Mayor Holden: What is your plan to stop drug trafficking in BR? Tuesday, Apr 22 2008 

 

Law enforcement claims that the majority of our violent crime in EBR Parish is drug-related.  Cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy, GHB, marijuana, and prescription drugs are flowing in the streets of the Red Stick. 

Today’s newspaper reports more violent crime in EBR Parish including:  1)  A four hour stand-off on Joor Road where a woman and officer’s vehicles were struck; 2) Another shoot-out, wild west style, off Byron Street between two men where a 19 year old girl was struck by gunfire along with one of the shooters; 3) A shooting off Choctaw where a man shot his girlfriend; and 4) weekend deaths totaling four including a mother/son off Coursey, a man in the Gardere area and a fourth victim off Old Hammond Highway.

If drugs are the major reason for violent crime in the Red Stick, we need a plan of action!    Law enforcement should ban together to develop a program similar to the one Louisiana State Police created for the New Orleans area.  The program was a mobile deployment team with a mission of stopping drug trafficking.  The DEA (drug enforcement agency) has 17 deployment teams rotating across our state.  Baton Rouge is not on the list.  The only part of our parish that is listed is Baker/Zachary.  The other areas include:  Donaldsonville, Concordia, New Orleans, Hammond, Slidell, Shreveport (2), Bogalusa, Houma, Kenner, St. Landry, Jefferson, Alexandria (2), Lake Charles and Ascension..

According to the Department of Justice, Louisiana is a major drug trafficking area due to our port, interstate, railway switching stations and waterways.  Baton Rouge, in particular, is cited as a major drug port of entry.  Again, I look to the ‘CEO’ of our parish for action:

Mayor-President Kip Holden:  What are you doing to aggressively address the increasing crime and murder rate in the Red Stick due to drugs?

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Our Children will Pay for Holden’s Re-Election Sunday, Apr 20 2008 

Currently families are struggling as our cost of living escalates.  Today’s price at the gasoline pump is near $3.50 per gallon and rising.  MSNBC has announced that we are experiencing the worst food inflation in 17 years.  The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) indicates the cost of living in the Red Stick is higher than the national average.

Holden has created a debacle for the citizens of our parish.  In 2004 he ran on the premise that he would solve our traffic problem and reduce crime.  The traffic woes continue to mount and crime in the Red Stick is escalating, especially in the area of home invasions and the murder rate. 

‘Our Mayor’ (the theme of his re-election) has already increased our taxes several times in his first four years in office while cutting services.  He raised our sewer fees (which will not even pay for the needed costs due to poor planning on the part of his administration) as well as increasing our garbage fees.  When will he get it right?  One example of cutting services are the changes in public transportation affecting lower income families that supported his election.

Now, Holden wants us to re-elect him so he can raise our taxes – again.  Holden claims we are in the best financial shape (obviously a public relations statement to impress voters in his move for re-election) yet he wants an infrastructure rebuilding plan to be funded by new taxes.  He claims that our infrastructure needs revamping and what we are seeing is the tip of the iceberg.

Which way is it?  Are we in better shape or do we have major problems under the surface.  In politics this is called double-speak.  (Also known as talking out of both sides of your mouth.)

We need a new Mayor-President.  A Mayor that will be as concerned for the safety of our citizens as he is for himself.  Holden has a round-the-clock security detail which he claimed he needed because he was our first black mayor.  At the same time, he claims he has cross-over appeal and there is no issue that he is black.  Which way is it?

The major concern is what price will our children pay if we re-elect our liberal tax-raising Mayor? 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

EBRP Crime: Now showing in YOUR “Neighbor Hood” Saturday, Apr 19 2008 

 

UPDATE:  Tonight’s news reports two more shootings – one incident in South BR off Coursey and Stumberg Lane and a second in North BR around the Brookstown area. 

Despite public relations efforts of Mayor-President Kip Holden and the two major law enforcement agencies in East Baton Rouge Parish, crime is escalating to the dismay of citizens.  Residents cannot find comfort in hearing that ‘we only have 15 murders so far this year in comparison to 23 by this date last year’ (January to April). 

South Baton Rouge:  Over the past week a man stabbed another man while waiting in line at the Burger King on S. Sherwood Forest.  The same night just up the street, three men robbed the Subway (also on S. Sherwood Forest.)  A store on Highland Road was robbed at 5 a.m. – feel like the crime is getting closer to your neighborhood?  Well, it’s already in your neighborhood!

North Baton Rouge:  Tuesday’s newspaper listed four seperate shootings including a major shoot-out with over a dozen bullets fired on the other side of town near St. Gerard where two were wounded.  Bodies found strewn about North Baton Rouge is becoming a weekly occurence.  It’s more like the wild wild west in than the Red Stick!

Murder is the ultimate crime.  Violent crime is increasing as our drug problems and cost of living escalate.   Families are forever changed.  Children, spouses, parents, siblings, and friends from both the victim and criminal’s side must live with the consequences of these actions.  Life is meaningless to perpetrators who are more concerned with their desire for drugs, revenge or cash than for the life of another human being.

The burning question is:  What are our leaders doing to change this trend and how are the citizens being protected? 

I read a letter to the editor where Greg Phares, former sheriff of EBR Parish, stated that the new sheriff, Sid Gautreaux, could have put four more patrol units on the street rather than buy expensive vehicles for him and his top officer to drive around.  Gautreaux’s spokesperson said there were no vehicles appropriate for the sheriff to drive; Phares begs to differ.  Are our leaders more concerned with driving around nice vehicles than fighting crime on our streets?   

