RTA close to taking over Algiers, Chalmette ferries | The New Orleans Advocate
While the plan under consideration, which is now months behind schedule, would extend the hours of the Algiers ferry, it would not fully return the route to its previous hours of 6 a.m. to midnight. The deal is expected to result in a route that runs from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., largely due to concerns about low ridership during the final two hours of the traditional schedule, [state Sen. David] Heitmeier said.
Mid-City residents worry about railroad tracks ruining St. Patrick Playground | Mid-City Messenger – A proposal to reroute freight train traffic through parts of Mid-City, would impact recreational facilities in St. Patrick Park that were renovated after Katrina.
Dixie Brewery owners make final effort to save building | The Advocate – A restraining order halted demolition of the 100-year old brewery, which was expropriated by the state in 2011 “and later transferred it to the VA [Veterans Administration] as part of the massive LSU and VA hospital complex.”
Hipsters, take note: Still not crazy about Starbucks after all these years | The Lens – Frequent Lens contributing opinion writer C.W. Cannon analyzes the special disdain many New Orleanians feel when a new Starbucks sets up shop.
Sweeping prison reforms suggested in Mississippi | The Clarion-Ledger – Among comprehensive recommendations issued by a criminal justice task force in Mississippi: “providing more discretion for judges to impose alternatives to prison and creating ‘true minimums’ on when violent and nonviolent offenders are eligible for release.”
Appeals court ‘troubled’ by top St. Louis prosecutor’s mid-trial tweeting | St. Louis Post-Dispatch – A Missouri appeals court cautioned Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce about tweets concerning a sexual assault trial in progress. The appeals court did not overturn the convictions on that basis but said tweeting “during trial greatly magnifies the risk that a jury will be tainted.”
Struggles to survive in an upside-down world 1 month after Haiyan’s record surge | E & E Publishing – Storm survivors in the Philippines are enduring a hellish aftermath: living under blue tarps, clearing endless piles of debris, discovering corpses. The immediate needs are pressing and enormous, but so too are the long-term concerns:
Mayors from Haiyan-devastated towns participated in the workshop, which aimed to streamline needs from the local to national level for a master rehabilitation plan to be unveiled next year. According to [former Sen. Panfilo] Lacson, the government needs close to $3 billion, which he said is an insufficient sum to fund long-term rather than reflexive efforts to build climate adaptation.
More money for school vouchers coming to Louisiana | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The Walton Family Foundation is pumping millions into nonprofits that lobby for school voucher programs throughout the country.
The Alliance for School Choice has yet to determine how much money Louisiana will get. But the group plans to add billboards and text-message advertising campaigns in the state, and is hiring a Louisiana implementation director to help more parents sign up for vouchers.
Low-income inner-city achievement gap starts to close, test scores of urban school districts improve faster than nation over past 10 years, Washington D.C. stands out | Education By The Numbers – Impressive gains in mathematics and reading by students in large cities have closed wide achievement gaps between those students and the U.S. average.
Gov. Bobby Jindal: Schools are better without interference from feds | The Advertiser – In an opinion piece Jindal celebrates the education results in the state. He notes: “Experts at Stanford found that Louisiana is a national leader in student achievement at charter schools, ranking near the top in both reading and math gains.”
Rebel smell: In the Deep South, dirty energy and disenfranchisement go hand in hand | Grist
The southeastern U.S. is pre-1990s South Africa, and the brand of apartheid practiced here is of the energy variety. This is how environmental justice scholar Robert Bullard called it two years ago, and a report released yesterday from the NAACP pretty much confirms it.
Assumption Parish makes bid to add salt caverns to tax rolls | The Advocate – Assumption Parish officials claim that salt dome operators are not reporting all their underground assets.
Drilling Deeper in the Gulf | Audubon Magazine – Eric Cordes, an ecologist from Temple University says, “We are only beginning to understand the ways in which the deep sea is connected to the rest of the ocean … It’s one of the last pristine habitats on earth, and we’re starting to cause damage to it before we’ve ever even seen it.” Via Restore the Mississippi River Delta.
Government & Politics
State’s four-year colleges battle community & technical colleges for state funding | The Lens – State policy limiting funding cuts shields some institutions from the full impact of changing enrollment. Look for skirmishes during the upcoming legislative session; the fight to date has been waged largely behind closed doors.
Montana senator’s move to China could shift Sen. Mary Landrieu to Energy Commitee chair | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – This is a notable development. If the dominoes fall as expected, and the Obama Administration nominates Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, as the next ambassador to China, Sen. Mary Landrieu would likely become chairperson of the Senate’s Energy Committee — a significant asset as she seeks re-election.