Wednesday, 26 January 2011 00:00
by IND Monthly Staff
C’EST BON Lafayette has good reason to watch the new season of American Idol. Last week Jacee Badeaux, a sophomore in Lafayette High’s Performing Arts Academy, made the cut in the New Orleans auditions with a splendid rendition of “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.” And if you watch Idol, you know the auditions are typically a capella. Pure talent. And he’s only 15. Jacee is a long shot — and we mean long shot — to make it to the top of the heap: He’s really young and isn’t the prototypical “idol” in terms of physique and stage presence. But he has an angelic voice, and we admire any 15-year-old boy who will put himself out there like that. It’s not like that’s an awkward age or anything. We’re pulling for you, Jacee. Make us proud!
PAS BON We have to wonder how Walter Guillory, the former executive director of the Lafayette Housing Authority who resigned last October amid alarming questions about the Lafayette’s agency oversight and expenditures — he served simultaneously for a time as director of the Opelousas Housing Authority — has now landed a job at another non-profit agency that receives millions of federal (read, our taxes) dollars. Guillory is now at the SWLA Center for Health Services, an agency whose raison d’etre, like that of the LHA, is aiding the poor. Adding tendrils to this web, former (or current, depending on whom you ask) LHA board members Leon Simmons and Joe Dennis also serve on the SWLA board. With so many of the same names — and we’re also referring to the consultants, attorneys and others tangentially connected to the LHA and its various projects — popping up in connection with these federally funded programs that heretofore have had little public oversight, we’re beginning to suspect that helping poor folks is a profitable racket.
COUILLON Bite thy tongue, Joey Durel. Our city-parish president spewed gasoline on a simmering fire last week by referring to former Lafayette Housing Authority case manager Chris Williams as a “piece of garbage” in an article in The Daily Advertiser. Durel was responding to the embattled Williams calling him a liar. Like a monger in a fish market Williams is obviously flinging red herrings to the compass points as he tries to divert attention from his very questionable and possibly illegal role with the LHA’s Disaster Housing Assistance Program, but Durel could have — and should have — tacked a more diplomatic course. Williams, a former city-parish councilman, clearly remains a bur under Durel’s saddle. Acrimony between the two goes back at least four years to that ugly, public fight over renaming a prominent Lafayette thoroughfare after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Durel referred to Williams back then as “evil.” But upon further consideration, if Williams has gone from evil to merely garbage, we’re thinking he’s risen some in Durel’s estimation.
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JUL 29 Saints Quarterback Drew Brees, who clearly is no slouch at public relations, countered any worries about his age by commenting from training camp that he'd like to play another 10 years on Friday. For the next two days, he says, he was subjected to "random" drug tests, this post on the Picayune says. Really?
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JUL 29 Environmental activist Wilma Subra made the Los Angeles Times this week, the star of this piece by Julie Cart in the "Great Reads" section. One interesting thing is the reference to Wilma as a "diminutive grandmother." Only someone who doesn't know her could possibly refer to her as "diminutive"!
JUL 29 Remember that "execution" in Arizona last week, the one where it took the inmate two gasping hours to die? Arizona uses the same drugs to kill its citizens as we do, this post on The Lens tells us. But hey, nothing to worry about, because state officials are "reviewing the protocol." OK!
JUL 29 Somebody over at LaPolitics is a big fan of the infographic! Here's another one, this time looking at the income of former governor, former reality TV star, and current Congressional candidate Edwin W. Edwards.
JUL 29 Blogger Crazy Crawfish got a tip that the state Department of Education was promoting a lot of people, and so he did some digging. Instead of asking a question to which he knew he would receive no answer, he just asked for payroll records. And, he found some pretty interesting stuff there.
JUL 29 Blogger Ian McGibboney is writing about the NRA in this post, and the absurdity of requiring people to follow one group's narrow philosophies. The NRA currently is floating the idea that children be required to demonstrate firearm proficiency in order to be promoted in school, and some other kinda nutty stuff. (Really?) Spoiler alert: Ian's not a fan.
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 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 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.)
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