The Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools (GNOCCS) invites you to come visit us on our first days of school! We’re proud of our schools and excited for the new school year. If you would like to visit a school, please contact Heather Harper, (504) 289-0499 or email@example.com
**Back to School dates and grades are bolded below school name**
Young Audiences Charter Schools (PK4-12th)
August 2 (9-12th)
August 8 (6-8)
Burmaster Campus (Westbank)
1000 Burmaster St.
Gretna, LA 70553
August 8 (1-8th)
August 11 (PK-K)
Lawrence D. Crocker (Uptown)
2301 Marengo St.
New Orleans, LA 70115
August 8 (1-5th)
Kate Middleton Campus (Westbank)
1407 Virgil St.
Gretna, LA 70053
August 11 (PK4-4)
Little YACS (Westbank)
3400 6th St.
Harvey, LA 70058
Morris Jeff Community School (PK-12th)
High School (9-12th), Clark Campus
1301 N. Derbigny St.
New Orleans, LA 70116
August 4 & 5 (staggered)
Elementary School (PreK-5th), Lopez Campus
211 S. Lopez
New Orleans, LA 70119
August 4 & 5 (staggered)
Middle School (6-8th), Drew Campus
3819 St. Claude
New Orleans, LA 70117
New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics
High School, Sci High (9-12th)
2011 Bienville Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 324-7061
Benjamin Franklin Elementary Mathematics and Science School (PK-8th)
August 8 (1st-5th), August 15 (PK-K)
1116 Jefferson Ave.
New Orleans LA 70115
August 8 (6th-8th)
Laurel Campus (New Site)
3649 Laurel Street
New Orleans LA 70115
International High School of New Orleans (9-12th)
August 9 (9th), August 10 (10-12th)
727 Carondelet St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
Benjamin Franklin High School (9-12th)
2001 Leon C. Simon Dr.
New Orleans, LA 70122
International School of Louisiana, ISL (K-8th)
August 10 (1st-8th)
August 15 (K)
Dixon Campus (K-2nd):
4040 Eagle Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
Uptown Campus (3rd-8th):
1400 Camp St., NOLA 70130
Westbank Campus (K-5th):
502 Olivier St., NOLA 70114
Discovery Schools (PK4-12th)
August 10 (1st-12th)
August 17-18 (staggered) (PK-K)
Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy:
Maine Campus (PK4-4)
2504 Maine Ave.
Metairie, La 70003
Vintage Campus (5-8th)
201 Vintage Dr.
Kenner, La 70065
Loyola Campus (9-12)
3837 Loyola Drive
Kenner, LA 70065
Dr. John Ochsner Discovery Health Sciences Academy (PK-7th):
1108 Shrewsbury Road
Jefferson, LA 70121
Warren Easton Charter High School (9-12)
3019 Canal St.
New Orleans, LA 70119
Hynes Charter Schools (PK-8th)
August 11 (1-6th)
August 12 (7-8th)
August 18 (PK & K)
Hynes - Lakeview (Gifted PK, K-8th):
990 Harrison Ave
New Orleans, LA 70124
Hynes - UNO (K-3):
6101 Chatham Dr.
New Orleans, LA 70122
Hynes - Parkview (K-8):
4617 Mirabeau Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70126
Audubon Schools (PK3-8th)
August 15 (K-3rd)
August 17 (PK)
Lower School (PK-3rd):
428 Broadway Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
August 15 (4th-8th)
Upper School (4-8th):
3128 Constance Street
New Orleans 70115
August 15 (K-6th)
August 22 (PK)
Audubon Gentilly (PK4-6th):
4720 Painters St.
New Orleans, LA 70122
Robert Russa Moton Charter School (PK-8)
August 15 (1-8th)
August 22 (PK & K)
8550 Curran Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70127
Einstein Charter Schools (PK-12th)
August 16 (1-12th)
August 23 (PK-K)
Einstein Charter School at Village de l'Est (PK-5th)
5316 Michoud Blvd - Extension
New Orleans, LA 70129
Einstein Charter Middle at Sarah T. Reed (6-8th)
Einstein Charter High at Sarah T. Reed (9-12th)
5316 Michoud Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70129
High: (504) 503.0749
Einstein Charter School at Sherwood Forest (PK-5th)
