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.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Reamco founders Brent Milam and Ashley Lane now shareholders in acquiring company and part of its management team.
Low heels, high style
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, March 11, 2014:
The board hopes to recover all fees paid, plus one-half, along with what could amount to hundreds of thousands in additional penalties.
Oh, the irony... or something like that.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.