Bloody Tangipahoa

continuing a long tradition of petty grudges and self-destructive vendettas

Tangipahoa Parish in Google’s Streetview

Posted by badger on August 8, 2008

The other day, i didn’t bother to look at New Orleans, when people noticed that it’s now turning up in Google’s Streetview feature. Therefore, it wasn’t until yesterday that i realized that it’s not just New Orleans, but portions of the Florida Parishes on there as well.

It’s a weird representation of Tangipahoa Parish. Obviously most of the population lives in the southern portion, but it seems that the driver took every backroad south of I-12, yet left some fairly heavily populated areas unnavigated. Compare how much of Hammond is available to Ponchatoula. All of Ponchatoula is on there, but most of downtown Hammodn is untouched. In fact, what is online for Hammond is an odd choice, a combination of relatively bland subdivisions and poverty-stricken neighborhoods. A better proportion of Amite is mapped, as i found Kat’s mom’s house as well as the old fertilizer plant my father used to manage back in the ’70s.

Weird, eh? Hammond always gets the half-assed treatment.

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City Council’s NOAH Hearing

Posted by badger on August 8, 2008

We Could Be Famous assesses the New Orleans City Council’s NOAH hearing. It’s a fair, evenhanded account, judging the performances of both the mayor and the council.

In my opinion, Nagin was being a petulant shit (knowing full well that if traction gains on the story, he might get busted for more than sloppy paperwork,) and the council members were having this hearing extremely reluctant. Most of my anger comes from watching the insane Congressional hearings from the Bush administration. Yeah, i’ve been reading some of the NOLA blogs for a few years, but i still don’t have a handle on the nuances of New Orleans political scene. All i saw going on in the video was more Nagin tantrums and the council dithering. Moldy City states is just more of the disease of how the executive branch cannot seem to accept that the legislative branch is a co-equal brnahc of government anymore.

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Tangipahoa officials circling the wagons in defending their buddies

Posted by badger on August 8, 2008

The latest article in the Advocate goes through a step by step process of how the decision to to euthanize almost all of the animals in the shelter was made. It reeks of bullshit.

  • Neither of the two veterinarians who advised euthanasia have yet been named. Only one of them is to have inspected the animal.
  • Burgess called Mike Strain and the state Department of Health and Hospitals’ staff veterinarian, who both advised euthanasia was the best course of action. This is pure speculation on my part, but since neither man inspected the animals to verify the call of the first unidentified veterinarian, this sounds more like calls to check into the public relations of the action rather than looking for real solutions. “If some of those pesky animals lovers raises a stink, get my back on this, buddy.”
  • Dr. Gary Balsamo says that he did not recommend the mass euthanasia, but if two veterinarians already recommended this, then it must be the best course of action, as they would have more facts readily available. (He was out of state.) Again, note that it seems only one of the unidentified veterinarians had inspected the animals. It doesn’t sound like whoever was making these calls wanted an independent opinion. The caller seems to have seeking to bolster the argument, finding people to get on board with the decision to prepare for fallout.
  • Donald Doty still is not named anywhere in this article. That’s a peculiar thing, in him being the director.

None of this matters all this much, as Tangipahoa Parish plays that it believes is its the trump card:

“While the parish is certainly disappointed that this course of action had to be carried out resulting in the euthanasia of over 170 animals, it also must be clearly pointed out that Tangipahoa Parish Animal Control is primarily a population control and abuse investigation agency, not a rescue organization,” the statement says.

Ah, so that’s how they’re going to play it, eh? (The emphasis in the last statement in the quote is mine.) No matter what the public thinks of the mass euthanasia of the animals, there can be no real outrage, because the facility is only fulfilling its mission. That’s lame. Sorry, that doesn’t work with an agency that relies on as much volunteer work as it appears to. Apparently animal rescue and humane socities have been trying to work with this institution for awhile, only to be brushed aside. The solution of a public agency is not to tell people to get over the noncooperation, but to change the agency.

Posted in Tangipahoa Parish | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Tangi Adopt a Rescue Blog

Posted by badger on August 7, 2008

The Tangi Adopt a Rescue Blog has been covering the story of the most recent incident of apparent mismanagement of the Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter. They’ve been collecting links to most of the stories in local and national media, as well as contact information to officials.

It’s notable that few or no articles have named the director of Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter, Donald Doty, the man who should be held culpable for this decision. The Humane Society of Louisiana has been aware of him for awhile, as documented by an open letter by its director Jeff Dorson back in January. A relevant sentence:

The Interim Director, Mr. Donald Doty, has no prior experience with shelter management nor he has taken any courses on shelter operations, and he is implementing policies that often run counter to industry standards.

It’s now August. Why was Doty still director? Why was Burgess convinced this was the right man for the job?

The Tangipahoa Parish Council Meeting will be 5:30 PM Mon Aug 11, 2008 at the Parish Annex on Mulberry Street in Amite.

Posted in Tangipahoa Parish | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Scalise knows his party’s talking points

Posted by badger on August 6, 2008

Sound familiar?

Scalise proposed a bill that would open the Outer Continental Shelf to more oil drilling, which would translate into billions of dollars in royalties for Louisiana. Though he acknowledged that getting the measure approved may be difficult, Scalise sees the bill as a way to put pressure on House leadership to support more domestic drilling.

“At least in Baton Rouge, you would get an up or down vote,” Scalise said.

“Why don’t we at least have a vote?”

Blah, blah, blah… the Republican party wasn’t interested in up or down votes when it was in the majority.