4801 Maid Marion Dr.
New Orleans, LA 70128
The Willow School (K-12th)*
*formerly Lusher Charter School
August 16 (1st-12th)
August 17-18 (staggered)(K)
Williams Campus (K-4th):
7315 Willow St.
Marsalis Campus (5-7th):
5625 Loyola Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70115
Brimmer Campus (8-12th):
5624 Freret St.
New Orleans, LA 70115
The Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools (GNOCCS) is a network of community-based public charter schools dedicated to rebuilding and reinvigorating the metropolitan area through quality education and parental choice. As some of the first schools to open their doors after Hurricane Katrina, the founding members of GNOCCS helped clear the path for the emergence of independent public charters locally and regionally. GNOCCS advocates for the authority, accountability, and resources necessary to meet the needs of children and their schools, and the Collaborative strives to build the capacity of charter schools to more effectively and efficiently serve their students. GNOCCS works not only to strengthen its member schools but also to network with other affiliated Louisiana charter organizations in capacity building and teacher recruitment. For more information, go to: www.gnocollaborative.com
Each of the member charter schools of the Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools does not discriminate in the rendering of services to/or regarding employment of individuals because of race, color, religion, sex, gender, age, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.
CITY OF NEW ORLEANS
CITY HALL: July 7, 2022
CALENDAR NO. 33,808
NO. _________________ MAYOR COUNCIL SERIES
BY: COUNCILMEMBERS GREEN, KING AND THOMAS (BY REQUEST)
AN ORDINANCE to amend and reordain Section 147-2 of the Code of the City of New Orleans regulations pertaining to the City’s use of surveillance technology; and otherwise to provide with respect thereto.
SECTION 1. THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS HEREBY ORDAINS, That Section 147-2 of the Code of the City of New Orleans is hereby amended and reordained to read as follows:
“Chapter 147 - Surveillance Technology and Data Protection
Section 147-2. – Prohibited Surveillance Technology.
(2) First degree murder.
(3) Second degree murder.
(5) Aggravated battery.
(6) Second degree battery.
(7) Aggravated assault.
(8) Aggravated or first degree rape.
(9) Forcible or second degree rape.
(10) Simple or third degree rape.
(11) Sexual battery.
(12) Second degree sexual battery.
(13) Aggravated kidnapping.
(14) Second degree kidnapping.
(15) Simple kidnapping.
(16) Aggravated arson.
(17) Aggravated criminal damage to property.
(18) Aggravated burglary.
(19) Armed robbery.
(20) First degree robbery.
(21) Simple robbery.
(22) False imprisonment; offender armed with dangerous weapon.
(23) Assault by drive-by shooting.
(24) Aggravated crime against nature.
(27) Aggravated second degree battery.
(28) Aggravated assault upon a peace officer.
(29) Aggravated assault with a firearm.
(30) Armed robbery; use of firearm; additional penalty.
(31) Second degree robbery.
(32) Disarming of a peace officer.
(34) Second degree cruelty to juveniles.
(35) Aggravated flight from an officer.
(36) Battery of a police officer.
(37) Trafficking of children for sexual purposes.
(38) Human trafficking.
(39) Home invasion.
PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL
DELIVERED TO THE MAYOR ON ____________________
RETURNED BY THE MAYOR ON ____________________ AT ____________________
CLERK OF COUNCIL
ROLL CALL VOTE:
New National Poll: Louisiana Blames Biden for Rising Prices and Worry Biden-Backed Antitrust Proposals Will Worsen Inflation
BATON ROUGE, La. – A new poll conducted by Echelon Insights and released by NetChoice, a trade association committed to making the internet safe for free enterprise and free expression, found that Louisiana voters blame President Biden for soaring inflation and are worried that antitrust proposals like Sen. Klobuchar’s S. 2992, which is backed by President Biden and Senator John Kennedy, will continue to raise prices even further.