Ironically, Mayor-President Kip Holden is running for re-election this fall under the premise that East Baton Rouge Parish has improved.  In his state of the city address and 100 reasons for being re-elected he does not properly address the issue of crime.  The only time he mentions our rising crime is when he touts that he is placing cameras in high crime areas and that over two years ago they addressed the growing crime rate in Zion City. 

What is our Mayor-President doing NOW about the crime in OUR neighborhoods?  Is he going to place cameras in every inch of our parish?  Does he really believe cameras do anything other than catching a criminal AFTER the crime is committed?  Cameras do not deter crime.

It’s time for a change.  Public safety is the number one issue.  Unless we want this wild wild west shoot-out mentality to continue in EBR Parish, we need to elect a new Mayor that will address crime issues more aggressively and lead the charge for safety of our families.   

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

New Leadership: EBR Parish Home Invasions Monday, Apr 14 2008 

East Baton Rouge Parish home invasions are so high that it reached the pinnacles of the state capitol which caused the Louisiana Legislature last week to vote 100 to 0 for a new law which will mandate a 10 year prison term under House Bill 96

This sentence applies when the victim is under the age of 12, over the age of 65, or is disabled.  Kudos to State Representative Bodi White of Central, East Baton Rouge Parish, for passing this law in the House of Representatives!

East Baton Rouge Parish desperately needs new leadership to address our growing crime issues.  Last week The Advocate reported a home invasion on Glenda Drive (just off Florida Blvd. and Sherwood Blvd) where men invaded, beat and kidnapped someone.  Later these same men went to North Baton Rouge and ransacked a residence on Monroe Street.  

It’s no longer ‘the areas we do not live in’  that we must be concerned about.  Mayor-President Kip Holden’s next-door neighbor was murdered in his driveway just last year.  Two innocent teenagers were shot during the 4th of July event downtown.  An out-of-town man was shot near Airport Road after leaving church and driving to his hotel. 

It’s time that someone does more than threaten on the nightly news what will happen to criminals.  With all due respect to our officials, it is not comforting to citizens of EBRP to hear ‘strap it on’ by our police chief, the sheriff saying ‘we’re coming’ or the Mayor-President saying ‘we have a zero tolerance policy.’

Maybe Bodi White should run for Mayor-President of EBR Parish?  Seems he can get things done!

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

EBRP Mayor’s Motivation Questioned Sunday, Apr 13 2008 

An interesting letter to the editor of The Advocate recently caught my eye.  It seems that homeowners on Staring Lane severely affected by Mayor-President Kip Holden’s Green Light Plan have been asking to meet with him for three years to no avail.  To add insult to injury, the majority of the residents are senior citizens. 

The author of the letter was responding to Holden’s comments in a previously published article ‘Politics in the Bleachers’ where the Mayor said “I try to make sure that I’m out with the people, because that’s the lifestyle I’ve lived pretty much since I’ve been in office.”

There is no doubt that our Mayor-President spends an inordinate amount of time out and about in the community.  He can be seen dancing at festivals, shaking hands and kissing babies in what can be seen as a politically-based motivation.  For an elected official, being highly visible is important for appearance sake.

Mayor-President Kip Holden should have responded to this group and others in our parish prior to announcing his re-election.  Where the rubber meets the road is meeting with your constituents, returning phone calls, having sit downs with groups and individuals that have quality of life issues that affect their neighborhoods and families.  The voters want action, not talk. 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Royal Rumble: Downtown Baton Rouge Tuesday, Apr 8 2008 

Is downtown Baton Rouge turning into another New Orleans?  I go on a fishing trip and return to find that Downtown Baton Rouge has turned into a Battle Royale much like the annual Royal Rumble wrestling mania event. 

While applauding the Downtown Development District (DDD) for their continuous effort to create an array of entertainment hot spots, I am shocked to learn that no one counted the cost by planning ahead more wisely.  

It is utterly inexcusable to hear that no extra security or law enforcement personnel are required by downtown establishments serving alcohol.  Nor is it comforting to learn that officials do not make provisions for extra security during evening hours.  Crowd control is important and good common sense, especially when alcohol is being served.

Supposedly the incident was caused when a private party flowed out into the streets.  Since the DDD and Mayor have been pushing a potential open container alcohol waiver for downtown, there should have been plans in place to provide additional security in what is quickly becoming a French Quarter environment in downtown Red Stick.

I am still amazed that the Mayor’s office feels that the way to attract young people to our city is to spend so much time and effort developing an entertainment district that is so focused on alcohol.  Nevertheless, with these new activities comes serious planning and responsibility.

No big surprise:  When the media attempted to contact Mayor-President Kip Holden, one of his assistant chief administrative officers assigned to this issue was ‘unreachable.’  I would say that the Mayor’s office needs to be a bit more progressive than reactionary, but with no response – well, what can I say?

Booming stereos, cursing, clenched fists, and an AK-47 with 20 rounds in the magazine does not equate to what we were sold on for the development of an entertainment district in downtown Baton Rouge.  All of this resulted in law enforcement personnel having to be called off our streets from protecting our families to downtown to taser, pepper spray and arrest the rowdy group.  Is this really what we want in the Red Stick? 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican