Friday, December 29, 2006
Who wants to be a councilman?
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Go to Sugar Bowl and help Acadiana Youth
As a state legislator, Michot is given dibs on two face-value LSU bowl tickets each year. Michot has previously donated Sugar Bowl tickets to the Acadiana Boys and Girls Club. If I'm not mistaken, the ebay auction is also made possible by new legislation passed this year sanctioning the online scalping of tickets
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
FCC challenges cable franchises
You may recognize this issue as being very familiar to a contentious state cable franchise bill pushed by BellSouth earlier this year, which Gov. Blanco vetoed.
Along with municipal groups like the National League of Cities, the issue is also attracting the interest of public access channels, like Acadiana Open Channel, who are funded through portions of cable franchise fees. (AOC recieves $220,000 annually of the parish's cable franchise funds). The Alliance for Community Media, of which AOC is a member, has been circulating this petition and encouraging supporters to lobby their congressional representatives.
Can it get any worse for Gov. Blanco?
Cynics might say Marchand's exploiting the situation for her own political gain, but it's some of her Ninth Ward constituents who are bearing the brunt of the Road Home bureaucratic nightmare. And nothing else to date seems to have gotten this program on track, so you can't blame Marchand for taking drastic action.
As a point of reference, here's my blog post from more than a month ago on the Road Home program. Since then, only 52 more people have received checks.
Inadequate? Try inexcusable
As Independent Weekly contributing writer Jeremy Alford noted last week in a story about the Louisiana Recovery Authority, the Road Home program is moving agonizingly slow. It's simply inexcusable that out of more than 70,000 people who've applied for desperately needed money to rebuild or repair their hurricane-damaged homes, less than 30 have received their check from the LRA.
This morning's Advocate story notes that Gov. Blanco used part of her press conference yesterday (primarily scheduled to tout a plant expansion) to say that the pace of the Road Home program was inadequate.
"We're going to talk about what's causing the roadblocks. I need to know because I will not tolerate any slow action," she said.
Well, it's been tolerated so far. And there's no telling how many applicants simply decided to throw in the towel and move out of state because of the infuriating bureaucracy bogging down the Road Home program. Make no mistake: the Road Home program is Blanco's program. And she needs to fix it fast, because it's becoming a maddening embarrassment in the recovery efforts.
Friday, December 15, 2006
best typo of the week
Preliminary Corps report: Close MRGO with earthen damn
At least it's changed in the lead paragraph:
The controversial Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, blamed by many St. Bernard residents as providing a shortcut for the hurricane storm surge that inundated the parish, should be closed with an armored earthen dam at the Bayou la Loutre ridge, the Army Corps of Engineers recommended in a preliminary report submitted to Congress today.
I think they should just add a comma and exclamation point to the headline, and then it sounds like a blast of medieval-flavored indignity: Close MRGO with earthen, damn!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
a Who Dat Christmas
Hat tip to Rayne native and Dallas Morning News writer Joshua Benton, who posted the clip on his crabwalk.com blog.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Donna Landry Leaving LGMC
Calling it the "toughest decision I ever made," Landry says she accepted the job because of the strong reputation and appeal of The Schumacher Group and the chance to apply her skills in a different area of health care. "I get to stay engaged in health care, still in the Lafayette community, with another highly reputable organization that's very mission-driven and focused, at a very high-energy pace," she says.
LGMC has 1,600 employees, and Schumacher just under 600 — though it operates in 15 states. The former chairman of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Landry has been with LGMC for almost two decades. She starts the new position Jan. 15.
Landry will oversee key departments in the corporate office that support Schumacher's hospital contracts throughout its 15-state region. Owned by Dr. William Schumacher, an emergency medicine physician, the company is in its 13th year of business.
Patrick Gandy, administrator of the Lafayette General Surgical Hospital, will replace Landry. He has been with the hospital for 13 years.
Also at LGMC, Chief Nursing Officer Debbie Ford has accepted a similar post with Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge. Ford has worked at the local hospital for more than 20 years and will stay on through the end of the year.
Federal judge: Katrina housing program a "legal disaster"
"Let me make this clear," Leon told government attorney Michael Sitcov. "Tell FEMA that I'm expecting them to get going on this. Like immediately."
Leon ruled that FEMA mishandled the transition from a short-term housing program to a longer-term program this spring and summer. Instead of explaining why funding was being cut, FEMA provided only computer-generated and sometimes conflicting program codes, Leon said.
The judge ordered FEMA to explain those decisions so thousands of evacuees can understand the reasoning and decide whether to appeal.
"I'm not looking for a doctoral dissertation," Leon said. "I'm looking for a couple of paragraphs in plain English."
Sitcov said that FEMA's computer system cannot do what the judge wants. The eight-year-old system is set up only to produce program codes, he said. The program also cannot say for certain how many evacuees in Texas were covered by Leon's order or how many people appealed the denial of their aid, Sitcov said.
"It's not as adept at doing these kinds of machinations," Sitcov said.
Is there anything that FEMA is adept at?
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
And the winner is ... Guyland Leday!
Leday is one of five finalists in Oscar Mayer's Sing the Jingle contest. According to the contest's rules, he will travel on a 5-day trip for four to tape a television commercial for Oscar Mayer, with $5,000 spending cash. Leday's perforamance could then be aired in a national advertising campaign for the famed bologna and weiners.
For more about Guyland Leday, read this post on Da Bog.
(photo couresty of David Simpson, LSUE)
Season of Renewal
The entire 9-article series can be viewed here. Also be sure to check out the incredible photos from Times photographers Cheryl Gerber and Lee Celano.
One more for the playoffs
And depending on the outcome and a variety of scenarios with their final two games against the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers, they could clinch the No. 2 seed in the NFC, earn a bye first week of the playoffs and a home playoff game the following week.
To say that excitement over the Saints season is reaching fever pitch is the understatement of the year. More than 300 fans were waiting at the New Orleans airport - at 2:30 a.m. - to greet the team after they crushed Dallas on Sunday night. Saints quarterback Drew Brees was blown away by the reception.
"That was crazy," he said. "You would think that by 3 a.m. everybody would be sound asleep, but fans were out, and they were excited and they were pumped up. That's a great way to come home."
Friday, December 08, 2006
Lafayette man impounds reindeer
The film was shot in both Shreveport and Natchitoches. You can also look for Lafayette resident, Marcus Brown, who helped launch a digital film program locally at South Louisiana Community College. Brown plays the part of "Officer Jefferson," a bicycle cop who impounds one of Santa's reindeer.
Savoy nominated for a Grammy
New Orleans Soul Queen Irma Thomas is also up for a Grammy for her album After the Rain in the Best Contemporary Blues Album. (Dr. John is also nominated in the same category for his Sippiana Hericane.) Thomas recorded the album at Dockside Studio in Maurice, with the help of local musicians Sonny Landreth, Dirk Powell and David Egan. Thomas was also the subject of an April 26 cover story in The Independent, Queen in Exile.
Other Louisiana nominees include Allen Toussaint with Elvis Costello, Tab Benoit, Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard and Harry Connick Jr. Read the list of Louisiana's nominees at Greg Hardison's satchmo.com Web site or the entire list of Grammy nominees.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
France 24 reports on international news with a specifically French viewpoint, including a range of opinions, debates, disputes, confrontations, defense of multilateralism, secularism, solidarity, respect, freedom of expression, lifestyle, culture, fashion, gastronomy, etc.
The station broadcasts in French and English, and in two to three months will add Arabic.
While the station has a television signal, it will initially reach only Europe, the Middle East and Africa. For Americans, unless you are an employee of the United Nations, connectivity is via internet.
Here in Lafayette, Alliance Francaise president Bernard de Reynies is quite pleased with the French connection. "All you have to do is choose your language of preference: French or English to know at all times what the French think of the world situation."
New York Times blogger Tom Zeller reported in his column, The Lede:
According to a recent write-up in The Times of London, the network's official motto, "Everything you are not supposed to know," graced the entrance of the network's Paris headquarters — although the article also suggested that executives were planning to change the motto, finding it "too cheeky."
