Author Archives: Douglas Handshoe

I’m reminded of the old saying pigs love mud……..

There is a danger in becoming a one track blog or one track anything for that matter. Here area couple of examples:

cheering for Kenner to fail, again ~ Connie Montgomery

An added twist – failed magazine partners see a lot of scrutiny in Walter Reed investigation ~ Connie Montgomery

Disclosure
Connie Montgomery provides legal services to Slabbed New Media.

Add Chuck Johnson and the folks at WXXV to the party: A Bay St Louis Financial Disaster Update

What can I say folks but in respect the recessed meeting of the Bay St Louis City Council was a bit of a zoo but first a comment bump:

You will note that it is incontrovertible: Reed has passed the point of no return, for no longer are the serfs laughing with him, they are now laughing at him.

I thought of Empire Parish a couple of times when the assembled crowd openly laughed, hissed and cat called on a couple of occasions when City Clerk Kolf or Hizzoner told a whopper. We had Hizzoner bring in the Hancock Bank Bond Trustee to finger wag and lecture the City Council. Best of all though is those assembled last night saw the City Council well discharge its fiduciary duties to the voters and taxpayers of Bay St Louis.  The Mayor, OTOH, came very close to losing it after he did not get his way in continuing the taxpayer funded spending binge he has been on for the last five years.

First up is WLOX and Al Showers because I heard early this morning that I was on the TeeVee though there is no link to any Bay St Louis reporting on the WLOX website. I figured since Al was filming the crowd…..

and

Like I said, the gaming market is saturated here on the coast……

By definition, when a state agency dictates site plans, investment and other regulatory matters you do not have a “free market”, at least in the classic sense. Even more important though, is the local casino market is saturated and then some at precisely the time Cities like Waveland finally decided to try to get into the game.

The basic tenants of economics neither exclude or favor certain industries or businesses. And when you have a weak sister in a saturated market:

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Biloxi to close “on or before” Sept. 19 ~ Warren Kulo

Casinos in Tunica have closed recently due to the competition from other states that have since legalized gambling.  Here is a timely piece from the Nation’s #2 gaming market, Atlantic City, New Jersey:

Atlantic City doomed by glut of casinos in region ~ Wayne Perry

Meantime ground just broke in D’Iberville on the Scarlet Pearl. Far be it from me to cast aspersions at a privately funded Casino because I won’t but dropping the phrase building into a headwind isn’t too strong a term for the context.

In my opinion, if the economic development people folks in Jackson had an ounce of sense, Continue reading

A bit of housekeeping

Over the next few weeks I’ll be rolling out a series of announcements regarding Slabbed and its continued evolution to a self sustaining news site. The most major of the behind the scenes activities is the location of this website to a file server that is owned by Slabbed New Media LLC that will be located at a secure colocation facility somewhere here in Mississippi. The equipment has all been purchased and this process is actually very far along.  For my part I have become hip to the Kernel.

Next up are the numerous requests that I am getting to connect via LinkedIn. I use my LinkedIn account for professional purposes only so if I don’t know you, there is little to no chance I will connect with you on that platform. Journalists, lawyers, members of the MSCPA, academics and other finance professionals are the typical demographic I connect with on LinkedIn. Worry not though folks because there is always Facebook.

Right now my Facebook account is so buried very few people have actually found me on that platform. That said I’ll connect with anyone so interested on that platform so if I turned you down on LinkedIn try hunting me up on Facebook.  I’ll do my best to unbury my account in the meantime.

Bay High School Stadium a Major Fail: Local Alliance for Good Government drops the “I Bomb”

Early this week good government circles were buzzing here after the Bay-Waveland School Board meeting and the disclosures that were made regarding the renovations to Bay High Stadium.  I pass the field several times daily and noticed the dirt heaps with no activity for weeks.  Thanks to an Hancock County Alliance for Good Government email blast and Dwayne Bremer’s account of the meeting for the Seacoast Echo I have a few things to point out and highlight. This is from Dwayne’s story:

Architect Taylor Guild said problems with the field began because of wet conditions and the water table underneath the field……….

“The excavated soil was wet,” Guild said. “It went from bad to worse.”

Guild suggested a change order to the project, which he said will allow the contractor to finish the field in time for Bay High’s first scheduled home game on Aug. 29.

Guild suggested excavating another 12 inches of soil, overlaying that with cloth and sand, and then adding 12 inches of crushed limestone on top before covering it with the artificial turf……

The school board ultimately approved the change order, but asked why soil samples were not taken before construction began.

No soil samples????? If I had a client of mine tell me such a tale my immediate reaction would be something like “Oh My!!!!” “Hmmmm!!!!” After hearing of the disaster first hand here is the word used by the Hancock County Alliance for Good Government: Continue reading

Jim Brown: Why are Property Insurance Rates Going Up in Louisiana?

Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Why are Property Insurance Rates Going Up in Louisiana?

What on earth is happening out there? Is a major hurricane churning in the Gulf and taking dead aim at Louisiana? Is the Mighty Mississippi on the verge of overflowing its levees and about to flood thousands of acres, driving hundreds of thousands from their homes? Something drastic must be up. After all, State Farm Insurance Company just raised its rates on Louisiana homeowners by as much as 20%.

Note that I said that State Farm raised its rates. In most states, insurance companies are subject to a pre-approval process wherein the insurance department determines if the increase is warranted, so that the property owner can be assured that the increase is both fair and necessary. But Louisiana is different. In the Bayou State, insurance companies are not required to get rate increases pre-approved. So the answer to the question of how come big insurance companies can stick it to homeowners, whether or not such an increase is justified, is simply this — they do it because they can.

Back in the days when I served as Louisiana Insurance Commissioner, I worked with Texas Commissioner Bob Hunter on a variety of insurance issues affecting our respective states. Currently, he’s the Insurance Director for the Consumer Federation of America. I called him to get his view on the dramatically rising property insurance rates in Louisiana. “Puzzling,” he said. “A real outlier. Maybe a slight increase because of inflation. But such a big increase is really questionable.”

The national insurance reporting publications indicate why property insurance rates should be going down, not up. The FPN Insurance Journal reported that natural catastrophes caused less than half the damage this year compared to the past 10 year average. USA Today reports that we are experiencing one of the quietest years for hurricanes and other national disasters in many years. The Insurance Journal reported that insurance companies nationwide have seen rate reductions in the past three years. Continue Reading…………….

Twenty-Five more months bad luck for the former Goatherder in Chief

Actually he has more problems coming than finishing out his prison sentence in Florida but who am I to spoil the surprise. What I can say is Broussard’s claim that his lawyer Robert Jenkins was ineffective fell flat with Judge Head:

Judge refuses to overturn Broussard’s conviction ~ Jeff Adelson

Judge rejects Aaron Broussard’s arguments to overturn prison sentence because of prosecutorial misconduct, ineffective counsel ~ Andrea Shaw

Broussard has spent time at a Federal Pen in North Carolina before being transferred, via Atlanta and the woman’s prison at Tallahassee Florida to Club Fed in Pensacola. Not too many male convicts can say they did time at a woman’s penal institution. Freddy strike up the band!