Been away on business…….

And while I’ve been gone we have nooses on the loose at Stone High School while down in the Bay, Hizzoner and his new City Clerk decided to skip last night’s recessed meeting of the Bay City Council. Meantime Rick gave us the backstory on the change at Bay City prosecutor. And that just scratches the surface really.

Looking ahead this is the last week of the regular high school season here in Mississippi for classes 4A to 1A. The playoff brackets are out and it is certainty the Rocks will host the winner of Friday night’s Sumrall-Green County game on November 4th. Because the playoff orderings in Region 5 and 6 are not set there would be a total of 5 possible teams that would be there in Round 2, which would mean road games against Mendenhall, Northeast Jones or Quitman or home games against McComb or Lawrence County depending on who advances. Assuming Poplarville and SSC advance in their brackets, the November 18th match-up at Brother Phillip Stadium in the Bay should be quite the game. Very good teams in Florence and West Lauderdale round out the district winners of Regions 5 and 6 with one of those two teams likely to advance to South State in the other bracket.

In other news one of Slabbed’s inaugural topics, insurance claims handling after Hurricane Katrina hits the U.S. Supreme Court as arguments are scheduled in Ex Rel Rigsby on November 1. On tap the Court will resolve the three way split among the appellate Circuits regarding busting the case seal in False Claims Act cases. The 6th Circuit stands alone requiring auto dismissal if the case seal is broken while the rest have varying standards that would require the dismissal. Here in the 5th Circuit, cases are dismissed “only if the seal violation caused actual harm to the Government” pursuant to a balancing test. Joining what is viewed as the most conservative appellate Circuit in that approach is the most liberal in the 9th Circuit. When the time comes we’ll have a link for those that want to listen in on the oral arguments.

National Public Radio remembers Bay St Louis on Katrina plus 5

NPR remembered Katrina plus 5 on weekend edition today (Hat Tip Editilla) in an 11 minutes segment.  Those interested in listening or reading the report at NPR can click here. Here is a snippet:

“But we need people — need people coming back, coming home. That’s what is going to do it. That’s what’s going to pull us through. But — just like my parents — what’s preventing them from coming home is insurance.

“I’m sure people around the country think, ‘Why do those people live there? They’ve got oil spills. They’ve got hurricanes.’ But you just look over that water and there’s something that grounds you here. It’s beautiful and the people here are beautiful, and that’s why we stay.”

Mississippi State Sen. David Baria of Bay St. Louis has introduced insurance reform bills in the legislature for the past three years; he can’t get them through committee. Continue reading “National Public Radio remembers Bay St Louis on Katrina plus 5”

Steppin’ Out: Artist Melissa Smith paints the coast’s natural landscapes.

WYES featured oil on board Artist Melissa Smith last Friday on Steppin’ Out (segment just shy of halfway through the show) featuring a few of her newer works such as Beach Blvd Bay St Louis, Sunset Bay St Louis and Old Towne Bay St Louis that are very creative landscapes. These pieces are on display at Newman High School Art Gallery. Melissa’s website which has a few of her older paintings can be found here.


While I’ve been out. Around the GO Zone in 60 Seconds.

I’ve spent a few minutes catching up with the news this morning. Except for some confusing email exchanges with Nowdy I’ve largely been blissfully ignorant of nonfinancial currrent events in favor of work and the opportunity to spend most of yesterday outside in the freezing wind at the soccer complex.

First off the time stamps don’t work but I’ll invoke the work/blissful ignorance thing and lay claim to being Karnac the Magnificent with this comment I left last Thursday. For some reason this reminds me of the time MDOC screwed with Scott Favre back when. I’ll add there appears be to a very large segment of the populace in Oxford that seriously needs to be get laid or something. Thank Gawd I live on the coast.

Next up is the results of me searching “Anita Lee” at the Sun Herald website. We start with this story mainly because the lady who spearheaded this is an old neighbor of mine. Though not mentioned in the story, the story behind the story is it would not have happened unless an ordinary mother of two kids hadn’t gotten involved.

Looking up that story resulted in this find which was priceless as coast policyholder advocate Kevin Buckel has sued the Commish over a records request. I had to chuckle when I saw the story – we have no bad feelings for Mike Chaney here at slabbed though we give the Commish a good ribbing from time to time.  😉 I think more coasties need to let our Commish know what they are thinking just like Mr Buckel.

As for the lawsuit we wish Mr Buckel well but I noted he appears to be representing himself, the legal term for which is pro se. As Mr Gar once remarked the latin translation means “already lost” but you never know. (H/T Sun Herald for the pdfs). Continue reading “While I’ve been out. Around the GO Zone in 60 Seconds.”

Around the GO Zone in 60 Seconds: Drinking ‘Shroom juice at the Wall Street Journal, Cottages, Community, Warr and Wind Pool

I must be quick so I can get on the road to Buzzard Roost and there are several items that we need to cover so let’s start with the men and women on the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial board who evidently found a local source for psyclobin mushrooms (and consumed alot of tea) before they wrote this:

Mr. Crist’s behavior stands in contrast to that of Louisiana, of all places. Baton Rouge also established a Citizens insurer after Katrina but only as a “last resort.” Louisiana has a thriving private insurance market, in part because regulators have let companies adjust their rates. By law, Louisiana Citizens cannot offer competitive prices, save in a few high-risk coastal areas. From a peak of about 170,000 policies in 2007, it now holds about 130,000 (about what it had before Katrina) and is aiming to get below 100,000.

