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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DEC 11 It's the holiday season, and that means you can count on seeing some pretty crazy stuff going down at the Wal-Mart, but this story out of Marshall, Texas takes the cake. A man went in and attacked a couple of people with a hatchet. Who stopped him? A customer who started launching soup cans at him -- and connected with his noggin. The story tells us that while some folk were injured, everyone's been released from the hospital.
DEC 11 Blogger Tom Aswell joins the ranks of those looking into the "Fund for Louisiana's Future," which of course is not really aimed at improving our future. So far, it seems aimed at getting Louisiana to remove its $100,000 cap on campaign contributions, he tells us. Also, it is overseen by the same guy who tried to give us President Mitt Romney -- and he seems bent on picking our next governor.
DEC 11 Here's a post on NOLA Defender from the chef de cuisine at Delmonico's about gumbo. Chef Anthony Scanio shares childhood food memories that aren't quite a warm and fuzzy cliche -- but they certainly sound authentic. His personal story isn't just about food, it's a true New Orleans boy's upbringing. It's a cool story, and it ends with recipes for seafood gumbo and red beans.
DEC 11 Blogger Lou Gehrig Burnett writes here on Bayou Buzz about GOP efforts to mount a candidate against Sen. Mary Landrieu -- "a" being the operative word. So far, Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness are both in the race, and as long as the ultra-conservative Maness remains he poses a threat to the Republicans' hopes to unseat Mary. There's also a bit on what's up in Texas -- where Gov. Rick Perry's rejection of Medicaid money is causing other lawmakers some trouble.
DEC 11 Qualifying for New Orleans municipal races opens today, and Gambit's Clancy DuBos is most interested in people running against Sheriff Marlin Gusman, a frequent topic of Clancy's posts -- and a lot of other media posts as well. So far, the most interesting candidate expected to qualify is former sheriff Charles Foti. But Gusman's biggest enemy may be himself, given his 33 percent approval rating.
DEC 11 It may be the season of brotherly love, but John Maginnis is not falling for David Vitter's Christmas story. In this post, he poo-poos the very idea that Vitter and his family will spend the holidays in prayerful reflection so that they can decide if the Senator will run for governor. He also gives some predictions on what could happen if Vitter did get elected, throwing in a cautionary reference to the big ole egg laid by the GOP up in North Louisiana's recent Congressional race.
DEC 11 Well, knock us over with a rainbow-colored feather. The Shreveport City Council passed an ordinance granting equal protection to LGBT folks, this KSLA story reports. It basically forbids discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation. According to the story, city workers already have had that protection, since 2009.
DEC 11 That nice lady over in Denham Springs must still be mad at her neighbors for stealing her dog, because she's back up on her roof, making a big ole "one finger salute" in Christmas lights. This story in the Advocate even gives us a picture of the process underway, in case you are experiencing a similar situation and would like some finger-display-creation tips.
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