The seventh floor of the Bienville Building on North 4th Street in Baton Rouge became a beehive of activity recently when employees of a temporary personnel service moved in to begin shredding “tons of documents,” according to an employee of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH).
DHH is headquartered in the Bienville Building and the source told LouisianaVoice that the shredding, undertaken “under the guise of being efficient and cleaning,” involves documents that date back as far as the 1980s.
“The significance of this is that this is occurring in the midst of a lawsuit (that) DHH is filing against Molina in relation to activities that go back to the ‘80s,” the employee said. “Everyone is questioning the timing. Westaff temporary people have been in the copy room of the seventh floor for approximately two weeks now, all day, every day, shredding documents.”
The employee said so many documents were being shredded “that the floor is full of dust and employees have been ordered to clean on designated cleaning days” and that locked garbage cans filled with shredded documents “are being hauled from the building daily.”
LouisianaVoice submitted an inquiry to DHH that requested an Read more
[Part I of this article, on July 28, 2014, may be read here. Part II in the series, on July 30, 2014, may be read here.]
The Finish 3132 Coalition has issued a new Public Records Request in its ongoing study of the June 10, 2014, meeting of the Shreveport City Council. In that meeting, the City Council voted 5-2 to allow Bossier City Councilman and real estate developer Tim Larkin to build homes in the path of the proposed LA Hwy. 3132 Extension to the Port of Caddo-Bossier.
Larkin’s appeal to the City Council followed a May 7th rejection of his application by the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC).
Documents thus far produced by Shreveport City Hall, effectively – and infamously – partnered with Larkin in development of his Esplanade subdivision, reveal that the requisite “deliberative process” surrounding Larkin’s appeal by the City Council occurred outside the view of the public and news media. Thus, the result was a political op masquerading as a City Council meeting which defeated protections of the public interest set out in the Louisiana Open Meetings law.
It’s almost unheard of for an incumbent district attorney to be defeated in a re-election bid, especially after serving only one term. But that may just be the case for embattled Caddo District Attorney Charles Scott whose 6 year term ends this year. Several names of possible contenders are being bandied about by courthouse politicos; its almost certain that Scott will have an opponent for the November 4 primary.
Scott, a Caddo District Judge for 32 years, defeated Shreveport attorney Craig Smith in a hotly contested election in 2008. Paul Carmouche, who had served as D.A. for 30 years, ran for U.S. House of Representatives rather than another term. The late campaign endorsement by Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator of Scott, including an extensive robocall campaign, pushed Scott to a victory over Smith.
In a reversal that can only happen in politics, Prator may endorse another candidate to run against Scott. Prator’s dissatisfaction started with Scott in the disclosure by then Caddo D.A. investigator Don Ashley of the acquisition of the 8 fully automatic machine guns by the D.A.’s office. This revelation had major ripples, including the acknowledgment by Scott of signing the request for the guns (Scott said he was misinformed), the termination of top assistants D.A.’s Hugo Holland and Lea Hall by Scott, the return of the guns by the D.A.’s office, and the termination of Ashley by Scott.
Ashley filed a whistle blower suit against Scott, seeking substantial damages and attorney fees on March 23, 2012, and the trial is set to start on September 23, 2014. This trial will undoubtedly draw substantial media a Read more
Among those who read the article in The Advocate, I doubt any of us was surprised. Louisiana, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Data Book, ranks 47th among the states and District of Columbia in the well-being of our children.
This once again directs our attention to our “poverty problem.” The problem in Louisiana, and a few other places, is so intractable as to have long ago numbed us to its meaning and importance. In fact, it goes far in downright defining our state.
Many government agencies and their studies routinely track poverty’s innumerable statistical markers and evidence. In thinking about that fact, a simple question dashed through and out of my thinking, quickly to return and settle: have we, will we, can we ever solve this problem? We know and understand the Biblical injunction that “the poor will always be among” us, but to this extent and degree? Will our state and federal executives and legislators ever get ahead of this? After all the money spent toward its resolution over the decades, what difference?
In the most recent, 2012, data from the U. S. Census Bureau (SEE here, scroll to Page 3), 15.9% of Americans were Read more
The subject, Councilman, is an unnecessary and preventable death, with yet other lives shattered, the nature of that death so horrific that no one I know would choose to describe it. Those of us who saw the scene well understand that fact.
Over the past three years, I have stood before you and our mayor and the rest of our City Council, just as I have the Metropolitan Planning Commission, Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments, the state highway department, the news media and many civic groups. I did so to present many facts concerning the extension of our Hwy. 3132 to the Port of Caddo-Bossier. Many of those times, I have specifically warned that people would die because of the myriad official errors and malfeasance at issue.
Just before lunch on Friday, fewer than five hours before this accident, I wrote and published an internet column with this paragraph:
In his latest column, Tom Aswell reports that two leges are calling for an investigation into “Bastard Amendment” that gave State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson a gift from the taxpayers of an extra $30,000 a year for the rest of his and his family’s life. See here.
