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WWW.TIMESSW.COM • DECEMBER 22, 2008 / VOL. 13, NO. 26

The Next Hurdle: Health Care

Employment at Will: What you should know

The Customer is Always Wrong

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DECEMBER 22, 2008

GENERAL . . . . . . . . . . . 617 Drew St., Lake Charles, LA 70601 Phone: 337-439-0995 Fax: 337-439-0418 PUBLISHERS Patrick Marcantel Scot Hebert

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december 22, 2008 Volume 13 • Number 25

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NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . MANAGING EDITOR Lauren de Albuquerque lauren.dealbuquerque@timessw.com

EDITOR Lisa Yates timesedit@timessw.com

CONTRIBUTORS Kay Andrews Sarah Blackwell Matt Jones Terri Schlichenmeyer POLITICS John Maginnis Dan Juneau ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER Andy Jacobson

E N T E R P R I S E B O U L E VA R D The Next Hurdle: Health Care . . . . . .5

. . . . . . COLUMNS Business Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Who’s News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Inside Baton Rouge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 BizBytes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Legal Eagle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Patricia Prudhomme Shanda Sonnier GRAPHICS . . . . . . . . ART/PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Darrell Buck

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35 COVER STORY Simply the Shadow 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

E N T E R TA I N M E N T Book Beat: The Customer is Always Wrong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Coffee Break Crossword Puzzle: Circular Logic . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 The Shadow: Gumdrop Circle and Nutcracker Lane . . . . . . . .35 Parting Shots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39

The Times of Southwest Louisiana is published every two weeks by Patsco Publishing, 617 Drew Street, Lake Charles Louisiana 70601. Phone (337) 439-0995. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $30 per year. Bulk mailing permit #9 paid at Lake Charles, La. Postmaster: Send address changes to The Times of Southwest Louisiana, 617 Drew Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601. FAX to (337) 439-0418. The Times of Southwest Louisiana cannot be held responsible for the return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations, even if they are sent to us accompanied by a self-addressed envelope. Copyright 2008 The Times of Southwest Louisiana all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior written permission is prohibited. DISTRIBUTION: The Times of Southwest Louisiana is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader. The Times of Southwest Louisiana may be distributed only by The Times of Southwest Louisiana authorized distributors. No person may, without prior written permission of The Times of Southwest Louisiana, take more than one copy of each monthly issue from its racks.

As we look back on 2008, we would like to express our appreciation to our readers, advertisers, contributors and supporters. We hope you have the happiest of holiday seasons, and we wish you much joy in the coming year.

Merry Christmas!

Visit us online at: www.timessw.com DECEMBER 22, 2008

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BUSINESS Lake Charles Memorial Hospital recently donated $69,000 in video conferencing equipment to the Southwest Louisiana Center for Health Services in an effort to enhance the quality of patient care through telemedicine. Telemedicine utilizes video conferencing technology to bring the knowledge of physician specialists and other health care providers to rural and underserved areas. Through Telemedicine, clinical consultations can go beyond hospital or clinic walls to be conducted between physicians and patients. In addition, continuing education seminars for healthcare professionals and health education programs for the community can be facilitated simultaneously across the Gulf region. Accredited by The Joint Commission, the Center for Health Services is a Federally Qualified Health Center providing comprehensive perinatal, pediatric, adolescent, adult, and geriatric care in Lake Charles and Lafayette, regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. The center located in Lake Charles received $53,000 in equipment, and $16,000 worth of equipment was awarded to the center in Lafayette. The City of Lake Charles Public Works Transit Division has received an Award of Achievement from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Region 6. The Award of Achievement was presented in recognition of the City of Lake Charles having the highest percentage growth in transit ridership in the State of Louisiana for the 2006-2007 fiscal year. The award was presented at the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Conference in New Orleans. Cameron State Bank’s Hackberry Banking Center has reopened after three months. The bank was closed for nearly three months while repairs were made to damage caused by Hurricane Ike. Cameron State Bank President and CEO Roy Raftery, Jr., says every effort was made to get this bank reopened as quickly as possible, in order to provide support to residents who are also working to recover from storm damage. The Hackberry Banking Center is located at 806 Main Street, and is one of two Cameron State Bank locations in Cameron Parish. The Grand Lake Banking Center reopened last month.

