Medium Rare

by Patrick Flanagan

Choice cuts from Acadiana's news media for Friday, Jan. 17, 2014:

Choice cuts from Acadiana's news media for Friday, Jan. 17, 2014:

Don Briggs

Briggs: Elect pro-business judges
Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Don Briggs has once again taken to his pedestal, this time with a guest spot in the legal journal The Louisiana Record, where he bemoans the unfair treatment of the industry by the state's judicial system. Briggs' piece is prompted by the growing number of legacy lawsuits filed against the industry and Louisiana's recent dubbing by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a "Judicial Hellhole," placing 49th out of 50 states in terms of legal fairness. The fix, according to Briggs: "[E]lect business friendly judges in every court district in the state." That way, Briggs argues, Louisiana can put a stop to all these bogus claims of pollution and contamination of our land, because, you know, the oil and gas industry is innocent after all. The real problem, of course, is those dam environmentalists and their lawyers.

The pit bull stigma
Granted, not all pit bulls are vicious, blood-thirsty beasts. But when your dog is unleashed in the front yard and just so happens to charge a law enforcement officer, well, the outcome should be expected, as was the case in Jennings on Thursday, reports KATC TV 3. The incident involved a Jeff Davis Sheriff's deputy responding to an unrelated call about rogue four-wheelers. Spotting the approaching deputy while loose in the front yard, the pit bull, named Coco, started barking and charged, and according to the story, the deputy responded by unleashing his firearm and pulling the trigger, ultimately killing the dog. Now, the family - which owns seven, well, now six pit bulls - wants justice for their dead dog, and have filed a complaint against the deputy. Yet, for people owning pit bulls, this story raises a valid point worth considering: These dogs are justifiably stigmatized, not to mention this whole ordeal could have easily been avoided with a leash.

A buffet for bears
In one week, three black bears have been trapped in Patterson by St. Mary Parish wildlife officials, according to this report from Eunice Today. Though residents consider the animals a nuisance because they traipse through yards, topple over garbage cans and leave trash strewn about, the bears, says parish black bear conflict officer Catherine Siracusa, are not the problem. The real problem, she says, are the people, or rather, the people's unsecured trash cans, which she describes as "an all-you-can-eat garbage buffet" for bears. "If there was nothing to eat in the neighborhood, the bears would walk through and decide it's  not a lot of fun and not come back," says Siracusa. What most of these residents also fail to consider, is these animals aren't just all of a sudden showing up. The party-crashers are actually the people building subdivisions in areas the bears have always called home.