On Tuesday the Lafayette City Parish Council will hear a presentation in opposition to electronic traffic enforcement from the program director of the Transportation Research Institute Inc. Bill Triay of Metairie, along with Kenner resident Richard Brown — the pair’s names often pop up together in Times-Picayune coverage of Jefferson Parish’s red-light camera program — will address the council at the behest of Councilman William Theriot, one of three council members who have been angling to let Lafayette Consolidated Government’s contract with Redflex expire this summer, which would kill the red-light camera program.
According to the organization’s 2009 IRS Form 990 — a financial disclosure by nonprofits required by the feds — the august-sounding Transportation Research Institute Inc., based in New Orleans, has no revenue or expenses and appears to comprise three people including Triay. A 27-page document produced by Triay’s group and provided to The Ind by a local Redflex opponent makes an astonishing claim: “Our streets are now more dangerous. Supporters of Red Light Cameras all say it’s about safety and not money, but in other cities where the cameras have been installed for a longer time, the people have caught on, and 11 states have banned them because they bring little safety and actually increase total accidents and injuries.”
The claim is in stark opposition to data provided by supporters of the cameras, notably Traffic Director Tony Tramel, suggesting that the cameras help change driver behavior and lead to a dramatic reduction in collisions.
On Tuesday of this week the council approved a resolution giving City-Parish President Joey Durel a green light to begin negotiating LCG’s contract renewal with Redflex, but the council will still vote in May on the proposed ordinance allowing the current contract to expire, and council members who oppose the red-light cameras didn’t tip their hand in approving the resolution: The vote in favor was unanimous, although it appears a lock that at least Theriot, Jared Bellard and Andy Naquin will vote to end the program.
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OCT 1 Bobby Jindal is sure doing his best to court the far right; this post on TIME magazine says he'll be over in Oklahoma today to stand beside the billionaires who own Hobby Lobby while they announce a Bible "museum." In Washington D.C. (Wonder if there will be an exhibit on Matthew 19:24?)
OCT 1 Blogger Ian McGibboney is taking a look at the penalty call that is causing a stir. During a Monday NFL game, a player for the Chiefs executed a Muslim prayer gesture following a touchdown. The NFL has announced that the call was wrong, but Ian's not so sure.
OCT 1 Looks like hoards of whining college students and (extremely unflattering) satire can make a difference: The Advocate reports here that lease talks have reopened for Highland Coffees, a coffee shop near the north gates of LSU. Earlier this week, dismay was unleashed when the paper reported that the shop would be closing because its landlord had other plans for the space.
OCT 1 Blogger Mike Deshotels is outlining the flaws he sees in the so-called "Value Added Model" of teacher evaluation. It basically seeks to pay teachers according to how their students do on tests. (Sure hope they don't start using that model for doctors!) He's got a lot of information here, not just about the plan but about the people involved - and their history.
OCT 1 Columnist Jim Beam breaks down the difference between ISIS and ISIL, along with origins of each group and what has been reported about them over the years. It's a good clear primer if you're one of those continually confused by the names being thrown around.
OCT 1 Blogger Tom Aswell brings us up to date on the latest mess surrounding the Office of Group Benefits, which handles health insurance for state employees. It ain't pretty, and it has left Tom pleading for anyone who might be remotely competent in the Division of Administration to get in touch with him.
OCT 1 Look out! Some enterprising individual, who knows how to register a domain, has pulled off a stunning bit of hilarity here. Not long ago, blogger Lamar White Jr. gave us a post on Louisiana Family Forum, and how it is not a charity but is instead a tax shelter for a lobby. If you go to the interwebs and type in "louisianafamilyforum.com" you will find Lamar's story. Heh.
SEP 30 Here's another story that makes Louisiana look backward; blogger Manny Schewitz writes about a church that won't allow AA to use its facilities because those boozers might track in some gay. Every time he sees one of these, as he calls them "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" type of stories, he always starts wishing: "Please don't let it be Louisiana... Please don't let it be Louisiana..."
SEP 30 This post on PoliticusUSA, an extremely liberal blog, takes aim at Bobby Jindal's disingenuous attempts to play both sides against the middle on the evolution/creationism issue. Jindal is "dutifully serving his Koch masters" on the climate change issue as well, blogger Rmuse writes.
SEP 30 Ever wonder what goes on in a football locker room following a game like Sunday's embarrassment? Here's a post on ESPN about the "reality check" the Saints had. Among the comments: "Right now we're not a very good football team."
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