Positive News! LA. Won’t Lose a Seat in Congress

By Royal Alexander/Opinion

We should be very excited about the new census data because even a slight population increase opens up many options and opportunities for our beloved Louisiana.

The news this week that Louisiana will not lose a congressional seat is very positive news as a matter of political clout and for many other reasons as well.

The latest U.S. Census data reflects that Louisiana has experienced a 2.7% growth rate and has a population of approximately 4.6 million people—about 120,000 more people than in 2010.  While our 2.7% growth rate is well short of the 7.4% population increase seen in other states across the country it is still enough to hold on to all of our congressional House seats. (I spent many years in D.C. working in the Congress and can attest that both the number of U.S. House seats and the collective seniority of our elected members of Congress are very important).

Recall that, unfortunately, Louisiana lost a congressional seat in the U.S. House after the 2010 Census due to very little population growth at the time, causing our U.S. House delegation to go from seven to six members.  Recall that we also lost a House seat in the1990 Census reducing our number of congressional House seats from 8 to 7.  (I had the honor of working for the late Clyde C. Holloway, the Congressman (and later, Public Service Commissioner) who represented the old 8th Congressional District until it was dissolved).

The federal government allocates more than $675 billion per year in federal funds.  These funds are spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other crucial projects.   That is why our population growth, as reflected in the number of our U.S. House seats, directly impacts how and in what proportion federal benefits (our tax dollars) are distributed (returned) to Louisiana (us).  Population totals determine what states receive federal assistance of all kinds, including grants and direct funding to states, parishes/counties, cities, and towns. These population breakdowns also include sex, age, race, and other geographic and demographic factors. 

This news is also a positive development for job growth and economic development in Louisiana because corporations and businesses make decisions using census data regarding whether and where to build factories, plants, offices, and stores.  Contractors and developers also make decisions based upon census data regarding whether and where to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods.  Cities and towns use the data for public safety and emergency preparedness.  Local, community initiatives including quality-of-life and consumer advocacy are also based upon the data.

Most encouraging is the powerfully hopeful meaning behind these numbers.  They clearly indicate that Louisiana is not just maintaining its current population—which we have struggled at times to do—but that we have actually grown!  It means we have another opportunity, another decade before the next census, to try to address the problems in our state that have caused many of our precious family members to leave for jobs and opportunities elsewhere.  It means we have another chance to make our state more attractive to those companies already here and those companies and corporations from elsewhere looking for a new area in which to grow.

Hope and enthusiasm are contagious, and this news should provide us with both!  We should be reenergized and redouble our efforts to continue to improve Louisiana.  We are the only thing that can stop us.

The views and opinions expressed in the My Opinion article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Grant Parish Journal. Any content provided by the authors is of their opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.


Winn Parish School Board – Notice of Vacancy

The Winn Parish School Board is requesting applications for the position of Superintendent

The deadline for applying is May 14, 2021

Interested persons may obtain applications and instructions by visiting our website at https://www.winnpsb.us

Completed applications must be postmarked by the application deadline and must be mailed to:
Winn Superintendent Search
P.O. Box 1100
Winnfield, LA 71483

Minimum Requirements:

Certified (or eligible for immediate certification as confirmed in writing by LDOE) as Superintendent of Schools in the State of Louisiana

Salary: Negotiated by the Board

Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. *Winn Parish School Board does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or the provision of service.


Notice of Death May 4, 2021

GRANT:
None to report

NATCHITOCHES:
Ruben Sawyer
September 13, 1959 – May 04, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Burt Clark
October 05, 1970 – April 26, 2021
Life Celebration Service will go forth at the Sardis Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL Saturday, May 11 at 11 am. On Monday, May 10 the casketed remains will lie in state at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, from 10-11 am. Interment will follow in Lawrence Serenity Sanctum.

Jessie Floyd
April 25, 2021
Graveside services governed by COVID19 regulations will take place Saturday, May 8, 2021, 11:00 a. m. in the Campti Community Cemetery. The family will gather at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home in Natchitoches at 9:30 to form a procession to the burial site. All Attendees must wear masks.

Harvis “Junior” Johnson
January 10, 1948 – May 01, 2021
Service: Wednesday, May 5 at 1 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Mary Lou Safford Begnaud
May 16, 1931 – April 29, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 8 at 1 pm at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Natchitoches

Chuck Raymond Foshee, Sr.
February 17, 1943 – April 28, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Harry Graham
April 24, 2021
Arrangements TBA

SABINE:
Bertie Maxine Spears Byrd
January 20, 1933 – May 1, 2021
Service: Saturday, May 8 at 2 pm at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church

RED RIVER:
Robert Clayton Wood
July 16, 1950 – May 02, 2021
Service: Wednesday, May 5 at 11 am at Springhill Cemetery


Grant Parish Included in U.S. Forest Service Distribution of 2020 Secure Rural Schools Payments

On April 2, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) announced the release of over $193 million in 2020 Secure Rural Schools (SRS) payments. The money was distributed to 41 states and will be delivered as payments to over 700 eligible counties across the country. Counties rely on SRS payments to provide numerous critical services for their communities such as infrastructure, education, conservation projects, search and rescue missions and wildfire prevention programs. For detailed payment tables by county and state, click here.