“Louisiana voters want Congress - especially Sens. Kennedy and Cassidy - to prioritize inflation and economic instability, not Beltway-born antitrust proposals that could raise prices,” said Steve DelBianco, President & CEO of NetChoice. “69% of Louisiana thinks our country is heading in the wrong direction, and 60% of voters say Congress should focus on fixing the economy — the last thing Congress should be doing is spending time on legislation that only 1% of the population nationally sees as a priority.”
Nationally, the poll revealed 85% of Americans said they are at least somewhat concerned about tech antitrust proposals increasing prices and that 40% of GOP-leaning voters and 37% of Democrat-leaning voters said they are “extremely concerned” about such proposals making inflation worse.
Additional Louisiana voter highlights from the Echelon Insights poll include:
1. 60% of Louisianians say the economy and inflation are the biggest issues facing the nation followed by crime and public safety (23%), gun control (20%) and immigration (18%).
2. 66% of Louisiana voters are concerned proposals to regulate tech will make inflation worse.
3. 63% are concerned new regulations will make it easier for politicians to pressure tech to serve their political interests. 55% are concerned about regulations making tech harder to use.
4. Regulating the tech industry is the lowest policy priority for American voters today – less than 1% of Americans responded that they think the government should prioritize regulating tech, which is less than the margin of error.
5. When asked specifically about priorities for tech, 45% want privacy and security online. Only 6% of Louisianians said that antitrust is a priority for them on tech.
6. Louisianans trust the free market (63%) more than the government (15%) to come up with solutions for improving competition. 69% of Louisiana Republicans trust the free market, rather than the government, to improve competition in tech.
7. 75% say Congress should learn more about tech companies before trying to regulate them.
This poll was conducted between June 17-24, 2022 among 9,227 U.S. registered voters: a national sample of 2,031 plus 530 additional interviews in Alabama, 260 in Alaska, 724 in Arizona, 419 in Arkansas, 957 in Florida, 641 in Indiana, 420 in Kansas, 534 in Louisiana, 379 in Montana, 443 in Mississippi, 877 in North Carolina, 249 in North Dakota, 396 in South Dakota, and 975 in Texas. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points. Attached is a one pager summary and the full poll for download.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (504) 460-1468.
April 4, 2022
Contact: Ms. Ebony Thomas-Phillips, (225) 342-0144
Or H. Harper/C. Brylski (504) 897-6110 or (504) 289-0499
This is the time of year all major religions mark a season of random acts of kindness as a tribute of thanks for the gift of life, and one simple way to do that is by checking on those older adults who cannot protect themselves or are being threatened with harm by others, said Ebony Thomas-Phillips, Director, Louisiana Elderly Protective Service (EPS) Program.
Roughly 25 percent of the state’s population is over 60 years of age and expected to grow, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Ms. Thomas-Phillips said on average more than 5000 elder abuse calls come to GOEA in a year, and the bulk are for self-neglect and caregiver neglect of individuals over age 60.
“It is important that we protect adults aged 60 years or older who are unable to protect themselves from being abused or neglected. Elders are abused in various ways: physically, sexually, emotionally, and financially. They can be neglected by caregivers or themselves,” said Ms. Thomas-Phillips.
Elder abuse can be physical acts of violence, emotional and verbal intimidation, isolation of an elder, sexual exploitation, withholding medicines, care or other daily necessities, or theft or misuse of the older adult’s money, property, or possessions.
“There is no greater service than to halt or interrupt acts of abuse and neglect against an elder adult,” said Ms. Thomas-Phillips. “Every person deserves their dignity and right to self-determination, no matter their age.”
The State of Louisiana allows anonymous reports about suspected abuse or neglect through the EPS Program Hotline, (833) 577-6532.
Ms. Thomas-Phillips said anyone can report suspected abuse anonymously and encourages caregivers, health professionals, neighbors, church members, bank tellers, families and friends of older adults to contact EPS so that such suspicions can be investigated and addressed. She especially encourages Louisiana citizens not living in major urban areas to help get the word out to their communities about EPS.
