Pooyie! 10.28.2009

It’s apparently no fluke that Fortune Small Business magazine’s November issue ranks Lafayette among the top 50 best cities in the country to launch a business in 2009 (in the mid-size communities category, Lafayette is No. 2, behind Huntsville, Ala.), an accolade that came about a month after Forbes Magazine honored Lafayette on its list of the 10 best cities for new jobs. Just last week LEDA announced that ATC Associates, an environmental consulting firm, is moving its corporate headquarters from Woburn, Mass., to Lafayette. ATC Associates has 65 branches in 36 states, including an existing branch office in Lafayette. “The quality of Lafayette’s workforce and our high proportion of professional jobs often plays a significant role in a business’ decision to expand in the region,” says LEDA President and CEO Gregg Gothreaux. While the headquarters relocation is expected to only create about two dozen new jobs in the Hub City, it is further proof that Lafayette is ready to assume a leading role in Gulf Coast commerce.

At first blush, finding giant tiger prawns, a type of very large shrimp native to the western Pacific, in the Gulf of Mexico sounds appetizing — a foreign species we can boil and dip in a cocktail sauce couldn’t be all bad. But according to the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the tiger prawns, believed to have escaped from aqua farms into local waters, endanger native white and brown shrimp. The prawns potentially carry disease pathogens and various forms of bacterial, fungal and viral infections. If the muscular, striped crustaceans do muscle out our native species, go to theind.com; we’ve posted a recipe for Broiled Lemon and Garlic Tiger Prawns.

Rule No. 1 for would-be arsonists: Disable the security camera first. Rule No. 2: Don’t burn stuff down. A grandmotherly Kenner woman apparently didn’t play by the rule book last week when the security cam at the restaurant she’s accused of torching captured her image in the act, according to police. Mae Fong, the 74-year-old owner of a Chinese restaurant in this New Orleans suburb, was arrested on arson and other charges in connection with the fire that partially destroyed and interminably shut down a competing Chinese restaurant located one block away. Police haven’t speculated on a motive. Do they really need to?