Wednesday, 08 December 2010 00:00
by IND Monthly Staff
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
C’EST BON Members of the Lafayette Parish School Board must be a limber bunch — they’ve been doing a circus-worthy contortion act for the last month. But the board’s agreement to revisit its vote on converting N.P. Moss Middle School into Thibodaux Career & Technical High School, after it learned the action may have violated the state’s open meetings law, was the right decision. We still believe Moss is a much better location to house the tech school than the abandoned Super Kmart building on Ambassador Caffery; Moss is currently severely underpopulated, and it’s a new facility on enough acreage to grow. But the hasty decision by the board on Nov. 15 to rescind an earlier vote against using Moss, and then immediately voting in favor of converting Moss, left parents of Moss students feeling stunned and betrayed. Many of these parents had fought the proposal to convert their neighborhood middle school into a tech high school, and they thought the issue was off the table. In moving a new vote on converting Moss to Thibodaux Tech to Dec. 15, these parents have time, should they choose, to mount a campaign against it, or to at least let their voices be heard. And kudos to state Rep. Rickey Hardy for once again keeping the board honest (former Lafayette city councilwoman Nancy Mounce also raised the illegality issue with DA Mike Harson).
PAS BON Call it a dry run. When UL’s German-language coordinator (and sole instructor) was summoned to the office of Provost Steve Landry last week to discuss the future of the program, we got a taste of what will likely be many such death marches by professors who teach programs with low numbers of students majoring and minoring in them. The philosophy degree program was nixed last year. And while German remains a degree program for the time being — the administration and the coordinator, Dr. Caroline Huey, agreed to revisit the program next spring — it will likely become one of several programs at the university that will be jettisoned when UL learns just how deeply its budget will be cut after state lawmakers grapple with yet another billion dollar-plus shortfall next year. It’s time for solons to take a hard look at what state programs are constitutionally protected from budget cuts; higher ed and health care can’t be sacrificial lambs forever.
COUILLON Little guessing where Tammy Crain-Waldrop’s political affinities lie. A researcher for the state Senate, Crain-Waldrop was suspended without pay recently after she hit send on a racist email depicting President Barack Obama — he’s the president, y’all; get over it and vote against him in 2012 if that floats your boat — as a fair-skinned, wavy-haired white guy and the words, “Do you like him any better now? No? Me neither ..... Then you’re not a racist.” Crain-Waldrop sent said email to the Capitol email post office, which distributes mail to all lawmakers and their staffs. Understandably, several lawmakers were offended. Our Capitol couillon followed up the first email with a second apologizing and indicating she sent the first email by mistake. We believe Crain-Waldrop was honest when she claimed she hadn’t meant to send the message to the Capitol email post office. She just meant to send it to her racist friends.
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OCT 22 This entertaining short (15 minutes) film on Munchies is all about Boudin. Thank goodness it's just a documentary-style piece filled with the voices and faces of south Louisiana, as opposed to outsiders waxing poetic about our regional specialties. But be warned, there is some pretty graphic pig butchery going on here, so if you're squeamish it may not be for you.
OCT 22 A state judge threw out the lawsuit of a former employee of the LSU Alumni Association, the Advocate reports here. The employee had claimed the former director of the group gave her a job so she'd have sex with him, and after she left agreed to continue to pay her -- so she'd have sex with him. Apparently you get no points for hutzpah.
OCT 22 Education blogger Mike Deshotels writes about the retraction of the Cowen report in this post. However you slice it, the Recovery School District is still failing, he says. (But Mike, doesn't that depend on what the intention was? If no one ever meant the RSD to fix public education, it's working perfectly, isn't it?)
OCT 22 A major Jindal donor was allowed to avoid the competitive bid process in the purchase of a state office building in Monroe, blogger Tom Aswell reports in this post on Louisiana Voice. The circumstances he lays out here are pretty stinky.
OCT 22 While Govs. Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry attempt to fan the flames of Fox Newsian hysteria into viable presidential hopes with talk of building walls to keep out the Ebola, LA Times columnist Mike Hiltzik gives them some national press they probably don't want: if you want to save lives, he says, try accepting Medicaid expansion. Wups!
OCT 22 It's hard to pick out the most interesting part of this post on Mother Jones about Texas lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick (His claim that migrant workers will bring leprosy to Texas? That Connie Chung's show should be called "Slanted Eye to Eye"?) But of course we must go with the comments about our very own Duck people, and how they are the spokesmen for God.
OCT 22 Advocate owner (and rich guy) John Georges must be doing a little happy dance today. As his paper reports here, the Times Picayune is further reducing its footprint in NOLA, by laying off 100 people and moving their printing operations to Mobile. (Yes, Alabama.) Does this mean the Advocate won?
OCT 22 Baton Rouge's downtown is now starting to show significant growth, this post on DIG Baton Rouge reports. With new construction, new restaurants and new housing units popping up, the downtown area is finally starting to look like a capital city, the story says.
OCT 21 Two St. John Parish employees were indicted in connection with the amoeba found in the parish water supply, WVUE reports in this post. They are accused of lying about testing the water for proper chlorine levels, the story says, claims that were contradicted by their government vehicles' GPS records.
OCT 21 The McClatchy DC blog posts this fascinating view of Louisiana's political landscape. It's a little heavy on the cliches, and also a little heavy on the quaint Cajun/Creole shtick, but it's still good reading -- if only for the outside view of our insides.
OCT 21 Here's an interesting story from the National Journal about New Orleans almost 10 years post-Katrina. There are demographic information and charts, as well as some commentary about the corresponding changes in the way the city looks and works.
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