JT for June 21, 2018

77

JT spotted this overly prepared guy (you never know when you might need something) in Shreveport at a gas station near Home Depot. Several motorists almost ran into each other as they did a double take once they saw what the motorcycle was pulling. Yep, that is a coffin. Several people approached and took photos, but none, including JT, were brave enough to ask about the contents!

Mayor Lee Posey introduced a guest at the City Council meeting, Coushatta Mayor Johnny Cox, who took the podium to address the council. He received a warm greeting from the Mayor as he spoke on an issue. He took his seat for several minutes but during a short break, addressed the Mayor from the audience to tell him that he was not Johnny Cox, but his identical twin brother, Jerome. There was a big round of laughter from the audience, many of whom were acquainted with the Coushatta mayor. Jerome said he and his brother often pulled that trick when they were students at Northwestern State but had not done so in a long time. He previously had longer hair and a beard but since shaving it, just looks like Johnny. JT, who has visited with the Mayor on occasions and covered his council meetings in Coushatta, was a little miffed that Mayor Cox didn’t recognize him and have a few words to say. Now he knows why.

JT is confounded at how easily people associate two completely separate entities when in reality they have absolutely nothing to do with each other. It all has to do with a name or phrasing of words. Business owners choose the name that best suits their service or product. The name becomes their entire identity. JT has noticed chaos follows when names cause confusion. Take a father and son with the same name. Only the suffix “Jr.” separates the two and even in today’s technology, that results in a lifetime of confusion from what to actually call the younger man, Bubba, Junior, or whatever to decades of getting each other’s bills.There have been numerous lawsuits over business names or logos infringing upon copy write laws. Sometimes, it is simply a spelling change, like Cuts to Kuts that differentiate the business names. JT has seen new businesses take names of former businesses that have closed and capitalize on the former’s reputation. Some even use the tagline or slogan from another business and convert it to reflect their new endeavor. JT has seen this happening with the Natchitoches Times.

This newspaper is the official journal of Natchitoches Parish and the Times has used this slogan for the better part of a century. By journal, it means the Times is the official publisher of legal documents for the parish’s governing bodies. A new business popped up a while back and uses the name Journal. JT was told just this week, “I thought they were your online site and ya’ll were the same business.”

Nope.

The Natchitoches Times is the print newspaper with an online presence on Facebook and at www.natchitochestimes.com. The Natchitoches Parish Journal is online only. You see where the confusion comes in….compare “Natchitoches Times, the official journal of Natchitoches Parish” and “Natchitoches Parish Journal.” Similar, but very different and completely unassociated.

Maybe this will clear up any muddy water still swirling around out there.

JT thinks that Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards ought to follow the lead of the Natchitoches Parish School Board and instead of cutting the budgets of our colleges and universities he should man up and close some of the smaller ones. Someone pointed out to JT that Louisiana has 36 four-year colleges and universities. In fact, there are approximately 127 colleges, community colleges and trade schools. Eleven of those are from the Alexandria area and north. That’s not counting at lease seven institutions in the state JT knows about that are Private Colleges, like Louisiana College and Centenary. Just looking along Interstate 20 corridor, you’ve got LSU-S at about 3,000 students, Southern University-Shreveport at around 3,000.

Then there’s Grambling (about 60 miles away from Shreveport) at just fewer than 4,000 students, Louisiana Tech at 12,000 and Northeast with around 8,000. Also along that route is a Technical College in Webster and another one in the Monroe area. Everyone knows we’ve got too many four-year institutions… but true to legislative form…they’ve just kicked that can down the road rather than address it.  In practicality, combining campuses is cost effective and increases learning opportunities for all involved. Maybe our Governor will indeed follow the common sense approach of the Natchitoches Parish School Board and do the right thing. The unfortunate thing is that a move like consolidating colleges and universities….like establishing a budget….takes leadership. That’s something JT is not seeing from this group of elected officials. Instead he’s seeing irresponsibility and spitefulness.

Speaking of state government. JT heard that even though we are leaning over a “budget cliff”, the number of state workers under Governor John Bel Edwards has grown by over 2,000 people. Wonder what that impact on our state finances has had? Sounds to JT like some sort of hiring freeze may be in order. ——-