Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

ACCOUNT OF A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar plums danc'd in their heads,
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap-
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a minature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name :
"Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer, and Vixen,
"On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;
"To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
"Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys -- and St. Nicholas too:
And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound :
He was dress'd all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnish'd with ashes and soot ;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he look'd like a peddler just opening his pack :
His eyes--how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry ;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow.
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow ;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh'd, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh'd when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill'd all the stockings; then turn'd with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle :
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Kids Part 5

Here are a couple from the past, I'm not going to give Caitlin's last name because she (thinks she) is all grown up now.



And this is my 10 month old great-granddaughter Gabby, meeting Santa for the first time. I think they hit it off.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Kids Part 4

I have to admit, this one kind of got to me. No matter how old they are, this is how they will always be to their family. Godspeed, Dean.

Sgt. William Dean Reeves (US byGod AF), currently stationed in Afghanistan...December 25, 1981.




Final Score: U. L. Coleman 25,000,000 - City of Bossier 0


This is the press release from the City of Bossier on the Walker Place settlement. It appears that the City totally folded. 
How could it get to this point over a simple curb cut? My theory is that it was nothing but pride and power. The City Council took a stand and instead of wisely coming to a mutual agreement, they hung on and spent millions fighting the lawsuit – out of pride and stubbornness. I could be wrong, but it sure as heck appears that way.
I especially love the spin in the last paragraph, “The City of Bossier City is excited about the opportunity to facilitate and support this exciting new development in South Bossier and looks forward to the added quality of life it will bring to residents and visitors.”
May be, but I bet it tastes more like crow than chicken.
Elliott Stonecipher estimates that the total cost to the city will come to $25,000,000.
As part of a comprehensive settlement resolving pending litigation, the City of Bossier City will be entering into a Consent Decree and Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with U.L. Coleman Company, Sequoia venture No. 2, Ltd., A. Teague Parkway, L.L.C., and Walker Place, L.L.C. to facilitate and fund infrastructure in a 90 plus acre commercial and residential development in South Bossier.
The settlement was approved this afternoon by the Bossier City Council during a special meeting called to address the issue.
The litigation filed in 2008 centered around the establishment of a curb cut on the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway for access to the proposed development to be located north of Walker Place. As part of the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement the city will grant a curb cut and a median cut on Teague Parkway among other items including:
· $10.4 million for infrastructure in the mixed use development.
· $1 million to develop a city park on city property north of the CenturyLink Center. U.L. Coleman Company will provide funds for the park's design.
· Construction of an elevated pedestrian/bicycle walkway over the Teague Parkway in the vicinity of the proposed park.
· $6.7 million in damages and costs.
· A transfer of 39.4 acres of city property for use in expanding the mixed use development to more than 90 acres. The property to be transferred is bordered by Walker Place, Barksdale Boulevard, Angelle Drive and CenturyLink Drive.
As a community partner, U.L. Coleman Company has also agreed to fund $100,000 to implement regulations to provide standards for future residential and commercial development in the Barksdale Boulevard corridor in South Bossier.
The City of Bossier City is excited about the opportunity to facilitate and support this exciting new development in South Bossier and looks forward to the added quality of life it will bring to residents and visitors.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Kids Part 3

More Christmas Kids. 
Here are more Christmas kids wishing you Merry Christmas. Email your picture and information to mybossier@gmail.com or just post them on the My Bossier Facebook Page. There will be more.

Ireland was a little nervous about visiting Santa

Riley, a little more experienced, was ready with a list.
Riley and Christmas Bear


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Kids Part 2

Here are more Christmas kids wishing you Merry Christmas. Email your picture and information to mybossier@gmail.com. There will be more.

Youngest first. Braxton Davis is not yet a month old. He can't figure out the hat, but has been told it is something good!
The Cooper Kids with Mammaw

The smallest Cooper counting down for Santa

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Kids


I noted on Facebook that I really enjoy seeing all the pictures of the little children at Christmas, and enjoy putting up pictures of my grandchildren and my great-grandchild, and it occurred to me that it would be nice to share on the blog.
If you would like to see your child wishing everyone a Merry Christmas on My Bossier, send me a picture and the caption you would like on it. Family pictures would be great too. If you don’t want to use last name, that is fine.
I’m putting up a couple of mine to kick it off!
Email your picture and caption to mybossier@gmail.com.

Great-Grandaughter Gabby checking out the tree - her first!

Ashton, Celeste and Aubrey hoping Santa is good to all

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Congratulations Mike Nerren

Mike Nerren has won the election for Judge. Of 9,350 votes cast in Bossier Parish, Nerren won by a margin of 266 votes. In Webster Parish, where the count isn't complete, he has an insurmountable lead at this time.
Congratulations to Judge Nerren.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New Template

A new look for My Bossier, in an effort to make it a little more user friendly. Please let me know what you think, I welcome any feedback.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Three more days

Three more days until the election. Turnout is expected to be low, that's the problem with runoff elections. But then again, only the people who care are voting, and that's not a bad thing.
It has been an interesting election cycle. My Bossier has had some record numbers. I've had several blog posts about the election, including a couple early on when it was just beginning to develop.
The blog posts about the race for Judge have had more than 26,000 views and as of right now 1,545 comments. 
I am encountering a problem; when the comment count reaches 200 comments don't always post. Apparently it is a problem with Google Blogger, which is the platform that I use. In ordinary circumstances, that is not a problem, because very few blog posts have that many comments.
A lot of money has been spent by the candidates. I haven't done anything in depth, but it appears that the total raised, borrowed and spent by all three candidates is between $400,000 and $500,000.
That's a lot of money for a local Judge's race.
Use this blog post to comment any general thoughts you have about the election, and to support your candidate.
It would really be nice if we could get some positives in here - rather than just running down the other guy, tell us what is good and positive about your candidate.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Louisiana Tech - Indy Bowl fiasco


Everyone is talking about the Louisiana Tech – Independence Bowl fiasco. Here is a video with ESPN’s take on it. For a good, detailed account go over to Tim Fletcher’s blog and read this blog post.


