Lacking jail budget documents, judge delays consent decree hearing — The Lens | Monday’s hearing was supposed to be the first step to determine who would pay for jail reforms. The city asked for the delay because Sheriff Marlin Gusman refused to provide budget documents, according to the court filing. Judge Lance Africk also wanted to know why the jail now under construction lacks facilities required in the consent decree, including an infirmary and protected space to house potential suicides, mentally ill inmates and youthful offenders being tried as adults.
Death row inmates sue Angola Prison over ‘extreme’ temperatures — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | The lawsuit claims poor ventilation and scorching summer temperatures present extreme danger to inmates. Reaction in the comment section is not overwhelmingly sympathetic.
The Ankle Monitor Strategy — Gambit | Former Gambit reporter Charles Maldonado, now with The Lens, describes the ankle-monitoring program, and even tries one on for size.
Government & Politics
French Market narrows director search to 4, refuses to provide additional information — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | “The French Market Corp. met Monday to interview four people chosen as finalists for its executive director position, but it refused to provide the public with any information beyond the candidates’ names.” The story describes ignored public records requests, and doesn’t reveal if the French Market Corp., a public agency, specified a reason for their closed executive session that comforms with the state’s Open Meetings law.
Political Horizons: Jindal won, but only by a bit — The Advocate | Columnist Mark Ballard argues that the recent legislative session was not the defeat for Gov. Bobby Jindal that many have assumed it to be. However, his wins were mostly defensive. Ballard identifies a key reason for the lackluster performance:
One difference is Scott Angelle, who learned his politics on the parish level in the rough and tumble police jury world of Acadiana. He once led the effort to turn wavering legislators towards Jindal.
Angelle has since joined the state Public Service Commission. He was replaced on the governor’s influence squad by young, pretty people from other states who learned about the Louisiana north of the Bonnet Carré when they arrived from some GOP campaign organization or national conservative advocacy group.
Louisiana legislators, other elected officials need to come to terms with legalizing pot — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Paul Armentano, the deputy director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, argues that the criminalization of marijuana “doesn’t work,” and that the public is ready to discuss legalization. His op-ed follows State Rep. Austin Badon’s failed attempt to reduce penalties for marijuana possession in Louisiana.
Tax credit bill tailor-made for New Orleans’ South Market District signed by Bobby Jindal — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | It’s jarring to read about a 30-year old program focusing on the revitalization of “disadvantaged areas,” juxtaposed with plans to build hundreds of luxury apartments in the CBD.
Still no deal on Jefferson Performing Arts Center, with default vote looming — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | As a contractor nears default, Jefferson Parish wants a global agreement to contain future costs for the center. This is why: “Construction of the project began in 2007 and was supposed to take two years and cost $26 million. It’s now four years late and the cost has risen to $44 million.”
Rockefeller Foundation offers up $100 million to build greater resilience in 100 cities — Land Use Prof Blog | From the Rockefeller Foundation’s announcement: “As natural and man-made shocks and stresses grow in frequency, impact and scale, with the ability to ripple across systems and geographies, cities are largely unprepared to respond to, withstand, and bounce back from disasters.”
BP oil spill cleanup ending in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, Coast Guard and BP say — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Three years after the BP oil spill disaster, the Coast Guard concludes active cleanup efforts along the Alabama, Florida and Mississippi coastlines.
The Louisiana Coast: Last Call — WWNO | For coastal restoration to become a “kitchen table issue” it must first become a political issue, according to a sociologist at Tulane University.
Sulfur emissions from Exxon Mobil leak cause environmentalists concern — The Louisiana Weekly |
There’s no denying that Exxon Mobil’s Baton Rouge refinery is one of the largest and most troubled in the nation, with supposedly the highest accident rate in Louisiana – no small feat in the 107-mile stretch of 156 industrial refineries between Baton Rouge and New Orleans referred to often as “Cancer Alley.”
La. colleges hit roadblocks in legislative session – Associated Press | Higher education leaders in Louisiana had numerous goals for the legislative session, and saw little success.
Louisiana Legislators Destroy Universities — Talk About the South: Dayne Sherman’s Blog | Sherman is pessimistic about the future of higher education in Louisiana:
Louisiana higher education will have the least attractive benefits package in North America. I challenge any person to find a more paltry retirement plan at any legitimate university in the United States or Canada. This legislative failure will grossly limit recruitment of new faculty. Simply put, men and women with any intelligence will find another place to work — a place outside of the Bayou State.