Reading the Shreveport Times, it’s all too often interesting to evaluate just how much backbone and investigative journalism exists regarding the examination and reporting of local or national issues, particularly noting the long-term annual loss of subscribers and the shrinking small business base. However on Sunday an editorial on the water billing error appeared that gives me hope that the spine and backbone may be returning to the once-proud local paper.
There have been may questions concerning the choice of stories that make the front section and those that never makes it to press. These choices cause long-time subscribers, concerned citizens and news junkies to question the integrity of the Gannett staff, or has it only been the lazy path of least resistance, “not rocking the boat.” Locally Read more
In the early morning hours, 2:00 AM, of July 5, 2015 a large group began congregating on the premises of closed businesses located at the intersection of Hearne Avenue and Kings Highway in Shreveport [Shreveport Police Department Case: 15-134656]. Most of these people were parking on the lots of three corner businesses: Service Tire, Southern Maid Donuts, and Subway. Security cameras recorded a small portion of what transpired and it was posted on the Caddo Crime Stopper YouTube Channel on Tuesday, July 7. At this time the video has been viewed by over 15,000 people.Read more
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.
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.
Two months into my tenure as city councilman I’ve received several phone calls accusing me of not working with or supporting Mayor Ollie Tyler. After experiencing eight years of the most ineffective administrations in this city’s modern history, no one is pulling for the success of Mayor Tyler more than me.
I ran for City Council because of my love and concern for the future of our city. It saddened me to see how the citizens had become so cynical about city government. At this crucial time in our history, we deserve a great mayor. And on paper Mayor Tyler is one of the most qualified individuals to hold this esteemed office. So I have “high hopes” that she can be the transformative mayor this city needs. But right now hope is not enough.
You see, I represent the most economically distressed council district in the city. Over the last three decades, parts of District A have suffered drugs and crack epidemics, gang violence and killings, black middle-class flight, economic disinvestments, bad streets and the constant fear of flooding. These residents deserve better. They elected me Read more
In politics, the victor gets the spoils–which means that merit often gives way to who did what, and who is related to whom. From day one on the job, the new Mayor has targeted the City Attorney’s office to exercise her political power in a way that sends a message reflective of her days as Caddo School Superintendent.
Tyler let it be known during her campaign, that long time city attorney Terri Scott was not to be a part of her administration. Apparently Scott’s major transgression was that she did not have any kin folk close to Ollie and that she had been Mayor’s Glover’s puppet. One of Tyler’s old line supporters and close friends–going back to school board days–and then in the mayor’s race was a certain Mrs. Bradford; she is not related to Councilman Willie Bradford but is the mother of attorney William Bradford. Son William was also active in Tyler’s campaign and actually served as a spokesman of sorts in the run off; most political observers considered Bradford to be a figurehead in the pure sense of the Read more
New Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler has her first real appointment to be made in the near future–and it will certainly say much on how she will manage the City. Part of the deal brokered with the old guard Shreveport power structure to put Tyler into office was her selection of former Shreveport Fire Chief Brian Crawford as her CAO. Now comes a totally discretionary choice–and what real criteria Tyler will utilize for her selection will probably never be known.
Thirty-six candidates applied to the position; 35 were approved to move to the next selection level and 27 of them took the required Fire Chief exam to qualify. The field has been narrowed–by somebody or group–to 6 finalists; perhaps Tyler’s transition team was involved Read more
The Little Free Library program in Shreveport is now defined as “FREE” after the City Council voted on Tuesday to pass a moratorium allowing Little Free Libraries(LFL) in the city. The definition of the LFL program is still subject to interpretation for those MPC officials struggling with the concept, and I believe a little behind the scenes education with MPC officials may have assisted the matter along.
Councilman Jeff Everson, using nimble political correctness, presented a resolution for a moratorium on the prosecution of the Little Free Libraries until the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) can re-write city ordinances for the free book swap program. The issue should never have required council or MPC interaction in the matter, but over-aggressive ordinance interpretation by Read more
The December 6th election was a milestone for Louisiana and Caddo/Shreveport that will require evaluation for quite a while. Mary Landrieu’s defeat will be calculated by factions in many ways, but her shadow and the repercussions throughout the state will probably be re-measured for years.
Along with the election of new faces and the return of old ones, I expect the Landrieu defeat to reverberate through the system in all three branches of government, particularly with law enforcement and the prosecutorial system around the state. Political forces work on more than two levels, and the written and unwritten codes of enforcement and prosecutions seem to rely of backing and backbone at higher levels. Some Read more
Its doubtful that much in the way of new initiatives will be accomplished by City Hall between now and year end – – other than the swearing in of Shreveport’s new mayor and council members on December 27. Thus the recent audit by the city’s internal auditor of the Shreveport Police Department (SPD) staffing for 911 calls will probably remain on SPD Chief Willis Shaw’s shelf – – until such time as his job status with the new mayor is resolved.
If Victoria Provenza is elected Shaw is history; Provenza has run a basically “white only” campaign and it is doubtful her administration will have many Read more