For me, it was a little closer view of Louisiana's current political climate and new details on where the State's healthcare system is heading. It was also a trip down memory lane and through what is so familiar to someone who lived in Baton Rouge (while at LSU), as well as, New Orleans and Metairie and visited Mansura often.
I agree with the Times Picayune's take on the party check boxes, but I think I would expect that from any politician. However, I was also struck by Jindal's depth of commitment, resolve and caring. This was missing in in some of Louisiana's past political leaders and it contributed to the unfortunate export.
In his chapter about culture and ethics, Jindal included a quote from deTocqueville that really does describe the importance of balance when speaking of America, or even Louisiana.
America is great because it is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
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I met Louisiana's Governor this morning and heard him speak at the Regan Ranch Center. One of the things he mentioned was that for 25 years, Louisiana's greatest export was its young people. We moved in search of opportunity -- elsewhere. I was among those and am really happy to hear that over the last three years, things have turned around a bit.
Louisiana has a storied political history, but it seems Bobby Jindah is making the changes that were overdue. I'm really impressed with Governor Jindal and so pleased my family and friends overwhelmingly elected him to office.
I met him as he signed my copy of his new book -- Leadership and Crisis. I shared that I was from Louisiana and even talked high schools with his wife. Then later I read what he wrote in my book and it choke's me up a bit every time I think about it.
Christina - Come back to Louisiana! Thanks!
Sometimes, I wish I could. It is nice to know I have a personal invitation from the Governor! My mom will be so happy to hear about this!
BTW, he said he liked my fluer de lis (logo)! I knew he would!!!!
The Community Health Center Model -- merging the fragmented disciplines of medical care, epidemiology and public health -- was first used in South Africa during the late 1940s and 50s. Many found this "third world approach" relevant for addressing some community needs here in the US; beginning with Mississippi in the 1960s.
The book includes a review of the history, great pictures and even a chapter on the impact of community health centers in New Orleans -- post Katrina. I'm going to give my copy to my favorite local Community Health Center, the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics and encourage you to visit and share the link to the Faces of Hope ebook.
I hate the fact that I can't watch all of the Saints games from home here in SB. So, I'm in my office today keeping up with the score on my computer and am really happy to see the current one. I came across a great picture and want to share it with my readers.
My children and I took a road trip to Louisiana last week and will be leaving soon. It has been a while since I've been here in the summer, so I thought I'd write a little about the experience.
First, the grass, woods and air are thick. (The latter makes my hair thick and curly.) It is hot and humid, but I prefer this to being here in August.
I've had seafood (crab, catfish, crawfish), a muffuletta, beignets and cafe au lait, creole tomatoes and daiquiri to-go.
I've stocked up on Bergeron pecans, Tony's, tasso, fish fry, beignet mix, sparklers and a king cake mix.
We made a really big bon fire (my son informed my dad you could get arrested for doing that at home) and did our own fireworks show.
We went to a real mall (inside), "town", visit aunts and uncles and see the Superbowl trophy at the Saints Training Facility.
We worked in my mom's yard and toured ancient indian mounds (Marksville) and the Louisiana 4-H museum (I raised rabbits as a 4-H project).
I gave my daughter driving lessons in the pasture (where I learned to drive) and graduated her to the road (dirt and paved).
My younger daughter bought an LSU tee shirt for her bear.
My kids have enjoyed their time with some of their cousins and met a few more of their 2nd cousins.
I was interviewed by a Tulane SPHTM student for an upcoming issue of the school's newsletter.
I drove by my house in Metairie and hope I can make it to Lakeview tomorrow.
I shared old and new stories of life in Louisiana with my three beautiful children.
The best two things of the trip have been driving through the state (North to South) and seeing my family. I'm looking forward to going home, but will miss the sights, sounds, smells, taste and feel of Louisiana.
The LSU Alumni Crawfish Boil is next weekend, but I'll miss it because I'll be in San Antonio for ATA. So, the family announced, "no problem, we can go without you." They are all really excited and I'm hoping I might still get some crawfish since I'm only one state over.
