Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Night before Christmas

By Clement Clarke Moore 1779–1863
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through 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 danced in their heads;
And mamma 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 my 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 a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop 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 dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler 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 on 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 laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed 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 filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang 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!”

Friday, December 13, 2013

Benton Christmas on the Square

Come on up for Benton Christmas on the Square tomorrow from 10 until 5. Free parking and shuttle service from the Courthouse, first bus runs at 9:30 and last bus from festival site back to Courthouse at 6.
The Parade rolls at 3PM.
Looks like the weather will be okay and a little chilly, so bundle up!

Benton Christmas on the Square

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Conviction in Bullying Case

Jason Thomas yesterday entered a plea of guilty to Cyber Bullying in Bossier District Court. Thomas was charged in the case of Danielle Cox.
For those not familiar with the case, Danielle was diabetic and had severe mood swings. She had threatened suicide, and a friend posted her cell phone number on Facebook asking friends to text Danielle and encourage her. Thomas saw the post and sent over 100 text messages urging Danielle to kill herself. He used a program that allowed each message to show that it came from a different person.
Thomas offered a (short) apology to Danielle's family in open court as a condition of the plea. A family member said that they were satisfied with the plea and that the DA's office had stayed in touch with them throughout the process. The family is not happy that Judge Nerren agreed to consider an Article 894 at a later date. Article 894 allows the conviction to go off the record.
Thomas was originally charged with Cyber Bullying, which was later amended to a charge of Criminal Assistance to Suicide.
This is the entry from the Bossier Parish Clerk of Court's office on the court appearance yesterday:
Jason Patrick Thomas present in open Court with Elton Richey withdrew former plea of not guilty and entered a plea of guilty to the amended charge of MISDEMEANOR CYBER BULLYING (14:40.7). Defendant is sentenced by the Court to pay a fine of $500 and cost pro-rated over the first 6 months of probation or serve 60 days in the parish jail. Additional 6 months parish jail sentence is imposed and suspended. Defendant is placed on 1 year supervised probation with all the standard conditions of probation under Article 895 to apply and the following special conditions: pay a $75 monthly supervision fee; enroll in and remain in counseling on a monthly basis as recommended by Dr. Vigen; agree to release counseling sessions to the Court for review; 24 hours a month of community service and continue until further ordered by the Court; continue to be enrolled in school full time or be employed full time. Case is set for review on June 10, 2014 with proof of community service and written reports from counselor to be provided to the Court at that time. Defense counsel requested the Court consider this sentence pursuant to Article 894. State opposed. Court advised the sentence being pursuant to Article 894 shall be considered at a later date. Victims are present and notified of the review date set in open Court. Matt Altimus is present on behalf of the State. (Nerren)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

'Fire Nichole Bourgeois' group not going away

Our friend and Bossier’s premier political observer Marty Carlson has opined about School Board President Eddy Ray Presley's recent 'moron' remarks. You can read Marty’s column in the Press Tribune.
Meanwhile, Attorney John Settle has released the results of his public information request as to how much has been spent in legal fees.
In the case of Live Oak Coach Musemeche’s lawsuit so far the Board has expended $19,000.
In the Jessica Morton suit, $38,000.
No figures are available yet for the Lori Rayborn suit as it was just filed a couple of weeks ago. Meanwhile, the coalition behind the ‘Fire Nichole Bourgeois’ Facebook page and the petition it is associated with are not going away.
We will continue to follow up and keep you posted.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

This Week in Bossier

Just as Bossier was reeling from the brutal murder of James Harber last week, another tragedy has struck close to home.
The Bond Disappearance
Ann Bond was reported missing when she didn't show up for work. Deputies went to her home on Wemple Road, where they found her car in the garage but no one home. Bossier Detectives saw enough suspicious evidence to get a search warrant for the house.
They contacted her estranged husband Robbie Bond by phone and he promised to come immediately to aid them in the search. He didn't show.
From the evidence at the scene, the Bossier Sheriff obtained a warrant for 2nd degree murder. Bond's truck was spotted at a rest stop in Southern Mississippi Friday morning and when Mississippi law officers knocked on the windows to awaken him, he shot himself.
He was taken into custody and transported to a hospital where he is said to be in fairly stable condition, Bossier Parish Detectives are in Mississippi to question him and try to ascertain the whereabouts of Mrs. Bond.
The Parkway/Nichole Bourgeois saga continues.
School Board President Eddy Ray Presley has apologized for calling some of his constituents 'morons', but barely. It was one of those "I'm sorry but...." type of apologies.
Meanwhile, the Parkway Education Coalition has engaged local attorney John E. Settle, Jr. to represent them in their dealings with the Bossier Parish School Board.
Superintendent D.C. Machen has said, however, that he will give no weight to public opinion on the lawsuits and problems that seem to plague Parkway and Principal Bourgeois.
Attorney Settle has made several public information requests to the Board.
You can read about his efforts on Forward Now.
In the meantime, though hope is waning, let's all pray that Ann Bond is safe.

