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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JUL 27 The news gets worse in the case of the 11th hour bill that added a bunch of money to the retirement income of State Police Commander Mike Edmonson. Blogger CB Forgotston says here that the annual increase was not $30K, it was more like $55K. Also, it was Jindal buddy Neil Riser who tacked the action onto another bill - something he didn't feel compelled to tell us until now. But here's the best part - Edmonson turned down the money on Friday.
JUL 28 Finally, someone has pointed out that the far-right people who scream at immigrant children are not acting as Jesus would. Blogger Robert Mann runs a comparison of the actions of these alleged "Christians" against what the Bible says about their Savior -- and they come up lacking. Big time.
JUL 27 Here's the first of four pieces from Minnesota Public Radio about the horrible legacy of Gilbert Gauthe, the pedophile who also was a priest and used his position to obtain victims. The story gets into the most shameful aspect of that time - the protection Gauthe received from the leaders of the church. This four-piece story promises to be more comprehensive than anything we've seen, because it is looking back from so far. Some of the information here has only been released recently.
JUL 28 This story in the Picayune is a hopeful, happy one for a change. It's about a young woman who faced family problems that led to her dropping out of school. But now, just a few years later, she's completed two programs aimed at troubled kids and has landed a job in the kitchen of a John Besh restaurant.
JUL 27 Columnist James Gill has something for the Baton Rouge Metro Council -- and they could probably use it. He's giving them a piece of his mind in this post, taking them to task for being too (dumb, homophobic, gutless?) hesitant to pass the so-called tolerance ordinance, which basically says you can't discriminate against gay people in that fair city.
JUL 27 When you're telling people they have lost their jobs, you have to be careful about how you do it. When more layoffs were announced last week to the employees of the Office of Group Benefits, apparently that wasn't handled well, blogger Tom Aswell argues in this post. He's also got some info on who gets to stay - and how much they make. (Spoiler alert: It's a lot.)
JUL 28 After three years of revisions, the proposed new zoning ordinance for the city of New Orleans is ready for public review, this post on NOLA Defender reports. The plan is available starting today on the city's website and in several locations in the city, NoDef reports.
JUL 27 Here's an interesting infographic from LaPolitics on getting negative in political campaigning. There are several people who might want to take note - but chances are, they can't help themselves.
JUL 25 If you're not aware, there's a conflict among pro-choicers and pro-lifers going down in New Orleans. Anti-abortionists are protesting in the city this week, but those who support access to abortion have also been active in the city as a result. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow takes a look at what's going on in this clip, posted on Gambit.
JUL 25 Education Superintendent John White probably shouldn't sign a long lease on anything in Louisiana, Blogger Lamar Parmentel writes, because our reformer in chief is now in a situation "from which no amount of his own bs jargon or political hatchet work can extricate him." Lamar thinks that White is going to have to quit, and probably sooner rather than later.
JUL 25 This post on the Wall Street Journal examines the case of a Metairie physician who is making millions by filing whistle-blower lawsuits. His suits accuse corporations of defrauding federal agencies like Medicare, and when he wins he gets whistle-blower rewards - in the tens of millions of dollars. (You can view the story using your Facebook account, but if you don't want to do that, here's an abbreviated version in the Advocate.)
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