Government & Politics
Taxpayers paid for developing and marketing tax swap plan | The Advocate – Louisiana’s taxpayers spent $800,000 “for a major accounting firm, a website designer, public relations experts, podcast creators and consultants to develop and market the governor’s failed tax plan.”
James Gill: ‘Watchdogs’ fight each other | The Advocate
A prime bone of contention between Independent Police Monitor Susan Hutson and Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux is stop and frisk. Neither has endorsed the methods employed by NOPD, but Hutson’s report was quite damning, while Quatrevaux punted, citing insufficient data.
Now Quatrevaux wants the City Council to make Hutson get his approval before she airs any more views in public. She doesn’t see how that would square with her title.
Stephanie Grace: Rants make mayor sound a bit GOPish | The Advocate – Mayor Mitch Landrieu appears to be preparing the public for budget cuts and fee hikes. Grace writes: “For all of Landrieu’s declared ambition to remake New Orleans, he spent a good deal of time at the public meeting pointing fingers, tamping down expectations and explaining zero-sum math.”
In a post titled “Mitch Landrieu’s Aspen Ideas tour,” The Library Chronicles blogger Jeffrey asks, “Is Stephanie Grace the first local political pundit of any consequence to finally point out just how conservative the current city administration really is?”
New Orleans hurricane preparations: Ask reporters Mark Schleifstein and Lauren McGaughy about levee improvements and evacuation plans | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Schleifstein and McGaughy will participate in a a live chat at noon about “the newly completed hurricane levee system in the New Orleans area and plans officials have for keeping evacuation traffic moving in the event of a hurricane.”
Experts clash on estimates of oil spilled into Gulf | Fuel Fix – A portion of the dispute involves the rate of cement erosion in BP’s Macondo well, which partly determines how much oil entered the Gulf. The government claims the cement eroded within two days, while an expert for BP says it took much longer.
Noise from seismic air guns could be skirmish before war over offshore drilling | The Washington Post – Environmentalists and oil interests are at odds over loud technology used to map pockets of hydrocarbons below the ocean floor. Conservationists claim the seismic pulses are harmful to ocean mammals.
“I think it’s fair to say that to a marine mammal, it must be like being in a war zone,” said Michael Jasny, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s marine mammal project, which was part of a recently settled lawsuit over use of the air guns in the Gulf of Mexico.
Judge turns to BioDistrict for support on Duncan Plaza courthouse plan | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Michael Bagneris wants the new courthouse to be built at Duncan Plaza, rather than moved into the old Charity Hospital, which is what the Landrieu administration is pushing. BioDistrict New Orleans “has barely enough money to exist,” but it can issue bonds.
Action Report: Central City woman uses boards to hold back falling house | WWL-TV – The mayor’s office hasn’t responded to an apparently dangerous situation in which a blighted house is about to fall on a woman’s home.
Orleans Parish School Board members want to end legal fight with inspector general | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
The Louisiana School Boards Association wants to support the Orleans Parish School Board in its court fight with the New Orleans Office of Inspector General, but the local board’s legal committee has rejected the help. Members Sarah Usdin and Woody Koppel want to let the inspector general go ahead and audit the board’s finances.
Fighting the IG is a waste of money, they said, and makes the board look like it’s hiding something.
AP-NORC Poll: Often criticized by teachers, standardized tests have support from parents | The Washington Post – Most parents polled believe their children take the right amount of standardized tests, while 26 percent say their children take too many tests.
The New Orleans Advocate | Neighbors see value in crime districts – Since the first crime district was created in Lakeview in the nineties, “at least 50 neighborhood crime prevention, enhancement and improvement districts have been created in state law.”
From 1960s to Trayvon Martin: A look at federal role in civil rights cases | Associated Press – A review of famous federal civil rights cases in American history.