Commentary: A not so dry run

There was bound to be flooding, but the Sewerage & Water Board's response was bound to be poor
When Joseph Becker, general superintendent of the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board, began answering questions from the New Orleans City Council Aug. 8, it was clear the S&WB's original story about its performance during the Aug. 5 storm was taking on more water than a Lamborghini stranded in Lakeview. Just before the council's special meeting, S&WB Executive Director Cedric Grant announced he would retire by the end of the year.

Commentary: Paging Dr. Cassidy — move on

If Cassidy can’t improve upon the ACA, he should turn his hand to something else in Washington
Congressional Republicans began trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) literally the day after it was passed in 2010. The GOP-controlled House has voted to repeal it many times in a series of completely symbolic exercises that tossed red meat to their supporters without actually accomplishing anything.

Commentary: Issues that matter

Progressive groups are framing New Orleans' fall election discussion
If you're interested in the citywide elections in New Orleans, now is the time to pay attention and attend a forum or town hall. By the time the televised debates begin, much of the agenda will be set — but already community groups are framing the discussion.

Commentary: Demagogues taking pot shots at New Orleans

Those who aspire to lead our state should not falsely besmirch its largest and most economically important city
U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy was in New Orleans last week — not for a town hall or public constituents' meeting, which he has yet to hold in the state's largest city since he took office six months ago. No, he was here to talk with WWL-TV about the city's crime problem, which he once again said could turn New Orleans into "the next Detroit."

Commentary: Our questions for the next mayor

Eighteen candidates are running. Here’s our list of top issues for New Orleans’ next leader
In three months, New Orleans will elect its 51st mayor, who will inherit all the improvements and problems left behind by Mayor Mitch Landrieu's eight years in office. While much attention has focused on the Confederate monument controversy in the last few months, the city still struggles with many of its generational problems — combined with new challenges such as short-term rentals.

Commentary: Of legacies and Landrieu

We measured the mayor's efficacy in playing the hand he was dealt when he took office
Last week's cover story, "The Landrieu Legacy on Crime" — an analysis of crime statistics during Mayor Mitch Landrieu's two terms of office, written by a locally based, nationally noted crime analyst — drew more attention than many of our other recent cover stories. Landrieu himself asked for space to respond about his record, which we were happy to offer him (see opposite page).

Commentary: Truly honoring our veterans

If Maness persists with his talk of a boycott, New Orleanians should return the favor if he ever runs for statewide office again
Imagine a scenario in which a candidate for U.S. Senate urges people to boycott the largest city in his or her state. That's what retired U.S. Air Force Col. Rob Maness, who twice lost races for the Senate, did last week by suggesting in a radio interview that American veterans avoid New Orleans in response to the removal of four Confederate- era statues.

Commentary: 'Smart on crime' a bipartisan success

Despite Louisiana's "lock-'em-up" political culture, legislators passed crucial criminal justice reform
Rookie state Rep. Joe Marino of Gretna emerged as the unlikely hero of criminal justice reform efforts. "Public safety is our main goal," Marino says.

Commentary: Out of tragedy, common purpose

Scalise and the need for empathy in tragedy
There were many thoughtful statements of sympathy following the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, and four others during a baseball practice in a Virginia park last week. Perhaps none was more thoughtful than that of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot and nearly killed at a constituent event in 2011 (six people died in that attack).

Commentary: No way to treat a friend

Is that the way America treats an ally and friend who has experienced a misfortune?
On June 3, when seven people in England were killed in a terrorist attack on and around London Bridge, New Orleans saw a mass shooting on Tulane Avenue that killed three people and injured two others. The shooting total for that day around our city: 13 people.

Commentary: Start preparing for hurricane season

Now is the time to review hurricane preparations and make sure friends, relatives and neighbors have a plan as well
The Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1, even though the first named storm of the season (Tropical Storm Arlene) formed April 19, one of only two named storms to form in April since at least the 1960s. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center have forecast a second consecutive above-normal hurricane season for the Atlantic, with 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine of which could become hurricanes and two to four Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricanes.

Commentary: Anybody here seen our old friend John (Kennedy)?

Sen. Kennedy has yet to hold a face-to-face town hall anywhere in Louisiana
Shortly after taking office in January, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy told The New York Times, "There's this feeling among many in America that it's harder than ever to get ahead in our country, that it's easier than ever to do nothing. There's a feeling that the people in Washington don't listen and they don't care.

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