The State of the Coast conference June 8 through June 10 at the River Center in Baton Rouge will have a whole new meaning next week as scientists, academics, state politicos and bureaucrats and others gather for three days of sessions devoted to restoring Louisiana’s fragile and now more imperiled than ever coastline.
Sponsored by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, about 600 people are expected to attend what CRCL bills as an effort to “provide a forum to learn from recent advances in science and engineering as they relate to hurricane protection and ecosystem restoration in coastal Louisiana, to ensure that relevant and current knowledge is applied to existing and future coastal restoration and protection efforts, and to effectively inform policy and decision making.”
While that mission statement doesn’t mention is oil — the conference was planned long before the April 21 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig. Dr. Donald Davis, a retired LSU geography professor who has studied the coast and its people for more than 40 years, says the spill will surely seep into the conference in a big way.
“Now, superimposed upon [the conference] is what some are calling our ‘coast in crisis,’” Davis says. “We certainly have to be aware that this oil spill has been catastrophic.”
To find out more about Washed Away: The Invisible Peoples of Louisiana’s Wetlands or to purchase a copy, log on to the UL Lafayette Press Web site.
The author of the newly published Washed Away: The Invisible Peoples of Louisiana’s Wetlands, (UL Lafayette Press), will be one of many experts to attend the conference. His book — a historical, geographical and anthropological account of coastal Louisiana’s eco- and social systems and the complex interaction between the two — was going to press when the BP-leased rig exploded on April 21. The ensuing oil leak casts Davis research and book in a new light. “If the marsh goes under oil, how’s that going to affect the larvae?” Davis wonders. “What will that mean in 2011, 2014, 2020? Do we see a solution in one year? Does the science tell us?”
Next week’s conference will be an opportunity for some of the best thinkers in coastal preservation — engineers, geologists, geographers, biologists, hydrologists — to begin wrapping a collective mind around the crisis. Davis says that because of the unprecedented scope of the BP spill, more research is essential as we begin the long process of recovery after the well is finally capped. “We need more science,” he says. “It’s not like you can write a list and check it all off; we need much more science.”
To find out more about Washed Away: The Invisible Peoples of Louisiana’s Wetlands or to purchase a copy, log on to the UL Lafayette Press Web site. http://www.ulpress.org/home.php
JUNE 19 Former Saint Steve Gleason, who is paralyzed by ALS, released a statement Tuesday in response to the Atlanta radio station's skit making fun of him and the disease, this Picayune post reports. What did he say? He said he'd accepted the apology of the DJs who did it, notes that at least the incident has got people talking about ALS, and asks anyone who is burning to take action about it to do so -- by helping him fight ALS.
JUNE 19 Blogger Ian McGibboney takes a look at the Gleason incident in this post. He makes a good argument about the difference between having free speech and being free from consequences for your speech (which none of us is). He also admits that many of us got upset before we listened to the skit -- but lets us know that the reality is far worse than we can imagine. It was the incredibly bad judgment, even more than the actual speech, that probably got those DJs fired, he opines.
JUNE 19 Washington Post blogger Aaron Blake writes about Sen. Guillory's switch to the GOP in this post. He writes what most political watchers in Louisiana know: Guillory was a Republican before he decided to run for the senate seat in a mostly-D St. Landry district, and has switched back now that he plans to run for Lt. Gov. in a mostly-R state. But how come Blake missed Guillory's appearance on a TLC pageant show? Now that is a video we'd like to see. (Again).
JUNE 19 Here's another Washington Post blog post about a Louisiana politician, and it's just plain scathing. Ezra Klein says Jindal's Politico post was "insulting" to the intelligence of voters, and adds that Jindal is personifying the "stupid" he's railed against, by being an "elite" who convinces GOP activists of "things that aren't true." Me-ow.
JUNE 19 Here's Gov. Jindal's post in Politico, in which he asks the GOP to get over losing to Obama (again) and stop "the bedwetting." (Uh, what?) He gives his Republican buddies what is probably a nerd's idea of a coach's motivational talk, which starts with a list of accomplishments that they can't seem to exploit and ending with an absurd description of liberals that sounds like a character treatment for a Fox "News" movie scripted by Gordon Liddy. Sure, he's preaching to the choir, but even the choir's not this gullible.
JUNE 19 Lamar Parmentel read Gov. Jindal's post on Politico, but thinks it was so dumb it probably was published in the wrong paper. This post by Lamar on the Daily Kingfish opines that possibly Jindal's post was destined for the Onion -- because the governor couldn't possibly be serious here. If you listen closely, you can hear the staff of the Kingfish giggling.
JUNE 19 Blogger Robert Mann posts from Turkey, a country he has visited several times in the past few years. Mann gives an interesting overview of the current political and societal climate of the country, which -- if you're living under a rock and don't know -- is experiencing protests and turmoil these days. Mann promises to post as much as he can during his trip, which should be fascinating reading.
JUNE 19 Blogger CB Forgotston says the legislature is keeping the vicious cycle going with its funding of new buildings for the community college/technical college system. Universities across the state need maintenance and improvement on existing buildings, and the solution is to build new buildings at other schools? By the time the bonds are paid off, those buildings will be falling down, too, CB says.
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 offer shares of its stock to the public for the first time.
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.