[Editor’s Note: Advance copies of IND Monthly will be available at Another Broken Egg on Main Street in River Ranch Thursday from 6-9 p.m. during Fashion’s Night Out. Print editions of the inaugural IND Monthly will be on racks throughout Lafayette beginning Friday morning.]
Click on the cover image above to read a digital version of the inaugural IND Monthly.
Back in 2003, a band of great local writers and marketing guys teamed up with us to start up a newsweekly for Lafayette. We wanted to put out a paper that appealed to us and to like-minded locals — smart and irreverent writing on topics and with a style not found in The Daily Advertiser nor welcomed by the few on the far ends of the political spectrum. Nine years and literally dozens of statewide journalism and advertising awards later, we’d like to think we’ve by and large met that goal.
Since then, The Independent has broken stories on initiatives that will distinguish Lafayette forever, like LUS’s community-owned fiber-to-the-home network and the development of a massive passive park smack-dab in the center of town on UL’s former horse farm. In conjunction with INDevents, The Independent has nurtured ideas that helped lay the groundwork for the first-ever comprehensive plan for Lafayette Parish and a new direction for our public schools. Through investigative reporting on public agencies, The Independent helped force the resignations of some top officials and the filing of ethics charges, causing no small dyspepsia for entrenched interests on both the south and north sides of town. In our “Fair Share” series on property tax assessments, we set our sights on perhaps the stickiest wicket for political leaders in any community — an issue even more critical in a conservative place like ours as we struggle to make the appropriate government investment in Lafayette’s continued growth and improvements in public education.
Hard news, investigative journalism and political analysis are trademarks of The Independent, along with the market’s best coverage of the arts, entertainment, food, fashion and style. More and more, we’re posting this award-winning content and big breaking news stories online at theind.com, where readership has now eclipsed our weekly rack distribution. With this issue, we complete the transition from The Independent Weekly to IND Monthly in print and the launch of the next phase of our content development online, a change Managing Editor Walter Pierce blogged on Aug. 1: “Today, while our print readership remains as strong as ever, our online readership now consistently exceeds print consumption by up to 150 percent. So we’re making the move. It’s not a baby step — it’s a plunge into the deep end. We’re doing a cannonball into a future that is now. Step away from the computer if you don’t want to get wet.”
IND Monthly. We like the new IND moniker, largely because that’s what we and thousands of our readers have come to call it; plus, it’s a nice tie-in to our online presence, theind.com. But you can still call us The Independent (or anything you want — just call us, as they say!). This change to monthly for our print presence will allow us to do what we do best on both platforms, even as we increase our lifestyle content. We’re also adding dozens of new rack locations for the monthly and targeted new outbound products for the web. If you’re not yet an INDsider, you can sign up today at theind.com and receive our daily outbound e-blasts to keep you, well, IND the know. ABuzz subscribers receive weekly business updates from our business pub, ABiz, each Tuesday, and coming soon: specialized online products designed for foodies, fashionistas, families and weekend entertainment.
Lafayette’s growing, and our industry is changing in ways we couldn’t envision when we launched nine years ago. The IND’s format has evolved, but the mission remains the same, and we look forward to even broader community involvement as the conversation continues. Thanks, as always, for doing what you do in our partnership: being one of thousands of loyal readers who grab us out of the rack or click to connect with us online. This is the beginning of the IND — the new one. The journey continues.
— Steve and Cherry Fisher May, Publishers Odie Terry, Associate Publisher
JUNE 17 If anyone ever wonders why Saints fans hate Atlanta with a capital H, here's a good indication. Radio "professionals" at an Atlanta station created an entire segment around making fun of former Saints player Steve Gleason, who is now paralyzed by ALS. Listen, nobody's ever accused DJs of being rocket scientists. But how could someone think it is amusing to pretend to ask a man with a degenerative, fatal disease if he will be alive next week? The DJs have been fired, and are now whining about how gutless their former bosses are. Wow.
JUNE 18 Here's the latest from the Advocate on the fatal hit-and-run accident allegedly involving the president of the Livingston Parish School Board. He's accused by police of hitting a 21-year-old man on a highway early Sunday and driving away. The man died at a hospital later. On Monday, police seized the president's truck and towed it away. But he's available for board meetings: apparently a $500 bond is sufficient for this type of thing over in St. Helena Parish.
JUNE 18 Former broadcast journalist Griffin Scott has posted this plea on his blog for financial assistance from his readers. Scott, who says he was fired after he wrote something fairly innocuous (for Facebook) on his wall, is suing a media giant for his job back. He's framed himself as David going after a bloated media giant, and he's probably not far off.
JUNE 18 Here's a fairly absurd column posted on DIG Magazine about the completely absurd practice of naming killer storms. Tornadoes don't have names. Blizzards don't have names. But hurricanes do, and there's a big process to bestow them, Jacques Cormery writes. He's right about the crazy assemblage of names -- this year, there's everything from Tanya to Humberto -- and his idea that we don't waste good names on killer storms is a good one.
JUNE 17 Political columnist John Maginnis has some advice for Louisiana Republicans: grow up. After the schism that occurred in this past session - fiscal hawks teaming up with Democrats to spank the Republican "majority" and hand Gov. Jindal his, er, aspirations for continued solon control -- they need to figure out how to get along with each other, Maginnis writes.
JUNE 17 Here's the Picayune's obit story for Dorothy 'Miss Dot' Domilise, the lady who made poboys at the uptown restaurant that bears her name. Miss Dot moved to New Orleans during World War II, where she met and married her husband Sam. When she passed away Friday she was 90, and had spent more than 60 of those years working at the restaurant on Annunciation Street.
JUNE 17 This editorial in the Advocate speaks in favor of the consent decrees that have federal judges overseeing police operations and the sheriff's parish prison in New Orleans. Mayor Landrieu and Sheriff Gusman can't get along, so outside forces, like the Inspector General and the judges, are needed to make sure things run right, the editorial opines.
JUNE 18 Here's a post from Manny Schewitz on Forward Progressives that is good for a chuckle. Manny had an epiphany back in November, and is sharing it with us today: he believes that Fox "News" is killing the GOP by pandering to right wing nuts. Now, don't get it twisted: Manny's not broke up about it. He says he enjoys watching the downward spiral with a shot of whiskey and "a schadenfreude chaser."
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again, it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to go public this year.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.