Ethics complaint filed against Mike Nerren


This letter was sent to the Louisiana Ethics Board today. 

George Peyton Cole, Jr.

Brigadier General USAF (ret)
Bossier City, LA 71111

December 3, 2012
Louisiana Ethics Administration Program
P.O. Box 4368
Baton Rouge, LA 70821

Dear Ethics Board Members,

I am writing for the purpose of filing an official ethics complaint against Mr. Michael J. Nerren, candidate for District Judge in the 26th Judicial District Court in Louisiana. I am filing this complaint because I believe that Mr. Nerren has violated the Louisiana Election Code, Part II 18:1491.7. There are three ways that I believe Mr. Nerren has violated this code.

On September 17, 2012, Mr. Nerren issued a $2,000 payment for “Consulting” to Mr. Julian Darby. Mr. Darby is listed as the sole agent of United Independents for Democracy, a Bossier City Non-Profit Corporation. On and prior to Election Day on November 6, 2012, Mr. Darby’s group, illegally using the acronym “UID”, distributed a flier urging voters to cast their ballots for Presidential candidate Barack Obama, as well as Candidate for District Judge, Mr. Mike Nerren (see original flier enclosed). Mr. Nerren’s campaign never reported expenditure to United Independents for Democracy or an In-kind expenditure to Mr. Barack Obama’s campaign for President.

On November 27, 2012, when asked to address the Bossier Parish Republican Executive Committee regarding an endorsement of Mr. Nerren’s opponent based on the fact that Mr. Nerren paid for a ballot featuring himself and Mr. Obama, Mr. Nerren admitted to getting involved with Mr. Darby’s group. Mr. Nerren is quoted as having said the following, “My campaign made an attempt to have the black vote turn out and we got involved with a group to canvas the black community. Somehow that turned into a ballot which I did not authorize and I had never seen until it showed up in three places.”

The ethics violations that I would point out is the fact that Mr. Nerren violated Louisiana Election Code Part II 18:1491.7 (13) The full name and address of each person to whom an expenditure has been made by the committee during the reporting period.  The amount, purpose, and date of each such expenditure, and the name and address of and office sought by candidates on whose behalf each such expenditure was made shall be reported.
-          This first violation is that Mr. Nerren’s campaign reported having paid $2,000 to Mr. Darby, when in fact this money was used by United Independents for Democracy to create a ballot for canvassing the black community, as admitted by Mr. Nerren.

-          The second violation is that Mr. Nerren’s campaign reported that the purpose of the $2,000 was for “Consulting” when in fact, this money was used for the production of the enclosed ballot and presumably for manpower to distribute this ballot.

-          Finally, as there was no record found of Mr. Obama’s campaign paying for their portion of this ballot, Mr. Nerren’s campaign presumably paid for the entire ballot. If this is the case, Mr. Nerren’s campaign again violated the ethics code by failing to report an in-kind donation to the Presidential Campaign of Mr. Barack Obama. Mr. Nerren also violated the Louisiana Ethics Code by failing for report in-kind expenditures for the ballot initiatives that were supported by the ballot that he paid to have produced. Those initiatives include CA NO. 1 and the School District Local Option.

Please take these allegations into consideration, as I feel that the violation of the Louisiana Ethics Code by a candidate for District Judge is a very important matter. The citizens of this district do not take lightly the violation of state laws by a candidate who is seeking an office sworn to interpret the law. I expect a speedy response to this letter and I appreciate your consideration in this matter.

Sincerely,

George Peyton Cole, Jr.
Brigadier General USAF (ret) 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

On the lighter side

There are a lot of videos being made about the Judge's race, and in a couple of cases questions about who made them. Here is the latest, provided to me by a Nerren supporter to lighten it up. It pretty much reflects everything that is being said in the comments on this blog.

video


Benton Christmas on the Square next Saturday

Benton Christmas on the Square is next Saturday (December 8th). Bring the family up for a good time; the parade rolls at 3PM.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Video inspired by My Bossier Commenters

Rex Moncrief, who publishes the blog Conservative Drink, has put up a video that was inspired by something I have also addressed, the comments on My Bossier.
This is not particularly a pro-Nerren or pro-Graves video, it just address some of the more outrageous comments from My Bossier.
Disclaimer: Rex, through his company, manages Whit Graves' campaign website. 

Keeping perspective in Judge's race

Check out the new post at Conservative Drink
The comments on My Bossier have gotten very heated, in some cases extreme. 
Regardless of what some commenters will tell you, I have presented the Judge's race in an unbiased manner, giving all sides an opportunity to present themselves. I have kept it open to the candidates to send me press releases in order to present their case. 
What is it about a race for District Judge that causes people to get so bent out of shape? Well, a couple of things.
Bossier Parish, at least the politicians, seem to be divided into two camps; the pro-Schuyler Marvin and the anti-Schuyler Marvin.
That's fine for the politicians and the power brokers, but I don't believe that the vast majority of people fall into either category. I think that people try to inform themselves about the candidates and vote accordingly, regardless of their affiliations and friendships.
I also believe that extreme rhetoric results in hard feelings for years to come, and that's a shame. We will all be living here together when the election is over. In the very first post about this potential race (back in March), I noted that both candidates are qualified and that it would come down to personal preference. 
We will know next Saturday night who will serve as Judge. In the meantime, let's all try to agree to disagree in a civil manner.
You know, for the old people and the kids.


