Wednesday, 11 January 2012 00:00
by IND Monthly Staff
C'est Bon Lafayette Parish School System Superintendent Pat Cooper noticed something was missing as he reviewed the agenda and related documents for his first board meeting on Jan. 4: Included in the personnel reports was a list of administrative contracts up for renewal by the board — with no performance evaluations attached. LPSS Marketing Director Angie Simoneaux says the board typically renews school principals’ contracts “kind of in bulk” upon expiration. “I’m not sure how they’ve done it in the past, but for me there’s got to be some paper trail as to why we’re renewing contracts, based on school performance, supervisor evaluations and a lot of other data,” Cooper explains. “That’s not to say it’s not there. But I was caught by surprise.” Cooper asked the board during his first meeting to pull the administrative contract renewals from the personnel reports pending further review. “I’m not saying I’m against renewing any of the contracts,” Cooper says. “I just want to make sure we have a reason for doing so.” The simple action Cooper took may be just one small step for LPSS, but it marks what we hope will be one giant leap for the kind of accountability the community has come to demand.
Pas Bon By today — Wednesday, Jan. 11 — former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer is probably figuring out his exit strategy from the field for the Republican presidential nomination, if he hasn’t already announced his departure. Otherwise, he should properly reside in the next category. Roemer failed to get any traction in a glut of candidates most Republicans would agree has ranged from less than inspiring to no chance of beating Obama. Roemer wasn’t invited to any of the roughly dozen debates leading up to Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary and by press time was polling at less than 1 percent in the Granite State, where he took up residence months ago to campaign and where he blew his meager $250,000 campaign wad. Roemer’s inevitable exit from the field is a pity because among the various messages and platforms of the candidates in the November general election, from both parties, his rang the most compelling: money has rotted the American political process, and if we don’t address it, we’re screwed.
Couillon There are still prime fishing areas closed due to oil contamination. The most recent shrimp season was one of the worst in memory. Gulf Coast tourism continues to struggle, at least according to accounts from merchants in the areas most affected by the 2010 oil spill. But don’t tell that to BP. The British oil giant has been behind a public-relations blitz over the last month, airing commercials in Gulf Coast markets and elsewhere featuring images of pristine beaches, clean waters, nets bursting with fresh seafood and bustling shops. BP even hired seafood trucks to hand out free fish tacos and seafood jambalaya to hungry football tourists in New Orleans. With deep pockets and a keen sense of PR, the company is effectively buying its own reality of life on the Gulf Coast 18 months after the spill.
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OCT 24 You gotta love it when they start eating their young, right? In this post in Politico, BP mouthpiece Geoff Morrell denies that his company's oil spill "ruined the Gulf." Instead, he says, it was Bobby Jindal's decision to divert fresh water into the salt water environment that caused massive losses to shrimp and oyster industries. The evidence doesn't back up any claims that the spill caused that harm, he says. Nothing to see here, move along.
OCT 24 The former mayor of Sorrento was arrested on dozens of child pornography charges, a post on The Creole reports here. Wilson Longanecker Jr. was arrested in his Ascension Parish mansion, the blog reports.
OCT 24 As Bobby Jindal's tenure as governor winds down, blogger Tom Aswell tells us to expect to see more and more of his appointees jumping ship. Some might get shown the door (or the federal indictment, as the case may be) and others are just going to want to avoid standing in "the inevitable unemployment line," he says.
OCT 24 Jim Brown is blogging about elections in this post. There's no one more recognizable when it comes to elections than he is, and yet he still had to show his ID, you know. He gives some easy-to-remember advice on the Amendments: vote against them all. This stuff needs to be handled by legislators, not added to the Constitution, he says.
OCT 24 Bobby Jindal's recent "magical" budget touch - you know, the one that turned a $140 million deficit into a $170 million surplus - is just imaginary, columnist James Gill tells us in this post. It's about as real as that story he tells about the "gold standard" of ethics, Gill says.
OCT 24 George Carter III, a teenage member of the group Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools, died this week, the Picayune reports here. Educators who knew him called him a "visionary." He certainly had some highly-developed ideas for his age, but despite his ability to provide positive ideas for helping kids in the city, in the end he wasn't able to escape NOLA's problems, either.
OCT 24 John Dickerson posts this slice-of-campaign-life look at Mary Landrieu on the trail in Louisiana. Republicans are playing to a runoff, he opines, meaning our state will become "a zoo" if it turns out this race will decide control of the Senate.
OCT 24 Bike lanes have been quite the topic of convo over in NOLA recently, what with streetspace, already at a premium downtown, being sacrified for them. In this post on the Uptown Messenger blog, Owen Courreges opines that the lanes are not really being constructed for people who ride bikes, but instead because developers seeking to make money downtown feel they are needed. He's also predicting that they will increase already nightmarish levels of traffic to new heights. Nah -- that couldn't happen!
OCT 23 Blogger Tom Aswell posts the photo that started making the rounds of the Facebook this week; it shows our governor and his lovely bride, all bright and smiley and holding big guns. The Jindals look a little posed, down to their carefully and properly placed index fingers. They're both grinning wide, displaying how comfortable they are with weaponry. Whee!
OCT 23 This fascinating post on The Lens opens the discussion of New Orleans as subject. C. W. Cannon talks about the concept of dual consciousness and how New Orleanians, especially, have experienced this condition post-Katrina. Cannon attended a recent conference about the issue at Tulane, where the discussion focused on how the romanticization of the city by outsiders masks real social problems.
OCT 23 Bayou Buzz is taking Gov. Bobby Jindal and the GOP to task here for the Ebola shrieking. The so-called "travel ban" makes no sense, and these politicians should have done their homework before coming up with this stunt, Stephen Sabludowsky writes.
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