John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Now that the election season is finally over Caddo citizens can take heart, to some extent, that the Caddo Commission has 5 new elected members to join the “hung over 7” who have voted consistently to line their pockets—literally and figuratively, the commissioners have been under fire, and rightly so, for being the highest paid part time public officials in the state of Louisiana, if not the nation. The returning self-serving members have voted themselves several pay raises, an annual unmonitored annual travel expense allowances of $15,000 per year and the expenditure of public funds to defend their participation in a retirement plan deemed illegal by state officials.

The public pressure on this greedy bunch was evident by the number of incumbents challenged (Michael Williams, Matthew Linn, Ken Epperson, Lyndon Mario Chavez - Caddo Commission(web)Johnson, James Smith, and John Escude) and the public pressure that forced 2 to not seek reelection (Lindora Baker and Mike Thibodeaux). One Commissioner was termed out—David Cox. Although all the incumbents were re-elected except for Williams and Escude, the fact that they had to run opposed to reclaim their positions was a new reality that hopefully sent a message to a Read more

Thankful For Opportunity to Discuss

imageBy Marion Marks

Thanksgiving is a time for recognizing responsibility and gratitude for our democracy and the ability to participate in the public forum we like to think of as addressing issues creatively. It’s a grateful season when we also look in the mirror and recognize what’s there as well as what others may see.

imageWhen we look in the mirror and see someone behind us who is angry, we must organize what we wish to say with great care. We must begin speaking in a manner that will create a calming environment. We know that if a person begins by admitting mistakes, doors and windows open. When you start with words of an appeasing manner, people will pay more attention to your words, and will likely minimize damages for all. Read more

Caddo Can Move Forward

The voters have spoken
The voters have spoken

by Marion Marks

The voters have spoken, the vote will be certified, and the new Caddo Parish District Attorney will be James Stewart. The potential to change the perception of the Caddo’s DA office must become a reality for the results of the election to be meaningful. No public relations campaign or twist of a headline can replace realities of justice and responsibility as envisioned and interpreted by the law of the land and our next district attorney.

I am only one witness to the facts every citizen should see, but each of you has the right to an opinion of the actions of past leaders in the DA’s office. Each has a legacy resulting in the state of the office prior to James Stewart taking Read more


John Settle-Opinion-May 2015What was planned to be a great boom to many construction companies has now turned into a financial nightmare for over 40 subcontractors who claim they are owed over $68 million by Walbridge Aldinger Company –the general contractor for the Benteler Steel/Tube Manufacturing Corporation and its new plant at the Shreveport Bossier Port. This group has filed collectively over 60 liens against Benteler, Walbridge, and the surety bonding companies-Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America.

Bentler Steel TubeIn June 2013 Benteler broke ground on the first phase of the $975 million steel manufacturing project. The first phase—a hot-rolling seamless steel tube facility—has now been completed; the liens are for unpaid bills dealing with this facility. A second phase of construction is to include a steel mill with an electric arc furnace; it is scheduled for completion in 2020. To train workers Read more

Magic Moment Finals Near!

And the Winner isby Marion Marks

The chemistry in Louisiana “Finals” election Saturday has all new components that have not previously been seen around our here. The targeted – and well-planned – primary marketing in state-wide races allowed for some unexpected results. The finals winners will be those who kept a keen focus on their target voters, allied themselves with enemies of their run-off opponents and understood the concepts of Machiavellian politics. No better script could be written than what some political strategists did with less resources and yet a well-organized base. This year’s contests will be studied for years to come!

too-bored-to-do-nothing-too-lazy-to-do-anythingJeremy Alford calls it “… silly and ridiculous one moment, then downright political and cutting the next.” But the key was always understanding what the comedians call the “magic moment.” Serious citizens were never really comfortable, but we survived each potential “magic moment.”

No witnesses could ever call it boring or quiet, if you understood the totality of the climate in Read more

Lesson from Paris: NEVER Forget!

World Trade Center Terror, 2001
World Trade Center Terror, 2001

by Marion Marks

After every tragic terror attack or shooting, in every country, even in the USA, we allow time to wash our memories and fade our initial focus to solve underlying problems. Perhaps the greatest human-instigated mass calamity on the European continent since World War II will force some unified effort of like-minded nations to confront the evil that has proven its ability to rain terror on friendly soil.

These terrorists have proven that at least one group of nations, not the French alone, were not prepared to meet the threat they posed on free and open society. In the digital age, with increased security technology, when professionals are not engaged to Read more


by John Settle

It’s a question that has been asked since Day 1 after James Stewart announced his candidacy for the Caddo District Attorney race on August 13. And like many questions about the Stewart candidacy, it has not been answered.What Do You Say 3D Illustrated Words Question Mark

Most politicos believe that Stewart’s best shot at becoming the next DA for Caddo Parish was in the October 21 primary, and that a variety of unexpected factors prevented what many in his campaign believed was a slam dunk victory. And now there is street talk that some of the campaign insiders are skeptical of a Stewart victory on November 21— and that he may seek to reclaim his old seat. Read more