If you can't wait for the Arabic version, try Al Jazeera's website right now.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Documentaries about Cajun folklife have raised hackles in the past. A documentary filmed in Eunice and Mamou during Mardi Gras in the 1970s called The Good Times Are Killing Me, poked fun at French-speaking Cajuns, causing the naturally outgoing folks of the Cajun prairie to treat filmmakers warily.
The preview packed the St. Bernard Catholic Church hall during the Christmas program of the Catholic Daughter's League. Countless times during the screening, the room filled with good natured laughter that finally erupted into rounds of applause. Castille's script, co-produced and filmed by Allison Bohl, with a sound track by Dirk Powell, Anya Burgess and BonSoir, Catin will premier January 27 at the Bayou Bijou Theatre. Watch the Ind for more information.
FEMA squanders $1 billion
In one case, FEMA purchased 20 flat-bottom boats, but could not find two of them and lacked titles to any of them.
Alan Richman, unrepentant and more offensive than ever
But what provoked the most vitriol was his assertion that there is no such thing as a Creole.
"I have never met one and suspect they are a faerie folk, like leprechauns, rather than an indigenous race," he wrote. He added that "the idea that you might today eat an authentic Creole dish is a fantasy."
That claim had the unifying force of an invitation to a seafood boil. An agitated city attacked.
"I'd like to throw him in the back room at Tipitina's with all the Neville brothers and see if he still thinks Creoles don't exist," said Poppy Tooker, a cooking teacher who was raised in New Orleans.
Richman's weakly defended the article in various forums, but read his latest unbelievably stupid assertion in the Times:
"If people want to call themselves Creoles, fine," he said. "I am now calling myself a tight end for the New York Giants."
If only that was the case. Then when the Giants play the Saints on Christmas Eve, Eli Manning could throw one of his inaccurate passes over the middle to Richman and Saints safety Omar Stoutmire could hit him so hard it might finally knock some sense into him.
Take an aspirin with today's news
Sen. President Don Hines still angry that Gov. Kathleen Blanco didn't support the Bunkie syrup mill project, so spearheads a movement to shut down the Legislature's upcoming special session.
State to Lafayette: no road money for you! And another reminder that Lafayette's legislative delegation is one of the weakest in Louisiana.
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon pleads with St. Paul Travelers Insurance Inc. not to pull out of the state; widespread concern that St. Paul's move could spark other commercial insurers to also leave Louisiana.
Despite that inexplicable $90,000 in the freezer, U.S. Rep. William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson might still be re-elected.
National Football League gives leading New Orleans Saints run-stopper Hollis Thomas four-game suspension for taking … asthma medicine.
But in encouraging news, Lafayette City Parish Council solves pressing problem of smelly pets.
Make that two aspirin.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Oil royalties vote on deck
With the drilling-friendly Republican-controlled Congress set to expire at week's end, today's House vote is seen as the last, best chance for coastal states, led by Louisiana, to lock in a share of steady revenue from new energy production in federal waters. Louisiana's cut from the 8.3 million offshore acres that would be opened to drilling is estimated to be $20 million annually through 2017 and as much as $650 million a year afterward.
And Landrieu sounds almost defiantly optimistic:
"Everyone has had their say," Landrieu said. "We have been debating this bill in Louisiana for 60 years. It is time to vote."
Monday, December 04, 2006
The Corps slows to a crawl
Even some within the corps say things should have been well under way by now. An engineer who left the corps, and was granted anonymity because he continues to work with the agency, said, "We should have been turning dirt months ago."
Friday, December 01, 2006
Milking the system
Starting Dec. 14, the military will begin an unusual taste test to let the troops decide which they like better: the powdered milk purchased from a Middle Eastern firm or the extended shelf-life milk distributed by a Metairie company.
The government agreed to the test after Diversified Foods of Metairie and its Utah milk supplier, backed by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said the military should buy American, not only out of patriotism, but because the domestically produced product is easier to protect against contamination by terrorists. Besides, they said, the American milk tastes better.
Presumably, a matter of homeland security
"I am reminding representatives of these bowls of the excitement our state shares for this team and everything we offer as LSU fans. An invitation to any of these bowls would be a major win for both LSU and the bowls themselves," she said.
Now, if we can only get a special session called for the state legislature to pass an emergency resolution supporting LSU in the Rose Bowl.