Pooyie! 06.03.2009

Giddy-up! Plans to turn the nearly 90 acres of rolling pasture in the heart of Lafayette known as the horse farm into a public park entered the first furlong last week in the state House of Representatives. The House Natural Resources Committee voted 11 to 2 in favor of authorizing UL Lafayette to sell the land to the Community Foundation of Acadiana. Acadiana reps on the committee — Nancy Landry (Lafayette), Bobby Badon (Carencro), Jack Montoucet (Crowley) — voted for Lafayette Rep. Joel Robideaux’s bill. This is a first, important step in turning a long-neglected piece of land into a community asset.

Whoa, Nellie! We’re pretty sure his heart’s in the right place, but Lafayette businessman Harold Schoeffler’s appearance before the Natural Resources Committee to lobby against approving the horse farm land sale isn’t cantering well with many supporters of the plan. The Sierra Club member, environmentalist and champion of the Atchafalaya Basin managed to sway two members of the committee (Jerry “Truck” Gisclair of Larose and Sam “Chicken Plant” Little of Bastrop, who have no vested interest in Lafayette’s quality of life). Schoeffler questions the appraised value of the land ($5.7 million) and has little faith that the Community Foundation of Acadiana and Lafayette Consolidated Government have the wherewithal to maintain the land. But surely there are better ways of addressing one’s concerns than derailing the plan before it even exits the gate, especially when the parties involved have repeatedly maintained they will be all ears when it comes to finalizing the plan to turn this raw acreage into a jewel we’ll all enjoy for generations.

Just shut up! Between a potty-mouthed deputy superintendent and a former super with Victorian sensibilities, the Lafayette Parish School System has looked pretty lame of late. It’s bad enough that Deputy Super Lawrence Lilly greeted former Super James Easton with a sailorly “f*%# you” when the two crossed paths at the state Capitol after Easton testified on behalf of a school board reform bill. An intrepid Independent staff writer witnessed the incident and had consigned it to the “unreported ugly politics file” until Easton fired off a boodaying letter to current Super Burnell Lemoine. The story went out as an INDsider blog, the Daily Advertiser got a hold of it, and next thing you know, the LPSS’ dirty laundry is flapping in the wind. Co-couillons this week: Lilly, Easton, the local press!