Louisiana execution method calls for same drug used in botched Oklahoma execution | The Lens – Tuesday night, an inmate in Oklahoma reportedly writhed on a gurney after being declared unconscious. Louisiana executioners plan to use the same sedative. Death-penalty opponents say it likely makes for punishment that is unconstitutionally “cruel and unusual.”
A ‘Propitious Moment’ For Reform | The Crime Report – A new assessment of rising incarceration levels concludes the United States “has gone past the point where the numbers of people in prison can be justified by social benefits.”
Funding crunch undermining NOPD watchdog, officials say | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The cash-strapped office has only four members on staff and says it can’t investigate the full range of complaints citizens make to the police department.
Government & Politics
Mitch Landrieu requests a doubling of tax rates for New Orleans police and fire | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
With two of his tax increase proposals on life-support, Mayor Mitch Landrieu has doubled down on a third option that would raise property taxes in New Orleans to help pay for more police officers, improvements to the parish prison and the city’s debt to the firefighters’ pension fund.
Audubon to lick its wounds before returning to voters for a tax increase/renewal | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Audubon Nature Institute CEO Ron Forman cited general opposition to taxes and the 50-year length of the renewal as reasons for the proposal failed. “Perhaps more than anything, he [Forman] said, many voters are feeling strapped for cash. Rents are up. Wages for many are stagnant.” I agree with that analysis.
Supporters say Keystone bill short of 60 votes | Associated Press
[Sen. Mary] Landrieu, who chairs the Senate Energy Committee, faces a tough re-election challenge this fall and has said she will use all her power to make sure the [Keystone XL pipeline] project is built.
Mayor Landrieu and Council Member Palmer announce agency partnership to redevelop former city incinerator site in Algiers | City of New Orleans – From the press release issued this morning: “The City of New Orleans and the Louisiana Land Trust (LLT) will partner to demolish the former City incinerator site located at 2300 Hendee Street in Algiers. The blighted, City-owned structure has sat vacant since it closed in 1975. The demolition is the first step in an overall strategy to redevelop the site and put it back into commerce.”
The Height of Trolley Tensions | Voice of San Diego – This fascinating story shows an interplay of issues in San Diego not unlike controversies in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood. San Diego spent $1.7 billion to extend a trolley line. To maximize the return on that investment, it has encouraged higher density developments around the trolley stops. But residents are fired up over proposals to ease height restrictions on buildings.
Senate committee approves bill stripping east bank levee authority of right to sue energy companies for wetlands damages | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The bill now moves to the full Senate for a vote.
Fracking opponents pack two St. Tammany meetings | The New Orleans Advocate – Traditionally conservative north shore politics collide with NIMBY populism: “People packed two venues in St. Tammany Parish on Thursday night, waving signs, cheering anti-oil-drilling comments and jeering drilling advocates.”
Wetlands Mapper | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a new National Wetlands Database, an interactive mapping tool.
Easton leader keen on legislation that would establish revolving fund for maintenance | The Lens – Warren Easton leader says the school should prepare for when FEMA school repair money runs out, and suggests that House Bill 941 would fund a more business-like approach.
Charter Schools Get Less Money Than Public Schools. Is That A Problem? | Huffington Post –
But some wonder whether the disparity highlighted in the report truly reflects inequity. Instead, it may reflect demographics, as Gary Miron, a Western Michigan University professor, argues. Partially because of economies of scale — bigger schools have more resources — charter schools tend to have fewer students with disabilities. And it often costs more to teach these students than their peers. So it would make sense, Miron said, that charter schools generally receive less money.