Facing Fire Over Challenge to Louisiana’s Oil Industry | The New York Times – Coastal czar Garret Graves claims the local flood authority’s coastal-erosion lawsuit against oil and gas companies throws a wrench into the state’s strategy to obtain funds for the Master Plan to restore the coast.
Plaquemines Parish proposed coal terminal to get coastal-use permit from state | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune –
At the public hearings earlier this month, national and local environmental groups, residents and some local elected officials worried that the coal facility would bring pollution to neighboring communities and would harm coastal restoration efforts.
For more, read The Lens’ 2012 in-depth report on the planned coal facility.
Levee Board Takes On Oil Industry Over Damage To Delta | WWNO — When networks of canals were dredged to accommodate oil and gas drilling, there was little regard for wetland ecosystems.
A cozy relationship between regulators and activists: James Varney | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune –
Many top guns at the EPA have resumes dotted with work for activist environmental groups. The revolving door between the EPA and often more combative greens has led to what Sen. David Vitter, R-La., calls a “sue and settle” tactic, in which the EPA and the environmental outfits get a court’s imprimatur on an arrangement they sought privately beforehand.
Government & Politics
La. lawmakers say Obama is right to ask congressional OK before ordering military action in Syria | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Rare bipartisan praise for the president from Louisiana’s congressional delegation.
Zurik: $85,000 for an empty lot? Treasurer demands answers | FOX 8 WVUE – “Five years ago, the Legislature voted to give state money to a non-profit, formerly called Basic of Louisiana, to fix up their building. An empty lot is all that’s left of that investment. ‘They asked the legislature for $85,000 to fix a building that was damaged by Katrina,’ [state Treasurer]Kennedy tells us. ‘Basic said it was in the business of educating New Orleans citizens about drug and alcohol abuse.’ “
Stephanie Grace: Independence at stake in appointments | The New Orleans Advocate
If the governor does move to replace [flood authority members] Barry and Doody with nominees who don’t support the suit, it would fit what’s become something of an administration m.o. As Jindal watchers have been noting for some time now, he’s really not a big fan of the whole independence thing.
Agreement reached on monitor to oversee Orleans Parish Prison consent decree | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Sheriff Marlin Gusman has agreed with Mayor Mitch Landrieu on an oversight team that will report to U.S. District Judge Lance Africk on jail reform efforts.
Deputy smuggled heroin into OPP, records show | WWL-TV – Prison activist Norris Henderson said that low wages push some guards into illegal activity to increase their incomes. “According to police reports in more than a dozen earlier contraband cases, the going rate to smuggle illegal goods into the prison ranges from $100 to $400 per shipment. Several deputies have been convicted on contraband charges over the past five years.”
Owen Courreges: The sidewalks belong to everyone, even the “hobbits” and trolls | Uptown Messenger – That former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten lost his temper in a confrontation with gonzo provocateur James O’Keefe “isn’t much of a story,” according to Courreges. But he contends that Letten was wrong to accuse O’Keefe of trespassing. ” … The sidewalk along Freret Street is, like all other sidewalks adjoining public streets, public property,” Courreges writes.
New Orleans Rolling in Cash Sees Rebirth: Real Estate | Bloomberg – Real estate investors claim there has been a sea change in the willingness of institutional lenders to fund construction and development projects in New Orleans.
Banksy fifth anniversary tour recalls 2008 New Orleans visit | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Few works by world famous street artist Banksy are still visible, though they were never intended to be permanent.
Habana Outpost Owner Speaks Out | NOLA DEFENDER – Sean Meenan talks about the seemingly endlessly opposition to his plan to turn a blighted gas station at the edge of the French Quarter into a Cuban restaurant.
New Orleans’ summer of school change: Where did the students go? | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The centralized OneApp enrollment system allows tracking of students who were affected by schools that merged, closed or converted to charters this year. An excellent chart accompanies the article.
School districts challenge DOE ‘bonus’ policy | The News Star –
State Superintendent John White said Thursday a bonus system designed to reward schools for focusing on low-achieving students has improved scores, but many educators question whether schools will receive the credit they’ve earned.
First-grade teacher dives into Common Core with cautious optimism | Hechinger Report
The new [Common Core] standards have ignited political battles about the role of the federal government in public education, America’s international competitiveness, and the amount of time and money spent on standardized testing. But in classrooms across Louisiana and dozens of other states, the response has been more pragmatic than ideological as teachers — some optimistic and others resigned — work to align their approach to the new standards: adding more non-fiction texts to syllabi, for instance, and adjusting the way fractions are taught to emphasize that they are actually numbers of varying sizes (and not just pieces of pizza).