Sheriff: Landrieu’s gloom-and-doom consent decree figures are inflated — The Lens | Criminal justice reporter Tom Gogola writes:
At a hastily scheduled City Council presentation that itself may have been slightly less than a legal gathering under state open meetings law, Mayor Mitch Landrieu told the council that the sheriff’s consent decree would cost the city $22 million a year for five years.
Sheriff Marlin Gusman said soon after that he had no idea how the mayor came up with that that figure.
Pro-business organizations sponsor expense-paid seminars for federal judges — The Center for Public Integrity | The article closely examines the questionable practice among judges, including three from the New Orleans area, that raises transparency and conflict-of-interest questions.
Police take more than an hour to respond to violent videotaped beating — WWLTV.com | The video segment accompanying the story says an internal NOPD investigation has been opened after WWL’s reports on slow response times.
St. Tammany coroner’s private land deal raises questions | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | New questions have been raised about the transaction history of land owned by Peter Galvan, which the parish eventually purchased to build a new coroner’s office and forensic laboratory. Fox 8 investigative reporter Lee Zurik reported on the property in question earlier this week, in his ongoing series on the coroner’s office.
New Orleans City Council tightens rules for handling construction debris — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | “At the request of the Mitch Landrieu administration, the New Orleans City Council recently tightened the city’s rules on the removal of construction, fire and excavation debris.”
Government & Politics
Jindal’s tax swap proposal has jumped to a 6.25% state sales tax | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Gov. Bobby Jindal’s “revenue neutral” tax overhaul plan is getting more expensive. The new state sales tax rate for his proposal rises up from 5.88%, to keep the numbers in line.
Louisiana Lt. Governor asks for emergency meeting on Poverty Point – KNOE 8 News |
After touring the Poverty Point State Historic Site this week, and seeing firsthand the erosion caused by Harlin Bayou, Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne has requested an Interim Emergency Board meeting to address the problems there. … [According to Dardenne:] “It is crucial that we are proactive in protecting this incredible prehistoric site from erosion.”
Poverty Point was one of the largest known pre-historic cities in North America, and has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Historic site.
Jindal hosts luncheon at same place, time as StoptheTolls.org meeting — WWLTV.com | This is an interesting juxtaposition of political events. The popularity of Jindal’s overhaul is at a low ebb, while the anti-toll fervor seems to be near an apex.
Jindal proposes letter grades, new accountability standards for public pre-K programs — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | “The first piece of legislation will be sponsored by state Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, and will authorize the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish standards to grade all pre-K programs receiving public funds. Those grading standards mirror Compass, a K-12 teacher evaluation system unpopular with educators, which grades teacher efficiency based on student test scores and classroom monitoring.”
Governance in the charter school sector: Time for a reboot — Thomas D. Fordham Institute | A study of the two-decade evolution of charter school governance was released today, examining alternatives to “inherited assumptions” about the process of charter leadership and administration.
Active hurricane season forecast – FOX 8 WVUE | Recent hurricane seasons have been relatively quiet (knock on wood), but our luck may be running out. Meteorologist William Gray says that “only development of an El Nino could slow down the [upcoming hurricane] season, and that’s looking less and less likely.”
Water legislation is expected to pass, but fate of Louisiana projects unclear — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Why does it always seem that the legislative fate of local flood protection projects is always up in the air until the last vote is cast?
The chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure said Thursday there’s a good chance that the Water Resources and Development Act will make it out of Congress this year, but was noncommittal about whether key Louisiana projects, including transferring the cost of operating and maintaining gates in the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier to the Army Corps of Engineers, would be included.
Coastal Christmas: Tree Drop Helps Restore Bayou Sauvage Wetlands — NOLA Defender | “The City program, which is paid for with a $9,000 grant, has reestablished 100 acres of marsh in the Bayou Sauvage are since it began.”