Frustrated council prepares to take up jail-size question anew | The New Orleans Advocate – Council member Stacy Head claims that Sheriff Marlin Gusman ignored an ordinance about requirements for the city jail and now a new facility will have to be built in order for Orleans Parish Prison to meet constitutional standards.
Rule thins NOPD force | The New Orleans Advocate – Recruiting-class shortfalls will provide ammunition for critics of residency requirements. “A newly restored law requiring fresh municipal employees to live in the Crescent City may be hampering recruitment into a beleaguered, undermanned force.”
Federal oversight on public defense | New York Times – The New York Times editors cite New Orleans as the poster child for the “staggering disadvantage” between state public defenders and more highly funded prosecutors offices.
The disadvantage may be nowhere more glaring than in New Orleans, where indigent people sit in jail uncharged, sometimes for months, waiting for a lawyer whose workload far exceeds any reasonable standard. Professional guidelines recommend that public defenders handle no more than 400 misdemeanor cases in a year, yet a 2009 report found that part-time public defenders in Orleans Parish handled the equivalent of 19,000 misdemeanor cases per attorney annually — which means an average of about seven minutes spent by a lawyer on each case.
James Varney: Does New Orleans need more aggressive policing? | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The columnist believes aggressive policing will reduce violent crime in the city but allows that “it’s easy for me to advocate invasive law enforcement when it won’t affect me much.”
Water in New Orleans: pushing a new approach to old problem | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Land on Mirabeau Avenue “is one of several sites across New Orleans picked to be a laboratory for an ambitious $6.2 billion plan to reimagine New Orleans as a watery metropolis instead of a drained fortress in a bowl bent on keeping lakes, rivers and the ocean at bay.”
John Barry, On Why The Levee Authority Has Sued The Oil And Gas Companies | WWNO – Local flood authority vice chairman John Barry explains the reasoning behind the historic lawsuit in a radio interview with The Lens’ Bob Marshall.
Government & Politics
Political Horizons: Real ID fight gets unreal | Opinion | The New Orleans Advocate – Because of a state law that prohibits full compliance with the federal Real ID standards, many Louisianians would need a copy of a birth certificate in addition to their driver’s license, if they intend to use that license for air travel.
Political Insider: Arthur Morrell says he needs cash for staff, and other political news | Opinion | The New Orleans Advocate – The ongoing budget clash between the city and clerk of court Arthur Morrell is intensifying.
Wiley Hilburn Column: Jindal spends too much time cutting class | The News Star – Columnist criticizes Gov. Bobby Jindal for reneging on his commitment to Louisiana higher education while “relentlessly pursuing a presidency that has already eluded his grasp.”
Recovery School District flags nine charters in first months of new oversight plan | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune –
The Recovery School District reprimanded nine New Orleans charter schools in the first four months of a accountability system that aims to tighten oversight of 59 largely independent campuses, according to public records. It’s part of a national trend to balance charters’ autonomy with the opportunity to intervene when problems arise.
‘Value’ plan shakes LSU, Tulane ranks | The New Orleans Advocate – It’s still unclear how the upcoming Department of Education’s collegiate ranking system, which takes into account tuition cost levels, will affect how Louisiana schools are evaluated.
[State Commissioner of Higher Education Jim] Purcell said state schools have a good shot at coming out ahead if Obama’s plans come to fruition. “Our tuition has always been historically low. We’re 46th in the nation,” he said. “The second factor is looking at what our graduates do. Our public universities have an opportunity to look good.” On the other hand, Purcell said, Louisiana may fall short nationally on “total means of financing” or in other words, tuition plus state funding to higher education, which has dipped by roughly $690 million here since 2008.
Lagniappe Academies looking for new site | The Lens – The board governing Lagniappe is eyeing the former location of St. Rose Catholic church on Bayou Road.
Mid-City Neighborhood Organization’s advocacy results in demolition of blighted home | Mid-City Messenger – A neighborhood organization formed its own “blight squad,” and is starting to see results.