C’EST BON Former New Orleans Saint Scott Fujita is headed to the Cleveland Browns and a lucrative new contract he certainly earned as a member of the Black and Gold, but he left us with a parting gift. As a gesture of devotion to his adopted state of the last fouryears, Fujita donated half of his $82,000 Super Bowl-winning paycheck to charity. More than half that amount — $25,000 — he split equally between two organizations whose focus is restoring Louisiana’s vanishing and fragile coast: America’s WETLAND Foundation and the Gulf Restoration Network. Fujita came to the Saints before the 2006 season, along with quarterback Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton. We hate to see him go, but his gesture underscored Payton’s formula for building a winning team: sign good players who are also good people.
PAS BON If you ate oysters recently and you’re feeling a bit queasy, you aren’t alone. Nearly 40 people were sickened after eating oysters last month, which has caused the largest closure of the state’s oyster beds in a decade. The Times-Picayune reports that oyster harvesting grounds in St. Bernard, Plaquemines and parts of Lafourche and Jefferson parishes have been closed for the past two weeks. Meanwhile state health officials have been searching for the source of the disease, Norovirus, which causes fever, chills, aches, nausea and diarrhea that can last up to two days. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the problem doesn’t spread west to Acadiana’s oyster beds.
COUILLON The Federal Emergency Management Agency may still be experiencing a bit of institutional guilt over its handling of the Katrina disaster five years ago. Floodsmart.gov, an elaborate, bells-and-whistles Web site for FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, encourages Americans to purchase flood insurance by detailing past flood damage in every county in the United States since 1993. But the site shows $0 damage in Orleans Parish in 2005, the year of Katrina. We seem to recall a little flooding in the Crescent City following the hurricane. At the same time, the NFIP’s own records show it has paid more than $23 billion in claims for 17 tropical systems over the last decade. Out of sight out of mind?
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Lawmakers and Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration shared a collective sigh of relief with the news that Louisiana's tax amnesty program brought in the $200 million that they used to help balance this year's budget.
by Brett Martel, AP Sports Writer
DEC 8 - Maybe that wasn't such a good idea, after all. This post on the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association's site says we're looking at oil prices that are tanking because there's so much oil coming out of the Gulf. Some are even predicting a glut. What's likely to be the result? Lower gas prices, higher refinery profits, and more pressure on the feds to loosen export restrictions.
DEC 8 Here's the latest from blogger Robert Mann, and it's on one of his favorite topics: Bobby Jindal. He's taking a look at Jindal's record and his current maneuvering, which of course is a ploy to position him for a run for the White House. "America Next," Jindal's current big idea, is just as vague about what it is proposing as Jindal usually is, Mann says. And it won't protect him from his "unimaginative record," as Mann describes it.
DEC 8 - Don't know what that is? Then run on over to LaPolitics and read this post by Jeremy Alford, which serves as a history lesson about the famed tonic and it's purveyor, Dudley LeBlanc. It's really a fascinating story and Alford's description of Dudley as an "icon of Louisiana politics and culture" is not an exaggeration.
DEC 8 In this editorial, the Picayune again urges Gov. Jindal to take the Medicaid money. But the piece's exhortation that Jindal "be sensible" is a little misplaced, isn't it? Because Jindal's not being stupid -- well, maybe he is -- but he's following orders from people he believes can get him into the White House. This editorial is engaging in the argument that Jindal is publicly making, without acknowledging what his true motivations are. Somebody send these guys a clue.
DEC 8 Columnist Mark Ballard is writing about the impact of Vance McAllister's defeat of Neil Riser in this post. He starts out talking about how McAllister's more reasonable approach was more attractive to voters than was Riser's hard-line (tea-party-ish) rants. Dan Claitor, a state lege from BR who is expected to run for Congress soon, expressed it best when he said voters aren't looking for candidates who are "throwing temper tantrums when they can't get their way."
DEC 8 It's always gratifying when a Louisiana son makes international headlines. And our son, David "former KKK grand poobah" Duke is back in the news, making us all proud. This (UK) Telegraph story, unearthed by the Dead Pelican, tells us that Duke has been expelled from Italy but is trying to return. The Italians say he is trying to "establish a pan-European, extremist neo-Nazi group in northern Italy." Huh. You don't say.
DEC 9 This is a kind of puzzling post from columnist Jim Beam, in which he discusses a recent appearance by former Gov. Edwin Edwards in Lake Charles. He said he's surprised by EWE's "grasp of current events." Did Jim never meet Slick Eddie? He's no dummy, and for Beam to assume he is -- well, given he covered the man for 50 years, that's the surprise.
DEC 9 A "suspicious package" shut down part of Zachary Sunday, WAFB tells us in this post. The package, which eventually was "rendered safe" (bomb squad lingo for blown up) was found in a storage unit that someone quit paying on. Other cop gear was found in the unit, so it is possible the thing was a training tool, police say. But they leave out the best part: who bought it? Barry, Jarrod or Darrell?
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