End of BP cleaning crews leaves questions on Gulf — Associated Press | Tar balls continue to wash ashore on gulf beaches, but BP says there isn’t enough oil to justify continued patrols.
Booming La. chemical industry boosts economy, but accidents like at Williams can pose threats – The Washington Post | Despite the recent accidents at chemical plants, the industry boasts an exceptional safety record. (Via @risingtide)
Opening of Bonnet Carré Spillway provides insight into use of river sediments — Restore the Mississippi River Delta | A coastal scientist reviews a study on Bonnet Carré spillway sediment loads, which will provide data for river diversion projects.
Beyond NYC: Other places adapting to climate, too – Associated Press | From Bangkok to Venice to Cuba, coastal cities are adapting to rising seas and the increased risk of storm surge.
Can School Reform Hurt Communities? – The New York Times | Education reporter Sarah Carr looks at school reform in New Orleans and notes that the “single-minded focus on school improvement has given new hope to many low-income families, but it has also destabilized the broader community in some unanticipated ways.”
One-time teacher raises not tied to evaluations, superintendent says — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
State Superintendent John White said Friday that there was no basis to a press release by the Louisiana House Democrat Caucus saying his department told district officials to pay out one-time teacher bonuses according to results on the new, controversial Compass teacher evaluation system.
State rethinks Course Choice — The Advocate | State Superintendent John White continues to defend the Course Choice program, in which private firms offer remedial courses to students. But he says his department is working to reduce the dominance of a few companies such as FastPath. State legislators and educators had complained that the company had “blanketed neighborhoods and apartment complexes offering students free tablet computers if they signed up for Course Choice.”
Sheriff spent $213,000 on repairs, then closed facility — The Advocate
Just weeks before he shut down the controversial House of Detention in April 2012, Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman sank hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars into renovations to the jail facility, with much of the money going to a newly minted company with links to John Sens, the former purchasing director for the Sheriff’s Office who has since pleaded guilty to unrelated bribery and bid-rigging charges.
Sea change in criminal jurisprudence becomes law — The Advocate | Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a law standardizing what types of information must be disclosed before trials. The law is a “sea change in the way criminal trials are handled in Louisiana. Yet, legislative committees heard from no witnesses, asked few questions and held no debates before both chambers approved the legislation in a matter of minutes.”
Government & Politics
Parking contract mired in intrigue — The Advocate | Bidders are accusing city officials of steering French Market parking contracts to favored firms.
Gov. Jindal gets what he wants from the LSU Board of Supervisors: Robert Mann — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Mann, a LSU communications professor, says the board that governs his school is a puppet for the governor.
Want Some Taxpayer Dollars? Start a Festival, Concert or Mardi Gras Krewe — ClickJefferson.com | Blogger Walt Bennetti isn’t persuaded by officials’ claims that big events that promote tourism are worth government subsidies.
Official to unveil massive $1.2 billion expansion of the Huey P. Long Bridge — The Advocate | An interesting historical comparison from weekend coverage of the new bridge. The original bridge, despite its white-knuckle narrowness, was an engineering marvel that was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. It cost $215 million in today’s dollars. The bridge expansion used the original solid foundation and cost $1.2 billion.
Owen Courreges: The conspiracy to landlock Uptown — Uptown Messenger | Courreges muses: “For some inexplicable reason, plans are being made to kill both the expressway and Rampart as useful thoroughfares for vehicular traffic.”