Convention Center seeks approval to finance private developments in riverfront overhaul — The Lens | How does a private hotel, restaurants and retail stores at the foot of Canal St. sound? That’s what officials at the Convention Center have in mind, and they want bonds to fund the redevelopment in advance of the city’s tricentennial in 2018.
City unveils competing proposals to redevelop World Trade Center site — The Lens | Lens readers already previewed the proposal that would demolish the World Trade Center and build an iconic sculpture in its place. Click the story link to see the other ideas.
Hotels want new tax on guests to promote expected riverfront development — The Lens | If you redevelop the riverfront, you want tourists to know about it. The marketing program would be funded by a an extra 1.5 percent charge on hotel rooms and would generate approximately $12 million per year, according to city tourism officials.
Archie Bunker episode guide — Library Chronicles | Is the political spat over Orleans Parish Prison and the federal consent decree to reform it best understood as a situation comedy? Blogger Jeffrey writes that Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman are making “equally absurd yet opposite” arguments.
Meet the police monitors — Gambit | An in-depth look at the strengths and weaknesses of the firms vying for the roughly $7 million contract to monitor the New Orleans Police Department’s compliance with federally-mandated reforms.
Report: Most Inmates In Mississippi Private Prisons Are 2 To 3 Times More Likely To Be Assaulted — ThinkProgress | Violence and safety concerns continue to plague a Mississippi juvenile detention center run by a for-profit management company.
Society of Professional Journalists — Sigma Delta Chi Awards | Our congratulations to Michael DeMocker of NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune, whose unforgettable photograph, “Death at a Birthday Party,” won the 2012 Sigma Delta Chi award for breaking news photography.
Xavier University Prep to reopen next year as St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory High School — Uptown Messenger | Great news:
Nearly a century after its founding, Xavier University Prep will be reborn this fall with the name of its founder as St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory High School, a group of alumni who have agreed to purchase the building announced to a cheering auditorium Monday evening.
Former employee investigated for stealing $31,000 from charter school once charged with theft from Terrebone school — The Lens | Not so great news:
The man police are investigating for theft and fraud involving $31,000 in school funds has been accused of taking public education dollars before. Darrell K. Sims, 54, a former business manager at New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy in Algiers, was accused of misappropriating $1,642 from the Terrebonne Parish School Board in 1996-97.
Three years later, coastal communities still struggling with impacts of oil spill — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | There’s been no shortage of retrospectives on the recovery (or lack thereof) three years after the Deepwater/Horizon explosion and Macondo oil leak. But this op-ed by Telley Madina, Coastal Communities Program Officer for Oxfam America in New Orleans, contains some very strong claims. “This oil spill may have permanently broken the relationship between people in coastal communities and the environment and extinguished a culture and a way of life,” Madina writes.
States turn against renewable energy as natural gas price plunges — Fuel Fix | The natural gas revolution spawned by hydraulic “fracking” technologies complicates the development of renewables. “More than half the U.S. states with laws requiring utilities to buy renewable energy are considering ways to pare back those mandates after a plunge in natural gas prices brought on by technology that boosted supply.”
Super Bowl goes green in New Orleans – PRWeek US | The Super Bowl XLVII Geaux Green program is estimated to have offset 48 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. So, did New Orleans host the “greenest Super Bowl ever?” I would also observe that unlike other cities, New Orleans’ main sporting venues is within walking distance of hotels and entertainment.
Government & Politics
Everything you need to know about the Senate’s online sales-tax bill — The Washington Post |
The Marketplace Fairness Act, as it’s called, would allow states and local governments to require large Internet retailers and other ‘remote sellers’ with sales over $1 million annually to collect sales taxes and send the revenue to the appropriate location. But this wouldn’t be automatic. The states would first have to pay for software that makes collection easier. States and localities would also need to simplify their tax system to make things easier for retailers — they’d have to have a single tax agency, a single tax return, and a single audit before they could require online retailers to collect.
A less-discussed feature of Gov. Bobby Jindal original tax plan included centralization of revenue collection, that would set up the state to reap the benefits of the Market Fairness Act, which is expected to win approval in the U.S. Senate.
Brownback’s fight for sales tax plan isn’t over – KansasCity.com | Like Jindal, governors have had their tax swap plans rejected. I’d have to agree with this analyst’s comment: “‘The speed with which these plans have fallen apart is as remarkable a trend as the speed with which they emerged,’ said Matt Gardner, executive director of the liberal-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.”
The Discovery Institute: Bobby Jindal Doesn’t Understand ‘Creationism’ or the Law — CenLamar | Blogger Lamar White reviews Jindal’s revealing admission that he thinks local school boards should be allowed to have creationism taught in science classes. Jindal’s comment puts supporters of the Louisiana Science Education Act in a pickle, because they have maintained that the law does not entail creationist instruction. More at The Sensuous Curmudgeon blog.