Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Written by The Independent Staff
We’ll never know just how critical a role he played, but U.S. Sen. David Vitter certainly sufficiently pressured the SEC to make a determination on whether victims of Allen Stanford’s alleged Ponzi scheme are entitled to insurance coverage. The long-awaited recommendation came after a two-year battle that started with a Securities Investor Protection Corp. opinion that Stanford victims were not eligible to file claims. It also came a day after Vitter put a hold on two SEC member nominations. In its decision, the SEC said people who bought so-called CDs through the Stanford Group Co., Stanford’s U.S. brokerage arm, are entitled to the insurance; the SIPC says it’s studying the decision. Those who lost money can only recover up to $500,000 of their investment (unrecoverable is the interest most paid taxes on for years), which won’t make all local investors whole, but it’s a start to rebuilding their financial futures. Though its recommendation is a major victory for Stanford victims, the SEC’s Stanford problems are far from over, as local investors have sued the regulatory agency, alleging negligence and misconduct.
When Louisiana Family Forum backs a bill, be afraid — be very afraid. Joining a long list of bait-and-switch legislation, led by the granddaddy of them all — the Louisiana Science Education Act — is House Bill 580 by West Monroe Republican and avowed proponent of “academic freedom” for creationists Frank Hoffman. HB 580 neuters the state Board of Elementary & Secondary Education in its oversight role for vetting textbooks in public-school science classes, giving over authority for such purchases to local school boards and, consequently, opening the door for pseudo-scientific claptrap like Intelligent Design filtering into the curriculum. The Louisiana Coalition for Science and other groups have come out strongly against the bill, which sailed through the House with all of Lafayette Parish’s reps voting in favor. As The Ind headed to press Monday the bill was scheduled to be heard by the full Senate. By this reading it has likely passed and is headed to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has a biology degree yet, as we unfortunately know, holds his political base in higher esteem than he does the basics of mainstream science.
Maybe the best argument for evolution and its quirks is U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, who believes Intelligent Design — that’s creationism in a lab coat, kids — should be taught alongside evolution because, well, just because and Obama’s bad, America first, bomb Iran, hotdogs and apple pie. Bachman made an off-hand reference to Nobel laureates having doubts about evolution in 2006, a claim challenged by recent Louisiana high school graduate Zack Kopplin, leader of the doomed charge to repeal the LSEA in the legislative session and a top-notch student who, not coincidentally, will attend college outside Louisiana this fall. More than 40 Nobel laureates — all of them in the sciences — signed on to Kopplin’s mission to repeal the LSEA. The outspoken Tea Party fave was in New Orleans last week for the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference, and Gambit Editor Kevin Allman asked Bachman to enumerate her Nobel ringers on the anti-evolution side. Bachmann cited “reasonable doubt” in the evolution debate before rolling into a rambling answer involving “government bureaucracy,” states’ rights and block grants. What she didn’t do was answer Allman’s question.
Louisiana has joined nine other states in support of Indiana’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the Hoosier State’s ban on sam-sex marriage violates the Constitution.
The eclectic vibe of summer
Three bedroom River Ranch cottage or four bedroom Youngsville traditional home
The parent of Investar Bank says its second-quarter earnings fell to $1.1 million or 26 cents a share from $1.7 million of 44 cents a share in the same period a year ago.
1,554 rigs were exploring for oil and 315 for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,770 active rigs.
The Saints are being cautious in an effort to minimize risk of re-injury.
Most personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage when people charge money to drive others in their personal vehicles.
In this letter to the editor, Lafayette Parish School Board member Shelton Cobb (the board's former president) weighs in on the difficulty behind this year's budget process, calling out a number of his fellow board members over their inability to drop their power struggle with the superintendent and make the interests of the students a top priority.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
LSU Health Sciences Center says people with a common, hard-to-treat kind of lung cancer can join a new national trial to test drugs faster.
As New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis spoke about the opening of training camp, steep, tree-covered mountains were in full view behind them.
The family of fallen cyclist Lon Lomas is speaking out after the release this week of the man charged with his death.
"The solutions are obvious: undo consolidation, or amend the charter to make this hybrid attempt at a new form of government work better."
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
A refreshing twist at a Lafayette institution comes served with a black bean salad stuffed avocado
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Louisiana's 21 casinos took in $203.5 million statewide in June, edging up one-half of a percentage point from a year earlier.
Three bedroom Sunset Victorian or three bedroom Opelousas Acadian home
Louisiana designer commissioned for NYC Awards gift
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is considering whether to get involved in a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal for his attempts to undermine use of the Common Core education standards in Louisiana's public schools.
Business First Bank has announced plans for a Baton Rouge market expansion through a merger deal with American Gateway Financial Corp.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The latest meeting of a south Louisiana flood board that stirred political turmoil with a lawsuit against the oil and gas industry is taking place amid uncertainty over the future of the lawsuit — and the board's own membership.
The photos taken nearly a mile under the Gulf of Mexico are so clear that small holes are visible in a lifeboat that may have gone down or been scuttled when a passenger ship was sunk by a Nazi submarine in 1942.
Advocate columnist and Jindal shill Quin Hillyer has been against the New Orleans levee board lawsuit from day one, but a recent piece targeting author/activist John Barry prompted the perfect rebuttal from the board’s former vice-president, who takes Hillyer to task on just about every distorted claim he’s made on the issue.
INDEats and EatLafayette want to give one lucky foodie and friends the most memorable meal — here’s how you can win
Thousands of people who bought health insurance through the marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul face price hikes next year that could top 10 percent.
Three bedroom traditional Lafayette home or three bedroom Breaux Bridge home
Style market slated for old Artesia
The city prosecutor has released the case file for Lafayette Parish School Board member Tehmi Chassion’s simple battery complaint against Superintendent Pat Cooper, and the seven witness statements given to police illustrate two very different scenarios.