Great series, thanks. It's a sad "state" altogether that citizens still debate these issues in the 21st Century; but hope springs eternal, right?
Here's an article I'm working on that poses some questions for City Hall:
If Gambit looked deeper into the story you may have a good national crime expose' about City-sanctioned chop-shops created decades ago by lifetime no-bid "parking management" contracts rife with political payoffs between local governments and a group of Chicago mobsters "Standard Parking, Inc." who this year began trading on the Stock Market under the name SP Corp (but they hide behind a number of predecessor names and corporate veils). I started-up the story but have a day job and put it on hold. Here's a link to my notes: https://plus.google.com/+ThomasBalzacLaVie… When I get time I'll post the story of how it's like pulling teeth getting FOIA record-requests answered by the City about these parking contracts and the financials behind them.
Good (editorial?) and comments but is this the best New Orleans has, defending dueling-statistics about our police force and giving short shrift to the premise of this whole article: that until society in general and local Government in particular solve the problems that lead to kids becoming criminals, we should remold all local monuments into big thumbs downs (?).
Let's see, perhaps hunger makes a child angry-enough (when he becomes an adult) to not care about basic societal norms like robbing an uptown, anytown restaurant. But we treat many local kids like the criminals we "know" they're going to become, by allowing the state to cut, withhold and deny their parents' food stamps.
Or, perhaps throwing a child's father in jail decades for stealing toilet paper or incidentally smoking or dealing among willing brothers; maybe that knocks a kid's moral compass off a few points; or, the child's focused on his lost parent and the family upheaval it causes --and not his education.
Or, could it be that state and local laws allowing easy eviction of children's parents from public housing, or slumlord housing -- or no housing -- leads kids to a life of desperation like their parents and eventually crime as they grow into adults? Shouldn't, really, there be "free" housing & food for the very poor? Isn't that fix cheaper than one murder of an innocent in ...say an uptown diner?
Do we even wonder -- or care -- why teen suicide & murder rates are sickeningly high everywhere in America? Seems we've sowed uneducated, frightened, desperate kids and are reaping what some became in adulthood.
It would be nice if "the crime problem" was simply police-force numbers or operations, or Mayor Landrieu or his Inspector General; then we could all sleep easy at night, "knowing" what the problem is. But it's not that simple, is it?
Wow, La. landlords moaning they're being hurt more than domestic violence victims; quite amazing. Why is AAL registered as a "nonprofit" with the Secretary of State? Surely the thousands of landlords they represent (and slumlords like Stacey Shane-Schott) can afford to pay taxes (?) considering the Legislature has been letting them all get away with the most heinous, immoral & illegal behaviour toward tenants ever since the Napoleonic Code. And "City's Court" is complicit in Orleans. But-for political patronage & kickbacks by the likes of AAL, Louisiana's landlord-tenant laws would have been overhauled by the Legislature more than 100 years ago. Yet the "one-sided landlord/tenant law" in Louisiana festers to this day, causing misery to thousands of disenfranchised -- not only to abused women (which should be enough to stir the public, but won't, Alas!).
Former Senator Mary Landrieu also championed veteran causes, I know she and her office helped this one Vietnam veteran friend who was then able to teach astronomy to the many hundreds of thousands who have viewed the stars through his telescope eyepieces over the past 30 years: https://plus.google.com/+ThomasBalzacLaVie…
Seems jury instructions could be boilerplates with common copy/paste errors; the plain-error is the Mayor's oath of office requiring him to sign the Council-approved contracts at issue; and, under de novo review anything can happen even judicial-politics or simply a good day in the district for Redemption?
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