The Louisiana Parish of St. Bernard, adjacent to New Orleans, remains a washed-out shadow of its former, pre-Katrina self β€” so much so, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, that even the problem of counting the parish's remaining population for the 2010 census has become a political and administrative football (" St. Bernard Parish officials push to get residents counted in 2010 census," by Bob Warren). "St. Bernard Parish's official 2000 population, according to the Census Bureau, was 67,229. The bureau estimated the parish had a 2008 population of 37,722 - around 56 percent of the pre-Hurricane Katrina count," reports the Times-Picayune. However, "[Parish President Craig] Taffaro said parish officials, basing their number on several factors including utility permits, estimate the parish's current population at around 41,000." Taffaro and other area political leaders are pressuring the Census Department to use counting methods that will list some displaced residents as residing in the parish, even if they have yet to rebuild their houses. There's a lot at stake, notes the Times-Picayune: "Census numbers factor into things ranging from congressional representation to the distrIbution of federal dollars." Meanwhile, the Louisiana Land Trust, the non-profit corporation that holds title to properties bought out by the state as part of the Road Home program for Katrina recovery, is about to launch a project in cooperation with St. Bernard Parish government to erase the last traces of thousands of homes that were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina flooding. As the Times-Picayune reports here, the Trust and the Parish plan to spend millions of dollars tearing up and carting away the slab foundations that remain on sites where the actual houses are now long gone (" In St. Bernard, concrete slabs will be turning into grass," by Chris Kirkham). The slab demolition project, which will take six months to complete, is being described as the largest single concrete demolition project in history. But while it may represent progress in the parish's recovery, it's not likely to lead to a return of displaced residents: according to press reports, most of the properties where the slabs now lie will be offered to neighboring property-owners as part of the parish's "Lot Next Door" program. The Times-Picayune describes that program here (" St. Bernard homeowners get chance to expand lots," by Bruce Eggler).