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2015 Baton Rouge Attorney Profiles
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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 →

Stephanie Grace quick take: Obama seems fond of New Orleans; speech only quickly mentioned coastal restoration

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- President Barack Obama gives remarks Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, at the Andrew P. Sanchez & Copelin-Byrd Multi-Service Center in the Lower Ninth Ward. The president met with residents and participated in a roundtable discussion as part of a week of events commemorating the10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

. Here's Advocate columnist Stephanie Grace's "Quick Take" on President Barack Obama's visit to New Orleans: 1) President Barack Obama and Mayor Mitch Landrieu seem to have quite the mutual admiration society. Landrieu thanked the president profusely and said Obama loves New Orleans and it loves him back. Obama returned the accolades. To the crowd, he… Continue reading →

Our Views: President Obama has been a friend to Louisiana -- but not in fight to save coastline

President Obama file art

By the time Barack Obama arrived at the White House, 31/2 years had passed since the notorious 2005 hurricane season, when Louisiana was assaulted by two of the nine costliest Atlantic storms in recorded history. America had pretty much moved on, as the nation struggled with a deep and frightening recession and two… Continue reading →

James Gill: Drivers have no choice but to pay when it comes to the great speed trap spat in the town of Washington in St. Landry Parish

Ten years have passed since Katrina, but the scars are still with us. Some of us will never forget the trauma of the flight from New Orleans. Not if we wound up moping around small-town Louisiana, we won’t. A few weeks seemed like an eternity. Louisiana has Podunks out the wazoo, and nobody who took refuge… Continue reading →

Lanny Keller: Katrina effect in Baton Rouge went beyond population growth, brought unity to 'super region'

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Aerial of downtown Baton Rouge looking south southeast. New State Capitol building is at left. Claiborne Building is at lower left.

In the wake of the gigantic and long-term displacement of residents of metropolitan New Orleans, the impact on Baton Rouge was so immediate and dramatic that it was overhyped by officials and civic leaders responding to what was, after all, an immensely traumatic national catastrophe. The capital city of Louisiana would become the state’s largest forever, we… Continue reading →

Letters: Donald Trump’s words advocating practical repentance may please God more than Christian inaction

The Aug. 15 Advocate article “Some conservative Christians making mistake with Trump” offered some negative characteristics of “The Donald” that I certainly wouldn’t argue against. That said, one of Trump’s seemingly oddball ideas about God might deserve a second look: “I think if I do something wrong, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God… Continue reading →

U.S. Sen. David Vitter's answer to Stephanie Grace column: I cared about New Orleans when I grew up there, and I still do

Stephanie Grace opened her August 18 column on the monuments issue by asking when I started caring about New Orleans. My answer’s pretty simple. I started caring when I was born in New Orleans. And grew up in the city. And live half a mile outside it now. And raised our four kids there with… Continue reading →

Letters: Bobby Jindal’s actions are more harmful than Donald Trump’s words

The same week that Donald Trump belched up his predictable misogynist bile, Gov. Bobby Jindal defunded Planned Parenthood in Louisiana after Congress didn’t do so federally. During years of huge cuts in Louisiana’s health care budget (resulting in closed clinics and hospitals), in a state with some of the country’s highest rates of poverty, infant mortality… Continue reading →

Our Views: It’s time for an honest review of Common Core

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Because of Internet conspiracy theories and irresponsible political statements by Gov. Bobby Jindal and others, there’s a lot of misinformation around concerning new academic standards in Louisiana schools. That’s why we welcome “a very unbiased, honest review” of the new standards, in the words of a St. Tammany Parish educator who is leading… Continue reading →

Letters: So, now the Republicans suddenly care about women?

Let’s see if I have this right. The Republican Party — the party that is actively trying to shut down women’s health clinics and that has repeatedly blocked paycheck fairness for women — is now exercised over crude remarks about women by Donald Trump. The GOP is suddenly all about respect for women? Well, I suppose… Continue reading →

Letters: Donald Trump dumbs down the immigration debate

I watched with amusement the Republican debates. It went just about as I expected. Donald Trump doesn’t have the ability to look presidential and, quite frankly, his followers would have been disappointed had he done so. It’s a sad commentary on where we are as a country that a presidential candidate can be on national TV and talk… Continue reading →

James Gill: Illiberal judges draw line at Danziger Bridge follies

Judge Kurt Engelhardt

The hero of the hour has to be Kurt Engelhardt, the federal judge who ruled in 2013 that five cops convicted in the Danziger Bridge bloodbath were entitled to a new trial. That was pretty brave decision, given universal revulsion over the cowboy officers who opened fired on unarmed civilians in the hectic aftermath of Katrina and… Continue reading →

Jeff Sadow: Louisiana transportation policy built on false choices

The false choices about transportation policy in Louisiana offered by some only perpetuates inefficient spending when it comes to the state’s roads. Recently, the Louisiana Good Roads and Transportation Association, an interest group composed mainly of former transportation policymakers and entities that would profit from increased spending on roads, lamented the condition of Louisiana’s roads and offered… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Bobby Jindal's stance on education not that special in GOP

It can be hard to pinpoint the moment when Gov. Bobby Jindal’s presidential quest began, but it certainly dates back long before his official announcement in June. I’d probably point to early 2012, when Jindal launched a single-minded, heavy-handed drive to pass a set of ambitious K-12 education… Continue reading →

Edward Pratt: Donald Trump recalls childhood love of whoppers

The Donald Trump phenomenon of saying whatever you want, whether it is true, false or somewhere in the fuzzy middle, with little challenge, has made me think about some of my experiences with unfettered storytelling. When I was elementary school age, some of us guys would sit around and tell some whoppers to get everybody’s attention. We… Continue reading →

Letters: Presidential candidates should not pander to nonachievers

It pains me to hear presidential candidates who chastise the persons who, either through education or hard work (or both), have become successful and accumulated wealth. These candidates criticize wealth and propose income equality, i.e. take from those who have and give to those who do not have. Would not our country be much better if it were… Continue reading →

Letters: Sanctuary city stance by Louisiana candidates worth considering

At the Louisiana State Troopers Association annual convention on Aug. 6, all four current gubernatorial candidates (John Bel Edwards, a state representative from Amite; Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle; U.S. Sen. David Vitter; and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne) said New Orleans needs a special contingent of State Police to curb crime but cannot remain on the state tab… Continue reading →

Letters: Founding Fathers wanted freedom ‘of,’ not ‘from,’ religion

There are those who insist that the United States is not a Christian nation. To those individuals, I would suggest that they take a stroll throughout Washington, D.C., and view the many Christian verses and references that grace the fa├žades of the numerous government buildings that exist in our country’s capital. They should also peruse the various documents… Continue reading →