Year after Sandy, rebuilding for storms and rising seas | National Geographic – Superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast coast a year ago. Coastal townships plan to build protective beach dunes anchored by seawalls.
From Katrina to Sandy: Better than where we were | Al Jazeera America –Lens co-founder Ariella Cohen writes a commentary how the recovery after Superstorm Sandy — while by no means easy — has been greatly assisted by painful lessons learned after Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures in New Orleans.
Is rebuilding storm-struck coastlines worth the cost? | NPR – Geologist Rob Young says that rebuilding coastal communities in the face of climate change is a losing proposition.
N.O. Mayor’s Office releases Tulane scholarship forms | The Advocate –
Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration has released the application forms of each of the 20 students who have received Tulane University mayoral scholarships over the past four years, forms identical to the ones that leaders of the Legislature decided last week to keep secret, on the grounds they are not public records.
James Gill: Don’t bet on scholarship reform | The Advocate – Twenty years ago Times-Picayune reporter Tyler Bridges (now at The Lens) broke the story of how elected officials played favorites with the Tulane University scholarship program. Despite promised changes over the years, recent examples of apparent cronyism, in Gill’s view, call into question whether the program will ever be meaningfully reformed.
2013 Louisiana school letter grades: Recovery School District gains nothing | deutsch29 – Educator Mercedes Schneider has a skeptical take on the recently released public school performance scores. She compiled a spreadsheet to show that, in her opinion, the score data has been shaped in order to “produce the veneer of success.”
Government & Politics
Firefighters say city’s safety is at risk; Sheriff’s budget far from requested | The Lens – The second day of the City Council’s hearings looked at 2014 budget busters such as fire department pension obligations and upcoming prison consent decree costs.
Jindal counters NOLA.com editorial, slams Obamacare on Fox News | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune –
Gov. Bobby Jindal slammed the Obama Administration’s approach to health care, defended his decision not to expand Medicaid and remained coy about his own presidential ambitions on a Fox News appearance Sunday morning.
A breakout and escape from Louisiana’s prison paradigm: James Varney | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Liberals and libertarians agree: Criminal justice reform can reduce recidivism and waste. Columnist James Varney views it as a political win-win, and should therefore become a top state priority. There’s even a template to follow: Texas has made progressive sentencing reforms in recent years, which should please those who seek to emulate the Lone Star State.
For Herman Wallace, solitary confinement amounted to a death sentence | The Washington Post – David Cole, a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center sees no reason that Angola 3 inmates Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox were put in solitary confinement for four decades.
Even if Wallace and Woodfox were guilty, how is 41 years in solitary an appropriate response? Solitary confinement is not a permissible punishment for a crime. It is justified, if at all, for prison security reasons when an individual poses a danger to others that cannot otherwise be reasonably contained. It can understandably be used for brief periods as discipline for infractions. But for all practical purposes, Wallace and Woodfox were sentenced to prolonged solitary confinement by prison authorities, not a judge. Wallace was released for only the last 2½ days of his life. Woodfox, whose conviction has also been overturned, remains in solitary pending the state’s appeal.
N.O. arts center makes more room for Academic Studio | Home | The New Orleans Advocate – The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts will convert a 180-year old warehouse by its campus into an Academic Studio. The warehouse was a previous location for Aunt Sally’s Pralines.
Deciding whether it’s lights out | The New York Times – Remember the infamous, short-lived “green dots” proposal after Katrina, in which low-lying neighborhoods were to be turned into grassy flood-absorbers?
Well, in post-Sandy, New York, there are “buyout zones” in areas that encounter routine flooding, such as Oakwood Beach. Properties purchased by the state will be turned into wetlands and dunes. Participation in the buyout is voluntary and — surprisingly, in my view— “nearly everyone” in the buyout zone applied to get out.