[Update: Local United Ways have established a disaster fund, the Greater Acadiana United Way Disaster Fund, to consolidate resources in an 11-parish area. To donate, log on here.]
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is making federal aid available to the state of Louisiana to supplement the disaster response as Isaac moves north and President Obama declared Louisiana and Mississippi major disaster areas. Local organizations are mobilizing as well.
Community Foundation of Acadiana has established the Hurricane Isaac Response Fund, which will connect donors in the area to storm victims. The Lafayette-based philanthropic agency has a fundraising widget on its website which can also be embedded on other websites. The widget is embedded beneath this story.
On Friday the Acadiana Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, VOAD, will hold a meeting at the Immaculata Center in Lafayette to coordinate additional relief efforts in the region. A spokeswoman says the meeting was originally scheduled for Thursday, but VOAD officials want to give the American Red Cross and other agencies time to conduct a thorough assessment of disaster-response needs in Acadiana.
Donations to United Way’s fund can be made here, or by visiting the following locations:
St. Landry/Evangeline United Way, 311 W Vine St., Opelousas (337) 942-7815 United Way of Acadiana, 215 E. Pinhook Road, Lafayette (337) 706-1229, United Way of Iberia, 449 East St. Peter St., New Iberia (337) 364-0424 United Way for South Louisiana, 7910 Main St., Suite 460, Houma (985) 879-2461
In the meantime here in Lafayette, the public transit system is back up and running and Lafayette Consolidated Government offices are open. In other words, business as usual.
If you're reading this story on a device other than a desktop, or if for any reason the widget below isn't visible, log on to CFA's website to donate.
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.
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.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.