“To be an elder advocate all you need to do is report suspected abuse or neglect; you don't have to prove it," said Ms. Thomas-Phillips. “If you see bruises, black eyes, bed sores, dirty clothing, malnourished or unclean appearance, or notice the individual is living without electricity or needed medications, let our trained staff investigate and assign community services and resources to help this individual and ensure their safety.”
Visits to older adults increase during the holidays and give opportunities for friends and family to check on the older person’s status and make calls to EPS if needed. Just over 10 percent of all reports are high-priority cases, requiring immediate intervention, Ms. Thomas-Phillips said. Partnerships between the program and local law enforcement exist to assist in the stabilization of a situation and protecting the senior. “Less than one-tenth of one percent of all our calls do not meet the criteria for our services,” said Ms. Thomas-Phillips.
To report suspected abuse or neglect call this Free EPS Hotline: (833) 577-6532 or (225) 342-0144.
Operation Spark: A Tech Non-Profit Leading the Way Louisiana’s First Coding Bootcamp Trains Workers of All Backgrounds for High-Paying Tech Jobs
New Orleans may best be known for its music, food, and festivals, as well as its Mississippi River port, but over the last six years, it has also become known as the home of Louisiana's foremost technology 'bootcamp' thanks to an idea borne by Operation Spark Founder, John Fraboni, an accomplished video game designer and award-winning, internationally recognized jazz musician.
Focused on a personal mission to create an accessible pathway into the tech economy, Fraboni started a non-profit to train New Orleans workers for in-demand jobs in software development, starting in some of the city's most under-served communities.
Income or education level doesn’t prevent someone from loving video games or digital media. So why can't anyone turn that love into a life-long, high-wage career path?
"Our learning model is meant to circumvent the high cost and lengthy time associated with higher education and get people into great software jobs as fast as possible," said Fraboni.
Eight years since it started, the program now operates statewide, has trained nearly 275 software professionals, placed 92 percent of those in software development careers, and provided a clear path out of poverty for many New Orleanians. Two-thirds of Operation Sparks graduates earned less than a living wage when they started the program. Today, on average, each has an annual income of over $60,000.
Nineteen-year-old Bilal Hankins, a New Orleans public school student, enrolled in a free Operation Spark class during high school. After graduation, he decided to continue workforce training with Operation Spark and is now a software developer with SmartLogic, a nationwide web application shop headquartered in Las Vegas. "Instead of taking a traditional (college) route," says Hankins, "I now have a new career in software development."
"As the first coding bootcamp in Louisiana, we have always been hell-bent on helping people train for and obtain high-wage employment in software engineering," said Mr. Fraboni. "Operation Spark is helping build a strong technology workforce in Louisiana." And after Operation Spark's success in New Orleans, there are plans for expansion to Atlanta with potential for growth in other markets.
Career-changers and those unemployed due to COVID, which hit the New Orleans economy hard in 2020 and 2021, have also discovered Operation Spark's value.
Aiesha Brown, a former marketing representative for Costco, decided it was time for a new career path during the pandemic. She started with a free introductory prep course, going on to graduate from Operation Spark's full-stack Immersion program in just six months. Less than a year later, she quadrupled her salary working as a Front End Engineer for LinkedIn.
"I quit my job in the middle of the pandemic to attend the Operation Spark bootcamp," said Ms. Brown. "If you had told me that I'd be working at LinkedIn less than a year after graduating, I would have laughed in your face! My path to tech is far from traditional, but I'm so thankful for the companies that saw the value that I can bring to the table."
Employers across Louisiana have hired Fraboni's program grads: 80 percent are within the greater New Orleans area, and 14 percent are outside the state - with several outside the U.S. “Operation Spark is a true disruptor of the classical software engineering education domain. Their graduates possess real-world experience in today’s modern technologies.” said Tim Blackmon, former Chief Information Officer for mumms software. “We’ve had great success hiring their graduates”.
"In Louisiana, we have placed the majority of our grads in jobs with employers in and around New Orleans and Baton Rouge, although we’re now starting to see companies from outside the state seek out our grads. We’ve got alumni working in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, DC, Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, and as far away as Sweden and Australia," Mr. Fraboni said.
