Blighted building where Central City fire started has been source of complaints, residents say | NOLA.com/Times-Picayune
“We’ve been fighting to have these torn down for years,” said [the Rev. Martha] Orphe, who leads First Street Peck Wesley United Methodist Church. She pointed to a blue dilapidated house with boarded-up windows across the street from the scene of the fire. “This one’s going to either fall or burn too,” she said.
About a year ago, she said, residents were elated when the city tore down one blighted building at the corner of First and Daneel streets. But officials never came back to demolish the others on the block.
New Mardi Gras laws would keep all ladders six feet from the curb | Uptown Messenger – In addition to the standard distance for ladders, the proposed ordinances would keep intersections clear of “ladders, chairs, ice chests, chaise lounges, barbecue grills, and other similar personal effects.” Local blogger Jeffrey Bostick objected to news reports that the ordinances would also prohibit unwrapped toilet paper throws. This would seem to target the Krewe of Tucks which decorates St. Charles Avenue with streams of biodegradable toilet paper during its parade.
Transplant’s dream of urban farming imperiled by zoning, rising land prices | The Lens – A would-be farmer from Chicago worries that she has arrived too late to till New Orleans’ soils.
Planned Parenthood site Uptown still sits empty | FOX 8 WVUE – Eight months since the groundbreaking of the controversial facility on South Claiborne Avenue, yet “the lot still sits untouched.”
District ruling on state education package cites too many ‘objects’ as unconstitutional | The Advertiser
Steve Monaghan, president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, which filed the lawsuit, said “The judge basically affirmed what we said from the very beginning. Facts are facts.
“This was a sprawling piece of legislation that was duct-taped together,” he said. “It was hastily done, and we took it to court as we promised to do. As we said from day one, we came to court out of respect for the constitution.”
Administration urges restraint in using arrest or expulsion to discipline students | New York Times
The Obama administration issued guidelines on Wednesday that recommended public school officials use law enforcement only as a last resort for disciplining students, a response to a rise in zero-tolerance policies that have disproportionately increased the number of arrests, suspensions and expulsions of minority students for even minor, nonviolent offenses.
Barges back up near Louisiana canal on 90-year-old lock work – Bloomberg – The lock broke over the weekend causing dozens of vessels to back up this morning. Repairs won’t be finished until Jan. 17, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ New Orleans District spokesman Ricky Boyett.
“There will probably be a bit of an impact on Florida gasoline stocks and prices,” James Williams, president of energy consulting firm WTRG Economics, said by telephone from London, Arkansas. “It’s too soon to tell exactly how much of an impact that will be, but a week’s interruption, just a week, is going to put pressure on the system.”
Intensive review begins of Louisiana’s plans to rebuild ravaged coastal wetlands | NOLA.com/Times-Picayune – A panel of scientists and engineers will advise the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority about the impact and efficacy of freshwater diversion projects to rebuild the coast.
Why We’re Suing the Oil Companies | Metropolis Magazine – Author, Lens contributor and former Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East vice-chairman John Barry once again describes why oil and pipeline companies should be held responsible for the damage done to our receding coast.
Wetland contamination can be predicted in oil boom states, study finds | Los Angeles Times – Scientists have developed criteria to measure drilling byproducts, such as brine, which can be used to predict contamination risk of water sources and wetlands near drilling sites.
Killer gets new execution date, but state might not have lethal-injection drug then | The Lens –
A death-row inmate who has seen several execution dates come and go since he was convicted in 1993 of killing his stepson has a new date scheduled for early March – but the state may have trouble killing him.
That’s because lawyers and a state official indicate that the state has disposed of the lethal-injection drug because it was expired. The drug’s only manufacturer has said it will not sell current doses to officials who plan to use them for lethal injection.
Rift aired out between police monitor, inspector general | The Advocate – New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux believes his office has final say over reports released by Independent Police Monitor Susan Hutson. She disagrees, and relations between the two watchdogs has turned frosty.
Government & Politics
Two more lawmakers release Tulane University scholarship forms | The Advocate – The documents show that State Reps. Austin Badon, D-New Orleans, and Pat Connick, R-Marrero, “have not given a scholarship to any relative of a politician during the past four years.” The clerk of the state House of Representatives has refused requests to make the scholarship forms public, citing student privacy concerns.
Conservatives Say War on Poverty Failed | TIME
Rep. Steve Scalise, the current RSC [Republican Study Committee] Chair, said that all the government had to show for the 50 year War on Poverty was $15 trillion spent and 10 million more people in poverty.