Resources

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 fight over judges

Mayor Mitch Landrieu has earned the thanks of the taxpayers of New Orleans in the cause of trimming court expenses. That has meant taking on the entrenched political power of judges, but we believe that Landrieu and legislators are right to tackle those difficult struggles. A… Continue reading →

Letter: Congress should renew Land and Water Conservation Fund

The energy industry is known around the country for a lot of things, including technological innovation, job creation and its dedication to providing America the fuel that keeps our economy humming. Yet one of the industry’s most enduring characteristics often gets lost among debates over offshore drilling and hydraulic fracturing: its long-standing role in helping preserve… Continue reading →

Letter: Improve scrutiny of illegal immigrants

We now know that facts concerning thousands of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border are muddled and scarce. Blame secrecy by federal agencies who transport illegals to nonborder states to become permanent residents with absolutely no thought of informing us. It is shameful that our governor’s staff had to search a federal website to learn Louisiana… Continue reading →

Inside Report: Ascension council at bump in parish roads

Ascension Parish voters made a resounding statement in November 2012 when they rejected parish government’s half-cent sales tax for roads. The proposed 25-year tax went down by 14 percentage points to the surprise of parish officials who believed in the weeks and months leading up to the vote that the polling and anecdotal… Continue reading →

Our Views: Board splits go to voters

While this fall’s Louisiana election for U.S. Senate will get most of the spotlight, area school board races also are worth watching. Election qualifying, which includes races for nine seats each in East Baton Rouge and Lafayette parishes, is Wednesday through Friday. Who signs up to run will be closely parsed for clues as to the… Continue reading →

Letter: Consumers, policymakers must find solution to drug costs

In nearly all areas of the economy, innovation provides better products and lower costs for consumers. Drug companies, however — responding to marketplace incentives — are linking pharmaceutical innovation with higher prices for important specialty drugs. This is becoming a troubling trend, with no better example than Sovaldi — a hepatitis C treatment that costs $1,000 a… Continue reading →

Letter: BESE comment quoted without context

On Aug. 17, in its “Capitol Buzz” column, The Advocate used the headline “Beebe lashes out at White,” and reports that, during a “lengthy meeting last week,” I challenged state Superintendent of Education John White, by saying, “I’m sure you can read.” Although I did say those words at an Aug. 12 Board of Elementary and… Continue reading →

Guest commentary: Changes mean problems for state employees

State Treasurer John Kennedy

Here’s a tip for state workers once new health plan changes take effect: Don’t break a leg. It could cost you a month’s pay. The Office of Group Benefits, which insures thousands of state workers, retired state workers and dependents, is spending more than it takes in. The burn rate is an eye-watering $16.1 million a… Continue reading →

Inside Report: Council members support testing for candidates

Two members of Lafayette City-Parish Council are asking the council’s other seven council members to back an effort being pushed by strict interpreters of the U.S. Constitution. A resolution, pushed by councilmen William Theriot and Andy Naquin, would show official Lafayette support for state legislative passage of a law requiring all candidates… Continue reading →

Our Views: Split verdict on insured

If the goal of the Affordable Care Act was to promote insurance, the initial reports are mixed. More than 300,000 consumers who signed up on the exchanges still had, in July, delays based on questions about citizenship and immigration status. Those consumers have until Sept. 5 to upload their documents to HealthCare.gov… Continue reading →

Letter: Gun regulation does not equal bans

Just as Doug Johnson believes that Jean S. Smith’s letter deserves an answer, I believe his does, as well, about the fight over guns. He concludes that because the anti-gun crowd wants some gun control laws, it would be tantamount to an eventual elimination of all private gun ownership in the U.S. This is patently false.… Continue reading →

Letter: What would Jesus do in St. George?

