgotston.com – Blogger C.B. Forgotston writes an obituary for the “Fiscal Hawks” contingent in the Legislature, which has largely been silent since 2013 and, in Forgotston’s view, represented the only hope for sensible fiscal reform in Louisiana.
Controversial data-driven research behind the California court’s decision to reject teacher tenure | Education By The Numbers – A landmark decision by a California judge that would dismantle the teacher tenure system is partly grounded in controversial “value-added” analyses that attempt to quantify teacher effectiveness.
At A New Orleans High School, Marching Band Is A Lifeline For Kids | NPR – Edna Karr High School band director Christopher Herrero said: “In other parts of the country, people call band lovers band geeks. There’s no such thing as a band geek in New Orleans. We have band heads, where band is life, you know.”
Guest commentary: Charter experiment in New Orleans a failure | The Advocate – An associate professor of political science at Tulane University writes an op-ed that claims the “idea of school choice is more legend than fact” in New Orleans.
Long before Hurricane Katrina, there was Sauve’s Crevasse, one of the worst floods in New Orleans history | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Geographer Richard Campanella recounts how, in 1849, Mississippi River waters breached near what is now River Ridge and flooded inhabited areas of the East Bank, including New Orleans. Nowadays we hardly worry about surging river levels: “In essence, over the past two centuries, we have transferred the source of the flood threat from high springtime rain and snow melt flowing out the Mississippi River, to late-summer hurricanes blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico.”
A Fracking Ban… in Louisiana? | The American Spectator – Louisiana conservative writer Scott McKay is alarmed by the anti-fracking sentiment in St. Tammany:
In short, St. Tammany will attempt to block oil drilling, the revenues from which fund 15 percent of Louisiana’s state budget.
One wonders whether Governor Bobby Jindal will consider calling the state legislature back into session to debate adjustments to Louisiana’s budget, perhaps to strip 15 percent of St. Tammany’s state funds for roads, schools, state police, and the like.
Oil industry steers discussion post-session | Houma Today – “[Pro-oil industry] laws endorsed by Gov. Bobby Jindal are almost certainly destined for the courts, and the oil lobby is looking to turn them into election issues this year and next, all the way down the ballot to the local level.”
Ex-OPP guard pleads guilty to smuggling marijuana, cell phones into jail | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
‘[Orleans Parish Prison guard Tyrell] Sutherland’s criminal conduct jeopardized the safety of his fellow Sheriff’s deputies and the inmates he was entrusted to protect,’ U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite said in a news release. ‘We will not tolerate this type of misconduct that undermines public trust in our law enforcement community.’
James Gill: Judicial reform effort seems doomed | The New Orleans Advocate – Convening a task force to study New Orleans’ judge-laden courts is one way to scuttle thrifty reforms, argues the Advocate columnist.