For instance, in New Orleans where crime, unemployment, poverty and limited educational opportunities burden too many residents, heart disease mortality in the poorest zip code in the city is almost five times higher than the next highest rate in the city. Overall life expectancy for New Orleanians varies by as much as 25 years depending on the zip code.

Richard Campanella, an urban geographer with Tulane University, said the gated communities of a quarter-century ago now find themselves at odds with the current trends in residential development: city living, “authenticity” and character, walkable urban communities and no commutes.

Gated communities, he said, “are increasingly viewed as distant and estranged from the social and urban fabric, dependent on automobiles and designed more to keep the rest of society out than to embrace and engage it. Plenty of Americans still seek that residential lifestyle, but more and more — including their own children — want the exact opposite.”

Judge Engelhardt is right that the online comments were egregious, unjustifiable, unprofessional abuses of authority on the part of the lawyers. …

However, his conclusion that the online postings created a “prejudicial, poisonous atmosphere” that justified throwing out the convictions is a huge stretch. By that logic, overturning the convictions might also be justified by the TV show “Treme,” which began airing on HBO 14 months before the officers’ trial and depicts the New Orleans police as corrupt, brutal and violent. It’s a safe bet that more New Orleanians have seen “Treme” than the prosecutors’ online postings.

Calling it a “tragedy,” Board Chairman Cornelius Tilton said the state doesn’t provide enough money for the city’s preschool programs — despite overwhelming evidence that students who attend those programs are more likely to do better in subsequent school years than those who don’t.

Mark Moseley

Mark Moseley blogs at Your Right Hand Thief. Until mid 2014, Mark Moseley was The Lens' opinion writer, engagement specialist and coordinator for the Charter Schools Reporting Corps. After Katrina and...