Texas Brine draws up new sinkhole containment plans | The New Orleans Advocate
Texas Brine Co. has developed a backup plan to replace the cracked southern section of a protective levee surrounding the sinkhole in northern Assumption Parish and may look to reroute Bayou Corne if conditions deteriorate further, records show.
The company’s new draft plan, filed this month with regulators who are still reviewing it, proposes “triggers” that would prompt the levee replacement.
Developers close deal on land for Magnolia Marketplace | The New Orleans Advocate – The New Orleans Advocate reports that developers have closed on the five pieces of land along Claiborne Avenue they need to build the Magnolia Marketplace strip mall in Central City. Records show the development team paid more than $2 million to the Housing Authority of New Orleans, the estate of Al Copeland Jr. and others for the properties. The city approved a controversial one-cent sales tax at the 106,000 square foot retail center to pay off its construction bonds.
Recovery School District superintendent won’t seek Orleans Parish schools job | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Recovery School District Superintendent Patrick Dobard says he won’t seek the open superintendent job at the Orleans Parish School Board, though he says he has been asked to apply for the job. As RSD superintendent, Dobard makes $65,000 more annually than current OPSB interim superintendent Stan Smith, according to records provided separately to NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune and The Lens.
Closing The ‘Word Gap’ Between Rich And Poor | NPR – Research has found that by age 3, poorer children hear 30 million fewer words than their wealthier peers, a phenomenon known as the “word gap.” But the city of Providence, R.I., is launching a program to close the gap by making parents aware of how many words they speak to their children. “Providence Talks” will distribute devices that record and calculate the number of new words parents introduce.
Government & Politics
Louisiana expected to be a battleground in 2014 U.S. Senate race | The Advocate – With control of the Senate in the balance, the battle for the seat now held by Mary Landrieu is getting expensive. Landrieu has already raised nearly $6 million for her re-election campaign, compared to $3.4 million by Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy. However, outside conservative groups like the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity have pumped millions into the state to defeat Landrieu.
Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu adopts risky strategy in bid to keep Senate seat – Los Angeles Times – Meanwhile, Landrieu confronts an increasingly conservative state largely opposed to President Barack Obama’s agenda. In an effort to win over center-right suburban voters, she has begun distancing herself from the president, even openly criticizing the administration. The strategy, however, runs the risk of alienating her Democratic base, according to this analysis.
Why Bobby Jindal will never be president (part 2) | Something Like the Truth – Robert Mann weighs in on Jindal’s support for “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson after Robertson’s anti-gay remarks in GQ.
I once argued that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s participation in an exorcism would prove deadly to his national political ambitions. I still believe that to be the case, and it may well be the reason that Mitt Romney passed over Jindal in favor of Rep. Paul Ryan in 2012.
But I believe there is another, more powerful reason, Jindal will never be president.
He’s a bigot.
There’s really no other way to view someone who goes out of his way to endorse and defend the abhorrent views of a bigoted homophobe like Phil Robertson of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty.”
Federal judge dismisses most of remaining Katrina damage lawsuits | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – U.S. District Court Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. ruled in the federal government’s favor on nearly all remaining lawsuits for damages resulting from the failure of the federal levees after Hurricane Katrina. Duval wrote in his Dec. 20 order that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers enjoys “virtually absolute immunity, no matter how negligent it might have been in designing and overseeing the construction of the levees.”
Researchers to study cost benefits of Gulf water monitoring | The Advocate — The LSU Agricultural Center and the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management are starting on a three-year, $750,000 study measuring the costs and benefits of water monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico. Researchers say the study will provide data showing whether additional federal funding for monitoring is a good investment.
Natural Defenses Can Best Protect Coasts Says Study | Climate Central – Climate Central provides a summary of a study of coastal risk in the journal Nature.
The scientists reviewed nearly 100 research studies of coastal change. They also noted that, according to an international register of disasters, more than 60 percent of economic losses – around $400 billion – occurred in the North Atlantic, one of the areas least at risk from tropical hurricanes. The lesson is that governments and civic authorities will need to think more carefully about future threats.
‘Deadline’ for charging Marigny man passes, with little effect | The New Orleans Advocate – Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro has allowed a 150-day deadline to pass in the case of Merritt Landry, a city employee who shot a 14-year-old boy in his Marigny yard. Landry has been free on a $100,000 bond since police booked him for attempted murder in July. Now that the deadline has passed, Landry’s attorneys can ask a judge to lift the bond, but they have declined to do so. Cannizzaro may still charge Landry. He is presenting the case to a grand jury.
Man’s homicidal rage shatters the peace of tight-knit bayou communities | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
Sidney Torres’ wife, Shirley, 70, has lived in Lafourche Parish her whole life. Never, she said, has she felt as afraid, for herself and for her family, as she did on Thursday. A retired nurse who worked for years at Ochsner St. Anne, Shirley Torres wondered if the gunman was targeting hospital employees. The couple’s daughter-in-law is also a nurse; Susan Gouaux was her nanny. “I could feel myself trembling,” she said. “It was just, fear. So much fear.”