This past Saturday night, Jefferson Street became a one-way street from 11 p.m. until 2:30 a.m., from Johnston Street all the way down to Evangeline Thruway. There has been increasing concern that downtown's explosion in late-night crowds has created congestion on both the streets and the sidewalks ("Rained Out," June 1).
"The problem is we're getting bottlenecks from the cruisers," says Lafayette Police Cpl. Mark Francis. "They're coming in here just to ride around. A lot of time they're stopping in the roadway, congesting and backing up traffic two and three blocks. If, in the event we need to get an emergency vehicle in there, we have a problem because traffic is not moving."
Francis says the one-way traffic flow is minimizing opportunities for passing drivers to stop in the road to talk with one another. In addition to keeping the traffic flowing, Lafayette Police were also keeping the foot traffic moving. "We're not going to allow you to loiter," Francis says. "You've got a lot of people who are not going to the establishments; they're just hanging out. We want to move those people on."
Francis says the main problem for the Lafayette Police is a matter of resources. "We have limited resources," he says, "and to get the resources we need, it's going to take money. So we're looking at everything we can do, that's humanly possible, to deal with this situation so that we can keep it safe." ' RRF
Fiber 411 began a rallying cry last year to have the residents of Lafayette vote on whether they wanted Lafayette Utilities System's fiber-to-the-home project. The three amigos behind the group ' Neal Breakfield, Bill LeBlanc and Tim Supple ' got what they wanted, a referendum scheduled for July 16.
But now the trio wants Lafayette Consolidated Government to pass an ordinance, before the July 16 vote, that would allow LUS to forgo paying the in-lieu-of tax in the infancy of the fiber project.
In a press release titled "Fiber 411 supports fiber, but rejects 'in lieu tax,'" the group stated: "If the City Council will not adopt such ordnance [sic], we have no choice but to vote against the bonds and suggest all citizens consider the same." Supple told The Advocate that if the ordinance was passed, he would vote for fiber on July 16, while both Breakfield and LeBlanc told the paper that they would still vote against it, regardless of the passing of their proposed ordinance. ' RRF
UL'S PRINCETON REVIEW
The Princeton Review recently cited UL Lafayette as one of the best college values in the nation for 2006 ' the only Louisiana school to receive the distinction. Only 81 schools in the nation were selected after considering factors like tuition amounts, the average financial aid granted to students, as well as the average debt incurred by graduating seniors.
Last year, Princeton Review ranked UL as one of the best 357 colleges nationally, but when it came to whether students thought their teachers were good, unfortunately UL ranked No. 10 in the category of teachers receiving low marks from their students. And when it came to studying, UL ranked No. 20 in the schools whose students rarely crack a book. (Luckily, LSU beat UL in that category, coming in at No. 15.) But UL ranked No. 11 in schools with the best relations between students and the local community.
The Review's annual report for 2006, with the 361 best colleges nationwide, is scheduled for publication in late August. ' RRF
METZGER MOVES ON
The Daily Advertiser is looking for a new executive editor. After 22 months on the job, Juli Metzger is moving back to her native Indiana (and moving into the sales side of publishing) to become the president and publisher of two Gannett-owned newspapers ' The Star Press in Munice, Ind., and Chronicle-Tribune in Marion, Ind.
Ted Power, president and publisher of South Louisiana Publishing ' which oversees the operations of Gannett papers The Daily Advertiser, The Times of Acadiana, Opelousas Daily World and the Quik Quarter ' says that a new executive editor has not been named. "We'll certainly see if anybody applies here," he says, "and we'll see if anybody applies from outside of the newspaper. Then we'll pick the best candidate for Lafayette." Until the position is filled, Managing Editor Marc Gilbert will oversee the daily operations of the paper.
Power is uncertain whether the new executive editor will also oversee the operation of the weekly newspaper The Times, as has been done in the past. "I think it would depend on the experiences of the candidates who apply," Power says. "Certainly, you'd like to have as little change as possible, but we'll see what fits each of the candidates that we might interview and make a decision from there."
Power estimates that the executive editor position should be filled within three months. ' RRF
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.
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.
US cities bidding on Olympics; Guard prevents more Ferguson riots; storm threatens travel and more national and international news for Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
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.
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.
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.
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.
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.