Monday, November 11, 2013

In Memory of James Harber

I put this on Facebook and got such an overwhelming response that I decided to share it with those who are not on Facebook.

A 21 year old, James Harber, was killed this week while working his night job at the Exxon on Airline & Old Minden Road. This young man had made the choice not to drink, smoke or party according to his friends. He had enlisted in the Army and was to head to basic in January. He was killed by someone who was sentenced to two years in February (for purse snatching), who was on probation and was arrested last month for simple possession, a violation of that probation. He bonded out.
While we can't honor James' service on this day, we can honor his desire to offer it.
What a shame.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Veterans Day

A Veterans Day wish to My Bossier readers from our friend, Sammy Wyatt.

As we approach Veterans Day, Monday, November 11, 2013 my thoughts a prayers are with all of the veterans, active duty military, and their families who have sacrificed so much serving our country. This is a day of honor, respect, remembrance, and thankfulness. To think of the selflessness that not only the service member makes but the families of the service members. 
In America today, so many Americans take for granted our freedoms, how we obtained those freedoms, and how we keep those freedoms. In the famous words of retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, Walter Hitchcock, “Freedom is not Free!” Each generation thousands upon thousands of Americans voluntarily leave their homes, families, and careers to do their part in protecting this great nation of ours, and our way of life. So many have paid the ultimate sacrifice of giving their life so our great nation can continue to exist as One Nation Under God. Former President Ronald Reagan once quoted ““Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.” America, and the Christian way of life have been under attack here in our home land, and abroad in other nations. It would be inevitable that one day another “Adolf Hitler” would attempt to control the world, and destroy Democracy and Christianity should we ever fail to help, aide, and assist those countries in need.
I, myself, am a former veteran of the U.S. Navy, and I am forever grateful, and honored to have served with men and women from all around the country who volunteered to serve this great nation. My thoughts and prayers are with those who are currently serving, their families, those who have returned home forever changed by the events they have survived, for their families who now have such a weight on their shoulders to comfort, support, and understand what their loved ones have went through, and with those families who their loved ones have given all. As a veteran, and an American, I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart for your service and sacrifice.
On this Veterans Day, I will be remembering each of you from the beautiful LSU Camps in BatonRouge, as I have relocated to Baton Rouge, La. after accepting a position with the LSU System to start a Fraud Investigations Unit. May God bless each of you and keep you and your families safely in his arms.

The Morons in South Bossier

A very serious and strained situation has taken a bizarre turn.
I blogged about the latest lawsuit against the School Board and Parkway Principal Nichole Bourgeois. I also included a link to a Facebook page that has been set up.
A petition was also started on Change.org to ask the school board to remove Dr. Bourgeois as principal.
School Board President Eddy Presley responded on the petition.

Comments on the Facebook page heated up at that point.

Late last night Presley accused the people who set up the page of Cyber Bullying.

In an attempt to get a clarification and possibly calm the situation down, this morning I sent Mr. Presley the following email:
Mr. Presley,
On my blog, 'My Bossier', I have posted about the lawsuits and controversy surrounding Parkway and Principal Bourgeois.
You seem to have created quite a stir with some remarks on a Facebook page and a petition.
Would you care to make a statement about it for me to put on the blog when I engage that subject?
Jim Wells
His reponse was the following:
We r not being sued because I have not served lawsuit papers
Why don't you find out who started the petition and ask them??
In fact the lawsuits do exist.
Here is a link to the lawsuit filed by Jessica Morton.
Here is a link to the lawsuit filed by Lori Rayborn.
I don’t have a link to the lawsuit filed by Coach Musemeche, but I do know that it was filed in East Baton Rouge District Court. The suit number is 617210. The case has been assigned to Division E, Judge William A. Morvant. Attorney Jill L. Craft is representing Coach Musemeche.
So yes, lawsuits have been filed despite the President of the School Board saying that they have not.
So far as asking the people who started the petition, they have nothing to do with the lawsuits and they certainly can’t make a statement for Mr. Presley.
People do have a right to address their grievances, whether in an online petition, a Facebook page or by whatever means. I think it is good that a public official will respond, but I am at a total loss as to the manner in which he chose to do so. Calling people morons and accusing them of cyber bullying is frankly over the top. I'm also at a loss to understand how he could say that the board is not being sued.
We will see how it plays out.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Parkway Principal Caught up in a Whirlwind of Controversy

