Wednesday, November 3, 2010
The long-term health and ecological effects from the BP oil disaster remain vague, but the federal investigation into the tragedy is finally getting a head of steam. Last week the presidential commission looking to the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion said that both BP and contractor Halliburton were aware weeks before the catastrophe that the cement mixture used to seal the bottom of the well was unstable, yet they went ahead with the job. Citing a letter delivered to the commission Thursday by chief investigator Fred H. Bartlit Jr., the commission announced three laboratory tests on the cement conducted by Halliburton, including one just a week before the accident, indicated the cement mixture didn’t meet industry standards. The results of that final test were not, however, forwarded to BP, whose own internal investigation into the explosion blamed Halliburton’s cement mixture for the mishap. The feds also cordoned off several square miles of Gulf water above the site where the rig exploded for a possible criminal investigation into the incident. Obviously somebody screwed up. Figuring out who, and assigning commensurate liability, is vital.
What an embarrassing joke the Lafayette Housing Authority has become. As it stands, the authority’s board of commissioners has little authority, with HUD looking over its shoulder and federal investigators probing whether taxpayer funds were misappropriated, in effect doing what the board failed to do following an independent audit released in July. Last week, Director Walter Guillory and Deputy Director Jonathan Carmouche resigned, and as Guillory made a dignified exit from the office following his resignation, board member Leon Simmons got into a physical altercation with a TV cameraman, calling members of the media “some damn buzzards.” Meanwhile the board — most of its members reinstated by District Judge Ed Rubin after City-Parish President Joey Durel legally and correctly canned them — has been holding its impotent meetings during the day in an apparent effort to ensure that fellow board member Donald Fuselier, an attorney and the only board member with a full-time job, who wasn’t canned by Durel, cannot attend the meetings, prompting board Vice Chairman Joe Dennis to call on Durel to dismiss Fuselier. Can this get any more petty and convoluted? You just wait.
We’ve long considered The Times-Picayune to be arguably the finest daily newspaper not just in the state but the region (although Baton Rouge’s Advocate verily kicked its butt at the most recent Louisiana Press Association awards). So it was with a great deal of bile rising in our collective throat that we greeted The Times-Pic’s endorsement last week of Sen. David Vitter for re-election. The nod, while acknowledging Vitter’s “serious sin” and the utter lack of a bipartisan bone in his body, cited the philandering pol’s ability to bring home the bacon. Sigh. Vitter is a New Orleans native, and his earmarks have probably favored his home town, so we can understand the newspaper’s parochial fidelity. But considering that our junior senator is such damaged goods — even Louisiana’s top elected Republican, Gov. Bobby Jindal, has declined to endorse him, and most Republicans were probably holding their noses when they voted for him Tuesday — and in light of the Picayune editors declining to make endorsements in other races important to metro New Orleans, we just wish they had sat this one out.
Is Mary fading as Vitter solidifies his lock on the fourth floor?
Richard Buswell was sentenced Tuesday to more than 10 years in prison for his role in an investment scheme that defrauded his clients of more than $6 million.
The Latin Music Festival returns to Parc International this Saturday, Oct. 4, from noon to 10 p.m.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has renegotiated contracts for six LSU hospital privatization deals, hoping to reach a compromise with federal health officials that will keep Medicaid dollars flowing to the privatized patient services.
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is defending her record on gun rights, seeking to rebut sharp criticism from the NRA in a state where the right to bear arms is given special constitutional protection.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Citizens, you have less than a week to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election. Remember, if you don’t vote you can’t complain about the outcome. Well, you can but it’s kind of hypocritical.
After being forced out by its former landlords last year, the community garden has a new location and a 10-year lease.
The party says it has hit a milestone, reaching 10,000 registered voters in the state.
Defensive captain Junior Galette is disgusted by the Saints' sluggish start.
The use of $60 million in Louisiana's public school financing formula to pay for nearly three dozen charter schools violates the state constitution, a statewide teachers' union claimed Monday in a lawsuit.
Security breach at White House; Bejing won't back down from protesters; pressure on third-graders and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 30, 2014.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Lafayette Regional seeking new leadership after longtime director Greg Roberts’ June resignation.
February trial date indicates parties were unable to negotiate a settlement.
T&T show behind the scenes
Four bedroom in Breaux Bridge or four bedroom in Opelousas
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.
Jerry Jones watched what he called the best effort he's seen in 25 years as owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, and that was before Tony Romo had the longest scramble of his career and DeMarco Murray finished off yet another 100-yard game.
Two of the most recognizable women in Republican politics, Sarah Palin and Mary Matalin, have been heavily involved in Louisiana’s current election cycle.
Even though the Louisiana Democratic Party has thrown its support behind former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ congressional bid, national Democrats are not expected to follow suit.
“[Mike] is no longer the energetic ADA that his recent ad is trying to portray. I just think Mike needs to get the hell out.” — Kermit Harson, DA Mike Harson’s brother
The New Orleans Saints have listed Jonathan Goodwin as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas, raising the prospect that second-year pro Tim Lelito will start at center for the first time.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.
The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims decreased to 2,068 from the previous week's total of 2,071. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,494 claims.
Museum of Fear opens its 2014 season with more scares than ever before.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The endorsements keep coming for District 9 LPSB candidate Jeremy Hidalgo, who picked up his fifth vow of support Thursday, this time from the Chamber’s political action committee.