Historic study to find out what the river really carries to help coastal restoration — The Lens | Is there enough sediment in the Mississippi River to fill in our eroding coast? A five-year, $25 million study is underway to find out. (Fingers crossed.)
Is it ‘last call’ for Louisiana’s coast? — The Lens | An upcoming WWNO-FM series by The Lens’ Coastal Desk reporter Bob Marshall reveals this sobering consensus from coastal scientists and state officials: If the master plan for the coast isn’t completed over the next 40 years, most of southeast Louisiana will be under water before the end of the century. Click the link for all the details.
REMINDER: You’re invited to join The Lens and our partners at the New Orleans Digital News Alliance Thursday at 7 p.m. at Molly’s at the Market, for drinks and conversation.
Guest Commentary: Safeguards needed as Latin America expands offshore energy efforts — Fuel Fix | Cameron Wallace of Helix Energy Solutions suggests that the U.S. share lessons learned and safety technologies developed after the Macondo oil disaster with Latin American countries who are exploring the Gulf for oil. “This means vessels and crews at work every day in the Caribbean, with capping stacks and remote-operated vehicles committed to the task of responding to a deepwater spill. Ensuring an effective response also means mutual aid agreements between all nations to ensure that everything that can be done to stop a spill will be done.”
Editorial: Plans to protect Louisiana must not harm Coast — The Sun Herald | Our neighbors to the northeast want to ensure that the Louisiana master plan for coastal restoration doesn’t increase flooding along the Mississippi coast.
Government & Politics
Live blog: Mitch Landrieu delivers 2013 State of the City address — The Lens | Read Charles Maldonado’s live blog coverage of the Mayor’s State of the City speech. One important snippet: “Landrieu: ‘Constitutional policing can be aggressive, but it must be based on behavior, not race.’ He moves on to Orleans Parish Prison, suggesting that Sheriff Marlin Gusman should be replaced with a federal receiver.”
Did company pay big bucks for former JP councilman’s vote? — WWLTV.com | Reporter David Hammer examines a $250,000 payment from River Birch landfill to a business connected to former Jefferson Parish Councilman Byron Lee, to see if the money bought influence rather than services. The company in question wasn’t registered with the Secretary of State until almost six months after the check was cashed.
Landrieu’s gun votes improve her 2014 polls — The Louisiana Weekly | Analysis of a poll indicates U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s recent gun votes — against a ban on assault weapons, and for expanded background checks — may have been politically shrewd.
Did a father’s murder provoke a deadly triple shooting in Mid-City? — NOLA.com | “It is a grim saga emblematic of the city’s culture of retaliatory, gang-related violence, one of the most common motives in killings in New Orleans.”
Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak; Public Unaware — PewResearch Social & Demographic Trends | Previously I’ve said the dramatic national crime drop is one is one of the most underreported stories of the past 20 years. That doesn’t comfort neighborhoods in New Orleans that are torn apart by gun violence, though. The Pew report says the National Academy of Sciences cites the waning crack cocaine market and higher levels of incarceration as the main causal factors. The Academy does not think my pet theory — that childhood lead poisoning reduces impulse control and leads to violence — played a major role in the decline.
Jindal promises to find voucher funding after high court strikes it down — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Yesterday’s big story:
The Louisiana Supreme Court on Tuesday declared that the way the Jindal administration has been financing a statewide school voucher program is unconstitutional, a decision that has significant ramifications for the ongoing state budget debate and the approximately 8,000 students who have been promised voucher seats for the fall. Furthermore, the court nullified the way the Legislature authorized roughly $3.4 billion in student funding for this school year, creating a huge headache for lawmakers who now have to find a way to legally authorize money that has largely been spent. The high court, however, did not strike down the legislation authorizing vouchers, and left the door open for the administration to use other public funds to pay for the program.
‘Change Without Reform in American Education’ — The Washington Post | Parental choice and emphasis on outcomes are among the positive results of “three decades of economic-driven school reforms,” according to the author of a new book on classroom practices.
This land is your land (for $2 million) — Gambit | The state plans to sell land it already owns … to itself.
Tulane Avenue business owners seek to turn around beleaguered thoroughfare — The Advocate | The article reminds us that current plans are not the first effort “to polish Tulane Avenue’s appearance. Sixty-two years ago when the city tried to revitalize the corridor, officials dubbed Tulane ‘The Miracle Mile,’ ripped out the neutral ground, eliminated the streetcar, made it a six-lane road and prohibited left turns in all but a few spots. The pending streetscape project will reverse much of that work on an avenue that still bears many scars from Hurricane Katrina.”