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Edward Pratt: Seeking strangers to get through tragedy

In early July, April Guillory was a smiling bridesmaid in my daughter’s wedding. They have been friends for years. Guillory is one of my extended family members. She has a sense of humor that meshes well with my different kind of personality. She’s like an extra daughter. Less than two weeks after the wedding, Guillory’s world changed… Continue reading →

Letters: ‘Total chaos’ aptly describes Democrats

Eugene Robinson appears to be slipping away from reality. His missive on your Aug. 13 editorial page states that the Republicans are in “total chaos” because of the numerous candidates they have running for president, most of whom he disapproves. I did a recent fact check, and none of the Republican candidates are being investigated by… Continue reading →

Letters: Moral compass is off in abortion concerns

Through profiling and identifying hundreds of victims of violent crimes for more than 30 years, I have come to truly appreciate the gift of life we humans take for granted. Working with the grieving families of many of these victims has influenced my moral compass, the affirmation of the difference between right and wrong. Whether one believes… Continue reading →

Letters: ‘The Scourged Back’ humbling for America

I was brought to my knees in tears as I saw the photograph of an escaped slave, Gordon, taken by McPherson and Oliver in New Orleans on April 2, 1863, 10 days after he escaped his enslaved life. As an educated, white, middle-class woman, I thought I had a grasp on the horrors of slavery and, thus, the… Continue reading →

Letters: Conflict hinders school data

Regarding your recent editorial, “Reform Numbers Don’t Lie”: The president of the United States “touts” the numbers on education reform that are given to him by the Louisiana Department of Education, which stopped releasing the raw data to educational researchers who would independently produce graduation rates and other educational outcomes. Research on Reforms successfully sued the department… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: U.S. Senator David Vitter draws on past political magic

U.S. Senator David Vitter

Has U.S. Sen. David Vitter still got it? I’m not talking about political skill. On that front, even Vitter’s detractors concede his strategic acumen. This is a man who has overcome both his own divisive personality and a major prostitution scandal to win every election in which he’s ever competed, and he’ll… Continue reading →

Our Views: Bobby Jindal’s latest pledge to Grover Norquist doesn’t speak well of his leadership qualities

During Gov. Bobby Jindal’s two terms, the State Capitol has been full of budget gimmicks and accounting games to disguise the problems created by the administration’s reckless financial policies. But don’t worry, America, Jindal proposes to do the same for Washington, D.C. The governor is signing on, again, to a “Taxpayer Protection… Continue reading →

James Gill: Bobby Jindal has a Dickens of a problem with the state budget

Republican presidential candidate, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during a meet and greet with local residents, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Denison, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The spirit of Wilkins Micawber, the Dickensian character whose watchword in financial matters was “something will turn up,” has long informed the Louisiana state budget, but the hope is looking particularly forlorn this year. When Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the budget in June, he proclaimed it contained no tax increases “while strengthening the state’s health care system… Continue reading →

Letters: The liberal media is using the Confederate monument controversy, Charleston church massacre to push its agenda of humiliating Southern traditions

Can you stand one more letter regarding Confederate monuments? I reference all the stories and letters about New Orleans leaders wanting to take down Robert E. Lee and other statues. No one even thought about doing that until the Charleston church massacre. Once again, the liberal media takes advantage of a crisis to push their agenda.… Continue reading →

Letters: After writing a column against Kathleen Blanco’s actions during Hurricane Katrina, where is Jeffrey Sadow’s outrage against Bobby Jindal’s failures

I suppose there was some intent in Jeffrey Sadow’s column other than piling on Gov. Kathleen Blanco for her actions during Hurricane Katrina — kind of a 10th anniversary shaming. If so, I can’t find it. Mr. Sadow quite correctly says, “If we allow officeholders past and present to distract us from their failures to perform… Continue reading →

Letters: It’s time for Congress to pass the Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2015

As the owner of Zeagler’s Music in Louisiana for 47 years, I would like to encourage U.S. Rep. Garret Graves to stand up for local businesses by cosponsoring the Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2015. This bill would restore free-market principles to the marketplace by leveling the playing field for all small businesses in our communities. Congress has… Continue reading →

Letters: My St. George neighborhood is a melting pot

I live in the proposed St. George area. With all the furor over the “City of St. George” having settled down, I thought I would describe my immediate neighborhood since it was said that St. George is racist and segregated. On the west side next door to me is a Caucasian couple with a young… Continue reading →

Letters: If Common Core is all as hyped to be, it should lead to the raising of GPA requirements for sports

I would like to comment on the lowering of the GPA so more children could play in sports. We have a educator from New York (Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White) who is paid several hundred thousand dollars to provide a program (Common Core) that is supposed to raise Louisiana children’s grade-point averages. My thought is,… Continue reading →

Letters: Ascension Parish is favoring developers over the wishes of the community

Ascension Parish is busting at the seams with subdivisions and people packed in like sardines. As traffic increases in the Prairieville community on narrow country roads, schools are over-crowded, and violations continue for sewer treatment plants (17 violations the month of January 2015). Countless violations that cause irreparable harm to Bayou Manchac Basin and the Amite River Basin.… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: President Obama right on climate change threat, because it is real and potentially devastating

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at Andrew P. Sanchez Community Center in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, for the 10th anniversary since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Resilience. It was the official buzzword of the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and I’m guessing plenty of people don’t want to hear about it again for a good long while. Before we stick it on the shelf, though, it’s worth considering the concept, not just in terms of our regional character, but in the context of our… Continue reading →

Letters: Money woes hurt Louisiana road projects

In his Aug. 23 column about transportation funding, political science associate professor Jeff Sadow embarrassed himself by showing how little he knows on the subject. Sadow states that “the problem, at least recently, never has been about a lack of money available but about setting priorities for transportation money and spending it well.” Sadow obviously doesn’t understand basic… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: A pre-Katrina memory, starring Donald Trump

The day before Katrina took its final, fateful turn, Ray Nagin still had that familiar gleam in his eye, still smiled his infectious smile. I was sitting in the mayor’s City Hall office with several of my colleagues from The Times-Picayune that morning, talking about a future that involved anything but water in the streets and desperate… Continue reading →

Edward Pratt: In week of bad news, a bright spot

This has been some kind of week. It began early Monday when a student intern in my office stopped by to alert me that he probably would not be back for a while or maybe not at all this semester. I barely looked up from my coffee and pile of work. “OK, what is going… Continue reading →

Letters: A decade of improving schools following a disaster

Advocate staff photo by John McCusker -- Tiana Nobile teaches her first grade class at Morris Jeff Community School  in New Orleans.  Morris Jeff is one of many charters that opened in New Orleans post Katrina.

During this decade of rebirth following Hurricane Katrina, one of the more remarkable transformations has been New Orleans’ K-12 education landscape. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, public education in New Orleans was experiencing its own mini-disaster. We had a school board that was completely dysfunctional, the system’s finances were a mess and worst of all, children were not learning.… Continue reading →

Letters: 10 years later, a united New Orleans still elusive

Regarding The Advocate’s articles on New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Katrina: Before Katrina and even still now, there was, and is still, a divide between races in New Orleans. We don’t need a hurricane to show us that. With that said, the hurricane did make clear a few things — one being that the divisions within New… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Hurricane Katrina didn’t leave a blank slate

Katrina and its aftermath left us with many lessons but none more powerful than this: There’s no such thing as a blank slate. The idea that post-Katrina New Orleans was exactly that was understandably tantalizing in some circles, and not just among those with ugly motives. Yet, the notion also turned… Continue reading →