C’EST BON It was long overdue. When the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced last week it was finally taking over the troubled Lafayette Housing Authority, a pall hanging over our fair city finally began to evaporate. HUD’s action eliminates the LHA board, including the trio of members fighting in court to be reinstated and newly appointed members. HUD official Dan Rodriguez is serving as acting executive director for the agency. In its letter announcing the takeover, HUD cites numerous problems at the agency, which has been under federal investigation since last summer, including weak accounting controls, misuse of funds, a non-compliant cash management system, lack of effective leadership and improper implementation of the Disaster Housing Assistance Program.
PAS BON Say what you will about former station manager J’Nelle Chargois — she was divisive, caustic, embittered, played the worst kind of racial politics. She wasn’t the voice of KJCB, just its most outspoken. But the loss of the decades-old Lafayette radio station, which combined public-affairs talk, religious programming and music, is nonetheless a loss for Lafayette’s black community. Last week, Bishop Roy Winbush, president of R&M Broadcasting, which owns the station, told The Daily Advertiser that technical problems were the cause of the shutdown. But, if true, that would be only part of KJCB’s problems. What he didn’t tell the daily paper is that the Federal Communications Commission canceled its broadcast license in April of last year for being “delinquent on debts owed to the commission.” That means the station continued to broadcast for almost a year without a valid license. And there’s more: the station is facing eviction for not paying rent on the Carencro property that houses its tower. A family representative for the landowners says the station has been delinquent since the late 1980s.
COUILLON Seriously, Joey Durel with a hair allowance? We knew two things when we posted an April Fool’s story last Friday about our city-parish president resigning and appointing himself executive director of the LHA (and doubling his salary in the process): most readers would get it; a few couillons wouldn’t. This was borne out in the comments section at theind.com. “How much more egotistical can one man be? Quite the narcissist,” replied one outraged reader. “Nice to know he cared so much about the people who don’t live in the city. JERK!!” commented another. Fortunately, Durel is nothing if not imbued with a sense of humor. Word has it he jokingly answered his phone Friday afternoon with the greeting, “Lafayette Housing Authority. How may I help you?”
Is it a crime for citizens to photograph, video, or take notes of a police officer in the line of duty, or a right protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Locally, such activity, as witnessed recently, will at the very least result in a night spent behind bars.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Dr. Joshua Caffery, chair of the school’s English Department, is headed to Washington, D.C., and the Library of Congress as the latest winner of the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies.