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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SEP 16 Here's something for LSU to be proud of. It's a video of some (presumed) 'frat boys' manhandling another young man who is not wearing a polo shirt and khakis on the parade grounds prior to Saturday's LSU football game. The best part of this brief video is the look on the face of the guy who shot it, who also is (presumably) responsible for the title of the tape.
SEP 16 Lafayette is up for inclusion in another pointless list, but if it makes you feel better, go vote for the city here. This contest, sponsored by that pillar of excellent journalism, USA Today, is seeking the top ten college towns that are able to conduct a social media campaign to get voted as the best college town.
SEP 16 Here's a weird post on LaPolitics about how many doctors we have in Congress. With Charles Boustany, John Fleming and Bill Cassidy, we've got a lot of physicians up there. Why is that? Jeremy Alford has some ideas.
SEP 16 Here's a post from the Facebook page of the Al Berard Music Festival, announcing the date of the new event to honor the musician's memory and to raise money for the Al Berard Memorial Music Fund at Community Foundation of Acadiana. They're seeking volunteers, if you want to help.
SEP 16 This post on the Oxford American magazine features the work of New Orleans-based photographer/artist Kevin Klein, as well as some of his amazing portraits of NOLA people. It's worth a few minutes of your time.
SEP 16 Just as Rod Dreher was marking the anniversary of his sister's death from cancer, he learned this his friend Dave's wife, Alison Neustrom, had died of cancer, he writes in this post. In searching online for info about her wake, he learned of Alison's testimony regarding medical marijuana, and marvels at the fact that this woman, who was fighting a battle herself, spent some of her precious, limited time to fight for others.
SEP 16 Finally, something useful from a daily newspaper. Here's a story in the Picayune about the Jambalaya Calculator, a free-to-download spreadsheet that helps hungry Cajuns calculate ingredients for the dish.
SEP 16 Columnist Jim Beam writes about cuts to the military in this post. It's a theme that has been repeated over our history, and it has never been a good idea, he argues. Beam remembers processing out of the Army in 1957 and sitting next to a captain who had been cut during one such drawdown.
SEP 15 Blogger Bob Mann is writing about the death of Victor White III, who died in New Iberia, handcuffed and in the back seat of a police car, from a gunshot wound to the chest. He wonders if perhaps the residents of that town should riot, as the residents of Ferguson did, in order to get national (and federal) attention for the case.
SEP 15 Here's the NOLA Defender blog's coverage of the Gulf Energy Forum, hosted last week in the city by The Atlantic magazine. Although the mag's people tried to ensure the discussion explored all types of energy, it focused on oil and gas, the post reports. Since the forum was held in Louisiana and underwritten by the American Petroleum Institute - how is that a surprise?
SEP 15 Blogger Tom Aswell gives us the details on a recent Legislative Auditor's report on Louisiana's obligations to Tom Benson, some of which he says "appear to border on financial irresponsibility." He's also detailing an audit of the seemingly endless problems with hurricane recovery contractors.
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