Live chat Thursday: What should be done to rebuild the Louisiana coast? | The Lens – Join us at noon to talk with David Muth of the National Wildlife Federation and George Ricks of the Save Louisiana Coalition.
Louisiana coastal restoration board approves $725 million 2015 budget for levees and restoration work | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
The biggest expenditures in 2015 will be aimed at rebuilding barrier islands and headlands and beginning the design and construction of sediment diversions, using money the state will receive from settlements from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Study: To Weaken Hurricanes, Build Offshore Wind Turbines | Mashable – Critics says the study assumes a project with the equivalent of 400,000 wind turbines — far more than any current or planned turbine development. They also point out that the turbines might be destroyed in a storm.
80 percent of oil removed from Gulf after 2010 Deepwater Horizon – WAFB 9 News – “The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) announced that an estimated 80 percent of the oil has been removed from the Gulf of Mexico, but there is still 200 miles of oil on the Louisiana shoreline.”
Judges explore hiring nonprofit to build new court, then lease it back to them | The Lens – But no site has been found, and an August deadline chokes off funding if construction hasn’t begun by then.
Sheriff: Must keep 2 old OPP buildings after new jail opens | The New Orleans Advocate
Acknowledging that the new “direct supervision-style” lockup will be far too small to house the city’s current population of nearly 2,000 inmates, Sheriff Marlin Gusman said Wednesday that he will need to keep the lights on indefinitely at two existing jail buildings that had been slated to close after the opening of the new complex.
Exonerated Angola death row inmate tells Senate about ‘horrors’ of solitary confinement | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – An exonerated Death Row inmate “testified that solitary confinement produces indescribable physical, mental and emotional harm.”
Dennis Persica: Audit finds problems with voucher schools | The Advocate – State senators criticized legislative auditor Daryl Purpera for making a policy proposal when he suggested that private schools participating in the state voucher program be academically acceptable.
KIPP triples surplus, readies new schools in Hollygrove, eastern New Orleans | The Lens – KIPP New Orleans Schools announced that they now expect their surplus for the current fiscal year to grow from $563,420 to $1.7 million.
The staff and board have worked to avoid a fiscal cliff as their schools matured and one-time grants awarded in the charter’s start-up phase began to expire.
“Our business isn’t to raise a surplus, it’s to create a cash flow than can handle the unexpected,” treasurer Stephen Rosenthal said.
All-girls robotics team shines at ReNEW SciTech Academy in Uptown New Orleans | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The SciTech Bolts, which happens to be all female, will travel to California in April to compete in an international robotics contest.
Assessor: Low assessment for Audubon Place isn’t the problem; other value is high | The Lens – A tax official takes issue with a comparison done by The Lens, and says he will create a policy for private streets.
With state funding issues “fixed,” long-delayed community center in Carrollton requests more time | Uptown Messenger
A long-delayed plan to create a new community center on Monroe Street in west Carrollton — now slated to be a new home for Hollygrove’s Trinity Christian Community — received a thumbs-up from the New Orleans City Planning Commission on Tuesday, and organizers say they now have the funding in line for the project to move forward.
Public-art pelicans cause copyright flap | The New Orleans Advocate – A suit says the maker of pelican statues that were used to raise funds for a children’s charity has continued to manufacture them, raising the specter of counterfeit pelicans.
Government & Politics
Garret Graves to run for Louisiana 6th District Congressional seat | Gambit – The recently-resigned chairman of the state’s coastal board says, “We need to get the government out of our healthcare decisions, private communications, economic markets and daily lives.”