A bill allowing hotels to vote to add an extra charge to their customers’ bills to pay for better marketing through the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau passed the Louisiana House on Wednesday, the last significant step before becoming law. The measure would also direct some funds from any fee that is assessed to the city of New Orleans; city officials have said the money would be spent on public safety and infrastructure in the French Quarter.

“The significance of the plastic novelty quacker devices deserves careful scrutiny. If there are twelve tours operating daily with an average of 25 passengers, that would mean that 300 quackers would be distributed daily, or as many as 2,100 each week.  As the tour’s operators anticipate an estimated 50,000 touring participants annually, anyone who remembers the noisy Krewe of Muses vuvuzela throw in 2011 should realize that this could become a significant and daily annoyance throughout New Orleans.”

“Temple Inland, which caused a major fish kill on the Pearl River in 2011 when it released pollutants from its Bogalusa paper mill, was ordered Wednesday to pay $3.3 million in criminal penalties, according to U.S. Attorney Dana Boente. U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle also sentenced the Austin, Texas, company, a subsidiary of International Paper, to two years probation.”

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...