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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NOV 21 Bobby Jindal is headed to Iowa again, the Des Moines Register reports here. The paper outlines what's going on with Bobby's non-campaign for president, and there's a lot of stuff here -- too bad none of it sounds like somebody running Louisiana. Hey, wasn't that the job he wanted?
NOV 21 The end of the term has come for the grand jury investigating a lucrative Medicaid contract and a former state health official's ties to the company that won it, the Advocate reports here, but that doesn't mean the investigation into this stinkiness is over. There are still some things to look into, the lead prosecutor says.
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NOV 21 Here's a weird one: The Louisiana Cannabis Industry Association has endorsed Bill Cassidy for the U.S. Senate. Apparently, Mary Landrieu said she wouldn't consider support of medical marijuana but Cassidy said he would, WWL reports here.
NOV 21 Solange Knowles, possibly best-known for assaulting her brother-in-law in an elevator while wearing an ugly dress after the Met Ball, got married in the Marigny Opera House this past weekend, the New York Times reports here. Knowles, who has a house in the Faubourg Marigny district and owns a boutique in the Quarter, married Alan Ferguson.
NOV 21 This post on the Fuel Fix blog outlines a $1.4 billion move announced this week by the Apache Corp. that includes the sale of assets in south Louisiana. The company's interests in more than 90,000 acres in south Louisiana are some of the assets being sold, the post reports.
NOV 21 One (possible) positive from Hurricane Katrina is a comprehensive zoning ordinance for New Orleans. Nine years later, we're getting closer to that being finalized, but the current version has some problems. Here's the latest in a series of posts on The Lens in which residents give their views of the draft; this one is more amusing than most.
NOV 21 The new NOLA smoking ordinance is going to harsh your (nicotine) buzz, man. This post on Gambit outlines the high (or low, as the case may be) points: it includes electronic cigarettes and hookahs in its bans; eliminates smoking within 25 feet of any building's public entrance and in any public space - or near any public space - operated by the city.
NOV 20 Politico reports here that Bobby Jindal won't be kept out of the presidential race by anyone else's candidacy. (If he's running, which he's not, 'cause he's not done prayin' on it) So he's not interested in who is running, or what the polls say, or how much money he's got? K.
NOV 20 NOLA Defender's Tiny Daiquiri has a little fun with Bobby Jindal's Meet the Press appearance in this post. Bobby is still prayin' on whether or not he'll run for the job he's been running for over the past three years, Tiny says.
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