The state Department of Education is using a rather puzzling excuse — the department is waiting for the process to be complete, citing the oft-abused “deliberative process” excuse employed by Gov. Bobby Voucher — as to why the public can’t see the communications and other documents surrounding the selection process for voucher schools participating in the new statewide voucher program. And The News-Star isn’t taking no for an answer. According to a report from the Gannett-owned Monroe daily, the paper has directed its lawyer to take action against the department for its blatant lack of transparency and abuse of public records laws. It’s the same reason Superintendent John White gave the Associated Press when it, too, asked for the same records. Sadly, this isn’t the first time DOE has chosen to ignore state public record laws. The Independent has experienced numerous records battles with the state agency, most of which begin by the department willfully ignoring records requests until legal action is threatened. Kudos to The News-Star for not backing down.
The most famous locally owned pizza joint in town has been forced to come up with a new name for its boudin pizza after being slapped with a cease-and-desist letter from a law firm representing the Pastime Restaurant, a Baton Rouge eatery that somehow managed to trademark “boudin pizza.” Baton Rouge, as in “not in Cajun Country where boudin was invented.” Dean-O’s owner Tim Metcalf says he was stunned when he read the letter. “Shock, anger, dismay — I couldn’t believe that could be done,” Metcalf admits. “[The term boudin is] so generic I didn’t think it was possible, but it’s done.” But Dean-O’s isn’t a lemonade stand, and Metcalf quickly made something sweet out his legal lemon, putting the word out on Facebook and soliciting ideas from patrons for a new name for his boudin pizza. More than 600 responded. “I thought I was gonna get 10 or 15 [suggestions],” he says. “There are some great ones. It’s going to take me a day or two to digest them and choose the winner. People in Acadiana are amazing. I can’t believe it.” Unfortunately, The Ind went to press before Metcalf announced the winner. Check us out online for an update.
Someone, somewhere, is making a killing off new business banners, one of which hangs on the hurricane fence surrounding Streamline Industries in Jeanerette complete with founder Jacques Hebert’s name, taking President Obama to task for a completely out-of-context quote. The banner reads, “We built this business without gov’t help. Obama can kiss our ass. I’m Jacques Hebert and I approve this message.” The banner references the now infamous “you didn’t build that” quote President Obama made in July. The quote, fuller and with context, goes like this: “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Obama is obviously referring to the taxpayer-funded infrastructure critical to business success, which the Karl Roves of the world managed to successfully spin for their own “socialist-Muslim-anti-small-business” narrative (in much the same way Dems took Mitt Romney’s “I like to fire people” quote WAY out of context). We should note that Streamline Industries is on U.S. Hwy. 90, a government-built road with government-built infrastructure like drainage and utilities. Surely the location had nothing to do with Mr. Hebert’s decision to locate his business there.