The ordinance banning open containers on Jefferson Street and the McKinley and Surrey strips that failed on a 5-4 vote Tuesday could wind up back before the City-Parish Council in a couple of weeks, and the councilman spearheading the effort to revive the ordinance predicts a favorable outcome.
District 7 Councilman Don Bertrand tells The Independent he’s asked the council clerk to put the “go cup” ordinance on an upcoming agenda, hopefully for the Oct. 5 meeting. And Bertrand says his five colleagues who opposed the ordinance can expect some pressure in the intervening week and a half. “They’ll be hearing from the downtown business owners who have to deal with the mess,” Bertrand says.
The ordinance banning open containers was designed the address the problem of plastic cups used by bar patrons to transport their alcohol out of the bars, which creates a lot of trash littering the parts of town where bars have proliferated. It was one of two before the council Tuesday; the second, banning cruising by motorists, was pulled from the agenda after the open container ban failed.
The measures are two of a handful of ideas endorsed by some downtown business owners, the Durel administration and police to address the large, sometimes rowdy crowds that descend on the downtown on weekend nights. Banning loitering was also part of the conversation several months ago, but it never got traction in the form of an ordinance.
On Tuesday, Sept. 28, the council’s agenda includes a discussion item that many feel would be most effective in mitigating the crowd issue downtown: banning 18-20 year olds from bars altogether. Police allege — and bar owners dispute — that many of these underage patrons are managing to get alcohol despite the minimum legal drinking age of 21, exacerbating the crowd-control problems police have on weekends.
The measure is only a discussion item and it’s unclear whether it will ever be expressed in the form of an ordinance. Bertrand is doubtful: “If we can’t even pass an open container ordinance, I don’t see how an 18-20 year old ordinance would stand a chance,” he admits.
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JUL 24 This post on the Red Stick Blog reveals nine facts about Mike the Tiger, the LSU mascot who turns nine this week. That's interesting and all, but the best part of the post is the video of Mike playing around with a visitor, just like any other kitty. A massive, deadly, 400-pound, roaring kitty.
JUL 24 DIG Baton Rouge tells us about a local chef who makes an appearance on one of the Food Network's inexplicably stupid competition shows, Cutthroat Kitchen. The chef, who also appeared on Master Chef, talks here about Cajun and Creole cuisine and its place in American food.
JUL 24 Political consultants who switched candidates in midstream to work with Jindal buddy Garret Graves on his Congressional campaign are being sued by their former employer, the Picayune tells us in this post. Among the allegations? The firm started working for Graves before they left his opponent's campaign.
JUL 24 The recent articles about a study that found America's happiest cities are here in Louisiana have produced some raised eyebrows among those who have actually been to Shreveport and Baton Rouge. But the Today show did some research, and produced this article which talks about stuff that doesn't really represent those two cities. Are we still going with the drunk, fat and stupid brand?
JUL 24 Here's a story on Huffington Post that explores the connection between Gov. Bobby Jindal and the charter school business that sued him Tuesday over Common Core. The head of that business is recalling all the good stuff Bobby had to say about the curriculum - you know, back when it was cool to like it.
JUL 24 Blogger CB Forgotston has found another problem with the 11th hour bill that tacked $30K onto State Police Commander Mike Edmonson's annual retirement check. The move was missing a financial assessment that's required by statute. This is a red flag that was missed, CB says. You think?
JUL 24 Blogger Mike Deshotels prints a statement from three BESE members who are supporting the legislators who are suing the governor over the Common Core mess. He adds his own personal comment, as well.
JUL 24 The Lens is hosting a panel discussion on the cost of coastal restoration, and who should pay for it, next month in NOLA. It is planned to be a discussion of the realities of the coastal restoration master plan and its current funding, as well as what the future holds.
JUL 23 Blogger Stephen Sabludowsky is attempting to clear away some of the smoke that Bobby Jindal's been blowing about our economy. The press releases and "presidential campaign claims" of Jindal notwithstanding, the outlook is not that rosy, Sabludowsky says. He's got some comment here from the head of GNO Inc. as well.
JUL 23 This post on Mashable says Louisiana is poised to be the next (and better) Hollywood. Sure, blogger Travis Andrews is talking Louisiana in general, but the focus really is on New Orleans. And that's fine, because if NOLA and Hollywood get into a ambiance/food/style/crazy contest, we like NOLA's chances.
JUL 23 Here's New York Magazine's profile of Edwin Edwards, a well-written, thoughtful (and still unvarnished) look at Louisiana's most famous felon. There's a lot of history, but author Mark Jacobson doesn't get bogged down in pedantic rehashes here. It's a really good read.
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