Wednesday February 1, 2012
Now we’re getting somewhere. After more than a decade of dust collecting on the Lafayette In a Century master plan for Lafayette Parish, the Comprehensive Plan Citizens Advisory Committee took its first steps last week, holding an inaugural luncheon-meeting and setting the general agenda for what will be 18 months of public hearings, meetings with planning consultants and ultimately legislative initiatives before the City-Parish Council. The diverse group of about 30 citizen-volunteers led by Chairman Kevin Blanchard and Vice-Chair Deborah Young represents both rural and urban residents from a variety of stakeholder groups like UL, LEDA, LCG, the chamber and arts/culture non-profits. The eagerness to roll up their sleeves and tackle Lafayette’s future growth was palpable. One of the most critical steps will be rallying the troops — that’s us, the community — to participate in the process. As Blanchard presciently put it after the meeting, “We’re going to end up with the plan that we deserve.”
Susan G. Komen affiliates nationwide are no doubt thankful the dust up with Planned Parenthood ended as abruptly as it began last week and has already begun fading into the din of the 24-hour news cycle. Like other chapters everywhere, Komen Acadiana is rounding up participants for its annual Race for Cure in March — a critical, flagship fundraiser that is now the most recognizable disease-prevention event in the nation behind, maybe, Jerry Lewis’ annual telethon. Donations by some Komen affiliates to Planned Parenthood to provide free breast-cancer screenings for low-income women became an unfortunate theater in our broader culture war over the abortion services that comprise a small percentage of PP’s overall mission to improve the quality of life for women. Komen’s embarrassing cave to pressure and ham-handed reversal were epic in scope, although they actually prompted a windfall of donations to PP and, wait, Santorum’s still in it after that Nevada showing?
The Hat is a little crumpled these days. A musky aroma de couillon continues to emanate from LSU head football coach Les Miles, now one day shy of a month since The Disaster in the Dome. A slew of nationally ranked recruits both before and after the Jan. 9 national championship changed their minds about playing in Baton Rouge — some choosing hated Alabama over the Bayou Bengals — as Miles stumbled through his worst recruiting season in nearly a decade. And the sting is evident. Last week Miles resorted to belittling and emasculating Gunner Kiel, the nation’s No. 1-ranked high school quarterback from Indiana — an 18-year-old boy, in other words — who committed to LSU then opted to go to Notre Dame in the wake of The Disaster. At that sparsely attended (by LSU standards) recruiting bash, Miles passive-aggressively accounted for Kiel’s decision to play in his home state: “He did not necessarily have the chest and the ability to leave a program close to home, just so you know.”
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