Parkway High School Principal Nichole Bourgeois has been sued again, this time by the former school nurse. 
Parkway’s football team is having an explosive season, but they won’t be able to host a playoff game at home because the High School Athletic Association has sanctioned the school as a result of the handcuffing of Live Oak coach Barry Musemeche last year. Bourgeois said that “when he would not leave the field after several requests, I requested that the police officers take him off the field”
According to the lawsuit filed by Musemeche, the Parkway band was not supposed to take the field until 7:45. After the Live Oak Band decided not to go on the field, Musemeche says he had an agreement with the Parkway coach and the head official to keep his team on the field warming up until the Parkway band was due at 7:45. At 7:35 Bourgeois ordered Live Oak to leave the field. When Musemeche did not comply, Bourgeois asked law enforcement to escort him from the field.
The LHSAA agreed that this was improper, and sanctioned the school. Unfortunately, that also keeps the football players from playing on their home field in a playoff game.
I truly hate this for the players, but appeals were exhausted in March, and this week after reconsidering, the executive committee of LHSAA overwhelming voted to uphold the sanction.
Although I seriously doubt that it will have any effect, there is a petition online that you can sign onto asking them to reconsider again.
Musemeche has sued the School Board, Nichole Bourgeois, Bossier Parish Sheriff and the City of Bossier. He says that he is not seeking financial gain, but only to restore his good name. "I'm 49 years old and I've never been handcuffed in my life and I never thought that 20 minutes before a football game warming up my team would be the thing that would do it”, he said.
Now to more serious matters. 
There have been multiple suicides in South Bossier, some involving Parkway students. Jessica Morton sued Principal Bourgeois and the School Board after the suicide of her daughter, Danielle Cox, alleging that the school and the principal did nothing to protect Danielle.
Now that claim has been reinforced by the latest lawsuit, brought by Lori Rayborn, who was the school nurse at Parkway. Rayborn’s lawsuit is available online at the KSLA website. She alleges that her concerns about Danielle were ignored, and that the school failed to provide Danielle and other Diabetic students with mandated care provided by the Americans with Disability Act.
KSLA’s story about the lawsuit and the entire situation is here.
Eighteen year old Jason Thomas is going on trial in December on a charge of criminal assistance to suicide in December in Danielle’s case.
In April some band members were involved in a hazing incident that simulated a sex act. You can read about that case here.
Now a Facebook Page 'Fire Nichole Bourgeois' has been started. 
A lot is going on in South Bossier that has a lot of people upset, and Principal Bourgeois is right in the thick of it. We’ll see what, if anything, happens as a result.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

An update on Jackson Kennedy

I blogged about young Jackson Kennedy several times back in 2008 and 2009. Jackson, 7 at the time, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2008. 

It is back, and Jackson needs your help. Please do anything you can to help this family in the fight.
You can go to his page on Caring Bridge and read his story, and if you are able, make a donation.
There will also be a Wiffleball tournament on November 9th and 10th at the Benton Sports Complex to raise funds.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Some Bossier History

Our friend Pat has a good blog post in And so it Goes in Shreveport about a dedication today in Natchitoches at the grave of Dr. John Sibley, a soldier in the American Revolution. Please go to the link and read it, then come back and read the rest of the story.
The Bossier Connection
So what does that have to do with Bossier Parish?
After his wife in North Carolina passed away in 1811, Dr. Sibley married a young Natchitoches woman, Eulalie Malique, in 1813. They had a son, Rufus Sibley.
Rufus married Salina Gray Irwin, daughter of Jacob Irwin, who had been a gunsmith for Dr. Sibley at the Indian Agency. Jacob Irwin had located to Bossier Parish (or Claiborne Parish until it became Bossier in 1843), where he had a plantation on the river at Irwin’s Bluff. Jacob Irwin was married to Mary Edwards, who was the daughter of Larkin Edwards, the Caddo Interpreter who received a plot of land in the Caddo treaty that he sold to the Shreve Town Company in 1835.
Rufus and Salina Irwin Sibley
Rufus and Salina operated a stagecoach stop at Coleville, which is about 5 miles east of Benton. (There is a cemetery at Coleville where Eulalie Sibley, Jacob Irwin and Rufus & Salina are buried).
They raised their family at that location. Rufus built a small house on the property for his mother, Eulalie, and each week one of her granddaughters would stay with her to assist her with housekeeping and cleaning. The only caveat was that they had to speak French during that week, as she didn’t think too highly of the English language.
During reconstruction, the Sheriff of Bossier Parish seized two mules belonging to Rufus for failure to pay Spiritous Liquor taxes at the stagecoach stop. Rufus got a Shreveport lawyer and filed suit in Bossier Parish Court to recover his mules. He sued on the grounds that the Police Jury was not properly representative under the 14th amendment and therefore any taxes they passed were null and void.
He won the case and the Sheriff had to return his two mules.
The picture below is of the oldest child of Rufus and Salina, Mary Helena Sibley, who married F. M. Hanks.
Mary Helena Sibley Hanks
The picture was taken in 1921, two years before her death. The license plate on the car gives it away.
To make a long story short, her daughter Vivian was my grandmother. She married R. E. Wallace in 1910. My mother was born in 1916, and then in 1947 I was her gift to Bossier Parish.
We're still around.
Vivian Hanks Wallace
Granddaughter of Rufus Sibley and
Great-Grandaughter of Dr. John Sibley.
To me she was just 'Bibby', my grandmother, and one of the most decent and loving people I ever knew in my life. She passed away in 1972. I think of my grandparents nearly every day.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Thank a Police Officer

