CAN BOFFY BOUNCE BAYARD? Former Teacher of the Year seeks state school board seat.
Louisiana’s 2010 Teacher of the Year, Holly Boffy has her work cut out for her. Embracing a controversial position early on that the tenure system for public school teachers should be abolished — this will not endear her to the powerful teacher unions in Louisiana — Boffy hopes to unseat an entrenched incumbent in Dale Bayard, who switched political parties at the right time and who is likely to get the backing of the state’s most powerful Christian lobbying group.
Bayard has been a voice on BESE for Louisiana Family Forum, the religious right lobbying group that wants desperately to bring Louisiana back to a bucolic era that never actually existed. He was the lone vote last year for rejecting mainstream science textbooks that teach evolution and more importantly don’t teach Intelligent Design, the creationist-friendly pseudo-science.
Bayard was first elected to BESE’s District 7 seat in 1999. He ran unopposed in 2003. Since his victory in the 2007 election, Bayard has switched to the Republican Party — an act of survival these days for Democrats looking to manage multi-parish races. Four years ago, running as a Dem, Bayard lost badly in Lafayette Parish, the easternmost outpost of the southwest Louisiana District, to Republican and former state party Chairman Charlie Buckels of Lafayette. But the farther west toward his home turf in Calcasieu Parish the race went, the better Bayard did: He and Buckels split Acadia Parish 50-50; but Bayard wiped the floor with Buckels in Jefferson Davis, Cameron and Calcasieu with 63, 64 and 61 percent of the vote respectively, eking out a 51-49 victory.
Boffy has the credentials to make a thoughtful BESE rep for southwest Louisiana, yet at just 33 years old she’s not entrenched in the public-education status quo and is likely willing to stare down some sacred cows. But she will need to do better in the western parishes of the district — much better — if she hopes to put her love of teaching to practice in Baton Rouge. She may have an ace in the hole: Gov. Bobby Jindal is reportedly backing her campaign in an effort to stack the BESE deck with reform-minded members. — WP
MAY 22 This post was written the day after the second line shooting in NOLA, by Brentin Mock. Mock is a friend of Deb "Big Red" Cotton, a blogger who was shot in the back and was seriously injured. It is a raw, emotional piece of writing, something the writer obviously felt he needed to get off his chest. But it raises questions that can't be easily dismissed, and might give some insight into where the source of these events truly is.
MAY 22 In this Baton Rouge Business Report post, Rolfe McCollister considers the privatization of bus service in Baton Rouge. After decades of under-funding, it is a mess, and although a tax (partially) passed last year, improvement hasn't happened yet. McCollister apparently feels it is time to let private business get in on the transit business.
MAY 22 This post on Bayou Buzz by Jeff Crouere urges the defeat of a bill that would grant modest pay increases over the next several years to the state's judges and clerks of court. The state is in no position to fund pay hikes, Crouere argues, with the pay increases costing a total of $9 million over several years. It sends the wrong message to the (proverbial) hard-working people of Louisiana, he says.
MAY 22 The Advocate reports here that State Treasurer John Kennedy is complaining about a meeting of the corporation that oversees the state's tobacco settlement. The Governor wanted it restructured, and he has some support, but not a lot. The corporation agreed with his plan, but Kennedy didn't, and it appears that the meeting was noticed in a manner completely different than that of all previous meetings. Kennedy's given to hyperbole, but in this case the fish don't smell too fresh.
MAY 22 In this Advocate story, Carencro Police Chief Carlos Stout says the recent federal indictment of a strip club owner is all wrong. The indictment alleges that drugs and prostitution went on with impunity because club staff made arrangements with "local" police. Stout says it never happened, and while his cops do work security in the parking lot, they're not allowed inside.
MAY 22 This amusing post in DIG Baton Rouge recounts an ad that ran on Craig's List recently; the advertiser was seeking tenants for a Beauregard Town house. He knew his market, and wrote an ad that the most ironical hipster couldn't resist. Apparently, he really did know his market, because the ad worked like a charm.
MAY 22 In this post in The Lens, Mark Moseley comments on the rhetoric Gov. Jindal employed in trying to save his tax "reform" package. One interesting point concerns Jindal's use of his brother, Nikesh, in a little story. Nikesh left Louisiana because of his inability to get a decent job, the story goes, but the story won't hold water: Nikesh lives in DC, which has an income tax level comparable to Louisiana, Moseley says. If income taxes caused the dismal situation, it should exist in DC too. Right?
MAY 22 This post by columnist John Maginnis traces the trajectory of the bill that would fund construction at community and technical colleges -- and bypass the Board of Regents and traditional higher ed funding mechanisms. Sure, it will bust the legislature's self-imposed debt limit, but some leges feel that there's more need (because there is more growth) in the community and technical college area than in the university area, he says.
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David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.