Behind The Lens episode 20: ‘Not two cents’

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This week on Behind The Lens, demands for accountability for Entergy New Orleans at a public hearing before the City Council did not prompt a change in course for the utility’s new power plant. Plant opponents not only criticized Entergy; they also called into question the neutrality of some council members who have received money from the company or its political action committee. That’s something our own Michael Isaac Stein investigated.

in St. James Parish, more movement continues to be reported along the north wall of Mosaic Fertilizer’s Gypsum Stack No. 4. That pile holds back hundreds of millions of gallons of acidic wastewater. The company says the overall rate of movement has slowed substantially, but the La. Department of environmental quality remains in a “continuing emergency condition.” Loyola biologist Phil Bucolo says a release of the wastewater into the region’s wetlands could be a deadly emergency for wildlife.

And, for more than a decade, most public schools in New Orleans were overseen by state bureaucrats in Baton Rouge. That changed last summer, when a state law passed in 2016 moved oversight of most schools from the state back to the locally elected school board and its superintendent.

This school year — the first since the transition — those local officials decided to close five city schools.  The Lens’ Marta Jewson discusses her new report on New Orleans school closures, “Class Dismissed: How and When New Orleans schools close.”

Behind The Lens is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and Stitcher.

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