Friday, November 30, 2012

RPEC meeting gets heated

The Bossier Parish Republican Executive committee met yesterday to discuss the endorsement of Whit Graves by the State Republican Party. Both Mike Nerren and Whit Graves were present. I'm told that the proceedings got a little heated at times.
The end result was a vote to send a letter to Baton Rouge asking the state party to either rescind the endorsement of Graves or to endorse Nerren also.
I don't know that the electorate at large is paying much attention. This is primarily stuff for the politicians and for political geeks who enjoy the inner workings of the system.
Bismarck once said that 'laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made'. This is the sausage making of the election process.
If the state party does take action, Mr. Nerren won't have much time to take advantage of it, but with the election just a week away I don't think it will affect the results one way or the other. Personally, I believe that most people know who they are going to vote for at this point, and the folks who go out to vote in an election for just this one office definitely have an opinion.
With all of that said, so far as it goes it is an advantage to Team Nerren.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Bossier/Webster Judge's race: an Update

Since the primary election on November 6th, the race for 26th JDC Judge has taken some twists and turns.
For anyone who is not aware of everything that has happened and is happening, this is an attempt to help you sort it out.
In case you have really been hiding under a rock, the candidates remaining are Michael Nerren. Nerren is an Assistant DA and has a private practice in Bossier City.
Whit Graves is a former State Trooper turned lawyer who served at one time as an Assistant DA, and is now in private practice.
Nerren has the endorsement of DA Schuyler Marvin, Mayor Lo Walker, Marshal Lynn Austin, and other public figures.
Graves has the endorsement of the Louisiana Republican Party.
Eleven years ago Whit Graves was sanctioned by the State Supreme Court for failing to file a sentencing memorandum in a timely manner. He received a nine-month suspension, deferred, and two years supervised probation.
You can read the Opinion here.
Earlier this week, the Nerren campaign sent out a flyer stating that Graves had been suspended. In response, the Graves campaign released this letter from the State Supreme Court.
In the meantime, the Louisiana Republican Party endorsed Whit Graves for the position. The reason was a flyer that had been distributed by Julian Darby prior to the November 6th election. The Nerren campaign paid Darby $2,000, of which at least part was for the flyer.

The State Republican Party didn’t take kindly to issuing campaign material supporting Barack Obama for president, thus their endorsement of Graves.
The Bossier Parish Republican Executive Committee has a meeting scheduled for late next week, but I have no idea if this will be discussed.
I’ll keep you posted.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Whit Graves Endorsed by Republican Party of Louisiana

Whit Graves, candidate for District Judge in the 26th Judicial District in Bossier and Webster parishes, today announced that he has been formally endorsed by the Republican Party of Louisiana.
"I am happy to have earned the support of the Republican Party and look forward to serving all of the people of the 26th District with honor and fairness," Graves said.
Following the primary election in which Mr. Graves' opponent, Mike Nerren, issued payments from his campaign to the owner of a group who produced and distributed a flier supporting liberal Democrat Barack Obama, Mr. Graves is the only candidate who upholds the values and platform of the Republican Party.
Whit Graves has served honorably for 35 years as a decorated state trooper, prosecutor and private attorney. He has spent years serving as a Shriner, helping to ensure critical medical care for our children.
Whit Graves is the most experienced and honest candidate running for District Judge. On December 8, please vote for Whit Graves to be the next District Judge from the 26th Judicial District Court.
(Press release from the Graves campaign)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Let's put politics aside for a day and enjoy our families and friends and give thanks for all that we have, and for all of the blessings that we enjoy.
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

Clearing up the rumors

 
A lot of let's say, less than truthful things have circulated both on this blog and in the public in the race for District Judge. This should clear up at least one of them.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Evodna Springer endorses Whit Graves


Thank you for allowing citizens to express their views regarding the candidates for the 26th Judicial District Court.  Although I differ with Graves in some areas, I am voting for Graves in this runoff. 
Whit Graves has a broad scope of personal and professional experiences which gives him a perspective rarely found among judges. In a conservative parish with disdain for the criminal element, it has become almost cliche for judicial candidates to express their toughness on crime.  But Graves doesn’t merely talk the “tough on crime” talk. He has walked that talk as a law enforcement officer, experiencing first-hand the difficult and dangerous job that no one truly comprehends unless they have been in uniformed patrol. As a former law enforcement officer, Graves no doubt fully understands the bitter and frustrating reality of prosecutors in district attorney’s offices who with shocking frequency plea bargain or nolle prosequi, or simply allow every manner of criminal and DWI case to die from inaction.    While a judge cannot fix issues such as these which exist in the Bossier/Webster District Attorney’s Office, a judge who is independent of direct ties to the current DA’s office will be far better suited to adjudicate cases fairly and impartially.
While both candidates’ campaign finance reports show a variety of donor sources, there appears to be a disproportionate number of contributions to Nerren from career politicians and others in the entrenched Bossier/Webster political establishment. This establishment not only defines Bossier Parish, but also keeps our parish divided into those with political influence, and those without.  Justice often seems skewed in favor of those who wield the influence. And the fear of retaliation from those in power is not mere paranoia. It is based upon real-life examples of what can happen to someone who incurs the wrath of those who broker true power in Bossier and Webster Parishes, particularly prosecutorial or judicial power. This bitter reality will only change by electing to office candidates such as Whit Graves, who are not christened into elected positions because they’ve developed tenure-like time as loyal employees of political players. 
Finally, in a perfect world, judges are impartial.  But judges are human, and bring to the job their own biases and philosophies, which are by nature, shaped by personal and professional experiences.  Unlike Nerren, Graves’ experiences are not shaped by any relationship with the current District Attorney’s Office or any other political entity in Bossier Parish.  I believe it is vital to keep the integrity of the 26th Judicial District court system free from political influence as much as possible. In a sense, Graves is an outsider, a welcome, refreshing and sorely needed identity for the Bossier and Webster Parish judicial system.
- Evodna Springer

