De recent announcement by Sasol dat it wuz gonna delay its $14 billion project because uf falling oil prices came az no real surprise.
Now, de naysayers wuz quick to point out dat we had gotten all excited about nuttin’. Far from it. We’re still goin’ full speed ahead wit’ a $8.1 billion ethane cracker. Dat’s still one uf de largest investments uf its kind in North America.
Any cooyon who haz lived in dis section uf de country for any amount uf time knows how dem oil boys like to whine at even de slightest drop in oil prices. We all know oil ain’t gonna stay at no 45 bucks a barrel. An’ like wuz pointed out in a recent KPLC editorial, sometimes waitin’ iz good, an’ in many instances it means bigger and better. Jus’ look at de casino industry in dis area.
What we have to make shore uf iz dat we are ready for de growth comin’ an’ dat our ship channel iz maintained in order to handle de increase in ship activity. You gotta remember dat de only reason any uf dem industries have located an’ are planning to locate here iz because uf de ship channel.
Port officials have done a great job uf makin’ tings happen to grow our economy, and we know day iz gonna continue to do so.
Phelps In News Again
It wuz recently announced dat de Phelps Correction Center near DeQuincy wuz gonna start a training program for new inmates. It’s called de Beauregard Parish Transitional Work Program. It will be run by a private company called Louisiana Workforce.
Nonviolent convicts will learn welding, pipefitting, culinary arts an’ udder skills day will be able to use when day get out.
Now all dat sounds real fancy, an’ it’s good for de inmates, but de fact remains dat Phelps employed 300 people from our area, an’ dis program will only have about 50. You may recall how Bobby Jindal decided one day to shut de prison down, an az a result, got a lotta folks trewout our area real mad real fast. It so angered hiz den Commissioner uf Administration, a DeQuincy native, dat he quit an’ went into de lobbyin’ bidness.
We Heard From Folks About Charter Schools
In our last issue, we wrote about charter schools in our area an’ dar plans for growth. Well, we heard from some teachers who had opinions about charter schools in general, and in particular, about de three schools dat’s in operation now.
Dem what we heard from spoke of issues facin’ charter schools, like discipline, teacher pay and student performance. Like Henry Mancuso, head uf de charter schools in our parish, sed, in a recent presentation, charter schools aren’t de cure-all but are a step in de right direction.
Me, I don’t tink dar’s a teacher in de parish who would tink our school-age children are properly served. So we have to continue to work to make our schools mo better. Az taxpayers, we have de responsibility to make education in our parish de bes’ it can be.
State Police Get Much Deserved Raise
In recent weeks, folks wuz wonderin’ if de Louisiana State Police wuz gonna get de pay increase dat wuz mandated by de Legislature las’ year. De money iz to come from fines paid by folks who don’t have care insurance.
Now, de state police wuz axin’ for a 30 percent increase, but auditors sed de money from de fines may not be able to sustain dat much uf an increase.
So, startin’ las’ month, troopers got a 20 percent increase.
Now, folks, if you’re like me an’ watch de Nat Geo network, you see stories uf how de Mexican drug cartels are movin’ drugs into Houston; de drugs iz den transported on I-10 to New Awlins, an’ den on to Atlanta an’ Miami.
Dem drug traffickers ain’t carryin’ 22 pistols. Day are dangerous folks wit’ dangerous firearms. An dat’s jus one uf de dangers facin’ State Police, who patrol de interstate every day. So me, I say the state can’t pay dem enough.
Course Haz Issues
In recent issues we’ve discussed how de city uf Westlake iz hurtin’ moneywise. De city council iz doin’ what all gubment agencies do … raisin’ taxes and fees.
Folks on fixed incomes are gonna be required to pay between $40 and $60 dollars a month more in water, sewage an’ gas fees.
Dis comes on top uf de problem we read in de paper recently — namely, dat de National Golf Course lost $400,000 dollars last year. When it opened a few years ago, politicians claimed dat it would put Westlake on de map. Well, we fast forward and see a nice golf course dat still doesn’t have a clubhouse building.
