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.
Mike Harson's coffers show the advantage of incumbency.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will vote on an ordinance for final adoption Tuesday that, if approved, would give the city the green light to take over a stretch of Verot School Road from the state Department of Transportation and Development.
The Louisiana Association of Educators filed a lawsuit challenging the $60 million in spending through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
He's been out of office for nearly a decade, but former U.S. Sen. John Breaux is back on the campaign trail, urging voters to support his one-time colleague, Democrat Mary Landrieu.
The unresolved fate of the ashes left behind after Ebola waste was destroyed in Texas highlights the problem U.S. hospitals and communities could face in disposing of their own waste.
Lafayette manufactured home or Scott two bedroom home
Cajun fan fierce
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
While much of the talk was about whether New Orleans could win a big game — or any game, for that matter — on the road, the conversation in the Saints' locker room was about something completely different.
State health officials told thousands of doctors planning to attend a tropical diseases meeting this weekend in New Orleans to stay away if they have been to certain African countries or have had contact with an Ebola patient in the last 21 days.
Republicans are calling on Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu to apologize after she suggested Thursday that President Barack Obama's deep unpopularity in the South is partly tied to race.
Compared to the rest of the country, Lafayette has it pretty good when it comes to the cost and speed of our Internet.
Hello Kitty turns 40; police ambush suspect caught; Knicks surprise Cavs and more national and international news for Friday, October 31, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
Ever thought that big, pink Gulf coast shrimp you ordered at the restaurant or bought from the store didn't taste juicy or salty enough? Maybe it wasn't from the Gulf.
The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
Homecoming outfits with ease
Acadian style home in St. Martinville or traditional Breaux Bridge home
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."