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German towns recovering from flood deal with Katrina-type issues; Kenneth Polite to focus on violent crime

Since high school dropouts have little opportunities for good-paying jobs and often have to rely on publicly funded hospitals for health care, cutting the dropout rate by 50 percent could save the state as much as $119 million a year in Medicaid spending, a recent study shows.

The Times-Picayune failed to note 107 of the 117 schools (or 91.4 percent) could not or would not furnish records related to their expenditure of taxpayer dollars, primarily because these schools did not maintain separate accounts for voucher funds. The independent auditor could not effectively determine whether those voucher schools were in compliance. Despite Superintendent John White’s claims to the contrary, the audit also revealed at least 13 schools were overcharging voucher students, a clear violation of the rules.

Passau needs tourists to refill its empty coffers, but the sight of groups of sightseers strolling through the city’s lanes with a camera in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other, stopping to gawk at the destroyed store windows and the moldering ruins of restaurants, is difficult for many residents of the recently flooded neighborhoods to bear.

Criminal Justice

In recent years, the L.A.P.D. has been conducting an unusual experiment in community policing in Watts. Its centerpiece, the Community Safety Partnership, is the department’s collaboration with a group of residents known as the Watts Gang Task Force. Every Monday morning, community leaders meet with top police commanders to discuss what’s happening in the Watts gang world — who’s feuding with whom, where criminal investigations stand, which are the issues residents are worried about. What makes the initiative unusual is that many of the task force’s participants have close ties to street gangs. Some … are former gang leaders. Others are the mothers and grandmothers of notorious gang leaders past and present.

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About Mark Moseley

Mark Moseley blogs at Your Right Hand Thief. Until mid 2014, Mark Moseley was The Lens' opinion writer, engagement specialist and coordinator for the Charter Schools Reporting Corps. After Katrina and the Federal Flood he helped create the Rising Tide conference, which grew into an annual social media event dedicated to the future of New Orleans.

  • RampartStreet

    It’s regrettable that Mr. Polite is apparently going to divert Federal Prosecutorial resources towards control of local criminal activity, which should primarily be the job of State and Parish government except for interstate criminal activity. It’s not as if Louisiana has suddenly become governed by angels who no longer need close scrutiny. Think of all the good work previous Federal Prosecutors have done in catching the crooks who have defrauded and otherwise betrayed the trust of Louisianans. If it had been left up to state officials, neither Edwin Edwards nor David Duke would have ever served time.

    Also, with this appointment, Mr. Polite should resign his seat on New Orleans Charter Prep’s Board.
    That’s because there is a potential conflict of interest if Polite the Board member becomes aware of criminal wrongdoing at his or any other charter school (as has already taken place, for example at Langston Hughes Charter School), and Polite the prosecutor then must make a decision on whether or not to pursue the matter.

    That potential for conflict should not exist, and would be eliminated by Polite’s resignation.