Sediment diversions won’t save the coast — and they’ll be bad news for fishermen | The Lens – Funneling “Dead Zone” chemicals into state wetlands may be good for the Gulf, but it will harm sea life and aquatic vegetation, argues George Ricks, who advocates for the fishing industry.
Wednesday, David Muth of the National Wildlife Federation will defend the role of sediment diversions in restoring the coast. And coming Thursday: A live, text-based Web chat with Ricks and Muth in which readers can ask them questions and offer comments.
BP gets slick in trying to undermine gulf oil spill settlement | Los Angeles Times – BP says its public relations campaign attacks unfair oil spill claims. Critics say they are simply trying to avoid higher-than-estimated payouts. Columnist Michael Hiltzik is puzzled by BP’s effort: “It’s unclear who the audience for the ad campaign is intended to be. The only people who can rewrite or reinterpret the settlement agreement are judges, and they’re not likely to be swayed by the vague ridicule of individual claims.”
Concerns linger after ruling clears way for oilfield waste storage well | Daily Comet
A legal defeat has left Terrebonne Parish searching for answers in its fight to prevent an oilfield waste storage well from being drilled less than 250 yards from a school, church, playground and one mile from downtown Houma.
Confounding opponents is a lesson learned during the lengthy court battle: If the waste were coming from somewhere other than oil and gas production, the parish would have the authority to stop it.
“This really goes to show just how powerful the oil and gas companies have become,” said Parish President Michel Claudet.”
Getting tough on water | Greater Baton Rouge Business Report – Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré stunned executive editor David Dodson when he informed him that groundwater in Louisiana is subject to the “rule of capture.”
In Louisiana, groundwater belongs to nobody. Surface water, on the other hand, belongs to the state (or to somebody), and you have to pay to get your share of it. Honoré’s point is that “water is water,” and distinctions between surface and groundwater are archaic and unsupportable scientifically.
Honoré is pushing water-intensive industries in Baton Rouge to use river water rather pumping from the aquifer that supplies drinking water.
A Lesson for Detroit in Efforts to Aid a New Orleans Devastated by Katrina | The New York Times – Shrinking a city’s footprint seems like a political non-starter in Detroit, much like it was after Katrina and the flood in New Orleans. “A plan for Detroit’s future released on Friday did not address questions of whether that 139-square-mile city should shrink by consolidating or limiting services to certain neighborhoods. Former Mayor Dave Bing at one point explored this as his strategy, but it met a cold reception. No city leader has explicitly raised it since.”
Percentage of working households ‘severely-burdened’ by housing costs rising in Louisiana | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
Louisiana tracks below the national average when it comes to working households spending at least half of their income on housing, according to a study released this week by the Center for Housing Policy. Yet, while this rate dips nationally, it’s steadily rising in the Pelican State, and even more quickly in the New Orleans-Metairie area.
City: High-ranking officers working in City Park trailer do ‘important supervisory work’ | The Lens – The city responded to a report saying the high-ranking officers should be reassigned.
Re-opened civil rights cases tough to solve | The Advocate – Federal investigators closed the books on the civil-rights era slayings of Frank Morris of Ferriday and Joseph Edwards of Vidalia.
Music Education For Creativity, Not A Tool For Test Scores | WWNO – The intense focus on reading and math are pushing out music and other subjects that spark the imagination.
It’s Time We Stop and Frisk Our Education System For Traditions That Perpetuate Hate | Crime on GOOD – Andre Perry, a former education consultant for Loyola University, says schools must teach civility:
Multiculturalism shouldn’t be an elective. From early childhood through graduate and professional studies, we all need to understand how race and racism intersect with their cousins of sexism, homophobia, and classism to shape how we see and treat each other.
Government & Politics
City, NOPD often fail to respond to requests for public records | The New Orleans Advocate – The New Orleans Police Department has frustrated “local attorneys, journalists and others” seeking access to records. Now it is being sued by Tabitha Nelson, who has waited eight months to receive a complete file on a murder case that has been closed for 20 years.
City contract process improved, watchdogs say | The Advocate – Government watchdogs are impressed by the dramatic reforms on how contracts are being awarded.
[Mitch Landrieu] acknowledges that the new practices are not a guarantee against graft. … Transparency is one goal, he says, but so are efficiency and accountability: He wants the people running things and selecting contractors to know they could lose their jobs if those selected don’t perform.
Mark Ballard’s “Political Horizons”: Jindal budget tactics raising eyebrows | The Advocate
Critics of the Jindal administration say the governor’s $25 billion proposal to pay the bills next year includes a good bit of “money laundering.”
“In Zachary, where I grew up, we would call this bull****,” State Treasurer John N. Kennedy, said of the accounting gimmicks the administration used this year and over the past few.