We need a real “Lesser New Orleans” movement to combat the demons of ambition! — NOLAFemmes | In a blog post, Lunanola reacts to the Tricentennial Consortium’s plans for riverfront redevelopment in advance of 2018. She asks: “Why does it seem that the powers-that-be of New Orleans feel the need to change what is frequently referred to as ‘the most unique city in America’ by imitating attractions found in other cities?”
New terminal at Armstrong Airport seeks to return NOLA to pre-K status — The Louisiana Weekly | In-depth analysis of plans for the new state-of-the-art terminal planned for Louis Armstrong International Airport.
Postponements continue to dog Criminal Court despite huge drop in its caseload — The Lens
In its just-published annual report, the watchdog group Court Watch NOLA identifies what it calls a bedeviling “culture of continuances” at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court that is impeding justice for defendants.
The independent, volunteer-run audit of the criminal court docket found that in 2012, two-thirds of cases involved a continuance — a postponement.
OPP ENGLISH, Part I: The Instigator — Press Street | In Orleans Parish Prison “an English class takes place, not to help inmates fulfill GED requirements, but simply to facilitate their study of literature and books.” This is the first in a multi-part series of stories.
Sheriff Marlin Gusman: Don’t hate the jailer, hate the jail — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | In response to the city’s request to have a federal receiver oversee the jail instead of Gusman, the sheriff says the horrid conditions long-preceded his tenure and the city has not provided enough funding for reforms and improvements.
Government & Politics
Make Wall Street Choose – Go Small or Go Home – NYTimes.com | Sen. David Vitter, R-La., argues for significant legislation to end the de facto federal subsidy of “too big to fail” banks. His alliance with Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Oh., is an impressive display of bipartisanship that has Wall Street on alert.
Overall, New Orleans gets a positive checkup on tax revenue — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | It’s early, but so far the city’s revenue picture in 2013 is better than last year. That’s promising, of course, but remember that the past quarter included a mega-event. The city had a boffo Super Bowl week, and one wonders to what extent the influx from the big game brightened the revenue picture.
Landrieu’s re-election appeal: ‘I’m indispensable’ for restoring Louisiana’s coast — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune |
“Without sounding braggadocious, I’m indispensable in this effort to secure for Louisiana a significant and reliable string of revenue to save our coast,” Landrieu, 57, said in an interview. She’s pushing legislation that would begin to funnel 37.5 percent of off-shore royalty payments to producing states immediately, instead of 2017, as currently scheduled, and eventually eliminate the $500 million cap on revenue sharing for the Gulf Coast.”
La. schools get low marks — The Advocate | “Despite some gains in recent years ‘chronic challenges’ remain in improving Louisiana public schools, according to a report issued Tuesday morning.” One key problem is that roughly 250,000 students are performing below grade level, officials of the Council for a Better Louisiana said in their annual report on education. Public school students also lag well behind their peers nationwide, the report says.
Petition seeks ouster of John Mac High charter operator, return to RSD control — The Lens | The petition reads: “This charter operator has proven to be ineffective, and damaging to the students that attend the school.” Click the link to read the specific gripes.
Tulane University to Host Notorious White Supremacist on Campus — The Louisiana Justice Institute | Blogger Jordan Flaherty claims conservative writer David Horowitz is racist, in advance of Horowitz’s scheduled speech to a Tulane student group.
Horowitz is the publisher of FrontpageMag, a right wing journal that frequently publishes white supremacists. For example, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, FrontpageMag published a piece called “Africa in our Midst: Lessons from Katrina,” by Jared Taylor, a white supremacist who is close to Louisiana klansman David Duke and argues that blacks and Latinos are genetically inferior to whites. Following this line of attack, Horowitz himself complained that “in the national discussion of Katrina, Bush was accused of racism for failing to be on site immediately in New Orleans but actual racial crimes committed by blacks were rendered invisible.”
In a response on his Facebook page, Horowitz rebuts Flaherty’s accusations and claims that he is not a white supremacist. Horowitz says he’s a victim of a “witchunt” by “Tulane leftists,” and attempts to explain his magazine’s decision to print Taylor’s indisputably racist essay which attributed the “barbarism” in New Orleans to the city’s racial makeup. I don’t recommend reading that reprint unless you want your blood to boil. In addition to the racism there are numerous factual inaccuracies. Horowitz previously justified publishing the piece by citing the article’s information content rather than it’s viewpoint.
Gulf heats up with high rig counts and cutting-edge technology — Fuel Fix |
The U.S. Gulf of Mexico now has 37 active floating rigs, five more than the pre-Macondo count of 32 rigs, according to a Barclay’s analyst note on Tuesday morning. This number is expected to continue to grow, with 15 additional units scheduled to enter the market, 13 of which are new.
Defamation suit brought against Exxon Mobil and defense attorneys over document presented at trial — Louisiana Record | I’m less concerned about the defamation part than the revelation in the last sentence of this quote:
“The plaintiffs originally sued the defendant for allegedly exposing their clients to oilfield generated radioactive waste. In the new suit, the plaintiffs claim the defendants accused them of violating legal and ethical duties by improperly attempting to introduce a document it knew to be privileged. The suit claims Exxon tried to exclude a memo that allegedly showed that the company had been aware of radioactivity in its production equipment for well over 20 years.”
Society of Professional Journalists — Sigma Delta Chi Awards | Our congratulations to John Snell and Paul Rodgers of FOX 8 WVUE-TV, for their win in the documentary category for a story on wetlands loss titled “Disappearing Defenses.”