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Letter to the editor
Send a letter to the editor to voice your opinion.
East Baton Rouge Parish Homicide Map
A map listing homicides or suspected homicides in EBR Parish.
Gas Prices in BR
Current gas prices in BR area.

Our Views: We support Ascension tax

Growth in Ascension Parish during the past generation has been phenomenal, as families flock to the parish to take advantage of its public school system. That’s meant a big increase in the number of youngsters in Ascension, and the parish’s recreation facilities and programs simply haven’t kept up with the growth. That’s… Continue reading →

Letter: Schools, roads and police need crucial new taxes

This is going to be the most unpopular letter to the editor I have ever submitted, but I believe it is time someone addressed the issues. I realize no one likes to pay taxes and it is obvious that none of our legislators want to address the need for new taxes. However, our school systems are… Continue reading →

Letter: Opinion of coastal lawsuit is invalid

Quin Hillyer’s latest editorial opposing the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East lawsuit against the oil and gas companies for wetland destruction conveniently fails to mention that those companies were legally required under their state permits to restore the affected wetlands. He and the oil and gas companies admit responsibility for said damage and express a willingness to help… Continue reading →

Letter: Fictional gun story outlines problems

In James Gill’s piece (“Bullets and biscuits: A Port Allen lunch story” Oct. 5), diners’ responding to the accidental firing of a pistol “figured the place was being robbed. … Forks were cast aside, while furious customers reached for their pieces. Rat-a-tat-tat!” A police spokesman said casualty figures would be released as soon as local hospitals could provide… Continue reading →

Letter: Gill way off target with his opinion

If Mr. Gill wishes to provoke a meaningful debate about gun control in Louisiana and the country in general, he grossly missed his mark with the rambling nonsensical garbage published in The Advocate on Oct. 5. The fictional narrative not only presented no logical arguments for responsible gun control, it was… Continue reading →

Louisiana Spotlight: Few options to stop insurance changes

Besieged with complaints, Louisiana lawmakers have responded with a mix of loud criticism and worry about Gov. Bobby Jindal’s sweeping changes to the health insurance program for state workers, teachers and retirees. But for now, that’s about all they can do. Until they return for a legislative session in April,… Continue reading →

James Gill: Free ride, in more ways than one

District Judge J. Robin Free, of Port Allen, was re-elected without opposition a few months ago, but perhaps he wouldn’t have had a free ride if his habitual disregard for the code of ethics had been public knowledge. Free is a great fan of the free ride, which is one of the reasons he now faces suspension.… Continue reading →

Our Views: Tough job for Rallo

Memo to Joseph Rallo: Welcome to a passel of problems. As the state’s new commissioner of higher education, Rallo comes from Texas at a time of transition for Louisiana’s colleges and universities. The deep budget cuts during the administration of Gov. Bobby Jindal have forced major increases in tuition, even as the… Continue reading →

Our Views: Mandeville issues need support

In the Nov. 4 election, Mandeville voters will consider four proposed changes to the city’s home rule charter, as well as a proposal to rededicate half of a 1-cent sales tax to help fund other city needs. Here are our positions on these proposals: Amendment Package 1, technical changes. Yes.Continue reading →

Letter: Blame physicians for Medicare, Social Security failure

Recently, Mr. Michael Sellen offered several reasons for the failure of Medicare and Social Security in the near future. He emphasizes the large number of people who fake disabilities in order to collect Social Security checks each month. He also mentions the large number of people who have never contributed to the fund but still collect… Continue reading →

Letter: Unarmed shootings shouldn’t have to be a wake-up call

Regarding “Video shows shooting of unarmed driver”: The shooting incident that occurred in Columbia, South Carolina, is another example of police brutality and cruelty amongst blacks and other minorities. With this incident happening weeks after the well-known Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, I am surprised this South Carolina shooting hasn’t sparked much anger out of the… Continue reading →

Our Views: A new look at gun laws

The decisions in 2008 and 2010 of the U.S. Supreme Court on gun rights, broadening the traditional interpretation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, are knocking over some local restrictions on firearms, including an overly broad East Baton Rouge ordinance. The city-parish law prohibited residents from keeping firearms in their parked cars… Continue reading →

Letter: OGB should rethink changes

AARP Louisiana has strong concerns about the sweeping changes recently proposed by the Office of Group Benefits (OGB), and we urge all parties involved to slow down and reconsider this proposal. The health care changes proposed will affect 230,000 active and retired employees. It is no small decision.… Continue reading →

Letter: Send ‘illegal’ immigrants home

I’m sick and tired of the federal government’s dismal failure to enforce two of the Constitution’s highest priorities: protect our borders and provide for the public welfare. Immigration has been a hot topic for years, yet Congress nor the president has done anything serious to do either of the above. I don’t have any problems with… Continue reading →

Letter: ‘Bobbycare’ destroying health insurance

On Tuesday, Sept. 23, our school-aged son was given a commonly prescribed medication by his physician. My wife attempted to get the pharmacy to fill it. We were shocked and horrified to find that it was rejected by our health insurance: Office of Group Benefits HMO plan through BlueCross, a health insurance plan for Louisiana public employees.… Continue reading →

