Commentary: Catching up on catch basins

All drainage responsibility should be under one agency at City Hall
Last week's news that the New Orleans Office of Inspector General (OIG) would begin monitoring contractor performance in catch basin cleaning was welcome. The Department of Public Works (DPW), which is responsible for clearing catch basins, clearly needs a watchdog in that role — having failed miserably to clean the basins after the City Council appropriated several million dollars for that purpose last year.

Commentary: A mild political season

We encourage readers to meet candidates face to face and hear their plans for New Orleans
Southeast Louisiana is in the throes of a very hectic hurricane season, and we're barely halfway through it. In recent weeks, storms seemed to line up in the Atlantic like Mardi Gras floats on Napoleon Avenue — except no one hereabouts wants to see them "parade" anywhere near metro New Orleans.

Commentary: To Houston, with love

Houston was there for us after Katrina. Let's pay Texas back — with interest, and with love
So much water. So much pain.

Commentary: After Charlottesville

And how New Orleans police and protesters handle white supremacists
Watching the images and hearing the words out of Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend was depressing, sickening, infuriating — and necessary. Necessary because the country got a good look at the people who call themselves the "alt-right," which is their sanitized term for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Ku Klux Klansmen and other haters who feel emboldened in America today.

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.

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