Operation Spark is also adding to the diversity of software engineers; 27 percent of its grads are women, and 38 percent are people of color.
Operation Spark's six-month technical training program offers financial assistance, access to grants, and other support that help people launch their careers with little to no residual debt.
Through partnerships with Tulane University’s School of Professional Advancement and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, program graduates are also finding they can turn the industry-based credentials earned at Operation Spark into college credits. Regardless of what a graduate decides to pursue, however, Operation Spark is committed to a 100 percent job placement rate for its students.
"If our grads choose to pursue a university degree after they graduate from Operation Spark, they are hyper-prepared for college-level computer science courses," said Mr. Fraboni. "But, with a well-paying software job, they get to make that choice from a position of power because they are well-trained, employed, and financially stable. They know where their interests are, what advancement opportunities are open to them, and how they can navigate the tech economy for a better future.”
For more information on Operation Spark, go to: www.operationspark.org
WHAT: Louisiana Senators John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy are signed onto the American Choice and Innovation Online Act, a bi-partisan bill which would create a new level of bureaucracy at the Federal Trade Commission to regulate big tech.
WHY THIS MATTERS: This would be catastrophic for small businesses which have increasingly come to enjoy access to online marketplaces and platforms that go well-beyond their normal geographic clientele. The Act creates barriers to these services being offered by these tech giants. Half-a-million small businesses sell their products on Amazon’s marketplace, for example. Congress would now erect barriers for Amazon to continue to dominate this service.
This bill would impact these services:
· Google Search and Google Maps
· Locate your phone tracking
· Online food ordering and reservations
· Personal data security services
· Prime shipping
· Offering small and/or minority entrepreneur programs on Facebook or eBay marketplaces
HOW DID THESE BILLS START: They are an overreaction to attempts under the previous Administration to deal with first amendment complaints about the big-tech social media services but have gone too far in creating a new economic bureaucracy to control big tech; business organizations that oppose include U.S Chamber of Commerce, CATO, American Enterprise Institute and others.
SOUND CLIP (download available here):
After 100 years, a Little-known Prohibition of Jazz in the New Orleans Public Schools is Officially Repealed
A long-forgotten but culturally significant action by the New Orleans Public School Board in 1922 outlawed jazz music and jazz dance from all school campuses. The current School Board overseeing public education in the city famous as the Birthplace of Jazz has now repealed that prohibition.
Exactly 100 years from the day of its original abolition of jazz, the Orleans Parish School Board passed Resolution 04-22 on March 24, 2022, rescinding the prior action and encouraging jazz in the local schools.
“The fact that jazz, the quintessential American art form, had been outlawed in the public schools of its birthplace is both ironic and amusing,” said Dr. Ken Ducote, Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools (GNOCCS). “The 1922 prohibition was not on the School Board’s agenda nor based on any principle of pedagogy, but rather it resulted from one Board member’s ethnocentric personal preferences.”
Dr. Al Kennedy, a retired School District Communications Coordinator and author of several books on local cultural history, discovered the archaic ban in the 1990s when he was documenting his book Chord Changes on the Chalkboard: How Public School Teachers Shaped Jazz and the Music of New Orleans.
He explained that “Public school students benefited not only from the study of music and theory, but from direct exposure to musicians. The School District helped support the local music industry by providing full-time employment for musicians as teachers and band leaders.”
The current School Board, led by President Olin Parker, noted this week that jazz originated in New Orleans and is a truly American art form to be celebrated by history and modern-day self-expression.
President Parker said, “Jazz music in education has been shown to enhance student learning experiences by inspiring creativity, developing focus and creating teamwork.”
Modern-day Grammy-award-winning former public school students and jazz musicians like Wynton Marsalis, Trombone Shorty and Harry Connick Jr. and the late Pete Fountain, Dr. John and Louis Prima –just to name a few--would certainly agree. And so would legendary jazz pioneers like local public school attendees Louis Armstrong and Buddy Bolden.
