Coast reclamation advocates warn fight over how to spend BP fines far from over — The Lens | The coastal advocates contend eagle-eyed vigilance is necessary to ensure that BP oil spill money is actually used to rebuild ecosystems, and doesn’t fall through the cracks in RESTORE Act language.
Modernization of flood insurance risk assessments, ending of mandatory policies behind levees recommended | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | A new report concludes flood insurance should be based on new storm surge risk modeling used by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Offshore revenue sharing bill filed — The Advocate |
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., introduced her new FAIR Act bill… to expedite and increase the revenue sharing of offshore oil-and-gas production with Louisiana and other coastal states. … Unlike Landrieu’s previous legislative efforts, the new bill excludes the expansion of offshore oil-and-gas drilling in order to give it a more viable chance of passing the Democratic-led Senate.
School board to declare termite damage to Sophie B. Wright cafeteria, auditorium “public emergency” — Uptown Messenger | State officials say wood rot from damage caused by an earlier termite infestation requires immediate closure of parts of the school. “Declaring the issue a public emergency allows the OPSB to bypass its normal bid processes, which can take months, and immediately procure a contract for repairs.”
Regents claim Jindal proposing more cuts to higher education next year; greater reliance on one-time revenues, tuition | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | “For the sixth year in a row, Louisiana’s public colleges and universities are girding for a state budget that once again takes an ax to their funding.” Ouch.
NOPD: Forgery charges loom for ex-Lusher accountant who took more than $25G — The Lens | “A Lusher Charter School employee who swiped $25,800 in school funds won’t be prosecuted on state embezzlement or municipal theft charges, now that she’s returned the money, but can expect to be arrested and charged with forgery by the end of the month” according to the NOPD.
Witnesses recount deaths of father and son in “senseless” Mid-City double murder — Mid-City Messenger | Marta Jewson reports the grim details from conflicting testimonies about the slaying of a Mid-City peacemaker and his son.
U.S. Attorney scandal in NOLA still being felt — Dennis Persica — The Advocate | “Tragic spiral… of doom,” “wreckage,” “devastation,” “reverse halo effect”… At times, Persica sounds like he’s describing a quasar getting sucked into a black hole, rather than the stunning scandals and developments in the local U.S. Attorney’s Office. At this point in the saga, I’m feeling less shocked and more inclined toward criticism.
Government & Politics
New Orleans inspector general criticizes city’s program to collect delinquent property taxes — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | The city pays a private company $3.3 million to collect delinquent property taxes. Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux issued a report showing those same basic services could be handled for less than $300,000.
Appeals Court Rules for La. Monks in Casket Fight – ABC News – In a blistering and unanimous ruling, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided against the state board of funeral directors, who had sued to stop the monks of St. Joseph Abbey from manufacturing wooden caskets. Attorney Jeff Rowes of the Arlington, Va.-based Institute for Justice, which represented the monastery said: “This is one of only a handful of decisions since the New Deal in which a federal court of appeals has struck down economic regulations as unconstitutional.”
Children’s Hospital agrees to reopen New Orleans Adolescent Hospital — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Some breaking news: “Four years after it was closed by the state, Children’s Hospital has agreed to reopen the New Orleans Adolescent Hospital in Uptown New Orleans, state Rep. Neil Abramson announced Thursday morning at the City Council meeting. The hospital will offer both inpatient and outpatient services to mentally ill kids.”
Short-Term Thinking — Hurricane Radio | A lively and thoughtful rant from local blogger “Cousin Pat,” who returns fire on those who fan the false “controversies” involving food truck movement politics, and unauthorized short-term home rentals. One of many crisp points:
Unlike landlords who seem to be able to get away with whatever they want, short-term operators have two factors requiring constant maintenance and upkeep: they have to have a certain number of short-term renters to make it worthwhile from a financial standpoint, and they have robust competition in the form of hotels and bed & breakfasts.