Retired Gen. Honore storms fracking battlefield in St. Tammany as recall efforts begin for elected officials | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
The anti-fracking movement in St. Tammany Parish reached a boiling point Friday as separate recall petitions were circulated against Parish President Pat Brister and all 14 members of the Parish Council, and Brister became the target of criticism from retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, a hero of the post-Katrina rescue efforts and now the leader of an environmental movement.
Did ’60 Minutes’ whitewash the Deepwater Horizon oil spill? | Los Angeles Times – L.A. Times columnist Michael Hiltzik says the recent “60 Minutes” report on the BP claims settlement process lazily echoed the oil giant’s talking points.
Political leadership let us down | American Press — Jim Beam weighs in on the “all-out war being waged by Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Legislature against oil, gas and pipeline lawsuits.”
The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East represents an area of the state that has been hit the hardest by coastal erosion and land loss. If something isn’t done to stop erosion and repair the damage, some of those areas will disappear into the Gulf of Mexico in the not-too-distant future. That is why the authority’s lawsuit deserves to survive. The goal is to protect the one million people the authority represents.
Government & Politics
Landrieu’s tax legislation hits roadblocks at capitol | The New Orleans Advocate – Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s legislative proposals, aiming to generate more taxes for the cash-strapped city of New Orleans, have mostly gone nowhere during the legislative session. According to the story, Landrieu shouldn’t have been surprised to see the tourism industry oppose his hotel tax:
The night before the deadline to file bills, Landrieu summoned Perry, Audubon Nature Institute CEO Ron Forman and Mercedes-Benz Superdome boss Doug Thornton to his office. The mayor laid out his legislative agenda, revealing that — among other things — he wanted to bring in $18 million by increasing tourists’ hotel room taxes.
For two hours, the meeting unfolded before ending with niceties. Perry offered to help on everything but the hotel tax, then waited to see if the mayor would take his advice.
The next day, then-state Rep. Jared Brossett, D-New Orleans, filed House Bill 1083, calling for an additional tax of 1.75 percent on hotel rooms in New Orleans. It was the same tax that tourism officials had warned Landrieu against pursuing.
Citizens stand up to Board’s intimidation tactics — Forgotston.com
For years the “Heh, Heh, Heh Ethics Board” has been using a patently unconstitutional law to intimidate ordinary citizens. The law has finally been declared unconstitutional by a Federal judge. Story here.
The state law prohibited a whistle-blower from talking about an ethics complaint that they had filed. It made it a crime.
By contrast, there is no such state law to prohibit one from talking about a criminal charge made against someone.
Gov. Jindal still playing a hand in Common Core | The New Orleans Advocate – Jindal, a former supporter of implementing Common Core in Louisiana, has reversed course on the national standards. Bills that would weaken or kill Common Core have faltered in the Louisiana Legislature, but Jindal says he may take action on his own after the session ends. State Superintendent of Education John White and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Chas Roemer, both Common Core supporters, say Jindal would need their signatures to take such an action.
Teachers at 2nd HISD school face firing in cheating probe – Houston Chronicle – The Houston Independent School District is widening an investigation into allegations of standardized state test cheating in some of its schools.
Charters, Public Schools and a Chasm Between | The New York Times – In New York, charter schools and traditional public schools often have trouble collaborating, even when they share the same building.
B&B owners affected by illegal short-term rentals want city enforcement | WWL-TV – Tourists are increasingly turning to websites like Airbnb to find short-term house and apartment rentals in New Orleans. But the practice is illegal. Innkeepers, who say they’re losing business, say the city has failed to enforce the law.
Work progresses on Mid-City hospitals | The New Orleans Advocate – Work on the massive hospital complex in Mid-City is coming along, and it’s expected to be a boon to the local economy, The New Orleans Advocate reports. Way down in the story is a fact that could complicate things:
While the construction continues, the deal between the state and LCMC Health, which runs Children’s Hospital and Touro Infirmary, to have LCMC also run the successor to Charity Hospital has come under scrutiny. Federal officials last month rejected the state’s financing plan for operating the New Orleans LSU hospital and others around the state.
Bill to focus on Sentencing Commission | The Advocate – Members of the state Sentencing Commission say that a last-minute amendment by New Orleans Sen. J.P. Morrell to a bill awaiting the governor’s signature would leave it unable to properly advise the state on how to best reduce the prison population.
Supreme Court Revives Taser Death Lawsuit | Associated Press – The Supreme Court ordered the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to revive a dismissed civil rights lawsuit filed on behalf of a Louisiana man who died after police repeatedly shot him with stun guns.