Note how these lit and hallucinating buffoons neglected to mention how many policies Louisiana Citizen’s had in 2004 and 2005 or the fact the guy running Louisiana Citizens (now under federal indictment) that entire time was paying his daughter’s prom bill with policyholder premiums.  Maybe next time they should check with Jim Brown before they have their combo mushroom binges/editorial board meetings. Since Bob Bartley died the only thing I can add about the remaining folks in opinion at the WSJ is that you guys really suck.

Watching the cottage controversy unfold from afar I shake my head at the utter uselessness of the approach taken by certain of the affordable housing advocates. Nowdy, who happens to know a thing or two about these type issues, contends in our internal Slabbed editorial board meetings very real issues are being obscured by the yet “another Thompson/Barbour pissing contest” and I’m inclined to agree and in this case I don’t blame our Gov.  It is simple economics; throwing money putting people without means into “affordable housing” does nothing to fix the larger problem.  Good paying jobs makes housing affordable. Meantime we have renters that actually work full time who are wondering where they will live when the FEMA rental assistance program ends this month. To the extent the renters work, received no grant and have no shot at a freebie cottage they have my sympathies. And since they work they can’t spend time raising cain at local City council meetings which brings us back to the “uselessness”. Solutions to thorny issues lie in the advancement of knowledge and awareness. People of goodwill can genuinely disagree but that doesn’t mean they can’t work together trying to find workable solutions to hard issues. Sometimes the politicians don’t make it easy but I’ve found both the Bay and Waveland the city councils are listening to a variety of opinions and genuinely want to do what is best for the community. Continue reading “Around the GO Zone in 60 Seconds: Drinking ‘Shroom juice at the Wall Street Journal, Cottages, Community, Warr and Wind Pool”

Political Tap Dancing Ground Zero Style

Frankly I’m surprised the Bay St Louis NFIP letter contraversy is just making the Sun Herald but then again I recall only one short report on the same topic from WLOX a few weeks ago. I’m going to be completely honest and say I’ve been ducking this issue for weeks because the implications for impacted residents are severe despite the double talk coming from Bay St Louis city officials. Unfortunately if you are an impacted homeowner looking for straight answers, you’ll find none in the JR Welsh report on the topic in today’s Sun Herald which focuses on political finger pointing instead. First we’ll begin with the reporting which conveys some facts and then I’ll give some analysis including what I tell my paying clients from the area:

Hundreds of homeowners here are scratching their heads after receiving letters informing them they must either elevate, tear down or move their houses more than three years after Hurricane Katrina.

The letters were mailed to property owners by the city’s Building Department at the behest of the federal National Flood Insurance Program. About 1,300 of the letters have gone out over the last two months or so, city officials said.

The ominous letter informs property owners a “Substantial Damage Determination” found their property, located in a special flood-hazard area, had suffered hurricane damage in 2005 that equals or exceeds 50 percent of the current market value. Their options: Tear down the house, raise it higher or move it. Continue reading “Political Tap Dancing Ground Zero Style”

Around the GO Zone in 60 Seconds: Divvying up $200 million, Bay Grocery Plan, Habitat and Putting on the Blitz, Gulfport Library Building Slated for Discussion and NOLA GO Zone Bonds Going Unused

Time is very short for me today so I’m going to dive straight in.  First up is the plan for spending the $200 million dollars of Hurricane Katrina relief funds recently allocated to Hancock County. I have news for Wayne Brown at MDOT, they had better make use of the recovery money for Highway 603 or he is liable to find a bunch of angry residents with baseball bats looking for him. JR Welsh at the Sun Herald has the story:

What has been a closely held secret by some local governments has now become public – who may get what from nearly $200 million in federal money for long-term recovery projects countywide.

It hasn’t yet been officially approved by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, but a proposed list has been sent to Washington from the Mississippi Development Authority. The list of projects approved to split $198.4 million in grant money contains good news for some agencies and bad news for others. Continue reading “Around the GO Zone in 60 Seconds: Divvying up $200 million, Bay Grocery Plan, Habitat and Putting on the Blitz, Gulfport Library Building Slated for Discussion and NOLA GO Zone Bonds Going Unused”

Around the GO Zone in 60 Seconds Part II

I’m inserting this post under the Allstate Challenge because such a short effort should certainly not be the top item but I saw couple of stories in today’s Sun Herald that are well worth mentioning.

First stop is Jackson and news that $41MM plus dollars of Katrina recovery money is being spent well off the coast. Those who keep up with this sort of news well remember Governor Barbour’s ill conceived plan to use $25MM of Katrina funds to build a road for Toyota in Morth Mississippi. That scheme could not make it past the legislature though they have no say in this use of Katrina recovery funding. Here are some excerpts from today’s Sun Herald front page story:

Gov. Haley Barbour announced Tuesday the release of $41 million in Hurricane Katrina relief funds for projects in 39 counties and cities, but none were in South Mississippi. 

Since the storm, South Mississippi legislators and some community groups have criticized Barbour for federal Katrina relief spending, over which he has held much control. Continue reading “Around the GO Zone in 60 Seconds Part II”