Make your endorsement for District Judge. Email it to mybossier@gmail.com

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Roger Baten endorses Mike Nerren

When you are in trouble and you stand before the Judge your one hope is that he will be honest, fair and compassionate. No one exhibits those qualities any better than Mike Nerren. As a young man he excelled at whatever he did whether it be academics or sports. Mike was the consummate teammate. In College he was selected outstanding student of his graduating class and in Law School he excelled. He has spent his career helping others from his many years as a Little League And Youth Baseball coach, to his years working with troubled youth. He has practiced and excelled in all phases of Law, Criminal, Civil, Prosecutor, and Defense. He lives in Benton but his roots go deep into the red clay of Webster Parrish Two Great Grand Fathers a Grand Father and their wives are buried there and relatives to numerous to count live and work there . To me the choice is simple, when you can put a man on the bench you know you can trust why hesitate go to the Polls on Dec 8th and elect Mike Nerren.
- Roger Baten

Make your endorsement for District Judge. Email it to mybossier@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jennifer Barringer endorses Mike Nerren

I would like to share why Mike Nerren is my choice for district judge. In my opinion Mike Nerren makes decisions based on what is right and not based on outsiders influences. He does things because its the right thing to do without having to be recognized and let everyone know "he did this" to make himself look good. When my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer she was Mike's secretary. She was unable to continue her full duties in his office due to the side effects of her cancer treatment. Instead of laying her off or cutting her pay he gave her his support throughout this difficult time. He allowed her to ultimately make the decision to quit working due to her illness instead of telling her he wouldn't be able to use her in his office.
My son was rushed to Arkansas Children's hospital when he was 9 days old to undergo emergency heart surgery. The hospital sent their jet to pickup my baby and told us they were only allowed to take one of us with them. They also told me that my baby would get worse before he got better so be prepared for him to go straight into surgery as soon as we landed. This situation would be devistating to any mother or father to know that only one of us would be able to be there with our newborn during this surgery because the other would have to make the drive from Shreveport to Arkansas while it is taking place. When Mike Nerren heard about the situation he made arrangements for my husband to fly to Arkansas and be there when we got there with my son. He did this because it was the right thing to do not because he had to or wanted recognition for it.
These are the reasons I am voting for Mike Nerren. In my opinion it doesn't matter who is else is backing him because I'm not voting for his supporters. I am not a huge fan of Schuyler Marvin which is why he didn't receive my vote in the race for district attorney. I am a huge fan of voting for who will be fair and honest and that is Mike Nerren. He has established this reputation throughout his career and I feel sure it will continue to proceed him as District Judge.

- Jennifer Barringer

Make your endorsement for District Judge. Email it to mybossier@gmail.com

Darlene Poole endorses Mike Nerren

Ok here it goes!!!!
I personally know them both. I was Whit's secretary during the time of his suspension, so (I guess you would call me the incompent staff). Come on whit take responsibility for your own actions. If you people would go to the link on the Supreme Court website and read the facts for yourself you will see it was not the fact that he didn't file the brief in a timely manner nor the fact that his so called incompetent staff didn't tell him time and time again about the deadlines that he ignored over and over but the bald face lie he told in open court that he had the documents and was going to file them with the clerk as soon as the hearing was over!
You know this is not the first time whit has blamed his incompent staff ( ME) for this, but I took it the first time because yes he was my boss/friend but NOT NOW ! With friends like that who needs enemies.
As far as Mike Nerren I was his secretary also he never missed a date on filing a brief. He NEVER put the blame on anyone for anything no matter what.
As far as Whit helping the Martins with their child getting into the Shriners, that's what he is supposed to do. HE'S A SHRINER. I know personally the little boy that had to have heart surgery at 9 days old that Mike helped get his father to ACH because the hospital would only fly baby and mother, which mother still recovering from surgery because that was my grandson and thanks to him we were able to be there for his surgery.
I would not expect anything different from either one of them. Go and read for yourself the link then you will know who the one with honesty and integrity.
MIKE NERREN has mine and my family's VOTE!
Everyone makes mistakes - take responsibility for them.

-Darlene Poole

Make your endorsement for District Judge. Email it to mybossier@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ten easy steps to secession

The Social Media is buzzing with talk of the 'petitions' to secede from the United States.
Didn't work out too well the first time around, but let's take a look at it.
First of all, the 'petitions' are on a White House website that promises that if they get 25,000 signatures on any one petition, the administration will address it.
That would be a no.
In case you want to persist, better start getting prepared.
First, you have to convince the Legislature to call a referendum of all the voters to either vote it up or down.
If that is achieved, then you need to make preparations.
1. Better stock up on stuff. The money you have in the bank is only backed by the good faith of the U.S. government. In other words, you'll be broke.
2. Clean your .22 and your shotgun, you will need them when you march on Barksdale AFB and Ft. Polk to claim those facilities and their equipment for the State of Louisiana. They might put up a fight.
3. Also better be prepared for the U.S. troops that will be headed this way. They did it once before, you know.
4. Also better be prepared to put down the 49% of the people who voted against secession, they might take up arms against you and collaborate with the U.S. forces.
5. Hope you can change your diet rather quickly, because all of those food transports from the 'enemy' will stop immediately.
6. While you're at it, better quickly build some barbed wire internment camps to house all of those Federal officials who are left behind, you know, judges, FBI agents, Federal attorneys, any troops you capture and of course, the traitors among you who remain loyal to the Union.
7. Buy a horse and mule or two, you'll need them when the U.S. forces bomb the refineries in South Louisiana.
8. Get that Navy cranked up pretty quickly, because the Feds will try to land U.S. Marines on the coast. Keep an eye on those Navy Seals too, they are pretty tricky to deal with.
9. Make sure your police forces stay loyal to you, because you will need them. Crime will be rampant. Once there are laws in place defining crime.
10. Keep an eye on the slaves too, because they are apt to rebel. Oh wait, that was last time. My bad.
As an alternative, of course, you could just renounce your citizenship and go into exile in say, Jamaica or somewhere. If they would have you.
Come on people, really? This whole thing is so ridiculous, but I see people whom I had believed to have at least a measure of intelligence discussing it on Facebook and Twitter.
If you are among them, please don't embarass yourself further.

