This Morning's Headlines / Thu, August 09, 2012
Publisher: LSU can best its national competitors—in academics and football
When Jeff Selingo, editorial director of The Chronicle of Higher Education and author of the forthcoming book The Future of Higher Education, visited Baton Rouge recently to speak to the LSU Board of Supervisors about trends in higher education and inevitable changes on the horizon, it conjured up the image of Paul Revere in the mind of board member and Business Report Publisher Rolfe McCollister. Selingo rode into town with "insights … and warnings," writes McCollister in his latest column. "He claimed higher education nationally is paying the price for the mistakes it made in what he calls the industry's 'lost decade,' from 1999 to 2009," McCollister says. "He said, while higher ed grew and flourished, it failed to prepare for the change ahead—including less government funding and less resources for families—and did not embrace technology, which stood ready to help. Selingo said, 'Instead, colleges continued to focus on their unsustainable model, assuming little would change.'" McCollister says LSU is not immune to the challenges, but he believes it can meet and beat them. "The challenges we face are not going away, and no one is going to fix the situation for us. We must act. And that will require leadership, open minds, bold ideas, best practices, objective data, political will, and a decision to let go of the past and look forward," McCollister says. "We can have a flagship system that can compete to win just like our No. 1-ranked LSU Tigers." Read the full column here; send your comments to email@example.com.
BRAC announces Baton Rouge Area Leadership class of 2013
BRAC this morning released the names of 36 local professionals who have been selected to participate in its Baton Rouge Area Leadership class of 2013. The program includes nine months of classes, events and training—complete with a weekend retreat in August to kick things off and a graduation ceremony in June—to prepare participants for leadership positions in the community. Running from September through April, the program's regular classes devote an entire day each month to lectures, discussions, field trips and practical exercises pertinent to community issues. Those selected for the program have "demonstrated leadership ability through career or community achievements, concern for the future of the Baton Rouge area, and commitment to the program," BRAC says. Mary Beth Chevalier will lead the program this year. Since being launched in 1985, the program has graduated more than 700. Check out the full list of people selected for this year's class here.
Louisiana Family Forum releases annual legislative scorecard
Louisiana Family Forum, which describes itself as "an organization committed to defending faith, freedom and the traditional family," has given a pair of Capital Region state senators and a handful of representatives top ranking on its 2012 Legislative Scorecard, also called its "Family Security Advisory." Sens. Bodi White, R-Central, and Rick Ward, D-Port Allen, are among 12 senators who scored 100% in the LFF's assessment. Meanwhile, 23 representatives also got top ranking, including local Republicans Valarie Hodges of Watson; J. Rogers Pope of Denham Springs; Sherman Mack of Livingston; Eddie Lambert and John Berthelot of Gonzales; and Erich Ponti, Hunter Greene, Stephen Carter, Franklin Foil and Clifton Richardson, all of Baton Rouge. The 35 lawmakers will be given an Outstanding Family Advocate award at the LFF's annual banquet next month in Baton Rouge. The LFF graded all state lawmakers based on their votes on 10 bills from this year's session. See the specifics of how the scorecard was drafted here; and see the complete scorecard for all Louisiana lawmakers here.
'225 Weekender': McGuinn of The Byrds playing Saturday at Manship
Like many revolutionary ideas of synthesis, the one that guitarist Roger McGuinn had in 1964 left a Mercury rocket-sized chorus of why-didn't-I-think-of-thats in the trail of its bright burning exhaust. But blending the electric energy of the early Beatles with lyrical, socially conscious Dylanesque folk was merely the first act for McGuinn's L.A.-based band, The Byrds. Once touted as America's answer to the British Invasion, The Byrds were proto-hippie, proto-classic rock, proto-cosmic cowboy, proto-everything: the progenitors of folk rock, psychedelic jam and alt-country. Catch lead guitarist McGuinn as he performs traditional folk songs as well as hits from his solo career and The Byrds repertoire, live at the Manship Theatre on Saturday, beginning at 8 p.m. As of this morning, a handful of tickets are still available. They're $35, and you can get them here. Also, read a story about McGuinn and his incredible influence on pop music in this month's 225 magazine here; and see this week's complete 225 Weekender e-newsletter here.
Cost of La. solar tax credit far exceeds estimates
A tax break passed by lawmakers five years ago to spur investment in solar energy has become a costly deal for the state, siphoning millions of dollars more than expected from Louisiana's coffers. When lawmakers passed the Wind and Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit in 2007, fiscal analysts said they expected lost state tax income to be less than $500,000 a year. But in the four years that the tax expenditure has been used, the state has shelled out $37 million for it—more than 18 times the maximum estimate, according to data provided to The Associated Press by the Department of Revenue. As questions have been raised, the department is taking steps to put limits on who qualifies for the tax break and what items are eligible for reimbursement.
News roundup: Jindal rides today through Colo. with Romney bus tour … CATS rolls out Touchdown Express service for LSU opener … U.S. trade deficit drops to lowest level in 18 months
When it's time for leaving: Gov. Bobby Jindal is again hitting the campaign trail for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, this time in Colorado. Romney's campaign announced that Jindal is among several GOP officials touring Colorado by bus today with Romney. Jindal is scheduled for four events, including a rally and a barbecue in Colorado Springs with Romney supporters. Since June, Jindal—still considered a possible running mate pick for Romney—has traveled to Illinois, Utah, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Florida to support the presumptive GOP nominee.
Counting the days: As the top-ranked LSU Tigers prepare to kick off their first home football game of the 2012 season on Sept. 1, CATS says it will again operate its Touchdown Express service this season. The shuttle service will provide continuous service beginning four hours prior to kickoff and ending one hour after the game ends. Cost is $1.75 each way. Park and board locations will be at the Hotel Indigo and Hilton Capitol Center on Lafayette and Convention streets downtown; Florida Boulevard at the Interstate-110 underpass; and North Boulevard Town Square. For more information, call 389-8920.
Ship it out: The U.S. trade deficit fell to its lowest level in 18 months in June, pushed down by a steep drop in oil imports and a rise in exports. The trade gap narrowed to $42.9 billion in June, down from $48 billion in May, the Commerce Department reports this morning. Exports rose 0.9% to a record high of $185 billion. Despite Europe's struggling economy, exports to the 27-nation European Union grew 1.7%. U.S. imports fell 1.5% to $227.9 billion, the lowest in four months.
Today's poll question: Do you think the Metro Council should privatize two River Center parking garages downtown that generate about $85,000 in profit annually and supports eight full-time jobs?
Real estate recap: DPW reorganization recommendations coming … Capital Region home sales post 5% gain in February … WWII bombing range near Hammond at center of new lawsuit
Office Parks Get a Makeover
What Families Are Spending on Prom Night