Flood Authority, suit against oil companies safe from political meddling — for now | The Lens – It appears that Gov. Bobby Jindal can’t mess with appointments to Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East at least until the next legislative session.
Climate change softens up already-vulnerable Louisiana | USA TODAY – An impressive, in-depth, multi-media report on the central issues facing the Louisiana coast, including sea level rise, subsidence, restoration methods, costs, and chances for long-term success.
Hurricane Isaac oil and chemical releases examined by environmental groups | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – A consortium of environmental groups asks for closer monitoring of petrochemical facilities so that potential vulnerabilities can be fixed before storm events.
Owner of St. Claude property that caught fire has history of neglect | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune –
An illegal rental property owned by landlord Fred Morgan went up in flames Tuesday morning, leaving at least 10 people homeless. … NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reported on the dangerous conditions at Urquhart Street and two other Morgan properties in May, detailing a number of fire code violations including the use of extension cords and power strips to carry electricity from a neighboring home.
Florida housing complex redevelopment kicks off Wednesday | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
The $14 million project, funded by the Housing Authority of New Orleans and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will include 51 affordable-housing units and a management office in 26 duplex structures. …
Former tenants of the Florida development are given first option to rent the units.
The 26 buildings are scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2014. The developer is the local firm Parkcrest Builders.
Retracing the roots of the World Trade Center | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – NolaVie columnist Keith Marshall recounts the history of the World Trade Center and argues that the building should be renovated and saved.
Despite claims of being broke, New Orleans has unused FEMA funds for prison, court is told | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Though Mayor Mitch Landrieu claims the city’s budget is too tight to pay for jail improvements mandated by a federal consent decree, “a federal official testified on Tuesday that the city has about $50 million available to rebuild jail buildings destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.”
Cain testifies he tried to cool down Death Row | The Advocate – Angola Warden Burl Cain testified that recently installed awnings and soaked walls were sincere efforts to cool down Death Row buildings, not just doctor high heat-index readings.
“We messed up,” Cain told Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson in Baton Rouge. “Our intentions were good.”
Jackson told Cain he was frustrated by the actions, all of which took place after the judge ordered heat index measurements be taken for three weeks leading up to the trial that began Monday.
“You waited until my order was in place to erect these things,” Jackson told Cain. “We may have some further proceedings at a later date.”
Former juvenile delinquent: There but for the grace of God—and white skin … | The Lens – Room 220 Editor Nathan Martin wonders what would have happened if the teenager shot in a Marigny resident’s driveway were white?
Government & Politics
A lack of candidates in Louisiana is endangering Democrats: John Maginnis | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Maginnis observes: “It is not the outreach of Republican congressmen that is winning them black support in Louisiana, but that Democrats of late largely have given up competing in statewide and congressional elections.”
The best of Greg Peters’ “Suspect Device” | Blog of New Orleans – A compilation of select Suspect Device political comic strips, which ran in Gambit from 1998 to 2010. For my money, the Suspect Device strip is still unsurpassed in style and substance. Peters died on August 2 at the age of 50.
Watershed Moment | Educate Now! – “This year, only 9 New Orleans schools are failing. This low number is truly a cause for celebration and reflects the past 7 years of stellar growth. … New Orleans’ system of schools is among the most improved school districts in the nation, but we still have a long way to go in providing every child with a seat in a high quality school. A key milestone in this journey is to no longer have failing schools.”
By the Company It Keeps: Neerav Kingsland | Thomas Fordham Institute – Fordham Institute fellow Andy Smarick is extremely impressed with the reform philosophy of Kingsland, who is the CEO of New Schools for New Orleans. According to the New Schools for New Orleans web site, “NSNO has supported the launch or expansion of 28 schools, nearly 25 percent of New Orleans open-enrollment public charter schools.”