Family’s long journey home after Katrina ends when city bulldozes house | The Lens – It took six years for Kimberly James to get Road Home money to rehab her Upper 9th Ward home. This summer, she thought she was months away from moving in. But in July, she learned that the city had demolished the house, concluding that not enough progress had been made in rehabbing it. She says no one told her recently that the house had been targeted for demolition.
New Orleans enters the era of collaborative zoning: David Marcello | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – David Marcello, the executive director of The Public Law Center announces a new era in zoning:
New Orleans City Council approval of early notice procedures last week was an historic step to foster agreement on zoning issues that might otherwise cause conflict and controversy.
The new early notice procedure introduces New Orleans to collaborative zoning, which invites stakeholders to express their views at the earliest stages of zoning.
Government & Politics
Live chat: Stacy Head, Charles Maldonado take questions about 2014 city budget | The Lens – Join The Lens and City Council Vice President Stacy Head at 12:30 p.m. Friday for an hour-long online chat about New Orleans’ 2014 spending plan.
FEMA says it provided nearly $20 billion to Louisiana in Katrina/Isaac aid | NOLA.com/The Times Picayune – FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office Executive Director Mike Womack said that “In the last eight years, we have funded one of the most significant comebacks in the history of natural disasters.”
Womack should have added that an expensive and lethal man-made disaster also occurred during Katrina, due to the catastrophic flood wall failures that flooded most of New Orleans.
Lies of omission | Library Chronicles – According to Jeffrey, publisher of the Library Chronicles blog, “The myth of the New Orleans ‘comeback’ is built upon the premise that people who had little and lost everything were themselves the problem all along.”
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s statements on BP are ‘campaign of lies,’ company says | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – BP counters Gov. Bobby Jindal’s claim that the company has spent more on public relations than coastal restoration since the 20101 oil spill. BP pointed to hundreds of millions it gave the state to build sand berms, which have been converted into protective barrier islands. However, the energy giant would not disclose how much it has spent on advertising.
New Orleans: Lawyers v. drillers | The Economist – From across the pond, The Economist takes a look at the local flood authority’s coastal erosion lawsuit. At the end of the article, there is a reference to a line from from flood authority vice chairman John Barry’s recent Lens op-ed. Via Restore the Delta.
Massive new wetlands restoration reshapes San Francisco Bay | San Jose Mercury News – As South Louisiana embarks on what is probably the largest coastal restoration project in history, we should track restoration initiatives in other regions. Among them: the “aquatic renaissance” occurring in the Bay Area.
Sheriff Gusman says declining fed requests to hold illegal immigrants is about ‘freedom/fairness’ | NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune – Sheriff Marlin Gusman defended his new policy to refuse federal requests to hold non-violent people who are in the country illegally.
Freeing the Innocent, V. 2.0 | The Crime Report
Police officers and prosecutors, who have often seemed uncomfortable with the rapidly growing number of exonerations of convicted criminal defendants, are increasingly playing critical roles in securing those exonerations.
Creating openness in New Orleans’ charter-school movement – Knight Foundation – Lens editor Steve Beatty writes about progress on charter transparency in a post at the Knight Blog
The Louisiana Department of Education said coverage by The Lens led officials to issue a ‘notice of concern’ to a charter school board that violated the state’s sunshine law. That board quickly moved to remedy the problem, and it now makes clear that the public is allowed to speak before the board votes on any matter.
Choice Foundation re-elects entire board in meeting without public notice | The Lens – The board violated the law when it moved its meeting up a day without notifying the public.