Government & Politics
Stacks of problems: New N.O. libraries quickly in financial peril | WWL-TV – Reserve money depleted on operational expenses, the library system will need new revenues to soon avoid staff cuts and reduced hours. One option is raising the tax rate but the timing for such a proposal, in my opinion, couldn’t be worse. The Lens has covered the financial woes of New Orleans’ libraries going back to 2011.
State ethics staff says Cedric Grant can’t take water board job | The New Orleans Advocate – It appears Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant, who drew support from Mayor Mitch Landrieu, will have difficulty becoming the city’s water board chief. The board will formally meet today to decide.
‘Times-Pic’ turns up the heat in war of words with the ‘Advocate’ | Greater Baton Rouge Business Report – Times-Picayune Associate Publisher David Francis questioned circulation figures cited by Advocate General Manager Dan Shea in testimony before a legislative committee. The Advocate is trying to get laws changed to allow it to compete for “lucrative government classified ads in Orleans and Jefferson parishes.” For more, read Lens reporter Tyler Bridges, who broke the story in March.
Unemployment rates for metropolitan areas | Bureau of Labor Statistics – Of the 16 metropolitan areas with the lowest unemployment rates, five are in Louisiana, including Greater New Orleans. (Note: February 2014 data, not seasonally adjusted.)
Lab owner gets 2 years’ probation, $10,000 fine for doctoring environmental test results | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Research results on toxicity levels of produced water from oil companies were falsified to comport with environmental laws.
Guest commentary: Levee board reforms could be washed away | The Advocate – Ruthie Frierson, the founder of Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, writes: “The levee reforms… are dying cataclysmically, buried beneath a tsunami of naked political power pushing a legislative package that might as well be branded “Death to Political Independence in Flood Protection Decisions.”
How private capital is restoring U.S. wetlands | Forbes – “With government funding becoming more constrained, and limited philanthropic capital available, private capital is key to large-scale environmental protection and restoration.”
Fed judges: ‘Jammer1954’ wasn’t federal prosecutor | The New Orleans Advocate
A pair of federal judges who pressed the website Nola.com to turn over information on two anonymous online commenters so the judges could determine whether they were prosecutors or other federal agents have ruled out that possibility in one case.
For more see my latest Commentgate column at The Lens where I speculated that the author of “aircheck”— the username that the judges are still investigating— may have used at least one other online alias.
Most students from closing, failed schools win admission to one of their top choices | The Lens – A spate of school eliminations means the Recovery School District will be completely chartered next school year.
Kopplin to continue fight against teaching creationism in public school science classes | The Advocate – Science advocate Zack Kopplin is undeterred, even after four years of unsuccessfully trying to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act, which he contends promotes creationism in public schools.
UNO gets council OK to lease land for McDonald’s | The New Orleans Advocate – The University of New Orleans received approval to lease currently vacant land it owns on Elysian Fields to a developer who plans to build a McDonald’s.
My visit to New Orleans | Gary Rubinstein’s Blog – Edu-blogger Gary Rubinstein recounts his trip to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and his impressions about the education scene in New Orleans.
City Council silences noise ordinance | Gambit “Despite ongoing revisions and years of studying the impact of sound on New Orleans, an ordinance to curb noise on Bourbon Street died in the New Orleans City Council chambers April 24. The ordinance — which had the support of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration — aimed to cut down noise, particularly heavy bass sounds, coming from bars and businesses on the street.”
City Council delays Holy Cross mid-rise proposal | NOLA DEFENDER –
For the third meeting in a row, the New Orleans City Council postponed a vote on a developer’s plan to build a mid-rise complex in Holy Cross. The latest decision to defer the vote came after Perez, APC, released a plan that would decrease the height of the development’s two tallest buildings from 75 ft. to 60 ft.