Police Chief Dwayne White proves the Truth will Set you Free…or get you Fired! Wednesday, Feb 20 2013 

Can speaking the truth get you fired?  Just ask Donald Trump, or Mayor Kip Holden for that matter, and you will hear a resounding yes!  That is what happened to Police Chief Dwayne White due to his inability to comply with a request for secretiveness, micromanagement and discrimination in the Baton Rouge Police Department — as allegedly ordered by Mayor Kip Holden and his Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel.

Truth is supposed to set you free.  In the Chief of Police’s case, it set him free from his job — he was fired!

Anyone who does not see the obvious controversy between Mayor Kip Holden and ANYONE who questions his authority or that refuses to ‘crouch down’ to his political bullying needs to see a psychiatrist to discuss their diagnosis — the ticket will say “denial personality disorder”.   Denial is not just a river in Egypt!

Mayor Kip Holden has been a long time antagonist of anyone who disagrees with him.  Dare to question Kip, and you will find yourself hung out to dry, publicly shamed, sued, or just simply fired!  Holden is a politician in the rarest form in that he has the keen ability to manage by intimidation, threaten behind closed doors, and still survive by re-election by the people.  As one of his Campaign Advisers once said “voters are like sheep; you simply lead them into the slaughter (voting booth) and tell them what lever to pull — it’s like magic because they do exactly what you tell them to do!”  And that my friends, Holden’s entourage is extremely successful at accomplishing.  How does it feel to be a sheep led to slaughter?

Should you ever dare to disagree with Holden, you are basically signing your resignation.  It appears, from the facts presented thus far, that is exactly what happened to Police Chief Dwayne White.

Do not misunderstand.  We are living in a right to work state that allows employers to fire you for any reason they choose.  On the other hand, it can get more complicated.  Unions — not something I am personally a fan of due to childhood incidents when the Teamsters were much more powerful than they are today — change the entire complexion of what an employer can and cannot do.

The Union of Police, currently represented by Chris Stewart, has proved that fact over and over with EVERY Chief of Police our city has ever enjoyed.  They have blocked, opposed, undermined and literally stopped any decisions they felt were against the stand the Union should have taken.  In reading the cases presented in The Advocate archives, it seems many times those decisions were sometimes on shaky ground.  That is my opinion; everyone has one.  No police chief escaped the wrath of the Union.

The absolute, most disturbing fact of the firing of Chief of Police Dwayne White are the lies that were told by the Mayor’s Office.  You cannot tout to others, at least not in this day and age of high-tech communication, that you plan to fire someone and then claim you had no intention to do so.

It was the fall of last year when I was having dinner with a friend who turned to me and said “Kip Holden plans to fire Dwayne White as soon as the election is over.”  Then, they asked “do you know why?”  I said no, tell me.  She said he had gone against the Mayor on numerous occasions and refused to comply with his political requests and basically signed his death warrant with the BRPD.  I said “time will tell if that is fact” — it proved to be factual.

Holden was smart enough to not reveal to his supporters and well wishers during a campaign that he had full intention of firing the Police Chief.  This would not have gone over well with individuals who were large contributors and supporters of the Mayor.  Politics.  Politics in its rarest form.  Holden has the art of war down to a science.

I can’t help but wonder how community leader and business owner Lane Grigsby feels now?  Did you really think you would ever control or influence Kip Holden for the long haul?

What about all of the community leaders who should be coming forth and speaking out during this controversial time?

Don’t look for any of them to come forward.

Once you put your money on a candidate, shortly after they win an election is not the time to disagree with them.  It makes you look bad as their supporter — after all, you are the one who told us all he was the right man, correct?  Isn’t your image more important than speaking the truth?  Defending the truth?

To add insult to injury, hundreds of other individuals seemed to have full knowledge of the impending firing of Police Chief Dwayne White prior to him knowing his own fate.  Once White learned, or heard the rumors, he contacted Jill Craft and asked to retain her to work out an amicable departure for all concerned.

Uh oh.  That was a huge mistake on White’s part.  Holden does not like for his office to get a call from an attorney.  No, no, no!

When Craft contacted the Mayor’s office, she was told that was a falsehood and no intention to fire the Police Chief was in the works.  Of course, according to White, just minutes after Craft’s call, White received a call from the Mayor’s office informing him that this was a mistake.

Furthermore, reporters contacted the Mayor’s Office and were given that same line — there is no intention to fire Chief White!  Articles were printed, quotes were made…..time went by….White was fired anyway.

