Attorney says criminal court process can be manipulated — WWLTV | Defense attorney Steve Singer has challenged how cases are assigned to trial judges at New Orleans Criminal Court. “Singer argued that prosecutors tried to steer the case away from two judges viewed as tougher on the prosecution.”
Sheriff’s ex-staffer pleads guilty — The Advocate
“A former contractor for Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s office is the latest to plead guilty in federal court to a bid-rigging and kickback scheme that involved higher-ups in the sheriff’s administration. Richard P. Molenaar III, who worked briefly as a $15-per-hour maintenance man for the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office before Hurricane Katrina, admitted Wednesday to submitting phony bids for various maintenance and construction work.”
Twenty(something) Questions: I’d rather get mugged — NolaVie | Joey Albanese talks about a soft “mugging” he experienced that might be better described as a fairly straightforward hustle.
Algiers ferry service to be slashed less than feared; Gretna service scuttled — The Lens | A reprieve for the Algiers ferry but the Gretna service is being deep-sixed.
Near Miss program — FOX 8 WVUE | Lens co-founder and staff writer Karen Gadbois discusses her story on the Near Miss program, which has resulted in “a kind of creeping intrusion of businesses into residential neighborhoods.”
Common Sound — NOLA DEFENDER | “For the past year, a group of neighborhood associations have been meeting to develop recommendations for changes to the citywide sound ordinance. On Tuesday, the group, made up of representatives from 13 neighborhood associations, publicly released seven points to fix the already-existing ordinance. “
BP, Coast Guard criticized for trying to downgrade oil spill clean-up efforts — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune
“The state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority used its monthly meeting in Baton Rouge on Wednesday as a bully pulpit to criticize BP and the U.S. Coast Guard for their attempts to downgrade the continued clean-up of oiled wetlands and shoreline areas in Louisiana, in the wake of the 2010 Gulf oil spill triggered by the fatal explosion on the Macondo well.
The authority also criticized the Army Corps of Engineers for the agency’s attempts to turn over to state control completed segments of the post-Katrina New Orleans area levee system before the entire East and West Bank system is determined to be complete.”
After West explosion, Texas may compile public database of hazardous chemical sites – The Dallas Morning News | “The state plans to compile a registry of businesses with dangerous chemicals so citizens can learn about hazards like the fertilizer plant in West, where a fire triggered a massive blast of ammonium nitrate.”
Government & Politics
Bobby Jindal Is Confused About Tom Friedman and Economics – The Atlantic | Matthew O’Brien looks at a soon-to-be-infamous paragraph from Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent op-ed in Politico, and observes: “There are so many straw-men here that just reading it is probably a fire hazard.” Upon examination, the simplistic jabs Jindal throws at “the left” boomerang back at him, and reveal economic illiteracy, in O’Brien’s view. But what about Jindal’s weird claim that the left believes “the earth is flat”? O’Brien offers his best guess:
“Maybe the most puzzling part of Jindal’s op-ed is his casual reference to Democrats as flat-earthers. Now, in all likelikhood he meant it rhetorically — he had to, right? — but maybe, just maybe, he thinks Tom Friedman’s 2005 bestseller “The World Is Flat” is supposed to be taken literally? (And that liberals like Tom Friedman?). Well, in case he does, here’s a spoiler: it’s not. As any cabbie from here to Shanghai could tell you, it’s supposed to be a metaphor for how hyper-connected and hyper-competitive and hyper-everything else the global economy has become.
MSNBC bringing health care to the uninsured in Louisiana — MSNBC | In a move apparently calculated to highlight Gov. Bobby Jindal’s opposition to Medicare expansion, MSNBC is offering a free clinic in New Orleans on July 3 at the Ernest N.Morial Convention Center. It’s offered in partnership with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. “Uninsured men and women can stop by the clinic to receive preventive primary medical care–for free,” MSNBC said.
White: Teacher evaluations need consistent rigor — The Advocate | Superintendent of Education John White claims that teacher evaluations — based on test scores and classroom observations — are still too relaxed, in part because school principals perform them.
Elaine Weiss: Another Casualty of Excessive Testing: Great Teachers — Huff Post Politics | “Across the country, strong teachers are sacrificing their jobs — their life’s work — to protect themselves and their students from reforms gone terribly wrong.” (Via @NoItsJustMe)