Kickboard school data start-up leads growing field of education entrepreneurship in New Orleans — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | A profile of engineer Jen Medbery, who has quickly become a local leader in education technology.
Jindal defends school vouchers in NBC interview — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Gov. Bobby Jindal slipped while defending vouchers to host Hoda Kotb: “I’ve got no problem if a school board, a local school board, says we want to teach our kids about creationism,” he said. Blogger Lamar White says Jindal’s phrasing “unwittingly exposed the Louisiana Science Education Act as an unconstitutional law.”
Can a ‘Moneyball’ Approach Turn Around New Orleans Schools? – National Journal | The article spotlights Sci Academy, “a star performer in a reinvented school system obsessed with analytics.”
Informed Sources – April 12, 2013 — WYES | Lens Charter Schools Editor Rebecca Catalanello discusses education issues with “Informed Sources” host Larry Lorenz.
Expensive blueprints for jail, police reform lead to political brawl in New Orleans – The Associated Press | The spat between Sheriff Marlin Gusman and Mayor Mitch Landrieu makes national news.
Louisiana Cops Arrest Man for Video Recording Them in Public — PINAC | The video shows police in Lafayette arresting a man who was recording video of a traffic stop from at least 50 feet away. The unremarkable video raises questions about how the public holds police accountable and what constitutes interference in an investigation. Earlier this year, the Department of Justice ruled that it is legal to photograph and film the police. (Via The Dead Pelican)
Lawmakers seek better salt mine oversight — Associated Press | Legislators are filing bills to prevent another Assumption Parish sinkhole. The proposed laws would “halt permits for new salt mining operations; limit the reuse of storage caverns after a disaster, such as the development of a sinkhole; mandate regular mapping and monitoring of sites; and impose stiffer fines for noncompliance.”
Cavity near sinkhole almost filled — The Advocate | “New tests of a failed salt dome cavern in Assumption Parish show that 97 percent of the 20-million-barrel subsurface cavity is filled with rock and other underground material, Texas Brine Co. officials said.”
Everglades restoration costs may outpace South Florida property taxes – South Florida Sun-Sentinel | We know this (sinking) feeling: “Beyond the nearly $1 billion looming cost of upcoming Everglades restoration construction projects, South Florida taxpayers face growing long-term expenses to keep new reservoirs, water treatment areas and levees working.” The Lens has reported on the looming infrastructure and maintenance costs of the hurricane protection system.
House passes oil tax overhaul — Anchorage Daily News | Potential boon for Big Oil if a new tax proposal becomes law in Alaska:
If both Senate and House agree on a final bill, Alaska’s three big oil producers, ConocoPhillips, BP and ExxonMobil, will find themselves saving billions of dollars over the next five years. With 90 percent of Alaska’s revenues coming from oil, the state treasury will be that much poorer. The bill would wipe out the current tax scheme in place since Gov. Sarah Palin pushed it in 2007 as Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share, replacing it with a structure whose only name so far is Senate Bill 21. While both measures contain many combinations of taxes and credits, the key feature of ACES came to be its progressive tax that increases Alaska’s cut of state-owned oil as the price rises. The key feature of Senate Bill 21 is that it has almost no progressive tax.
Government & Politics
Political Horizons: Impact of statistical spin — Mark Ballard — The Advocate | Ballard raises questions about the Jindal administration’s “in-migration” claims (i.e., the state has gone from “brain drain” to “brain gain”). Demographer Eliott Stonecipher pursues these questions in-depth in this acidic commentary.
Getting New Orleans firefighter pension costs under control: Editorial — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | The editors say we should bite the bullet now and start to rectify the long-deferred pension mess.
Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni touts $47 million debt refinancing, aesthetics proposal to advisers — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
Acknowledging some dissent in the audience at a community meeting two days earlier, Yenni said: “The mixed reviews were the very far right-wing Tea Party and Citizens for a ‘Bitter’ Kenner,” the latter a jab at a small group that often questions his initiatives.
Robert’s Fresh Market takes control of former Schwegmann’s site — The Advocate
A St. Claude Avenue grocery that has remained vacant since Hurricane Katrina while its owner and occupant battled out post-storm repair issues will once again serve the neighborhood now that the legal battle is over. Since 2006, Robért’s Fresh Market, which operated a grocery in the former Schwegmann’s Super Market at St. Claude and Elysian Fields avenues, had been embroiled in a lawsuit with the Schwegmann family, which remained the site’s owner.