Help a Neighbor

Next Monday, November 19, 2012 the Texas Roadhouse, 1005A Gould Drive in Bossier City, will set aside 10% of a portion of its sales that night to benefit Bossier City Police Detective Brandon Huckaby. Detective Huckaby is recovering from histoplasmosis, an infection in the lungs caused by inhaling the spores of a particular fungus which ended up spreading to his blood and liver. As a result Brandon had to spend three weeks in the hospital last month. He is now recovering at home and is not expected to return to work for a few more months.
The money raise at the November 19th Texas Roadhouse Fundraiser Night will be used to help offset the cost of Brandon’s out of pocket medical expenses.
How you can help:
Between the hours of 4p.m. and 10 p.m. on November 19th have dinner at the Texas Roadhouse and present the attached flyer to your server when you order. You must present the flyer to have your payment counted toward the 10% donation. You can have a printed hard copy or just show it on your mobile phone. 
Please feel free to print/forward as many copies of the flyer as you’d like to family and friends. A number of the flyers will also be available for pick up at the patrol desk in the police department first floor lobby at 620 Benton Road.

Dewey Burchett III endorses Whit Graves


I appreciate the opportunity to say a few words about Whit Graves and why I am supporting him.  As some of your readers may or may not know, my father was a District Judge in Bossier and Webster Parish for 20 years.  It turned out that I knew Whit Graves long before he knew me.  My father and I would eat steaks every Wednesday night together in Benton at my parent’s home.  Most of the time we spent on the porch talking about politics, his court cases, golfing,  (which was an aggravation to both of us), and whatever else came up.  I recall many occasions where my father would recount a case Whit had been involved in and relating how smart and effective he was in the court room.  He explained how Whit was always extremely prepared, and it was obvious to me he appreciated and respected that, not just of Whit, but any attorney for that matter.  Unfortunately, this is the exception rather than the rule.
Knowing my father was a man of great integrity, it meant a great deal to me when Whit sacrificed countless hours (actually both Whit and his wife Robin) to his campaign.  In fact, he spent more time than I did, and I kept myself working very hard as well.  So why is this important and what does it say about Whit Graves?  It says to me Whit Graves stands up for what is good, for lack of a better word.  It is one thing to donate $100 to a campaign, and quite another to participate in every door to door walk, every football game, etc.  Whit did all that and more.
Over time I have gotten to know Whit better, and the more I know, the more I like, respect, and admire him.  Here is a guy that was a highly decorated Louisiana State Trooper for many years, and that saved up enough money to put himself through law school.  No student loans, no parents footing the bill.  If you really look at his history, I see a guy that is public-service oriented, but that realized he had a higher calling as an attorney.    And I believe now, with a lot of time under his belt as both a prosecutor and private attorney, he knows he can make even more a difference as a District Judge.
On one of our recent campaign walks I was teamed up with an old family friend of mine Dale Montgomery, who has worked for the DA’s office a number of years.  He related he has seen Whit pull police officers aside after a case was over to give them advice on making a good case in the future. This goes beyond good ethics and lends to a better judicial system, which is what we should all be shooting for in the coming election.
Whit has the intellect, common sense, temperament, integrity, and independence to be our next judge.  I believe this is a man where justice will be blind, in other words he will hear the small and the great alike.  There is much more to Whit and I wish I was better able to articulate it, but suffice to say I know my father would be a proud man to see him on the bench, as I would.
-Dewey E. Burchett III  

Make your endorsement for District Judge. Email it to mybossier@gmail.com

Monday, November 12, 2012

Catherine Lowe pleads to Manslaughter

Catherine Lowe, who was originally charged with 1st Degree Murder in the death of her step-daughter, Celeste Lowe, has negotiated a plea arrangement with District Attorney Schuyler Marvin that finds her guilty of Manslaughter. She will face a sentence of 10-40 years under the statute.

LOUISIANA MANSLAUGHTER LAW

LSA-R.S. 14:31
A.  Manslaughter is:
(1)  A homicide which would be murder under either Article 30 (first degree murder) or Article 30.1 (second degree murder), but the offense is committed in sudden passion or heat of blood immediately caused by provocation sufficient to deprive an average person of his self-control and cool reflection.  Provocation shall not reduce a homicide to manslaughter if the jury finds that the offender's blood had actually cooled, or that an average person's blood would have cooled, at the time the offense was committed; or
(2)  A homicide committed, without any intent to cause death or great bodily harm.
(a)  When the offender is engaged in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of any felony not enumerated in Article 30 or 30.1, or of any intentional misdemeanor directly affecting the person; or
(b)  When the offender is resisting lawful arrest by means, or in a manner, not inherently dangerous, and the circumstances are such that the killing would not be murder under Article 30 or 30.1.
B.  Whoever commits manslaughter shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than forty years.  However, if the victim killed was under the age of ten years, the offender shall be imprisoned at hard labor, without benefit of probation or suspension of sentence, for not less than ten years nor more than forty years.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Make your own endorsement for Judge

Here's an idea. Instead of anonymous sniping in the comments section of the blog, why don't you write an endorsement for your candidate?
Write it up explaining why you think your candidate for judge is the best choice. Of course, you have to include your name.
Email it to mybossier@gmail.com and I will publish it as a blog post.
Speak out folks!
This is an important office and an important election and I think it would be interesting to have the opinions of ordinary citizens out there along with the elected officials and newspapers who endorse.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Anybody get one of these?

