Sheriff’s former purchasing director to plead guilty to bribery on Wednesday — The Lens | “The former purchasing director of the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office will plead guilty this week in federal court to conspiracy to commit bribery … [John] Sens was charged late last month in what federal prosecutors say was a bid-rigging scheme at the Orleans Parish Prison.”
Owen Courreges: Trooper takedown — Uptown Messenger | Blogger Courreges enumerates the many apparent errors eight state troopers made when they physically confronted two young men standing on a French Quarter street during Carnival.
Gun Guys — Gambit | Author Dan Baum, a liberal writer from New Jersey who also penned a book about Hurricane Katrina (“Nine Lives”), explains the appeal of gun ownership.
Vitter: EPA lied about official’s use of private emails for government business — WashingtonExaminer.com | Louisiana’s Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter claims officials at the Environmental Protection Agency lied about an administrator who used private email accounts for official government business. Vitter: The “EPA should start owning up to the facts piling up before them. Their blatant disregard for proper procedure and transparency is now being regularly exposed, and EPA’s leadership must be held accountable.” The story notes that “Vitter’s charge comes on the eve of Sunshine Week, which begins Sunday, March 10, 2013. Sunshine Week is intended to commemorate passage of the federal Freedom of Information Act in 1966.”
VIDEO: Louisiana oystermen report declining stocks – FOX 8 WVUE | PJ’s oyster storage refrigerator is empty.
Jindal planning to see Assumption Parish sinkhole for himself — WDSU | Responding to growing political pressure, the governor plans to visit the massive sinkhole caused by a collapsed salt cavern near Bayou Corne.
Lead Poisoning: The Ignored Scandal by Helen Epstein — The New York Review of Books | Lead poisoning harms children’s cognitive development, and has been a known public health scourge for eons. Despite almost a century of intermittent safety campaigns against the insidious toxin, “lead poisoning isn’t even on the CDC’s priority list of ‘winnable public health battles.'” Click the link to read a book review that offers an historical summary on the fight. My latest column on lead urges a collective effort to make New Orleans a lead-safe community.
Government & Politics
At Last, Too Big To Fail On the Defensive – The Demos Blog – PolicyShop |
This week, the challenge [to big banks] escalated as unlikely allies Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) teamed up to announce their plans to introduce legislation to challenge too big to fail. The bipartisan pairing comes amidst conservative writers like Peggy Noonan and James Pethoukis pushing the Republican party to reconsider their relationship with Wall Street, with Noonan memorably concluding that “too big to fail is too big to live.”
Twitter — BuddyRoemer | The former Louisiana governor retweeted the announcement of a new integrated data portal that debuted in New York: “Good move RT @NYGovCuomo: We launched http://www.Open.ny.gov – new data transparency site featuring federal, state, local data #SunshineWeek.” The hashtag refers to Sunshine Week, which focuses attention on government transparency. I’d recommend visiting the searchable databases at the “Open.ny” site. It’s an impressive collection (and presentation) of online information. Our state should emulate it.
Drivers want refunds on pre-paid CCC toll tags – FOX 8 WVUE | After a court nullified the election that extended tolls on the Crescent City Connection, drivers don’t have to pay. Those who bought toll tags and want a refund are being told to fill out a W-9 form. Why is this necessary?
New toll idea being pitched for Miss. River crossing – WDSU | State Sen. Troy Brown, D-Napoleonville, has a timely notion: put tolls back on Sunshine Bridge!
Developers request more time for controversial luxury apartments project | New Orleans – WDSU | “Tracage Luxury Living developers requested more time to submit plans to the New Orleans Board of Zoning Adjustments for a new 182-foot-tall, $40 million luxury apartment building set for construction at the corner of Annunciation and Calliope streets.”
The Marigny streetcar — Gambit | Overview of a public meeting that discussed plans for the N. Rampart/St. Claude streetcar.
Neighbors complain N.O. water plant staining property with diesel smelling substance — WWLTV.com | Carrollton neighborhood residents are irritated by fumes and an oily residue from the water plant. Camilla Franklin, who lives near the plant, says: “Who knows what’s really going on because they’re not transparent and they don’t talk to anybody in the city and explain what’s happening. I want every detail of how that plant is run and what they’re going to do to fix it and when.”
Why both extremes are wrong in the debate over school closings — Hechinger Report | Sarah Carr, author of “Hope against Hope,” a new book about New Orleans public schools, calls for a nuanced understanding of how school closures affect neighborhoods, both pro and con.
Registration open for new state program that allows public school students to take outside courses on the state’s dime — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | “Barely a week before the state Supreme Court hears arguments threatening its constitutionality, Louisiana’s new Course Choice program, which allows public school students to take up to five classes outside their school, is open for business. The program, which would largely be paid for with taxpayer money, offers courses from 42 approved vendors ranging from AP classes to welding.”