Thursday, July 30, 2009

State Rep. District 40 Race – Northwestern St. Landry Parish

Voters in Saint Landry Parish may have a better understanding who they will vote for on Saturday.

The District 40 candidates made their case in a forum in Opelousas Wednesday night.
Only 7 of the 10 candidates participated in the forum put on by the Louisiana Grassroots Lobby. Anna Simmons, Allen Guillory and Qunicy Richard were not there.

The political hopefuls are hoping to fill the seat vacated by Elbert Guillory, who now holds a seat in the state senate.

The issues candidates touched on ranged from education to health care.
It's been a short campaign for all the candidates and St. Landry Parish officials expect less than a 30 percent turn-out. They're encouraging everyone in district 40 goes to the polls Saturday.

Here are the Candidates:

George Bourgeois- Democrat
Allen Guillory- Democrat
Bradford Jackson- No party
Ronald Lavergne- Democrat
Quincy Richard Jr- Democrat
Kelly J. Scott- Democrat
Anna C. Simmons- Democrat
Anthony James Soileau- Independent
Reggie E. Tatum- Democrat
Ledricka Johnson-Thierry – Democrat

Very interesting that probably two of the 3 or 4 favored candidates to make the run-off did not participate in the forum.

Rumor has it that former District 40 seat holder, State Sen. Elbert Guillory, is supported Allen Guillory (no relation). Meanwhile, the Cravins Clan (Opelousas Mayor Don Cravins, Sr. and former State Senator Donny Cravins, Jr.) is rumored to be backing Anna Simmons.

So far, not much news has stirred from this race. George Bourgeois and Bradford Jackson, being the most notable of the three white candidates, could also play a factor in the race.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Trash Debate Continues

Officials from Allied Waste and Lafayette Consolidated Government will give their take on whether garbage collection procedures should be changed during a discussion at Tuesday's City-Parish Council meeting.

Since late March, Lafayette customers have received once-a-week collection through an automated system, complete with new, 96-gallon containers. Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux said he hopes to get answers on how feasible it would be to give at least some residents a second container, as well as if collection could revert to a twice-weekly system. In addition, Boudreaux said he's asked whether a program can be set up for the collection of construction debris.

"I don't know if costs would become a factor or not," Boudreaux said of any possible collection changes. "I realize it's an uphill battle, but I have a lot of optimism that we can come to some type of agreement."

This should be interesting as there seemed to be quite a bit of public opposition to the new city garbage contract Lafayette Consolidated Government signed with Allied Waste last year. A "hurricane emergency" meeting was called last year right before Gustav, during which the contract was approved.

Many city residents complained then about utter lack of government transparency, as well as the fact that the new contract calls for higher fees with only half the service...once-a-week pickups instead of twice-a-week, plus picking up only what is fitted into the issued garbage can.

If you have any thoughts or concerns, please attend the meeting and address the council.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Iberia Parish Inmates Wearing Pink

There is a new rule at the Iberia Parish Jail. If you get out of line, you'll end up looking pretty in pink.

That's the newest change Sheriff Louis Ackal is implementing to make sure the prisoners stay on good behavior.

Not only will the bad inmates have to wear pink, but they will have to sit, eat and sleep in it too.

Between the beige and brown cells of the Iberia Parish jail there is a new trend of pink and bad inmates are the models.

It's a punishment Warden Frank Ellis says he learned was very effective since they implemented the pink jumpsuits 8 months ago.

Now, they're painting the lockdown pod to match the inmate uniforms.

Warden Ellis" "a color means something, when they are put in pink, it's demeaning to them, they feel they lost their manhood they've lost control and we are now in control."

The pink jail cell is not for any prisoner, the warden tells us it's for violent and high risk inmates.

Warden Ellis: "They weren't happy about it, but they have to follow rules and regulations."

If they don't follow regulations, that inmate knows he'll end up at what is now being called "The Flamingo Hotel",

"It would really disturb me to wear pink and go to court in pink. It's not easy wearing pink" said one inmate we spoke to.

For the warden, the change to pink has meant a change to a prettier attitude.

Another inmate explains: "If it was Abercrombie and I wasn't here it wouldn't matter, but due to the fact, it's a pink jumpsuit and you are in jail, you have to uphold some manly levels."

Sarah Forgany

Lafayette-area Non-Profits Seeking More Efficient Government Funding

Article in the Sunday Advertiser today, written by Amanda McElfesh, explains that non-profit agencies are trying to work out a solution of “more efficient” government funding.

The debate is to whether Lafayette Consolidated Government should appropriate taxpayer money to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can up recently when City-Parish Councilman William Theriot offered up an ordinance to phase out such expenditures over the next three years, dedicating the saved monies to Lafayette Parish police and fire departments.

The ordinance was not popular amongst the agencies, most media and especially the Lafayette "elites". However, many ordinary parish taxpayers seemed to favor the idea of their tax dollars going to only real government entities.

The question now will be: Do the leaders of these NGOs have enough influence over Lafayette Parish Government to forced council members and City-Parish President Joey Durel to favor some sort of constant funding or “endowment” to these agencies, making it easier to continue receiving government appropriations?