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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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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