Leaders of levee board reform say Jindal threats violate spirit of 2006 changes | The New Orleans Advocate – It was inevitable that the local flood authority’s coastal erosion lawsuit against oil and gas companies would prompt political resistance. However, the Jindal administration’s staunch opposition troubles the reformers who pushed for the consolidation and reconstitution of levee boards in 2006.
New research: Ancient bayous pull water from the Mississippi, creating ‘missing river’ | The Lens – A fascinating story on surprisingly large amounts of Mississippi river water that leeches into underground bayous. If true, these secret waters could effect the integrity of levees along the Mississippi and impact the lucrative fisheries in Barataria Bay.
Brad Panovich: Why arent hurricanes forming in the Atlantic? | 2013 Hurricanes & Tropical Storms – Dry air and wind shear are making it difficult for tropical storms to develop in the Atlantic this season, despite the warm waters. (Knock on wood.)
After deaths of Londyn and Arabian, we all need to commit ourselves to help: Editorial | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The editors tell us that the essential response to recent tragic shootings is collective action to stop street violence.
Stephanie Grace: Now’s the time to consider judge staffing | The New Orleans Advocate – Grace asks a dangerously reasonable question in light of a recent study that showed New Orleans has a surplus of judges. “Rather than make reformers justify eliminating judgeships, why not ask the courts to demonstrate that they need to remain abundantly staffed?”
Government & Politics
Louisiana can no longer hide from the need to reform its state retirement systems: JR Ball | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Yikes:
The looming public pension crisis in Louisiana is worse than originally thought. What most of us figured was approaching a $20 billion problem is actually, according to a new report, a staggering $74.9 billion problem.
Majority in state favor legalizing marijuana | The New Orleans Advocate – The key aspect to the poll, in my view, is the surprising lack of variance between New Orleans and the rest of the state. The local metro area is no outlier on liberalizing marijuana: 54 percent of the New Orleans metro area support legalization while 53 percent support it statewide. Yet some state legislators act as if the issue is a complete non-starter.
Sur-prise sur-prise, Gomer, Deloitte wins IT contract after spending year consulting with state on consolidation plan | Louisiana Voice – Journalist Tom Aswell doesn’t think there was enough transparency or discussion involved in the recent awarding of a state information technology consolidation contract.
Identity politics: Gentry cling to go-cups while kids and roosters face extinction | The Lens – New Orleans native C.W. Cannon contends that, unlike the noise ordinance controversy, the go-cup kerfuffle was completely overblown. However, the City Council’s “most unprecedented exertion of its authority this year” has been the ban on… roosters.
Four finalists recommended to find Orleans Parish schools superintendent | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The search for a superintendent took on additional gravity as members of a community committee said, in effect, that education in New Orleans is a life or death issue.
“I want them to be able to get us a superstar. To me, it’s a life-and-death search,” said Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough. Literally, to member Bobbie Stevenson. After a week that saw the murders of several New Orleans children, she said she wants a superintendent who “knows what it takes to put a package together to educate the children of this community so they don’t go around shooting other kids.””
Charter school CEO submits new ethics disclosures regarding employment of three family members | The Lens
About two weeks after The Lens investigated familial ties at the charter organization Friends of King Schools, Chief Executive Officer Doris Roché-Hicks filed new ethics disclosures stating why she is legally allowed to employ three of her immediate relatives.
Charter schools are recruiting young teachers. They should hire parents instead. | Slate Magazine – Higher rates of turnover among educators in charter schools makes some wonder whether it’s preferable in the long-term to hire teachers who are parents.