Edward Pratt: Chat with grandson brings good news

This past weekend, I got to watch a video of my grandson making some dazzling moves on the football field. He took a kickoff from near his goal and made a couple quick moves before darting and slashing across the field more than 90 yards to a touchdown. I was smiling and laughing as I watched him.… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Political role-reversal in letters column

Just what is the world coming to? First, coastal lawsuit mastermind John Barry teamed up with my proudly conservative colleague Quin Hillyer, a harsh critic of Barry’s attempt to force oil and gas companies to compensate his former agency, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority- East, for environmental damage caused by their operations. The two… Continue reading →

Our Views: No ‘coffin’ for challenges

It’s almost a given that the Metro Council will approve, as others before it, the annexation of a major casino into the city limits — and, thus, outside the planned boundaries of the proposed city of St. George in south Baton Rouge. The annexation request by L’Auberge Casino and Hotel perhaps was,… Continue reading →

Letter: LSU Golf Course has much to offer

I have been playing at LSU for the past 10 years with the senior golfers on Tuesdays and Thursdays — about 100 rounds a year — and our pro, Mike Johnson, and his limited staff have done a terrific job through the years. My major concern is the possible shutdown of part or all of the… Continue reading →

Letter: Restroom leaves bad impression on market

I am a frequent shopper at Baton Rouge’s Main Street Market on Saturday mornings. I like the market except for one glaring lack: The only restroom available for women is in the cafe area, which probably has several hundred patrons on a Saturday. I have never seen this restroom in anything but disgusting condition.… Continue reading →

Letter: Amendment 1 would hurt disabled

On Nov. 4, Louisianans will be asked to vote for or against Constitutional Amendment 1: “Do you support an amendment to authorize the Legislature to create the Louisiana Medical Assistance Trust Fund for the payment of Medicaid reimbursement to the health care provider groups paying fees into the fund?” If approved by voters, it will negatively… Continue reading →

Guest commentary: Republicans launch relentless attacks on EPA

One of the unusual drivers of the coming election is the demonization of an agency charged with protecting human health and the environment, the Environmental Protection Agency. As if on cue from party headquarters, hyperventilated by press releases and “studies” from entities that turn out to be industry hires, Republicans are now talking about putting EPA… Continue reading →

James Gill: Voters to decide on geriatric judges

Voters have the chance next month to end mandatory retirement for judges, and there are many reasons to do so. Any senior judge will be happy to list them for you, or, at least, the ones he can remember. Just kidding, your honors. Nobody could seriously suggest our judges turn… Continue reading →

Our Views: Jobs up, wages slow

With unemployment again edging down in September data, because of job growth over 248,000 and two prior months’ numbers upgraded from previous reports, the economy is on a pretty positive roll. The stock market has been choppy recently, but not long ago, stocks were trading near record highs. Five… Continue reading →

Letter: La. should embrace ‘Obamacare’

Several Louisiana health insurance companies have announced that they want to raise premium rates for some policies next year. Opponents of the Affordable Care Act are using this to again attack the law and its impacts on health insurance. But consumers — and voters — should keep a clear head and ask some basic questions.… Continue reading →

Letter: Jindal right to protect social media as free speech

Gov. Bobby Jindal is correct in his support for teachers’ criticism of Common Core, and he is right to support the First Amendment rights of government employees. The right to engage in public comment on matters of public concern is fundamental to a free democracy. Just this year, the U.S. Supreme Court… Continue reading →

Our Views: Our views on amendments

Louisiana voters will decide the fate of 14 proposed amendments in the Nov. 4 election. Today, The Advocate continues a series of editorials outlining its positions on the amendments. Soon, we’ll publish a recap of our positions in a single format that voters can easily use when casting a ballot. Our complete editorial series on the… Continue reading →

Letter: Amendment 1 removes choice

The Louisiana Nursing Home Association is entitled to its own opinions about Constitutional Amendment 1, which it helped push through the Legislature. But it’s not entitled to its own facts. In his recent letter, Joe Donchess claimed that the amendment would lead to “budgetary fairness” because it would require future cuts to be… Continue reading →

Letter: Adult education can help prevent child sex abuse

The recent story of an alleged sexual relationship involving a Destrehan High School student and two female teachers has certainly garnered its share of local and national headlines. And while late-night talk-show hosts have had fun snickering about it, if the encounter is substantiated, it is considered child sex abuse under Louisiana law.… Continue reading →

Letter: Judge workers on their skills and abilities, not age

On Nov. 4, voters will decide whether to adopt an amendment to the state constitution that removes the mandatory retirement age for Louisiana judges. All workers should be judged on their skills and abilities, not their age. No worker deserves to be ousted from their job, passed over for a promotion or… Continue reading →

Our Views: Our views on amendments

Louisiana voters will face 14 proposed amendments to the state constitution on the Nov. 4 ballot. Today, The Advocate continues its editorial series on these proposals. Here are The Advocate’s editorial positions on proposed Amendments 4, 5, 6 and 7. The Advocate will publish its positions on the other proposed amendments in the… Continue reading →

Letter: Be safe during hunting season

The fall hunting season has arrived, and more than 345,000 Louisianians will take to the fields in the coming weeks to enjoy all that the “sportsman’s paradise” has to offer. Hunting is not only a treasured tradition in Louisiana, it is also an opportunity to teach and reinforce safe firearm handling practices… Continue reading →