Cruising the coast with Butch Ward and MDOT. New Port Connector gobbles up Ward and the Turkey Creek watershed.

Anita Lee at the Sun Herald sets the table as all the finest are assembled, from the elected crooks that run MDOT to Jefferson Parish garbage guy Butch Ward as well as former Hancock Bank CEO turned Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel. The issue is the undeveloped lands south of I-10 between the Canal Road and US Highway 49 exits, a large parcel of which is owned by Ward. The local citizenry, most of whom are minorities, should be grateful the plan wasn’t to open a landfill there. Rather it was to be additional retail space to compliment the Outlet Mall but that conflicted with the path of MDOT’s new North-South expressway to Wiggins and points beyond being coordinated with the improvements at the State Port. Here is a snippet:

The environmental agreement MDOT reached with federal agencies would forever end proposals for commercial development just south of I-10 between U.S. 49 and Canal Road. The agreement also would allow MDOT to go forward with construction of a state port connector road from I-10 to U.S. 90, a route crucial to the port’s plans for expansion.

The road would destroy 162 acres of wetlands. In exchange, MDOT plans to buy and place 1,638 acres in perpetual conservation easements. The state Department of Marine Resources would own the land, but about 447 acres on both sides of Turkey Creek would be managed by a nonprofit, the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain.

Enter Mayor Schloegel who is concerned over the impact to the city’s tax rolls:

Schloegel said the Ward family, who owns about 1,000 acres of the land, had plans to open Creosote Road south of I-10 from Prime Outlets west to Canal Road. Continue reading “Cruising the coast with Butch Ward and MDOT. New Port Connector gobbles up Ward and the Turkey Creek watershed.”

Forked! “Bifurcation for Dummies” – a Rigsby qui tam Update (part 1)

I have no idea what part of bifurcate State Farm attorney Bob Galloway doesn’t understand – only that Haag Engineering’s attorney, the infamous “what-do-you-think-of-that-Larry” Canada can’t seem to grasp the concept either.  Rigsby Attorney August Matteisa “gets it” but, of course, you have to know your vocabulary words to graduate magna cum laude from Georgetown Law.

Since the word rolls off Judge Senter’s tongue like water (no pun intended) in the pre-trial orders he issues in Katrina litigation, he “gets it”, too. Obviously, Georgetown Law isn’t the only place the word is taught.  Judge Senter, as a matter of fact, graduated from Ole Miss Law; so how Galloway missed it is hard to figure.  Canada, on the other hand, is an Alabama Law graduate and could have made it out without catching on, despite the fact that Bear Bryant bifurcated the football team.

Robert Frost even wrote a famous poem about bifurcation – “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both…” and Joe Diffie sang a bifurcation song all the way to #40 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs – “Yesterday I missed my exit on my way to Sears…”

Simply stated bifurcate means “divided into two” – and when Judge Senter issues an Order to bifurcated one trial into two, he puts a fork in the road and you follow his directions.

I will hear the evidence on the Relators’ qui tam claim first. I will stay discovery on State Farm’s counterclaim until the trial of the Relators’ claim has been completed, and I will schedule a separate trial to reach the merits of the counterclaim.

The way Bob Galloway ran over Judge Senter’s Order in State Farm’s 420-page Motion to Compel, you’d think it was an armadillo.  Sop could have treated my typing fingers to a manicure for what it cost to pull the Motion off PACER, not to mention it took all but an entire ream of paper to make copy.  Consequently, one post can’t begin to cover the Motion and we look first at the related correspondence between Galloway and Metteis, a mere 53 pages, starting with Galloway’s 28-page letter of February 12, 2010, to Matteisa: Continue reading “Forked! “Bifurcation for Dummies” – a Rigsby qui tam Update (part 1)”