Here’s the senator’s response to last week’s blog:
“ABSENTEE SENATOR” my chocolate muffins!! I am offended by your Feb. 7 internet posting implying that I am not doing my job. Your reporter did get one thing right. I missed a Feb. 2nd Saturday meeting of teachers and faculty in Alexandria.
On Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, my 103 year old mother was admitted to ICU in a Houston hospital. On Friday I left for Houston as any loving son would. So yes I missed the Alexandria meeting after notifying them that I could not attend. Now to the implication that I am not attending to my job. Let me share my calendar for the last few days:
Now that isn’t half-bad for a part-time job, my friends. So you can see why my feelings were hurt by the title “Absentee Senator.” Now maybe you will change that to the “Hardest Working Senator in Louisiana.”
One bit of information missing from Guillory’s email is that the organizers of the Saturday, Feb. 2, event — a joint effort of the Association of Louisiana Faculty Senates and Louisiana State Colleagues Collaborative — were left in the dark until Saturday morning, meaning attendees like librarian Dayne Sherman of Ponchatoula didn’t know the senator’s keynote speech wouldn’t be delivered until after he made the several hour drive to Alexandria. According to Guillory, he’d known of his mother’s illness since the Thursday before the event, giving him all day Friday to notify the event’s organizers so they could then get the word out.
Reacting to Guillory’s absence, Sherman says the group passed a resolution that day to send out a press release notifying the media, because Feb. 2 wasn’t the senator’s first time being a no-show. Sherman’s first go-round with Guillory, or rather lack-thereof, came last year on April 25, when the senator was scheduled to speak at LSU for a meeting of LSUnited and the LSU Faculty Senate.
“We understand that in all human endeavors there are extenuating circumstances,” says Sherman. “But there seems to be a pattern here with Senator Guillory. We doubt that a similar disregard for commitments occurs when donors and lobbyists such as the American Legislative Exchange Council or the Louisiana Family Forum call. Before the legislative session in April, we want to talk to Guillory face-to-face. The 2012 session made flawed bills into law. Now, these hallmark retirement and education laws have all been struck down as unconstitutional.”
MAY 17 Here's a column from James Gill, this time in the Advocate. Gill, who has jumped ship from the Picayune, writes about the absurdity of dueling polls in this post. The numbers are so wildly different, it is obvious that both sides are "cooking the books," he writes. In particular, he looks at Sen. Mary Landrieu, and how her recent actions in DC have been received by those polled. Gill's acerbic, amusing prose is a welcome addition to a paper so conservative as to be occasionally lacking in personality.
MAY 17 Blogger Tom Aswell continues delivering bombshells about the state education department and Gov. Jindal's education "reform" efforts. In this post, he reports that students in the Shreveport area have been signed up for a charter school without their knowledge or consent. Most interesting to Aswell is how this Texas-based charter (with ties to GOP types) got the personal student information it has, if the students didn't give it.
MAY 17 This post by JR Ball in the Baton Rouge Business Report is an interesting tongue-in-cheek look at recent Baton Rouge economic development efforts. Among the items he examines is the idea that gaining a Costco makes BR a "world-class city." (Really? All you need is a different brand of Sam's? MK!) This effort, and other recent ones, are all built on the taxpayer's back, with tax zones, tax incentives and tax rebates, Ball writes.
MAY 17 Blogger CB Forgotston is critical of the legislature's reliance on a revenue-estimating committee's decision to include projected tax amnesty income in this year's forecast. That's a problem, CB posts, because the deadline for these people to pay their taxes is June 30, 2014. So when do you think these people who haven't paid taxes in years are going to pay their taxes? Surely not before June 30, and that means the money won't be there for this year's budget, he argues.
MAY 17 Here's an interesting blog out of California by a Hollywood writer, attorney and academic named Brian Alan Lane. He blogs about higher ed, and was a whistle-blower in a scandal over false credentials. In this post, he takes aim at LSU's new top dog, King Alexander. It's convoluted and a little confusing, but it sure makes Alexander a lot more interesting than he was yesterday.
MAY 17 Blogger Robert Mann writes about the LSU Board's refusal to allow Dr. Fred Cerise to testify before the legislature about Gov. Jindal's plan to close down all the state's charity hospitals and dump the poor on the private system. It's hard to imagine anyone more qualified than Cerise to testify about that, so why would anyone try to prevent him doing so? Mann thinks it is because the powers that be aren't interested in hearing any truth about the plan.
MAY 17 This post on the Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle, a blog that notes developments in the Bayou Corne and Jefferson Island salt domes, talks about a proposed expansion of the salt dome storage under Lake Peigneur in Iberia Parish. Residents are working against it for several reasons, including two biggies: the sinkhole disaster in Bayou Corne and the continuing, unexplained bubbling on the surface of the Lake.
MAY 17 NOLA police arrested more people Thursday accused of either being involved in the Mother's Day shooting or hiding the suspect afterward, this Gambit story reports. The NOLA police chief said he suspects the whole thing was gang-related and throws out a challenge to the gangs: he's got informants now, he says, and he knows a lot more than the gangs want him to know. The people who live in the neighborhoods terrorized by gangs are ready to talk, he says.
Is it a crime for citizens to photograph, video, or take notes of a police officer in the line of duty, or a right protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Locally, such activity, as witnessed recently, will at the very least result in a night spent behind bars.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Dr. Joshua Caffery, chair of the school’s English Department, is headed to Washington, D.C., and the Library of Congress as the latest winner of the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies.