Mission accomplished: Landrieu administration promises one thing on blight, delivers another | The Lens – The mayor promised to remediate 10,000 blighted properties in New Orleans. In January, he announced he had met his goal. But that was based on a study of all properties that had been fixed up, regardless of whether the city got involved. The city is now cited as a model for blight reduction, but there’s no official count of properties that have been remediated. Watch WVUE Fox 8’s companion story about the blight numbers.
Live chat: How well has the Landrieu administration dealt with blight in New Orleans? | The Lens – Reporter Charles Maldonado will talk with Lens readers at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
French Quarter T-shirt shop owners fight back against crackdown | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Souvenir store owners say they have operated in the Quarter for decades and are being suddenly and unduly vilified.
Largest property preservation firm in U.S. charged with discrimination | The Louisiana Weekly –
The National Fair Housing Alliance filed a racial discrimination complaint April 8 against the largest property preservation firm in the country, following an investigation by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center of alleged biased marketing, the maintenance practices of foreclosed homes in Black communities in the New Orleans area and parts of the Baton Rouge region.
Government & Politics
Senate votes to limit drones on private property | FOX 8 WVUE – The Louisiana Senate changed course, and voted to restrict the use of drones on private property.
GOP Senate Candidate Warns Vladimir Putin Is Closely Watching His Race | Huffington Post – U.S. Senate candidate Bill Cassidy attaches world-historic importance to his expected December runoff against Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Revolutionary remembrance | The Louisiana Weekly – Editor Edmund Lewis’ editorial encourages citizens to stay focused on “unconstitutional policing, political indifference and and an inept criminal justice system.” As usual, Lewis ends with a series of questions. Among them: “Who thinks the monkeys, elephants and lions at the zoo deserve better housing at a time when safe, affordable housing is hard for New Orleanians to find?” It’s a theme I explore in my recent column on the economic frustrations felt by the city’s electorate.
Marijuana possession bill killed in Louisiana Senate committee | Gambit – The Louisiana Senate judiciary committee rejected a bill by State Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, which would reduce penalties for marijuana possession. “Ironically, throughout testimony, several speakers and legislators admitted to smoking marijuana.”
Oklahoma court puts 2 executions on hold | Associated Press – “A sharply divided Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday put on hold the executions of two death row inmates who have challenged the secrecy surrounding the source of the state’s lethal injection drugs.”
Louisiana voucher enrollment to expand as interest from new students declines | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Interest in the state’s school voucher program dropped by 15 percent compared to last year, according to new application numbers.
One group that loves school vouchers? Parents | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Columnist James Varney summarizes a survey showing strong approval of the voucher program among parents of children in participating schools.
Without vouchers, could these Catholic schools survive? | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune — “Some critics contend that the public scholarships prop up under-enrolled private schools, especially Roman Catholic schools, that otherwise would have to close.”
Bureau of Governmental Research still opposes amended bill that gives governor power to remove levee authority board members from office | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The watchdog organization maintains that a bill strips local flood authorities of their independence and furnishes the governor with too much power over what are supposed to be apolitical levee boards.
Lax Oversight Cited as Factor in Deadly Blast at Texas Plant | The New York Times – Days after the anniversary of one of the worst industrial accidents in U.S. history, the feds “determined that a lack of oversight and regulations at the local, state and federal levels contributed to the deadly fertilizer plant explosion that devastated a rural Texas town last year.”