Blinded by the LITE?
Reliable sources confirm that the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise is having financial difficulty. Due to the fact that it cannot provide the necessary software upgrades, it may be prohibited by contract from collecting the full rent of $40,000 per month from one of its largest tenants, Merlin Energy. Also confirmed is that LITE has approached members of the legislative delegation to assist it with funding for operating expenses. The request was summarily rejected since LITE supporters sold the delegation on the “if you build it, they will come” concept. “They” aren’t coming. At least not yet. Already, LITE gets $3.2 million from the state for operations and is asking for $2.8 million more. To compound matters, it’s threatening to evict its second largest tenant, Global Data Systems, over a decal issue on the big satellite in front of the center. And whatever happened to Stone Energy’s plans to do work there? Seems to me like somebody (Joey Durel or T-Joe Savoie) better grab the wheel fast. This place needs leadership. If this situation deteriorates further, Lafayette will go a long time before seeing another $30 million dollar state investment on a speculative venture.
A Man in Full
Federal Judge Tucker Melancon took senior status over the weekend (a part-time, full-salaried position federal judges can assume after a combination of age and years of service), creating a vacancy. First, let us acknowledge the passion and integrity he brought to his years on the bench. Not once did he wince at fulfilling his duties, whether it involved racial integration, or punishment of a corrupt official or a drug dealer. His rulings, demeanor and candor displayed that he set out to do the job to which he was appointed, and that it was not a stepping stone to something further. But in the political world, it creates a vacancy. A vacancy that the Shreveport legal community is mobilizing to rapidly fill with a Shreveport based judge — even though 60 percent of all federal filings in the Western District are in Lafayette and Lake Charles. Ultimately, Mary Landrieu will make the nomination to the White House. Here is a not so bold prediction: the seat will remain in Lafayette — Landrieu will not upset her new-found popularity in Acadiana. Here is a bolder one — a hunch the seat will go to a female or an African-American from Lafayette. Stay tuned.
Blinded by the LITE?