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Our Views: Bringing shame to Tigertown

One of the sobering realities of our national life is that the sports beat and the crime beat too often converge. And that wrongdoing, sadly, can involve not only errant athletes but misguided fans. The LSU community got an unpleasant reminder of that recently when a student went to… Continue reading →

Our Views: UL student’s big break

A little bit of curiosity can go a long way, especially if you’re a student. Just ask Stephen Saltamachia, a University of Louisiana at Lafayette senior majoring in microbiology. While visiting a Lafayette nature reserve, he spotted a carpenter ant queen wandering outside — odd behavior, because ant queens rarely leave their nests.… Continue reading →

Letter: La. can learn from Miss. over teacher retention

On Sept. 16, The Advocate ran an article, “La. Public School Teacher Retirements Remain Up,” positing that veterans of the profession have accelerated their exit rate due to dissatisfaction with the direction our state has taken on public education under the leadership of Gov. Bobby Jindal. At least that is what many school officials think, including Scott Richard,… Continue reading →

Letter: Clearing the air on charter schools

I was recently asked about my opposition to charter schools. I’m not opposed to charter schools as they were originally intended to exist. The original intent of charters was to operate outside the red tape and bureaucracy that traditional public schools face. As a public high school administrator, I’ve often had my hands tied.… Continue reading →

Louisiana Spotlight: Big Oil lawsuit survives, so far

Kevin McGill, Associated Press staff, in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Facing opposition from a powerful industry, the governor and many in the Legislature, a New Orleans-area flood board’s lawsuit against dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies seemed doomed early on. But that was roughly 15,000 billable hours ago. That ever-growing number means ever-increasing pressure on opponents of the lawsuit, filed in summer 2013, to let… Continue reading →

James Gill: Former juror still makes no difference

It’s supposed to be a runoff, but it looks more and more like a retrial as Victor Durand, former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ recalcitrant juror, attaches himself to the campaign. Make that the recalcitrant juror from the trial Edwards lost. There was one the first time he went on trial, too — Clifford West — but that, in… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman for Nov. 23, 2014

Here is the latest from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and animator Walt Handelsman. Continue reading →

Our Views: No reason to ditch Core

When around 800 folks show up at a public meeting, the politicos tend to sit up and take notice. They did recently when that kind of turnout occurred in Moss Bluff, a suburb of Lake Charles, where state Rep. Brett Geymann has been agitating against Common Core school standards. He has… Continue reading →

Our Views: Vote early, but wisely

Today is not Election Day, at least with capital letters. That will be Dec. 6, when the runoffs for U.S. Senate and other offices around the state are held. Today, however, is the start of early voting. That means that it is already Election Day for the thousands of voters who opt to get ahead and cast… Continue reading →

Letters: The big fail on Keystone

Rarely will you see a politician so obviously try to save their own skin — and fail so publicly. On Nov. 12, Sen. Mary Landrieu walked onto the floor of the U.S. Senate and demanded that Congress approve a bill green-lighting the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Her transparent… Continue reading →

Letter: Golf course/parking lot swap makes no sense

I recently read an article in The Advocate that TAF/LSU might destroy the LSU Golf Course and convert it into a parking lot. Really? Let’s think about this idea. In exchange for a beautiful oasis on the increasingly cluttered campus, the source of recreation for hundreds of students and area residents, a second home for a number of… Continue reading →

Letter: Cassidy needs to address his own image

Although Mary Landrieu’s support of “Obamacare” has proven not to be very successful and a waste of taxpayer dollars, she is correct in challenging Bill Cassidy. She has much more experience in office, and Cassidy seems to do a better job at dodging his own criticism than formulating a logical argument in debates. The people… Continue reading →

Ed Pratt: The cold ‘cold case’ at Southern

I was very busy last week, so I didn’t get to write about an injustice that I have written about several times. But I have made time this week. Forty-two years ago last Sunday, on Nov. 16, 1972, two unarmed, innocent Southern University students were shot to death by Baton Rouge law enforcement officers on Southern University’s… Continue reading →

A Thanksgiving to the people of Lafayette

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Superintendent Pat Cooper answers questions from Dennis Blunt, the attorney hired by the school board to investigate Cooper, during Wednesday's hearing at board offices. The investigation resulted in five charges being brought against Cooper.

I want very much to take an opportunity to thank the people of Lafayette for allowing me to serve you for the past three years as your school superintendent. I make this my home now and will continue to be engaged with the community and especially with education of our children and youth. Lafayette is a community with… Continue reading →

Our Views: New look for DPW

Pity the poor voters of East Baton Rouge Parish who have to plow through the legalese of the proposition on the Dec. 6 ballot relating to the city-parish Plan of Government. It’s almost unreadable, but having looked behind the opaque language, we believe parish voters ought to agree to the proposal. The… Continue reading →

Our Views: Back tax for airport

W riter Robert Heinlein quipped that there is nothing so permanent as a temporary government emergency. Yet, in Lafayette this year, there is the very rarest of birds — a temporary tax that is actually temporary. It is a novel idea, although not unique: A 1-cent sales tax will be levied in… Continue reading →

Letter: Frustrations at polling place

The recent election was the first time I was voting at a new polling place. My polling place is now located in Lafreniere Park. While I did receive a voter card in the mail, it contained the name of a building in the park that I was not familiar with and the address of the park… Continue reading →

Letter: Three minutes in the voting booth isn’t long enough

I am outraged by the Louisiana statute that limits voters to three minutes in the voting booth. The recent New Orleans ballot contained two national races, seven judgeships, 14 constitutional amendments and several other items depending on a voter’s precinct. That leaves a voter, at most, 7.8 seconds to consider each item.… Continue reading →

