Safeguarding Louisiana’s Coastline | The New York Times – Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, takes his case for wetlands restoration to the Gray Lady, and urges defeat of a bill that would retroactively kill the local flood authority’s lawsuit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies.
SB 469 – Does It Eliminate the Public’s Rights? | Bureau of Governmental Research – An open letter from the nonprofit watchdog group “expresses concern that SB 469 might permanently deprive the residents of coastal Louisiana of significant claims against the oil and gas industry and others.”
East bank flood defenses move to local authority | The Advocate
The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East will be in charge this year of operating the gates and structures that play a key role in keeping storm surge out of the east banks of Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes — a significant milestone toward completion of the system.
Court monitor says Gusman is behind schedule on jail reforms | The Lens – Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s office has missed deadlines for 62 of 65 requirements outlined in court documents.
Lawyer and activist Tracie Washington named compliance officer for Orleans sheriff | The New Orleans Advocate – “Washington, no stranger to controversy, will act as a ‘liaison’ between the sheriff’s office and the independent monitor hired by the federal court to ensure the required reforms are being carried out.”
Former Times-Picayune reporters testify at Hankton hearing | Associated Press — “A federal judge kept tight limits on defense attorneys Wednesday as they questioned two New Orleans journalists about a story that forecast a high-profile 2012 racketeering indictment, blocking questions that could have forced the two to divulge confidential sources or risk sanctions.”
In New Orleans, traditional public schools close for good | The Washington Post – According to the Post, critics of the proliferation of charters in New Orleans are concerned the system is undemocratic. Advocates say that charters improve schools and empower parents.
Comprehensive truancy center moves forward in New Orleans; 28 percent of high schoolers chronically absent | NOLA.com – The center will attempt to better manage in the decentralized, charter-dominated New Orleans school district.
Community engagement is a euphemism for “how to deal with black folk” | Hechinger Report – Andre Perry, formerly with Loyola and now founding dean of urban education at Davenport University opines: “The turnaround/takeover/portfolio district has evolved to become the hurricane of reformers’ desire. As a result, community engagement has become euphemism for ‘how to deal with black folk in the aftermath.'”
Organized movement rises to defend Airbnb, short-term rentals in New Orleans | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – “A handful of people showed up at a meeting of the City Planning Commission to present a united front against a proposed rule that officials hope will make it easier for the city to crack down on illegal short-term rentals.”
New roller coaster coming to City Park | Mid-City Messenger – Beyond the obvious excitement of a new coaster, an aside in this story is worth noting:
[City Park board] members also discussed an upcoming meeting with the Trust for Public Land to develop a millage that would provide regular outside revenue to fund the park. Currently, City Park generates about 85 percent of its $14 million budget independently by hosting concerts and charging patrons to use the tennis and golf courses.
The Listening Post Asks: Is Housing Affordable In New Orleans? | WWNO – A St. Roch resident has reconciled herself to being unable to afford a house in the neighborhood where she grew up.
“Pimp My Pothole”: A look at some of the pothole pimpage | Gambit – Links to a slideshow of reader-submitted photos of cleverly-festooned road failures.
Government & Politics
Lawmakers Continue Prescribing Jindalcare Bill | LaPolitics
After the sponsoring lawmaker admitted to the House Health and Welfare Committee that his proposal was “vague,” members voted Wednesday to advance his legislation to implement Gov. Bobby Jindal’s national health care plan in Louisiana.
Alvarez & Marsal bills $2M thus far on $5 million contract; state has little to show for expenditure to save $500 million | Louisiana Voice – A consulting firm that’s supposed to find a half a billion in savings for the state has so far come up with only $74 million.
Betting on a Brand When Politics Is the Family Business | The New York Times – Will the Landrieu “brand” help the state’s senior U.S. Senator win re-election?
The Last Traffic Court Still Has Some Left in the Tank | The Wall Street Journal — A bill to merge the city’s traffic court into the municipal court system was amended by state Rep. Walt Leger to study the merger for a year.
The New Orleans Traffic Court is the only one left [in the U.S.] “whose sole purpose and mission is to handle traffic offenses,” according to Bill Raftery, an analyst with the National Center for State Courts.