ExxonMobil is scrutinized in Baton Rouge after past leaks — Huff Post Green | A class-action suit has been filed on behalf of “ten African American, Standard Heights residents and seven minor children” who claim they became ill due to a leak from the Baton Rouge ExxonMobil plant on June 14, 2012.
Oil And Gas Spills: Many mishaps among drillers, but few fines — E & E Publishing
Most state oil and gas agencies are charged with promoting drilling in the state, in addition to regulating it. Inspectors and the people who oversee them often come from the oil and gas industry. It’s not considered a conflict of interest. It’s often a job requirement.
“When you deal with the oil and gas agencies, their primary concern is to get the drilling going,” said Wilma Subra, a Louisiana-based environmental scientist who monitors state regulation of oil and gas. “Environmental contamination is not a big deal.”
Biologist investigates lasting ecological impacts of Deepwater Horizon oil spill — Phys.org | In-depth piece on a marine biologist’s monitoring of deepwater coral reefs impacted by the Macondo oil gusher in 2010. Bottom line: Some heavily impacted coral died; lightly impacted coral survived. (via @RestoreDelta)
Sewerage and Water Board to start billing New Orleans schools for water use — The Lens | Schools haven’t been billed for water since Hurricane Katrina, but now they will be charged if water use exceeds four gallons per person per day.
Teach for America keeps growing in Mississippi as struggling schools hire through the program — Associated Press | About 400 Teach for America recruits will begin their first or second year in Mississippi classrooms this fall.
Government & Politics
City drops legal bombshell in dispute over oil-rich property — WWL-TV
In a legal memorandum filed last week, the city maintains that Wisner’s modern-day descendants aren’t the rightful heirs at all. The city maintains that their claim ended with the deaths of Wisner’s two daughters in the 1970s.
Blogger Jason Berry calls the move “despicable” and notes that Sheriff Marlin Gusman, back when he served as a City Council member, predicted that the city would “take over the whole [trust]” in 2014.
Auditor questions property tax bills — The Advocate | The Louisiana Legislative Auditor recommends that the Louisiana Tax Commission crack down on incorrectly assessed properties after a report found that 50 percent of homes in Orleans Parish missed the legal target of 10 percent of fair market value.
Guillory For U.S. Senate Rumors Growing Louder — ClickJefferson.com | Republicans would like to see State Sen. Elbert Guillory (R-Opelousas) run to replace U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.
Cellphone cameras impacting growing number of criminal cases – FOX 8 WVUE | Fox 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti observes that as video recording becomes more commonplace, “no one’s anonymous anymore.”
House burned down, feeling burned by city, disillusioned man considers leaving N.O. — WWL-TV
[Christopher] Meehan had just started renovations after buying a 150-year-old piece of New Orleans history around the corner from his home when he watched his investment go up in flames.
As soon as he saw the destruction, Meehan knew he had been the target. As a series of police reports reveal, Meehan and several neighbors had been in an ongoing battle with drug dealers encroaching on their previously peaceful slice of Treme.
For Young Black Men in American Cities, You’re Either Invisible or Viewed as a Threat – Next City | Opinion piece by Brentin Mock: “One of the main tragic factors in the George Zimmerman trial verdict, one that existed well before Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin last year, is this failure to see young black men in our cities — and when they do register, we see them as threats.”
RTA to discuss $2 fare for Algiers ferry on Thursday — The Advocate | “A trip across the Mississippi River on the Algiers-Canal Street ferry would cost passengers $2 each way under a proposal by the company that manages the Regional Transit System as part of a planned takeover of the three New Orleans-area ferries.” Last week, The Lens reported on the years of inaction that preceded the ferry cutbacks.