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.
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.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
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.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.