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Our Views: A caution to renters over safety of short-term stays

In a legislative committee, the good intentions of safety have collided with the worry about regulation and red tape, but there also is a healthy debate about the impact of short-term rentals over the Internet for full-time innkeepers. The panel eventually shot down legislation that would have required people who… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: On food stamps policy, Edwards shifts right

AP file photo: Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards

During his winning campaign for governor last fall, John Bel Edwards sharply criticized outgoing Gov. Bobby Jindal for trying to cut benefits provided through the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program, commonly referred to as food stamps. Once elected, Edwards successfully petitioned President Barack Obama’s administration to reverse Jindal’s move and keep the benefits in… Continue reading →

Letters: Let’s update, not remove, New Orleans monuments

Advocate file photo by MATTHEW HINTON--The sun moves behind the statue of Confederate Robert E. Lee at Lee Circle in New Orleans shortly after the city council voted 6-1 to remove the Lee statue, a statue of Confederate Jefferson Davis, Confederate P.G.T. Beauregard, and a monument memorializing a White League white supremacist uprising, in New Orleans, La.

As someone who can see both sides of the New Orleans monument removal issue, I would like to propose what I think is a reasonable solution to the controversy. The monuments are a part of our history, honoring causes and people that were once respected and admired. Removing them will not erase the… Continue reading →

Our Views: Punished for a conscience behind bars

Amid all the self-dealing of the Burl Cain empire at Angola, an inmate appears to have been the ethical conscience of the place. Now, he’s been transferred to a punishment ward at another facility, transparently for blowing the whistle on the officials who have made the Louisiana State Penitentiary into a prison enterprise for the politically connected.… Continue reading →

Letters: Pope’s gesture to refugees not enough

On April 16, Pope Francis, along with the patriarchs of the Orthodox Christian Church and the Church of Greece, visited Syrian refugees on the Greek Island of Lesbos in what was billed as an attempt to highlight the plight of Syrian refugees as the European Union plans to deport the refugees back to Turkey. In a gesture… Continue reading →

Letters: Thomas column correct and hurtful

The Advocate deserves considerable credit for the straight-forward reporting of Cal Thomas in the column “Saudis practice mafia tactics.” It’s an astounding revelation, clearly correct and 100 percent hurtful in every possible way. Come on, Congress, show some real guts for a change; pass the bill with bipartisan support. Allow us as a nation to record our… Continue reading →

James Gill: Gun control plans in New Orleans a misfire

To judge from online comments, gun enthusiasts are frothing at the mouth over an ordinance New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu seems likely to get adopted by the New Orleans City Council. It does not take much to reduce Second Amendment zealots to that condition, and, naturally, they are greatly alarmed when Landrieu and council members claim to… Continue reading →

Guest column: Anti-media attacks have dark history in America

Dane Strother

The press being held in pens at presidential rallies, verbally assaulted, jeered and taunted creates an environment where Donald Trump’s call for loosening libel laws is more than an idle threat. If anyone believes that a full censure of the press cannot happen here in America, one only needs to look here in America to know it can.… Continue reading →

Letters: Don’t put 17 year olds in juvenile system

I recently retired from the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office with 28 years of service. Fourteen years of that was either working at juvenile court or in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, which I think makes me qualified to comment on Senate Bill 324 to keep 17-year-olds out of adult jails and place them in a… Continue reading →

Our Views: Uphold Holden’s veto, work on real plan for north Baton Rouge

East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden is right to worry about the long-term financial implications of a sweeping ordinance intending to spur economic development in north Baton Rouge. We support his veto of this ordinance, an election-year proposal that we feel needs a good bit more work before it can be considered a realistic approach to community… Continue reading →

Lanny Keller: A ruthless pragmatism for Louisiana’s benefit

Former New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu tells the story of how the Superdome was built in downtown New Orleans. He was a member of the New Orleans committee working on it, and had been a political foe of Gov. John McKeithen, the backer of the project. The projected cost of the Dome was too high to provide… Continue reading →