It's Thank a Police Officer Day. To all of our BCPD, Shreveport PD, BPSO & CPSO officers, and to all in our extended area, thank you for your service to our communities.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Under the radar: School Board cuts crucial funding to classrooms

The Bossier Parish School Board made some cuts at their last meeting that will directly affect students and teachers. They voted to cut the parish per-student funds from $38 to $29. At the same meeting, technology was cut from $20 to $15, student fees from $10 to $8 and copier fees from $8 to $6.
For some schools, this may not have a drastic effect due to the affluence of the areas they serve. Benton Middle School raised $4,000 at a Sonic Night fundraiser, for example. Parkway, Airline and probably Haughton schools are capable of raising funds in their areas. Plain Dealing and Bossier High School, probably not so much.
Teachers copy allowances have been cut drastically, most teachers are having to pony up out of their own pockets just to make copies for class.
Of course, voters turned down propositions for employee raises and for technology. The main reason I heard at the time that the raises were denied was that the system was too top heavy, that if the money could go to teachers and lower tier employees, the vote would have been switched.
That, at least, is an out for the Board. They didn’t pay attention to the sentiment of the vote when they gave Superintendent D. C. Machen a $50,000 per year raise. I’m not saying that he should not be paid more in line with neighboring districts, this isn’t aimed at him. 
It is aimed at the Board for giving the Superintendent a raise that by itself exceeds the average income of Bossier Parish households at the same time that crucial classroom expenses are being cut.
I went to the School website to check the minutes of the meeting, but the last minutes posted are for August 1st.  It will be interesting to see who voted yea and nay.
A School Board special election is coming up in october for Dr. Brigham’s seat. It will be interesting to see what those candidates think of the cuts. Someone needs to ask them.
I volunteer. More later!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

This and That

I know it's been a while since I posted anything, just a little case of being burned out. I have been keeping up with Funny Bone Guy's rants (or FBG, as it has been shortened for convenience).
FBG is pretty entertaining. I've quit deleting his posts since no one takes them seriously at all. 
I was very happy to learn that I own a high-rise office building on Airline. I've never seen a high-rise on Airline, it must have gone up quickly, and I really would like to know where it is. Clue me in, FBG.
We have some interesting races coming up next year, mostly the Judicial ones. I have a feeling that will be a free for all. I'll look at them soon.
Anyway, the blog is back.
As a side note, Bill Moore had asked me when I was going to start blogging again. I had no idea that the next blog post I put up after he asked would be one about his passing.
Bill, I hope you're looking down on us, and on this blog, Cartman will live on forever.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bill Moore

I was shocked to learn of the death of Bill Moore. I first met Bill a couple of years ago, although I already felt that I knew him somewhat. Bill was one of the good guys, smart, funny and had a great personality. 
He commented often on My Bossier using the name Cartman. Bill and I kept up on Facebook, interacting pretty much daily along with our friend Andy and a couple of other 'regulars'. 
Some of you will remember Bill from Benton High School, where he taught math after he retired from the Air Force.
Bill was very proud of his son Mike, with good reason. His granddaughter Sara was the apple of his eye; he loved being a grandpa.
Bill is survived by his wife, Gin, Mike, Sara and daughter-in-law Carrie. His full obituary will be in the paper in the next day or so. Visitation will be Thursday evening and the funeral Friday morning at Rose-Neath Bossier.
Bill, you will truly be missed. The world is a better place because you were here.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth of July

Celebrate the day. Give thanks for what our forefathers established for us in this country, and for the sacrifices made to keep it.
Listen to our official 'national march', The Stars and Stripes Forever, written by John Philip Sousa, who was appropriately enough the leader of the Marine Band.
He wrote the march in 1896 on Christmas day, on a ship headed back to the U.S. after a long European vacation. He said that he was homesick, and was thinking about the flag flying over the White House. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Council says farewell to Jones, Hanisee

Tommy Harvey was sworn in to replace Larry Hanisee on the Bossier City Council. Harvey replaces Hanisee on his 2nd attempt at the office. Hanisee served previously and was elected the last time to fill the term of Chubby Knight. I have every confidence that Councilman Harvey will serve his consituents well.
Jeff Free has some big shoes to fill. He replaces David Jones, who decided to step down after 16 years. I believe he will do well.
Bossier City is all about growth and infrastructure, and the council has done the job. There have been criticisms for some individual projects, but on the whole the city is not only keeping up, but is ahead of the curve.
David Jones has been a key player in infrastructure, probably more so than any other individual council member. He also fought hard to keep Public Safety funded at a good level, and tried to get raises for unclassified city employees. Well deserved raises, by the way.
He deserves a thank you from the citizens of Bossier City for a job well done.
I'm not ignoring Larry Hanisee, he also deserves thanks for serving, he just didn't have the time to achieve very much in this abbreviated term.
It hasn't been all roses and rainbows, however. What I consider to be the council's biggest mistake was the Walker Place debacle. I think it could have worked out early and amicably, but pride and egos got involved and it ended up in a (pardon my language) pissing contest that the council was destined to lose. Maybe if faced with a similar situation in the future, the council will act in a more prudent manner. 
As Kenny Rogers said, 'you have to know when to hold them, and know when to fold them'.
Overall, the City is in good hands.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bullying trial takes on new significance