Kudos to Representatives Edwards and Pearson for stepping up to protect the integrity of the lege process by calling for an investigation. Thus far, no member of the State Senate has done likewise, despite evidence that implicates a senior Senate staffer. She needs to be Read more
Determined to expand, it never been a secret that leaders of Broadmoor Baptist Church(BBC) still have a master plan. In 2000, their plan made it clear that some in the church had designs on many of their neighbors’ homes. In 2000 it was necessary for neighbors to work together to make sure the city council understood all the facts of the neighborhood case. The culmination of the conflict was the 2002 city council vote that ruled that the church could not proceed with their plan. The city council understood that homeowners and residents in the Broadmoor neighborhood were being treated as second-class citizens. NEIGHBORS WIN ROUND ONE!
Since the 2002 city council decision that BBC leaders could not close Atlantic Street, it has been clear that BBC leadership strategically determined to acquire all property in the path of their proposed expansion. BBC leaders believed after they made their acquisitions they could warm the neighbors to their expansion plans, and that, if they could acquire all the property, the BBC Master Plan would have to be ruled “acceptable”. The problem appears that leaders have only inflamed more of the neighbors.
A church may be the largest entity in this section of town, but even a church is still required to abide by laws and neighborhood guidelines before they change the character of the neighborhood for all residents. Once again, BBC leadership is trying to “nibble” at the character of their neighborhood, one piece of property at a time. Yet, if anyone believes it will end with just these parking lots, they haven’t studied the master plan.
Recently, construction began of the BBC “revised”campus expansion, before Read more
Yes, as we know, national political eyes are now on Louisiana, more so than other states where Democrats could lose U. S. Senate seats come November. If those races end up as they now stand, our nation’s last election in determining which party controls the U. S. Senate would be a December run-off for Senator Mary Landrieu’s seat.
It is a fact that Senator Landrieu wins her campaigns, all of them in her career except the 1995 governor’s race. In that long record of wins, she at times won ugly, too ugly for some of us. For that and other reasons, Senator Landrieu now finds herself, by acclamation, in the electoral fight of her life. Her political career may or may not end this year, and more than a few of us believe Louisiana needs precisely the showdown it takes to determine that.
That Senator Landrieu is our last Democrat standing among statewide elected officials has only increased her power. Our state’s good-sized army of Democrat Party soldiers, from rural parish officials to U. S. Attorneys, salute and serve but one leader. They turn a supposed “red” political state to one yet producing, in many notable ways, a deep purple political product. That the Senator often works and votes in opposition to the will of Louisiana’s majority is well-known, as in her unflaggingly strong support of President Obama. The most recent poll* on this race shows only one-in-three of the rest of us support him.
Equally dramatic would be the change if the Senator loses. Louisiana would then send no Democrat U. S. Senator to Washington for the first time since Reconstruction, and the state Democratic Party would slip into a political purgatory unknown to it in state history. A Misunderestimation of Senator Landrieu’s Chances?
Many national analysts now conclude that Senator Landrieu will lose this election. If I didn’t know so much about her previous campaigns, I would join in, but I do, so I don’t.
Yes, it is true that the Senator took her seat with only 50.2% of the vote in her 1996 defeat of State Representative Woody Jenkins, then increased her election percentage to only 51.7% when, in 2002, she beat Suzanne Terrell. Then in 2008, even with the supercharged Dem turnout for President Obama, she beat State Treasurer John Kennedy with 52.7% of the vote.
That’s an unimpressive 2.5% increase in her winning percentage in 12 years, a period during which other statewide elections for Read more
Yesterday, in the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee of our Louisiana Legislature, we saw some of legislators blatantly say that the purpose of Senate Bill 469 is to kill the Big Oil Lawsuit.
Furthermore, Senator Bret Allain, the author of S.B. 469, is so focused on stopping the lawsuit, that he has proposed legislation that could put millions of dollars of federal funding at risk. Our legislators are protecting the interests of Big Oil and not Citizens!
Senator Allain and also Senator Robert Adley are so intent on stopping the lawsuit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies for the damage to our protective coastal wetlands that the consequences of this bill have not been thought out. And the proposed legislation may also be illegal! Please click here and urge your state representative to VOTE NO on Senate Bill 469. http://go.levees.org/SB469
By Marion Marks When you experience joy, you feel good because your powerful, magnificent and unique brain produces hormones, endorphins, that magnify your experiences. These self-produced chemicals give you happy and joyful feelings capable of giving you power to soar with your mind above issues others cannot handle.
Brain-produced hormones enter your blood stream even if you just act joyful, not only when you really are happy. Even if the joyful experience is totally imaginary and you know that it didn’t actually happen, when you speak and act as if that imaginary experience did happen, you get a dose of endorphins. You create your own “Legal High!”
The trip is totally free and entirely healthy. Some find that this knowledge inspires them to create and become their better self, or the person they believe they are capable of becoming. It’s Friday, enjoy the day!