Zack Kopplin files suit against education superintendent | Associated Press – The young science-education activist has filed a public records lawsuit against state schools superintendent John White. Kopplin claims the state Department of Education failed to produce documents related to the school voucher program and the Louisiana Science Education Act, among other topics. The Cenlamar blog posted a copy of Kopplin’s pleading as well as an in-depth press release explaining the lawsuit.
Lawyers in LSU presidential records lawsuit will try to reach possible agreement by Monday | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – After $60,000 in fines and threats of jail time, LSU officials have apparently agreed to hand over requested documents from its search for a new president. However, they plan to allow the judge to view the records, instead of the media organizations that filed the lawsuit, so this case may escalate yet again.
Subterfuge reduced by requiring teacher knowledge exams | Between The Lines – LSU-Shreveport political scientist Jeffrey Sadow argues that the new COMPASS teacher evaluation system is only slightly less lenient than the previous one. He recommends enhancing evaluations with regular subject-area tests for teachers.
How to teach the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to young people | Washington Post – A compilation of age-appropriate, multi-disciplinary materials for discussing the events and ramifications of 9/11 in the classroom.
Levee body says suit against energy firms aims to enforce restoration clauses in state, federal permits | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Stephen Estopinal, the treasurer of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East says the board’s coastal erosion lawsuit against oil and gas companies only asks that the companies “abide by the terms of the permits and the regulations they agreed to when they were given permission to exploit our natural resources.”
Coastal Czar Garret Graves said he appreciates “the board members’ new-found love for our coast.” Graves added, “It would be great if they could use their next few months to focus on their actual job.”
Graves was referring to warnings from Jindal and legislators that the Legislature is likely to revamp rules governing the authority in its next session in response to the suit. The terms of authority vice chairman John Barry and two other authority members also have expired, and Jindal is expected to replace them with members more inclined to try to kill the suit.
DuBos: Levee board heads deserve to be reappointed | WWL-TV – In a video editorial, political analyst Clancy Dubos says:
A blue-ribbon panel will nominate potential members of the flood board later this month. They should re-nominate Tim Doody and John Barry — the president and vice president of the board, whose terms have expired. Both men have served well; they deserve to be reappointed.
At a minimum, the nominating committee should meet in public, discuss all applicants publicly, and give the public a chance to weigh in on these important appointments.
As execution looms, state says prisoner must show why expired drugs are bad | The Lens – The state continues to avoid the question of whether its lethal-injection drug has expired.
Filing gives peek into evidence prosecutors may present at Ray Nagin trial | The New Orleans Advocate – A new filing by prosecutors previews some of the evidence they’ll use in their upcoming corruption case against former Mayor Ray Nagin.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the financial records is that many are linked to David White, a restaurateur and former business partner of Nagin, and for many years his closest friend and confidant. White also served as the mayor’s campaign treasurer.
At least 15 of the accounts listed as evidence are linked to White, who has not been charged or implicated in the case. It’s not clear whether the long list points to a role for White in the case, or whether he is merely mentioned because he managed some of Nagin’s investments as well as his political war chest.
A little more background: As I noted in a previous opinion column, Nagin, White and John Georges— who recently purchased The Advocate newspaper— were former owners of the New Orleans Brass minor-league hockey team.
400-bed detention center planned for Louisiana | New Orleans CityBusiness
Although local law enforcement officials are moving away from housing detainees for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it appears a newly announced construction project will keep many of them in Louisiana.
The planned detainment facility is in Alexandria.
Government & Politics
Report says Jindals controversial economic policies, weak messaging has led to poor showing in the polls | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune –
Gov. Bobby Jindal‘s polling numbers might be higher if the Louisiana economy was stronger or, absent that, his communication skills were sharper — especially when it comes to economic policy, according to a report in Governing Magazine.
Hazard mitigation program ending, missed out on helping thousands more | WWL-TV – “Years of graft and abuse in Louisiana’s home elevation grant program swelled costs and dissuaded further federal largess, likely keeping another 10,000 eligible homeowners from getting help, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s mitigation chief says.”
Big Victory In Effort To Curb Libel Tourism | Forbes – Gulf Coast investigative blogger Doug Handshoe, publisher of the widely-followed Slabbed web site, wins an important free speech case.
Officials break ground on new Walmart in Gentilly | FOX 8 WVUE – Residents celebrate the redevelopment of a shopping mall that has been blighted since Hurricane Katrina. Mayor Mitch Landrieu envisions the future Wal-Mart in Gentilly Woods as “a glorious space.”
S. Carrollton Ave. construction slated to be finished when Costco opens this month | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – In other big box store news, officials say the street construction on Carrollton— which currently results in near-constant traffic bottlenecks— will be complete by the time Costco opens on Sept. 21.