Over the past couple of days I’ve saved links to several stories pieces from the Times Picayune, two from the opinion page and one from the news department. Our readers will recall last week we had a bit of fun with T-P columnist Stephanie Grace, who evidently has never met a politician, crooked or otherwise she failed to like so I guess it was natural I was tickled when T-P columnist/editor Drew Broach entered the fray from the perspective of the school board races in a column that is well worth featuring here on Slabbed. Here is a snippet:
Don’t tell me that Jefferson Parish is fed up with its School Board. Not when four of every five voters skipped the election. If anything, turnout would suggest that Jefferson Parish doesn’t much care about the governance of public education.
But, yes, the few who did vote Oct. 2 demonstrated they are indeed fed up and aren’t going to take it anymore. “That” being a school system ranked one of the worst in Louisiana.
Yep, and I bet just like the schools in Orleans Parish back in the day, the system in Jefferson Parish is being systematically looted by the folks charged with running it. Once back in the day when I audited public school systems, I compared the per pupil expenditures of a district I was auditing in Mississippi to the one in Cleveland Ohio. There were no similarities as the racially mixed district I was auditing scored around the national average in standardized test scores while the Cleveland Ohio system was in the bottom quartile despite spending over $12,000 more per pupil. Like Orleans Parish, meaningful change will not come to the Jefferson system IMHO until someone from the outside such as the state takes it over and cleans house.
Next up is yesterday’s OpEd courtesy of the T-P editorial board who declare that yes Virginia, the Feds should also be looking at the allegations Waste Management made in the lawsuit against Jefferson Parish. I’m beyond pleased that we and the Picayune seem to be of the same mind on this issue. Naturally the comments were entertaining as always and I certainly appreciate the kind words about our work contained therein. To clarify for one of the commenters on the T-P OpEd Whitmergate has not been banned from the T-P to my knowledge and posting a link to Slabbed no longer lands one in the moderation que there. I’ll add a couple of the reporters there even take an occasional phone call from me and promptly answer the stray emails I send so I continue to hold out hope one day there will be peace in our time.
Finally we have le baiser or the kiss as in the big wet one Rich Rainey planted on John Young as the honeymoon is evidently on. I’m down with l ‘art de la pompe aka gentle pumping so we’ll cut Rich some overall slack but I would be remiss of I didn’t point out one problem with his piece, which ran both Sunday and Monday due to technical difficulties:
But just as the caretaker government was settling in, a drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded in April, killing 11 men and triggering the largest oil leak disaster in U.S. history. Crude gushed from the sea floor for three months and seeped into the estuaries of Barataria Bay, Grand Isle and other southern reaches of Jefferson Parish.
The council’s seven members quickly found themselves splitting focus between a public cry for reform of the government’s ethical standards and the oil that threatened the ways of life for West Bank residents.
Obviously we don’t remember things quite that way on Slabbed because despite the scandal and the oil spill, Steve Theriot managed to find time to sue the blogosphere, in a move that even John Young sanctioned. Turned out the suit was actually continued retaliation against the whistleblower who drew attention to several problem areas in Parish Government. When it comes to ethics reform and the Jefferson Parish Council less is evidently more.
John Young will receive no honeymoon here on Slabbed though we will pass out props when earned. We continue to hear the do nothing DA, Paul Connick, has Young’s ear.