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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DEC 11 It's the holiday season, and that means you can count on seeing some pretty crazy stuff going down at the Wal-Mart, but this story out of Marshall, Texas takes the cake. A man went in and attacked a couple of people with a hatchet. Who stopped him? A customer who started launching soup cans at him -- and connected with his noggin. The story tells us that while some folk were injured, everyone's been released from the hospital.
DEC 11 Blogger Tom Aswell joins the ranks of those looking into the "Fund for Louisiana's Future," which of course is not really aimed at improving our future. So far, it seems aimed at getting Louisiana to remove its $100,000 cap on campaign contributions, he tells us. Also, it is overseen by the same guy who tried to give us President Mitt Romney -- and he seems bent on picking our next governor.
DEC 11 Here's a post on NOLA Defender from the chef de cuisine at Delmonico's about gumbo. Chef Anthony Scanio shares childhood food memories that aren't quite a warm and fuzzy cliche -- but they certainly sound authentic. His personal story isn't just about food, it's a true New Orleans boy's upbringing. It's a cool story, and it ends with recipes for seafood gumbo and red beans.
DEC 11 Blogger Lou Gehrig Burnett writes here on Bayou Buzz about GOP efforts to mount a candidate against Sen. Mary Landrieu -- "a" being the operative word. So far, Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness are both in the race, and as long as the ultra-conservative Maness remains he poses a threat to the Republicans' hopes to unseat Mary. There's also a bit on what's up in Texas -- where Gov. Rick Perry's rejection of Medicaid money is causing other lawmakers some trouble.
DEC 11 Qualifying for New Orleans municipal races opens today, and Gambit's Clancy DuBos is most interested in people running against Sheriff Marlin Gusman, a frequent topic of Clancy's posts -- and a lot of other media posts as well. So far, the most interesting candidate expected to qualify is former sheriff Charles Foti. But Gusman's biggest enemy may be himself, given his 33 percent approval rating.
DEC 11 It may be the season of brotherly love, but John Maginnis is not falling for David Vitter's Christmas story. In this post, he poo-poos the very idea that Vitter and his family will spend the holidays in prayerful reflection so that they can decide if the Senator will run for governor. He also gives some predictions on what could happen if Vitter did get elected, throwing in a cautionary reference to the big ole egg laid by the GOP up in North Louisiana's recent Congressional race.
DEC 11 Well, knock us over with a rainbow-colored feather. The Shreveport City Council passed an ordinance granting equal protection to LGBT folks, this KSLA story reports. It basically forbids discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation. According to the story, city workers already have had that protection, since 2009.
DEC 11 That nice lady over in Denham Springs must still be mad at her neighbors for stealing her dog, because she's back up on her roof, making a big ole "one finger salute" in Christmas lights. This story in the Advocate even gives us a picture of the process underway, in case you are experiencing a similar situation and would like some finger-display-creation tips.
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