Lines were drawn in the sand.  It was too late to turn back now.  Holden was elected.  Did it matter who he upsets?  Nah!  He won the election!  He is home free!  He is term limited and this is his last hurrah!  He can do as he pleases!

Let’s call in the troops, tell them what we need to do!  We can do as we want!  It doesn’t really matter!  All the contributions to the campaign are paid, the voters have spoken, and we can now do as we wish!  “Go and set forth a plan, William Daniel, and be my hatchet man and fire that SOB who dared to question me and in fact called an attorney.”  We’ll show him, won’t we?  I am the all-powerful OZ!  

Again, to beat a dead horse:  the voters got it wrong again.  Three terms (something Holden specifically said during McHugh’s tenure that he would NEVER serve as a 3 term mayor) and the voters were, once again, “Kipnotized” as his opponent said in the last election.

Clever, but they underestimated Holden and his cronies’ ability to win elections.  A lot of politics, money and power were behind Holden, and they would be damned if they would allow anyone to take away their power.  The plan was to win, and indeed they did — a third term in office — full of tyranny and decisions that no one in the Red Stick could override — even the Police Chief.

So, here we are.

The Union of Police has 30 days to answer Police Chief Dwayne White.  We, of course, already know what their decision will be at the end of that 30 days.

Surely, you do not underestimate the power of the Union, do you?  This is simply a formality.

The only real concern here should be on behalf of Holden and his cronies.  After all, a lot of damage can happen in 30 days.

Look what happened in one day….one press conference…one opportunity for a man to save his reputation and speak the truth.  All those papers in that binder that Police Chief Dwayne White presented.  The look on Mayor Kip Holden’s face when he realized he had finally met his match in the Police Chief.  It was a priceless to watch the dumbfounded look on Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel’s face as the Police Chief outlined item by item his defense of all the charges they laid upon him in their attempt to discredit him.  Attorney Murphy Foster came across angry, frustrated, flustered at best when he floundered around demanding White answer additional questions.

There were no additional questions to answer at that time.

Mayor Kip Holden had his day when he publicly released a letter (with Chief White’s home address I might add) to the public charging him with what appeared to be reasons why he was fired.

This day was the opportunity for White to publicly answer each of those charges.  His statements were thorough.  He accomplished what he came for — to answer the charges, to set the record straight, and to save a lifelong reputation in his commitment to serving the people of our parish and state as a law enforcement officer.  He was credible, succinct, and took no prisoners.  I remain impressed.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Fired Baton Rouge Police Chief Responds to Mayor Kip Holden Monday, Feb 18 2013 

the-moment-of-truth-12

Under any other circumstances, what took place today would most likely have not happened.  Unfortunately, Mayor Kip Holden and his Chief Administrative Officer, William Daniel, fired Police Chief Dwayne White last week.  This came after both Holden and Daniel vehemently denied to the media (when rumors were swirling over this potential firing) that there was any truth to the rumors.  Really?  Is anyone surprised that Holden and his partner in crime, Daniel, lied to the media and public?  Furthermore, the Mayor released a letter to the media last week charging the Chief of Police with a laundry list of allegations as to why he was fired.  Today’s one hour hearing was an opportunity for the Police Chief to answer those allegations — and he chose to do so in front of the media and community.

My first response is kudos to ‘former’ Police Chief Dwayne White for answering each charge in great detail, by providing a binder with documentation to back up his ‘evidence’ against each charge made by the Mayor, and for allowing the community and media to hear his side of the story.  I was intrigued and mesmerized that someone in our great city finally had the impetus to stand up to Holden.  For that alone, I applaud White!

I am a lifelong resident of the Red Stick; raised in North Baton Rouge — and in particular grew up and lived in the 70805 zip code until I was in my 30’s.  No one can tell me anything about ‘70805’.  It is one of our most drug-ridden, gang-infested, high crime areas in our city.  Not the same neighborhood I grew up in; nevertheless, just two weeks ago, I drove back to my old homestead (as I do at least once annually) and stopped on my old street to speak with a gentleman that lives across the street from the home I grew up in.  We talked about several murders that have taken place recently on my old street, as well as arrests of late for numerous violent offenders just a few houses down the street.

Let me be clear that I have never met, nor do I know Police Chief Dwayne White.  What I did learn about him today, however, is that he is a man of faith, a man that believes in his principals, a man that chose to not play politics, but to openly answer each charge publicly in order to answer to the community whom he serves as to the charges lodged against him.  He appeared to be full of conviction in his position that he had the best interest of the community in mind with all of his decisions as Police Chief, and that the charges made against him were full of misinformation and innuendo without substance.  Frankly, I remain impressed with him.

