Government & Politics
Opinion: The end of race | POLITICO – In an opinion piece, Gov. Bobby Jindal urges ethnic groups in the U.S. to assimilate rather than emphasize separate identities.
We still place far too much emphasis on our “separateness,” our heritage, ethnic background, skin color, etc. We live in the age of hyphenated Americans: Asian-Americans, Italian-Americans, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Indian-Americans, and Native Americans, to name just a few.
Here’s an idea: How about just “Americans?” That has a nice ring to it, if you ask me. Placing undue emphasis on our “separateness” is a step backward. Bring back the melting pot.
Live blog: Mayor Landrieu holds fourth public meeting on budget Monday night | The Lens — This week, the mayor holds his final two town-hall meetings on the budget; The Lens will live-blog both. And on Friday at 12:30 p.m., The Lens will host a live chat to discuss the city’s budget priorities and challenges.
@BobbyJindal: “next great…” | Twitter / kjplotkin – Kyle Plotkin, Jindal’s communications director, promoted his boss’ Sunday morning appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press:
Political Horizons: Transparency for the state’s privatization contracts | The Advocate – A report found that patients in the Eastern Louisiana State Mental Health System received poor meal service. Plates were often served late and frequently lacked meat or vegetables. State Rep. Kenny Havard, R-Jackson, views this as a symptom of a larger problem: the state’s lack of scrutiny on the more than 12,000 active private contracts in place.
The Bayou Corne Sinkhole, Part I: Ridiculing the Press | RedState – RedState contributor Steve Maley critiques what he views as “scientifically illiterate and agenda-driven” coverage of the Bayou Corne sinkhole.
BP works toward culture of safety after 2010 oil spill | Hattiesburg American — In an op-ed published in the hometown paper of BP CEO Bob Dudley, engineering professor C.T. Carley claims the company has made great safety improvements since the oil spill in 2010. (Meanwhile, the former head of BP is back in business in the Gulf, and Black Elk Energy — headed by former BP executive Greg Hoffman — is under federal investigation after a lethal explosion on one of its drilling platforms in 2012.)
Chemical risk data limited because of terrorism fears | The Dallas Morning News
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act was intended to help communities plan for worst-case chemical accidents. It requires companies to disclose the amounts of dangerous chemicals they store and to calculate a worst-case scenario should their stores leak or explode.
The act was passed in 1986 in the wake of the Union Carbide chemical disaster that killed thousands in Bhopal, India.
But a series of terrorist attacks in the 1990s, followed by 9/11, prompted Congress to pressure the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to restrict public access to that information.
Bill Ruckelshaus, EPA administrator at the time of Bhopal, said that even before those attacks, many in government distrusted the public and how it might react to sensitive information.”
Families call for city to save deteriorating historic Holt Cemetery | WWL-TV – “One of New Orleans’ oldest cemeteries continues to sit disheveled and unkempt. Family after family return to pay their respects to loved ones only to find city-owned Holt Cemetery in shambles.”
Philadelphia Needs Money. Why Doesn’t It Sell Its Municipal Parking Lots? | Next City – Budget-strapped cities like Philadelphia may have to sell property in order to fund high-priority budget items.
For some New Orleans students, school choice means pre-dawn bus pickups | The Lens – Some students who have to travel across town, or across the river, must be at their stop before 6 a.m. Martin Berhman, located on the West Bank, starts picking up kids in eastern New Orleans at 5:42 a.m. Parents say they’re willing to deal with early mornings in order to send their kids to better schools.
New Orleans schools expel more students, but are more accountable | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Unified data shows that New Orleans schools expel more students than previous years, but outside analysts say that the new numbers are more accurate and will encourage more accountability.
50 years after King’s I Have a Dream speech, New Orleanians reflect on integrating Catholic schools | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – A powerful video interview of a trailblazing student at Jesuit High School accompanies the story.
University works to rebound | The Maroon – Loyola University’s enrollment shortfall is estimated to result in a nearly $10 million budget gap for the 2013-14 school year. As a result, university president Rev. Kevin Wildes may trim the university’s salary budget or draw down Loyola’s endowment.
Louisiana paying wrongfully convicted, but is it enough? | The Advocate – John Thompson spent 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Louisiana pays exonerees $25,000 per year of wrongful incarceration, but the amount is capped at $250,000. Other states such as Texas pay $80,000 per year, with no cap.
Library Chronicles: Keep building more jail | Library Chronicles – Local blogger Jeffrey contends that, despite claims in a recent report in The Advocate, “it was never clear” that Mayor Landrieu opposed Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s plans to build a new city jail.