Category: Louisiana

Legal Services of North LA Loses Funding Contract to Acadiana Legal Service Corp.

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cold-turkeyby John E. Settle, Jr.

A big turkey arrived early for the attorneys and staff of Legal Services of North Louisiana (LSNL) on the day before Thanksgiving,-no federal funding grant for 2017. This did not make for holiday of thanks, since it could mean pink slips for many of those working for LSNL providing legal services for the poor. The grant of $1.5 million was awarded to Acadiana Legal Services Corporation (ALSC), effective New Year’s Day.

Currently, LSNL has 3 office locations; the central office is in Shreveport and the branch offices are in Monroe and Natchitoches. LSNL has a staff of 40, that includes 14 attorneys and 5 paralegals. LSNL was formed in February 2002 by a merger of Northwest Louisiana Legal Services, Inc. of Shreveport and Kisatchie Legal Services Corporation of Natchitoches (KLSC); LSNL now serves 26 parishes in the state. LSNL and its predecessor, Caddo-Bossier Legal Aid Society, have served Shreveport and Bossier since 1967. KLSC began providing legal services to the Natchitoches area in 1978.

Acadiana Legal Services Corporation
Acadiana Legal Services Corporation

ALSC was formed in 1978 to serve the low income residents in 6 Acadian parishes; it has now expanded to 21 parishes. ALSC has offices Read more

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Zika Virus Dangers in Shreveport

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This 2006 photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host. On Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, U.S. health officials are telling pregnant women to avoid travel to Latin America and Caribbean countries with outbreaks of a tropical illness linked to birth defects. The Zika virus is spread through mosquito bites from Aedes aegypti and causes only a mild illness in most people. But there’s been mounting evidence linking the virus to a surge of a rare birth defect in Brazil. (James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP)

by William B. Wiener, Jr.

For all inhabitants of Shreveport, the City Council, and Mayor Tyler, the issues of the Zika virus will reach critical mass if we fail to understand the potential dangers and begin to address them properly. We must remember that in 1873 Shreveport was devastated by the Yellow Fever epidemic which killed one-fourth of Shreveport’s population.

Yellow fever is initially spread by mosquitoes, then human to human, and Yellow Fever is active today and potentially spreading Read more

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Pruning Dead Wood & Public Corruption

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Pecan Tree Shaker-01
Shaking for nuts!

by Marion Marks

Understanding how “the system works” in terms of investigating, prosecuting and convicting public officials who abuse the public’s trust is often like tending a pecan orchard. With every good intention of electing citizens who will be true to their oath of service, we seasonally listen to candidates who chose to run for office, work in some campaigns and finally vote in hopes of electing the best qualified candidate to serve in making the community a little better at accomplishing the tasks required.

Too many citizens focus all their energy on electing a candidate, when in reality, although little can be accomplished by the unelected, the real work begins after the election. Just as planting a pecan tree does not guarantee you will have pecans, we all to often have found that elected officials all too often fail to accomplish most of the items they plan and also fail to live up to the oaths they swear.

Lots of nuts to be had
Lots of nuts to be had

Shreveport and Caddo Parish have too long been step children to south Louisiana, and the expectation that solutions will grow for the state from seed planted here is practically non-existent. South Louisiana easily forgets that Huey Long, for all his faults, began his political career in Shreveport. And many other pivotal Read more

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SHREVEPORT AND LOUISIANA RATED POORLY IN COMMUNITY WELL-BEING AND ACCESS TO CARE RANKINGS

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015It should come as no surprise to the educated reader that Louisiana generally fares poorly in national rankings of just about anything– but its still not fun to be reminded by the release of another national study. This time it is the 2015 State and Community Well-Being Rankings report produced by a collaboration between Gallup, Healthways and Health eVillages.

The Well-Beings Index was based on more than 2.3 million surveys that asked people how they feel and experience their daily lives. Well-being, according to the report, correlates with healthcare utilization and cost as well as productivity, which is measured by absenteeism and job performance.wellbeing-index-components

Louisiana was ranked number 42; Hawaii was ranked number 1 and West Virginia number 50. Naples-Marco Read more

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Leadership, Not Drama & Flipping People Off, Even in Caddo Parish

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by Marion Marks

Eisenhower-Time CoverThe National Stage

You do not lead by hitting people over the head — that’s assault, not leadership.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower
The Republican Presidential Primary “leaders” appear to have missed the lesson Commander in Chief Eisenhower and most former presidents expressed through actions. Yes, it was a different time, however the rationale of leadership has not moved so far to the dictatorial right as we have been led to to believe, and entertainment on the small screen still does not translate to world-stage statesmanship.

Trump gives em HellThe crude and irreverent manner, lack of common manners, demonstrated by leading candidate Donald Trump demonstrates and translates to the clear disgust many voters have for those who have failed the test after election to public office. The translation of failure, fatigue and frustration of citizens gives the Trump strategy that has worked in the reality TV world a demonstrated presence with a large sector of the Republican primary constituents.

However, common decency we might expect from the next president, potentially from the Republican primary, lowers the bar for those who Read more

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BUSINESS TRAVELERS SHOULD NOT GET TOO EXCITED ABOUT GLO AIRLINE STARTUP HERE

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015If you are a business traveler needing to commute to New Orleans all the hype about GLO Airlines may sound great but be disappointing in reality. On December 14 GLO will commence direct service from Shreveport to the Big Easy and back; but don’t count it being a duplicate replacement for the long defunct Royal Airlines.

GLO , an acronym that has not been defined, is a Louisiana-owned and based startup public charter service. GLO’s press release says advises is “it is a quality alternative to business and leisure travelers who have

Thinking Salt Needed!
Thinking Salt Needed!

been relegated to multi-stop flights and exhausting road travel due to the absence of nonstop air service connecting the northern part of the state to the south.”

And in somewhat of a stretch, the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau says that travelers for business meetings can save Read more

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Vitter Campaign Turning Ugly

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Jim Beam, Lake Charles Americam Press
Jim Beam, Lake Charles Americam Press

By Jim Beam/American Press  [Pointed and informative journalism that deserves a wider audience!]

U.S. Sen. David Vitter’s misleading and malicious political ads targeting state Rep. John Bel Edwards, his Democratic opponent for governor, are reminiscent of another sad chapter in American history. A U.S. senator was involved in that one, too. More on that later.

A Vitter television spot says electing Edwards would be like making President Obama Louisiana’s next governor, which is about as far-fetched as the devious mind can fathom. However, the worst part of the spot is the accusation that Edwards wants to release “5,500 dangerous thugs (and) drug dealers back into our neighborhoods,” which is also a figment of the Vitter campaign’s creative imagination.

Imaginative...
Imaginative…

Pearson Cross, a political science professor at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, told The Times-Picayune the ad appears aimed at stoking fears among white voters that Edwards will unleash dangerous black criminals into safe neighborhoods.

Robert Mann, Manship chair of journalism at LSU, in a story for salon.com, said, “Vitter’s objective is, quite simply, to smear Edwards by reviving and exploiting Louisiana’s fearful, racist past.”

Edwards said, “I have never supported reducing our incarceration rate by releasing criminals from jail, as the smear ad suggests. Rather, my statement about inmates in the speech referenced was about reducing the prison population through long-term solutions without Read more

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