Letters: Republicans are paying for their sins

The apparent reason for the popularity of Donald Trump is that he is not a politician. The people are fed up with the politicians who promise anything to get elected or re-elected and then don’t do what they promised. The GOP is in deep trouble for their past sins. We can only hope that… Continue reading →

Letters: Show readers who sided with Jindal

I think the names of all the members of the Legislature who voted with former Gov. Bobby Jindal should be on the front page of The Advocate so we can identify our enemy. With this information, I can decide how I vote the next time I see their names on a ballot.… Continue reading →

Letters: Lawmakers culpable in state’s fiscal crisis

Listening to the radio and reading the newspaper (yes, I stop at a store and pay for a paper), I finally realized why people say that Jindal bankrupted the state and how politicians screw up on hypothetical questions about laws. These people need to go back to grammar school or high school and take or… Continue reading →

Letters: Not the welfare abuser you imagined

Recently, The Advocate published a story highlighting my concerns about threats to TOPS funding as a father of 11 children. To summarize responding comments on The Advocate and other online forums, I should consider myself a quite irresponsible welfare recipient. One commenter from Lakeview objected to even a single student receiving TOPS at his expense.… Continue reading →

Grace Notes: Louisiana’s dismal health-crisis ranking shows another lost opportunity from past 8 years

Former Gov. Bobby Jindal loved to talk about lists. He particularly loved to talk about lists that give Louisiana credit for having achieved some benchmark or risen in some ranking, usually in the area of ethics or business-friendliness. If he were still in office, I doubt he would be going around citing the results of a new… Continue reading →

Loyola professor guest column: With public, charter schools in Louisiana, what's the best governance structure?

Luis Miron

By endorsing Senate Bill 432, the Recovery School District and its administrative staff likely are writing themselves out of employment. SB 432, which would end state takeover of the majority of public schools in New Orleans and eventually return charter schools to the Orleans Parish School Board, raises a broader question: What is the most effective governance structure… Continue reading →

Grace Notes: By paying off Ku Klux Klan, ex-Louisiana Gov. John McKeithen let down his white supremacist supporters

File photo -- Former Gov. John J. McKeithen and his wife,left, with State Treasurer Mary Evelyn Parker and State Senator Francis (Hank) Lauricella, a member of the Superdome commission.

If John McKeithen were still alive, he might justify the secrecy surrounding payments he arranged to the Ku Klux Klan in the 1960s by saying that it “ain’t real cool to put out there” that you’re doing business with such folks. Those, of course, were the words of another Louisiana governor, Mike Foster, who decades later would… Continue reading →

Louisiana Spotlight: Fees or taxes? Lawmakers weigh options to fill gaps in next year’s budget

Associated Press star reporter Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, April 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Prohibitions against considering taxes in the current legislative session haven’t slowed all efforts to raise revenue to patch together next year’s budget. Statewide elected officials, state boards and agencies that have taken — or are threatened with — cuts are seeking to boost user fees, increase penalties for regulatory violations or levy new charges on people and… Continue reading →

Letters: ‘Lightning Joe’ Collins worthy of statue

It is shameful the way Louisiana has treated the memory of its most distinguished military heroes. In 1997, our state Legislature — a body not known for its wisdom — voted to remove a statue of the legendary leader of the Flying Tigers, Lt. General Claire Lee Chennault from State Capitol grounds in order to make room… Continue reading →

Letters: Cuba’s streets put New Orleans’ to shame

I was a traveler to Cuba this past November participating in a sailboat regatta. The coverage from President Barack Obama’s visit reminded me of the streets in Havana; they are in such good repair that they put our New Orleans streets to shame. Steven Campbell retired commercial banker… Continue reading →

Political Horizons: Not much give in competing visions of the budget

Say Washington and the first thought is, the place where nothing gets done. But even during the partisan gridlock a few years ago — with the nation days from financial default — there’s also the image of Democratic President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, then the head of the GOP majority, smoking cigarettes and sipping… Continue reading →

