Ira Thomas, Orleans Parish School Board president, to challenge Sheriff Marlin Gusman | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Thomas will also challenge former Sheriff Charles Foti, who announced that he would run to replace Gusman:
Thomas said a “cloud of corruption” has plagued the Sheriff’s Office for decades. He described a contracting process rife with political patronage, and he sniped at both Gusman and Foti for their reluctance to hand over records to the mayor and City Council when they were in office.
Work-release contractors have links to sheriff | The New Orleans Advocate – St. Tammany Sheriff Jack Strain is in favor of having private companies handle work-release programs. However, his ties to contractors raise questions about their selection.
1933 La. lynching receiving new scrutiny | The Advocate – Law students have teamed up with relatives in attempt to clear the name of a black youth who was lynched 80 years ago.
After being replaced on levee board, lawsuit proponent announces new effort | The Lens – Former Flood Protection Authority – East veep John Barry says he’ll form a new nonprofit to support a blockbuster lawsuit against the oil and gas industry seeking damages for coastal degradation.
When the Levees Break – Again | New America Media – Like New Orleans, Sacramento is dependent on levees. A levee break flooded farmlands north of the city in 1997, and farmers feel they are in a race against time to improve flood control infrastructure before it happens again.
Government & Politics
Shutdown politics within La. delegation | The New Orleans Advocate – Columnist Stephanie Grace provides solid analysis of the Louisiana congressional delegation’s varying political responses to the shutdown and near-default:
U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, an ally of beleaguered House Speaker John Boehner and the only Louisiana Republican to back the final agreement, aimed his frustration squarely at his colleagues. “I think there are members who are in complete denial about their responsibility to govern and to try to use conservative principles to get the best possible legislative package we can get,” he told the National Journal. While he didn’t name names or mention the Tea Party, he accused 20 to 30 intransigent members who repeatedly thwarted Boehner’s efforts of essentially derailing the party’s agenda and even putting the House’s GOP majority at risk.
La. construction spending reworked by Jindal | Associated Press –
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration reworked the state’s construction budget Thursday, pulling money from ongoing projects and redirecting it to help pay for $105 million in new projects to start this year. The Bond Commission agreed to the reshuffling — but only after Treasurer John Kennedy, chairman of the panel, blasted the approach as not setting priorities for spending the state’s limited money for construction work. “This kind of makes a mockery of the capital outlay process,” Kennedy said.
High School Performance: Then and Now | Educate Now! – Leslie Jacobs, founder of Educate Now!, argues that New Orleans schools are indisputably better than they were prior to Katrina. Jacobs is “tired of the revisionist history some folks insist on using to rationalize their opposition to … school reforms.”
The worsening poverty crisis in the South’s public schools | Facing South – This is a compilation of data points on low-income students and schools in the South. The numbers are unsettling.
How City Hall is killing the great neighborhoods of New Orleans | Stuart H. Smith – The environmental attorney from New Orleans contends the mayor has not reformed the “historically corrupt Safety and Permits Department,” and this is leading to ill-considered zoning decisions that anger longtime residents.
Algiers leaders hail opening of levee-top bicycle and hiking path | The New Orleans Advocate – “With the opening Thursday of the first two-mile stretch of the Algiers Levee Hike and Bike Path, West Bank residents have access to lighted levee-top bike trails like those that walkers and cyclists on the East Bank have enjoyed for years.”
“Sit-able cities” might be even better than walkable ones | Grist – When it comes to urban planning, sometimes it is more about the destination than the journey.