White’s attorney, Jill Craft, understands the system well.  She specializes in a very difficult area of the law — discrimination and labor law.  It can be complicated, yet she has had great success in defending individuals who were dismissed from their employment due to unfair labor practices.  Craft is no stranger to the Supreme Court either, which made bode well for White.  No doubt, the fact that White answered the charges against him both publicly and in writing fulfill one of the requirements of the law in this, Craft’s specialized area.

To know Kip Holden in his full political regalia, is to understand that he is secretive, knows how to play the game, and is quick to accuse others without evidence.  On the other hand, he has publicly denied allegations made against him and even gone so far as to file suit against anyone defaming him — later dropping the charges once time passed.  With no public apology to those he easily despaired, I might add.  It begs the question.  Here is a public figure that refuses to be held accountable, overreacts without all of the facts, and simply does as he pleases.  I am continuously shocked that he has been re-elected, and is serving his third term as Mayor.

The majority of the charges lodged against Chief of Police Dwayne White appear to be ridiculous.  Likewise, because of the history of Mayor Kip Holden’s past actions, I tend to believe all of the comments White said Holden told him behind closed doors.  Holden does not like for anyone to disagree with him.  The Mayor is very close to Chris Stewart, head of the Union of Police.  Stewart was transferred; White says Holden called him in — rumors floated that White would be fired; Holden denied the rumors — Holden fires White.

The case is pretty simple.  Stay tuned.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Redstick Murder Rate Escalates Monday, Jan 25 2010 

 Update:  Law Enforcement remains fairly mum regarding the escalation of crime in the Redstick.  Major crime is up 8% with the largest increase in murder at 14%, followed by burglary at 13% and thefts are robberies tied for 3rd place at a 10% increase.  It’s a commonly known fact that increases in theft, robbery and burglary will prove to be a breeding ground for continued escalation in more serious crimes such as murder.  “What happened to Mayor Holden’s no toleration for crime in the Redstick?

Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Nothing good ever comes from violence.”

  • The Advocate reports: 88 murders in East Baton Rouge Parish in 2009 (considered violent crime). 
  • There were actually 89 murders, as I give reverence to the fact that one woman that was murdered was pregnant. 
  • The statistics also do NOT include the additional deaths in vehicles, accidental shootings and self-defense.  If those were included, the total would be 109.
  • Nevertheless, of the 88 murders reported:
    • 55 resulted in NO arrests (62%, not “half” as reported by The Advocate – someone grab them a calculator, please!)
    • 33 resulted in 50 arrests (many had 2 perps, and 1 had 3 working in collusion to commit the murder).  (38%)   Of those arrested:
      • 4 were convicted
      • 3 had charges dropped
      • 2 were acquitted
      • 2 resulted in a refusal by the grand jury to indict
      • 22 remain unknown/status unreported
  • 1 murderer committed suicide

In August, 2009, Police Chief Jeff Leduff said, “Is violent crime up?  Yes it is.”

Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, in that same interview, said, “I don’t think we can blame any of our current crime rate on Katrina or the aftermath of Katrina”.   Important since the Mayor’s office often blames the influx of Katrina victims for crime woes in the Redstick.

Adam Knapp, CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, claimed in the interview that crime is not an issue for the types of businesses they solicit for the Red Stick when referring to export-driven companies vs. retail businesses. 

That is the first time I have ever heard that crime is not a concern for relocating business and industry.  Whether relocating or hiring good workers, with all due respect to BRAC, crime statistics and quality of life is always a concern and a key component in providing an economic development profile for a parish to prospective new businesses.  Of course, BRAC leaders know this fact.

Mayor Kip Holden tried to play down crime statistics as well stating it’s not as bad a picture as is being painted.  This is ridiculous.  If Holden wants to be America’s next greatest city, as he proclaims, he needs to get up to speed with reality and understand that a rising murder rate doesn’t make for people flocking to the Redstick.

Evidently there are some who still believe if we click our heels and chant there is no place like home, there is no place like home, that all will be just fine.

Voters disagree. 

In fact, everyone who is of sound mind believes otherwise.  We can talk about bond issues, improving downtown, building bike paths, and creating amusement parks all we wish, but neglecting our murder rate and increase in violent crime will be a key factor in losing or gaining the best and brightest.

The fact remains that we have a huge crime challenge in the Red Stick.  Arguing as to whether the population is accurate or crime statistics are in the city limits or in the unincorporated portion of the parish is moot. 

Jeff Leduff said it best, and seems to be one of the few living in the real world. 

