Wednesday, May 25, 2011

C’EST BON
We thought that, given enough exposure to any critter, a Cajun would soon learn to make a nice sauce piquant out of it. Not so with the wily cougar. UL’s Ragin’ Cajun softball team — year in and year out the best team in any sport fielded by the local university — just couldn’t figure out the University of Houston Cougars in last weekend’s NCAA Regional at Austin, Texas, despite having beaten UH in six of seven tilts over the last few years. The Lady Cajuns did manage to bump the host team and top-5 powerhouse Texas Longhorns from the contest on Saturday, but Houston silenced the normally feisty Cajun bats in the opening game Friday and again on Sunday. We agree with Ind sports blogger Dan McDonald’s weekend assessment: The Lady Cajuns are a perennial top-25 team in college softball and should be hosting regional tourneys — not getting shipped off to compete elsewhere. Lesser teams than the Lady Cajuns will be playing in this weekend’s Super Regionals. That notwithstanding, it was another stellar year for Cajun softball. A tip of the cap to co-head coaches Stefni and Michael Lotief, and to the ladies in vermilion and white.

PAS BON
The plot thickens. And darkens. Many in Lafayette had been willing to give former LCG Chief Information Officer Keith Thibodeaux the benefit of the doubt after his abrupt ouster last year by City-Parish President Joey Durel over Thibodeaux’s involvement with embattled, indicted and now on-trial New Orleans tech vendor Mark St. Pierre. Turns out there was a lot we evidently didn’t know. Testifying in New Orleans federal court recently, former New Orleans Chief Technology Officer Greg Meffert said St. Pierre struck a quid pro quo in 2005 with Thibodeaux under which LCG would hire one of St. Pierre’s companies, NetMethods, if Meffert would hire Thibodeaux’s wife, Celeste. St. Pierre is on trial for allegedly bribing two New Orleans technology chiefs in exchange for no-bid city contracts; he is charged with wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. Kudos to LCG CAO Dee Stanley, who, public records indicate, stayed on Thibodeaux’s butt to show what, if anything, NetMethods had produced for LCG under the terms of that $45K consulting contract. NetMethods apparently produced squat for LCG while Celeste Thibodeaux pulled down $236,000 in 14 months doing, well, squat for the city of New Orleans. While Keith Thibodeaux has not been charged with a crime, the alleged depth of his involvement in this ugly affair just keeps getting deeper.

COUILLON
The hopes of Louisiana’s LGBT community for legislation that explicitly protects gay, lesbian and transgender children from being bullied in our public schools were dashed last week when a majority in the full House, including Lafayette area Reps. Bobby Badon, Page Cortez, Rickey Hardy, Nancy Landry and Joel Robideaux, voted for an amendment to the bill that stripped it of all language referencing sexual orientation — effectively gutting the bill of its intent. Then, in a counter-intuitive turn of events after the bill was scoured of language offensive to the Louisiana Family Forum and other agents of intolerance, the House voted to kill the bill anyway. The legislation by state Rep. Austin Badon, D-New Orleans, was needed because unlike personal characteristics that virtually everyone agrees a child should not be bullied for — race, religion, gender, obesity, disability — sexual orientation is one bullying magnet that homophobic teachers and administrators can and do give the bullies a pass on. The common disclaimer we’ve seen from those who voted for the amendment ran along the lines of, “It was an expedient means of getting the bill passed.” We’re not buying it. It was an expedient means of not risking the ire of the hypocritical — yet deep-pocketed — religious right.

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