College Enrollment Falls as Economy Recovers | The New York Times – Declining enrollment is not just a problem at Loyola University. It appears a downward trend in enrollment has begun nationally, due to population shifts and an improving economy.
The most striking signs of change came from Loyola University New Orleans and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. After the usual May 1 deadline for applicants to choose a college, Loyola and St. Mary’s each found that their admission offers had been accepted by about one-third fewer students than expected. Both institutions were forced to make millions of dollars in budget cuts and a late push for more enrollment.
Loyola made a flurry of calls to students who had been accepted but had decided to go elsewhere, and had even paid deposits to other colleges. Professors and administrators who usually are not involved in the process made calls, along with the admissions officers, “and we did invite them to see if there was more we could do with aid,” said Roberta Kaskel, the interim vice president for enrollment management.
College no longer a bargain | American Press – In his opinion column, Jim Beam notes that Louisiana is cutting investment in public universities while it is on the rise in most states.
After months of debate, food truck rules relaxed in New Orleans | The Advocate – The City Council unanimously passed a measure to remove a 600-foot buffer zone between food trucks and brick-and-mortar restaurants. Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson “voted for the measure, but in a last-ditch effort, she sought to put a smaller ‘buffer zone’ of 100 feet in place, saying traditional restaurants are deserving of ‘economic protection.'”
Allan Katz and Danae Columbus: Moving City Hall to former Charity site has many challenges | Uptown Messenger
[Property developer Pres] Kabacoff believes that if Charity Hospital became the home of city government and the courts, with the new state hospital and the VA rising in the Mid-City area, it becomes possible to bring big-time retail back to Canal Street because there are now thousands of workers within five to 10 minutes of what could be a great shopping complex just as in the old days when ladies put on their high heels and gloves to go shopping downtown.
City expert says OPP severely understaffed | The Advocate – Highly recommended story on an assessment of costly staffing woes at Orleans Parish Prison.
According to the city’s own experts, the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office is vastly understaffed, needing 135 more security deputies and 13 more nurses and other health care workers even to run a sharply downsized jail complex, at an added cost of $7 million a year.
Also, the city’s consultants say the new jail now nearing completion, slated for 1,438 beds, can’t handle the number of projected prisoners it will receive even under a best-case scenario.
That scenario includes shedding nearly 500 state inmates and 66 Plaquemines Parish inmates who being held in New Orleans under an expiring contract. The jail houses around 2,300 total inmates.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office had refused to release its jail staffing review to The Advocate. But U.S. District Judge Lance Africk agreed Thursday to allow a report to be made public that summarizes the work of three national consulting firms hired by the city to project inmate populations and jail-staffing costs.
What are the key issues in lawsuit against oil & gas companies for coastal loss? | The Lens – Lens environmental reporter Bob Marshall lays out the legal and political background of the local levee authority’s historic lawsuit against Big Oil. He’ll answer readers’ questions in a live chat at 12:30 p.m.
Halliburton Pleads Guilty to Destroying Evidence After Gulf Spill | The New York Times – “In a statement, Halliburton said that the violation was a misdemeanor associated with the deletion of records created after the accident.” Ed Crooks, the editor of the Financial Times, tweeted: “Important in Halliburton DoJ settlement: HAL found use of 6 not 21 centralizers was irrelevant to Macondo blowout. What BP said all along.” Slate has more background on that controversy.
BP’s New Ad: Who’s the Real Victim of Deepwater Horizon? – | The Wall Street Journal – BP’s full-page ads in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are “one part of a multi-front effort by the oil giant to push back against the mountain of compensation claims it is facing from Gulf Coast residents and businesses over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”
Baby Oysters In ‘Death Race’ With Acidifying Oceans | Forbes – “Scientists at Oregon State University have pinpointed a reason for the mysterious die-offs of young oysters in the Pacific Northwest, a phenomenon that threatens the survival of one of America’s prime seafood delicacies.”
Government & Politics
Sen. David Vitter again attacks automatic congressional pay hikes | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – A cynic might say this is yet another clue that Vitter will run for governor. “In a move that probably won’t win him new friends in the U.S. Senate, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., continued his battle Thursday against automatic congressional pay increases.”