The "church" of convicted child molester Tony Alamo is passing out flyers in Shreveport and Bossier. This morning they were in North Bossier leaving them on cars.
Remember Alamo was convicted of child sexual abuse and is in prison.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Runoff

The general election has passed, the nation has chosen to keep Barack Obama in the White House, and in Bossier/Webster we have a runoff for Judge.
Mike Nerren garnered the most votes, but not a majority. He will face Whit Graves in a runoff on December 8th.
Judge John Slattery ran a good race and had the most votes in his home parish of Webster. Congratulations on a race well run, Judge Slattery.
Of course the presidential election brought out a lot of voters. Turnout in the runoff will be a fraction of what we saw Tuesday. The big question, of course, is which candidates will the Slattery voters favor and which candidate can turn out their supporters one more time?
I'll have a lot more on this soon, in the meantime give it some thought.



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bossier Crime Stoppers has vacancies on Board


Bossier Crime Stoppers is seeking individuals in Bossier who are interested in making a difference in their community by becoming part of their crime fighting team. Bossier Crime Stoppers is currently accepting applications to fill vacancies on their board. 
            Applicants must be employed or reside in Bossier Parish, at least 21 years of age and have no criminal history.  Persons submitting applications are subject to a background check and, if selected, will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement           
            Applications can be made by submitting a letter of introduction along with a resume and at least three references to the following address:  Crime Stoppers of Bossier, PO Box 5714, Bossier City, LA  71171. All applications must be submitted by December 1, 2012.
            Bossier Crime Stoppers board members serve on a voluntary basis.  The board currently meets the third Tuesday of every month with additional meetings scheduled as necessary.
            Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization that supports community involvement in trying to prevent and solve crimes in communities and schools across the nation.
            Applicants in need of further information can call (318) 741-8648.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day 2012


Just some random thoughts on election day.
‘This is the most important election of our lifetime’. That’s what everyone is saying, and it may be true. I have heard that in every election of my adult life, from the Nixon-Humphrey election in 1968 forward. As I said, it may be true and may have been true during all of those election cycles, for better or worse.
The very first memory I have of a presidential election was in 1952, when I was 5 years old. I remember the adults talking about it, and then electing Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In 1960 I was 13 years old and remember the Kennedy-Nixon election. I was actually interested in politics at that age. It was an exciting time.
As the years progressed, I realized that no one person or party has all the answers. Every individual has to follow his own lights when voting on important issues.
My granddaughter Mary Celeste is ready for election day, wearing her respectable Republican dress. I’m sure her dad loves it.

It is also important to keep in mind that we are not voting for the president today, we are voting for the people who will elect the president. The concept of the Electoral College is very confusing to a lot of people. My Facebook friend Lance Ward posted this video that offers a good explanation of the reasons for it. The commentator is a Romney supporter, but he leaves the partisan side of it out of this video and offers a really good explanation of why we have an Electoral College. It is worth watching.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pre-election roundup

By tomorrow night we will know some things that we don't know now.
For instance, whether Barack Obama get four more years or will Mitt Romney be the new president-elect.
We'll know who is in a runoff for 26th JDC Judge (and I'm assuming there will be a runoff).
In case you've been hiding under a rock for the last couple of months, the candidates are Judge John Slattery of Springhill, ADA Mike Nerren and Whit Graves.
John Slattery has been practicing law for 29 years, serving the last 12 as City Judge and Ward 2 Judge in Springhill. He has served temporary terms as District Judge and as Bossier City Judge, by appointment of the Louisiana Supreme Court. He also served 15 years as an assistant District Attorney for Bossier/Webster.
Mike Nerren is a graduate of Haughton High School and LSU Law School. He has a private practice and is an assistant DA. Nerren has the endorsement of DA Schuyler Marvin.
Whit Graves has been involved in the legal system for 35 years. He was a Louisiana State Trooper for 12 years before completing law school. He has worked on both sides, serving as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. Graves has spent a lot of time in the courtroom, completing more than 100 successful jury trials. Graves believes that while it is not illegal, that it is unethical for the District Attorney to endorse in a judicial race. Nerren counters that endorsements from public officials is a widely accepted practice. You have to be the judge on this one.
The Town of Benton has a couple of interesting races going on. The Mayor's race is a rerun between current Mayor Wayne Cathcart and Ken Shiflett. Cathcart was appointed when Mayor Doughty passed away, and was elected over Shiflett in the special election for that office. Cathcart should have no problem with this election.
The race for chief of police is between current chief Charles Pilkinton and former assistant chief Gene Hillen. Hillen currently serves as Constable.
This race is interesting because Hillen was terminated and charged with misdemeanor theft and with public payroll fraud. 
Hillen was offered a plea arrangement which would basically have been a slap on the wrist, but turned it down. He told me that he is innocent and that people who are innocent don't plead guilty.
The case went to trial and all evidence was heard. It was then recessed until November 12th (6 days after the election).
Chances are that Pilkinton will be re-elected, but if Hillen is found not guilty there will probably be some repercussions.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Information for November 6 election

I've had some requests for a sample ballot and for information on the Constitutional amendments. Here is a generic sample ballot for Bossier Parish. Note that some precincts will have local elections, such as Mayor of Benton and Police Chief.

