Top state official rebuts dire warning, insists coast can be saved — The Lens | State coastal czar Garrett Graves claims that coastal restoration projects will be able to adapt to rising sea level forecasts. Graves says “The NOAA folks are just misinformed.”
BP investigators were never given oil well cement test results, samples by Halliburton – NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | BP says Halliburton’s cement mixture didn’t plug the Macondo well correctly, and thus factored into the deadly blowout and resultant oil spill. (Since this trial might go on for three months, I won’t delve into every previously-reported detail that arises in court testimony. However, I would point out parallels in a post at the Noladishu blog that explains the 2009 Montara blowout in Australia, which has parallels to the Macondo. Halliburton was initially faulted for a bad cement job at the Montara, too, but a later investigation totally exonerated the company.)
Real or Man-made? The Mississippi’s “gift” to Louisiana – FOX 8 WVUE | The Mississippi River’s natural inclination to connect to wetlands, currently on display at Mardi Gras Pass, is a possible model for coastal restoration.
Sheriff Marlin Gusman deflects questions on allegations against former deputies — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | A “darkening cloud” hovers over the Sheriff’s office, after corruption charges were made against two of his former high-ranking deputies. Gusman did not comment on the situation, but the story summarizes the challenges he currently faces, including: “a continuing federal investigation, a high-profile dispute with Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office and a lingering controversy over the latest inmate suicide at the jail complex that he runs.”
What Researchers Learned About Gun Violence Before Congress Killed Funding – ProPublica | “What the research showed was not only did having a firearm in your home not protect you, but it hugely increased the risk that someone in your family would die from a firearm homicide.”
Watts going down? — American Zombie | Federal investigators raided the office of BP plaintiff attorney Mikal Watts. Dambala has background links, and writes: “This is worth keeping your eye on… trust me.”
More Black Men in Jail Than in College? Wrong — The Root | Article dispels a widely-believed myth and adds:
Importantly, black male representation in higher education is proportional to black male representation in the adult population. However, lack of adequate guidance and academic rigor in high schools has resulted in black males being underrepresented at competitive universities… and overrepresented at community colleges and online universities.
Sugata Mitra: An Interview with the 2013 TED Prize Winner – Forbes | The winner of the $1 million dollar TED prize is known for his “Hole in the Wall” experiments.
The experiments placed a computer in a wall in a slum, connected it to the internet and then turned it over to the community to see what would happen. No teachers, no instructions, just access to the world’s living library, the internet. The result was radically positive. Children driven by the power of curiosity figured it out. They overcame language barriers and educational gaps. And as one child figured it out, they started teaching the others.
Segregated Communities, Segregated Schools? — Southern Education Desk | A policy analyst discusses a multifactorial and complicated issue in general terms. A key quote: “If we think that children of all races benefit from exposure to one another and exposure to diversity, then a highly-segregated housing pattern with school [district] boundaries that are tightly tied to geography [is] really gonna lock you into very separate schools.“
EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Ivor van Heerden on Settlement with LSU – Levees.Org | Fired LSU professor Ivor Van Heerden considers his $435,000 settlement with the university a victory, and says “LSU was taught a lesson. LSU has learned never to ignore the principles of academic freedom again.”
Government & Politics
NOW BGR’s Spotlight on Local Government Issues — BGR | A new report (.pdf file) by the Bureau of Governmental Research calls Jefferson Parish’s recent contracting reform proposal “problematic.”
President Obama’s Legacy: Government Greed — National Review Online | In an editorial, Gov. Bobby Jindal writes:
One idea I had was to delay Obamacare by not implementing the health-insurance exchanges and the Medicaid expansions. This would save tens of billions of dollars, and it wouldn’t cut a program that has already started.
Of course, the president has rejected this idea and every other rational proposal to make these cuts in a way that doesn’t jeopardize services. Instead, he’s using scare tactics and political theater to promote the solution he prefers for every problem — more taxes and more spending.
Political Horizons: La. still says no to Medicaid expansion — The Advocate | “The conversation about the high rate of homicides in Baton Rouge abruptly turned from crime to health care funding.” Click the link to see why.
Grand Bois neighbors say oil waste site in backyard causing cancer – wwltv.com | Oil waste facility had operated 30 years without a permit. No one noticed until the company applied for one in 2009. And it’s not as if environmental conditions around Grand Bois hadn’t previously received national scrutiny.
Appeal Court rules against neighbors who fenced off Newcomb Boulevard — The Lens |
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal has affirmed that the city official who gave the fence the go-ahead back in 2006, didn’t have the authority to permanently close a public street.