Rather than produce a boiler plate YIR, we’ve tried to be a little more creative. Last year it was a celestial guide that was harder to execute than we imagined going in. This year we turned to Pooyie, the weekly news feature that highlights the good, bad and crazy of our neck of the woods. Like last year, putting this issue together was more difficult than we envisioned.
Going through the previous 54 weeks of 2010, Pooyie turned out to be a reliable guide to the year in news and an accurate barometer of our business. The good news — “C’est Bon” — is overshadowed by both the bad news — “Pas Bon” — and those news makers who over the year warranted some head scratching — the “couillons.” News media tend to gravitate toward the bad — if it bleeds, it leads, as they say in TV.
In distilling our list of the year’s best and worst stories and craziest personalities, we had to jettison a lot of what made its way into Pooyie over the course of 2010. Cajun cook Marcelle Bienvenu being named to the Order of Living Legends by the Acadian Museum in Erath — the year’s first C’est Bon in what was clearly a slow week — didn’t make the list. Nor did the Louisiana Supreme Court’s reversal of a Third Circuit ruling allowing a convicted felon to run for a seat on the Abbeville City Council. It was good that SCOLA clarified state law, but not good enough to make Pooyie 2010.
The most difficult aspect of this enterprise was deciding who made the couillon cut. We love our couillons at The Independent Weekly; they are our bread and butter. While Gov. Bobby Jindal riding the Saints’ coattails for campaign cash on Super Bowl weekend and Rep. Rickey Hardy trying to prevent our grandparents from seeking public office made the list, neither the guy in Rayne who laced hot dogs with pesticide to kill crawfish pond-marauding raccoons nor the bored volunteer fire fighter accused of arson did.
But the big stories that dominated the news — the annexation squabbles, the councilman’s dire financial straits, the Lafayette Housing Authority mess, the horse farm, arts funding and school board — are there. Perhaps the event that will have the most profound effect on the future of our parish merits brief mention as a C’est Bon: creation of the Lafayette Charter Commission.
In reviewing 2010, it’s accurate to say the BP spill garnered the most ink — consecutive covers, in fact, which hadn’t happened here since Hurricane Katrina. And like the national recession, which Louisiana has weathered relatively well, the spill and consequent drilling moratorium failed to kill our economy or our spirit.
So, here’s looking ahead to 2011 and the stories and people who will ascend into Pooyie. Especially the couillons.
Click on the pdf below to see our amazing Pooyie 2010 Calendar.
2011 Couillon Watch
2010 set a high bar for couillonness, but looking ahead to 2011, things have the potential to get even crazier.
Here’s our prime suspects for earning the couillon spot in our weekly Pooyie segment next year.
Recently, Gov. Bobby Jindal has been spending more time out of state on national campaign fundraisers and book tours than he has at home tending to state business. His “I’m not really running for president” campaign will get really interesting as his gubernatorial reelection in the fall of 2011 draws near, along with the 2012 Iowa presidential caucus. At some point, Bobby’s going to have to decide what office he’s running for, though he’s proven himself pretty adept at dissembling.
We were as surprised as anyone when we heard the news that Gov. Jindal had tapped Troy Hebert to be the state’s next Commissioner of Alcohol and Tobacco Control. With his legendary reputation as a capital playboy, it seemed a bit like putting the fox on guard at the henhouse. Hebert recently got married and avows he is settled down for good. We hope that’s the case, given that our last ATC commish resigned amid allegations of stalking one female employee and doling out a promotion to another one that he dated.
Jim Tucker and Rick Gallot
Not sure which of these two state legislators will emerge as the bigger couillon, but if their early squabbles over House redistricting plans are any indication, one of them is bound to get mired in the couillon mud pit. Gallot, who chairs the House and Governmental Affairs Committee that will head up redistricting next year, is already crying foul over Speaker of the House Jim Tucker’s move to stack his committee with Republicans. Given the high stakes involved and Louisiana’s penchant for political gerrymandering, this one’s bound to get out of hand at some point.
Landrieu has a proven ability to quickly shift her position with the current political winds. First she was for tax cuts for the wealthy, then she was against them. It’ll be interesting to see how long Landrieu can continue her delicate balancing act of bucking the unpopular president while still seeking favor and influence with the Democratic Party.
Mix up a right wing tea party philosophy with some Cajun canaille and a greenhorn congressman anxious to make an impression and you’ve got the explosive cocktail that is Jeff Landry, who will be heading to D.C. next year to take the reins from Charlie Melancon, representing Louisiana’s 3rd District.
The Broussard mayor’s unchecked annexation ambitions put him at odds with neighboring officials in Lafayette and Youngsville this year. Fresh off reelection to another four-year term, he won’t be satisfied until Broussard becomes the parish seat.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Black Friday shopping begins; Pope visiting Turkey; oil prices decline and more national and international news for Friday, November 28, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Casual cool for Thanksgiving
Shop Lafayette goes strong
The fight to clean up Lafayette Parish could get some added ammunition with two ordinances up for votes Tuesday by the City-Parish Council targeting litter-bugs.
A divided 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a Lafayette district judge’s ruling absolving the co-owner of a New Iberia accounting firm of liability in an embezzlement case.
Our View: It’s reasonable, temporary and invests in Lafayette’s future.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
By striking a deal to lessen the blow of health insurance changes on state workers, school employees and retirees, Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lowered the volume of criticism but gave itself and local school boards a new budget headache.
With the airport tax coming up for a parishwide vote in about a week, the Broussard City Council and its mayor have come out in support of the proposal.
Protesters rallied peacefully in several Louisiana cities in the wake of the Missouri grand jury decision not to indict a police officer in the fatal shooting of Michal Brown.
Three bedroom in Port Barre or two bedroom in Opelousas
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
“I am only getting a little nervous about two projects — the proposed Sasol GTL facility [not the new ethylene plant] and the proposed G2X facility — both in Lake Charles. They need a hefty difference between oil and natural gas prices to make sense.”
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Lower oil prices also might slow the growth of oil production in parts of the U.S., Canada and elsewhere because it will no longer be so profitable.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
A Lafayette woman faces up to 20 years in prison for running up more than $1 million in unauthorized charges to her company credit card.
Signs that our state’s banking industry is undergoing a downsizing in 2014 were further confirmed today with the FDIC’s latest figures showing a third straight quarter in which Louisiana lost more banks and earned less money.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State police say a 47-year-old Lafayette man, who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits, is accused of operating two businesses out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.