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.”
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
The former star of Saturday Night Live throws in his 2 cents on the Big Oil lawsuit.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, March 10, 2014:
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?