The good news is that New Iberia mayor Hilda Curry met with utility company CLECO and got them to remove the 70 foot tall concrete erections out of the front yard of Stuart and Christina Gonsuron. The bad news is that the poles will be replaced by ordinary wooden creosote poles stabilized by guy-wires.
What’s really maddening is the huge concrete poles were approved by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development office here in Lafayette. DOTD has been working with New Iberia to change out the old two-lane bridge which crosses the bayou at Jefferson Street. It being the historic district, DOTD worked with city officials to design a bridge that would fit in with the neighborhood. The bridge work instituted the necessity to change out the existing utility poles, which will be in the way of the cranes once work begins on the bridge. Bill Fontenot, district engineer administrator at DOTD signed off on the transmogrified poles, stating that they added to the aesthetic of the district. The state paid for the upgrade to the giant poles; Fontenot says he thought that getting rid of the guy-wires was a good objective.
What’s incomprehensible is why not use that extra money to bury the lines instead of building humongous poles. CLECO is working on redoing some of the electric grid in the section of New Iberia across Bayou Teche from downtown. It sure seems like a great opportunity to get those cables underground. Think no electricity outages during hurricanes. Think saving all the costs of constant tree trimming to keep the wires clear. Think beautiful unobstructed views of streetscapes and sunsets. It seems like there is a huge disconnect between how the residents of the neighborhood would choose to spend their tax dollars, if anyone asked them, and what the state decides.
Gonsuron says he never could get any information about what was happening in his front yard from CLECO before the poles went up. I’m sure this was a very expensive exercise in community relations and sensitivity to historic districts. Was it a lesson learned? Depends on who paid the bill.
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OCT 30 If you're a Louisiana native of (ahem) a certain age, you might have fond (or fuzzy, as the case may be) memories of a Zebra concert and singing "Who's Behind the Door" until your ears rang. This post on NOLA Defender profiles the leader of that band, Randy Jackson.
OCT 30 The National Journal offers this analysis of Bobby Jindal's willingness to stump in any Senate campaign that's not in Louisiana. Why is that? The Journal asks some GOPers and finds that the answer is one we already know: he's so unpopular here, because he's been so busy running for President, that his support might be "toxic."
OCT 30 If you're not obsessed with the Texas governor's race - what's wrong with you? Here's another installment, from our own IND contributor Lamar White Jr., who explains why Wendy's "infamous" wheelchair ad was a shock to the national media - but not to anyone familiar with Greg Abbott's record.
OCT 30 Blogger Tom Aswell is still all over the OGB mess - and all by himself, apparently. In this post, he's revealing orders from the Jindal administration to destroy records from the state employee health insurance plan. Those orders (he's heard) have angered the Secretary of State and caused an administration lawyer to quit her job. Wow!
OCT 30 Blogger Crazy Crawfish is taking aim at state Superintendent John White again, this time for comments White made recently, claiming that there is no real opposition to Common Core in Louisiana. Crawfish is documenting proof to the contrary here, and lays down the gauntlet to "mainstream news media." (Don't hold your breath on that one, buddy.)
OCT 30 Gambit covers Advocate publisher John Georges' recent visit to Loyola in this post. Georges touches on how things are going in this new gig, what he thinks about the Pic's decision to move printing to Alabama, and how he feels about his political campaigns.
OCT 30 A NOLA lady has alleged she was drugged and raped at a Bywater club that had a clothing-optional policy until recently, and she's now become the victim of a smear campaign, columnist Jarvis DeBerry writes in this post. She chose to reveal her story and her name, and she's being punished for that now, he says.
OCT 30 BESE member Lottie Beebe pens this letter to the editor of the Advocate about the state Department of Education. The DOE isn't exempt from the state public records law, and because of recent lawsuits she tried to require regular reports about how many requests had been made to the department and how many remained unanswered. She wasn't successful.
OCT 29 Manny Schewitz blogs on Forward Progressives about recent Facebook posts from David Vitter, including one that purports to take you to a petition to stop Ebola (say what?) but actually signs you up for his newsletter or campaign email list or some such nonsense. Dave must think we're dummies, Manny says -- and Dave's probably right.
OCT 29 Usually, the copy on Red Shtick is satire. But in this post "from the publisher," we get a pretty astute political analysis of Edwin Edwards' charisma and old-school populist swagger. Edwards isn't concealing billionaire backers, or trying to make his opponent out to be "Satan," the post says. He's just running. Huh; imagine that.
OCT 29 Salon's Elias Isquith writes this fairly hilarious commentary on a National Review post about Bobby Jindal's attempts to "beef up" in preparation for a presidential run. But it's not just funny; Isquith seems to have Bobby's number, commenting on how the Gov "and his team are hopelessly ensconced in the Tea Party bubble."
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