In all the pre-boil hype, I've learned about Flippy and his Friends. As cute as the books and tee shirts are, my babies are just a little too big (teens and tween). But, I'm sharing Flippy with my readers who may still have little ones. "Who's your Crawdaddy?" is certainly my favorite for a young child, but I also like "Make roux, not war!"
I've been reading the Wall Street Journal coverage of the oil spill and the response to clean it up and also heard some of the coverage on TV. I have my own thoughts on the subject and since this blog is a place for me to use my voice, I'll do so on Louisiana once again.
Having grown up in Louisiana, traveled down to the gulf shoreline (from Holly Beach to the panhandle of Florida) and married a man who for 17 years repaired, inspected and maintained the oil rigs deep underwater I may have a unique perspective.
Thinking back I am a bit surprised that I only saw a significant amount of oil/tar on the beach once and that was at Holly Beach when I was still really a child. For all of the oil that is drilled out in the Gulf, I think that is a fairly significant accomplishment. I also don't remember hearing about too many spills. As a comparison, I get tar stuck to my feet just about every time I go to the beach here in Santa Barbara, because the pressure pushes it up and it bubbles out then flows to shore.
Oil and the fisheries have been big drivers of the Louisiana economy for many years. Before the early 80's the oilfield was full of cowboys and safety wasn't always job one. However, the oil companies did change this culture and safety became really important. I certainly can't speak for BP, but overall it seems the industry has had good outcomes. Just as in healthcare there are risks and great leaders manage those risks and take action to minimize errors and loss. However, it isn't perfect.
Now, the fisherman and oil field workers have co-existed for a long time. And, I think every oilfield worker knows how big of a challenge it would be for them to get to Venice (and work) if the local fishing communities had lost confidence in their industry and its ability to protect the environment and fisheries. I suspect that oil knows they can't screw this up.
So, my perspective is that this was a truly unfortunate accident and a root cause analysis to determine what really happened needs to occur. The lessons learned need to result in corrective action and perhaps, a new regulation might be warranted. However, I caution government from jumping to regulation before this process has been completed. I expect BP to fulfill their responsibilities and to learn from this experience and to ensure that they actions are taken to minimize/eliminate the risk of this type of event from reoccurring.
One last thing. I'd like to make a personal observation, because it reflects on a largely unknown aspect of the south Louisiana culture. When I still lived in Louisiana, the fisherman had a certain look and it was largely cajunish. However, I saw a picture of a group of boat captains in the WSJ and it was different -- there were many Asians. My guess is that they are from the Vietnamese immigrants who fled Communism in the 1970s and settled in Louisiana -- especially in New Orleans East. I'm often asked why I don't have a southern accent and this is an example of why. New Orleans is really a big melting pot city. I'm sure in a few years, the picture will also include post-Katrina Mexican immigrants.
Sometimes when I'm passionate about an issue I can jump a little too soon. So, today when I ready the lead for the Wall Street Journal Sports article I gave my response -- NO, you can't! Well, I then read on and calmed down and finally laughed when I read the actual article.
I agree with Jason Gay that you can't root against the Saints! I lived through the post Archie days of the Aint's and can tell you it wasn't pretty. I'm glad Jason answered the burning question of who Archie is rooting for and agree with him. This past weekend I gave it considerable consideration and really do think Archie has to root for his old team! His son can easily return to the Superbowl, but my beloved Saints do have the history of being one of the most hard luck teams.
I know, you will remind me I'm an optimist. However, I'm also a realist. It pains me, to feel this is our time! However, I'll be the first to apologize for my waiver in faith when the Saints make it to a second Superbowl! Ohhhhhh, please give me a chance to apologize for this weakness!!!!!
Please join me in rooting for the Saints this weekend, and God willing, at the Superbowl! I want to go home if they do make it to the Superbowl to experience what will be a truly levitating environment. Geaux Saints!
