The Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government followed all necessary protocol in issuing a permit to Shell Oil for a controversial Liquefied Natural Gas facility 38 miles off the coast of Cameron Parish. The permit was challenged by a grassroots coalition of commercial fishermen and environmentalists who contend that the Maritime Administration did not adequately consider environmental hazards. The open-loop terminal Shell Oil plans to build sucks in up to 150 million gallons of seawater a day to reheat its sub-zero temperature natural gas, endangering fragile fish eggs and larvae in the process.
Under pressure from both Gov. Blanco and Gov. Bob Riley of Alabama, Freeport McMoRan and Conoco Phillips recently pulled their plans for open-loop terminals in the Gulf of Mexico and are now looking to build more eco-friendly closed loop terminals to reheat LNG. Charlie Smith, director of the Louisiana Charter Boat Association, told the Associated Press that the court decision "kind of makes Shell the lonely fish killer in the Gulf." ' Nathan Stubbs
LIVE MUSIC RETURNS TO GRANT STREET
Grant Street Dancehall's lineup for its grand re-opening looks a lot like the lineup for the club's opening 26 years ago. The historic downtown music venue reopens July 4 weekend on Thursday, June 29 with the double bill of Red Beans and Rice Revue and Sonny Landreth with special guests C.J. Chenier (whose father Clifton played the club's original opening night), Steve Conn and Mel Melton.
On Friday, June 30, Jerry Lee Lewis takes the stage with his classic Ferriday-fueled brand of rock 'n' roll fire and brimstone. And then on Saturday night, the elusive and eccentric Bobby Lounge commandeers the piano keys. The weekend is rounded out with The Fabulous Boogie Kings and G.G. Shinn on Sunday night.
Grant Street's Dave Maraist says that the room behind that stage, which has been hidden from the public view since the club's inception, will also open that weekend as a separate bar. After the holiday weekend, the new bar will be open six days a week.
Other upcoming Grant Street shows include Jimmie Vaughan on July 15, Lil' Band O' Gold on July 21, Doyle Bramhall on July 22, Bob Schneider on July 28, and Eric Johnson on August 9. Tickets for the re-opening weekend shows are on sale now at www.grantstreetdancehall.com. ' R. Reese Fuller
ARNAUDVILLE POLITICS HEAT UP
Two recent political moves in the saga of Arnaudville's artists community could affect its future. Alderman Chad Hebert, who greatly supported the artists movement and publicly criticized Mayor Kathy Richard for her lack of support, has resigned from the town council, saying he couldn't take the stress and pressure. His resignation follows fellow artists supporter and Chamber CEO Betty Roy's resignation in April for the same reasons.
But as a victory for the artists, Arnaudville alderman and former town postmaster John Ray Taylor has announced he will run for mayor in the Sept. 30 election against Richard. Taylor has publicly supported the artists community and said in his announcement letter: "We in Arnaudville find ourselves in challenging times. Economic opportunities exist to enhance, strengthen and maintain our unique community." ' Erin Zaunbrecher
JEFFERSON OUT, MELANCON IN?
With a slew of legal problems facing embattled New Orleans Congressman William Jefferson, there's the possibility that Jefferson's corruption case could result in him leaving office ' by jumping or being pushed. If that happens, Rep. Charlie Melancon from Napoleonville is on the short list to replace Jefferson on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, according to a report in Washington, D.C.'s Roll Call newspaper. An anonymous aide from the committee told Roll Call that a movement is brewing to drop the hammer on Jefferson and force him to relinquish the post. ' Jeremy Alford