Weekly Reader … with Derek Clontz
Rumors are flying that Habitat for Humanity is aiming to build a few houses for needy folks in Destrehan. And the rumors are right.The key word here is “aiming.”
“We don’t have any houses being built there currently, but we are attempting to line up some lots,” says Jim Pate, executive director of the charity made famous by former President Jimmy Carter, who volunteers as a constrution worker.
And a high profile construction worker at that. Will he come to Destrehan to help build homes after the lots are lined up?
Hola! Figures from the Louisiana Health and Population Survey taken in late 2006 show the number of Hispanics in Orleans and Jefferson parishes increased a mind-boggling 600 percent – from 10,000 in 2004 to 60,000 in 2006 – while the state’s total population fell by 25 per cent. Better make that, “Hola! Hola!” Those are BIG numbers.
“I’m not being dramatic when I say it breaks my heart. They can drill to their heart’s content, and it’s not going to lower gas prices. The oil companies will keep trying to expand. They’ll never stop until they’re everywhere, like in Alabama and Louisiana, right up to the beach.”
That’s how Linda Young of Florida’s Clean Water Network reacts to a new federal law that opens 8.3 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to offshore drilling. The bill – rushed through in the final hours of the last Congress – followed two years of relentless lobbying by big oil to lift a ban on new offshore drilling.
Environmentalists assert oil companies exploited high gasoline prices and worries over U.S. energy prospects to justify risky expansion of drilling in the Gulf and passage of the new legislation.
With the exception of Florida, coastal states that are affected – Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Mississippi – will get 37.5 percent of royalties that are generated by the drilling to fund coastal protection and conservation efforts. Florida won’t get a penny, having negotiated other concessions in lieu of the cash.What Florida will get is a reprieve. The law, signed by President Bush on Dec. 20, extends until the year 2022 a buffer zone against drilling along Florida’s west coast.
The Bayou Council on Alcoholism wants YOU to train as a faciliator in its innovative Families in Focus Program. Facilitators earn $20 per session teaching families coping skills, including communication and decision making – those things that make us happier and more effective people. The sessions are held in the family’s home, and each faciliator will be accompanied by a co-facilator for optimal results. There are 12 sessions held once a week for 12 weeks. Call 1-800-618-9444 toll free for more info.
The Shell Oil Company has committed $250,000 to help commercial fishermen recover from the devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Grants of $5,000 to help repair boats and equipment and for capital to help them return to work are up for grabs. And you won’t have to wait forever to get the money if you qualify because applications will be expedited with checks going out in early February. Also involved in the program will be the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and the Louisian Association of Planning and Development Districts. Get applications at www.lapdd.org or www.scpdc.org.
I was rifling through a desk drawer the other day and came across an clipping of an story I wrote way back when on How to Talk Southern – complete with vocabulary words and pronunciations like, “spearmint – what scientists do in a laboratory,” and, “tar – the rubber wheel on your car.” Which started me thinking, “Will somebody PLEASE teach me how to “talk Cajun?”
And last but not least, have you ever dreamed of becoming a big-city cop? Here’s your chance. The New Orleans Police Department will accept applications for police officers from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Jan. 23 at Job 1 Career Solutions office at 1530 Thalia St. and from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Jan. 24 at the Job 1 office at 3520 General DeGaulle Drive.
Applicants must be at least 20 years old and in good “physical and psychological condition.” You must have a license and a good driving record as well.
You’ll have to pass a writing test. And a drug test.
Still with us?
For more information, contact Isaac Thomas with the Job 1 office on Thalia Street at (504) 568-7263.
Hey, with crime the way it is in the City, they need all the help they can get.