Government & Politics
State higher ed commissioner, who has objected to Jindal cuts, finalist for Fla. job | The Lens – “It means he’s either not happy with us or someone’s not happy with him,” said state Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Baton Rouge, about Jim Purcell.
Louisiana Purchased: Nursing homes and campaign cash | FOX 8 WVUE – This interactive map is a companion to a NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune story headlined “Nursing homes pump millions into campaigns while benefiting from favorable state policies.” It’s part of the “Louisiana Purchased” series on the influence of big campaign donations on our state’s politics.
Louisiana’s campaign finance system is legalized bribery: Robert Mann | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Mann says Gov. Bobby Jindal, despite his reformer rhetoric, is no different than his predecessors — he doles out appointments to those who contribute to his campaign. “Nothing will change until these officials believe that we are truly outraged by the scandal – indeed, the legalized bribery scheme – that is our campaign finance system.”
Louisiana should make it easier for public to know who gave to candidates: Editorial | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
The ethics administration’s database and the secretary of state’s database are separate. There is no way to cross-reference information electronically on those sites. You can print out an Excel sheet on a candidate’s contributions and then go to the secretary of state’s site to look up corporations.
That needs to change.
Crackdown on Quarter T-shirt shops yields some compliance, some delays | The Lens
A city-enforcement effort against T-shirt shops operating illegally in the French Quarter resulted in 17 shops being cited for non-compliance in recent months and being hauled before an administrative hearing officer this week.
Voices From The WWNO Listening Post: Charity Hospital | WWNO –WWNO’s “Listening Post” asked New Orleanians what should happen to the old Charity Hospital building. Audio was taken at Norman Mayer Library in Gentilly and HeadQuarters barbershop on Broad Street.
Murders down in New Orleans, not shootings | The New Orleans Advocate – A welcome but baffling trend: The homicide rate in New Orleans has dropped by 20 percent, but there hasn’t been a corresponding drop in the overall number of shootings. Many are puzzled by the divergence in the violent crime stats, since trends for shootings and homicides usually run parallel.
In the first half of both this year and last, precisely the same number of shooting victims — 251 — arrived at the trauma center at Interim LSU Hospital. But the outcomes were different: Doctors lost 30 percent fewer of their gunshot victims this year.
Others point to a laundry list of other possibilities: dumb luck, an unexplained bout of bad marksmanship, a shift in the types of guns available on the streets, changes in the way the New Orleans Police Department categorizes its crimes.
I have a hard time believing that dumb luck or suddenly poor marksmanship is the explanation. I hope the media continues to scrutinize this odd statistical variance.
Bearing the Unbearable: Cathy Rickmon and Martha Bullock | Uptown Messenger – New installments in a powerful, ongoing series of stories about local mothers who have lost children to gun violence. Linn James, Ann Dimes, and Margaret Washington are also profiled this week.
Common Core sparks delayed uproar | The Advocate – The new Common Core standards have been in the works for a while, so why is it only now that there is so much controversy, protest and outrage?
First and foremost, [Common Core] critics say, is the fact the overhaul is starting to show up in both public and Catholic schools’ homework assignments and all-important letter grades.
“It is a big shift because parents are starting to see it,” said Mary Kass, who lives in Gretna and opposes the new standards, which are called Common Core.
States Seek to Calm Districts’ Common-Core Jitters | Education Week
State education leaders are moving to calm political tempests over the Common Core State Standards by adopting or reaffirming policies aimed at asserting local control over data, curriculum, and materials. But the classroom-level impact of those moves could be negligible as states forge ahead on common-core implementation.
BP in fresh attempt to curb oil spill payouts | Financial Times – BP is arguing that claimants receiving payouts for reasons unrelated to the oil spill should allow BP to reconfigure their oil spill compensation agreement.
Should There be a Category 6 for Hurricanes? | Greg Laden’s Blog – After Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, smashed the central Philippines, some say that new categories should be added to the Saffir-Simpson storm scale. Laden points out that this is unnecessary, because Saffir-Simpson categories is not a measure of wind speed, as commonly believed. They are in fact categories of destructiveness.