Thursday, May 17, 2007

Chris Roy, Jr. to run for House District 25 Seat

It has been widely speculated that someone would jump into the race for District 25 other than the current list of former Alexandria Police Chief Glen Beard, a democrat and Lance Maxwell, a republican.

Thursday Chris Roy, Jr., a democrat, made it official and announced via email his candidacy for the seat being vacated by Charlie Dewitt a one time Speaker of the House, and term limited legislator.

Undoubtedly much will be made of Mr. Roy running while his brother holds the office of Mayor of Alexandria. The Roy family is making their mark on central Louisiana politics with this announcement.

Roy, Jr. says that as a member of the House of Representatives he will focus on improving education and fully funding our schools, creating better job opportunities and making healthcare more accessible and affordable.

Stay tuned to for what we hope will be an interesting Video Blog with Candidate Roy. In the meantime click here for a link to the Video Blog we did with Glen Beard who used the blog as an official announcment of his intention to run for office before he drew opposition.

Royal Alexander on run for Attorney General

Royal Alexander you may recall was the Chief of Staff for Congressman Rodney Alexander (no relation) and did a "soft" announcement of his run for AG.
We blogged about Mr. Alexander here Friday, March 30th and again here when an item appeared in The Times Picayune.

It is now official and Mr. Alexander is running on this promise "I am running to end the 'good old boy' politics of the past and to provide new and effective leadership to the Attorney General's office."
Here is our Video Blog posted today.
In it Alexander says talks about the criticism he gets over a perceived lack of experience and what Bobby Jindal has to say about the race for Attorney General.

Farrar draws opposition in race for House Dist. 27

This morning a political newcomer jumps in the race for House District 27. Rep. Rick Farrar who is one of the few central Louisiana legislators not term limited right now hold the seat.
Farrar can serve one more term. Hazel tells us he is a 42-year-old assistant district attorney for Rapides parish and that he will announce his candidacy on the courthouse steps. The former marine calls himself a republican. His resume says at one time he worked as a border patrol agent.

Newschannel 5 anchor/reporter Al Quartemont did some research, and says it's ironic to note as assistant DA, Hazel will directly benefit from a bill sponsored by Farrar that increases the pay for that position to 45-thousand dollars.

The bill passed the house Tuesday and moves on the senate for debate.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cancer research and screening - NOW!

This is an easy one to get behind. There was a time when many of us only heard of people struck with cancer. Now, it is common to have a person in your life not only diagnosed with cancer but killed by it.

You can call him what you want but Lance Armstrong is putting a face on the fight to demand cancer screening and better research. I received this letter today and a local event in the Coughlin Saunders Performing Arts Center sponsored by Lifeshare Blood Centers today from 9am until 6pm needs your help as well.

Please consider doing what you can today. It could save the life of someone you love tomorrow.

Amplify their voice.
Dear Michele:

As you read this, advocates from across the country are to descending on our nation's capital and demand change from our elected officials. I’m here with them, but our voices alone will not make a difference – we need your help.

Take a moment to contact your elected officials and demand change.

Today on LIVESTRONG Day we will announce The Cancer Screening, Treatment and Survivorship Act of 2007. It is a bold step toward applying what we already know in order to save hundreds of thousands of lives.

We need your voice as we take this step to make cancer a national priority. Two hundred advocates will be visiting Capitol Hill, thousands will be participating in local LIVESTRONG Day events – even the Empire State Building is going yellow! Unite with us today by sending a letter to your elected officials.

We know that 1/3 of all cancer deaths could be prevented by screening, prevention and early detection. The Cancer Screening, Treatment and Survivorship Act of 2007 will make sure screenings are made available earlier and that more research is being done to develop screenings for other types of cancer.

Applying what we know is only half the battle. People die every day from terminal cancers such as lung and pancreatic cancer – but very little is known about how to detect and treat those diseases early enough to decrease mortality. For these people, research is the answer. So we’re calling for targeted research towards cancers for which there is currently no recommended screening.

In 1971, there were three million cancer survivors. Now there are more than 10.5 million of us. We’re making great strides in the fight against cancer, but now is not the time to rest.

Today is LIVESTRONG Day –take a stand today and tell your elected officials to support The Cancer Screening, Treatment and Survivorship Act of 2007 .