The bullying trial of Jason Thomas has been dragging on for a couple of years now in Bossier District Court.  Thomas was originally charged with cyber bullying against Danielle Cox, a minor.
ur not important’
On January 24th, 2011, one of Danielle’s friends had posted Danielle’s number on Facebook and asked that her friends text her and tell her not to kill herself. Rather than offering help, the state alleges that Thomas used a program called ClamTXT to send multiple messages to Danielle’s phone, each purporting to come from a different person. The messages read ‘I won’t miss u’, ‘ur not important’ and ‘just end it all’.
On January 25th Danielle ingested an excessive amount of medication in a suicide attempt. She survived.
In February Thomas was arrested on the Cyber Bullying charge. On May 20th, 2011, Danielle did kill herself. The charge was amended to Criminal Assistance to Suicide.
There will be a status hearing on Tuesday to see if the case is ready to go to trial. I’ll keep everyone posted on that. 
I’m not going into any detail on the most recent bully related suicides, but will note that both occurred very recently.
Two more students are victims
In light of two more suicides that are bully related, this case does take on new significance. What I’m about to say isn’t accusatory, but facts are facts. 
A bad problem exists, and it is centered around South Bossier, Elm Grove Middle School and Parkway High School.  The Parkway band can’t make overnight trips for the next two years because of an incident that happened in April. Eight band members simulated a sex act on a freshman boy against his will as the students were walking to the bus. That is co-incidental to the suicides, and not nearly as serious, but it does reflect the culture that exists where bullying seems to have some acceptance.
Part of the solution
Obviously, something has to be done. As I said, I’m not being accusatory and blaming the schools for children killing themselves; I’m not saying that the schools are the cause of the problem.
However, they certainly need to be part of the solution. Something has to be done, and it will take people uniting and forcing action.
We’ll delve into this deeper in the weeks to come. Meanwhile, to find out more, you can go to Facebook and check out these two pages:

Something has to be done, and it will take people uniting and forcing action.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Funny Bone Guy wants to turn me in to the FBI

If you have followed the blog at all, you have doubtless seen comments on several threads from someone we have identified as the ‘Funny Bone Guy’. As I told him, and will repeat again, I have no knowledge whatever of the incident he is talking about. Apparently he feels he was mistreated by BCPD, and alleges a cover-up going all the way up to the Mayor’s office.
I finally started moderating comments so that he couldn’t disrupt everything that was posted. He has left some comments, which I have not published. Here they are, all in one blog post.
Comment from Normal Person: Funny bone guy please go away. Your now telling another story about BCPD that does not make any sense. No one believes you. Why can’t you get that?
Reply from Funny Bone Guy: I would tell the cops name, but he wants to be my friend and I don't care who thinks I am telling the truth. You know I'm Not the Detective no one wanted to work with. You should have never said anything about your imaginary friend Timmy. And if I am not honest why does the mayor hide from. You know ***** you could put your trailer house in my Den.
Reply from Funny Bone Guy: I don't care if you believe me or not, you probably know the cop ***** or *****. I know one of the Detectives told me you didn't go to work with ******** by choice.
Reply from Funny Bone Guy: I can tell your a pig. Your right the BCPD has no officers that lie, falsify police reports, right BJ never, arrest the wrong person, on purpose, because of public pressure, shoot and kill and unarmed man that has bipolar, instead of jumping back into their police car. other than those things, they are perfect. I am in talks with the Department of justice, and I think they are going to help me, with those Honest, Christian BCPD employees did I say Christian
So I made a joke at one point in a misguided attempt to lighten it up.
Jim: It’s like the thing I saw on Facebook: Chuck Norris got pulled over one time. He let the cop go with a warning.
Reply from Funny Bone Guy: why is that so many people say you suck as a DA?
(I have no idea what that means)
Comment from Normal Person: Good blog.
Reply from Funny Bone Guy: The Mayor sure protects the BCPD on Police Week
And now the final reply from Funny Bone Guy on my weak Chuck Norris joke
Reply from Funny Bone Guy: Jim I checked on what you said about getting one email, I have about 12 emails that I sent you during the funny bone charges, Looks like you are going to get to talk to the justice dept also. 
Remember, these are comments from Funny Bone Guy that were not published. After the last one, I decided I just had to do this blog post.
I have checked back and only find one email, which was a copy of a letter to Mayor Walker demanding that everyone involved be given a polygraph test.
Okay, I don’t remember them, but lets pretend that I did have more over the last couple of years and just didn’t consider them something I was interested in. That happens sometimes, although I generally answer all of my emails.
Just to clarify this with Funny Bone Guy – you say I got emails from you, I say I don’t recall them, so you are going to turn me in to the Federal authorities for that? What? 
Funny Bone, you really are a special kind of special, aren’t you?
(I am opening up comments again, but I will delete any comment that makes slanderous remarks about anyone, or names any names of police officers who can’t speak out to defend themselves from attacks.)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

