the lens en For Strengthening Levees, Bermuda Grass Is Hard To Beat <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The idea that grass can armor anything is hard to believe.</span></p><p>But on a recent visit to the Lake Pontchartrain&nbsp;levee, LSU agronomist Jeff Beasley explained how plain old, garden variety grass has earned a reputation with the US Army Corps of Engineers as one of the best armoring materials to keep the huge mud walls of a levee from collapsing during a storm.</p><p>"You know how we reinforce concrete with rebar?" says Beasley. "We can do the same with these levees."</p> Tue, 12 Nov 2013 01:29:53 +0000 Bob Marshall 47541 at Landrieu Requests $100 Million For Charity Hospital <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Mayor Mitch </span>Landrieu<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> applied for $100 million in state construction funds on Friday to redevelop the former Charity Hospital building. Renovating the building would cost around $300 million, and revitalize a moribund stretch of downtown.</span></p> Mon, 04 Nov 2013 16:44:30 +0000 Tyler Bridges 47145 at Developer Pres Kabacoff's Plan For Downtown <p><a href="" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Developer </span>Pres<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Kabacoff</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> says he is a man on a mission to transform downtown. If the city center can be revitalized, he says, and the river can be connected to the lake, it would transform the entire city of New Orleans.</span></p> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 13:11:02 +0000 Tyler Bridges 44667 at Boom And Blight In Mid-City <p>The problem of blight in New Orleans has hardly disappeared with the uptick in the city’s housing market. And on one quiet block in Mid-City, a very hot piece of real estate and a blighted home are existing side by side.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Local contractor Pete </span>Becnel<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> sold his renovated </span>D’Hemecourt<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Street house in 24 hours. Just next door sits a house abandoned since Katrina. The crudely fashioned escape hatch from the roof is still visible.</span></p> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 13:30:00 +0000 Karen Gadbois 44273 at The Lens: Jindal's Use Of Rainy Day Fund May Leave Next Governor Dry <p>Governor Bobby Jindal vowed not to raise taxes, of any type. Instead, he has maintained the budget with spending cuts, meaning deep cuts in areas like higher education and health care.</p><p>Tyler Bridges — a reporter at The Lens, New Orleans’ investigative newsroom — has been looking into another way the governor has been able to balance the budget. Bridges says Jindal has largely drained public funds for economic development, taking hundreds of millions from the Rainy Day fund and the so-called "mega-development" fund.</p> Sun, 25 Aug 2013 13:45:32 +0000 Eve Troeh & Tyler Bridges 42484 at Live Chat: Bob Marshall Of The Lens Discusses Coastal Loss Lawsuit Against Oil And Gas Companies <p style="margin-bottom: 19.56px; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; color: rgb(34, 31, 31); font-family: minion-pro, Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">Earlier this week, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East filed a lawsuit blaming almost 100 companies for contributing to the disappearance of Louisiana’s wetlands by dredging thousands of miles of canals and extracting oil and gas.</p><p> Fri, 26 Jul 2013 14:41:48 +0000 The Lens 40364 at Once A House, Now A Parking Lot: But No Zoning Change? <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority still holds many properties that owners ceded to government control through the Road Home program after Hurricane Katrina. Many of those were sold to neighbors who lived next door. Others were auctioned.</span></p><p>But some Road Home residential lots have been taken over by the business next door. A change in property use, from a residence to a business, is supposed to come with an official zoning process.</p> Wed, 19 Jun 2013 22:59:47 +0000 Eve Troeh & Karen Gadbois 37811 at 'The Lens' Takes A Closer Look At NOLA For Life Fund Recipients <p><a href="" target="_blank">The Lens</a>, New Orleans’ investigative newsroom, has been following up on money distributed by the <a href="" target="_blank">Nola for Life Fund</a>. That’s the grant-making arm of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s hallmark campaign against violence, launched last year.</p><p>Charles Maldonado reports on government transparency for The Lens. He sat down with WWNO’s Eve Troeh to talk about his investigation into one nonprofit that received Nola 4 Life funds: It’s called Family Center of Hope.</p> Wed, 12 Jun 2013 12:42:15 +0000 Eve Troeh & Charles Maldonado 37316 at Housing Authority Of New Orleans Stays In Feds' Hands For Now <p>This week,&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Lens,&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">New Orleans’ investigative newsroom, has the </span><a href="" style="line-height: 1.5;">latest on developments at HANO</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the Housing Authority of New Orleans. The state-chartered agency runs publicly subsidized housing in the city, and serves up to 17,000 New Orleans families. Fri, 31 May 2013 21:41:56 +0000 Eve Troeh & Katy Reckdahl 36559 at Charter School Group May Owe More Than $250K For Student Meals <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In a </span><a href="" style="line-height: 1.5;">report over at The Lens today</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, Charter School Reporting Corps member Della </span>Hasselle<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> digs into a conflict between the state's Recovery School District and </span><a href="" target="_blank">ReNEW</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="" target="_blank"> Schools</a>, a Thu, 16 May 2013 20:24:54 +0000 Eve Troeh & Steve Myers & Della Hasselle 35487 at