There's a new publication for West Bank readers who tire of "negative" news — the West Bank Beacon. Troy Aaron Broussard, son of parish president Aaron Broussard, is the publisher of the Gretna-based monthly community newspaper, which debuted in June. The editor is Frank J. Borne Jr., president of the nonprofit Jefferson Historical Society, and a veteran aide to parish Clerk of Court Jon Gegenheimer. "I was approached by people who were tired of the steady stream of negative news," says Borne. "We figured there was a market for some positive news." Beacon columnists include Gretna police chief Arthur S. Lawson Jr., who offers public safety tips, and state Sen. David Heitmeier, an optometrist, who pens a health column.
The Beacon (www.wbbeacon.com) is sent to 20,000 registered voters by direct mail and another 8,000-plus copies are distributed at hospitals, restaurants and advertisers, Borne says. There is a full-page recruiting ad in the November issue from Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff Marlin Gusman, who maintains an office in Algiers. But don't expect to find any ads or legal notices from Jefferson Parish government in the Beacon, given the editor and publisher's respective occupational and family ties to elected officials, says Borne. "I can't imagine that," Borne says, acknowledging state ethics laws against government employees and family members profiting from parish business. Troy Broussard, a resident of Kenner, also publishes the Kenner Star, a monthly community newspaper begun in 1991. New Orleans political consultant Allan Katz is the editor of the Star, which launched its Web site after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. — Allen Johnson Jr.