Audubon Place, one of New Orleans’ most exclusive streets, a property-tax bargain | The Lens – The street is valued at less than $3 per square foot, compared to $14 for Trianon Plaza, a private street in Fountainbleau. The difference is more dramatic when you factor in the difference in property values along those streets. If Audubon Place were valued at a similar rate, the street would be worth $8.85 million, not $500,000 as it’s now assessed.
700 Road Home rental awards may have been wasted | WWL-TV
About 700 of the 4,400 properties that received forgivable, no-interest “incentive” loans in the state’s Road Home Small Rental program have failed to turn in documents certifying that they are charging required rents to tenants making certain lower incomes, said Doug Baker, spokesman for the state Division of Administration.
Lawyer in New Orleans noise ordinance debate accused of intimidation | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Lawyer Stuart Smith may have crossed the line in his advocacy of the controversial noise ordinance. He sent an email to Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer that she interpreted as an “attempt to influence her vote” on the issue. Smith also sent an apparently threatening text to French Quarter Management District Chairman Robert Watters.
All in the family: Bus exec slapped with $5,000 fine for contract from his sister | The Lens – Former Miller-McCoy principal Tiffany Hardrick canceled a bus contract, and then awarded it to her brother without authorization.
Will Louisiana’s students be ready for online testing? | HechingerEd Blog – New report indicates many state school districts need to purchase or upgrade computers to comply with new Common Core standards.
Special-education rules spark advocate arguments | The Advocate – Critics of current requirements for special-ed students “contend one reason Louisiana’s special-education graduation rate is so low is because the state has stricter standards than other states, including passage on state tests that pose major hurdles.”
Levee board begs corps to get a 10-year jump on subsidence — at local expense | The Lens – Savings reach $20 million if levees are raised before they’re armored, according to the board. Subsidence puts area flood insurance at risk.
Chemical industry safety group hears ideas in BR | The Advocate
Environmental group representatives and community activists asked for the group to require chemical facilities to provide better public notification during accidents, emphasized the need for more enforceable regulations to promote safer practices and to find ways to get the chemical industry to look for ways to avoid problems in the first place.
APNewsBreak: Where Ohio Got Its Execution Drugs | ABC News – Ohio acquired drugs from a company that doesn’t want its products used for executions. As Louisiana’s Department of Corrections scrambled in late January to find drugs for use on Death Row inmates, it requested a copy of Ohio’s execution procedure.
Sentencing commission backs lesser pot penalties | The Advocate
Gregory M. Thompson, a New Orleans lawyer who was tasked with analyzing the legislation for the commission, said he was surprised at the debate. …
Thompson pointed out that, for all the debate over whether the commission supported or opposed leniency for marijuana convictions, what they actually voted on was a statement that “HB14 achieves a small degree of balance” with the laws that other state legislatures are passing in the South “and somewhat comports with the desires of the majority of Louisiana citizens who favor significant reductions in these penalties.”
Jetson secrecy aimed at limiting protest | The New Orleans Advocate – “The late night transfer last month of youthful offenders from a north Baton Rouge facility was kept secret from staff and family to ensure enough employees would be on hand and to keep protestors from showing up, the head of the state agency in charge of incarcerating youngsters said Thursday.”
Government & Politics
Online monitoring to replace meter readers, among major system upgrades planned by Sewerage and Water Board | Mid-City Messenger — The changes will allow the board to read meters remotely, instead of employing a subcontractor to send people out to do it.
Billionaire Environmentalist Tom Steyer Won’t ‘Tea Party’ Dems in 2014 | ABC News – It appears Sen. Mary Landrieu won’t be a target of a wealthy climate-change activist’s PAC.