BP oil spill choked off important pelican nesting sites on Louisiana coast | The Lens – Brown pelicans were thriving on islands in Barataria Bay when BP’s oil well blew out in 2010. The oil that coated mangroves delivered the death blow to islands that already were eroding. A restoration plan is short on funding.
Study finds high rates of depression, anxiety among Gulf oil spill cleanup workers | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Cleanup workers are showing symptoms of depression at rates 30 percent higher than others who lived in areas affected by the oil spill.
South of Gulf of Mexico Shudders | The Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle – A volcano in Guatemala shows signs that it might erupt soon.
Commenter data handed to judge by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune contains no names | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Wilkinson said he needs more time to inspect a “a quantity of technical data, including IP addresses,” related to commenters suspected of being federal prosecutors or other government personnel.
Florida bill would allow guns with no permit in natural disasters | Reuters
‘The bells of liberty are surely ringing throughout Florida today,’ said Representative Heather Dawes Fitzenhagen, a Fort Myers Republican who sponsored the bill lifting permit requirements for concealed weapons in an emergency declared by the governor or local authorities.
Mentally ill ending up in jail instead of hospitals | The Advocate – Reports suggest a surge in the number of inmates with mental health problems is due to funding cuts to community mental health programs and closures of public mental health facilities.
Government & Politics
Funding questions surround Jindal’s budget | The New Orleans Advocate
State Rep. Brett Geymann, R-Lake Charles, said the governor’s budget is littered with accounting tricks to make the numbers work. He said legislators are not going to back taking $50 million from New Orleans’ Morial Convention Center or shuffling around coastal funding.
The Endorsement Game | ClickJefferson.com – Former Kenner mayoral candidate Walt Bennetti offers an inside look at the process candidates go through to win endorsements from publications and political groups (who only seem to be active during elections season).
Banks to payday lenders: Quit the business or we’ll close your account | The Washington Post – At a Senate hearing last month Sen. David Vitter complained that the Justice Department pressured banks to cut off credit to payday lenders and force them out of business. Vitter said. “I find that deeply troubling because it has no statutory basis, no statutory authority.”
National Schools | The Washington Post – Only two Louisiana schools— LSU Laboratory High School in Baton Rouge and Benjamin Franklin High in New Orleans— make this list which compiled the nation’s 1900 “most challenging” high schools: The ratings are based on the number of college-level tests administered at a school. By comparison, there are sixteen schools from Kentucky on the list.
Money could be delayed during review of LSU deals | Associated Press – The Jindal administration downplayed a warning from the feds that said $300 million in Medicaid funds would be withheld until agreement is reached that financing for privatized LSU hospitals comports with federal guidelines.
Our Views: Quick checks for colleges | The New Orleans Advocate – Editors warn the Legislature not to raid the proposed $40 million WISE Fund, which would provide incentives to higher ed programs related to workforce development needs.
Statisticians slam popular teacher evaluation method | The Washington Post – The American Statistical Association “slammed the high-stakes ‘value-added method‘ (VAM) of evaluating teachers that has been increasingly embraced in states as part of school-reform efforts.” Louisiana’s new Compass teacher evaluation system includes a “value-added model.” Statisticians say such evaluation models often show correlation rather than causation.
The Quarter’s a treasure — so should those trashy tourist shops be banned? | The Lens – Loyola University’s C.W. Cannon ponders the deeper meaning of the French Quarter’s T-shirt shops.
Critics want self-supporting Audubon Nature Institute | The New Orleans Advocate – Activists that helped defeat the recent Audubon millage ballot proposition argue that the city has more urgent priorities and that the zoo should live within its means.
Public Demo Aims to Improve CBD Transit Hub | NOLA DEFENDER
According to Ride New Orleans, 20 regional buses carrying 5,000-7,000 riders each day stop in the CBD Transit Hub every day. The group will set up 200 chairs on Elk Avenue between Tulane and Canal, and the chairs will include “slogans inviting riders to make themselves comfortable while they wait.” The goal of the demonstration is to show riders that more comfortable transit conditions are within reach.