Posted by R. Neal

Item: New Orleans opened its first public school post-Katrina. The article outlines some of the successes and the challenges that lie ahead for the public schools there.

Item: Some college students taken in by other universities around the country may not want to return to Louisiana when their schools reopen. But, schools say they will honor their commitment to host visiting students only until their schools reopen, hoping to help Louisiana get students back in state and paying tuition.

Item: The Democratic National Committee is holding its spring 2006 meeting in New Orleans. They are also asking the city to apply for hosting the 2008 convention.

Item: Fortifying New Orleans' defenses against a Category 5 hurricane will cost $32 billion and take decades. It will involve not only improved levees, but also reworking the canal system and restoration of wetlands. One problem is that nobody knows how powerful a Category 5 hurricane can be -- it's an open ended scale. (In perspective, the article notes that $21 billion was spent in NYC after 9/11, the current transportation bill includes $57 billion for road construction and maintenance, and the U.S. and states combined spend $160 billion per year on infrastructure.)