Recently, this was evidenced by Sheriff Sid Gautreaux’s pitiful attempts to claim that murders ‘in his jurisdiction outside the city limits’ is down.  Does he really believe we disassociate the city limits when thinking about the Red Stick. 

Whether you live in the city limits overseen by the Baton Rouge Police Department or outside of the corporation limits overseen by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, you should note that it was Sheriff Sid Gautreaux that proclaimed in his campaign for office that most perpetrators cross city and parish lines.  So, if you live in Zachary, criminals from North Baton Rouge are too close for comfort.  Just as those who live off Bluebonnet find Gardere far too close for the safety of their families.   (If you want to see where you live according to the annexation map, click here.)

Safety is one of the most important aspects to our quality of life.  An increase in the murder rate threatens the safety we all aspire to enjoy in the Redstick. 

Dismissing the increase in violent crime and murder rate shows ignorance in its truest form.

District Attorney Hillar Moore came into office recognizing and moving forward with programs that will address this issue head-on by working with our youth to prevent them from taking the wrong path.  Moore also recognizes the importance of protecting witnesses, and prosecuting repeat offenders.  These are worthwhile programs and should be fully funded by the Mayor’s Office instead of creating bike paths from Memorial Stadium to Downtown Baton Rouge.

I would like to see Mayor Kip Holden return to his promise of “no tolerance for violent crime” in East Baton Rouge Parish.  That would be time and money well spent. 

We must build from the bottom up and work on the most important aspects of our quality of life with the safety of our lives, homes and families being paramount. 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Tiger Woods: Coming Undone Wednesday, Dec 9 2009 

 

No one can argue that Tiger Woods is #1 in the golfing world and in the lives of individuals who have followed his incredible career.  We have stood beside him, cheered him on, and hailed him as a hero.

Better yet, ten million young people have been touched by the Tiger Woods Foundation, an organization founded by Tiger and his father, Earl, to promote character development, setting goals, and achieving your dreams through applying yourself. 

Tiger Woods claims that the foundation was established on the character traits he learned from his parents:  Integrity, Honesty, Discipline, Responsibility and Fun.

Nike, one of Tiger’s sponsors, even went so far as to create what ESPN claims was the most profound TV commercial in sports history known as I am Tiger Woods.  Children of every nationality have been inspired by Tiger Woods’ story and ability to show that hard work pays off.  It truly has been a phenomina.

It wasn’t just the golf, or the life-long dream realized that made us fall in love with Tiger.  It was the man, his story, his dedication, his persistence, his character.  Character:  moral excellence.

Now we find ourselves in a dilemna.  As we mull over the definition of character and the persona of a man that we have hailed as a hero to our children, we learn he has flaws we never dreamed existed. 

Now, we gleen into the life of someone we thought we knew.  It doesn’t mean that his incredible golf feats are less, but simply that once again a hero has allowed his personal demons to lower him to a level we never imagined.

We did not judge him on the color of his skin, but on the content of his character.  So what are we to believe now?

The jury is still out.  Rumors and innuendos are circling above Tiger’s million dollar mansion.  No doubt there is some truth to the accusations when 10 16 women come forward sharing the details of torrid love affairs with Tiger, a married man.  An admission of shortfallings and causing harm to his family by Woods was just short of a confession of guilt. 

The personal life Tiger fought so hard to keep private is now being played out on a stage like a bad play on Broadway.

Time will tell where Tiger’s transgressions will take him. 

All eyes are upon him, and the debates are already tiring.  No matter how much some try to justify or excuse his behavior, the truth is that we are watching another icon tumble. 

Tiger Woods has spent a lifetime telling us that responsibility and commitment are the keys to a better life. 

As always, the world is watching and waiting Tiger.  How will you handle what really matters in life?  How will you reconcile a life coming undone? 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Joel Boe’ –> Vox Populi Thursday, Aug 13 2009 

voice of the people

Simply put, we have found a member of the East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council that has become:

Vox Populi, the ‘Voice of the People’  

We are watching a true leader walking the walk, not just talking the talk.  

Councilman Joel Boe’ not only stood up for his constituents in District 9, but he stood in the gap for the entire parish by standing strong against a foolish plan by Mayor-President Kip Holden. 

The Mayor attempted to stack the deck in his favor by shutting out certain portions of the parish and excluding them from their right to vote on a parish tax increase this fall. 

Holden’s divisive move is a show of his true colors gone wild

Without doing his due diligence, Holden made a single-minded decision to exclude areas of the parish that previously voted against his proposed tax increases.  Coffee shop talk reveals that Holden and his consultant’s believe he is invincible based on past political polls

This was an unfortunate position to take. 