SRS is a longstanding revenue share program that assists rural counties and school districts affected by the decline in revenue from timber harvests on federal land.  This most recent round of payments is the last SRS issuance, authorized under the FY 2020 appropriations package in 2019, due to an absence of recent congressional action. Public lands counties rely on programs like SRS and Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT) to help maintain their budgets while bearing the responsibility of untaxable federal lands. While these payments represent a fraction of what counties would collect from property taxes and timber receipts, they are critical for local governments to continue providing the essential services their communities rely on.

If Congress fails to reauthorize SRS for FY 2021 and beyond, counties will face dramatic budgetary shortfalls which will have longstanding impacts as our nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn. The last time authorization for SRS lapsed in FY 2016, counties saw an 80% decrease in federal forest payments.

According to the announcement Louisiana received $1,364,393 and Grant Parish received $583,932.09.


Remember This? Training a Milkman

By Brad Dison

Late on the Friday afternoon of December 5, 1901, E.L. McKeen, a local milkman in North Tonawanda, New York, was delivering his milk as usual.  This was in the era before automobiles were commonplace, so McKeen delivered his goods in a wagon pulled by a single horse.  He took his time whenever he made his rounds so as to not put unnecessary strain on the horse.  When moving at a slow pace, the horse could work all day with just a few, short breaks.  If the milkman hurried the horse, it required much longer and more frequent breaks.  The milkman usually seemed to be in no hurry whatsoever.

On this day, the milkman made his deliveries as if he had all the time in the world.  His load consisted of numerous small cans and large barrels of milk.  At every intersection, the milkman casually looked both ways to make sure no other traffic was coming.  When he neared the railroad crossing at Lincoln Avenue, the milkman coolly looked down the railroad tracks.  The milkman saw the Lockport train heading his direction on the tracks of the New York Central railroad.  The milkman, unable to properly gauge the speed at which the train traveled, decided that he could make it across in plenty of time.

The train, being the fastest mode of transportation of the era, barreled through the town at a speed that many people thought was impossible only a couple of decades earlier.  The engineer blew the train’s whistle as a warning, but the milkman paid little attention to it.  The engineer engaged the train’s braking system, but it was unable to stop in time.  Just as the horse stepped onto the tracks, the Lockport train struck.  The horse took the brunt of the violent impact and flew through the air.  The milkman and his wagon slammed against the train.  The cans and barrels of milk exploded in a large white gush and covered the milkman.  The force of the impact reduced the wagon to nothing more than kindling wood and scrap iron.

Witnesses to the collision rushed to the milkman’s aid.  The horse was dead.  They feared the milkman was dead as well, yet in the pile of debris, they noticed movement.  The milkman, covered from his head to his feet with cold milk, shivered as he dislodged himself from the pile of broken wood and iron.  Some of the townspeople helped the milkman stand up and asked if he needed medical attention.  The milkman reassured them that he was just fine.  He escaped with barely a scratch.

Several of the witnesses relayed another incident which happened three and a half years earlier at the same crossing at about the same hour by a milkman.  In that incident, which occurred in early May of 1897, a milkman was crossing the railroad tracks at the same intersection when he was struck by the same train, the Lockport train.  That collision nearly killed the milkman.  He spent the next couple of weeks confined to his home recovering.

The townspeople brought up yet another incident in which another local milkman was struck by a train.  About five years earlier, a milkman was walking, seemingly without a care in the world, along the railroad tracks between North Tonawanda and Gratwick when he failed to get off of the tracks in time.  The train struck the milkman but only slightly injured him.

As the townspeople spoke of the three separate incidents in which trains had hit milkmen in the vicinity, McKeen confidently told them that trains were unable to kill him.  Because of his belief that he was invincible, at least with trains, McKeen was willing to take chances most people would be too afraid to take.  You see, it was not three different milkmen in the stories the townspeople told, but one.  It was McKeen who had tempted fate and survived being hit by a train on three separate occasions.

Sources:

  1.  The Buffalo Commercial (Buffalo, New York), May 21, 1897, p.6.
  2.  The Buffalo Times, December 6, 1901, p.2.


Court Packing is Unwise and Unwarranted

By Royal Alexander/Opinion

The U.S. Supreme Court has forgotten that it is emphatically its duty and province to say what the law is, even in the face of intimidation. (Marbury v. Madison)

Intimidation.  There is no other logical explanation for it.  President Biden recently announced his Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court which could more accurately be called the “Latest Liberal Effort to Pack the Court with Left Wing Judges and Justices.”  [The effort to pack or alter the Court when considered alongside discussions about adding two Democrat states and four additional Senators as well as repealing the Electoral College legislatively and ending the legislative filibuster all speak to the concerted effort of the fascist Left not to engage in political debate but to stifle it and ultimately criminalize political differences.]

