There's a new organization for Francophiles in Acadiana. Alliance FranÃ§ais de Lafayette ' the newest member of a 100-year-old national federation promoting French language and culture ' just kicked off its membership drive. Faustine Hillard, an administrative assistant at CODOFIL and executive director of the new alliance, says the time is right. She regularly receives phone calls from locals needing travel information, as well as from visitors from France in search of French-speaking Louisianans. "There was a desire for a meeting place," she says. The alliance will provide a cultural meeting center for travelers, as well as an ambitious schedule of French classes and programming.
Building on local French conversation groups that Hillard describes as "islands of French," the alliance will offer classes in standard, Cajun and Creole French. "The lost generation, those from 30 to 60 years in age, their parents learned, their children are learning, they want to be able to talk to both," says Hillard. Beginner, intermediate and conversational French classes will be offered.
Wednesday nights the public is invited to activities ranging from lectures on the culture of Francophone counties to cinema franÃ§ais. French cooking classes, wine tastings, Francophone dinners, theatrical productions and storytelling for children are also in the works. Hillard particularly emphasizes the theatre, which is aimed at high school students who have completed French immersion programs. "Those who have come back from the four-week immersion in Nova Scotia, they have nowhere to continue," she says.
Classes and plays will be held at CitÃ© Des Arts, building on an established tradition of conversational French meetings. The Acadiana Center for the Arts will host cultural activities as well. Other partners in the alliance include Louisiana Folk Roots, Le Centre International de Lafayette, UL Lafayette and Philippe's Wine Cellar. Classes and activities begin in October, and more information and membership rates are available by calling 262-5810. ' MT
During a Lafayette Consolidated Government budget session last week, Cajundome Director Greg Davis asked the city-parish council to step up its support of the aging arena, which will be 20 years old in November.
Davis wants local government to help him lobby the state for $10.5 million to renovate the dome. For the past three years, the state legislature has turned down the Cajundome's requests for the capital improvement funds.Â This has come in spite of the state's plans to spendÂ more than $15 million for new civic centers in New Iberia and Shreveport, according to this year's capital outlay budget.
Davis argues that the increased competition the dome now faces from other regional arenas makes the need for renovations even more pressing. He warned the council that if the dome is not properly maintained, it could end up suffering the same fate as the Seattle Kingdome, which was imploded in 2000.Â
The Cajundome's struggle to get state funding prompted Councilman Rob Stevenson to say, "It's time for our Lafayette delegation to get together and do something for us besides just holding office." ' NS
FDA to regulate e-cigarettes, Jodie Foster gets married, Vermont to require labels on genetically-modified food, and more national and international news for today, April 24, 2014:
A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, April 23, 2014:
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.
Louisiana won't lessen its penalties for marijuana possession, keeping laws on the books that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for repeat offenses of having the drug in hand.
“This is one of the oldest divides that exists, and that divide is about the haves and the have-nots.”
It took a few weeks for the pitfalls to emerge in the governor’s $25 billion budget, but the time of judgment has finally arrived.
With pressure continuing to build for him to resign, Congressman Vance McAllister announced plans recently to remain secluded during the Easter break, but the Swartz Republican has said he’ll be back on the Hill casting votes and attending committee meetings when the congressional recess ends April 28.
A bid to limit the use of unmanned aircraft on private property in Louisiana stalled Monday in the Louisiana Senate.
A Shreveport lawmaker said Monday he's scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana's official state book.
Attorney hopes fellow lawyers will join him in urging the D.A. to step aside and allow a competent, ethical challenger to take over the scandal-ridden office.
An official with the Louisiana Department of Education was arrested on a range of charges Friday after allegedly breaking into a home and brandishing a knife.
State Rep. Stuart Bishop says he’s concerned with the quality of Capitol Lake, but when it comes to Louisiana’s coastline, this Lafayette Republican doesn't seem to give a damn.
Democrats sweating this year's elections may be hoping that the Obama administration's latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms.
Louisiana lawmakers are entering the second half of their three-month regular legislative session, which must end by June 2. Where some of the major issues stand:
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.