Jefferson Parish

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall: Fractious and furious constituents shout down the senator

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 8:02 PM

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy at a fractious town hall today in Metairie. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy at a fractious town hall today in Metairie.

Town halls around the country are fractious affairs these days for Republican members of Congress, but the crowd of hundreds that showed up at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library in Metairie today for a town hall with U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy was so raucous and furious that CNN began carrying it live.

People began arriving around noon to line up and hold a parking lot rally before the doors opened at 3 p.m., so attendees already were tired of waiting when Cassidy arrived 22 minutes late to the 3:30 p.m. town hall. The senator apologized, saying he was touring New Orleans tornado damage, an explanation that didn't go over well in the crowd of 200 or so who were allowed in, which jeered and booed him. And that was just the start.

"If all you want to do is vent," Cassidy said early on, "this will not be profitable."

They did. It wasn't.

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Slideshow: Protesters, supporters at Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall in Metairie

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 3:05 PM

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Congressional town hall meetings have become heaty affairs back home, and U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall today at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Public Library is no exception. Several hundred people — mostly protesters — gathered outside starting at noon for the event, which was not scheduled to begin until 3:30 p.m.

Here are a few of the signs and people in the crowd.

Slideshow
Scenes from Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall in Metairie today
Scenes from Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall in Metairie today Scenes from Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall in Metairie today Scenes from Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall in Metairie today Scenes from Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall in Metairie today Scenes from Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall in Metairie today Scenes from Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall in Metairie today

Scenes from Sen. Bill Cassidy's town hall in Metairie today


By Kevin Allman

Click to View 7 slides


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Friday, February 3, 2017

All-out war in Jefferson Parish: Chris Roberts and Mike Yenni

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 2:46 PM

Jefferson Council Chair Chris Roberts (left) and Parish President Mike Yenni are at open war.
  • Jefferson Council Chair Chris Roberts (left) and Parish President Mike Yenni are at open war.

Who would have guessed a year ago that New Orleans politics would seem tame — boring, even — compared to that of Jefferson Parish? The city’s heated debates over crime, streets and Confederate-era monuments look like Junior League socials compared to the political war in Jefferson these days.

The two principal combatants are Parish President Mike Yenni and Council Chair Chris Roberts. They never got along very well, but their previously muted hostilities are now out in the open — and spreading.

Last week’s parish council meeting erupted into a barrage of cross-accusations that included graphic sexting, conflicts of interest, ethical lapses and criminality. Yenni and Roberts accused each other being “unfit” to hold public office — and that’s a polite summary.

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Friday, October 28, 2016

In Jefferson Parish, now it’s the DiMarco scandal

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2016 at 11:36 AM

Jefferson Parish Registrar of Voters Dennis DiMarco said the private voting machine in his office was “really a convenience for those whose time is, for lack of a better word, maybe more valuable than others’.”
  • Jefferson Parish Registrar of Voters Dennis DiMarco said the private voting machine in his office was “really a convenience for those whose time is, for lack of a better word, maybe more valuable than others’.”


As if the Mike Yenni sexting scandal weren’t embarrassing enough for Jefferson Parish voters, now the feds have been notified that parish Registrar of Voters Dennis DiMarco set up a special VIP voting machine in his private conference room during early voting week.

DiMarco told WWL-TV’s Paul Murphy the private voting machine was “not a big issue,” but the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Secretary of State Tom Schedler begged to differ. Louisiana law expressly states, “Each voting machine shall be placed inside the polling place and shall be in full view of the public from the time the election begins until the last elector has voted.”

What part of that sentence does DiMarco not understand?

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mike Yenni insists he's staying as Jefferson Parish President, as council unanimously casts vote of no confidence in his leadership

Posted By on Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 12:15 PM

Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni leaves parish council chambers after the council unanimously cast a vote of no confidence in his leadership.
  • Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni leaves parish council chambers after the council unanimously cast a vote of no confidence in his leadership.

Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni made his first appearance before the parish council since news of his sexting scandal broke earlier last month. The regular council meeting began with Yenni making a statement to councilmembers, repeatedly citing God and his Catholic faith, but stressing he was not stepping down from his job, despite calls from councilmembers and constituents to do so.

