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Letters: My St. George neighborhood is a melting pot

I live in the proposed St. George area. With all the furor over the “City of St. George” having settled down, I thought I would describe my immediate neighborhood since it was said that St. George is racist and segregated. On the west side next door to me is a Caucasian couple with a young… Continue reading →

Letters: If Common Core is all as hyped to be, it should lead to the raising of GPA requirements for sports

I would like to comment on the lowering of the GPA so more children could play in sports. We have a educator from New York (Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White) who is paid several hundred thousand dollars to provide a program (Common Core) that is supposed to raise Louisiana children’s grade-point averages. My thought is,… Continue reading →

Letters: Ascension Parish is favoring developers over the wishes of the community

Ascension Parish is busting at the seams with subdivisions and people packed in like sardines. As traffic increases in the Prairieville community on narrow country roads, schools are over-crowded, and violations continue for sewer treatment plants (17 violations the month of January 2015). Countless violations that cause irreparable harm to Bayou Manchac Basin and the Amite River Basin.… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: President Obama right on climate change threat, because it is real and potentially devastating

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at Andrew P. Sanchez Community Center in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, for the 10th anniversary since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Resilience. It was the official buzzword of the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and I’m guessing plenty of people don’t want to hear about it again for a good long while. Before we stick it on the shelf, though, it’s worth considering the concept, not just in terms of our regional character, but in the context of our… Continue reading →

Letters: Money woes hurt Louisiana road projects

In his Aug. 23 column about transportation funding, political science associate professor Jeff Sadow embarrassed himself by showing how little he knows on the subject. Sadow states that “the problem, at least recently, never has been about a lack of money available but about setting priorities for transportation money and spending it well.” Sadow obviously doesn’t understand basic… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: A pre-Katrina memory, starring Donald Trump

The day before Katrina took its final, fateful turn, Ray Nagin still had that familiar gleam in his eye, still smiled his infectious smile. I was sitting in the mayor’s City Hall office with several of my colleagues from The Times-Picayune that morning, talking about a future that involved anything but water in the streets and desperate… Continue reading →

Edward Pratt: In week of bad news, a bright spot

This has been some kind of week. It began early Monday when a student intern in my office stopped by to alert me that he probably would not be back for a while or maybe not at all this semester. I barely looked up from my coffee and pile of work. “OK, what is going… Continue reading →

Letters: A decade of improving schools following a disaster

Advocate staff photo by John McCusker -- Tiana Nobile teaches her first grade class at Morris Jeff Community School  in New Orleans.  Morris Jeff is one of many charters that opened in New Orleans post Katrina.

During this decade of rebirth following Hurricane Katrina, one of the more remarkable transformations has been New Orleans’ K-12 education landscape. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, public education in New Orleans was experiencing its own mini-disaster. We had a school board that was completely dysfunctional, the system’s finances were a mess and worst of all, children were not learning.… Continue reading →

Letters: 10 years later, a united New Orleans still elusive

Regarding The Advocate’s articles on New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Katrina: Before Katrina and even still now, there was, and is still, a divide between races in New Orleans. We don’t need a hurricane to show us that. With that said, the hurricane did make clear a few things — one being that the divisions within New… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Hurricane Katrina didn’t leave a blank slate

Katrina and its aftermath left us with many lessons but none more powerful than this: There’s no such thing as a blank slate. The idea that post-Katrina New Orleans was exactly that was understandably tantalizing in some circles, and not just among those with ugly motives. Yet, the notion also turned… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace quick take: Obama seems fond of New Orleans; speech only quickly mentioned coastal restoration

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- President Barack Obama gives remarks Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, at the Andrew P. Sanchez & Copelin-Byrd Multi-Service Center in the Lower Ninth Ward. The president met with residents and participated in a roundtable discussion as part of a week of events commemorating the10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

. Here's Advocate columnist Stephanie Grace's "Quick Take" on President Barack Obama's visit to New Orleans: 1) President Barack Obama and Mayor Mitch Landrieu seem to have quite the mutual admiration society. Landrieu thanked the president profusely and said Obama loves New Orleans and it loves him back. Obama returned the accolades. To the crowd, he… Continue reading →

Our Views: President Obama has been a friend to Louisiana -- but not in fight to save coastline

President Obama file art

By the time Barack Obama arrived at the White House, 31/2 years had passed since the notorious 2005 hurricane season, when Louisiana was assaulted by two of the nine costliest Atlantic storms in recorded history. America had pretty much moved on, as the nation struggled with a deep and frightening recession and two… Continue reading →

Lanny Keller: Katrina effect in Baton Rouge went beyond population growth, brought unity to 'super region'

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Aerial of downtown Baton Rouge looking south southeast. New State Capitol building is at left. Claiborne Building is at lower left.

In the wake of the gigantic and long-term displacement of residents of metropolitan New Orleans, the impact on Baton Rouge was so immediate and dramatic that it was overhyped by officials and civic leaders responding to what was, after all, an immensely traumatic national catastrophe. The capital city of Louisiana would become the state’s largest forever, we… Continue reading →

Letters: Donald Trump’s words advocating practical repentance may please God more than Christian inaction

The Aug. 15 Advocate article “Some conservative Christians making mistake with Trump” offered some negative characteristics of “The Donald” that I certainly wouldn’t argue against. That said, one of Trump’s seemingly oddball ideas about God might deserve a second look: “I think if I do something wrong, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God… Continue reading →

U.S. Sen. David Vitter's answer to Stephanie Grace column: I cared about New Orleans when I grew up there, and I still do

Stephanie Grace opened her August 18 column on the monuments issue by asking when I started caring about New Orleans. My answer’s pretty simple. I started caring when I was born in New Orleans. And grew up in the city. And live half a mile outside it now. And raised our four kids there with… Continue reading →

Letters: Bobby Jindal’s actions are more harmful than Donald Trump’s words

The same week that Donald Trump belched up his predictable misogynist bile, Gov. Bobby Jindal defunded Planned Parenthood in Louisiana after Congress didn’t do so federally. During years of huge cuts in Louisiana’s health care budget (resulting in closed clinics and hospitals), in a state with some of the country’s highest rates of poverty, infant mortality… Continue reading →

Our Views: It’s time for an honest review of Common Core

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Because of Internet conspiracy theories and irresponsible political statements by Gov. Bobby Jindal and others, there’s a lot of misinformation around concerning new academic standards in Louisiana schools. That’s why we welcome “a very unbiased, honest review” of the new standards, in the words of a St. Tammany Parish educator who is leading… Continue reading →