In order to keep myself from bemoaning the declining state of the world economy, I have been scanning other headlines. The national news media has been clamoring for stories on the two presidential candidates as well as focusing on the economic downturn. So, I have been heading to the local newspaper pages or TV to find items of interest. The three items I found that made the most impact are not unlike the title of that old Clint Eastwood spaghetti western: "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." (cue the music) THE GOOD. (♪Ahhhhhhhhh♪) First of all, the local recovery czar, Ed Blakely, has created some concern that he may not be staying here by next Mardi Gras. Seems that the $150,000 salary Blakely has been drawing in addition to his professor's salary he banks from the University of Sydney (as in Australia) is enough to keep him affixed in the city whose skyline he predicted would be full of cranes by last year. In case you didn't hear, the skyline is still unobstructed by cranes, although lots of pigeons still abound. Blakely claims it's all about his family in Sydney and how they need him. Eyebrows were raised a few weeks ago when Blakely headed over to burgeoning Dubai to consult with Middle East officials there about sustainable development. It's interesting that the recovery czar was there, since Dubai has 30,000 construction cranes, or about 24% of the total world's 125,000 cranes. Perhaps he wants to tend to his family's needs. I think that's possible, but it is curious.
THE BAD. (♪Ahhhhhhhhh♪ )Meanwhile, a New Orleans police officer, Christopher Buckley, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with the rape of the 13-year-old daughter of his girlfriend. Apparently the ten-year veteran had been accused of rape at least twice in the past, but the district attorney's offices run by Harry Connick, Sr. in 2001 and, later in 2003, Eddie Jordan chose not to seek an indictment of Buckley due to the "failure of the victims or the victims parents" to cooperate with prosecutors, according to New Orleans police superintendent Warren Riley. The earlier cases involved one 16-year-old and two others ages 12 and 15. It's incredible to me that he got away with this kind of behavior with juveniles virtually unchecked by authorities. Suffice it to say that he is being held without bail in the House of Detention, where some of the criminals he arrested during his career may be alerting the rest of the population there as to who their newest inmate is.
THE UGLY. ( ♪Ahhhhhhhhh♪ )The last item of local interest caused me to look twice and make sure I had read it correctly. Apparently, the tradition of Louisiana malfeasance, political chicanery and corruption has not been wasted on the young. Miss Teen Louisiana, Lindsey Evans, lost her crown two days ago after it was revealed that she was arrested on charges of beating a food check (eat-and-run) and possession of marijuana last weekend. According to police, the pretty 18-year-old blonde did a very blonde-thing while dining with three other girlfriends. Instead of making a clean getaway, she left behind a pocketbook with her driver's license inside as well as a small amount of marijuana. When Evans and her posse returned for the pocketbook, police were there to escort her and her cronies down to the Bossier City jail. All four were booked with possession and theft. Paula Miles, the president of RPM Productions, the sponsor of the beauty pageant, stripped Evans of her title this week. Ironically, the next Miss Teen Louisiana will be crowned on November 1, so it won't be long before we are represented with a new captivating beauty. Let's hope that she doesn't also turn out to be another beauty in captivity.