Monday is Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day. It is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.
Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day.
Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country. I think a lot of well meaning people simply misunderstand the purpose that was intended for this day, and if they are educated as to the geniune meaning of it, that they will observe it properly.
Memorial day is not to be confused for Veterans Day, which is the day on which we thank and honor all of those who served honorably in the military.
This is a day that we should observe solemnly, not just as the last day in a three-day weekend.
Brave men fought and died on our behalf, and their sacrifice demands that we give them the honor they are due.
On Memorial Day, all U.S. flags should be displayed at half-staff during the morning hours. At noon, they should be raised back to full-staff.

Traditionally, a red poppy is worn on Memorial Day, inspired by the poem In Flanders Field which was written by a Canadian Lt. Colonel, John McCrae after he presided over the burial of a fellow officer.
When I was in school, and even when I was a young man, we always had poppies to wear. The VFW sponsors the ‘buddy poppy’, artificial silk poppies which are made by disabled veterans. Unfortunately, this tradition is being lost, except among veterans groups. Watch for pictures and videos locally of veterans observances and you will see them.
The poem, from WWI, describes the red poppies that covered the battleground and afterward, the rows of graves.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

If you have never properly observed Memorial Day, do so this year. Remember Joshua Tomlinson and Wayne Culver, and all of the other brave men who have fallen on the battlefield.
(Reprinted from My Bossier, Memorial Day 2010)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Just a reminder

Just a reminder to our local officials who are responsible for such things. The flag should be flown at half-mast next Monday until noon in honor of Memorial Day.
These are the days that the flag is flown half-mast every year. Of course, at various times it is ordered by the President and/or the Governor to honor another occasion, such as a death or a national disaster.

May 15thPeace Officers Memorial Day (half staff all day)
Last Monday in MayMemorial Day (half-staff until noon)
September 11thPatriot Day (half staff all day)
December 7thPearl Harbor Remembrance Day (half staff all day)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Local governments show disrespect to our fallen peace officers

Update 2: The flag at the Sheriff's substation on Viking Drive was flown at half-staff today.

Update: The City of Bossier City has lowered their flags to half-mast and apologizes for being unaware of this.

Today is Peace Officer Memorial Day. In his proclamation, President Obama called on everyone to fly their flags at half mast. 
"I also call on Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day. I further encourage all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes and businesses on that day."
Caddo Parish Courthouse - no. Bossier City Hall - no. Benton Town Hall - no. Bossier Parish Courthouse - no. Not even the Benton post office had theirs at half mast. 
Shame on them all.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Police Week

- - - - - - -
Day after day, police officers in every corner of America suit up, put on the badge, and carry out their sworn duty to protect and serve. They step out the door every morning without considering bravery or heroics. They stay focused on meeting their responsibilities. They concentrate on keeping their neighborhoods safe and doing right by their fellow officers. And with quiet courage, they help fulfill the demanding yet vital task of shielding our people from harm. It is work that deserves our deepest respect -- because when darkness and danger would threaten the peace, our police officers are there to step in, ready to lay down their lives to protect our own.
This week, we pay solemn tribute to men and women who did. Setting aside fear and doubt, these officers made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the rule of law and the communities they loved. They heard the call to serve and answered it; braved the line of fire; charged toward the danger. Our hearts are heavy with their loss, and on Peace Officers Memorial Day, our Nation comes together to reflect on the legacy they left us.
As we mark this occasion, let us remember that we can do no greater service to those who perished than by upholding what they fought to protect. That means doing everything we can to make our communities safer. It means putting cops back on the beat and supporting them with the tools and training they need. It means getting weapons of war off our streets and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals -- common-sense measures that would reduce gun violence and help officers do their job safely and effectively.
Together, we can accomplish those goals. So as we take this time to honor law enforcement in big cities and small towns all across our country, let us join them in pursuit of a brighter tomorrow. Our police officers serve and sacrifice on our behalf every day, and as citizens, we owe them nothing less than our full and lasting support.
By a joint resolution approved October 1, 1962, as amended (76 Stat. 676), and by Public Law 103-322, as amended (36 U.S.C. 136-137), the President has been authorized and requested to designate May 15 of each year as "Peace Officers Memorial Day" and the week in which it falls as "Police Week."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 15, 2013, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 12 through May 18, 2013, as Police Week. I call upon all Americans to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also call on Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day. I further encourage all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes and businesses on that day.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
tenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Congratulations to Tommy Harvey

