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 Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is considering whether to get involved in a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal for his attempts to undermine use of the Common Core education standards in Louisiana's public schools.
The latest meeting of a south Louisiana flood board that stirred political turmoil with a lawsuit against the oil and gas industry is taking place amid uncertainty over the future of the lawsuit — and the board's own membership.
The photos taken nearly a mile under the Gulf of Mexico are so clear that small holes are visible in a lifeboat that may have gone down or been scuttled when a passenger ship was sunk by a Nazi submarine in 1942.
Advocate columnist and Jindal shill Quin Hillyer has been against the New Orleans levee board lawsuit from day one, but a recent piece targeting author/activist John Barry prompted the perfect rebuttal from the board’s former vice-president, who takes Hillyer to task on just about every distorted claim he’s made on the issue.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Pat Bowlen steps down; typhoon caused Taiwan plane crash; Arizona execution botched and more national and international news for Thursday, July 24, 2014.
Thousands of people who bought health insurance through the marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul face price hikes next year that could top 10 percent.
Louisiana fell one spot in an annual national ranking of child well-being that looks at poverty, education and health access.
A federal judge has decided he doesn't need to hear more arguments in the case of a gay couple who want a Louisiana marriage license.
Saints again bring playoff aspirations into 2014 campaign.
New details in the case against the man arrested for last week’s bomb threat and bank robbery has surfaced, including a MidSouth Bank surveillance video showing the alleged suspect attempt an early-morning bank robbery.
Parents and teachers who support the Common Core education standards sued Gov. Bobby Jindal Tuesday over his actions against the multi-state standards, accusing him of illegally meddling in education policy.
An arrest was announced this morning in connection with last week’s bomb scare at UL Lafayette.
Attorneys, judges and others interviewed by LaPolitics expect 15 to 20 district judge races this year.
"I feel like I'm under siege," an attorney said recently over drinks at Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge. "We all do. Every time I turn around somebody wants a check. District attorney races. The judges. They're killing us."
As a requirement for running for Congress in the 6th District, former Gov. Edwin Edwards has filed his financial disclosure statement with the U.S. House showing his income in 2013 totaling $242,787.
Unlike those swindled by Bernie Madoff, the victims of Texas businessman Robert Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme won’t be getting any relief from the Securities Investor Protection Corp.’s emergency fund after a recent appellate court ruling.
The legal challenge is part of a continuing struggle over Common Core, which has become controversial since the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the standards in 2010.
The lone Democrat to announce he's running for governor, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, criticized Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's budgeting tactics as "running the state like a big Ponzi scheme."
State police have arrested a 42-year-old Kaplan man in the July 7 hit and run fatality crash that killed a bicyclist on Louisiana Highway 92 near Milton.
Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy has picked up support for his U.S. Senate campaign from a former GOP competitor.
Lisa Hargis Smith lived a mysterious life as seen with her death earlier this month and its impact on the community of those who knew her, whether as a star student in Lafayette High’s class of ‘69, or later as a woman struggling with homelessness and mental illness.
Attorney Valerie Gotch Garrett will announce on Tuesday that she plans to run for the Division E seat of the 15th Judicial District Court.
Back in 2012, three Baton Rouge attorneys came to the aid of several disgruntled police officers with a high-profile lawsuit against the Lafayette Police chief and a number of higher-ups in city-parish government, but in a federal courtroom Thursday, their claims of conspiracy coupled with a lack of evidence backfired and the case was dismissed.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration intends to rework how it pays the private managed care networks that provide health services to two-thirds of Louisiana's Medicaid patients.