C’EST BON Revitalization of Lafayette’s urban core got a shot in the arm at the end of January when UL Lafayette’s School of Architecture and Design, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, unveiled plans to build a “pocket neighborhood” of small, energy-efficient homes along with a pavilion and park on less than two acres of land in the McComb-Veazey neighborhood adjacent to downtown. The roughly 1,200-square-foot, three-bedroom/two-bath homes are being designed by grad students and will go up this summer with Habitat crews manning the hammers and circular saws.
PAS BON That icy, sleety arctic weather that shut down schools in Lafayette for four days in late January — and a generally colder-than-usual winter — is promising an insidious effect on South Louisiana culture: It delivered a major blow to the crawfish crop. The Associated Press reported that farmers are ruing their iced-over ponds and warning of tough times ahead for écrevisse aficionados. Cold water delays the growth of crawfish. The net result for our Lenten and Easter crawfish boils: shrimpy crawfish in short supply. But this is Acadiana, so demand will not be diminished. That means sky-high prices, too. Enjoy.
COUILLON U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, will not stand for oil portraits. Nor will he sit for them. In an effort to burnish an otherwise undistinguished tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives and make it a contest with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu this fall, Cassidy has come up with the EGO Act, AKA the Eliminating Government-Funded Oil-Paintings Act. It not only screams to the Federal Department of Acronyms, “Boys, y’all better step up your game,” nor does it simply have the Louisiana State Office for the Prevention of Hyphen Abuse fidgety, it most importantly addresses a fundamental crisis of entitlement among those within the Beltway: elected officials and cabinet-level bureaucrats sitting for taxpayer-funded portraits. Not in latex, watercolor, charcoal or graphite pencil. In oil!
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SEP 20 Jim Brown is blogging about ISIS and the Middle East in this week's post. Mostly, he's posing questions about our involvement there, now and over the past 10 years. Should we be there? Why are we considering involvement now? All good questions - and most without easy answers.
SEP 20 Louisiana is once again winning a race nobody is running, by topping the nation in the gap between what women and men are paid for the same work, WWL reports here. Women here are paid about two-thirds of what men are paid, the story reports. Great.
SEP 20 This isn't the first story, and it won't be the last, written about the apparent conflict between Bobby Jindal's biology degree from Brown and the far right evangelicals who (he perceives) hold the key to his burning, blinding desire to be President. But this one's on ThinkProgress.org, a left-leaning blog, and gives an interesting view of how his dilemma might be attacked in a campaign.
SEP 20 The Lens updates us on the continuing saga of the levee board that dared to challenge Big Oil. The terms of two members of the board have expired, and the committee recommending replacements voted Thursday. The vote, which was narrow, would preserve the suit's majority on the board, Bob Marshall writes.
SEP 20 This post on the Dads Gone Wild blog is an ode to the education bloggers who have been akin to voices crying in the wilderness on the subject of "reform." He compares his experience, listening to the "reformers" and wondering why anybody gave them any weight, with loving punk rock in the 1970s. It's an interesting read.
SEP 19 Here's an interesting post from the Advocate's Mark Ballard about some of the maneuvering that preceded a court ruling this week on the so-called Edmonson Amendment. It seems that some weirdness did occur on the eve of the hearing, and when this was written, Ballard wasn't even sure the ruling would occur.
SEP 20 Jeremy Alford examines the Family Forum's influence on the Legislature in this post. The ultra conservative lobby's annual "report card" keeps up with how well our elected officials are following its dictates, he reports, but also shows us how conservative our Legislature has become.
SEP 20 This post on NOLA Defender details the current discussion in New Orleans about accommodating bicycles in the CBD. Unfortunately, the catalyst was the terrible death of a bike rider, the post reports. Adding space for bikes sounds good - but it means the loss of travel lanes and parking spaces already at a premium in the city, the debate goes.
SEP 18 Here's a story in the New York Times about a New Iberia man who is trying to save his own little corner of Louisiana. A lot of people spend their spare time clearing their land, but Matt Conn works to restore the natural state of his property. It's a fascinating story.
SEP 18 This post on Howard Fineman's Political Read blog takes a look at the fine line that Bobby Jindal will have to walk if he wants to be the guy who can unite the creationists who don't believe in evolution with the Christians and others who do. On paper, Jindal could be the guy to do it, Fineman says, but politically, he'll have to start with the far right if he wants to get anywhere in the GOP.
SEP 18 Sure, Louisiana Congressional candidate Lenar Whitney made the first page of Politifact's "Pants on Fire" statements section, and of course that's always entertaining. But really you need to go check out the Pulitzer Prize winning fact-checking website, which is run by former Lafayette journalist Angie Drobnic Holan, because it has a great new design.
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