Tommy Harvey was elected to the Bossier City Council tonight with 53.24% of the vote. All three school tax renewals passed. 
Congratulations to Tommy Harvey and Thank You to Larry Hanisee for years of service. 
Most of all, to all of the teachers and school personnel, know that the people of Bossier do care about you and have your back.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Harvey, Hanisee in runoff

Where have we heard that one before? Last time it came down to two votes.
Looks like (for a change) my prediction was correct.
Tommy Harvey ran first, Larry Hanisee second and Mischa Angel is out.
Runoff part two is coming up.
In District 1, Scott Irwin has an unsurmountable lead and will retain his seat on the council.
Larry Hanisee (Incumbent)

Tommy Harvey

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Dumbing down our schools

For years all we have heard in Louisiana is that education is the key to any future economic improvement and success. Our Governor travels the country touting his success in reforming education. It's being re-formed all right, but not in a good way.
This letter went out to some parents in Caddo Parish yesterday. Give it some thought.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Saturday Elections: One Prediction

Saturday is election day for municipal offices in Bossier Parish. There are only two contested council races in Bossier City, and I have a prediction for one of them.
First, the one I won't predict is District 1, where Michael Beam is challenging Incumbent Scott Irwin. I really have no feel for that one.
Now my predictions don't carry much weight, but everyone loves to predict, so here is my prediction for District 5, which has Incumbent Larry Hanisee being challenged by Tommy Harvey and Mischa Angel.
I believe that Angel will take away more from Hanisee's vote than from Harvey's, so my prediction is this:
Tommy Harvey in first place.
Larry Hanisee in second place.
Mischa Angel in third place.
Resulting, of course, in a runoff between Harvey and Hanisee. Deja Vu.
Beyond that, I won't predict!
Happy voting.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Activists Re-Launch Campaign to Repeal Louisiana's Creationism Law

Senator Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans) recently filed SB 26 to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act, Louisiana’s misnamed and misguided creationism law. 
Since its passage in 2008, the Louisiana Science Education Act (LSEA) has been the subject of national and international criticism and ridicule, and its repeal has been endorsed an overwhelming consensus of scientists and educators and a broad coalition of religious leaders and clergy. This is the Senator Peterson’s third attempt at repealing the act.  
Previous hearings about the Louisiana Science Education Act were the focus of intense national interest.  Videos of the meetings have collectively received more than 680,000 views on YouTube and were covered by national publications including io9 and Slate.  The campaign has been covered both nationally and internationally, including in The Guardian, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Italian Vogue, MSNBC, and Bill Moyers’s “Moyers and Company.”  
Originally conceived as the Louisiana Academic Freedom Act, the LSEA is based on a model statute developed by the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that lobbies for legislation promoting creationism in the classroom.
State Senator Ben Nevers, the bill's original sponsor, explained that he filed the bill at the behest of the Louisiana Family Forum. "They (the Louisiana Family Forum) believe that scientific data related to creationism should be discussed when dealing with Darwin's theory," Senator Nevers said.
Nobel laureate chemist Sir Harry Kroto said, “The present situation (the LSEA) should be likened to requiring Louisiana school texts to include the claim that the sun goes round the Earth.”
Three years ago, Sir Harry Kroto was the first Nobel laureate to publicly endorse the act’s repeal. Today, the repeal campaign is endorsed by 78 Nobel laureate scientists, nearly 40% of living Nobel laureate scientists, and numerous other prominent scientists.  It has also been endorsed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and other major science and educator organizations in Louisiana and the United States.  
In addition, thousands of clergy members, who are part of the Clergy Letter Project, have joined the repeal campaign. Reverend Welton Gaddy, President of the Interfaith Alliance, said, "(The repeal effort) represents the best thinking in American science, the best thinking in American religion, and it also reflects the United States Constitution."
Over 70,000 people from Louisiana and around the country have signed a Change.org petition and other petitions in support of this repeal.
The conservative Thomas Fordham Institute stated the Louisiana Science Education Act creates “anti-evolution pressures (that) continue to threaten state science standards.” In its evaluation of Louisiana’s education system, the Thomas Fordham Institute called the LSEA a “devastating flaw.”
Zack Kopplin, the student who began the campaign against the law said: 
“America needs a scientific revolution; a Second Giant Leap for Humankind.  Fighting for a repeal of Louisiana’s creationism law is ground zero of this revolution.
“We need a grassroots movement of students who stand up and demand their public officials to support evidence-based science.”  
Supporters of the repeal believe they will see a breakthrough this year because Louisiana’s public officials are becoming increasingly pro-science.  This spring, the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology lifted a boycott of New Orleans (a boycott still remains on the rest of Louisiana), which had begun after the passage of the Louisiana Science Education Act.  The boycott was lifted after the New Orleans City Council voted unanimously to support the repeal of Louisiana’s creationism law, and the Orleans Parish School Board banned creationism from their classrooms in reaction to the passage of this law..
The bill to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act in 2012 was defeated in committee, by a vote of 2-1. 
“We believe that this spring we can muster the votes we need to pass,” Kopplin said.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Candidates for April 6th primary

A complete list of candidates for the April 6th primary election.

