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Our Views: For the city, a setback

The summer battle over fairness for gay and lesbian Baton Rougeans is over, but the winners were the ultimate losers, because there remain profound social and economic costs for failing to act. A long list of Baton Rouge business and community leaders urged the Metro Council to pass the “fairness ordinance” that would have banned discrimination… Continue reading →

Letter: 2nd Congressional District gerrymandered by Boggs

I continue to be amused by Cokie and Steve Roberts’ column on gerrymandering. Does anyone wonder why the 2nd Congressional District in Louisiana is so profoundly convoluted? In fact, it is due to the political machinations of Cokie’s father, T. Hale Boggs Sr. Boggs, faced with an increasing conservative movement and fearing the loss of his… Continue reading →

Letter: Federal government not forcing education changes

I understand that some people are under the misconception that the federal government is involved with forcing the core curriculum upon the states. I know that is not true. Has anyone heard of the “No Child Left Behind” program? Uh, when was that program started, who started it and was anyone in favor of it? Bill… Continue reading →

Our Views: Looking up in Louisiana

It’s Labor Day, and we hope that the hardworking folks of Louisiana are enjoying their well-earned holiday. This is a wonderful American tradition that, if it marks the end of summer, it also provides a healthy day of fun and family time. It’s also a good day to look forward a little bit because there is… Continue reading →

Letter: Solitary is a lifetime for inmate Kenny Whitmore

Photo by Randy Bergeron -- Angola inmate Kenny Whitmore is pictured here in 2000 at a Louisiana Board of Pardons hearings.

With regard to the recent article about Angola Warden Burl Cain and inmate Kenny Whitmore, I am absolutely appalled at the idea of placing someone in solitary confinement for 35 years, let alone serving the time. Mr. Cain supposedly is planning to allow him to leave solitary confinement soon, if Mr. Whitmore shows he… Continue reading →

Letter: Cassidy bucks party trend on impeachment, sort of

Recently, Republicans in the House of Representatives have made deafening calls to impeach and or sue President Barack Obama. However, our own Bill Cassidy did not succumb to this foolish agenda, sort of. Impeachment or winning a lawsuit against the president is a farce and House Republicans know as much. Whether you agree or disagree with… Continue reading →

Louisiana Spotlight: Strife emerges in medical privatization

Only a year into privatization, a bitter feud has erupted from a deal that transferred management of LSU’s Shreveport and Monroe hospitals to a research foundation that had never run a patient care facility. Now, finger-pointing and traded jabs of mismanagement threaten to mar the contractual arrangement that Gov. Bobby Jindal orchestrated and praised as improving the… Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: Funding for disease research in decline

The ice bucket challenge to raise money for and awareness of ALS has been a thing to behold. Countless people around the country have opened their hearts, minds and wallets to combat the devastating, and at this point incurable, neurological disease. After watching Saints star Steve Gleason wage his own battle in public, Louisianans were particularly primed to… Continue reading →

James Gill: Candidates not following Connick model

Times have changed since prosecutors in New Orleans seemed to regard the “adversarial” nature of the justice system as an invitation to win at all costs. Perhaps the new mindset is the legacy of the former, longtime District Attorney Harry Connick, whose assistants were so unconcerned with defendants’ constitutional rights, even in capital cases, that it ceased… Continue reading →

Our Views: Only good for lawyers

It’s time for the fall season of Litigation Theatre, starring Gov. Bobby Jindal, as the man who was for Common Core before he was against it, and the poor taxpayers of Louisiana, who are footing the bill for the governor’s favored lawyer Jimmy Faircloth to file a lawsuit against the United States government. A bit player… Continue reading →

Political Horizons: Young people work to help engage voters

It’s the legions of young people from other states who mark the difference between this campaign season and previous ones. They moved here recently for campaign jobs. Many are being paid by national parties and pressure groups. Many of them email and tweet outraged commentary about their party’s opponents. But a handful have been operating quietly,… Continue reading →

Our Views: No parade for this one

Usually, there’s not much chance of official Washington missing an opportunity for speeches, ceremonies or, best of all, an extra work holiday. But one anniversary passed without a lot of celebration, for good reason: 200 years ago, the British burned Washington. If that event is remembered by most Americans, it is because of the story of… Continue reading →

Letter: Let conscience be guide in Lafayette school board vote

In a recent Advocate article announcing “20 candidates vie for school board” in Lafayette Parish, local leaders of business organizations promote their notion of how a school board should function — like a business, unsurprisingly — and suggest that support for the turnaround plan and their Common Vision project should be your voting guide. The director of… Continue reading →

Our Views: Katrina’s lessons for the world

After Hurricane Katrina came ashore nine years ago today, on Aug. 29, 2005, Louisiana discovered how much it needed America, and America learned how much it needed Louisiana. Levee breaches after Katrina left New Orleans underwater for weeks, an epic disaster that required massive national intervention. Although Louisiana residents… Continue reading →

Letter: I-10 traffic response provided little answers

The recent “Ask the Advocate: A modest proposal for I-10 snarls,” was answered with a very brief and largely “nothing we can do” response. With all due respect to Lauren Lee, public information officer for the state DOTD, and the DOTD, the response did not seem to adequately address the long-standing and embarrassing congestion at the… Continue reading →

