We like our gumbo and our rice and gravy, but maybe Lafayette isn’t so unhealthy after all. The parish ranked fifth healthiest in the state, according to a new County Health Rankings survey. The survey does not stack Lafayette up against any counties outside Louisiana, so the competition wasn’t that stout (Louisiana is 47th in a ranking of the healthiest states), and you could even argue this is akin to being the slimmest person to show up at weight loss camp, but hey, we’re never one to turn down any accolades. This calls for cake!
After climbing steadily since 2002, retail sales slid 11.6 percent last year, falling from $5.4 billion in 2008 to $4.8 billion. The numbers, released last week, show area businesses, and not to mention sales-tax dependent local governments, are weathering lean times. December 2009’s $466 million in sales represents a 14 percent drop from December 2008. The decline is being attributed to the tailing off of the post-Katrina building boom combined with effects from the national recession.
It’s a disease that strikes many politicians: selective amnesia. Last week, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin found himself inflicted while reflecting upon his eight years in office in an interview with Essence Magazine. “There was no corruption under my watch,” Nagin said, before dismissing a 63-count indictment last fall against his former chief technology officer, Greg Meffert, alleging more than $1 million in kickbacks. As for the Sewage & Water Board member appointed by Nagin who admitted to accepting more than $2 million in contractor kickbacks or the federal investigation of New Orleans Affordable Homeownership Corp for alleged misuse of federal grant funds, it’s as if they never happened.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.