When Boe’ spoke against Holden’s divisive move, the Mayor went to great lengths to put Boe’ in his place and verbally attack him in the media.   

On the other hand, cool as a cucumber, Boe’, took the verbal assaults by Holden and still spoke for the people. 

Boe’ showed signs of a true leader.

Holden’s hot-headed nature has become more prolific.  In spite of his personal attacks on Boe’, the councilman remained calm, stood his ground, and won by forcing Holden’s hand.  Yesterday Holden was surrounded by hundreds of citizens crowding into the Metro Council Chamber.  They had come to support Boe’ and to let the Mayor know he works for the people.

The voters have longed for a voice of the people.  Boe’s leadership caused Holden to back down and finally do the right thing by including all of the parish of East Baton Rouge.

Boe’ has won the support of many groups including members of the local Tea Party, several North Baton Rouge African-American organizations and leaders, his constituents, and others who have been longing for real leadership in the Red Stick.

Holden soon found out that whatever he says doesn’t necessarily fly with the voters.  In fact, two of the three areas Holden set out to exclude met this week to voice their desires to be a part of the tax decision.

My hope is truly renewed. There is never a wrong time to do the right thing!

It’s almost like having a glimpse of character traits that would be attractive in a future Mayor when I observe Boe’. 

Stranger things have happened in the Red Stick.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Bully Mayor Holden, Bully! Thursday, Jul 23 2009 

 

Baton Rouge’s Business Report Poll of the day Results indicates that 70% of the people believe that the entire parish should have the opportunity to vote on Mayor Holden’s $880 million bond issue/tax!  Over 1,300 individuals participated in their poll. 

1921-06-04-The-Country-Gentleman-Norman-Rockwell-cover-Bully-Before-no-logo-140-Digimarc

Bullies are normally reserved for the playground; however, it seems Mayor-President Kip Holden is proving that bullies are still alive and well in the world of politics and the ‘next greatest city’‘ —  the Red Stick. 

Councilman Joel Boe’ had the audacity to speak out publicly about his concerns regarding the Mayor’s proposed $880 million dollar bond issue/tax. 

Boe’ feels that excluding Baker, Central and Zachary from voting on Holden’s upcoming tax increase is divisive for the parish, and was a distinct move to make a previously failed tax pass on the second go round. 

It’s common banter that Holden’s tax proposal failed last year due to a lack of support from the northern part of EBR Parish.  In fact, polls were discussed post-election and political consultant, Roy Fletcher, made it very clear that polls reflected a message being sent by Central and Zachary that their wishes were being ignored by Holden. 

In turn, Mayor-President Kip Holden chastised Boe’ on television saying, “he needs to grow up”.  Holden further stated, “For Mr. Boe’ to come out and make an arbitrary statement without any findings that I tried to manipulate the system in order to win.  I think there is some growing up that needs to be done.”

If anyone reading this doesn’t believe that the Mayor read the same polls Roy Fletcher read, then I have some land to sell you. 

Do you think Boe’ failed to receive the memo stating that Holden has a strong preference for yes men?  Evidently so.

What is happening here folks is a public education in good ole’ Red Stick Politics. 

Registration in ‘Professor’ Holden’s political science class is normally open only to those in his inner circle.  Yet, it’s the tip of the iceberg and a very small glimpse into politics in its truest form.

In fact, Holden is so good at the game of politics, you may have noticed that neither the BR Business Report or The Advocate covered Boe’s comments or Holden’s public flogging of Boe’.  (Keep that breaking news a coming now, you great journalists of Baton Rouge!)

Kudos to WAFB for their exclusive coverage.

The voters elect officials to represent the people, ask questions, stand up, speak out, and bring their communities together for the greater good.  Councilman Joel Boe’ was doing exactly what he was elected, by the people, to do.

A little secret someone needs to let the Mayor in on:  the greatest leaders are those who surround their self with men and women who bring a different perspective, ask the tough questions, and seek out all options available for solutions to the issues.  Those willing to say no, or at best to not always say yes.

Boe’ evidently fits that profile.  Holden doesn’t like it though, and used his bully pulpit to attempt to demean Boe’ publicly for daring to voice an opinion opposite of the all-powerful, all-knowing Mayor-President Kip Holden. 

We were told we needed NEW, YOUNG, BRIGHT LEADERS with FRESH PERSPECTIVES.  We do, don’t we?  Please tell me that we really do want to elect these type of individuals?   I beg you to prove to me that a NEW, YOUNG, BRIGHT LEADER with a FRESH PERSPECTIVE can speak out, ask tough questions and not have to suffer being publicly flogged by our Mayor.