James Gill: Work-release much better than the pen

The old gang gathered round, astonished that he had showed up in the neighborhood. “I busted out,” he said, puffing out his chest. “They can’t keep me caged up.” Boy, this was like being in a James Cagney movie. Everyone was keen to find out how he pulled it off. “I just walked up the… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: The sins of the mighty aired in the courthouse during Danziger case

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Former New Orleans Police officer Arthur Kaufman, center, enters the Hale Boggs Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Metairie, La. Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Five officers were sentenced in the case where New Orleans Police Department officers fired at unarmed civilians on September 4, 2005, killing two people and wounding 4 others, and later tried to cover up the shooting by blaming one of the civilians.

While many eyes were on the long-awaited end to the epic Danziger Bridge case last Wednesday, something else extraordinary was happening at the federal courthouse in downtown New Orleans. Even as the five former New Orleans officers prepared to plead guilty in the high-profile post-Katrina shootings, two other former law enforcement officials faced allegations that they… Continue reading →

Our Views: Danziger case showed failures all around

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite, Jr., second from left, addresses the media with victims, family members and friends in New Orleans, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Five former police officers pleaded guilty Wednesday to a reduced number of charges in the deadly shootings on the Danziger Bridge in the days following Hurricane Katrina and were sentenced to far less prison time than they originally faced. The officers were convicted by a jury in 2011 but U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt set aside the verdict two years later because of misconduct by federal prosecutors - including anonymous online comments about the case. At left is Sherrel Johnson, mother of James Brissette, 17, who was killed. Second from right is Lance Madison, brother of Ronald Madison who was also killed. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Nearly 4,000 days have come and gone since Sept. 4, 2005, when a group of New Orleans police pulled onto the Danziger Bridge in a commandeered rental truck to investigate reports that an officer was under fire in the lawless aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a fateful moment, they sprayed bullets from their service and… Continue reading →

George Will: The ‘settled’ consensus on climate change leaves questions

Authoritarianism, always latent in progressivism, is becoming explicit. Progressivism’s determination to regulate thought by regulating speech is apparent in the campaign by 20 state attorneys general, none Republican, to criminalize skepticism about the supposedly “settled” conclusions of climate science. Four core tenets of progressivism are: First, history has a destination. Second, progressives uniquely… Continue reading →

Rheta Johnson: Going gray without going full granny

I am “embracing my gray” for about the 10th time. That’s what the beauty magazines call the decision not to color the gray in your hair. To embrace your gray. To look your age, or maybe much older. It is a major demarcation in a woman’s life, deciding to “go gray.” Some women discover they have beautiful… Continue reading →

Jeff Sadow: Medicaid expansion sounds like a lemon

If Gov. John Bel Edwards sold used cars the way he pitches Medicaid expansion, he would be out of business already. Last week, Edwards proclaimed to a state Senate panel that expansion would “save” Louisiana $1 billion over the next decade. This builds upon what he asserted last month, when initially he said about $100 million extra… Continue reading →

Letters: Gender wage gap in state an obvious injustice

The April 1 edition of The Advocate quoted Gov. John Bel Edwards as saying, “Women make 65 cents for every $1 men are paid.” That statement indicates a difference of 35 cents. Another way of stating the same information is: Women make $1 for every $1.53 men are paid. That indicates a difference of 53 cents. Stated… Continue reading →

Letters: Tweak arts program to be economic driver for state

Regarding your recent editorial “Cap on spending for the arts”: You note that cutting spending for public art isn’t going to save the state much money, but it’s the principle. Would this be the very same principle that thinks LSU is merely a venue for six nights in Death Valley rather than an aspiring national flagship… Continue reading →

Letters: Trump gave hypothetical answer to hypothetical abortion question

Recently, before MSNBC’s Chris Matthews’ question to Donald Trump concerning whether a “mother should be punished for seeking an abortion” — the question was “prefaced” by a statement of, “if abortion was illegal, or against the law” (this part was not shown). So just like any law ... those who break it should be punished. This was a… Continue reading →