Wednesday, July 11, 2012

C'est Bon

Rum is the New World’s answer to Old World whiskey, and South Louisiana is set to become a major player in the production of the potent potable. The American Press newspaper in Lake Charles reports that Louisiana Spirits’ $5 million, 18,000-square-foot facility (6,000 square feet will comprise a visitor center) on Interstate 10 in the Jeff Davis Parish town of Lacassine is set to start pumping out 200 gallons of rum per day using locally sourced sugar cane and molasses by year’s end. Five acres of the facility’s site will be given over to growing its own sugar cane. The company president says Louisiana Spirits will focus on spiced and light rums initially but hopes to expand the varieties in the future.

Pooyie1Pas Bon
Gov. Bobby Jindal claims he wasn’t aware until mid June of the fiscal ramifications — an upwards of $100 million annual blow to the state budget — of the Louisiana Department of Revenue’s expansion last spring of an alternative-fuel vehicle tax credit, at which time he rescinded the credit. LDR Secretary Cynthia Bridges promptly resigned or was forced out. But internal administration emails obtained by The Associated Press suggest at least one official on the fourth floor of the Capitol — Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle, who serves as Jindal’s chief legislative lobbyist, knew about the tax credits as early as May 1, the day after LDR expanded the tax credit to include more than 112 vehicle models. A slew of state lawmakers also knew about it and took advantage of it before Jindal cancelled it. They’re being grandfathered, and the LDR says it will grant credits on requests postmarked on or before June 14, the day Jindal rescinded the program. But for everyone else who went out and purchased one of these vehicles in good faith: You’re screwed.

If the city of Lafayette proclaimed the sky blue, Jared Bellard and William Theriot would beg to differ. Self-styled fiscal hawks and Tea Party faves, these contrarians on the City-Parish Council — with an emphasis on “parish” — routinely and with apparent relish vote against the city of Lafayette, underscoring their animus last week when they were the lone dissenters in the vote to green light LCG’s purchase of the Horse Farm property from UL to turn the gorgeous, 100 acres into a passive park for walkers, cyclists and picnickers — a purchase that was widely celebrated by everyone in Lafayette who isn’t a grumpy, retrograde dunderhead with a mean streak and a clinched colon. Editorial Director Leslie Turk nails it in this week’s “Last Word First” column: These guys just don’t share our values. And, alack, they’re the “leadership” on the council.


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