Following a major 2008 contraction due to a gasping U.S. economy, Starbucks is ready to rebound in a major way. The Seattle-based café chain has announced aggressive expansion plans for the Acadiana market. In a news release e-mailed to area media, corporate spokeswoman Trina D’Infiglio outlines a plan to “basically shoot for a Starbucks on every corner, figuratively speaking of course.” The strategy calls for the opening of 13 Starbucks locations in Lafayette, five in New Iberia, three in Breaux Bridge and two each in Abbeville, Crowley and Opelousas. D’Infiglio says the company is returning to the core business model that made its footprint in the expensive-coffee industry so wide and deep in the first place: targeting regional and mom-and-pop coffee shops. “We’re scouting locations near and, whenever possible, right across the street from every Community Coffee House in Lafayette, as well as the locally owned cafés in the outlying cities.”
Citing a massive budget shortfall and an increasingly troublesome infrastructure, the Cajundome has announced the cancellation of all concerts scheduled for the remainder of 2009. The facility, underwritten by Lafayette taxpayers, is in arrears to the tune of $677 million. Cajundome Director Greg Davis says the overhead costs of putting on concerts has become too much to bear. “The Jonas Brothers trashed the Courtesy Suite,” Davis says, “and Motley Crue, don’t even get me started. Bodily fluids everywhere!” The announcement includes the cancellation of country-pop sensation Taylor Swift’s September sold out concert. Davis indicated that refunds are available at the Cajundome ticket counter, which, due to staffing changes, is open from 10-10:15 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month.
This Week, Independent Weekly Publisher Steve May became the first resident fined by the Department of Environmental Quality for violating new federal and state air quality non-attainment laws — the second time in two weeks that the paper or one of its staffers earns its own dubious honor. According to reports, May was testing out his new Turkish hookah, which had just been Fed-Exed from Istanbul, with his favorite blueberry-lemon meringue flavored tobacco. After several hours of toking, May opened the door to let his dog out, inadvertently releasing a plume of vile smoke. The cloud hung over the River Ranch subdivision for hours, causing several concerned residents to call the DEQ hotline. One City Club tennis player reportedly collapsed mid-serve after breathing in the fumes. When emergency HazMat teams finally arrived, they were able to trace the source of the pollution back to May’s doorstep. The team reportedly confiscated three trucks worth of smoking materials, including imported Cuban cigars, his collection of 18th century Chinese water pipes and a case of 1990 Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, noted for its smoky and tarry notes.