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.
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.