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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: 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 →

Our Views: At birth, challenges

Amid all the data that forecasts trouble in life, the statistic that shows up first is that of babies who are born before term. Premature births, and births before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy, can be fatal to some newborns. But many others face increased risks of health challenges that can persist… Continue reading →

Letter: Rape culture permeates entertainment and society

When you hear the term “rape culture,” what do you think of? I think that rape culture is not just about rape; it’s also about the people involved, feminism and power. I feel like the term rape culture is an assumption that sexual violence is just a part of life. You hear about rape like its… Continue reading →

Letter: Are you afraid of the A-word? Learn about Alzheimer’s

With 5.2 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative, debilitating brain disorder, the A-word — Alzheimer’s — needs to move to the forefront of the hearts and minds of our population. However, when Americans fear developing Alzheimer’s disease more than any other major life-threatening disease, including cancer, stroke, heart disease and diabetes (Marist Institute/MetLife, 2012),… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman for Nov. 16, 2014

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

Quin Hillyer: Seeing Red about Black’s endorsement for D.A. in St. Tammany

Alan Black

Oopsie. The public is sick of two-faced politicians and already skeptical of political endorsements. And the public in St. Tammany and Washington parishes ought to be sick of the ol’-boy network of outgoing District Attorney Walter Reed, now enmeshed in scandal. So the last thing a candidate from that same ol’-boy milieu should want is the endorsement… Continue reading →

James Gill: It’s dog-eat-dog on talk radio

Elbert Guillory evidently doesn’t like Chihuahuas, else he wouldn’t have called Ted James one. Perhaps Guillory, a Republican state senator from Opelousas, saw himself as the big dog around here when he grew irritated with James, a Democratic state representative from Baton Rouge. Guillory terminated a discussion on a radio show by hanging up the phone… Continue reading →

Our Views: Gaping hole in budget

In an election season in which so many proclaimed themselves constitutional conservatives, Gov. Bobby Jindal appears to have missed probably the most important mandate of the Louisiana Constitution: balance the budget. The happy-talk of administration officials to the contrary, the state of Louisiana ran a deficit in fiscal 2014, which ended June 30. Commissioner of Administration… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Voters offer mixed messages in election

There’s no shortage of indications of American voters’ exasperation with their elected officials. Approval ratings for Congress are abysmally low — far lower, even, than the dismal ratings for Democratic President Barack Obama, whom Republican congressional candidates across the country bashed in their successful effort in the Nov. 4 elections to win control of the Senate and expand… Continue reading →

Our Views: A tale of two libraries

Welcome to a tale of two cities. In Baton Rouge, the public library system is thriving. In New Orleans, officials might have to close branches because money is in short supply. The sorry financial condition of the New Orleans Public Library system should be a cause of embarrassment not only to New Orleans but… Continue reading →

Letter: La. is a Western without the hero cowboy

As I look at some of the highlights of our governor’s tenure, I am reminded of many a Western movie. Some of the highlights of his tenure are the gutting of money for higher education, i.e. our future; the raid on the insurance fund for employees and retirees under the guise of reducing premiums; the turning down of… Continue reading →

Letter: Student disagrees with president on Ebola response, role of leader

The other day, I was watching the news and they were talking about how President Barack Obama did not want to quarantine people coming from Africa and other parts of the world with high chances of Ebola. They said how some government officials were quarantining people and others weren’t; in other words, there was no organization. No organization… Continue reading →

Letter: Americans have right to stand up for political views

I read with interest the letter from Leslie Defley titled “School board members should answer to voters” in the Oct. 31 Advocate. It seems to me that I have read almost the same letter a short while back. I know Lane Grigsby personally, and whether I agree with him or not, I frankly applaud him for “putting his money… Continue reading →

Letter: Americans have right to stand up for political views

I read with interest the letter from Leslie Defley titled “School board members should answer to voters” in the Oct. 31 Advocate. It seems to me that I have read almost the same letter a short while back. I know Lane Grigsby personally, and whether I agree with him or not, I frankly applaud him for “putting his money… Continue reading →

Walt Handelsman for Nov. 14, 2014

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

Stephanie Grace: It's easy for Louisiana GOP to be unified now, but just wait until next year

The Republican bigwigs who converged at Huey’s Bar in Baton Rouge on Monday billed the lunchtime gathering as a unity rally. And indeed, Republican leaders are unified around the common cause of ending Democrat Mary Landrieu’s 18-year U.S. Senate tenure next month and completing a remarkable clean sweep of statewide offices. They should enjoy it… Continue reading →

Our Views: New look at breakaways

One of the things that should have been on the easier “to-do” list for the 2014 Legislature was a look at the old laws on city boundaries, an issue brought into sharp light in the Baton Rouge area by the St. George petition drive. At the very least, the Legislature should have set some sort of… Continue reading →