Tell me again.  How do we expect to get more people involved?  To believe?  To stand up?  To be accounted for?  To vote?  To listen?  To care?  Is this what they can expect from us when they step up to the plate for a thankless job as they stand in the gap for the people?

Sooner or later, we had better decide what we really want for the ‘next greatest city’.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Why Gardere Crime Dropped Sunday, Jul 12 2009 

Connections Ministry

When there is a drastic change in a crime-ridden area, it begs the question.  So, I set out to see why murders are down in the Gardere area of the Red Stick.  What I found out was enlightening.

In the fall of 2008, faith-based groups came together to work hard in an effort to rebuild the Gardere area from the bottom up.  In order to accomplish this, it would require those living in the area to take back their neighborhood – and that they did.

While politicians would like to take credit for the drop in crime, I choose to applaud the unsung heroes that have paid a price with their love, sweat, prayers and tears to make a difference in the lives of Gardere residents:

drumgole

The response was so overwhelming, that other African-American churches joined them, as well as a Hispanic church.  By Christmas, other plans culminated: 

Manale

In February, 2009, over 11 churches joined in the efforts of the Gardere/GSRI area outreach with hands-on assistance.  Together, they planned for a May event to include different aspects including:

  • Garage Give-Away:  clothes, furniture, appliances, etc.
  • Picnic:  food planned for up to 2,000 residents to break bread together
  • Medical Screening:  doctors and nurses to do health evaluations
  • Kid’s Village:  kid’s activities, storytelling, and spiritual teaching
  • Spiritual Outreach:  prayer, counseling, faith-based outreach to all residents open to hearing the message of Jesus and how he can change your heart, mind and life

 Preparations began with another hard-working group of volunteers:

Eric Sanders

 Rodriguez

Jambalaya, clothes, health screenings, fellowship, faith, toys, furniture, bibles, face painting, appliances, electronics, and lots of love  coupled with the message of spiritual-life changing reality was shared at the May event in Gardere. 

This is the reality of where we must live.  Mayor Holden, take note! 

Buildings do not change people.  People reaching out change people.  Yes, truancy is a problem, but getting down to where people live by providing needs, empowering them to do for their own self, showing love is where the rubber meets the road.

If you can’t donate your time, donate your householditems, clothing, food, or cash to share in this PROVEN outreach.  It’s a faith-based effort that is worthy of the countless hours these men and women have spent in their heartfelt outreach that is changing lives. 

As a result, crime has dropped drastically in the Gardere/GSRI area.

The next event scheduled is a school supply give-away on August 1st at the BREC Park at Gardere.  To support this fruitful ministry that has obviously changed lives, contact clayton@connectionsministry.com or go to their website for more information by clicking here

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Violent Crime Dominates EBRP Monday, Jul 6 2009 

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No, I don’t like the headline, but the truth hurts. 

It’s time for the Red Stick to call a ‘Come to Jesus Meeting’ regarding violent crime.  Denying that crime statistics are accurate is nothing more than ignoring the facts. 

In fact, let’s just let the facts speak for their self.  In viewing the Police & Fire Briefs in The Advocate for the month of June only, here is an overview of specific violent crimes reported on by the media in the Red Stick:

June Murders:

  1. Victim name unknown, Tecumseh/NBR area
  2. Myron Wright, 17, Greenwell Springs area
  3. Shelva Glasper, 33, North Baton Rouge area
  4. Kendrick Brown, 26, Brookstown area
  5. Ramon House, 56, North 26th area
  6. Juan Gonzales, 30, Ardenwood area
  7. Jarnell Anderson, 28, Zion City area
  8. Quincy Gibson, 33, Glen Oaks area
  9. Jermiah ‘Mico” Gibson, Baker area
  10. Anthony Laphand, 20, Perkins Road area
  11. Louis Deggs, Jr., 20, N. Acadian area

June Shootings:

  1. Mall City
  2. Chippewa Street area
  3. Off Burbank
  4. Baker/Zachary
  5. Zion City
  6. East Boulevard
  7. Brownsfield
  8. I-10 @ Essen Lane
  9. Village St. George

June Stabbings:

  1. Siegen/Perkins Road
  2. North Blvd/Convention

June Carjackings:

  1. Bawell off College Drive
  2. N. Acadian Thruway

June Armed Robberies:

