People vs. pets? Plans for 11 city dog parks draw growls from some owners — The Lens | Dog parks are in vogue, but perhaps too much? “A casual Markey Park visitor might conclude that Bywater has prioritized dogs to a ridiculous level. The grassy off-leash area, with its mudpit, freshly dug holes, and scattered plastic chairs, takes up roughly two-thirds of the land.”
At Loyola New Orleans, it’s all about construction — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | A summary of the progress and three-year, $163 million building program at Loyola University, which highlights renovations to Monroe Hall “a 174,820-square-foot colossus that will gain two stories.”
Tulane officials lay out timeline for construction of stadium, new dorm and library addition — Uptown Messenger | Construction of Yulman Stadium and the new Zimple dormitory will be completed for the fall semester in 2014, according to school officials.
Jindal announces plans for nation’s largest methanol plant in St. James Parish — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | The $1.3 billion plant is expected to create over 60 new jobs paying an average salaries of $66,500 per year. The article informs us that “methanol is made from natural gas, which is in abundant supply here, and is used in products ranging from formaldehyde, to acrylic plastics to pesticides.” The CEO of South Louisiana Methanol is pleased:
You have a great place (in South Louisiana) for producing methanol and getting our methanol on the market. The natural gas, the workforce, the transportation pipeline, the business climate, the (political) leaders. There’s a lot of reasons we all came together.
Speckled trout, redfish will soon swim in Bayou St. John, biologist says — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | A fisheries biologist says the removal of an old water control gate will increase nutrient flow to the near-stagnant bayou, and revitalize its freshwater fish populations.
BP’s safety chief testifies that internal report did not probe management’s role in Gulf oil spill — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | In-depth recap of testimony from the BP oil spill trial.
Government & Politics
City unveils “one-stop shop” for permits — Gambit | After months of delays, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced “a website, a beta mobile app, and a physical office opening inside City Hall to function as a ‘One Stop Shop to improve and streamline the customer experience related to securing permits and licenses.’ The departments sharing the space include the City Planning Commission, Historic Districts Landmarks Commission, Safety & Permits and Vieux Carre Commission (VCC), and will be moved in ‘by the end of the week.'”
What Happened To The Aid Meant To Rebuild Haiti? — WWNO | It’s perilous to compare disasters but, sure enough, the NPR audio segment accompanying the article includes a comparison between Haiti’s slow recovery from a devastating earthquake to New Orleans’ recovery post-Katrina.
Plaquemines Parish President Nungesser confirms 2nd run for lieutenant governor — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Billy Nungesser is convinced Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne will run for governor, and he intends to start an early campaign for the No. 2 slot. (My take: the good news is that Nungesser is painfully aware of coastal loss and could perhaps bring more attention to the issue. One of many downsides, as stated in the article: “Federal investigators… have… subpoenaed records from Nungesser’s administration regarding $26.2 million in parish work contracted out to Phil Ramon of All South Consulting Engineers, whose relationship with the administration is unclear.”)
The battle of New Orleans — Columbia Journalism Review | An in-depth examination of the “radical” changes at The Times-Picayune taken place since May, initiated by new owner Advance Publications. Here’s a teaser:
Advance argues that it is taking a difficult but bold step into a digital future, in New Orleans and across the country. But its actions make more sense with a close look at the numbers, which suggest something other than its claim of “securing a vital future for our local journalism.”
Trend transitioning newspapers to online news hits the Northshore — wwltv.com | Community newspaper The St. Tammany News recently shut its doors, as more people find receive their news in digital format, rather than paper.
Convention Center funds eyed for higher ed — The Advocate | “Gov. Bobby Jindal wants to take $100 million from the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to help fund higher education in next year’s state budget.”
Early high school graduation program abandoned — Associated Press | “Plans to create a statewide program that would give college tuition grants to Louisiana students who graduate early from high school have been scrapped. … Superintendent of Education John White didn’t include the program in his proposal to BESE for next year’s school funding formula.”
What’s worth learning? — The Washington Post | A veteran educator takes a dim view of commercially produced textbooks and doesn’t believe they have much to do with educating students.
Mayor Landrieu and others put the squeeze on criminals in courtroom intervention | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | The Mayor teams up with Police Chief Ronal Serpas to speak tough truths to gang members.
“Modeled on the work of criminologist David Kennedy, a national authority on inner-city crime prevention, the call-ins are meant to put allegedly violent street gang members on notice, and place them in the front of the line for job training, housing assistance, drug treatment, G.E.D programs and other services. That is, if they choose to get in line.”
La. juvenile incarceration rates fall, report says — The Advocate | A report states that the 56 percent reduction in Louisiana’s youth incarceration rate between 1997-2010 represents “one of the most dramatic improvements in the country.”
Allan Katz and Danae Columbus: New Orleans on a roll, NOPD doing better in fight against crime — Uptown Messenger |
“There is something else that [GNO Inc. CEO Michael] Hecht has noticed, a view shared by Allan and Danae. The New Orleans Police Department has turned a corner in the fight against crime and, despite a paucity of numbers, is making a real dent in the volume of violent crime in New Orleans. … Hecht also shares the feeling we have that perhaps because he got off to a stumbling beginning, Police Chief Ronal Serpas and his colleagues have not gotten the kind of positive applause they deserve for their hard work.”