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Thanksgiving Day, 2017

This column publishes usually every Sunday through Thursday around  noon (sometimes even before; maybe even after sundown on busy days) U.S. Central Time except whenever a significant national holiday falls on the Monday through Friday associated with the otherwise-usual publication on the previous day (unless it is Independence Day or Christmas or New Year's when it is the day on which the holiday is observed by the U.S. government). In my opinion, there are six of these: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans' Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas. My column for The Advocate will run on Easter Sunday.

With Thursday, Nov. 23 being Thanksgiving Day, I invite you to explore this link.


Maness at crossroads: contributor or joke?

Has Louisiana seen the last of now-perennial candidate Republican Rob Maness? His four years in public view would suggest not.

The third time was not the charm for Maness, who lost last week to Covington city council member Mark Wright, also of the GOP, for state representative House District 77. The special election came after its former occupant, incoming state Treasurer John Schroder, left his seat earlier to concentrate on his successful campaign.

Maness came onto the state’s radar when in 2013 he announced a run for U.S. Senate, challenging incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu. This came despite the fact he had resided in the state for only about a year and that conservative Bill Cassidy, then in the U.S. House of Representatives, had signaled to the world he would take on Landrieu.


Bossier City chooses better on development

Deciding to be itself holds more promise as a development strategy for Bossier City than its many missteps of the past almost quarter-century.

This week brings the formal dedication of the city’s East Bank District, which runs roughly down Barksdale Boulevard from the river and consists of the only thing close to a traditional downtown within the municipality’s borders. The city spent a considerable sum to narrow the street and renovate it into a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly avenue, hoping to anchor a district of food, drink, entertainment, and walk-in commercial establishments around the nexus of the East Bank Theatre, Flying Heart Brewery, and Li’l Italiano restaurant. Already it has brought back in Destiny Day Spa and Salon, which left years ago for the Louisiana Boardwalk.

The Boardwalk, which also will fall under new zoning regulations attached to the new district, was over a decade ago the city’s next try at importing something from the outside as a way to make itself more than just a bedroom neighborhood of Shreveport. Featuring now mainly chain stores from elsewhere, the outdoor mall has teetered on bankruptcy as the promise Bossier City politicians made, that if it offered enough items for sale people would come to spend the city into prosperity, never panned out.


Times change, yellow dog Democrats stay same

Louisiana’s special election for treasurer surprised only in winning margin for incoming Treas. John Schroder, proving the state’s yellow dog Democrats are alive and well.

As expected, Republican Schroder defeated Democrat Derrick Edwards, but only by a margin of 56-44 percent. The statewide turnout of one-in-eight voters came after, through almost the end of October this year, Schroder had spent over $917,000 or about $4.40 per vote and Edwards $23,000 or around $0.14 per vote.

Schroder’s victory by just 12 percent despite outspending until recently Edwards over 300:1 came as a result of maniacal party discipline by Democrats – even though the state party refused to endorse him, an attorney who had run for U.S. Senate last year and received a pittance of the vote, until it became too politically inconvenient not to. Edwards did next to no campaigning and, when he did make rare statements about the office, never spoke of its duties.