N/S/E/W- JUNE

Tidbits from around the compass

Party on, Garth
How many times can you listen to “Two Piña Coladas” live? In June and July, Lafayette will get not one, not two, but five helpings of Garth Brooks. The country music megastar has announced five performances at the Cajundome during his world tour. This will be the first time Brooks has performed in Lafayette in 25 years, so pile an extra scoop onto his plate lunch when he (thunder) rolls through. *Obligatory Chris Gaines joke.*

Mysterious smell: total BS
Spring was in the air in late April and so was, ugh, good heavens, what was that smell? So many Lafayette residents were concerned, or rather disgusted, about the parishwide stench that local news outlets were prompted to investigate. One theory was BS: a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development suggested that the odor may have drifted from a manure processing facility in Iberia Parish. The stench dissipated, leads dried up, but the mystery hangs in the air.

It ain’t rosy, Lafayette voters
After the failure of two tax renewals on April 29, the future of projects like drainage and infrastructure improvement and funding for public parks looks bleak. Lafayette Parish residents voted down a half cent sales tax for public schools as well as two tax renewals: one for the parish courthouse and another property tax to operate and maintain the parish jail. The renewals accounted for roughly $10 million, which will now have to be cut somewhere from the parish budget. “There is no way to paint a rosy picture,” Mayor Joel Robideaux told The Acadiana Advocate. “It does put us in a really dire predicament.” The local business community had rallied support for the school tax, but it fell on deaf ears. Only 17 percent of eligible parish voters participated.

Kennedy leaks unclassified buffoonery
Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy had his moment to ask the tough questions during former acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ hearing. Right there before him sat James Clapper, director of national intelligence. “Have you ever leaked classified or unclassified information?” he asked Clapper. “Well, um, unclassified is not leaking,” Clapper replied, inspiring a fit of laughter from the Senate committee chamber. The blogosphere erupted and rejoiced: A Louisiana senator is a buffoon, the think-pieces rang. Rookie mistake, senator. Not all press is good press in the information age.

Arson and sabotage in zydeco country
Miller’s Zydeco Hall of Fame in Lawtell and the Charcoal Lounge in Opelousas were both destroyed within one week, and early investigations point to arson. William Kevin Rideau, 33, was arrested and charged with two counts of simple arson and two counts of criminal trespass in May. Rideau owns the Winners Lounge, which is a block away from the Charcoal Lounge. The circumstances raise the spectre of competitive sabotage, but the motive behind the arson remains under investigation, authorities said. For decades known as Richard’s, Miller’s Zydeco Hall of Fame was a staple stage in the zydeco world, hosting generations of legends like Boozoo Chavis. Owned by State Rep. Dustin Miller, the club had quieted in recent years. Miller demurred on plans to reopen, a decision he says carries with it a weighty burden. Miller’s was among the last of the great zydeco dance halls.

All eyes turn to Alfred
The debate over whether to remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Alfred Mouton from its pedestal in Downtown Lafayette is stalled. But now that the city of New Orleans has taken a public stand by removing four Confederate monuments, the discourse over Mouton’s statue perhaps has new breath. At least two local groups are advocating for the removal of the statue. But in a recent effort to gauge public opinion on the monument’s removal, The Daily Advertiser asked its readers. Not surprisingly, Advertiser readers replied a resounding no. Last time removal was discussed in city council, confederate apologists flooded council chambers. No action by Lafayette City-Parish Council on the matter is scheduled at this time. Meanwhile, a state bill to protect war monuments, including those related to what the bill calls “the war between the states,” passed the Louisiana House of Representatives. All six white reps from Lafayette Parish voted yes on the bill. Both black reps voted no.

Deputy marshal charged with promoting world’s oldest profession
Arthur Lee Phillips, deputy marshal for the city of Ville Platte, was charged on May 5 for allegedly picking up a prostitute in an unmarked police unit, paying for services and then pocketing the cash she earned from her next gig. After the arrest, some residents went on record with KLFY to say it’s a common issue with local law enforcement in Evangeline Parish. Ville Platte City Marshal Ronald Doucet said Phillips has been suspended and the investigation is ongoing.

Butts out for Lafayette bars
Well, it’ll be official on Aug. 1. In April, the Lafayette City-Parish Council voted 7-2 to ban smoking from bars. The Hub City is now the 11th city in the state to enforce a smoke-free ordinance. This is not a big loss for smokers. You can still light up five feet from business doorways. And let’s be honest, being outside is awesome.

 

Ragin’ Cajun Campus Caper
Thirteen UL Lafayette football players bonded out in late April on charges of criminal conspiracy to commit felony theft. All 13 players were suspended after being charged with entering a room on campus and stealing about $2,400 worth of items, including Xbox games, three pairs of Air Jordans, eight-and-a-half pairs of socks (aka nine socks), $3 in cash and a bottle of hair lotion. “Based on our investigation,” said UL police, “this was not a prank.”

Who put the cauliflower in the boudin?
Call it a culinary breakthrough or preposterous, but one Acadiana business is pretty proud of its low-carb, high protein boudin. T-Boys in Mamou recently started selling the alternative links made with cauliflower instead of rice. In its first few days, it sold about 1,000 pounds, the business told KLFY. Now who’s ready for some kale and tofu gumbo?

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