State won’t release execution methods even though judge rejected concerns — The Lens | The state Department of Public Safety and Corrections won’t publicly release records of its procedures for executions, even after a judge rejected the department’s rationale for keeping them sealed.
Orleans DA slams new discovery law —The Advocate | Louisiana Legislative Act 250, recently signed by Gov. Jindal, requires prosecutors to turn over all witness statements to defendants before trial. The law was meant to rein in wrongful convictions resulting from so-called Brady violations, historically a problem in Orleans Parish. But District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro says it will put witnesses at risk of retaliation, another problem in Orleans Parish.
NOPD Taser case tests difference between lying and faulty memory — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
With the growing proliferation of video cameras — including those inside police cars and on Tasers, as well as surveillance systems and cell phones — police departments around the country are grappling with the issue of what to do when cops’ memories differ from what the cameras show. The human brain perceives and stores information differently during high-stress incidents, experts say, so videos often show things that police officers don’t recall from their own experience.
Warming oceans make parts of world ‘uninsurable,’ say insurers — The Financial Times (Registration required) | The Geneva Association, an international insurance industry trade group, released a report last week warning that parts of the world, including Florida, are facing a “risk environment that is uninsurable” due to extreme weather events caused by global warming.
Taylor Energy oil platform, destroyed in 2004 during Hurricane Ivan, is still leaking in Gulf — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
“People all around the world, and even most people here in Louisiana, saw the BP oil disaster as an unacceptable, reckless event,” said Marylee Orr, executive director of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network. “Here we have a domestic energy company that has had crude oil leaking continuously from their wells for nine years and with no apparent consequences from the government.”
New Living Word tossed from voucher program —The News-Star | The News-Star in Monroe has been on the New Living Word story since last year, when it reported that the little-known, poorly equipped religious school had been approved for 315 slots — more than any other school — in the state’s new voucher program. Its allotment was reduced to 150 after the report. An entire school year later, state education Superintendent John White has pulled the school from the program for overcharging the state by $4,500 per student, according to an audit. Read the paper’s accompanying editorial: “It was obvious more than a year ago that the voucher program launched was rushed without adequate review of the participants.”
Lycée CEO choice signs contract and will begin work immediately — The Lens | Keith Bartlett starts his new job as head of the troubled charter school today. The school has been searching for a CEO since November.
Government & Politics
Analysis: Too soon to call Louisiana Gov. Jindal a ‘lame duck’ — The Associated Press | The AP’s Melinda Deslatte doesn’t think lawmakers will follow through on promises to undo the governor’s recent vetoes: “Legislators continue to regularly cede their authority to Jindal, following tradition in a state where a governor historically has had a heavy hand in setting the agenda, deciding spending and crafting policy.”
Ferry hours cut as funding dries up —The Advocate
Starting Monday, the hours of the ferry route will be cut by almost 40 percent, with late night and early morning trips sacrificed to stretch the system’s limited funding until a long-term solution takes shape. In a process that started last year, the boats have been cut off of the Crescent City Connection tolls that almost completely paid for the routes.
RFP Committee Meeting: Redevelopment of the World Trade Center Site — City of New Orleans Calendar | The selection committee charged with choosing one of three plans to redevelop the site will meet Tuesday at New Orleans City Hall. Two of the respondents, James H. Burch LLC and Gatehouse Capital, want to keep the building intact. A third, the Tricentennial Consortium, wants to tear it down and build a Very Large Thing (my term; they call it the Tricentennial Tower). Kermit Ruffins has already made his choice, The Times-Picayune reports. We’ve posted the three proposals for your reading pleasure.
London. Tokyo. Athens. Tulsa? – The New York Times | Meet Neil Mavis, the man in charge of Tulsa, Okla.’s 2024 Olympic bid. He’s optimistic, in spite of the price tag:
International Olympic officials require a host city to have a minimum of 45,000 hotel rooms. Tulsa has about 15,000. And the estimated price tag, which will almost certainly top $5 billion, is equivalent to more than half the state budget.