Documents indicate that Friends of King CEO didn’t sign contracts with family members | The Lens – Chief Executive Officer Doris Roché-Hicks apparently didn’t sign contracts with her family members, which would clear her from one set of legal concerns about their employment. But there are discrepancies between copies and originals of the same documents, and charter officials won’t discuss why they’re different.
School reviews may get reprieve | The Advocate – State Superintendent of Education John White wants to prevent big drops in school ratings as tougher Common Core standards are introduced. He proposes a maximum drop of one letter grade for schools next year.
Bobby Jindal Dupes John Boehner on Destroying Desegregation | CenLamar – Blogger Lamar White sees political gamesmanship in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s dispute with the U.S. Department of Justice, which believes the state’s school voucher system conflicts with desegregation in some districts. “Make no mistake: Bobby Jindal wasn’t shocked or stunned by the Department of Justice’s decision to file a motion; Bobby Jindal was setting them up for this. With his abysmal poll numbers and with his voucher program already under siege by state courts, a lawsuit from the Obama administration on desegregation was, politically, a no-brainer.”
White’s follow follow-up column is even more scathing.
Danziger ruling prompts Nagin challenge; others will likely follow | The New Orleans Advocate – In light of the expanding comment scandal involving the local U.S. Attorney’s Office, former mayor Ray Nagin’s attorney makes a compelling point: “Until the full factual backdrop is revealed by the Department of Justice, including actions by personnel in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, it is impossible to discern the extent of prosecutorial misconduct affecting Mr. Nagin.”
Frisking Tactic Yields to a Focus on Youth Gangs | The New York Times – “The stop-and-frisk tactic, once the linchpin of the [New York City] police’s efforts to get guns off the streets, is in a steep decline.”
Corps of Engineers will armor more levees with fabric mat, grass combo | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – This is a significant victory for the local levee authority, which argued for fabric mats to prevent levee erosion:
The decision to rely more on the mats was announced by an official with the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East at its monthly meeting Thursday. The decision came after repeated complaints from state and regional levee authority officials about earlier proposals to rely on just grass or “enhanced” grass — Bermuda grass that would be carefully watered and fertilized to encourage root growth — to halt erosion on large sections of the levees when they are topped during major hurricanes.
Lax chlorine standards likely contributed to brain-eating amoeba in St. Bernard water | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
The administrator who oversees safe drinking water for Louisiana said St. Bernard Parish’s water supply has not been under any recent state enforcement orders prompted by low chlorine levels, because the parish’s water has tested positive for traceable amounts of disinfectants over the last several years.
Those tests, however, did not seek a deadly brain-eating amoeba found at four sites in St. Bernard this month, which killed a 28-year-old man in Arabi in 2011 and a 4-year-old boy in Violet last month.
The Kindest Cut of All | The Wall Street Journal – Hurricane Sandy altered the hydrology along the coast of Long Island. In one instance, a breach in an island may have “sparked an ecological turnaround that has long eluded environmental advocates, commercial fishing interests and state policy makers.” (Via Environmental Health News.)
Government & Politics
Cassidy once donated to his rival | The Advocate – U.S. Rep Bill Cassidy calls a 2002 donation made to Sen. Mary Landrieu a “youthful indiscretion.” NOLA Defender broke the story about the donation on Wednesday.
In Mississippi, America’s most revolutionary mayor | Al Jazeera America – I’m surprised we don’t hear more about Chokwe Lumumba, mayor of Jackson, Miss. He is an intriguing political figure in the Deep South.
Jackson’s new mayor is a former vice president of the RNA [Republic of New Afrika] and a co-founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), a national group born in 1993 that seeks self-determination for African-Americans — whom it calls New Afrikans — “by any means necessary.” Like many shaped by the Black Power era, Lumumba long shunned formal politics, until a successful run for City Council in 2009. Now, as mayor, he is seeking to apply the tenets of the black radical tradition to the duties of running a city.
Councilwoman Guidry seeks improvements to demolition process | Mid-City Messenger
Councilwoman Susan Guidry, who was elected in 2010 to hold the District A seat representing parts of Mid-City, Carrollton, Uptown and Lakeview, wasn’t concerned only about how many blighted properties still remain in the city. She also wanted to know if the process of tearing down those properties has also improved.
Owners, neighbors of Jack’s Meat Market defend store, say blight and crime are the real problems | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Residents defended a corner store in St. Roch that has been criticized as being a haven for crime. The article quotes resident Angelica Matthews, who characterized the neighborhood’s crime problem as a community ailment. She asked: “You think they’re going to stop selling dope over here because the store is closed?”