Supporters and allies of President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt in 1906 and in 1912 and President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937 threatened to pack, alter, or otherwise undermine the Court.  The interesting thing is that liberals have never had to make good on these threats because the Supreme Court has allowed itself to be threatened and intimidated into ruling in the way the political Left wanted it to.

To his eternal credit, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer recently stated that packing the Court would undermine and harm the public’s perception of the Court and the rule of law.  “Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that latter perception, further eroding that trust.”

These attacks on the Court are both tragic and a perversion of what our Framers intended as the role of the Supreme Court in our Separation of Powers.  There is nothing more critical to the preservation of our constitutional form of government than the abiding presence of a fair and impartial judiciary.  Nothing.  If a party loses in court, they may be disappointed, but they will accept the results if they believe they had a fair trial and “their day in court.”

That is why it is poisonous to our democratic form of government to do what the national Left is trying to do to our Supreme Court in order to advance a liberal agenda it most likely cannot advance in the appropriate and legal way—through legislation in Congress.  It is also corrosive to the trust Americans must have in the judicial system to create the impression that the courts are nothing more than a third political branch.  

As such, it is a complete dereliction of the Supreme Court to allow itself to be forced into the position that it is making policy and serving as a “Super Legislature.”  That is fundamentally not its role.

However, even if the Court could somehow “save” itself as an institution by caving into political pressure, to what end would it do so?  It would forever be viewed as weak, cowardly, and untrustworthy.  It would certainly no longer hold its honorable and exalted place as one-third of our constitutional system of government.  In fact, the very reason the Framers provided federal judges with life tenure and undiminished salary was to remove and insulate them from politics and political pressure.  

Well, turnabout is fair play.  If Democrats attempt to pack the Court with new justices, the Republican Party can always limit or strip the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction to hear appellate (appeals) cases.  This is because the Constitution clearly affords the Congress this power under Article III, Section 2. One way to begin this would be, for example, to limit all cases seeking to “find” new substantive due process rights in the Constitution as the Court did, unconstitutionally, in Roe v. Wade.   Congress could also withdraw jurisdiction from the Court and prohibit it from hearing cases involving issues such as, for example, immigration, a right to die, a guaranteed basic income and congressional redistricting.  By doing so, Congress would simply be limiting the Supreme Court to its express, original, and traditional role.

The Supreme Court must be viewed as—and truly serve as—a fair, impartial and neutral arbiter of law or it will be viewed as illegitimate.  Fearlessly reasserting its independence is the only way the Court can preserve its legitimacy and discharge its constitutional duty.  It must do so, or the delicate balance maintained by our system of checks and balances will be lost and the belief in America as a free and just society, imperiled.

The views and opinions expressed in the My Opinion article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Grant Parish Journal. Any content provided by the authors is of their opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.


Winn Parish School Board – Notice of Vacancy

The Winn Parish School Board is requesting applications for the position of Superintendent

The deadline for applying is May 14, 2021

Interested persons may obtain applications and instructions by visiting our website at https://www.winnpsb.us

Completed applications must be postmarked by the application deadline and must be mailed to:

Winn Superintendent Search
P.O. Box 1100
Winnfield, LA 71483

Minimum Requirements:

Certified (or eligible for immediate certification as confirmed in writing by LDOE) as Superintendent of Schools in the State of Louisiana

Salary: Negotiated by the Board

Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. *Winn Parish School Board does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or the provision of service.


Notice of Death April 20, 2021

GRANT:
None to report

WINN:
“Dub” William Len Huffman
September 15, 1938 – April 18, 2021
Service: Wednesday, April 21 at 10 am at Kinner & Stevens Funeral Home

Kadence Raylynne Blundell
March 10, 2005 – April 16, 2021
Service: Wednesday, April 21 at 10 am at Southern Funeral Home

NATCHITOCHES:
Preston Lance Tilley
1-7-1980 – 4/20/21
Arrangements are being handled by Blanchard-St. Denis. Natchitoches. The family will receive visitors Thursday, April 22 and services will be held Friday, April 23. More information to be released soon.

Marvin Louis Freeman
July 09, 1962 – April 18, 2021
Service: Wednesday, April 21 at 2 pm at Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Robeline

Terry G. Waxham
March 08, 1940 – April 18, 2021
No service details

Donnie Ray Armstrong
February 1, 1953 – April 18, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Rickey Lane Smith Sr.
October 7, 1968 – April 17, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Thelma Jean Morris
April 16, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Annie Belle Davis
April 15, 2021
Arrangements TBA

Mary “Margaret” Gant Barnhill
March 17, 1939 – April 16, 2021
Service: Thursday, April 22 at 10 am at Blanchard St.-Denis Funeral Home, in Natchitoches

SABINE:
Edna Genevieve Moore Dufour
April 1, 1944 – April 15, 2021
Service: Friday, April 23 at 1 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home, located at 355 Capitol St. in Many

Jackie Ruth Holcomb
July 17, 1943 – April 18, 2021
Service: Saturday, April 24 at 2 pm at Mt. Olive Cemetery