LSP: Hammond man killed in plant explosion — The Advocate | The massive explosion at a chemical plant in Geismar, which killed one man and injured 77, is still unexplained.
As authorities investigated the cause of the blast, Gov. Bobby Jindal said the plant would be held accountable if found responsible for the fire.
“We don’t have a theory yet about what happened,” Jindal said at an afternoon news conference near the site. “There will be further investigation afterward to determine what happened and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Geismar disaster: examining the chemicals – FOX 8 WVUE | A Tulane toxicologist explains ethylene and propylene, the base ingredients for plastics. When in gaseous form, they are highly flammable.
New York City Could Look Like New Orleans, Due to Flood Protection — Scientific American | The flood protection plan proposed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was heavily influenced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to the article. Thus, many of the recommendations to protect the city from storms and rising seas are similar to the levees and floodgate systems in New Orleans.
Government & Politics
Some Louisiana members deeply concerned about government’s surveillance program — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | “Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, said he has ‘significant concern’ that the government would possess a massive database of the logs of nearly every domestic phone call made by Americans, as well as information from major U.S. internet companies such as Google.” This basic story has been around for several years, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important, or that attention (if not furor) is undue.
D.C.-based groups bombarded state high court races with ads — The Center for Public Integrity | The Center for Public Integrity finds that national political groups were active in seven of 10 races it studied. “Seventy-five percent of the outside money could be traced to the long-running battle between trial lawyers and business interests. Trial lawyers helped carry the day in Florida, Louisiana and Oklahoma, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it was successful in North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio and Mississippi. “
New Orleans must hold leaders accountable for violence prevention programs — The Lens | Still in University Hospital, but out of intensive care, Deb Cotton reflects on her ordeal after being shot at a second-line on Mother’s Day. She emphasizes that the young man accused of the shooting “is all our young men. He’s us.”
Multi-Agency Gang Unit investigation nets sweeping indictment of twenty defendants — City of New Orleans | The Orleans Parish District Attorney has obtained a 30-count racketeering indictment against members of the 3-N-G gang.
Allan Katz and Danae Columbus: Is it time for a female sheriff of Orleans Parish? — Uptown Messenger | Katz and Columbus argue that history could be made if Councilwoman Stacy Head or juvenile justice advocate Dana Kaplan ran against Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman.
Louisiana Student Vouchers: Private Schools Get an “F” By the Program’s Own Standard — Policy Mic | If Louisiana voucher students were in their own school district, according to the article, the district would rank “70th out of 73 throughout Louisiana. “
Disappointing science standards — Thomas Fordham Institute | Color me surprised. The Fordham Institute rates Louisiana’s science standards as superior to the Next Generation Science Standards adopted that are being adopted in other states. (I may have to rethink my snarky tweet earlier this week.)
Everything you need to know about the student loan rate hike — The Washington Post | Rates on some student loans are set to double if Congress doesn’t act soon.
Richard Campanella: New Orleans history shows its culture can be reinvigorated by new influences — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Geographer Campanella elaborates on the progress versus culture debate.
Could the Algiers-Canal ferry become New Orleans’ newest party boat? — The Lens
“One of the great things about New Orleans is our ability to turn anything functional into a fun time,” said Grant Morris, the ItsNewOrleans.com radio host who came up with the “Buy the Algiers Ferry” scheme. “There’s no reason why the ferry can’t be turned into a self-sustaining project. Besides, who wouldn’t want to have a cocktail?” he added.
Housing receivership to cure nuisance properties — Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space | Blogger Richard Layman looks at methods used in other cities to spur renovation of blighted property.