Presidential Electors   (Select 1)
Barack Obama, Joe Biden Democratic Democrat
Jill Stein, Cheri Honkala Green Green
Gary Johnson, James P. Gray Libertarian Libertarian
Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan Republican Republican
Virgil Goode, James Clymer Constitution Other
Ross Anderson, Luis Rodriguez Justice Other
Jack Fellure, Toby Davis Prohibition Other
Peta Lindsay, Yari Osorio Socialism and Liberation Other
Jerry White, Phyllis Scherrer Socialist Equality Other
James Harris, Alyson Kennedy Socialist Workers Other
Sheila Tittle, Matthew Turner We The People Other
U. S. Representative 4th Congressional District  (Select 1)
John Fleming #16 Republican
Randall Lord #17 Libertarian
District Judge 26th Judicial District Court, Division E  (Select 1)
"Whit" Graves #51 Republican
"Mike" Nerren #52 Republican
John B. Slattery, Jr. #53 Republican

CA NO. 1 (Act 873 - SB 82) Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly  (Select 1)
YES
NO
CA NO. 2 (Act 874 - SB 303) Right of each Citizen to keep and bear arms  (Select 1)
YES
NO
CA NO. 3 (Act 872 - SB 21) Prefiling DL/for retirement/public employee  (Select 1)
YES
NO
CA NO. 4 (Act 875 - SB 337) Surv. Spouse/Deceased Veteran/Homestead Exemp.  (Select 1)
YES
NO
CA NO. 5 (Act 868 - HB 9) Forfeiture Retirement Benefit Pub.Off./Conv.Felon  (Select 1)
YES
NO
CA NO. 6 (Act 869 - HB 497) Gov.Auth. of New Iberia - prop.annexed by the City  (Select 1)
YES
NO
CA NO. 7 (Act 870 - HB 524) Provides filling appts/Vac. on Bds./Comm.  (Select 1)
YES
NO
CA NO. 8 (Act 871 - HB 674) State Bd. of Comm./Industry-Tax Exemp. contracts  (Select 1)
YES
NO
CA NO. 9 (Act 876 - SB 410) Security District/Parcel Fee w/in District  (Select 1)
YES
NO
PW School District Local Option - Term Limits  (Select 1)
YES
NO

Here is the summary of Constitutional amendments from the Secretary of State:

STATEMENT OF PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
November 6, 2012

In compliance with R.S. 18:431, R.S. 18:552, R.S. 18:553 and R.S. 18:1306, a 
statement of the Proposed  Constitutional Amendments in the order in which they will appear on the ballot for the November 6, 2012 election is provided as follows:

1. Act 873 (2012 Regular Session) adds Article VII, Section 10(F)(4)(g).
Present Constitution authorizes the legislature to establish a procedure to determine if 
there will be a projected deficit and an adequate method for adjusting appropriations to eliminate the projected deficit.
Present Constitution exempts the following from such adjustments: (a)  The Bond Security and Redemption Fund or any bonds secured thereby, or any other funds pledged as security for bonds or other evidences of indebtedness; (b) Severance tax and royalty allocations to parishes; (c)  State  and statewide  retirement  system contributions; (d) The Louisiana Education Quality Trust Fund; (e) The Millennium Trust, except appropriations from the trust; and (f) Monies not required to be deposited in the state treasury. 
Proposed Constitutional Amendment retains present constitution and  further 
provides that the  Medicaid Trust Fund for the  Elderly is also exempted from such adjustments.

2. Act 874 (2012 Regular Session) amends Article I, Section 11.
Present Constitution provides that the  right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged and this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit carrying a concealed weapon.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment provides that the right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed.  Further provides that any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment deletes the provision relating to the passage of laws to prohibit carrying a concealed weapon.

3. Act 872 (2012 Regular Session) amends Article III, Section 2(A)(2), Article X, Section 29(C) and Article XIII, Section 1(A).
Present Constitution provides that any bill to be introduced in either house shall be prefiled no later than 5:00 p.m. of the tenth calendar day prior to the first day of a regular session; thereafter no member of the legislature may introduce more than five bills, except as provided in the joint rules of the legislature.  
Proposed Constitutional Amendment provides that: (a) No member of the legislature may introduce more than five bills that were not prefiled, except as provided in the joint rules of the legislature; (b) Except for any bill effecting any change in laws relating to any retirement system for public employees, any bill that is to be prefiled for introduction in either house shall be prefiled no later than 5:00 p.m. of the tenth calendar day prior to the first day of a regular session; and (c) Any bill to effect any change in laws relating to 
any retirement system for public employees that is  to be  prefiled for introduction in either house shall be prefiled no later than 5:00 p.m. of the forty-fifth calendar day prior to the first day of a regular session. 
Present Constitution provides that no proposal to effect any change in existing laws or constitutional provisions relating to any retirement system for public employees shall be introduced in the legislature unless notice of intention to introduce the proposal has been published, without cost to the state, in the official  state  journal on two separate 
days with the last day of publication to be at least thirty days before introduction of the bill.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment retains present constitution, except changes the last day of publication  in the official state journal  to be at least sixty days before introduction of the bill. 
Present Constitution provides that  an amendment to this constitution may be 
proposed by joint resolution at any regular session of the legislature and requires the resolution to be prefiled at least ten days before the beginning of the session in accordance with the rules of the house in which introduced.
Proposed Constitutional  Amendment requires any joint resolution proposed at a regular session of the legislature which effects any change in constitutional provisions relating to any retirement system for public employees to be prefiled no later than 5:00 p.m. of the forty-fifth calendar day prior to the first day of the session.

