by Elliott Stonecipher
Public documents obtained by the Finish 3132 Coalition confirm what those in attendance witnessed for themselves at the subject June 10th Shreveport City Council meeting: the fix was in for real estate developer Tim Larkin and his bid to build houses in the area of any corridor for the Hwy. 3132 Extension. Later that evening, I wrote about the sickening display.
In the meeting, five City Council members – Michael Corbin, Sam Jenkins, Jeff Everson, Rose McCulloch and Oliver Jenkins – voted to overrule the May 7th Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) rejection of Larkin’s application. Councilman Ron Webb and Council Chairman Joe Shyne voted “no.”
In truth, the outcome of the meeting was set much earlier.
The Anatomy of a Fix
The Larkin appeal of the MPC decision to the Council (more…)
Add comment July 28, 2014 2:37 pm
By Murray Lloyd
“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 (more…)
Add comment July 28, 2014 12:11 pm
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 (more…)
Add comment July 25, 2014 3:00 pm
Lee Zurik investigative reporter with WVUE-TV in New Orleans revealed last night that it was Senator Neil Riser who put the amendment into the Conference Committee Report on SB 294 that gave La. State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson an extra $55,000 a year retirement benefit for the rest of his life. ( See story here.)
On July 16, 2014, I sent via email this message to Riser:
You were a member of the Conference Committee that added an amendment to SB 294 of the 2014 Regular Session that granted special retirement benefits to certain members of the La. State Police.
I know that such changes don’t come from thin air or accidentally get into such reports. Please tell me:
1) Who asked you to put the amendment into the Conference Committee (more…)
Add comment July 25, 2014 9:17 am
by Elliott Stonecipher
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?
Add comment July 23, 2014 3:29 pm
by Elliott Stonecipher
Michael Corbin, Member
City Council District “D”
Dear Councilman Corbin:
With profound respect for those now suffering, I have carefully delayed this letter to you. By the time you receive this, it will have been three days since the traffic accident in front of our Twelve Oaks subdivision on Flournoy-Lucas Road.
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:
The reader may note the (more…)
Add comment July 21, 2014 12:39 pm
Another issue has arisen, that should have waved a red flag to the six conferees (Senators JP Morrell, Neil Riser, Mike Walsworth and Representatives Walt Leger, Bryan Adams and Jeff Arnold) on SB 294 of the 2014 Regular Session.
With the exception of Adams, all are veteran leges. Two of the leges are attorneys and should know the law, especially the Speaker Pro Tem who should also be very familiar with the specific laws governing the lege process as he is often called to rule on them.
SB 294, if you recall, is the legislation that provided 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.
The leges have admitted knowing that the amendment affected the state retirement systems. Therefore, they should have noticed that there was no Actuarial Note attached to the Conference (more…)
Add comment July 20, 2014 4:19 pm
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 (more…)
Add comment July 20, 2014 8:53 am
by Elliott Stonecipher
No subject within the Hwy. 3132 Extension saga now raises more questions than who in the world, all things considered, would be buying lots in developer Tim Larkin’s swanky “Esplanade” subdivision. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote the first article on this subject, and I followed just a few days ago with a related article about a Shreveport Times story.
The subject now of greatest interest to our Finish 3132 Coalition members is well identified in a comment emailed to us recently by a strong supporter and friend:
“Whoever Buys a Larkin Lot Is a Rotten Egg! <—- would make a nice BIG SIGN.”
The sentiment, of course, is front-and-center with those who strongly believe the 1996 election by Shreveporters should determine the outcome of this fight. In that election, 66% voted “yes” on a bond issue for completion of the Extension to the Port. The writer’s point, shared by many, is that anyone who supports what Larkin and his troupe are doing is knowingly working to defeat the will of the people.
(I admit that I love the sign idea. Perhaps the City Council would approve placement of it on (more…)
Add comment July 18, 2014 11:35 am
Bond Sales, Dog Park, worse to come?
At his inauguration party in 2006, newly minted Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover started the festivities with a celebratory announcement “Well, here we are…..” He was, of course, referred to his narrow victory over Jerry Jones and his election as Shreveport’s’ first African American mayor. Almost 8 years later, most Shreveport residents are saying, in disappointed if not sarcastic tones, “Well here we are….” as Glover continues to take flack during his last few months as a lame duck Mayor.
Admittedly Glover had many challenges when he took office,– high municipal bond debt, a lagging economy and resentment as well as suspicion due to his race, lack of formal education (only a high school diploma), and his job (as in no job) history. In many aspects, the Big G has improved the overall state of the city. Nevertheless he has allowed several issues to become bigger than life (even bigger than Big G was himself at his (more…)
Add comment July 17, 2014 3:00 pm