In the free state of Bossier political leaders are often elected in back rooms—not at the polls as envisioned by the framers of the U.S. Constitution. Such was the case with Mike Johnson’s race to fill the unexpired term of State Representative Jeff Thompson in February of this year. Thompson resigned this post to take one as Bossier-Webster district judge, and Johnson ran unopposed for the seat.
How Johnson wrangled his way to the top of the Bossier selection pole is a mystery to most political observers. Johnson had not been a long term resident of his district and to many in the legal profession he is a virtual unknown. And the same is probably true to most of his constituents in District 8, which encompasses most of North Bossier Parish.
Johnson’s experience as “real world” attorney has been very limited—most of his professional labors have been for state and national religious organizations that are ultraconservative, like to the right of Attila the Hun. His campaign website boasts that his Read more
“Every organization is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.” – David Hanna
So, what happens when all of our institutions are designed to do nothing?
Rarely do we get to witness the absolute ineffectiveness of all levels of government to address the most basic needs of our community – water.
In the three years since this emergency situation has been declared, not one government, economic, civic, or academic institution in this community has held a single meeting to address solving this crisis.
No elected official has even proposed a “next step” to be taken to avoid the same damage and hurt happening once again when, not if, we cycle into the next drought.
The most glaring example is the Caddo Parish Commission Regional Water/Utility Master Plan study.
Three years ago, in the middle of the last drought, with water wells in south Caddo Parish going dry, causing Read more
Summer Brain: the state that a child’s brain slips into during the months out of school.
Shreveport Summer Brain: the state that most citizens, particularly voters, find themselves during the months prior to campaign filing dates when various political interest groups jockey to take money and oxygen out of the community.
In the last few months Shreveport has experienced several waves of Summer Brain designed to garner a fall election consensus coalition for the November election. Jockeying and cajoling within the business community we have observed various factions roll out both Patrick Williams and Ollie Tyler as their best successors to the failed Glover administration.
Behind the scenes coalition builders have tried to cobble together racially diverse elements who previously seldom would be seen in the same room together. The Tarver and Glover/Landrieu camps have barely talked on common issue since Tarver‘s victory for state senate seat over Lydia Jackson.
White East and West Shreveporters have even been eagerly affiliating with these, recognizing the Read more
By John Settle
It’s never fun to read about one’s home town in the national media in a negative way. If you are a reader of USA Today, the Tuesday (March 25) edition is a paper to toss; a column listed the top 10 cities for “overall well-being”, and there was Shreveport-Bossier listed at 182.
The 2013 Gallup-Healthways ratings are based on more than 500,000 interviews in which people were asked about their emotional and physical health, job satisfaction, community safety, and access to food, shelter and health care. This is the sixth year of the survey, and for the second time the Provo Utah area was first; others in the top five included Boulder Colorado, Fort Collins Colorado, Honolulu Hawaii, and San Jose California. The five worst cities were Huntington/Ashland West Virginia/Ohio, Charleston West Virginia, Redding California, Spartanburg South Carolina, and Hickory North Carolina. Read more
Seldom do the stars cross at precisely the time we need them in education and “real life.” An educational – Governmental forum, Wednesday, March 19th just happens to be a “Predestined” coincidence.
Shreve Memorial Library is sponsoring at Cohab, in downtown Shreveport a discussion panel dealing with transparency in government, experiences dealing with public records, and the reality of open government in Louisiana. The program is scheduled from 7:00-8:30 followed by question-and-answer with the audience. Panelists scheduled to appear are Elliott Stoneciper (Evets Management Services, Inc.), Tom Arceneaux (attorney with Blanchard, Walker, O’Quin & Roberts), Alison Bath (The Shreveport Times), Danny Lawler (The Inquisitor) and Jeff Everson (City of Shreveport-City Council).
Current public records requests with the City Council, Mayor and Parish Commission will certainly be part of the topic of discussion. In light of the struggle to control the leadership of the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) and documents that have been sent to us, a PRR (Public Records Request) was submitted to determine what other improper or potentially illegal email will be forthcoming from the two bodies and the mayor.
I am NOT an attorney, but the attorneys who we have engaged to assist with this utilizing the Public Records Act of Louisiana (R.S. 44:1 et seq.), told us to respectfully request the following information. And our request was as specific and narrow as possible so as to not give a chance to come back with a “too broad” response from the city or parish attorneys.
The specific information requested is “Bulls eye”clear. We asked for: documents, emails, texts, faxes, appointment calendars & logs containing reference Read more
Carl Richard, candidate for Bossier City Marshal, failed to properly account and report final expenses of 2013 in his campaign for Bossier City Marshal during the month of December, 2013. The Richard campaign is accumulating as much bad press and allegations of impropriety as Richard’s boss, Shreveport City Marshal, Charlie Caldwell. (Carl Richard Feb, 2014 Secretary of State Campaign Filing)
Charlie Caldwell, AKA “Diamond Charlie”, has managed to make news through willful disregard of acceptable travel policies, wasteful budget management and destruction of public records, not to mention other allegations and legal actions, with settlements, by numerous former deputies he fired. His office is asserted to be so bad that at least two former employees and more than one current and a former law enforcement officer have either announced campaigns or been encouraged to join in a campaign to unseat Caldwell in Shreveport.
Caldwell paid expenses of Shreveport attorney John Settle in a bitter public records fight in state court to encourage Settle to drop his suit and refrain from pursuing the same records Caldwell has been able to keep hidden from the public concerning his credit card records for his “personal” expenses.
But, this is not about Caldwell’s failures and misdeeds, as records are leaking out that could probably Read more
The photo in the Shreveport Times shows a grinning Gov. Bobby Jindal shaking hands with David Zolet, executive vice president and general manager of the North American Sector of Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) as the two jointly announced that the company plans to open a technology center at CSC’s national Cyber Research Park in Bossier City. (Times Story)
The company, partially owned by Lloyds Banking Group of London through its Scottish Windows funds, offers IT services, including cloud solutions, cyber security, technology consulting and, according to several sources, secret CIA flights for the purposes of interrogation and torture. (Guardian Story)
CSC will be the anchor tenant of the research park and will partner with Louisiana Tech University to account for 1,600 new jobs over the next four years, thanks in part to $14 million in state funding over the next decade to expand higher education programs to increase the number of computer science graduates per year.
Louisiana Tech is scheduled to receive the bulk of the $14 million as Read more
Jeff Thompson’s recent announcement that he is seriously considering becoming a candidate to replace retiring Bossier/Webster Judge Ford Stinson this fall left many political observers shaking their heads.
Thompson won a hotly contested election to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 2011 against Duke Lowrie. Many political observers noted that his campaign tactics reached a new nadir for “dirty” politics in that election, – – even by Bossier standards.
Thompson previously ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in Read more
Parkway High School Principal Dr. Nichole Bourgeouis continues to cost the Bossier Parish School Board (BPSB) big bucks, – and there is no end in sight. Like an ostrich, Bossier Superintendent D.C. Macken stands by his man, – ah woman, and the state law that says only he not the school board can remove a principal.
Bourgeois made national news last fall for having a Five Oaks High School football coach arrested prior to a playoff football game at Parkway High School. Litigation has been filed by the coach against Bourgeois and the BPSB over that incident. The Louisiana High School Athletic Association sanctioned Parkway by denying the school the ability to host playoff games this year.
Parkway’s undefeated regular season team had to play its first 2 playoff games away from the Read more