Christopher Park housing development to be demolished — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune |
The demolition of Christopher Park will begin today, bringing an end to what was once considered to be an innovative and forward-thinking approach to public housing. … When the Algiers development opened in 1971 it was celebrated as one of the nation’s first rent-to-own public housing complexes. … But the development fell victim to decades of neglect and never lived up to the hype. Many people blamed HANO, the community’s principal landowner, for mishandling its finances and federal grants, and failing to maintain the rental units and make major repairs to the condos.
Rescue Effort for Tujague’s, a New Orleans Mainstay – NYTimes.com | The article describes the intense outcry after the owner of Tujague’s passed away and the prospect of a dining institution’s closure was made public.
Preservationists and other fans of the restaurant have rallied behind the slogan “Tujague’s Not T-Shirts.” “If someone preserved it as a boutique antique, that itself would be kind of tragic,” said Brett Anderson, the restaurant critic at The Times-Picayune. “But a T-shirt shop would be such a grotesque example of commercial nitwit-itude, it boggles the mind. You can open a T-shirt shop in a metal can. You don’t need a historic location.”
In recent days, the new restaurant owners have received several partnership offers aimed at maintaining the restaurant. (link via New Orleans Ladder)
Proposal connects B.R. to N.O. — The Advocate | “Wilfred Barry, president of the SJB Group, a Baton Rouge design firm, is working with six parishes on a plan that would bring an ‘interstate-quality’ highway connecting Port Allen with New Orleans on the west side of the Mississippi River.” Legislators are concerned about the feasibility of the $1.6 billion project. The Hayride’s Scott McKay has an idea about how to make it work.
Levees.Org | This morning Levees.org reported the following: “Documents from a Public Records Request obtained late last week reveal that LSU paid a Baton Rouge law firm nearly a half-million dollars to defend the flagship university in Dr. Ivor van Heerden’s wrongful dismissal lawsuit filed in 2010. The request submitted by Levees.org show that the firm Kantrow Spaht Weaver and Blitzer received more than $457,000 over a course of two and and a half years.”
LSU settled with Heerden in February for $435,000 (There’s no online link to Levees.org announcement yet.)
Opinion: Op-Ed and Commentary – USATODAY.com | The paper’s editors give a thumbs up to progress made by charter schools, and especially the KIPP non-profit company that operates 125 schools across the country. The editorial argues that the rapid growth of enrollments at charter schools is merited by their progress. “There’s little doubt left that top-performing charters have introduced new educational models that have already achieved startling results in even the most difficult circumstances.”
Charter schools possess no magic formula: Opposing view — USATODAY.com | The op-ed counterpoint, written by Kevin G. Welner, who directs the National Education Policy Center, says that KIPP’s success is due to a funding advantage. “The true secret is more money, something public schools are starving to get. In 11 districts in the 2007 school year, KIPP received, on average, as much as $5,760 more per pupil than local school districts, according to a recent study.”
The Absurd Lies of College Admissions – The Daily Beast | Daily Beast columnist Megan McArdle thinks its “absurd” for elite college admissions departments to gear their selections toward affluent students instead of the less privileged. She writes: “Why not give kids a bonus for showing up to a routine job during high school, like real people, instead of for having wealthy parents who can help you tap their affluent social network for charitable donations? Why have we conflated ‘excellence’ with affluence, driven parents, and a relentless will to conform on the part of the kids?”
Creationism and taxes in Louisiana – The Washington Post | The Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, a Louisianan who is president of the Interfaith Alliance, writes in opposition to the state’s voucher program for students: “What is often lost in this debate is the harm school vouchers cause to religion. School vouchers create competition between religious groups for government funds, putting the government in a position to implicitly express preference of one religion over another — a fundamental problem with any voucher program.”
Not just Louisiana: Proposed flood regulations anger New York, New Jersey residents, too — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | “Across south Louisiana, residents are grappling with the prospect of huge increases in their flood insurance costs due to the double whammy of proposed new flood elevation maps and the effects of the Biggert-Waters Act, which seeks to make the federal flood insurance program self-sustaining. … But it’s not just happening in south Louisiana, as this story from WNYC, New York public radio shows.”
Jobs Boom Built on Cheap Energy Has Yet to Appear – NYTimes.com | “Despite all the upbeat news … Libbey [a glassmaking company] recently announced it would lay off 200 workers at its plant in Shreveport, La., and move some production to Mexico as it cuts costs and discontinues several products. Libbey’s decision is just one example of why manufacturing, for all its renewed promise, is likely to fall far short of the claims by industry groups that millions of new factory jobs are about to be created in the United States because of the unlocking of abundant supplies of domestic energy.”
Government & Politics
Fiscal hawks seek injunction against Gov. Bobby Jindal’s budget — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | “Two members of the conservative “fiscal hawks” in the Louisiana Legislature are hoping a judge will declare Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed budget for the coming year unconstitutional. In an amendment to a suit they originally filed in January, Reps. Kirk Talbot and Cameron Henry are asking for an injunction against the use of one-time money or so-called “contingencies,” or the use of revenue from deals and laws that have not yet been approved, in the state’s spending plan.”
In my Lens opinion column, I defend Jindal’s plan from it’s critics.
There Are Now Only 7 Senate Democrats Opposing Gay Marriage – NationalJournal.com | Sen. Mary Landrieu is one of seven in opposition.
Live blog Day 2: Consent decree hearing regarding Orleans Parish Prison — The Lens | “A fairness hearing about a proposed Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office consent decree continues this morning in federal court. It’s the second of what’s expected to be three or four days; scroll to the bottom of this post for my live blog, including testimony from Monday.”
How a Map Is Like an Op-Ed – The Atlantic Cities | Open data plus easier advanced mapping will allow for easier hyperlocal analysis of crime (and other) trends. The article identifies a “geography of incarceration” that focused on a small segment in Brooklyn.