Government & Politics
Full-time employees drop sharply even as Landrieu proposes first budget increase | The Lens – Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s proposed budget reduces 170 full-time-equivalent positions. However, none of the reductions in personnel will come through layoffs.
Analysis: Pay raises uneven across La. government | Associated Press – “State government employees have received $33 million in salary increases in 2013, however: “the policies are not uniform across agencies, creating a system of haves and have-nots where pay raises aren’t dictated by performance standards but where a person works.”
Charity hospital system not a substitute for health coverage | Louisiana Budget Project – The liberal-leaning think tank criticizes Gov. Bobby Jindal’s “safety-net model” of healthcare and asks the Jindal administration to rethink its resistance to expanding more preventative health insurance coverage to low-income populations
St. Louis proposes fund to ‘mothball’ vacant buildings | St. Louis Post-Dispatch – St. Louis sees potential value in its many historic homes and industrial buildings, and has established a preservation fund to mothball its vacant buildings to avoid blight, until they can be redeveloped.
N.O. corporate real estate is booming, business leaders say – FOX 8 WVUE – “New Orleans CityBusiness Editor-in-Chief Greg LaRose says there’s been a half-billion in hotel sales alone this year.”
WWII Museum’s $320 million expansion expected to be complete in 2016 | WWNO – Radio segment on how the National World War II Museum continues to thrive and expand in the Warehouse District.
3 million pounds of oil found on Louisiana shore 3 years after BP spill | Reuters – A recent state report by the Department of Natural Resources did not explain why three million pounds of “oily material” has been found along Louisiana’s coast so far this year, a huge increase over the 119,894 pounds discovered over the same period last year.
Treaty could boost oil industry | Houma Today – “The treaty, called the Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement, would allow drilling leases in international waters spanning the U.S.-Mexico border across the Gulf, which has been held under an international drilling ban since the 1970s.”
Crucial wetlands report is overshadowed by government shutdown | Field & Stream – Writing at Field & Stream’s Conservationist blog, Lens environmental reporter Bob Marshall notes that the government shutdown meant 16 more days of delay for wetlands restoration.
Many Hurricane Sandy victims getting shortchanged on flood insurance – Associated Press – Continued disaster-cycle parallels continue between Hurricane Sandy and New Orleans after Katrina and the flood.
Many homeowners who got slammed by Superstorm Sandy are finding their flood insurance checks are nowhere near large enough to cover their repairs, and consumer advocates put some of the blame on errors by the multitude of adjusters who were hired in a hurry after the disaster.
Letten’s legacy | The Advocate – The prosecution rate in former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office would have dipped below the national average between 2008 to 2012, if not for its “zealous prosecution of law-breaking hunters of… migratory waterfowl.”
Critics fire away at criminal court’s inmate risk-ranking program | The New Orleans Advocate –
Local bail bondsmen went before the New Orleans City Council on Friday to blast the city’s 18-month-old “pre-trial services” program, in what has become an annual scrap over an initiative to rid the Orleans Parish jail system of non-violent offenders who some say don’t need to stay locked up while awaiting trial.
Few on the council seemed persuaded that the program, which is run by the New York-based Vera Institute of Justice, poses a threat to taxpayers or public safety.
For more, The Lens’ document page has the city’s 2013 cooperative endeavor agreement with the Vera Institute of Justice.
New Orleans high schools: then and now | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – A survey of some of the many changes that have occurred in recent years to New Orleans’ historic high schools.
More at stake than football in Grambling State boycott | NewBlackMan (in Exile) – David J. Leonard, an Associate Professor at Washington State University, Pullman, says the football team boycott at Grambling — over poor facilities and onerous bus travel to games— points to much larger problems.
“If the football team is in shambles, we can only imagine the state of classrooms, the infrastructure on campus, and the treatment of university workers on the Grambling campus. What is happening with the football team is a window into, not only the broader struggles at Grambling State University and in Louisiana, but nationwide.”