4. Act 875 (2012 Regular Session) amends Article VII, Section 21(K)(1).
Present Constitution provides an additional homestead exemption on property which is owned and occupied by a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 100% by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  Further provides that the surviving spouse shall be eligible for this exemption if the exemption was in effect on the property prior to the death of the veteran and the surviving spouse remains the owner of the property.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment provides that  the surviving spouse shall be eligible for this exemption if the surviving spouse occupies and remains the owner of the property, whether or not the exemption was in effect on the property prior to the death of the veteran.

5. Act 868 (2012 Regular Session) adds Article X, Section 29(G).
Proposed Constitutional Amendment authorizes the legislature to provide for the forfeiture of all or part of the benefits from a public retirement system, plan, or fund in this state by any public servant who is convicted of a felony associated with and committed during his public service or employment.  Further provides that the legislature may provide for the application of all or part of  any  forfeited retirement benefits to the unfunded accrued liability of the system, plan or fund. 
Proposed Constitutional Amendment provides that the forfeiture of public retirement benefits shall apply  only  to persons employed, re-employed, or elected on or after January 1, 2013 and only to retirement benefits earned on or after January 1, 2013.

6. Act 869 (2012 Regular Session) adds Article VII, Section 21(L).
Proposed Constitutional Amendment authorizes the governing authority of New Iberia to enter into contracts to provide for the exemption from ad valorem taxes on property annexed by the city after January 1, 2013, which contracts are effective only if approved by a 2/3 vote of the members of the governing authority of the city.  Further provides that a  contract shall grant the property owner the exemption for up to  five calendar years and the contract may be renewed  for up to five additional years if the renewal is approved by a 2/3 vote of the members of the governing authority.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment requires all property exempted pursuant to a contract to be listed on the assessment rolls and submitted to the Louisiana Tax Commission or its successor and that no taxes shall be collected during the period of the exemption; however, the exemption authorized shall in no way affect or impair the security of any bonds payable from the proceeds of the tax.  Authorizes the legislature 
to provide by law for implementation of these provisions.

7. Act 870 (2012 Regular Session) amends Article VIII, Sections 5(B)(1), 6(B)(1), and 
7(B)(1) and Article X, Sections 3(A) and 43(A) and adds Article VIII, Section 8(D).
Present Constitution provides that the Board of Regents, Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Board of Supervisors of Southern University shall each be composed of two members from each congressional district, which prior to congressional reapportionment after the 2010 census consisted of seven congressional districts, and one member from the state at large appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment retains the same number of members for eachboard at fifteen members, of which two shall be  appointed  from each congressional district which after congressional reapportionment is now six congressional districts and the remaining member or members shall be appointed from the state at large.
Present Constitution provides that the Board of Supervisors of Community and 
Technical Colleges shall be composed of fifteen members appointed by the governor and two members shall be appointed from each congressional district, which prior to congressional reapportionment after the 2010 census consisted of seven congressional districts, and the remaining member or members shall be appointed from the state at large.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment provides with respect to the Board of Regents, Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University, Board of Supervisors of Southern University and Board of Supervisors of Community and Technical Colleges, beginning on January 3, 2013 and beginning  every ten years thereafter, on the day the members of congress from the newly reapportioned congressional districts take office, any vacancy  occurring  on the board from a congressional district from which there are two or more board members shall be filled by appointment of an individual from a congressional district from which 
there are less than two members.  Further provides that after the membership of the board includes two members from each congressional district, the next vacancy shall be filled by an appointment from the state at large.
Present Constitution provides that the State Civil Service Commission and the State Police Commission shall each be composed of seven members with no more than one appointed member from each congressional district. 
Proposed Constitutional Amendment retains the same number of members for each commission at seven members, of which at least one appointed member shall be from each congressional district.

8. Act 871 (2012 Regular Session) adds Article VII, Section 21(L).
Proposed Constitutional Amendment authorizes the Board of Commerce and 
Industry to enter into a contract granting an exemption from ad valorem property taxesfor property owned or leased by, and used by, a targeted non-manufacturing business in the operation of its facility.  Further provides that the exemption is available only to a business which has at least 50% of its total annual sales from its Louisiana site or sites to out-of-state customers or buyers, or to in-state customers or buyers for resale to an out-of-state customer or buyer for ultimate use, or to the federal government or any 
combination thereof.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment provides that the first $10,000,000 or 10% of fair market value, whichever is greater, of the facility property, the land underlying the facility and other property  pertaining to the facility  on which ad valorem taxes have previously been paid, inventories,  consumables and property eligible for the manufacturing exemption shall not be exempt.  Further provides that the contracts shall only be available in parishes which have agreed to participate in the program, in the manner provided by the legislature by law.

9. Act 876 (2012 Regular Session) amends Article III, Section 13.
Present Constitution provides that no local or special law shall be enacted unless notice of the intent to introduce a bill to enact such a law has been published on  two separate days, without cost to the state, in the official journal of the locality where the matter to be affected is situated.  Further provides that the last day of publication shall be thirty days prior to introduction of the bill, requires the notice to state the substance of the contemplated law, and requires every bill to recite that the notice has been given. Proposed Constitutional Amendment retains present constitution and provides that no local or special law to create a security district shall be enacted unless notice of the intent to introduce the bill has been published on three separate days, without cost to the state, in the official journal of the locality where the district is to be situated.  
Requires the last day of publication of the notice to be at least  thirty  days prior to 
introduction of the bill.  Further requires the notice to state the substance of the contemplated law, to disclose whether the governing authority of the district would be authorized by the contemplated law to impose and collect a parcel fee within the district, whether the parcel fee will be imposed or may be increased without an election, and the maximum amount of the parcel fee if a maximum amount is set forth in the contemplated law.  Further requires every bill to recite that the required notice has been given.