Acadiana Open Channel will be in a new home in the Rosa Parks Transportation Center next year. On Tuesday night, the Lafayette City-Parish Council approved a new deal — already signed off on by AOC's board of directors — to move the public access television station into the two-story office complex currently under construction adjacent to the Jefferson Street underpass. Because the center came in almost $4 million under budget, adding an 8,300-square-foot space to the building for AOC will come at no additional cost to the city. AOC expects to move into the new space sometime next spring.
The council also approved a new operating contract for AOC. The contract, set to take effect in November, funds AOC with "an amount equal to thirty-five percent of the receipts by the City-Parish of the franchise fees specified in the Franchise Agreements." This represents a significant change and increase in funding for AOC. The station used to receive funding of approximately 50 percent of franchise fees until many years ago when the council moved to cap AOC's funding at $220,000 a year, where it has remained for the past decade. The new agreement will put AOC's funding next year at approximately $490,000, with $115,000 coming back to the city in the form of rent at the city-owned Rosa Parks center.
AOC Director Ed Bowie says he is very excited about the move and that AOC's new custom-built space will afford its users several benefits, including the use of two production studios and individual video editing booths. Bowie says all negotiations with the city went surprisingly well. "They really understood the issues — what we as a public access station do and what we can do," he says. "That, for us, was very reassuring."
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SEP 16 Here's something for LSU to be proud of. It's a video of some (presumed) 'frat boys' manhandling another young man who is not wearing a polo shirt and khakis on the parade grounds prior to Saturday's LSU football game. The best part of this brief video is the look on the face of the guy who shot it, who also is (presumably) responsible for the title of the tape.
SEP 16 Lafayette is up for inclusion in another pointless list, but if it makes you feel better, go vote for the city here. This contest, sponsored by that pillar of excellent journalism, USA Today, is seeking the top ten college towns that are able to conduct a social media campaign to get voted as the best college town.
SEP 16 Here's a weird post on LaPolitics about how many doctors we have in Congress. With Charles Boustany, John Fleming and Bill Cassidy, we've got a lot of physicians up there. Why is that? Jeremy Alford has some ideas.
SEP 16 Here's a post from the Facebook page of the Al Berard Music Festival, announcing the date of the new event to honor the musician's memory and to raise money for the Al Berard Memorial Music Fund at Community Foundation of Acadiana. They're seeking volunteers, if you want to help.
SEP 16 This post on the Oxford American magazine features the work of New Orleans-based photographer/artist Kevin Klein, as well as some of his amazing portraits of NOLA people. It's worth a few minutes of your time.
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SEP 16 Columnist Jim Beam writes about cuts to the military in this post. It's a theme that has been repeated over our history, and it has never been a good idea, he argues. Beam remembers processing out of the Army in 1957 and sitting next to a captain who had been cut during one such drawdown.
SEP 15 Blogger Bob Mann is writing about the death of Victor White III, who died in New Iberia, handcuffed and in the back seat of a police car, from a gunshot wound to the chest. He wonders if perhaps the residents of that town should riot, as the residents of Ferguson did, in order to get national (and federal) attention for the case.
SEP 15 Here's the NOLA Defender blog's coverage of the Gulf Energy Forum, hosted last week in the city by The Atlantic magazine. Although the mag's people tried to ensure the discussion explored all types of energy, it focused on oil and gas, the post reports. Since the forum was held in Louisiana and underwritten by the American Petroleum Institute - how is that a surprise?
SEP 15 Blogger Tom Aswell gives us the details on a recent Legislative Auditor's report on Louisiana's obligations to Tom Benson, some of which he says "appear to border on financial irresponsibility." He's also detailing an audit of the seemingly endless problems with hurricane recovery contractors.
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