THE BIG STORY
When Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater presented Gov. Bobby Jindal's $25.5 billion budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year to a Joint Legislative Committee earlier this month, he fielded mostly softball questions from lawmakers, many of whom were getting their first look at the summary of what will be a voluminous document. More...
Richard Lipsey, chairman of wholesale sporting goods distributor Lipsey's, and Brace Godfrey Jr., the Cyntreniks president who died in 2010 at age 58, are the 2012 Hall of Fame laureates to be inducted at the 29th annual Business Awards and Hall of Fame banquet, presented by Business Report and Junior Achievement on March 20 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. More...
The Water Institute of the Gulf has tapped its first president/CEO, officially launching the effort to establish a world-class research center dealing with coastal erosion, hurricane protection and related issues.
The race is on
Mayor Kip Holden didn't mention any of the people who hope to unseat him in this fall's election during his annual State of the City address Feb. 15. In fact, he didn't mention the election at all.
Union Pacific Corp. says it will spend $200 million to expand its operations in south Louisiana to meet expected higher customer demand from petrochemical plants along the Mississippi River. The plans call for the hiring of 225 new employees. More...
Crime Stoppers Baton Rouge
MISSION To support law enforcement agencies in combating crime.
RULING YEAR 1983
TOTAL ASSETS $224,768
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Sid Newman
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Laurie Aronson, chairman
Dalton Honoré, vice chairman
John L. Daniel, secretary
Steve Lousteau, treasurer
Norman Landry, immediate past chairman
John H. Bateman
Advisory Board Members
Glenn B. Coates
Hermann “Buck” Moyse III
Hillar Moore III
SOURCE: Guidestar.org, 2010 form 990, crimestoppersbr.com
Dollars to doughnuts
What would happen if pennies were eliminated? Or paper dollars? Or $100 bills? David Wolman answers those questions in his book The End of Money. More...
ON THE BEAT
Lucky No. 7
Among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the country, Baton Rouge ranks No. 7 for job growth through 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Baton Rouge joins El Paso, Texas (No. 5), and San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas (No. 10), as the only Southern cities in the top 10. Washington, D.C.-Arlington, Va.- Alexandria, Va., ranks No. 1, and Bethesda, Md.-Rockville, Md.-Frederick, Md., ranks No. 2.
Calling Baton Rouge
A new smartphone app, By Baton Rouge, is designed to help local businesses peddle their goods and services to the area's growing film and television industry. The app is available for the iPhone and iPad. The film and television industry spent an estimated $200 million in the Capital Region last year.
Heads or tails
Hot and dry weather last summer, coupled with higher tides that have caused saltwater intrusion, have led to a slow start for the state's crawfish season. The meager early catch has made it difficult for crawfish farmers in southwest Louisiana to justify the effort of harvesting, according to the LSU AgCenter. Boiled crawfish in the Baton Rouge area has been selling for an average of $4.50 to $5 per pound.
The restaurant industry is projected to tally record sales in 2012, according to the National Restaurant Association's 2012 industry forecast. Of the nine U.S. regions into which the NRA is divided, the Southwest—which includes Louisiana and Texas—is predicted to lead the sales growth, with a projected 3.9%. According to NRA data, Louisiana's restaurants hit $6.2 billion in sales last year, and the 182,200 people working in the industry represented 9% of all employment in the state.
New batting order
Reed Dickens has stepped down as CEO of baseball bat manufacturer Marucci Sports. Dickens, who also is the CEO and founder of communications firm Outside Eyes, had served in the position since August 2009. His successor, Brett Stohlton, most recently served as Marucci's CFO.
Uplifting the coast
A festival benefiting restoration efforts in Grand Isle is making its first foray into Baton Rouge this summer. The Uplifting the Coast Festival will be held at the fairgrounds on Airline Highway from June 8-10. Scheduled performers include LeRoux, Voodoo Bayou and The Producers. The festival has been held for the past two years in Grand Isle, but the move reflects increasing demand.
Robert M. Coleman III
Coleman Partners Architects
Robert Coleman III carries on a family tradition as head of Coleman Partners Architects. For 60 years, the firm has specialized in hospitality, education, office and religious designs, and master planning. Along with his late father, Coleman helped expand the firm’s presence internationally with projects in the Caribbean. “I continually wish my father was still alive so we could share stories of how the little plan we hatched years ago has matured,” he says.
My first real job was working for Saia Electric the summer after my sophomore year in high school. When I got home after my first day at work, my father asked me how the day went. I told him it was great; I got to drive a truck around making deliveries all day. I did not realize that there was a Teamster strike going on at the time (this was in the mid-1960s, and Baton Rouge was still very much a union town). I will never forget hearing my dad’s side of a very angry phone call that night to Tickie Saia in which Dad made it clear that his son was not to be driving a truck during the strike. I spent the rest of my summer digging ditches for underground cable installations.
The greatest personal obstacle I’ve overcome is lack of confidence. Even at 61, I sometimes feel that others know more and have more experience than me. I remember being intimidated in meetings with other engineers and designers from huge prestigious firms all over the world. It has only been recently that I have begun to realize as I sit around these meeting room tables that I know as much (sometimes more) than others attending the meeting.
The greatest change I have seen over the course of my career is the new digital workplace. Of course, this trend is not unique to architecture, but today it is quite possible for worldwide groups of professionals to work together daily with virtual workgroups in which geography is not a factor except for time zones. When the ad for “Go to Meetings” came out a few years ago, where the group is working on a well in Kenya, I thought to myself, “I have been working like this for a decade.” This has allowed our small office to truly work internationally with professionals all over the world, at a modest expense. I find this trend very exciting.
Click here to read the Q&A.
The East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority is focused on finalizing its plans for the Smiley Heights mixed-use development, now that it has completed a purchase of about 200 acres near Mid City for the project. More...
Developer Tommy Spinosa is scheduled to appear before the Metro Council next month to ask for approval of a revision to the concept plan for Rouzan, a traditional neighborhood development off Perkins Road in Southdowns that's been a source of controversy ever since it was announced years ago. More...
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The $50 billion boom