  1. Baskin Robbins, Sherwood Forest
  2. Midsouth Bank, Jefferson Hwy
  3. Shell, Greenwell Springs Rd
  4. Cracker Barrell, Jefferson Hwy
  5. Buffalo Wings parking lot, Bluebonnet
  6. Individual on Scenic Hwy
  7. Individual in Gardere area
  8. Home Invasion, Eugene Street
  9. Jack-in-Box, Airline Hwy
  10. Pizza deliveryperson, S. Harrells Ferry Rd
  11. Southern Belle, Lobdell
  12. 5 minute Oil Change, Airline Hwy
  13. Individual O’Neal @ I-12

June Home or Business Invasions/Thefts:

  1. Conn’s, Airline Hwy
  2. Coastal Corrosion, Mammoth Dr
  3. Winn Dixie, Flannery Rd
  4. Cracker Barrel, Highland Rd
  5. Home, Charles Street
  6. Home, Central area

June Rapes:

  1. Airline near Jefferson Hwy
  2. Unknown location – multiple offenses
  3. Clayton area
  4. S. Harrell Ferry Road
  5. Unknown – child rape
  6. LSU area
  7. Airline @ I-12
  8. Area not given – 3 instances

June Attempted Child Abduction:

  1. Florida near Flannery

June Kidnapping of an Adult:

  1. North Baton Rouge

June Arsons:

  1. Zachary – two vehicles
  2. Zion City – home

June Violent Beatings:

  1. Baker

June Cyberstalking Cases:

  1. Red Stick resident
  2. Red Stick resident

This list is generated directly from the BR Police Department and the EBR Sheriff’s Office as provided to The Advocate.  These crimes do NOT reflect all crimes in the month of June, only those printed in the newspaper. 

I find it extremely offensive when officials try to convince us that the national crime statistics are not accurate.  All you need to do is read the daily newspaper or watch the local nightly news, and you will know that we have a violent crime issue in the Red Stick.

This does not scratch the surface of crime in our parish, as it does not have ONE drug incident listed – only TWO incidents listed mention domestic violence – only ONE crime listed mentions a juvenile.  It does not include all the 911 calls made daily regarding suspicious activities, disputes, the vast majority of home invasions, or car thefts. The newspaper doesn’t have enough allotted space to cover all criminal incidents in the parish.

Violent crime is defined by the use of violent force  in the commission of a crime or threatening to use violent force.  That’s a broad definition.  Do you have to walk in on a burglar and see a weapon to consider it a violent crime?  Do domestic violence situations where one party threatens to violently harm the other party fall under violent crime?  I believe it does.  

Where do we go from here to curb violent crime in the Red Stick?  We talk about education and economic development as the linchpins for “the next great city” – our future. 

Violent crime is a socio-economic issue. 

The lack of education in partnerships between our churches, schools, neighborhoods, businesses, families and law enforcement is a major key to the answer.  

Some of the key issues we must address include:   illegal drugs in our neighborhoods, easy access to prescription drugs in our homes, juvenile behavior that goes without proper punishment, a justice system that is too forgiving of violent offenders, corruption in political office that is accepted, turning a blind eye when witnessing a crime or injustice in our streets. 

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

The Magical World of Louisiana Politics Saturday, Jun 20 2009 

 all about the money

Alice in Wonderland taught us about the world of childhood fantasies.  It’s a world of fantasy where some still choose to reside.  It’s a magical land of make believe where anything can happen, much like the world of Louisiana politics.

The heart of the Red Stick is the seat of both city and state government where magical dreams come true.  It’s a tale that began with wonder and delight.  Some call it the legend of Istrouma Bluff . . .

It all began long, long ago on the banks of the mighty Mississippi, when a french explorer, Iberville, spotted a bloody cypress stick and named the location ‘le baton rouge’ or Red Stick

A new architect to the land, Dakin, built a gothic medieval castle to house the seat of government with a front row view of the massive river traffic, but just as in all magical lands, this castle was not large enough for the politically powerful. 

So, Governor Huey P. Long commissioned a taller state capitol to house state government.  It would, one day, become the home of the largest employer in the state of Louisiana. 

This was only the beginning of the people’s woes including larger, more excessive state government.  A chicken in every pot, and funding for all special interests.  It was a Never Never Land, where politicians proclaimed ‘no is not an answer’.

In this magical land, money grew on trees and blank checks fell from the sky.  Politicians skipped down the halls exchanging votes only behind magical closed doors. 

The legislative sessions do often sound like tales from folklore.  Don’t they?  Unfortunately they are not fairy tales, but the reality of gatherings comprised of elected officials and appointees that often lack common sense, ethical concern and good ole-fashioned prudence. 

In the magical world of Louisiana politics, finances are infinite.  There is no awareness of real budgets or lack of funding.  Like Dick Tracy, someone with a magical answer is always ‘on their way’ to the rescue. 