Letter: Education putting Louisiana on the map once again

The fact that a charter school advocacy group ranked Louisiana second nationally in growth, performance and innovation is putting our state back on the map when it comes to education. Usually, when people hear about New Orleans or Louisiana, the first thing that comes to mind is crime. Although, Louisiana’s future is brightening… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman for Nov. 20, 2014

Here is the latest from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and animator Walt Handelsman. Continue reading →

James Gill: Officials waving a big unconstitutional stick

JFK was still alive, so New Orleans DA Jim Garrison had not yet had a chance to earn his global reputation as a crackpot. He did, however, come across as a bit of a wildman when he called a news conference in 1962 to denounce the city’s criminal court judges as lazy, incompetent and… Continue reading →

Our Views: Just about perfection

Adam Knapp

Before Adam Knapp began to riff through a long series of slides about the regional economy, the president of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber said that he wanted to focus on data and not boosterism. That turned out to be something of a challenge, because the numbers are so positive — even more so than last… Continue reading →

Letter: U.S. should help fight Ebola

High fever, excruciating headache, diarrhea, vomiting and finally hemorrhaging: symptoms describing the Ebola virus, which has killed thousands of people in West Africa since March. Americans all over read the headlines, rolled their eyes and proceeded with the rest of their day, appreciative that the virus affected “them” and not “us.” I mean, why should we… Continue reading →

Letter: Gill snooty, ill-informed on concealed carry

James Gill’s “Bullets & Biscuits” column is not even thinly disguised propaganda, and it reminds me why I rarely read The Advocate anymore except to follow LSU football. Gill’s preachy opinion piece garners nary a laugh, but then again, it wasn’t intended to be funny. It was designed to malign us “ignorant rednecks” using the typical… Continue reading →

Letter: Negative ads fuel unreasoned opinions

I have to express my disappointment over the turn your Letters segment has taken. On Saturday, you published a letter by Marilyn Oufnac, of Ventress, who was responding to an earlier letter from LSU student Leslie Lacoste. Her letter, almost word for word, reflected every negative advertisement against Sen. Mary Landrieu, including charging her with voting as the… Continue reading →

Bonus Walt Handelsman for Nov. 19, 2014

Here is the latest from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and animator Walt Handelsman. Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman for Nov. 19, 2014

Here is the latest from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and animator Walt Handelsman. Continue reading →

Our Views: A bike path to progress

A portion of the Tammany Trace is shown in this undated Advocate file photo.

After 20 years, most people on the north shore take it for granted. At the time, though, the 31 miles of the Tammany Trace was a major project, involving the complexities of taking over an abandoned rail line, and the original but unsuccessful notion of running a tourist train between Covington and Slidell.… Continue reading →

Letter: Lawsuit against LA Key funding must be dropped

My husband and I are grandparents of a child with dyslexia. She attended kindergarten and first grade at a local school. Struggling to grasp concepts that would enable her to read, she was diagnosed with dyslexia. Her mother was told the school had no resources to teach her. At mid-year of first grade, she enrolled at LA Key… Continue reading →

Letter: America first, party affiliation is second

I don’t think I am alone in wishing Republican politicians would stand with President Barack Obama during times of national crisis. While most crises are 24/7 news media generated, some are truly critical to the safety, well-being and security of our nation. It seems the knee-jerk reaction of the entire Republican political establishment is geared to… Continue reading →

Letter: Begging for support but receiving none

Have you ever thought that you may one day know the homeless man you’re about to pass on the side of the road? Why should you care? You kept your life together. He’s not your problem, right? Every day, we pass a homeless person begging for our support, yet we never stop and help. Looking those moneyless… Continue reading →

Lanny Keller: Capital region key to Senate race

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Advocate Columnist Lanny Keller.

With characteristic energy, Sen. Mary Landrieu was up bright and early the day after the primary election, slamming her opponent Bill Cassidy. The lack of even a day or two of rest shows that Cassidy is the real frontrunner in the Dec. 6 runoff for a Senate seat. Landrieu, a three-term incumbent, finished first in the… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman for Nov. 18, 2014

Here is the latest from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and animator Walt Handelsman. Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Deja vu all over again at NOPD

Former New Orleans Police Superintendent Richard Pennington’s rough welcome to town 20 years ago is the stuff of legend. Recruited by newly elected Mayor Marc Morial to take over a deeply dysfunctional force, Pennington soon learned that things were even worse than he’d thought. An FBI drug sting, it turned out, had unearthed evidence against a dozen… Continue reading →

Our Views: The data, the blues

If there was a musical theme to the midterm elections, was it the Prosperity Blues? The contrast between positive economic news and dreadful electoral news for the party holding the White House was one of the most remarkable parallels in recent political history. Perhaps one has to go back to the impact… Continue reading →

Letters: About that Chihuahua

I was having fun on “The Jim Engster Show” talking about how Sen. Mary Landrieu comes to my community every six years with a beer, a chicken sandwich and many promises. Then, we see nothing and hear nothing and receive nothing until next election when we got another beer, another sandwich and another mouthful of empty promises.… Continue reading →

Letter: Inmates left with pittance as work-release operators profit

The Louisiana work release program is just another good-old-boy profit scheme. I have had the opportunity to know firsthand about this operation in St. Tammany Parish since 2011, from a work-release prisoner, who showed me all of his paperwork on his wages. He was due to be released in a few months and virtually had no money to… Continue reading →

Letter: Thanks for another great Alzheimer’s Services event

Kudos to the Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area and all who helped in organizing and coordinating the recent Memory Walk/Run event. I have been blessed to be able to volunteer for many years with others in the early morning set-up of the sponsoring agency booths for the gathering. It was great to see so… Continue reading →