“New Orleans is the home of Jazz and it was about time to take down this 100-year-old, antiquated action taken by the school board in the 1920s,” said New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School “Sci High” Head Dr. Monique Cola. “Jazz is a way of life in New Orleans and our jazz band represents the joy and creativity that this music brings. Jazz brings our whole community together, and we are happy to celebrate the demise of this ruling.”
For more information about the Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools (GNOCCS), go to: www.gnocollaborative.com
Dr. Ken Ducote, Greater New Orleans Collaborative of Charter Schools (GNOCCS) email@example.com or (504) 650-2338
Heather Harper firstname.lastname@example.org or (504) 289-0499
Cheron Brylski email@example.com, or (504) 460-1468
Entergy’s efforts to move to federal court a class-action lawsuit filed by Louisiana customers due to massive blackouts as a result of the failure of their 8-line power transmission system into the metro area of New Orleans have failed, according to a decision issued by the U.S. Eastern District Court.
U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon ruled in his decision that Entergy failed to prove a local court was not the proper jurisdiction to resolve the claims filed by Louisiana customers against Entergy Corporation, Entergy New Orleans LLC and Entergy Louisiana LLC after the main 70-year-old utility tower located in Avondale holding the eight transmission lines fell into the Mississippi River following the 2021 Hurricane Ida.
"The reality this is a state case under state law involving a catastrophic failure in Louisiana’s power system with Louisiana domiciliaries and Louisiana injuries," said Interim Class Counsel Celeste Brustowicz.
Orleans District Court Judge Rachel D. Johnson will now consider the class action for which she appointed Attorney Juan LaFonta and Stuart H. Smith, Barry Cooper, Ms. Brustowicz, and Andrew Jacoby of Cooper Law Firm of New Orleans as well as Interim Class Counsel in 2021.
Entergy customers paid rate increases to maintain and build stronger and redundant transmission systems as protective measures in New Orleans, according to the original filed class action suit. The class action lawsuit states that Entergy created a system that could not and would not sustain even a minor hurricane with wind gusts at or below 100 MPH. Entergy made the decision to not invest in the underground transmission of electricity or other measures required for withstanding hurricanes and predicted climate change, which in an environment like Southeast Louisiana, would have assured regular, consistent, and sustained protected service to all their customers.
“This decision upholds the steps our group of experts and attorneys have taken to stand up for people and businesses injured as a result of Entergy’s negligence and failure to transmit energy to its customers. We seek to hold Entergy responsible to their ratepayers, rather than passing on their deficiencies in their infrastructure and actions as an act of God,” said Mr. LaFonta. “We will prosecute to achieve maximum relief for our residents.”
Link to remand: doc_42_plt_remand_motion_granted.pdf
JUDGE RACHEL JOHNSON APPOINTS ATTORNEY JUAN LAFONTA AS CLASS COUNSEL FOR ENTERGY CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT
Noting the urgency of moving forward with a post-Hurricane Ida class action lawsuit filed by Louisiana customers against Entergy Corporation, Entergy New Orleans LLC and Entergy Louisiana LLC due to the company’s failure to maintain its distribution and transmissions systems despite ratepayer increases for such actions, Attorney Juan LaFonta thanked Orleans Civil District Court Judge Rachel D. Johnson for appointing him as Interim Class Counsel.
The action requires all parties seeking to intervene in the class action as a plaintiff to first contact Atty. LaFonta.
Attorney LaFonta said, “This action has required around-the-clock attention, research, and action since the storm. We have retained the experts, documented the failures and researched the law, as well as taken the legal steps necessary to stand up for people and businesses who have been injured as a result of Entergy’s negligence and failure to transmit energy to its customers. Our intent is that all residents impacted by Hurricane Ida are represented in this class action lawsuit.”
Assisting Mr. LaFonta as approved Interim Class Counsel are Atty. Jack W. Harang and Cooper Law Firm’s Stuart H. Smith, Barry Cooper, Celeste Brustowicz and Andrew Jacoby.
Attorney LaFonta has created a call center for those wishing to join the class action at 504-323-6049.
The lawsuit states that Entergy created a system that could not and would not sustain even a minor hurricane with wind gusts at or below 100 MPH. Entergy made the decision to not invest in the underground transmission of electricity, which in an environment like Southeast Louisiana, could have assured regular, consistent, and sustained protected service to all their customers, not just in affluent neighborhoods. Instead, Entergy chose the bubble gum and super glue approach to protect their billions of dollars over the welfare of their customers. Entergy ultimately knew whatever damages that were sustained during a storm, could be in turn billed back to it’s customer base.
“Entergy’s greed and lies set the foreseeable stage for hundreds of thousands of people to be left without refrigeration, air conditioning, and in many cases sewerage problems. Yet, the Entergy corporation knew of the deficiencies in their infrastructure and failed to act upon them. This is a gross negligence. We thank Judge Johnson for assisting our people in receiving quick justice,” Mr. LaFonta said.
Attorneys for Louisiana ratepayers claiming Entergy companies failed to maintain its distribution and transmissions systems as required by law and despite ratepayer increases to harden the system during severe storms have documented Tuesday that the company has “chopped up” some of the evidence of its failed infrastructure.
In particular, as part of the investigation, the attorneys and their experts went to the site of the large tower failure near the Avondale Shipyard, with drones, only to find that the large tower is no longer there.
The site of the large tower which delivered the main power lines to the metro New Orleans area was also physically examined by Attorney Juan LaFonta and others.
"It's interesting that while the residents of New Orleans can't get their garbage or debris picked up, Entergy can trash an entire tower," said Attorney Andrew Jacoby. “The citizens of Louisiana and the City Council needs to know where the tower is now.”
“It is clear that Entergy is doing what all large corporate actors do when charged with gross negligence,” said Attorney Stuart Smith. “They threaten, they hide, they play a complicated shell game to protect their profits and avoid being held accountable.”
Ironically, the New Orleans City Council, Entergy New Orleans chief regulator, is held a hearing today on Entergy’s proposals to merge its operations in order to gain a more favorable regulator than the City.
“Their actions are reprehensible. They are conspiring to limit their liability because they understand their exposure in failing to address the deficiencies in their infrastructure,” said Mr. Smith, referring to a 2010 study by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, a 2007 “Hardening Study", and a 2016 “Resilience Plan”. “The law is very clear as to the minimum standards required of companies such as Entergy. These minimum standards were violated.”
Mr. LaFonta said the phones have been ringing off the hook since the filing of the class action lawsuit against Entergy for citizens and residents of Louisiana injured by the company’s failure to transmit power to its customers despite multiple studies and reports calling for the power company to strengthen its aging infrastructure in light of storms, climate change and despite ratepayer increases for such actions.
Plaintiffs include individuals like Lexie Keys of Marrero whose home was supposed to be a priority ‘reconnect’ after a power failure due to dialysis equipment required to maintain the life of her mother, whom she cares for. Instead, Ms. Keys had to evacuate to Texas and find alternative housing, which the combined salaries of all in her household cannot sustain. Another plaintiff, according to Mr. LaFonta, died from heat exposure when the power failed at the nursing home shelter to which the person was evacuated.
“We are going to fight for the interests of Louisiana’s people,” said Mr. LaFonta. “We are standing up for Louisiana residents and businesses who have been injured as a result of Entergy’s negligence and failure to transmit energy to its customers. The scope of the lawsuit is meant to protect all citizens of Louisiana, from the families who have lost a freezer of food, to businesses who have been shuttered as a result of power loss in hard hit communities.”
Mr. Smith and Jacoby said the legal team has retained experts necessary to aide them in holding Entergy accountable. This lawsuit only covers people who are residents and citizens of the State of Louisiana. For information about the lawsuit, call Mr. LaFonta at 504-323-6049.
The lawyers recommend that residents impacted by the power failure should keep a record of expenses and other documentation related to the scope of their damages. They also suggest residents and business owners keep a diary of notes or a computer journal about how the conditions have affected them from the loss of power.
“This records and notes will be important if called for testimony,” said Mr. Smith.