Wednesday, February 23, 2011
By The Independent Staff
We were reminded Saturday night in the Cajundome why UL basketball fans had such high hopes for the Bob Marlin era entering the 2010-2011 season, and why college basketball can be so addictive. Following a head-scratching 3-14 start — including 1-5 in Sun Belt Conference play — and dwindling attendance at the ’dome, the Cajuns have been on fire, winning nine in a row including eight straight conference games, and filling the arena with raving, vermilion-clad fans. And with the success has come a slogan: “Fear the Beard” — a homage to the beards sported by several Cajun players. Fans have taken to wearing fake — and real — beards to games, and the university has rewarded them with discounted tickets for their faux (and real) facial fur. UL hosts Denver Thursday and closes the regular season at UL Monroe Saturday. Wins in both assure the Cajuns a first-round bye in the SBC tournament beginning March 5 in Hot Springs, Ark.
Leadership at the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce no doubt breathed a sigh of relief Saturday night after state Rep. Jonathan Perry edged businessman Nathan Granger in the special election for the state Senate District 26 seat. Last week the chamber blundered into the political arena (again) by endorsing Perry in the race over Granger, who built a small business — what’s a chamber of commerce’s mission again? — into one of Acadiana’s top 50 privately held companies. The GLCC’s star chamber got an earful from outraged membership who wondered how a chamber of commerce could endorse an attorney/Cajun comic over one of the region’s most successful businessmen. We seriously doubt the chamber endorsement helped Perry pull out the victory. In fact, based on the reaction in Lafayette, which Granger won — Senate 26 includes about a quarter of our parish — Perry may have cringed when the “coveted” endorsement was announced.
When the owners of a chicken-finger franchise blamed the federal drilling moratorium — or “permatorium,” as the criers of economic calamity have taken to calling it — for their Lafayette and Breaux Bridge restaurants going under, they were laughed out of town. But on Feb. 11, when Houston-based Seahawk Energy announced it was filing for bankruptcy and cited White House energy policies for its demise, the industry narrative — Obama is bad! — got a shot in the arm. U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu maxed her blowout preventer first, observing that “the worst-case predictions are now true, and we are still living this economic nightmare.” Gov. Bobby Jindal predictably chimed in, too, saying in a press release that “bad federal policy from the Obama administration has had bad effects on businesses and jobs.” But as Advocate columnist Mark Ballard pointed out over the weekend, Seahawk’s financial woes are much more nuanced, and its bankruptcy can probably be attributed more to legal fights with other companies, a future tax liability with the Mexican government — Calderón is bad, too! — and a persistent inability to fill key management positions. Folks, unemployment has fallen in Louisiana as tax collections, oil prices and consumer spending have risen. We’re handling this permatorium with aplomb, thank you very much.
Lafayette native artist Rick Begneaud shines at AcA
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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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.