In 2005, I posted on the subject of stimulating the New Orleans economy after hurricane Katrina devastated the area. Since then I've thought of a few more of my favorite things and found a couple of new ones. och Plantation Products
Wow!!! Another football game that kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through. I don't know if my heart can take another Saints game. Last night -- two heart attacks! Huhhhh! Breath!
I am really proud and excited to see the Saints doing so well this year. They all look great and the team is performing --- not just a couple of individual players. The jumps, leaps and falls were amazing and beautiful! It reminded me of the ballet! No, these aren't the Saints of old!
I've already called my sister to make a reservation at her house if the Saints make it to the Superbowl. Now, that will be a time to be in the city -- visiting the places of my younger life. I can't wait for a quick trip home, especially since it will be oyster season.
Ok, enough! I'm getting hungry and homesick all at the same time!
I've been watching Manning quarterbacks for many years and really enjoy the games of the two younger ones. However, when it comes to a Manning vs. the New Orleans Saints, I'll always choose the latter.
Leidenheimer has been making bread for po boy's and muffuletta's since 1896 in New Orleans and I've been missing their french and muffuletta bread. So, I went online and found their site and want to share a little lagniappe with my readers. In addition to being able to purchase these two unique breads, you can also download a Po boy Screen Saver. What I don't understand is why the po boy's are not dressed!
I just can't imaging eating a soft shell crab or oyster po boy that isn't dressed! Can you?
My Louisiana Life magazine arrived and I found a really interesting article that addresses one of the issues I've noticed during my trips home over the last several years. I've noticed that people tend to be much larger than those I see here along the Central Coast of California or remember from my life in the Great State between the 1960's and 1989.
What Ails Louisiana uses the literary figure Ignatius J. Reilly from the wonderful novel A Confederacy of Dunces for comparison with today's obese and to describe metabolic syndrome and related conditions. It is worthy reading whether you live in Louisiana -- or not!
Those of us working in hospitals have realized our role in supporting local economies. Many towns and cities, and now, States rely on their financial contributions to the economy. It was a pleasure to read the article Hospitals Help Sustain Louisiana Economy.
However, I'm well aware that some of the care being provided is to treat preventable or at least manageable chronic conditions. I hope we can reduce these costs by improving our lifestyle choices.
I know that my readers are happy to hear that the LSU Tigers beat the Texas Longhorns yesterday by a score of 11-4 in Game 3 of the CWS finals to win their 6th National Championship in baseball!
The LSU SoCal Alumni are still recovering from the annual crawfish boil at the Rose Bowl, but were still able to cheer the team on toward victory. I remember watching LSU baseball in the early 80's as a young student and congratulate these Tigers on their accomplishment!!
This week I received several pictures of the snow in Louisiana including the one below of Tiger Stadium at LSU. I spent many Saturday evenings in this stadium cheering on the team in purple and gold, so it brought back memories.
Then, I received an email from Paul Dietzel and I immediately thought football. After a little investigation, I realize that it was his son that sent the email (Paul II). However, it allowed me to learn that Paul (the father) was only head coach at LSU from 1955 to 1961 and he is the one who created the Chinese Bandits, a second string defense, that was still being used in the games I watched in the 80's. The amazing thing is that this name is so familiar, even though he coached a fairly short time before I even arrived on the earth, much less started attending games.
There is so much to the school's history, but, football and basketball (across the street from the stadium) stand out because they have kept the LSU community together over years and miles. While stars like Shaq and Pistol Pete help, it is our time on the campus and our fondness for the long and rich history that really keeps us loyal to this grand institution.
The New Canal Basin Lighthouse has won new doors and windows, but more is needed to restore this wonderful landmark in Lakeview -- a neighborhood of New Orleans.
If you want to make a financial contribution to the effort for the rest of the structure, please contact Anne Rheams, Deputy Director and New Canal Lighthouse Keeper, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org, (504) 836-2236.”