Town of Benton Alderman
District 1 

  • Richard Arness Jackson

District 2 

  • Linda Ann Gates

District 3 

  • Kenneth Earl Shiflett
  • Ronald Louis Jones

District 4

  • James Edward Friday
  • Donna Moore Wyatt

District 5 

  • Richard Darrel Bushnell II
  • Thomas H Hill

Bossier City Council
District 1 

  • Scott Patrick Irwin
  • Michael Thomas Beam

District 2 

  • Jeffery Dewayne Darby

District 3 

  • Don Wayne "Bubba" Williams

District 4 

  • Jeffrey Alan Free

District 5 

  • Thomas Siewert Harvey
  • Mischa Mills Angel
  • William Laurence Hanisee

At Large 

  • Timothy Anthony Larkin
  • David Arnold Montgomery Jr

Bossier City Mayor

  • Lorenz James Walker

Town of Haughton Alderman 

  • Monica Smith Wells
  • Douglas Wilson Adams
  • Melba Walker Baker

Justice of the Peace, JP District 3 

  • Robert D Hamiter

Friday, February 22, 2013

The X Factor

X Factor Definition: a hard-to-describe influence or quality; an important element with unknown consequences.

Everyone was set for a re-match in the District 5 council race, when at the last hour of the last day of qualifying, the X factor entered the equation, in the person of Mischa Angel.
There wasn't much doubt that Tommy Harvey would give it another go; losing by 2 votes in the special election was just too much to bear, and Larry Hanisee would probably have been surprised if he hadn't. One thing that people in politics don't like is a surprise, and Angel's entrance into the race was a surprise.
I hear that she has some support lined up and this race is now truly up in the air. It will be interesting when the first contribution reports are filed a month before the April 6th election to see who is supporting who. That might give some insight into Angel's decision to enter the race.
Everyone was impressed last time by the clean race that Hanisee and Harvey ran, but with the x factor at work here anything can happen. 
Michael Beam is challenging Scott Irwin, and promising openness and availability in District 1. I look for a very clean and straightforward race in this one. 
Jeff Free only had to announce for David Jones' seat and is in like flint, as he has no opposition.
The Mayor and the other councilmen all are automatically re-elected without opposition.
Race to watch: District 5, I think everyone was prepared for another nail biter, but a third candidate will definitely make waves. The only bet I will make at this point is that it will go into a runoff that will be decided on May 4th.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Harvey vs Hanisee: Part Two

Larry Hanisee
Call it the battle of the good guys.
In the closest local election in anyone’s memory, Larry Hanisee won the Special Election for City Council District 5 in October of 2011. The seat had been vacated by ‘Chubby’ Knight, who has since passed away.
Of 2,320 votes cast, Hanisee won by 2 votes.
Tommy Harvey
Now it is time for the regular municipal elections, and Tommy Harvey can’t resist. He qualified yesterday at the Clerk of Court’s office in order to give it one more shot.
I will note that in addition to being one of the closest races we have seen, it was also one of the cleanest. I expect no difference this time. 
The advantage to an incumbent is that, well, he is an incumbent. The disadvantage of being an incumbent is that he also has votes on record for the last two years. We’ll see if there is anything in that record with which Mr. Harvey will take issue.
That, and of course turnout, will be the theme of this election.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

City budget allows for more police officers

We had an interesting discussion going on in the comment section of the post entitled City elections around the corner.
Among the comments were the following:

Anonymous January 24, 2013 at 11:33 PM
No I'm saying they don't have enough officers on the street. They (elected officials) are constantly talking about how safe Bossier is but the fact is there is more crime today and it's getting worse. They use this figure they call "crime rate" to say what they want it to say. Ask any of them how to figure the "crime rate" and I bet they can't answer that. But yet every year they crime has decreased. All I'm saying is hire enough officers. According go my sources BCPD works with only 7 or 8 officers per shift. They have had to eliminate several divisions within the department just to be able to do that.

Anonymous January 25, 2013 at 8:22 AM
The budget presented by the mayor and approved by the city council for the last two years has money for an additional 20 cops. Why does the department not hire them? That is not a City Council question. The money is approved and it is shown in publicly, monthly, in the finance report.

Anonymous January 27, 2013 at 11:15 AM
The money is there for the officers. Unfortunately, the pay is substantially lower than competing agencies, so the department usually loses out.

Anonymous January 25, 2013 at 9:49 AM
That is not true. I haven't seen anything in any budget that gives the chief of police money to hire 20 officers.

I did receive a copy of the manning report for the city. The budget is fully funded and there is money there to hire additional officers. Of course, there is a constant flux of employees, some hired, some retiring or moving somewhere else. 
But the money is there for more hires (12 at this point) and I’m sure the chief does everything in his power to keep the department up to force.

Career Ops