Just Talkin’ – Dec. 20, 2018

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A “misunderstanding” in the school system over the teaching of spelling has sure mushroomed into quite a nightmare. Social media went berserk and efforts by the school board to correct the matter…letters to parents and robo calls to homes….only caused more confusion and ire. JT’s not a fan of social media. Social media is a lot like some of the major television networks. They don’t allow the facts to get in the way of a story angle they want to present or argue.

If you don’t like the way spelling is now taught….you surely must have gone berserk over the common core approach to teaching math. JT really appreciates our classroom educators and their challenges. And here comes that awful word…BUT…for the past 50 years our state has been at the bottom or near the bottom in state test scores when compared nationally. If other states have found ways to make progress…. we shouldn’t still be struggling. JT blames legislative interference for a lot of that. Comparing our scores against other districts in the state is like saying, “We are the best of the worst.”

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JT knows the fishing has been heavy on Cane River the past few years. The times he has driven by the Shell Beach landing, it’s almost always been full of vehicles and trailers. Someone, who has a place on Cane River, told JT there have been a lot of fishing tournaments on Cane River this past year…but the groups were not getting the necessary tournament permit. There has to be a way to enforce a permit process. JT can only image the frustration of a local Cane River property owner who likes to fish and sees these tournament fishermen casting all around his dock and catching “his” fish.

With property taxes fresh on JT’s mind, it seems local residents, who pay a millage for the operations of the Cane River Waterway, are picking up the tab while area bass clubs get a free ride.   If the Cane River Waterway wants to turn the river into some fishing/recreation mecca, they don’t need to do it at the expense of our local residents. Maintaining a stable lake level, protecting the banks, providing our farmers with a water source and giving local residents recreational opportunities should be their goals.

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Someone pointed out to JT that the recently painted lines at intersections in the downtown area didn’t last but a couple of weeks. Sure enough, JT looked and they have already faded as if they had been done years ago.  If JT can recall, they began painting the markings on the road just days…and in some cases hours….before the Christmas Festival.  Not even two weeks later, they are showing serious signs of wear. At least for a few days, they looked really good.  Not sure what kind of paint was used…but obviously it wasn’t the right kind.

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JT knows that local football activity is over….but apparently it’s never over for NSU. Around 5:30 a.m. a couple of weeks ago, JT saw the lights at the stadium were on. Upon inspection, he noticed the Demons were going through running drills. Then last week JT hears Head Coach Brad Laird was spotted “re-energizing” at a truck stop while on the road recruiting heavily in the 318 area code. The Demons finished strong last year with some impressive wins and optimism for 2019. Sure hope Santa can fill Coach Laird’s and the NSU Demons Christmas Wish list.

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And since JT is on a roll, he might as well state his observations about the last couple of parish council meetings. It seems all involved can’t get past their personal feelings or agendas to get the job done. Too much posturing. What should have been a cut and dried awarding of a garbage contract turned into a two meeting don’t-agree-on-anything marathon. JT thinks it was unfair to one company to allow their proposal to become public at a special called meeting beforethe second company sent their proposal. It’s like taking showing one child where the prize egg is at an Easter Egg hunt. Unfair advantage. Were JT that company he would probably be highly upset for not having a fair shot at the contract.

The council decided to extend their contract with Waste Connections six months, which left the Live Oak company in the, pardon the pun, dumpster for half a year. So in June or July JT and neighbors will be right back where we are today…..still listening to the council’s pile of ….trash talking. Which is about what it amounts to if they don’t do their jobs.

The meeting Monday, Dec. 17 must have been an exhausting one because the two people who also hold seats on the 911 Commission didn’t make it to their seats at that meeting Tuesday.