Neighborhoods Await Redevelopment Plan | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

NEW ORLEANS — The few rebuilt homes on this Gentilly block are surrounded by debris-dotted and weed-choked empty lots, or houses abandoned after Hurricane Katrina.

In Gentilly and many neighborhoods, uncertainty hangs like a thick fog nearly 28 months after the storm flooded 80 percent of New Orleans. “It could go one way or the other,” Karran Harper Royal says as she pulls up to her rebuilt home in Gentilly’s Oak Park. “I try to go the optimistic way.”

Neighborhoods Await Redevelopment Plan | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

Phoenix ditches $2.4 million public-art project for park

A $2.4 million public art piece chosen by a city-appointed panel for the planned downtown park near Van Buren Street and Central Avenue has been rejected by the Phoenix City Manager’s Office despite $104,000 already paid to the artist.

Phoenix Arts and Culture Commission members are angry and wonder if someone in City Hall thinks the proposed piece, which resembles a floating jellyfish, is too unconventional and will reignite a controversy on what makes for proper public art.

Phoenix ditches $2.4 million public-art project for park.

Local Landscapers push for more work visas

Mark Borst headed for Washington, D.C., last week, hoping to boost the flow of labor back and forth across the Mexican border.

The president of Allendale-based Borst Landscape and Design Inc. was among 500 American businessmen lobbying their congressional representatives to increase the number of temporary work visas, known as H-2Bs, issued by the U.S. each year.

The visas allow businesses such as landscapers, house painters, construction companies and restaurants to legally bring foreign workers into the U.S. for nine months, after which they return home.

North Jersey Media Group Local Landscapers push for more work visas

Ecosystem equation

Wal-Mart turned to landscape architectural and environmental consulting firm Earth Source Inc. To help Wal-Mart comply with environmental laws, Allen County-based Earth Source and related company Heartland Restoration Services Inc. designed and built a replacement wetland several times larger than the parcel affected by the store’s construction.

Ecosystem equation | The Journal Gazette.

Public art: Who decides? — baltimoresun.com

What is it about public art that sparks such passionate debate?

It usually begins with a generous impulse: to honor a prominent citizen, beautify the city, show respect for the importance of art in our lives. But the process of deciding just what art to put where frequently inspires strong disagreement – contention that, on reflection, has obvious roots.

Public art is meant to provoke, to enlighten, to provide new ways of seeing the world around us. To be successful, an artist must have freedom to create.

Public art: Who decides? — baltimoresun.com.