The mentality is that state government is too big to fail, that bailouts and magic financial formulas will cause money to magically appear.  And like all mantras, sometimes they do come true as evidenced by $22.6 million in funding suddenly ‘found’ recently.

In this magical world of Louisiana politics, the finances are so tangled in bureaucracy that the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.  So much so, that within 12 months we can be so far off base to go from a surplus to a shortfall.  Then, magically, we begin to pick the fruit of unspent dollars and tax dollars to meet the shortfall. 

It truly is magical.  No reality here folks.  Just a wonderful world of fantasy spending that will endlessly lift us to another world of wonder. 

As long as we are living in the world of fantasy, I recommend we all search for a character similar to the one in the movie ‘Dave’.  A hero that snuck a friend into the state capitol to recommend financial cuts.  If it worked in the movies, surely it will work in the magical world of Louisiana politics.  Right?

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

Red Stick Unemployment Lines Growing Thursday, May 21 2009 

Updates!

  • Sunland Pipe, a Shaw Group company, laid off about 40 workers.  Last month they laid off 200 in North Louisiana.  Shaw claims this is due to the downturn in fabrication work. 
  • 100 contract maintenance workers at the Georgia Gulf plant have been laid off.  Reports indicate they are employed by Turner Industries as maintenance personnel. 

unemployment

Despite Mayor-President Kip Holden’s hyperbole claiming the Red Stick has been immune to the recession, news reports continue to prove otherwise.  Recent announcements were made that hundreds of jobs in the Red Stick are vanishing before our very eyes, and thousands of employees will feel the pinch of the cost of living while their paychecks shrink. 

It’s the tip of the iceberg since the news only reports on large employers or ‘newsworthy’ companies.  (No offense intended to every business that has closed or individual who has been laid off.) 

Capitol One Bank announced yesterday that approximately 22% of their work force, 180 employees, will be cut over the next few months.  

Chrysler and General Motor dealers in the Red Stick still await their fate, as do employees that earn in excess of $21 hourly.  According to Louisiana State Treasurer, John Kennedy, dealership losses are expected to deliver a blow of up to $350 million with a loss of up to $50 million in state taxes.  Dealers are being notified via mail.

Though Trinity Marine is located in Brusly, many employees travel from the Greater Baton Rouge area to work at the barge manufacturer.  Over 190 employees are expected to lose their jobs in the immediate future according to reports earlier this week.

The Red Stick’s pride and joy, Pennington Biomedical, chose the higher road by announcing no pay raises for 452 employees vs layoffs.  This could be a temporary measure, however, since Pennington receives significant funding from the troubled treasure chest of the state of Louisiana. 

The Advocate took the lower road by announcing that approximately 10% of their staff, 49 employees, will learn their fate  today when they receive their dismissal papers.

In June, Louisiana Civil Service will make a decision as to whether merit increases are eliminated in lieu of state worker layoffs.  This move stands to significantly affect Red Stick workers as agencies are headquartered in the capitol city.

Southern University, based in the Red Stick, is discussing layoffs and one-day-a-month unpaid furloughs for university employees.  LSU is in the news daily, discussing major cuts in personnel and services.

There are far too many stories in the naked city.  Troubling times.  Budget cuts.  Benefit costs being passed on to employees.  Unpaid furloughs.  Businesses shutting down.  Enough facts to challenge the ‘Baton Rouge has survived the recession without a blemish’ to say the least.

The problem with politicians like Mayor-President Kip Holden is that they cannot comprehend budget cuts.  Spendthrift is primary in Holden’s vocabulary evidenced by his plan to raise taxes on voters this fall.  It’s always easier to spend someone else’s money.  Business owners, on the other hand, are more in tune with strict budgets, the cost of doing business, and less than bottomless funding scenarios.

Loren Scott has continuously told us that the Red Stick is in good financial shape.  Now, he claims the third quarter predictions are grim for the parish.  I’m glad he is taking a peek into the real world the rest of us are already living in today.

What can we do?  Buckle down folks.  Shop mindfully.  Spend wisely.  Squeeze whatever you can into savings.  Take it on as a challenge. 

Reach out.  Share the fruit of your labors with those less fortunate.  These are the times that make us stronger and better. 

Let’s not do as the politicians, and bury our heads in the sand.  We can remain positive, cautiously.  This too shall pass.  And, if it doesn’t, let’s demand that elected officials cut the necessary fat, not raise taxes, and join the rest of us in working towards a sounder financial future in the Red Stick.

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican

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