New Orleans’ flood protection system: Stronger than ever, weaker than it was supposed to be | The Lens – In the rush to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, Congress told the Corps of Engineers to raise the levees and floodwalls around New Orleans to protect against a 100-year storm. There was one problem: That was weaker than what Congress ordered 50 years ago.
Post-BP Oil Spill Gulf Restoration Projects So Far Lack Basis in Science [Slide Show] | Scientific American – Gulf states have not made a commitment to ensure that coastal restoration projects go through an independent peer-review process by scientists.
Hurricanes Are Shifting, Putting New Areas in Danger, Study Says | NBC News – Study of hurricane tracks shows a “pronounced poleward migration,” putting more coastal regions at risk. A below-average hurricane season has been predicted for the coming year.
Three Long Views of Life With Rising Seas | The New York Times – It’s an oldie but a goody: a paleo-climatoligist, a “cli fi” novelist and an astro-biologist walk into a bar — and talk about sea-level rise.
Government & Politics
From Russia With Controversy | LaPolitics – “In recent weeks the chatter in Capitol hallways has been ratcheted up by a small handful of lawmakers and special interests who wonder if Russia’s military move on Ukraine should influence Louisiana’s relationship with the company [Russian-based EuroChem].”
Increasing EITC improves tax fairness, reduces poverty, invests in children | Louisiana Budget Project – The left-leaning think tank urges lawmakers to fight poverty by increasing the value of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Steve Scalise Says Republicans ‘Can Walk And Chew Gum At The Same Time’ | TIME – Rep. Steve Scalise, “who some observers expect to seek a House leadership post whenever Speaker John Boehner retires — is forced to balance the needs of his district with his personal ambitions and those of his party. “
How Cases of Legislator “Double-Billing” May Be Criminal Theft | Forward Now! – Demographer Elliott Stonecipher says double-billing and wrongful reimbursements by legislators are criminal theft, not merely ethical oversights.
Live blog: Ben Franklin board to vote on teachers’ union | The Lens – They will meet in private before the vote, but board president said they would discuss the matter in public.
Digital Divide | Hechinger Report – The multi-part “Digital Divide” series explores reasons for the lack of digital readiness at schools, including many in New Orleans.
Teach for America has brought new energy to New Orleans schools | Hechinger Report – A junior at KIPP Renaissance High School defends TFA instructors, and says they maintain high educational standards. Another essay by a junior at Lake Area New Tech High is titled “New Orleans schools feel too much like prisons.”
Are student files private? It depends. | POLITICO – Privacy laws governing student-data mining are “fraught with ambiguity.”
Lakeview residents fed up with the condition of streets | WWL-TV – Lakeview residents are frustrated by the slow-to-nonexistent pace of street repairs. Some say they avoid inviting people to their houses because they are too embarrassed by road conditions.
The Bayou Boogaloo: What is it good for? | Faubourg St. John – Blogger Charlie London writes: “One of the often forgotten aspects of the Bayou Boogaloo is its emphasis on zero impact on the environment. I’ve personally witnessed the meticulous cleanup after the event. One would never know the music festival ever took place because the area is left as clean or cleaner than it was before the event.”
Road to rebirth? S.F.’s post-freeway Octavia may be a model | The San Francisco Chronicle –
The thickly landscaped five blocks of Hayes Valley that conclude with a small park attracted a different group last week: 11 visitors from the eastern half of the United States who wanted to see what happens when a double-deck roadway is erased from the map.
“This boulevard is beautiful, in my opinion,” said Jessica Knox of New Orleans, where there’s talk of removing a 1.6-mile stretch of Interstate 10 that cuts through a largely African American neighborhood. “You can’t even tell a freeway was here.”
NOPD’s Serpas says rape statistics not manipulated | The New Orleans Advocate
Responding to an inspector general’s audit that uncovered dozens of misclassified rapes, New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas acknowledged Wednesday there is room for improvement in the department’s crime reporting, even as he disputed the audit and insisted no one under his watch has attempted to “game the stats.”