It only got more heated from there.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Y@ Speak: the deadline to register to vote in Louisiana is Oct. 11

Posted By on Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 7:41 PM

In this week's edition of an election cycle in which candy must clarify its positions on refugees and sexual assault: Louisiana officials denounce Trump's comments (but not Trump) and we watched some "debates." Meanwhile: LSU thought it could take on a hurricane, and Mike Yenni won't step down despite many calls to do so after inappropriate and likely illegal sexual behavior. Sounds familiar!

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Mike Yenni should resign — now

Posted By on Thu, Oct 6, 2016 at 11:37 PM

Jeff Parish President Mike Yenni, addressing charges he sent an "improper text" to a 17-year-old boy.
  • Jeff Parish President Mike Yenni, addressing charges he sent an "improper text" to a 17-year-old boy.

Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni should resign. Period. No delays, no excuses, no time off with his family to pray over it. If you want to pray for someone, pray for the young man Yenni was sexting while the kid was still in high school — and for both their families.

Yenni has admitted sending “an improper text” to a 17-year-old. “Improper” is a charitable self-description of Yenni’s behavior. It was at best grotesquely inappropriate and at worst illegal under federal law. According to WWL-TV’s David Hammer, the FBI is looking into the matter.

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

The real 'sanctuary city'

Posted By on Sat, Sep 10, 2016 at 2:23 PM

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has railed against "sanctuary cities," but it's Congress, not local communities, who are dropping the ball on illegal immigration. - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has railed against "sanctuary cities," but it's Congress, not local communities, who are dropping the ball on illegal immigration.

We hear a lot of noise these days about immigration, but not a lot of objective information. Let’s start with the basics: Immigration is a federal matter, not a local one. Nevertheless, in recent months some Louisiana politicians have grandstanded on the issue of so-called “sanctuary cities,” a term that isn’t even defined in the law. Even a cursory look at the facts proves the demagogues wrong on virtually every count.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Trader Joe's will open Sep. 23 in Metairie

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 6:31 PM

A Trader Joe's grocery. - CREATIVE COMMONS/MIKE MOZART
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/MIKE MOZART
  • A Trader Joe's grocery.

At long last, Trader Joe's — the grocery chain that has inspired a cult of fans since it opened in California in 1967 — will be opening a store in the New Orleans metro area. On Sep. 23, TJ's will open the doors at 2949 Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Metairie, introducing locals to the wonders of Triple Ginger Snaps, guacamole made with Greek yogurt, frozen flatbreads and, of course, Two Buck Chuck (which may not be two bucks any more, but the name stuck). 

TJ's also is hiring (and jobs start at $10/hour), so if you've always wanted to don a Hawaiian shirt while directing foodie-yuppies to the frozen Chickenless Orange Mandarin Morsels, get in your applications at the Veterans store from 10 a.m to 6 p.m.

In 2011, we explored why New Orleans didn't have a Trader Joe's yet, and the 2012 news that Baton Rouge was getting one set hopes high that the store soon would come to New Orleans. The Metairie location was announced in July 2015

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Where to help Louisiana flood victims: Donation drop points around New Orleans

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 12:01 PM

click image Shawn Wilson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, tweeted these photos Aug. 13 of the historic floods in central Louisiana. - TWITTER/@ONEVISIONARY
  • TWITTER/@onevisionary
  • Shawn Wilson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, tweeted these photos Aug. 13 of the historic floods in central Louisiana.

After several days of record-setting rainfall, devastating floodwaters poured into much of Southeast Louisiana this weekend, including East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Ascension and surrounding parishes. Multiple news organizations are reporting the rescue of more than 20,000 people from homes and vehicles as of Sunday.

As many New Orleanians know well, flooding robs families of resources large and small: it's not just cars and homes, but day-to-day personal effects, from clothes and blankets to shampoo and toothbrushes. Here's our ongoing list of sites to donate these much-needed supplies to flood victims, as well as several contacts for direct donations and volunteer opportunities. 

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