Friday, April 6, 2007

Friday...Good Friday. Time to Review.

From previous posts you can see what this blog is developing into, or morphing might be a better description. I hope it will become a place to voice opinions and suggestions on story ideas for all of you wishing to participate. The jury is still out on that. Comment numbers have dramatically dropped, proving anons want to stay that way and be free to insult along the way. I'm not sure how we're going to balance that one yet.

Here are some promised updates:
Bridgette Brown returned my phone call and is willing to do an interview with her lawyer doing all of the talking because Judge Drell has issued a gag order in the Cleco mediation. We will keep you informed along the way if that interview happens.

Myron Lawson also returned the call and is considering answering written questions via email on his business relationships with several polarizing figures. If you blog you know what we'll ask. Do you have a question to pose to Mr. Lawson?

The current owner of the Bentley is holding all of the cards and is also wheeling and dealing in Baton Rouge with the properties he owns there. Does this give us an idea of where this deal is going?

And finally the issue of City of Alexandria utility rates will be discussed thoroughly, we're told, in Tuesday's council meeting. The administration is frustrated with the negative publicity given this issue and is trying hard to communicate the facts. This is tricky considering no matter how hard they try the rate payer is still facing a big fat bill. Since the Mayor Roy's staff live in Alexandria they certainly know how we feel. Now the focus becomes how can this be avoided in the future. Can COA buy power from someone other than Cleco? Ideas?

God bless on this Good Friday and enjoy the weather, summer is around the corner...

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Gambling coming to Grant Parish...

We learned today that the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians has cleared the way for a casino in the Town of Creola. Here is the link to the story and a copy of the press release.

If you are a "stakeholder" (someone who lives in Grant or is passionate about this issue) we want to hear from you and perhaps interview you.

Please contact me or Diana Iles if you are interested in having your opinions heard in regards to this important development in Grant Parish.

Good feedback...and now a word from our sponsor.

Thank you for taking part in what is only the beginning of the conversation. It is obvious who I am from the description on this blog, I need not use my name.

The idea behind the CenalMedia blog is to try and give those who want a voice directly to their local media a chance to communicate story ideas in a safe non-threatening venue. Since it is on the web it is open to all. Some good issues have been raised, but as I figured, within one week the blog became a collection of angry "anon" posters who would not have the courage to say the things they do online to a persons face. That's o.k. That's what this is about. But here is the rub. Beginning immediately "traditional" journalists like myself will be challenging their staff to start blogs that begin to engage the online user. After this brief exercise I see the risk and how "off the point" this venue can become.

I don't see us giving up, but I do think anon posts can no longer be allowed and that the posts should have a moderator.

Your local media has been criticized by local blogs and we talk about it to each other. Some of you have insightful feedback and some of us have enjoyed learning from the valid points made. It is important to listen to all sources when looking for ways to improve your craft. But insults do nothing for the idea behind this and other blogs (although they do give us a laugh or two) and they are counter productive.

So here goes, if you have questions about me personally or wish to make a comment please email me directly at If you have story ideas or observations you think need looking into please post your comments, they will be published.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Gay Guide and Utility Costs.

I'll start by saying these are the two subjects I have received the most correspondence over in the past month. No not Bridgette or Myron or the Mayor.

According to the AP, New Orleans is issuing a guide to assist tourists who are homosexual. This was a three line item which ran on websites, tv stations and newspapers over the past 2 days. Click on the comment section to see the local reaction which was all negative.

On the issue of utility rates, a person I respect tells me this is THE issue. We are all paying the bills and some are paying more than others. Why? I do not clearly understand why Cleco rate payers in Pineville with a 2,400 square foot home pay more than one in Alexandria. Do you have any insight?

Finally a comment from Spanky which could apply to utility costs..."History shows when public frustration due to lack of justice reaches a crescendo, the palace guard is helpless against mob rule."

Monday, April 2, 2007

The listening has begun... so have the threats.

A comment on the last post says " I'm sure you do a wonderful job in your mind BUT from the looks of things the whole of media here, whether on your end or another, are stagnant. We're overtaken by wave after wave of stories focusing on "feel-good" events that bear little cause to the overall good of the people. Because of this, any serious discussion is pushed to the wayside."

So if that was the case, why start the communication flowing? If we feel we are doing such a terrific job why ask for input?

Here is a tiny list of ideas generated thus far; the Bentley deal (or no deal as it is) the connection between Ms. Brown, Mr. Lawson and Mr. Sanders and how it relates to Cleco, a check on a duplicate set of books being kept for City of Alexandria employees in regards to benefits and I think a moratorium on anything having to do with covering features in Deville.

Am I missing anything?