Letter: Sowell misunderstands ‘privilege’ in education

I do not always read Thomas Sowell’s column, because a lot of the time he offers “pie in the sky” responses to social matters. But in a recent column, he offered cogent comments on a matter dealing with education. Apparently, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is faced with an admittance “problem” with three of the… Continue reading →

Guest commentary: Gulf fishery manangement a huge mess

David Cresson

The Gulf red snapper fishery is a mess. Bob Shipp, the respected marine scientist with the University of South Alabama, recently retired from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council after serving two nine-year terms. After 18 years of grappling with counterintuitive and misguided federal policies, Shipp said in an article last week that Gulf red… Continue reading →

James Gill: A frequent flier hits some turbulence

As staffers review her travel records, Mary Landrieu might hope they will discover that her campaign paid for a trip she took on U.S. Senate business. Republicans, in the buildup to Election Day, are hammering Landrieu for saddling taxpayers with her airfare to fundraisers. The Landrieu campaign, which assures us that her woes… Continue reading →

Our Views: The studies of water

Water, water everywhere — at least around here, where Louisiana is the beneficiary of the Mississippi River delta. Water shortages are more the rule elsewhere, including in Texas and in California, giant states that face challenges supplying water for growing cities, not to mention the needs of agriculture and industry. The greatest part of the… Continue reading →

Letter: Story’s state unemployment ranking incorrect

From your article, “The state finished high in a number of other categories ... and lowest in unemployment rates.” But you know that this is not factually correct? From the Bureau of Labor Statistics for June 2014 — — Louisiana is 15th lowest at 5.0 percent. The lowest was North Dakota with 2.7 percent, and the… Continue reading →

Letter: ISIS actions horrifying, offensive to humanity

There is no compulsion in religion. Surely the right course is distinct from the wrong. And whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows (all things). (Al-Quran 2:256) There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for… Continue reading →

Our Views: Politics and flood control

On Thursday, the eve of the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a nominating committee for an area flood control board could demonstrate if anything’s really changed in the local political culture that came under attack in the storm’s wake. Katrina revealed huge deficiencies in the levee systems that were supposed to keep Louisiana… Continue reading →

Letter: Law misunderstood regarding prayer

I read Mr. William Bertolette’s letter to the editor in Tuesdays paper about the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing prayer at public meetings. I found it quite disturbing. Mr. Bertolette quoted the First Amendment, which I will repeat: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or the free exercise thereof ...” I give him credit, because,… Continue reading →

Letter: More arrests not always better

In its recent letter to the Advocate, the ACLU was critical of the Metropolitan Crime Commission for wanting more jail space in our Parish Prison. The commission seems to always want more of something from the criminal justice system in New Orleans, whether it is appropriate or not. From the DAs they wanted us to accept more… Continue reading →

Letter: Sal Perricone is a true gentleman, Mr. Gill

Regarding James Gill’s recent column on Sal Perricone: With the crucial state of affairs locally, nationally and abroad, you found time to denigrate an honorable man who committed no crime and who has dedicated his life to law with the FBI and later in the pursuit of justice as a federal attorney. While his postings on… Continue reading →

Guest Commentary: Red snapper rhetoric troublesome

Steve Tomeny

I recently attended a Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council public hearing about Amendment 40 discussing sector separation. To say I was amazed at what I heard from some recreational anglers at the meeting is an understatement. It was as if they were following a script written by a group that either does not understand the issue or… Continue reading →

Inside Report: While waters recede, other features form

Louisiana is no stranger to seeing landmarks in its coastal zone disappearing. Boat global positioning systems regularly show pilots the land they’re driving over. Well, it was land at one point but has since disappeared under the bayous and lakes. In 2013, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released new charts for… Continue reading →

Our Views: Bad, good news on ACT

New ACT results for Louisiana’s high school students show how much work remains to be done in raising academic success across the state. The composite average ACT score for public and private school students is 19.2, down from 19.5 last year and 20.3 the year before. Only Mississippi, North Carolina and Hawaii scored… Continue reading →

Letter: Tobacco-free policy now in effect at LSU

On Aug. 1, LSU joined 42 other state campuses and more than 1,200 national campuses that have tobacco-free or smoke-free policies. In addition, all other SEC campuses have either tobacco-free or smoke-free policies. To date, not a single college campus has rescinded its tobacco policy once established. LSU’s policy prohibits the use of all tobacco products on… Continue reading →

Letter: Exploration would have revealed more to Lewisburg

On the front page of your recent sports section, there was an article about the Saints’ arrival in Lewisburg, West Virginia. Your writer described Lewisburg as “… a small town, which boasts only a handful of hotels, a Wal-Mart and various chain restaurants.” Really? Obviously, your writer did not take the time to visit downtown Lewisburg. Instead,… Continue reading →

Guest commentary: OGB changes helping state employees, retirees

Scott McKnight

When I joined the Office of Group Benefits policy and planning board earlier this year, I joined as the insurance industry representative. I’ve never worked for the state and never was a member of one OGB’s plans. My knowledge of OGB was fairly simple. I knew they offered health insurance to state employees and retirees, but most of… Continue reading →

Inside Report: Police jury looks like reality TV

The most successful reality TV shows today either feature colorful personalities with conservative, Southern roots or brash “housewives” who entertain millions each week with staged dinners filled with shouting, name-calling and, sometimes, table-flipping. But there’s a powerful group of people in Pointe Coupee Parish that’s just as colorful, boisterous and controversial… Continue reading →