Lafayette is one of 25 cities across the country chosen to hop on the US Ignite bandwidth wagon, an effort to bring national focus to next-generation technologies in six areas of “national priority.”
The US Ignite public/private partnership, formally announced during an event at the White House Thursday morning, will center its efforts on using high-speed technology applications to better services in the following areas of public interest: advanced manufacturing, health IT, transportation, education and workforce development, clean energy, and emergency preparedness and public safety.
In Lafayette the focus will be all things health care with the creation of a “Living Lab for Health Innovation,” a place for health care innovators to “create solutions to society’s toughest challenges:”
The Living Lab will serve as a community-scale test bed for health care innovators to test their ideas in real-world settings .... defining, designing and developing solutions to the many challenges facing health care today.
As a US Ignite community, Lafayette will be your partner in developing the future of health care — addressing such societal challenges as childhood obesity, aging in place, emergency medicine and workplace healthy — through the power of big data, advanced analytics and gigabit software-defined networks.
If your solution works in Lafayette and we can prove it is scalable to the state of Louisiana, you will have a blueprint to take your ideas nationwide.
The “big win” for the city, as LUS Fiber Sales and Marketing Analyst Amy Broussard describes it, wouldn’t have been possible without LUS Fiber, the city’s publicly run high-speed Internet and cable provider, she says. The 25 cities and the 60 universities that have signed on so far to US Ignite all have existing broadband networks.
According to UL’s Ramesh Kolluru, director of the Center for Business and Information Technologies, Lafayette was also chosen for its size, its research capabilities through the university and its reputation as a “health care hub.”
The nationwide public/private initiative has an end goal of 200 communities showcasing 60 respective “next-generation” technology applications, thus prompting other municipalities across the country to jump on board. US Ignite has also joined with 15 private-industry partners, including telecommunication giant Verizon and other “network powerhouses,” according to the US Ignite release.
US Ignite’s role will be “connecting, convening, and supporting startups, local and state government, universities, industry leaders, federal agencies, foundations, and community and carrier initiatives in conceptualizing and building new applications.”
“The resulting new applications should have a significant impact on the U.S. economy, including providing a broad range of job and investment opportunities,” the Ignite release states.
The local Ignite project is being spearheaded by the following agencies: UL Lafayette’s Center for Business & Information Technologies and its Center for Visual and Decision Informatics; FiberCorps; the Lafayette Healthcare Coalition (Lafayette General Medical Center, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Regional Health System of Acadiana, The Shumacher Group, Acadian Ambulance, The LHC Group); Lafayette Consolidated Government; Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce; Lafayette Economic Development Authority; Lafayette Parish School System; state Department of Health and Hospitals; and other potential private-industry partners.
MAY 23 Here's a story in the Picayune about some statistics that must come as a blow to folks who believe that any private school can do a better job of educating kids than any public school: Danielle Dreilinger reports that only 30 percent of the voucher kids are passing. That's less than half of the state wide average, she says. It's an interesting statistic because most of the schools (if not all) taking voucher kids have never had their students' standardized test scores released to the public before.
MAY 23 Stephen Sabludowsky blogs on Bayou Buzz about auditor requests here. Recently the state GOP started crowing about a request from the Legislative Auditor, claiming they were being targeted because of their anti-tax stance. (Uh, your what?) Denial and hyperbole aside, the state Democratic party blew holes in that theory with an email announcing they'd received the same request, Sabludowsky writes here.
MAY 23 Jim Brown blogs about the senate race in this post. He says that, given Bobby Jindal's "lack of traction" on the national stage, it might make more sense for the governor to consider running against Mary Landrieu for the senate seat. Since Tim Teeple left the Cassidy team, it makes sense he might land on a Jindal for Senate team, Brown opines.
MAY 23 In this Louisiana Voice post, blogger Tom Aswell writes of rumors that his nemesis, state Superintendent of Education John White, may be soon departing Louisiana for a federal post. It's hard to believe, given his performance, Aswell says, but stranger things have happened. An anti-White BESE member says that, if true, White is quitting before he can be fired.
MAY 23 In this post on American Zombie, blogger Jason Berry writes about the Mother's Day shooting. Mayor Landrieu said that "this is not who we are," but the fact is, this is New Orleans, Berry writes. The violence infused in the city is the result of a culture created by "sins of omission or sins of commission," Berry writes. It's not a problem that can be solved by legislating, policing, praying or publicizing, he says: Someone's got to understand what's happening first.
MAY 23 This post in the Westside Journal tells us what Port Allen Mayor Deedy has been up to lately: vetoing ordinances, apparently. This story is most interesting, however, when it delves into a petition that has been circulating around the city lately. It accuses the former mayor of a lot of nasty things; the former mayor says it is full of lies and "broken syntax" which may be a larger offense in his eyes.
MAY 23 This editorial posted in The Advocate is a bit confusing. The writing is poor - definitely not up to the usual editorial writing standard there - and the point is hard to grasp. Apparently, the writer is saying that privatization of state efforts is OK, as long as there is oversight and transparency, but Jindal's not good at that, and the legislature shouldn't over-react. Okey Dokey. Can't they get one of them Pulitzer-winning people to write an editorial?
MAY 23 This post on The Lens gives you links to a new Google Earth tool that allows you to see any spot on earth transform over the past 30 years. Bob Marshall, who covers the coast for the paper, says that in the case of Louisiana's coastline, it's possibly something you don't want to see, because it's not a pretty picture. There are several clips here, showing critical areas erode away. For Marshall, it was vindication for all those times he was met with eye-rolling when he talked about erosion.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.