Orleans sheriff spends lavishly on pest control at jail — The Advocate | Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s office spent “nearly $600,000 on pest control at the city’s jail since 2010 — more than 43 times what Jefferson Parish paid to keep its jail pest-free over that same span. Gusman claims that it is unfair to compare Orleans Parish Prison to jails in other parishes. The owner of the exterminating company that received the contract is “a close friend of John Sens, the former purchasing director for the sheriff who was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison for orchestrating a bid-rigging and kickback scheme with contractors working at the jail.”
Panel of mayors looks for solutions to violence in cities — The Advocate | The article notes that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed added 800 police officers since 2010, which “helped drive its annual murder rate down to 83 in 2012, the lowest death toll from violence since 1969, he said.” Reed stressed that new recreation centers also factored into the reduction of violent crime, as they offered Atlanta youth options other than life on the street.
When You Fudge Your Crime Numbers, You’re Hurting Your Department — The Crime Analyst’s Blog | Crime analyst Scott Dickson is frustrated by a report about lax policies to prevent manipulated crime stats in the New York Police Department. Fudged numbers are a fool’s errand, he contends, since the “temporary pat on the back for driving crime down in your district” will be short-lived, and it will hinder efforts to figure out if crime-reduction strategies are working.
Government & Politics
Drivers for City Council are needed, members say — The Advocate | Despite the city’s tight budget, seven sheriff’s deputies continue to drive City Council members to and from appointments at a yearly cost of $420,000.
Bobby Jindal and David Vitter’s Feud — New Republic | This article is receiving a lot of attention as it divides Republicans in the state into Team Jindal and Team Vitter. I would point to Jeremy Alford’s 2011 article in Gambit, which includes “Team Dardenne” as a more sophisticated assessment of the political landscape.
Political Horizons: Unpopularity hurts Jindal — The Advocate | Mark Ballard claims in an opinion piece that some of Jindal’s top conservative supporters are tired of his attention on national political affairs rather than state budget issues.
Charity Hospital one of five proposals Landrieu considered for City Hall, Civil Court — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
Why the Lowest Income Families Might Care the Most About Their Neighborhoods — The Atlantic Cities | Results from a new study show an unexpected correlation between lower income levels and “community care.” The reason: “People with the lowest income are stuck with the communities they have. Their higher-income neighbors have more mobility and may simply be biding their time until they move on.” One caveat: The study had a small sample size.
LSU researchers build historical architecture app — The Advocate
The planned website and app are part of an ongoing project by two LSU researchers who are tapping into surveys, archival materials, antique maps, aerial photographs and other tools to weave an architectural history of the New Marigny, Esplanade, Mid-City and Holy Cross historical districts. Parts of the Broadmoor and Carrollton neighborhoods are also being studied. The project will cover from 1800 until 1940.
Proposed pipeline will connect Ohio’s well fields to Louisiana – Akron Beacon Journal | “Two energy infrastructure companies are proceeding with a 1,153-mile pipeline project that will deliver natural gas liquids from rapidly developing Utica and Marcellus shales in Ohio and surrounding states to the Gulf of Mexico for processing and possible export.” This is the first I’ve heard about this project, though I think it’s inevitable that the shale revolution will increasingly link production areas to processing facilities. (Via Greater Baton Rouge Business Report)
FEMA Flood Maps Fodder for Public Comment — NOLA DEFENDER | FEMA and Orleans Parish officials are inviting homeowners, renters and business owners in Orleans Parish to offer feedback on the agency’s new preliminary flood maps for the city. The article has links to the FEMA’s interactive flood maps.
Are High Schools Improving? — Educate Now! | In New Orleans, “the percent of students proficient (scoring Excellent or Good) increased – and at a faster rate than the state.”
Where is state voucher money actually going?: Robert Mann — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Robert Mann’s piece against the state’s voucher program. Times-Picayune columnist James Varney defends the program.
Correction: This post originally stated that a liquefied natural gas pipeline was being planned from Ohio to Louisiana; it’s a natural gas liquids pipeline. (July 8, 2013)