Regarding “Frontline: Separate and Unequal”: I saw the recent Frontline coverage on the move by some St. George citizens to incorporate. I felt empathy for both sides: St. George and Baton Rouge. But then one statement in the segment hit me like a stinging slap in the face, and, in one instant, it completely determined my viewpoint.… Continue reading →

Letter: Pollution levels are on EPA website

Sen. David Vitter and Congressman Bill Cassidy should be at ease regarding a reduction in the ozone pollution standard. While, technically, any reduction will approach the background level, even the lowest proposal (60 ppb) is well above the policy’s relevant background level (15-35 depending on season and time of day). Those interested in the difficulties involved in determining… Continue reading →

Louisiana Spotlight: Elections sign-up period begins

Think you’re tired of campaign ads now? Get ready for the onslaught. Louisiana’s election season is about to intensify, as the official slate of candidates in the Nov. 4 races is set during the sign-up period that runs from Wednesday through Friday. After months of combing through polling data, working the fundraising circuit and testing campaign… Continue reading →

Our Views: Strong core in BESE vote

By a 3-6 vote, the state’s top school board has rejected a disruptive proposal to abandon Common Core tests for the school year now underway. It is the right call by the majority. We commend them for refusing to buckle to pressure from Gov. Bobby Jindal. An unusual alliance, to say the… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Scalise now playing in center court

If House Republicans were looking for a majority whip who could stay persistently on message and doggedly deflect questions from pesky interviewers, they may well have found their man in U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, of Jefferson. But for all his talking-points skill, Scalise, elected June 19 as whip, may be learning that the intensified glare of… Continue reading →

Quin Hillyer: In McAllister’s quarter, Tarpley campaigns sharply

Ed Tarpley is running for Congress from central and northeast Louisiana. He might not have the highest name identification, but he has serious bona fides as a solid, thoughtful, real-world conservative. When I was active in Louisiana Republican politics a quarter-century ago, very much as a strong conservative, I often was frustrated that too many activists… Continue reading →

James Gill: Perricone’s defense sounds like nonsense

Sal Perricone says he had a constitutional right to post all those wacky tirades online and should not, therefore, be banned from practicing in the federal courts around Baton Rouge. He is out for good in the New Orleans district, having “resigned in lieu of discipline” for appending pseudonymous comments to reports on federal cases on… Continue reading →

Our Views: Oyster prices hit diners

FILE - In this June 24, 2014 file photo, Morris Smith, an oyster shucker and kitchen captain, shucks oysters at the Bourbon House Restaurant in New Orleans. Oyster harvests along the Gulf Coast have declined dramatically in the four years since the BP oil spill. Even after a slight rebound last year, thousands of acres of Louisiana oyster beds are producing less than a third of what they did before the nations worst offshore oil disaster.  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

A real crisis has many fathers, and the blame-shifting for high oyster prices goes around considerably. Prices are hitting between $45 and $62 per sack, depending on quality, said an Alabama dealer that buys across the Gulf Coast markets. And that, Chris Nelson told The Associated Press, is with many oysters being sold… Continue reading →

Edward Pratt: My little mountain (mis)adventure

This is a tale about doing something stupid, and it’s a story about my recent vacation. So, if you are like me and don’t like vacation stories, feel free to check out right now, and there will be no hard feelings. About a week ago, I tagged along with my wife on a trip to… Continue reading →

Letter: U.S. immigration policy remains unclear

Our polarized Congress seems to have become turbocharged this week in regards to immigration reform. Americans obviously have strong opinions about immigration yet have little on which to base those opinions. Over the past 10 years, I’ve tried to get anyone to explain, in layman’s terms, our American immigration laws. In an age in which you… Continue reading →

Our Views: An island in recovery?

