Wednesday, May 2, 2012
We have a feeling the success of INNOV8 Lafayette will be felt for some time to come — and far beyond what its organizers even imagined. Take, for example, CajunCodeFest’s mission to tackle childhood obesity with a competition that awarded $25,000 to the winning concept, “PlayFit” by team BE CAMP VB, which created a system to manage “pickup” games and events that target at-risk kids by engaging community groups like churches and the YMCA. The victory includes entry to the invitation-only U.S. Health Datapalooza competition, a public-private collaboration in D.C. that encourages the use of readily available health data to create innovative solutions that spark community action for improving health. One of the software programmers competing in Lafayette last week, Reza Jelveh, came all the way from Hamburg, Germany, because he hopes to launch a startup in Lafayette. Thanks to Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park (pictured) was also in the house. INNOV8 set out to brand Lafayette’s creative economy over the course of its eight days of events. Did it succeed? See this week’s “C’est What?!” and you be the judge.
Gov. Bobby Jindal and his Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret are flying high through the corporation-lined clouds as they tout the state’s low unemployment figures and stable economy as reasons for supporting big-business tax breaks and other corporate exemptions that the Jindal administration has been steadily handing down. If Jindal and Co. ever decide to return to the reality of our state’s ongoing budget deficits, they’ll see that these same tax breaks and huge incentives for corporations to locate to Louisiana aren’t doing much, if anything, to aid the state’s coffers. According to a recent column from AP’s Melinda Deslatte, Moret is correct in his assertion that “these projects have had a very significant impact on our tax revenues,” but economists working to forecast state income counter that the impact has been anything but positive. Deslatte notes that the state lost $905 million in revenue in 2008 due to corporate income tax exemptions and credits, with those same tax credits expected to starve state coffers of another $1.4 billion in 2012. And though the national recession has played a role in Louisiana’s budget problems, it’s safe to say that the 83 percent drop in corporate tax collections, down $940 million from 2007-2008 to $156 million for 2012-2013, is a pretty significant factor in the steady decline of state services.
State news outlets have been quick to harp on Gov. Bobby Jindal’s extensive out-of-state travels since he took first office in 2008, but even frequent-flyer Jindal hasn’t racked up the 41 days of national and international travel that state Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon has acquired since March 2011 — more than $20,000 worth of free trips paid for by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a national group with established ties to the insurance industry. The insurance commish tells The Political Desk (during a phone interview while Donelon was in Washington, D.C., on an NAIC-sponsored trip), that his travels represent a “unique situation:” Come 2013 he’ll the be the first NAIC president from Louisiana. Donelon maintains that his president-elect post at NAIC just ain’t as cozy as it appears, though his free trips to Nicaragua, Key West, Miami Beach and other exotic locales make it hard to argue that Donelon hasn’t signed on to a pretty sweet gig.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
A ballpark snack topped with BBQ meat can be found cruising town on a food truck
Times Square impersonator crackdown; Israel shells Gaza school; Russia hit with sanctions and more national and international news for Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
"Although the administration is moving forward with climate change regulations at home, we don't consider how policy decisions in the United States impact greenhouse gas emissions in other parts of the world," says Roger Martella, the former general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush.
Louisiana agriculture officials say prices for long-grain rice are projected to drop this year.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending July 19 decreased from the previous week's total.
A judge is getting ready to set a new trial date for a former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The sponsor of a Louisiana law that requires doctors that perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges doesn't believe the provision is in jeopardy after a federal appeals court struck down a similar Mississippi law.
Louisiana's state school board has jumped into a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal that accuses the governor of illegally meddling in education policy through his efforts to block Common Core education standards.
Here's how one nationally recognized conservative political pundit reacted upon hearing the news Monday that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was leaning toward an endorsement of Louisiana’s lone Democrat senator.
If President Barack Obama’s poll numbers, and those for his health care law, haven’t yet bottomed out in the Bayou State, then Democrats surely don’t want to know what the statistical floor actually looks like.
Midsouth Bank has released its second quarter earnings report, showing a year-over-year increase for shareholders.
The comeback of the Wayfarer
Two bedroom New Iberia ranch style house or two bedroom Lafayette condo
The deadline to purchase tickets for the 2014 ABiz Top 50 Business Luncheon featuring top-selling author, political activist and Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig is only two weeks away.
With the qualifying deadline for Lafayette Parish School Board elections quickly approaching, a series of candidate forums have been announced by the Lafayette Parish Public Education Stakeholders Council.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The investigation and potential prosecution of the man charged in the recent hit-and-run death of a Youngsville cyclist won’t happen overnight, according to local law enforcement officials.
Louisiana's state school board is holding a special meeting to consider whether to sue Gov. Bobby Jindal in an ongoing dispute over the Common Core education standards.
A bipartisan congressional deal to help improve veterans' health care access includes approval for new veterans clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles.
Cajun favorites to comfort on Pinhook Road
It wouldn’t be a first, however, as the Chamber has thrown money behind Landrieu before.
The Democratic incumbent, seeking her fourth term in office, is a strong supporter of the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance exports of U.S. companies.
Summertime floral with panache
Three bedroom St. Martinville traditional or three bedroom Lafayette contemporary cottage
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The world is a politically tense place these days with hot spots ranging from the Middle East to Ukraine. In Louisiana and Mississippi, where the political chessboard tends to be a lot less threatening and at times entertaining, this election season is living up to expectations.
As this year’s budget process slogs forward and the Lafayette Parish School Board maintains its hard-headed stance against using any of its more than $60 million reserve fund, another slate of critical programs have rolled through the chopping block, despite the ramifications for the school system.
Meat, cheese and veggies piled high on Texas toast
Louisiana has joined nine other states in support of Indiana’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the Hoosier State’s ban on sam-sex marriage violates the Constitution.