from the bowels of academia comes this s#!% – LSU officials say van Heerden not fired but contract won’t be renewed

In a step below “the dog ate my homework”, LSU offered the Court this excuse for Igor van Heerden’s pending unemployment:

LSU officials said in their court-filed response this week that van Heerden has not been fired, but added that his research contract will not be renewed when it expires May 21.

The LSU response also denied that “van Heerden’s criticism of the Corps or speech on any other matter was a substantial or motivating factor in the decision not to renew his employment.”

van Heerden, according to the Advocate, “wants a federal judge to block the expiration of his LSU contract next month”: h/t Editilla

A vocal critic of the Army Corps of Engineers, van Heerden sued the LSU system in February. He alleged he is being forced out of his job because of his argument that the Corps’ levees in New Orleans had design flaws that caused their failure during Hurricane Katrina’s 2005 surge across the city…

LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard said Wednesday that LSU officials will not comment while the lawsuit is pending….

This week, the nearly 50,000-member American Association of University Professors notified LSU that it will establish a committee to investigate the school’s action against van Heerden, former deputy director of the LSU Hurricane Center.

Editilla had more on the AAUP story, too.

In a strongly worded letter, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has alerted Michael Martin, Chancellor of Louisiana State University (LSU) that, in its opinion, the firing of Professor Ivor van Heerden “raises significant issues of academic freedom, tenure and due process.” Continue reading “from the bowels of academia comes this s#!% – LSU officials say van Heerden not fired but contract won’t be renewed”

USA Today caught off-balance by MRGO decision

Not only is Rick Jervis hoping that the readers will swallow his own seed of the Corps Costs Estimates of 100’s of Billions for their side of the work, he is offering the erroneous proposition that the Corps is the Lead in the solution to the Wetlands Restoration activity –this prophylactic misnomer stretches so very far from the Truth as to resemble a condom over the head of an oil derrick.

Editilla offers a whole new meaning to “hung” on the Ladder with his scatching review of USA Today’s take on the MR-GO decision.  True enough, only a Richard-head would think either/or:

The ruling could lead to billions of dollars in other legal action from storm victims, but it also leaves regional leaders with a dilemma: Continue reading “USA Today caught off-balance by MRGO decision”

MR-GO: Judge Duval finds Corps’ mismanagement flooded lower 9th in New Orleans following Katrina

With the world watching what the spinmasters of the insurance industry called the great New Orleans Flood,  the preventable disaster delivered  a horror beyond words.

“Judge Duval exposed 40 years of the Army Corps of Engineers’ gross malfeasance with regard to the operation and maintenance of the MR-GO,” said Pierce O’Donnell, a Los Angeles-based attorney and co-leader of the plaintiff’s legal team. “His decision is an extreme condemnation of the lack of concern for the safety of New Orleans and St. Bernard residents.”

"Duval said he was 'utterly convinced' that the corps' failure to shore up the channel doomed the channel to grow to two to three times its design width" (CainBurdeau)

Duval’s decision is also a fascinating read – all 189 pages of his Findings of Fact and the two-page Judgment.

Continuing with Mark Schleifstein, writing for the Times Picayune, the decision…sets the  stage for judgments against the govenment for damages by as many as 100,000 other residents, businesses and local governments in those areas who filed claims with the corps after  Katrina. Continue reading “MR-GO: Judge Duval finds Corps’ mismanagement flooded lower 9th in New Orleans following Katrina”