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hotel Bentley sale falls through.

The prospective purchaser of the Hotel Bentley, Cyntreniks Hospitality Company LLC, has released a letter sent to the City of Alexandria Monday saying the deal is dead.

John Schneider, President of Cyntreniks says in the last paragraph of his letter
"Our inspections, construction budgets, sales and marketing plans, and financial proformas clearly evidence that successfully restoring and operating the Hotel Bentley to its original grandeur is feasible with proper funding. We know from the public sentiment that it is desirable to bring back the Bentley. We still stand ready to be a part of that partnership; however, without prompt action in that direction, our effort must not only be suspended, but permanently halted."

Also in an attachment made to the letter Schneider points to his project in Oaklahoma City as a vision of what he is looking for...
"In 2000, with the hotel decaying, local, Oklahoma City historic preservationists urged city officials to look at similar landmark hotels across the country as inspiration for an effort to bring back the hotel to economic commerce. A Skirvin Solutions Committee was appointed. After field trips to several redeveloped downtown hotels nationwide, the committee concluded in a written report that renovation of the Skirvin would not be possible without a private/public partnership and visionary leadership. It also concluded that downtown Oklahoma City would never reach its potential unless the Skirvin was restored to economic commerce. The Committee also asked the city to find the monies in public help to make it viable for a developer to restore the property. The report concluded that a reopened Skirvin would include 250 permanent jobs and improved competitiveness for conventions."

To read the letter click here.

Go Aces...time to play ball!

The Aces begin play at 7:05 tonight taking on the Laredo Broncos in historic Bringhurst Park. This is one of those activities just about everyone can enjoy even if you are not much of a baseball fan. It is just plain good old family fun.

Those of us there that night will remember the return of Aces baseball in 1994 and can recall a packed house full of one of the most diverse groups of people in central Louisiana. The air was electric that night and it was more of a social event than a baseball opening night.

Jump to tonight with two Texas-Louisiana League titles (won back-to-back in 1997-98) and one Central Baseball League title (won 2006) under its belt and a core group of local baseball fans.

This evening may not have the same feel as that night in 1994 and there may be too much going on our area to fill the park, but with the opening pitch a tradition continues many in our area feel strong ties to.

The timing is interesting with much discussion over the issue of hospital expansion and city green spaces in the area around Bringhurst Park. That question remains open but one that does not is what people in the stands will be cheering... Go Aces!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Cabrini to take over ball parks?

Apparently a letter was recently sent to 190 families in the area around St. Francis Cabrini Hospital about a public meeting being held to discuss possible expansion into area parks or Smart Growth as the Roy administration terms it.

We have not received a copy of the letter sent to the residents nor an official notification of when this public meeting will be held. An anonymous online post says this about when it will happen...

Anonymous said...
The meeting regarding Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital proposal to purchase the Alexandria Youth Complex ballparks at Texas and Masonic is at 6:30 pm, Thursday, May 17 in the Community Meeting Room at the Public Safety Complex, 1000 Bolton Avenue.

Read the City of Alexandria news media release here and feel free to comment about the discussion and possible expansion in this blog.

Here are some excerpts from the media release sent Sunday.

"Despite rumors, quickly proliferated in our modern internet age, the Administration has not made a decision on this proposal. The purpose of calling this meeting is to directly involve neighbors in the decision-making process, one the Administration would never arrogate unto itself given the import of recreation and land use."

"Transparency and community planning are founded on public meetings. To dismiss any partnering for expansion without knowing the plans violates Smart Growth principles just as much as violating its admonition to create and properly maintain recreation space. Smart Growth after all is about growth through proper preservations and use of existing space, but about growth nonetheless."

"The proposed neighborhood meeting topics for participants include sustainable living (LEED certification advantages, such as reduced energy costs), potential neighborhood design guidelines, park demand, needs, and uses, streetscape (landscaping), and facility planning. "

From the St. Francis Cabrini website:

About us

CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital is a 265-bed facility located in Alexandria, Louisiana. Employing approximately 1,400 Associates, and with a staff of nearly 320 physicians, CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital offers a comprehensive array of services providing the highest quality patient care in a compassionate setting.

And the hospitals board of directors.

Comments welcome.