By any measure, it’s a good sign for the economy when job growth tops 200,000 a month — for six months in a row. The 2008 recession took such a heavy toll that this kind of recovery number is what economists and policymakers look for. But there was a… Continue reading →

Letter: Complaints about Common Core are many

I have yet to hear a Common Core complainer explain exactly what they don’t like about the content of the standards. Do they wish the standards were easier? (So much for workforce development.) Harder? (Maybe that way more public schools will fail, and we can get rid of the pesky things.) Just different? (What needs to… Continue reading →

Letter: Meritless lawsuits cost time, money

James Gill’s recent column entirely misses the point regarding the need to reform Louisiana’s legal climate. “Plaintiff” is most certainly not a dirty word. Obviously, when businesses and individuals are responsible for causing damage or injuries, they should be held accountable. The problem arises when litigation is motivated by greed rather than merit. And… Continue reading →

Letter: Laughter is legacy of Williams

I was shocked at the inappropriateness of the cartoon by Jeff Stahler on the suicide of Robin Williams. A couple is walking by a newsstand with the headline of a newspaper showing. It announces Williams’ death. The man says to the woman, “Maybe laughter’s not the best medicine.” Few things are black and… Continue reading →

Our Views: GI Bill helped millions

Americans seem suspicious of big government programs right now, but the latest issue of Humanities magazine highlights a national initiative that Democrats and Republicans alike have celebrated as an effective use of taxpayer dollars. In “A New Deal for Veterans: How the GI Bill Was Passed,” writer Meredith Hindley… Continue reading →

Letter: Bureaucracy solves nothing

Ask your neighbors what they think about their health insurance. They’ll probably say it’s too expensive. It is. “Obamacare” caused Louisiana’s insurance premiums to jump by more than 50 percent last year. Next year, they’ll go up by as much as 24 percent. The average family plan could soon take up roughly 50 percent of the… Continue reading →

Letter: Raising age for benefits hurts elderly

This week marks the 79th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act as part of the historic New Deal. President Roosevelt expanded on the Christian idea that we have a moral obligation to take care of those in need, instituting a program that more than 55 million Americans rely on today. Our older neighbors have… Continue reading →

James Gill: Edmonson’s gift for old-style politics

In State Police Chief Mike Edmonson’s vision of the future, he was enjoying a lavish pension in addition to his salary as Louisiana lieutenant governor. And, boy, did he deserve it. Edmonson was so eaten up by honor and integrity that he could talk about it for hours. Although he was “flattered” to be regarded as a… Continue reading →

Our Views: The insiders on emails

Attributed to Count von Bismarck is the comparison between lawmaking and sausage being made, although the Prussian landowner probably rarely got his hands bloody on his estate. He set a bad example: generations of politicians who want to do the dirty work without people looking into the abattoir. The count did not have email in the late… Continue reading →

Letter: Ordinance not fair to everyone

A so-called “fairness” ordinance was reintroduced to the East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council on July 23rd as a slight modification to previous efforts cleverly titled “One Baton Rouge.” This ordinance, unlike its predecessor, boldly goes into every private civil conversation and contract. It is aimed at providing special protections for “sexual orientation” (voluntary homosexual and bisexual conduct)… Continue reading →

Our Views: Thanks to state troopers

The presence of additional Louisiana state troopers in New Orleans this summer has been a welcome development after a June 29 French Quarter shooting that killed a Hammond woman and injured nine others. After the shooting, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu asked the state to send 100 troopers to patrol the city long… Continue reading →

Our Views: Go slow in school zones

Although summer doesn’t officially end until Sept. 22, the thousands of Louisiana children returning to school this month already know the jig is up. Vacation season has passed, and another academic year has begun. That should mean extra vigilance, we hope, for area motorists traveling in school zones. Kids are especially distracted in… Continue reading →

Letter: Stop outsourcing ship recycling jobs

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, tens of millions of federal dollars were spent on workforce development programs in Louisiana and Texas. Sadly, program graduates lost job opportunities when the federal government also decided to outsource ship recycling jobs to the beaches of Asia. The administration’s job-loss policy was challenged this summer, but unfortunately, it continues unabated… Continue reading →

Inside Report: Meetings grow into big sideshow

If you’re looking for entertainment at the start of your week, before Monday night football begins, you can’t do much better than dropping by the Gonzales City Hall for a council meeting. The meetings are held the second and fourth Mondays of the month, and they’ve become a fascinating attraction, kind of… Continue reading →