Another feather in Lafayette’s “Cool Town” cap was bestowed last week when Festival International de Louisiane was named Best World Music Festival in the 2012 About.com Readers’ Choice Awards. The Hub City’s signature spring event out-pointed even the prestigious Smithsonian Folklife Festival for the distinction. “Well, clearly we’re excited about it,” says Dana Baker, executive director of Festival International. “And it’s a humbling award considering who we were up against, too.” The annual cultural fête gets under way in just three weeks. Complementing this year’s FIL will be a brand new venue — in multiple venues — for Lafayette to refine its cool quotient: INNOV8Lafayette, a project of the Innovation Division of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce that will comprise a festival of ideas celebrating our creative culture.
Point. Counterpoint. Just as Lafayette is ascending into regional and national consciousness as a cool place to live, work, play and even retire — there were no fewer than eight articles over the weekend in major U.S. newspapers extolling the cultural virtues of our fair city and region — the agents of regression we wrote about in the introduction to last week’s “Cool Town” issue turned their ghastly visage upon us, led by City-Parish Council Chairman Jared Bellard. In an exchange at last week’s council meeting about a projected $5 million shortfall in LCG’s operating budget to man two proposed fire stations, Bellard trotted out his usual bogeymen: the horse farm and non-governmental organizations. “Here’s my rectification: 100 percent hiring freeze, get the horse farm money back [and] put it to fire — build your fire station — stop the GPS program, stop a lot of programs; stop the nonprofits, everything that’s a luxury,” Bellard said. The exchange with CAO Dee Stanley came, ironically (?), on the heels of Bellard complaining ad nauseam about the stalled progress in paving a parking lot at a ballpark in his district. In other words, a luxury.
State Sen. A.G. Crowe, R-Slidell, is cawing for Louisiana Family Forum during this year’s legislative session. The GOP solon from almost Mississippi sponsored an odious bill that cleared a Senate committee last week and may, by publication of this week’s Ind, have been debated on the Senate floor. Crowe’s Senate Bill 217 would effectively prevent public bodies — local governments, school boards, public commissions — from requiring private vendors with whom they contract for services to have strictly delineated anti-discrimination policies. Of course, what this is really about is the LFF’s anti-gay agenda; discrimination against gays and lesbians — and the physically uncoordinated and mentally challenged — would be countenanced under Crowe’s bill. If passed, SB 217 could have wide-ranging ramifications, not the least of which is prohibiting local school boards from requiring charter schools to accept gay students, children with poor English skills, a lack of athletic talent or special needs, which the state Department of Education currently requires of charter operators.
Lafayette Regional seeking new leadership after longtime director Greg Roberts’ June resignation.
February trial date indicates parties were unable to negotiate a settlement.
T&T show behind the scenes
Four bedroom in Breaux Bridge or four bedroom in Opelousas
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.
Jerry Jones watched what he called the best effort he's seen in 25 years as owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, and that was before Tony Romo had the longest scramble of his career and DeMarco Murray finished off yet another 100-yard game.
Two of the most recognizable women in Republican politics, Sarah Palin and Mary Matalin, have been heavily involved in Louisiana’s current election cycle.
Even though the Louisiana Democratic Party has thrown its support behind former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ congressional bid, national Democrats are not expected to follow suit.
Volcano recovery suspended; Mossad recruiting online; high fees in Ferguson and more national and international news for Monday, September 29, 2014.
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
“[Mike] is no longer the energetic ADA that his recent ad is trying to portray. I just think Mike needs to get the hell out.” — Kermit Harson, DA Mike Harson’s brother
The New Orleans Saints have listed Jonathan Goodwin as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas, raising the prospect that second-year pro Tim Lelito will start at center for the first time.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.
The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims decreased to 2,068 from the previous week's total of 2,071. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,494 claims.
Museum of Fear opens its 2014 season with more scares than ever before.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The endorsements keep coming for District 9 LPSB candidate Jeremy Hidalgo, who picked up his fifth vow of support Thursday, this time from the Chamber’s political action committee.
Three bedroom traditional Broussard house or two bedroom Lafayette townhome
Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter will be out knocking on doors this weekend with anti-abortion activists encouraging people to vote against his colleague, Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
The ACLU of Louisiana has sued Abbeville's mayor and police chief over a policy barring police from any social media use showing the city in a bad light.
Prospective Republican presidential candidates are expected to promote "religious liberty" at home and abroad at a gathering of religious conservatives Friday, with anti-Obama speeches from the likes of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The American Zombie blog by New Orleans independent journalist Jason Berry has a photograph of U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier having dinner with Lafayette attorney Pat Juneau — yeah, that Pat Juneau, the BP claims administrator whose fate Barbier will soon decide.
But retirees and employees who face the higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs responded angrily, telling lawmakers that they shouldn't be held responsible for what they consider the Jindal administration's mismanagement of the Office of Group Benefits.
A school board candidate takes exception to the chamber’s Common Vision initiative.
Indictment accuses ‘chef’ who claims to work for the needy of stealing from a disabled man in his care.
The idea that any successful enterprise, whether it’s a business, a non-profit, or even a governmental body such as a school system, requires a bedrock of shared core beliefs and commitments is not new.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's top budget adviser says the state employee health insurance program will face a dire financial scenario without the heavily criticized changes planned by the administration.
Louisiana's last execution was in 2010, and plans for the next lethal injection have been put on hold amid an ongoing legal dispute about the drugs that would be used. More than 80 people are on death row, awaiting execution, in Louisiana.