The Big Oil lawsuit and wetlands war | Gambit — An in-depth piece by Gambit Political Editor Clancy Dubos on the historic lawsuit filed by the local flood authority against the oil and gas industry. “If the case is removed to federal court, say defense attorneys interviewed by Gambit, there is ample jurisprudence that could scuttle the case. In state court, where the case was filed, the law offers more opportunities for the plaintiffs to succeed.”
Blue Tape Marks Climate Change Risks for Coastal Businesses | Businessweek – From Charleston, S.C.:
To make the threat of climate change clear to her customers, [business owner Sandy] Bridges joined a campaign last week to mark where the high tide in 2100 would be if the worst of those scenarios comes true. A strip of sky-blue tape near the handle of her door indicates the spot. ‘Where I’m standing right now, the water would be up to my chest,’ she says.
Oil and gas industry must pay for the damage it’s caused: Lt. General Russel L. Honore | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Honore extols the expertise of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, which has come under attack for suing oil and gas companies for coastal loss. The Jindal administration has claimed that the board was “hijacked” by “trial lawyers” looking to profit from an ill-advised suit. Honore responds:
If you wanted to hand-select a dream team of committed professionals to oversee the levees that protect the east bank of New Orleans, this is the team you would pick. They didn’t undertake this action lightly. It was considered, researched, and deliberated upon for months, exactly as it should have been.
Legal experts say Landry will have to prove ‘imminent danger’ in Marigny home shooting | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – A look at Louisiana’s “stand your ground” and “castle” laws as they apply to the shooting of a 14-year-old boy who was intruding on a homeowner’s property.
A murder and a shooting on Mandeville Street: James Varney | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – The NOPD should not withhold critical information about the Mandeville Street shooting, Varney writes.
Tough on Crime or Right on Crime? | The Pelican Post – High incarceration rates do not seem to have reduced crime in Louisiana, but it is expensive. Ben Kilpatrick writes about the growing movement on the right toward sentencing reform.
One disappointment of the legislature this year was their failure to even consider a bill filed by Rep. Austin Badon which would have tempered Louisiana’s draconian penalties for possession of marijuana. …
While lawbreakers should be punished, there is a growing consensus that overly harsh sentences are destroying families, causing children to grow up without fathers in their lives (which often results in those children being incarcerated themselves), and condemning ex-offenders to a lifetime of unemployment and poverty.
Group backs off plan to demolish WTC as city officials consider redevelopment proposals | The Advocate – Developers who had proposed tearing down the former World Trade Center building at the foot of Canal Street seem to have had a change of heart. A five-member panel is set to recommend a redevelopment proposal for the building and property.
Urban roosters no longer welcome pets in New Orleans | Mid-City Messenger – A newly amended city ordinance now classifies roosters as a “wild and exotic” animal and prohibits residents from keeping them as pets.
Detroit demolition map | WDIV 4 – This TV news report links to an interactive map of 12,000 properties in Detroit that are on the City Council’s demolition list. The rather sobering map constitutes only a partial list of blight in Detroit, which recently filed for bankruptcy.
Louisiana reinvents high school with private sector help | POLITICO – This article depicts Louisiana’s Course Choice as a uniquely innovative, à la carte program that allows “students of all income levels to customize their course lists using taxpayer dollars to pay a broad range of public and private providers for classes they can’t get — or don’t believe are well taught — in their neighborhood schools.”
How Tulane’s B-school is moving past scandal | Fortune – Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business is trying to recover after reporting several years’ worth of false admissions data to U.S. News & World Report.
Government & Politics
Gautreaux issues apology, begins push to have La. law erased | The Advocate — East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux wants to make amends after a task force arrested a dozen men in a sting operation that appeared to target homosexuals. “State lawmakers and political observers predicted Monday there would be little legislative appetite to amend the antiquated anti-sodomy law or remove it from the criminal code.”
Indeed, political pundit Robert Mann is disappointed that so few public officials in Louisiana have condemned the operation.
Owen Courreges: Is New Orleans the next Detroit? Or something else entirely? | Uptown Messenger – Courreges was not the only one who was discomfited by a recent op-ed piece by Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin:
It’s vaguely unsettling that the moment a major American city goes belly-up , a major New Orleans official feels compelled to come out and say: “Don’t worry! We aren’t next!” It’s disconcerting because [Deputy Mayor Andy] Kopplin senses that we have grounds to be worried.