Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Here’s a novel idea recently embraced by New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux: post the monthly credit card statements of a government office online for public inspection. Quatrevaux announced the new policy recently, to the understandable cheers of good-government advocates and The Times-Picayune’s editorial page. The online data tracks Quatravaux’s office expenditures beginning in May of this year and even itemizes the purchases so taxpayers know exactly where and how their money is being spent. Imagine if all government agencies embraced such transparency. We would especially like to see the credit card statements for Lafayette Consolidated Government, in particular those of the City-Parish Council, individual members of which have the option of having their own charge cards and, as an Independent investigation revealed in March of this year, may not be using them in the most prudent way. For the antithesis of this, jump right down to Couillon.
We’ve long been under the mistaken impression that tenure protected an educator from termination and, at its core, was designed to shield employees from being ground up in the gears of political patronage and payback. Citing low graduation rates, UL Lafayette acknowledged last week that it will phase out the doctoral degree program in cognitive science. Consequently, two tenured professors in the program received their pink slips effective May 2013, according to The Daily Advertiser. This unfortunate move is attendant to state cuts to higher education over the last few years. But some within the professorial ranks see it as a whittling away at fundamental principles of tenure by the larger University of Louisiana System. Istvan Berkely, a philosophy and cognitive science prof at UL and president of the local university’s chapter of the American Association of University Professor — Berkely is not being canned — put it well in the pages of the The Advertiser: “This is a classic case of sinking the ship to save a pittance of tar.”
At the other end of the light spectrum from the translucent inspector general in New Orleans is Gov. Bobby Jindal, who last week continued his campaign to keep a big, honking umbrella over his office, shielding it from the sunshine. Jindal vetoed a bill that would have required him to make public and to preserve for a decade all his office’s documents pertaining to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and aftermath. Jindal offered a variation on the argument he uses every time he opposes the public’s right to know about operations on the fourth floor at the Capitol: it would jeopardize the state’s position in future litigation, essentially showing the state’s hand. The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, told the Associated Press he wasn’t surprised by the veto. Nor are we. And, like Adley, we won’t be stunned if our timid Legislature declines to challenge Jindal and call for an override session.
Co-founder Ryan Trahan goes solo to keep it local.
Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be a way for the company and victims of the spill to avoid years of costly litigation — if all the pieces fall into place.
BP says it recently obtained correspondence between Patrick Juneau's Lafayette law firm and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility showing he argued for liberal compensation, flexible documentation requirements and other terms that would help Louisiana claimants at BP's expense.
The circumstances surrounding the death last March while in the backseat of a sheriff’s cruiser of Victor White III, long a source of dispute by White’s family, have earned an investigation by federal officials.
Lafayette patio home or Port Barre waterfront cottage
With six of the LPSB’s nine members poised for Pat Cooper’s termination, a request was filed Tuesday for a fast-tracked hearing on the federal lawsuit calling for the disqualification of two board members from voting on the matter due to bias.
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Louisiana's Republican Party has filed a complaint against Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu with the Senate's ethics committee about her use of private chartered planes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An attorney signs up to run against LPSB's Mark Cockerham, and within a week a lawsuit is filed by a former LPSS employee in an attempt to disqualify him. Coincidence?
According to Gov. Bobby Jindal, President Barack Obama needs to stop talking about “justice” and start murdering people, even if we have to go alone.
A replacement is expected by January to fill the vacancy left when Greg Roberts resigned after allegedly pointing a fake gun at an engineer during a June meeting.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a superb start Saturday night, and the Human Jukebox made the soaked season opener even sweeter for the third-largest crowd in Cajun Field history.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stoned driving a concern when pot is legal; Detroit's bankruptcy trial; speed trap scandal in Florida and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.