by Elliott Stonecipher
‘Tis the season, I suppose. With its massive property tax – and more? – election coming next spring, our Caddo Parish School Board and sizable central office staff are now rolling out another “strategic plan.” The current draft of this latest one is a 37-pager (here).
With Kisatchie Forest-like density, the new plan is entitled “Re-Imagine Caddo: The Plan for Excellence.” We should take care not to mistake it for last year’s “Re-Invest in Caddo” plan, or its notorious tax-and-spend-on-steroids predecessor, “Vision 2020.“
Even our school board members are not likely to read this one, and Superintendent Lamar Goree’s appeals notwithstanding, neither is the public. Here is a sample paragraph, verbatim, from Page 9 to give readers a feel for that to which readers are treated:
“1. Implement RtI (Response to Intervention) with fidelity including (more…)
Add comment July 5, 2015 2:03 pm
Ad, Flyers and Billboard Encouraging Judge Stewart To Run for DA Just Appear—Like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and The Tooth Fairy!
It’s a new twist to Shreveport politics—and one that could set the stage for future political strategies or backfire on the unannounced but definitely interested (as in very interested) candidate. Its old news that Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James Stewart is giving serious consideration to a bid to become Caddo’s first black District Attorney. And in fact Stewart’s game plan was upset by the untimely and unfortunate death of former Caddo DA (Judge) Charles Scott; Stewart was to retire in a few years, become the First Assistant DA and then run for DA when Scott’s term expired.
True to this nature Stewart has been very elusive in discussions about running for the DA’s office for good reason—the judicial canons of ethics require his resignation (more…)
Add comment July 3, 2015 6:00 am
Caddo District Attorney Dale Cox made a presentation June 30, 2015 regarding Election Issues and Media Questions:
Caddo District Attorney Dale Cox Part 1 of 2 (HD)
Caddo District Attorney Dale Cox Part 2 of 2 (HD)
Select sections from Dale Cox presentation:
Dale Cox Addressing New Yorker Article of Rachel Aviv
Dale Cox – Policies & Death Penalty Cases of the Caddo Parish DA Office
Dale Cox on the Confederate Memorial at Caddo Courthouse – On Moving it from courthouse!
Assistant District Attorney Dhu Thompson is another candidate running in the October primary. His presentation is in two parts:
Other candidates, of which there are expected to be at least seven(7) (more…)
Add comment July 2, 2015 5:27 pm
by Marion Marks
addressing Rachel Aviv’s current article in The New Yorker
I never met face-to-face with Rachel Aviv, yet it became my impression that her perspective of Caddo Parish, Louisiana and the state of the legal system here was an accurate snapshot of limited data and in-depth questioning related to depressingly oppressive issues of some of the worst Caddo Parish has to offer. Speaking with Ms. Aviv several times concerning research on the story broadened my perspective of a story I live daily, dealing with crimes and criminal cases.* Aviv used excellent sources I know and facts related to the ugly side of Louisiana‘s justice, criminal prosecutions and politics that predate Huey Long, Edwin Edward and Bobby Jindal. Her story captures the spectrum of our state’s reputation for justice(cuisine aside).
Aviv‘s New Yorker stories contain gems of truth and spark additional questions addressing societal problems that are politically difficult to confront in Caddo Parish. Our conservative majority hammer law & order politics and Old Testament lessons. In the south, particularly in our buckle of the Bible Belt, we live the Old Testament accurately observed by Adam Hamilton as he described, (more…)
Add comment June 29, 2015 8:58 am
by Elliott Stonecipher
Much to the surprise of many, the expected continuation of City Council debate on the proposed tax hike on our CenterPoint gas bills will never happen. Without any further public discussion, a 125% increase from 2.0% to 4.5% has been quietly signed into Shreveport law.
In fact, the Shreveport Times reports CenterPoint’s confirmation that the increase will be on the gas bills of customers whose meters are read after June 1st.
Add comment June 28, 2015 1:13 pm
Why Build Homes on the Water Side of Levees??
The first inquiry is an age-old question that generally leads to a joke; the second is a not a trick question but the answer is a “joke” in and of itself. For some unexplained reason, the local state and national media has focused on the relatively small number (25 at most??) expensive houses that have been flooded in two subdivisions—one on each side of the Red River—and the impact of the unprecedented flood waters on these abodes and the owners of now greatly devalued properties. Scant attention has been given to the question of why build on the water side of the levee to begin with—and why not recognize the flood risk on the front end before purchase and construction versus on the back end after the devastating (more…)
Add comment June 26, 2015 6:00 am
by Elliott Stonecipher
America last came together on these days of loss and self-examination just before Christmas 2012. Twenty 6- and 7-year-old children, babies really, had been massacred by the gunfire of 20-year-old Adam Lanza in Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Lanza killed six of the children’s adult educators and caregivers, too, just because he could.
This time, the killing field staring us down is an historic, almost two centuries old, black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Nine congregants of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, ranging in age from 26 to 87, were killed by the gunfire of white 21-year-old Dylann Roof. Another victim survived, and (more…)
Add comment June 23, 2015 3:42 pm
by Marion Marks
Elio Motors of Phoenix Arizona seeks people who want to “Discover New Opportunities, Invest In The Future” according to the website. In reality, facts to date prove all they really want is to remain a conduit to take money and provide a financial & legal tool for Stuart Lichter to use the former Caddo Parish General Motors site to make a profit from Caddo citizen’s money leveraged in his contract with a parish entity. (SEC Listing of 2015 here.) Stuart Lichter and three other Directors are listed along with Paul Elio and two other officers of the corporation in the SEC filing.
Caddo Parish’s Industrial Development Board (IDB) purchased the facility, land and mineral rights is a deal to keep the property from being sold for scrap, according to (more…)
Add comment June 22, 2015 11:46 am
As if the Caddo Parish School Board (CPSB) did not have enough PR problems, the 6 black board members have further dug their popularity grave deeper with the voters of District 11 which encompasses most of Southern Hills. In what can only be classified as a major surprise, if not shock, the CPSB selected Shalanda Swift-Watkins to the District 11 seat until the fall elections. The back story on this board selection is just as interesting as the politic dynamics that resulted in the selection of a black lady to represent an overwhelmingly white district. (Voter registration is District 11 is 73% white, 24% black and 3% other.)
Kirschvinck, known to most as Kaycee Hargrove, unseated 2 term incumbent Ginger Armstrong in last fall’s primary election; Parker Ward was a distance third. Kaycee received substantial campaign funds from a then new formed education PAC that successfully supported 4 other challengers to incumbent board members. The motivation of the education PAC became quite obvious at the first meeting of the newly elected Board in (more…)
June 19, 2015 12:30 am
by MK Marks
It came to the attention of the original author of this story that “a few active and avid golfers who customarily play at Querbes golf course had been” perhaps abused… All of this I believe is accurate, however the author asked that the article be removed, as new and previously undisclosed information of a personal nature made it such that he could not keep his name on the article. One of the abused golfers felt the story was “too sensitive” for the insulated Shreveport community. My feelings are that if the basic facts have truth, then the issues should become public and be resolved – regardless of feelings and side consequences. Basic abuses within the system and “side deals” with individuals have no basic right to exist in the use of public resources and publicly funded institutions.
As far as the public golf courses, here are some facts and some documented satellite images from 2015 publicly available satellite images. Yes, some are winter shots, but the courses are troubled.
Huntington image – detailed holes below–
(more satellite detailed images linked below)
June 17, 2015 1:40 pm