Dat’s because de City Council haz refused to put up de money … or could it be day don’t have de money.
Golf isn’t de hot sport it wuz a few years ago. In de las’ 12 months, Pine Shadows an’ Bayou Oaks have shut down. An’ I would be willing to bet Mallard Cove ain’t quite doin’ de numbers it wuz five years ago. Add to dat de fact dat we have one casino course an anudder scheduled to open soon, an’ you can see de supply an’ demand ting tells you golf ain’t a money maker any more.
Now dar are some who still want a clubhouse built at National in Westlake, but we wouldn’t bet on dat happenin’ for de next coupla years.
More Mardi Gras Mambo
Just 25 years ago, Mardi Gras in dis area wuz nuttin’. Dar wuz a Krewe uf Krewes parade dat had a few floats in it an’ a whole buncha horses and Corvettes. Now it haz grown to de second largest Mardi Gras celebration in our state — second only to New Awlins.
Dis growth didn’t just fall out uf de sky. It took a lot uf hard work on de part uf a whole lot uf folks.
Unlike udder cities, we have a huge family-oriented Mardi Gras. Folks from all over now come to our corner uf de state for de fun without all de violence we’ve seen in udder areas uf our state. So gather your family and friends and enjoy Mardi Gras … an’ TROW ME SOMETIN MISTAH!!!!
Millions In State Property Lost
A recent story by WVUE in New Awlins shed light on de fact dat de state uf Louisiana haz $16 million in property dat’s unaccounted for. An’ dat’s for 2014 alone. In 2011, dat figure wuz $5 million an’ now it’s up to $16 million.
Now, dis iz property assigned to dem same state agencies dat come po-mouhtin’ to de Legislature every year sayin’ day need mo money. State Rep. John Schroder uf Covington had a list uf de items dat’s missin’ — stuff like computers, printers, projectors.
But here’s de kicker: Southern University in Baton Rouge can’t account for three Brangus beef cattle. Guess someone had big barbecues at taxpayers’ expense.
We agree wit Schroder dat we don’t need mo laws. We need to start prosecutin’ folks for theft. Put a few folks in jail, an I can guarantee you state property will stop disappearin’.
Cops Do Good Deed
Recently, State Police Trooper Gary Smith wuz flagged down on Highway 14 by several folks standin’ in a parkin’ lot. Smith pulled into de lot an wuz told a woman in her car wasn’t breathin’. He started administerin’ CPR to de DeRidder woman.
He wuz soon joined by Corp. Benjamin Randolph uf de Lake Charles Police Dept. De two continued de CPR until Acadian Ambulance arrived and transported de woman to a local hospital.
Now folks, if you’re like me, you’re tired uf de bashin’ uf law enforcement people who do a whole lot more dan just write tickets. Dis incident is just an example uf what men and women in law enforcement do every day. Congrats to Trooper Smith and Corp. Randolph for a job well done.
Deep Taughts While Watchin’ De Tigers
10) Ain’t Coach Johnny Jones, a Deridder native, doin’ a great job uf bringin’ back Tiger basketball?
9) When iz Bobby gonna give up on runnin’ for president and get back to runnin’ our state?
8) Will Obama’s public works budget include a new bridge on I-10?
7) Will de school boad tax for increased teacher pay pass?
6) Why does T-Claude keep enterin’ dem arm rasslin’ contests when he haz de strength uf a flea.
5) How iz it dat blackberry cobbler keeps disappearin’ from my refrigerator?
4) Do dem Republicans really tink we gonna see a change in D.C. since they rule both house and senate?
3) Aint’ it gonna be great to wear blue and gold and see McNeese basketball in dat new arena on campus?
2) What udder new restaurants are we gonna see come to our area?
1) Why do I have to keep hearin’ from Max about de Cleveland Browns and Johnny Football?
My fran Lefty went to Mardi Gras in New Awlins a coupla weekends ago. He returned dat Monday mornin’ wit’ a black eye and busted lip. Logic would tell me he really got into de spirit in de Big Easy.