Just Talkin’ 3-22-18


Marion Johnston sent the following note to JT who thinks it bears repeating to our readers. Marion said what many of us are thinking. “Please tell JT that I could not agree more about daylight savings time. I hate it! I think God put the sun in the sky just where it should be and man should leave it alone.”

JT wants to thank La. DOTD for the overlay on South Drive. It began last week and JT was irritated with the long delays thinking it was just a pot hole patching exercise. He later realized it is an overlay from south of the Natchitoches Times office, north to meet the project that widened South Drive to Hancock Drive. JT is among the many drivers who turned onto South Drive only to drop onto the bumpy road near Maggio’s. So be patient with the delays that are improving the southern entrance into the City.

Photo by Hannah Richardson

JT has some not-so-nice words to impatient drivers. JT, while driving south, was directed into the northbound lane during the construction Monday morning. Some idiot driving north couldn’t wait for his lane to go so he drove north on the shoulder of the road, meeting the oncoming traffic.

JT sees where Sen. Gerald Long, who is term limited and cannot seek re-election to his Senate seat, has expressed interest for another statewide seat.  If you remember, about five years ago, Long was actually thinking about running for Governor. Now we hear, in the wake of Secretary of State Tom Schedler’s harassment allegations-which are causing him not to seek re-election, Long has said he is considering the race. Long has also been rumored to mounting a challenge to Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell. That seat covers almost all of Northwest Louisiana. Election is still a year away, but folks are already jockeying for position. Monroe Senator Mike Walsworth is mentioned as a candidate as are two current members of the House of Representatives (Paul Hollis of Covington and Julie Stokes of Kenner) and former House member, Bryan Adams of Gretna. As JT said, it’s still early but that position seems to draw quite a crowd. One thing JT knows is that it’s extremely hard for someone from North Louisiana to get elected to a statewide post.  Just look at the state’s top office holders and all are from South Louisiana and it’s been that way for a while.

Here’s something to ponder. As our automakers and public move more and more to electric cars that means the sales of gasoline will drop. That also means the revenue from the gasoline tax, which is dedicated to road and bridge repair, will also decline. If that happens who will, and how are, we going to pay for roadwork? JT can foresee some type of tax on the public to make up the lost revenues. Now will it be a tax on automobile purchases, or something set up like the Homestead Exemption, or some other form of statewide tax? That’s anyone’s guess, but JT sees a real problem down the road.

JT was reading where the Sheriff in DeSoto Parish is resigning before his term is up. One can’t help but wonder if it’s somehow related to the speeding ticket program they had going on there for years?

Bigger and better…new and improved…the best ever…..terms like that are being tossed around about this year’s Jazz Festival slated for April 13 and 14. It’s still a few weeks away, but from what JT hears tickets are going fast for the new reserved seating program. Rick Derringer…who had the hit “Hang on Sloopy” will be here as will Starship, most notably know for the song “We Built This City” and The Ohio Players, of “Fire” and “Love Rollercoaster” fame.  Added into the mix will be Nashville sensation Maggie Rose, Louisiana’s own Wayne Toups and lots of local talent.

Maggie Rose

On the political scene, JT came across this analysis from Louisiana political writer Tom Aswell in his Louisiana Voice column: “When legislators are unable/unwilling to fix the state’s fiscal problems, they certainly see to their own financial well-being.”  During the just completed special legislative session, 41 campaign fundraisers were held for 46 different legislators. So the argument “could” be made that at least something got done. It just wasn’t for the voters.

Remember last week JT talked about how the district lines for our Senators and Representatives are so crazily drawn. In a number of cases the districts are drawn for gerrymandering purposes…meaning benefiting one legislator or one group of voters. Well, he was enlightened rather quickly by a former elected official. JT was told that in Louisiana voters don’t choose their legislators. Under the current reapportionment system, the legislators actually choose their voters.

Photo by Hannah Richardson of the Times feathered friend

At the Times office, our windows must be a little TOO clean! If you recall a few months ago, I told you the tale of a hawk that flew into our windows near the front of the building. After impact, the bird just sat on the grass, looking quite stunned, head turning left and right, and feathers flying off him in the wind. When JT got settled in that morning, someone had called to me, “JT, call 911!” That caused me to slightly panic until I was aware of the situation, that it was just a stunned bird. Monday morning, shortly after I settled into my desk to work, fellow employees walked by and said to me, “JT, we need you to perform first aid/CPR up front!” A slight panic washed over me, and I uttered a “what?” Another bird had flown into the window. Gosh, again? Sure enough, there it was- plopped down on the concrete; his twig-like legs sprawled in front of him. I was honestly a little worried when I saw him. I’ve never seen a bird’s legs lay like that. Just like the hawk from before, this one, a redheaded woodpecker, sat quite stunned- slowly blinking, but otherwise unmoving. We agreed to check on him throughout the day and see if he would be able to move. A few minutes after JT sat back down at his desk, an employee came back and said as she opened the door to check on the bird, he shot off like a rocket. We’re relieved he was able to fly away. We might have to dirty our windows up a bit to prevent this from happening again, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated.