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Dubious Achievements 

Once again, the nation's eyes turned to Louisiana for a little comic relief. This year, it was State Rep. Sharon Weston Broome who provided the yucks, with a resolution calling on the Legislature to reject Charles Darwin's theories on human evolution. Broome said the theories promoted racism. Broome's efforts were defeated, but she vowed to bring up the matter again.

Duck! No, I said Duck!

Mardi Gras revelers at the Krewe of Chronus parade in Thibodaux were hoping for maybe some long beads and a doubloon or two. Instead, krewe members threw heavy boxes at the onlookers and poured beer on their heads. The police finally stepped in when one rider threw a dead duck at the crowd.

"Um, It's That State Right Next to West Virginia. ..."

The Vagina Monologues rolled into town in late November, and media conglomerate Entercom Communications told its New Orleans stations they couldn't mention its title on the air. Spokesperson Jeff Scott defended the ban: "We end up getting calls from angry mothers who are in their minivans dropping off their children at grade school, and having to explain what 'vagina' is."

The Pampered Life

It's a line that should haunt him to his political grave: Monroe Congressman John Cooksey told Louisiana Radio Network that cops and security forces should rightfully profile anyone with a "diaper on his head" following the Sept. 11 attacks. Cooksey's comments came at a time when Arab Americans were already being targeted by the paranoid, racist and just plain mean among us.

And Here's the Pitch....

We'd somehow gotten used to seeing TV journalist Michelle Miller scuffing the line between political power and the press every time she read a report on WWL-TV about her husband, Mayor Marc Morial. Then along came a flurry of TV spots featuring WDSU-TV anchor Melanie Sanders shilling for her husband, Troy Carter, and his bid for the mayor's office. "Troy for mayor is an easy choice," Sanders said in the commercials. But Sanders and WDSU-TV should have made some hard choices about the conflict between Sanders' role in the campaign and her post at the station.

Stop the Music!

It was easy to excuse a lot of behavior during the uncertain days immediately following Sept. 11, but it was hard to figure out a list reportedly circulated by Clear Channel Communications nationwide (including to its local stations) that directed deejays and station managers to consider avoiding disturbing songs like ... oh ... Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World."

What can you get for $45,000 these days? If you're Orleans Levee Board president James Huey, absolutely nothing -- at least, that's what he turned up on right wing talk show host Robert Namer. The Louisiana Weekly uncovered the details of a 1997 investigation -- financed with public funds -- launched by Huey after getting fed up to here about what Namer was saying on his talk show. Maybe Huey should have just turned the dial.

Their Two Cents Worth

The string of payroll errors by The New Orleans Public Schools System continued into 2001 when some Lafayette Elementary employees received checks for two cents. Others were overpaid and told to return the difference or face criminal charges. Meanwhile, payroll bungling is not being blamed for the $70,000 earned by George Washington Carver High School head custodian Alphonse Davis, who happens to be the father of schools chief Al Davis. An investigation into Davis' amount of overtime pay is currently underway.

click to enlarge From screen to green: a park will occupy the site of the former Movie Pitchers.
  • From screen to green: a park will occupy the site of the former Movie Pitchers.
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