Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Written by The Independent Staff
We left the first installment of the 2011 Independent Weekly Lecture Series — screenings of the acclaimed Davis Guggenheim documentary Waiting for Superman at the Grand Theatre on Ambassador Caffery — with a sense that, finally, there may be some real momentum toward embracing reform in the public school system, or at the very least taking an active interest in the performance of our public schools by a heretofore complacent population. The Ind-hosted screening of WFS was originally scheduled to be a one-off event, but overwhelming demand for tickets prompted a second screening. The cinema was packed. Sandwiched in between was a panel discussion by members of the education community. Plenty of teachers turned out for the screenings, but so did elected officials, school board members, superintendents from Lafayette and neighboring parishes, and regular folk who recognize that if we don’t improve public schools — if we don’t get this right — the future prosperity of Acadiana is seriously compromised.
The much-anticipated audit of the Lafayette Housing Authority went public Monday, confirming many of our suspicions about the beleaguered agency — too little transparency, negligible accountability, a board bored or intimidated by the minutiae of competently overseeing an entity that receives a king’s ransom in federal funds to aid the poor, an executive director who also managed a housing authority in Opelousas and who received gilded financial compensation — in effect, an out-of-control agency that opened the cookie jar to far too many hands. Also, on Sunday The Daily Advertiser published an eye-opening schematic delineating potential conflicts of interest in convoluted and Byzantine programs supposedly designed for low-income housing. Follow the money? Good luck with that. The audit and Advertiser story underscore a stunning lack of oversight. Now District Attorney Mike Harson must decide whether any of the audit’s “abnormalities” rise to the level of criminality. And to think, the LHA is just one relatively insignificant agency through which millions of our tax dollars flow. Scary.
We know Gov. Bobby Jindal loves him some pub. Like a junkie with a private jet he travels the country feeding his fix. And according to the National Oil Spill Commission, in a report issued last week that was vigorously disputed by Camp Jindal, our gallivanting gub-nuh, during the height of the disaster, used the spill for some old-fashioned “showboating,” as The New York Times put it in a headline. The report accuses Jindal of deliberately withholding from the Coast Guard the location of an area of oiled marsh he used as a backdrop for television interviews, presumably because if the Coast Guard knew where the fouled marsh was it would have dispatched a clean-up crew and Jindal would have had to find another location from which to rail against the federal response to the spill. According to the report: “Coast Guard responders watched Governor Jindal — and the TV cameras following him — return to what appeared to be the same spot of oiled marsh day after day to complain about the inadequacy of the federal response, even though only a small amount of marsh was then oiled. When the Coast Guard sought to clean up that piece of affected marsh, Governor Jindal refused to confirm its location.”
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..."