Just Talkin’ Lagniappe for Feb. 16

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JT was visiting with some folks the other day and the subject came up about how Alexandria has become like a lost city in our area. In the discussion, it was noted that most people in our area are on some sort of satellite dish system for television. The dish networks in our area don’t carry the Alexandria television stations, so we don’t see their news or advertisements. In addition, not many people here read the Alexandria paper anymore. Those two factors led someone in the group to say that Alexandria was turning into a Bunkie….it’s still there, just not much to it.

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Early indications are the political attention statewide will be on two races…the Governor and the Commissioner of Insurance. However, locally, we’re just not hearing anyone but Louie Bernard is interested in Sen. Gerald Long of Winnfield’s seat. Rumors have surfaced someone from Alexandria might decided to enter the race but they’ll have to have high name recognition to take on our popular former Clerk of Court. JT would be surprised if we see any significant names pop up as candidate for Governor. It’s eight months away and those serious about making a run should have already tossed their names out. But this is Louisiana and surprises are common. Right now there are only three people interested enough to announce. The current Governor, John Bel Edwards, a Democrat; and two Republicans, Congressman Ralph Abraham from northeast Louisiana and Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone. Longtime commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon, who is seeking his fourth term, has drawn a challenger in DeRidder native Tim Temple. Temple, who has been in the insurance business for over 20 years, reportedly loaned his campaign $800,000 for the race. Donelon, an attorney by profession, reported just over $200,000 in his last campaign finance report.

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Speaking of politics…. Have you noticed how hard it is for some politicians to return to life as a citizen of this state. Many of them jump from elected office to elected office while others take on appointments or governmental related jobs. That pubic life, public paycheck and swag seem to be just too hard for them to give up.

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One of JT’s fascinations is space exploration. He was disappointed when the Obama administration pretty much shut down NASA launches. Now our trips to the get astronauts to the space station are pretty much us taking a taxi provided by another country. So news this week that the Mars Rover was classified as “dead” was disappointing, even though it had yielded data long past what was expected. Yes…it’s expensive. But there is so much to learn about our solar system. JT recalls hearing an interview several years ago with an astronaut who had just returned from a trip into space. Asked about the anxiety of the trip, the astronaut said something to the effect, how would you feel about traveling almost 250,000 miles in a small vehicle knowing that the cheapest bidder made each part.

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Need something to do Saturday? It’s Pack the Prather day as the NSU Demons host Stephen F. Austin in basketball. It’s a double header so you get to see the Lady Demons at 1 p.m. followed by the Demons. And don’t forget, next week the Demon Baseball team opens their home schedule by hosting the LSU Fighting Tigers. The two teams meet at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at the newly renovated Brown-Stroud Field complex.

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The talk of the “missed” call is still lingering and it looks like it’s going to be the focus of some New Orleans Mardi Gras parades. JT reads some of the beads that will be thrown this year will resemble a yellow flag. JT knows officials have a tough task. He can’t get too upset with an official missing a call, but like most Saints fans he does have a problem when several officials are watching and they all miss it. JT’s reminded of the veteran official telling a rookie official that they are expected to be PERFECT in their first game. Then they have to get better each game thereafter.