Besides, why more drilling? The Domenici-Landrieu Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act is now law. That opened 30 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico for $3.67 billion. That was just a few months ago when a barrel of oil was going for just over $100 per barrel. How much money did we lose in that deal, now that a barrel of oil around $119? (It peaked a couple of weeks ago at $147.27.) Pushing for more drilling now, before that new territory has even been touched is an obvious scam, fleecing the public to get the rights at a lower price. Yes, we will need oil later, regardless of alternative energy, but selling more drilling rights now is not to the benefit of the American people. That oil belongs to us. Demanding now that we sell those drilling rights to oil companies is essentially fleecing us, to the benefit of those corporations.

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gross mismanagement of Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter

Posted by badger on August 6, 2008

The Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter overzealously euthanized over 170 animals in their care on Monday, with Gordon Burgess stating that there was a highly infectious airborne virus in the population. The Advocate (story has much greater detail) reports that Burgess states that it was a coronavirus, which clearly shows that most strains are spread through contact with feces of infected animals. The canine variety isn’t even fatal.

Yep. Those animals were killed for no good reason. If there was indeed a viral outbreak, it probably wouldn’t have taken place if hours hadn’t already been cut to clean the facility.

The management needs to be fired, because an objective investigation is bound to reveal that the animals were killed out of sheer convenience in cutting corners with the budget. Burgess shuffling around saying that everything is under control is an embarrassment.

Posted in Tangipahoa Parish | Tagged: | 7 Comments »

Nagin’s brother-in-law raked in NOAH money on questionable properties

Posted by badger on July 31, 2008

It sure would be great if WWL allowed their videos to be embedded. Yesterday’s exchange between Zurik and Nagin is absurd. Liprap’s Lament has a partial transcript, but it’s impossible to capture surly defensiveness that screams that Nagin is scared of what’s going to be discovered next. The connections are getting closer:

The fourth highest-paid contractor, S&A Construction earned $137,000 in the home remediation program.  According to Secretary of State records, the owner of S&A Construction is Nagin’s brother-in-law, Cedric Smith.

Moldy City has a post about Nagin’s long, awkward, and apparently profitable relationship with his brother-in-law.

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PBJ is pay to play, all the way, baby

Posted by badger on July 30, 2008

Jindal appoints one of his major campaign contributors, David Voelker, as chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. The connections made by Democrat 2 Democrat reveal how Voelker is one of the people who used the ethically questionable, and probably illegal, prace of using LLCs to funnel money into Jindal’s coffers. They link to one of their older posts explaining how the LLCs were used, and lists the two that Voelker used as Voelker Management II LLC and Frantzen/Voelker Investments LLC, each donating $5,000 in addition to the $5,000 donated in the names of each of the four members of Voelker household.

Let’s quote that insipid Daily Star editorial that provoked the creation of this blog:

The metaphor “pork barrel politics” refers to the appropriation of money for projects that primarily benefit particular constituents – or campaign contributors – in return for political support in some form or fashion now or later. People with causes prevail on their lawmakers to get funding for those causes. The lawmakers then have to make deals to “bring home the bacon.” It turns into “playing politics.”

That’s why noble Bobby has to veto everything those greedy legislators propose, right?

So what’s pay to play?

Typically, the payor (an individual, business, or organization) makes campaign contributions to public officials, party officials, or parties themselves, and receives political or pecuniary benefit such as no-bid government contracts, influence over legislation, political appointments or nominations, special access or other favors.

In other words, it’s legalized corruption. Can you wrap your heads around that, Daily Star? Saint Bobby ain’t all that different from Big Bad Wolf Edwin Edwards, except Bobby is so arrogant that he cannot be bothered to grease the palms of the special interests that sometimes bother to spread it in the directions of children, working stiffs, the poor, the sick, and the elderly…

…you know, real people, not corporate lobbyists.

The other funding vetoed was largely for programs that benefit tourism, that other Louisiana industry that’s not oil, and science education, which obviously neither Jindal nor Louisiana (and especially not Tangipahoa) gives a flying fuck about.

Democrat 2 Democrat wasn’t in my RSS feeds until Library Chronicles pointed to that story. It’s obviously partisan as hell, but so am i.

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so where do the connections go from Stacey Jackson?

Posted by badger on July 30, 2008

WWL has more details of where the investigation in the NOAH story is going. All of the falsified records lead to contractors with connections to Stacey Jackson, the former head of NOAH. I’m eager to see where this goes from here.

Library Chronicles points out something i ignored in my glee, that Nagin is too useful as an embarrassment to New Orleans by the Bush administration to be ousted by this corruption scandal. I was sulking for a few seconds until i read the comments of the post, particularly this one. A quick searched turned up a post from June 2007 by Adrastos, speculating on U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s potential to lower the boom on Nagin. I’m holding my breath. If Nagin continues to throw tantrums in press conferences, he might accidentally lay everything bare. Stacey Jackson didn’t pull this off alone, and Warren Riley’s name popping up in the mess so early is a good sign.

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Daily Star reports council meeting, but turns blind eye to tax ordinance

Posted by badger on July 30, 2008

Yesterday’s post about the Daily Star choosing to report a ribboncutting over a tax issue is odder than i realized. I missed a story on their site under the Public Meetings subcategory, reporting the exact meeting in which a decision on the tax issue occurred, yet omitting that decision altogether. The title of the story is the relatively innocuous, “Council get [sic] clean audit.” It’s even more suspicious that they report details from that council meeting, but forget what seems to be the big story.

Again, the tax ordinance is not an issue that I’m even remotely passionate about. It’s the way that the local news is filtered that’s my concern.

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