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.”
Business organizations opposed the proposal, saying it would lead to job losses and higher prices for goods and services.
An attempt to repeal a six-year-old law that permits public school science teachers to use material outside a classroom's adopted textbook has been rejected by the Senate Education Committee.
New York Times poll shows Obama, Jindal have identical approval and disapproval ratings in the state.
See which events are taking place during INNOV8 Lafayette this Friday, April 25.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Lisa Boudreaux come and get your goodies.
OK, so they’re bentgrass, the type used on golf course greens. But grass is grass.
Jefferson Street restaurant and pub debuts during Festival with limited menu.
The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill Wednesday, despite opponents who argued it would shut down the storefront lenders.
A measure to allow the state to implement its own, less stringent plan for limiting carbon dioxide emissions unanimously passed the Senate.
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Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
A push to expand Louisiana's Medicaid program as allowed under the federal health care has been overwhelmingly rejected by the Senate health committee.
See which events are taking place during INNOV8 Lafayette this Thursday.
It’s on, y’all. Fest fIND, our annual Festival International de Louisiana reader contest, is now accepting photo submissions.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana welfare recipients would be prohibited in state law from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under a bill that received the support Wednesday of a House committee.
Senators will consider whether to prohibit private businesses in Louisiana from paying unequal wages to employees of different genders for the same job.
Rep. Joel Robideaux has delayed bill hearings and said unless a compromise can be reached, he won't bring up the legislation this session.
Once again, Lafayette Parish School Board President Hunter Beasley is focused on an issue that has nothing to do with the educational well-being of our public school children.
Fashion and music make great bedfellows
Producers, manufacturers, restaurants and chefs host roundtable and tasting
After exhausting his appeals all the way to the state Supreme Court, the owner of the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete has no legal remedy left save one: do an end run around the high court via a bill that would grandfather his “right” to keep a 550-pound tiger enclosed in a pin at his roadside business.
Louisiana poet Darrell Bourque has won the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and intellectual life.
Drivers would have to secure dogs riding in truck beds while on interstate highways, if the Senate agrees to a bill backed by the House.
The easy one-piece way to style
Comfy feet for long days
Newsy bits for the whole fam
Don't forget: our annual Festival International contest begins Thursday! Win. Cool. Stuff.
An effort to prohibit employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity was shelved Tuesday for the legislative session.