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From left to right: John Fusisier, CEO and Laura Flowers of FNB present the check to Beauregard Community Action Association Executive Director Winkie Branch and BCAA Volunteer Angel Tree Coordinator Stacee Wagner

The Beauregard Community Action Association, Inc. sponsors a Christmas Angel Tree annually to fulfill Christmas wishes for area children ages one through 12. The employees of First National Bank in DeRidder voted to participate in the Angel Tree project and adopt Angels this year, rather than their traditional exchanging of gifts at Christmas. The money each employee would have spent for a gift exchange was collected as a donation. In addition, First National Bank also matched those funds donated by the employees. The McNeese State Diamond Club is the recipient of a $3,000 grant from the Johnnie Thibodeaux Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament. Funds were presented to Cowboy head coach Terry Burrows by Johnnie Thibodeaux, Sr. and will be used by the McNeese baseball program. The tournament is an annual event hosted in memory of the younger Thibodeaux, who was a standout baseball player at LSU and was killed in an automobile accident three years ago. McNeese State’s athletic teams recently took part in the 12 Days Before Christmas. A total of 56 athletes and coaches worked at Friend Ships Unlimited, an organization that collects, delivers and distributes food, medical supplies, clothing, and building materials and provides medical services and trade school education. The organization aids people of all races, nationalities, and religion. The athletes helped unload two ships that had been in the Port of Galveston for the past two months providing hurricane relief. A majority of the work consisted of forming a human chain and passing boxes of food and medical supplies from the ship to a storage building on site. The athletes also organized supplies in one storage area in preparation for Friend Ships’ next big trip to Haiti in the spring. The athletes taking part in the Community Service project included basketball, softball, track, soccer, volleyball and baseball.

Above: Isle of Capri® Casino recently held a Stocking Stuffer slot tournament with the option to donate a new toy to local television station KPLC’s annual Community Christmas event. Guests donated gifts ranging from dolls to robots to games, benefiting children of all ages. For the second year, Isle of Capri staff also donated a Wii® Sports gaming system to raise additional funds for the community event. “Every Christmas season, our staff and guests are so generous with their giving,” said Jeff King, Vice President and General Manager. “It’s heartwarming to see all of the toys and games.” Toys donated to the Community Christmas program will be distributed to families in need by the Red Cross of Southwest Louisiana.

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DECEMBER 22, 2008

Suddenlink’s digital customers now have a new channel guide that recently launched video-on-demand (VOD) service in Lake Charles and Sulphur. Access to VOD was enabled by the new interactive program guide, Macrovision’s i-Guide®, which Suddenlink has been pre-loading on set-top boxes slated for new digital customers. The same guide was deployed electronically overnight in the early hours of Tues. morning, Dec. 9 to non-DVR digital boxes that are already in customer homes. Customers with DVRs (digital video recorders) will be allowed to set a schedule for their conversion. Suddenlink’s VOD service offers thousands of viewing choices, including movies, sports, news, music and shows from popular cable networks such as Nickelodeon, NOGGIN, MTV, Comedy Central and Discovery. Local programming, including sports, news and events, is also available. An expanded inventory of more than 40 VOD selections of high-definition (HD) programming is included in the mix. More than a third of the Suddenlink VOD library is free. The rest is available for either a perview charge or monthly subscription. For more information, go to www.suddenlink.com/vod or visit Suddenlink’s customer care centers at 1538 E. Prien Lake Road in Lake Charles and at 1626 Ruth St. in Sulphur, or call toll-free at (888) 822-5151.

NEWS

ABOUT

SOUTHWEST

LOUISIANA

ENTERPRISEBOULEVARD Who’s News

The Next Hurdle:

HEALTH CARE

Can Jindal Come to the Rescue? By Lisa Yates efore the meltdown of the financial markets, the crisis in health care was a top issue in the presidential race. Whether it was Obama’s plan to cover 30 million uninsured and the costs associated with it, or McCain’s plan to cover 5 million uninsured and create incentives that would shift more responsibility to the individual, the debate was heating up. Then, the public dialogue around the crisis in health care disappeared – along with dividends - as the stock market crashed. But, the crisis has not gone away. It may have temporarily faded to the back pages on newspapers, but the problems still exist – especially in Louisiana.

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Louisiana ranks last The state was recently named as the least healthiest state in the nation. This negative recognition was announced in the 2008 health rankings, released in Dec., by United Health Foundation. Louisiana dropped one spot in the study – last year, the state ranked ahead of Mississippi. Louisiana has ranked at or near the bottom of the list every year since it was first published in 1990. The foundation’s rankings take into account factors known to contribute to overall public health, such as the prevalence of binge drinking, per-capita spending on public health and high school graduation rates. It also ranks states on factors such as the rate of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease, infant mortality and immunization rates. The state had the third highest rate of preventable hospitalizations per 100,000 Medicare enrollees, second highest cancer death rates and

fourth highest infant mortality rates. The results came as Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration announced plans to revamp the state’s health care program for the poor. “Louisiana Health First” Gov. Jindal and state Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine announced, in Nov., details on “Louisiana Health First,” a pilot program aimed at restructuring the state’s Medicaid program by shifting thousands of low-income children and adults from the current fee-for-service model to private managed care networks. The proposed plan, outlined in a 65-page concept paper, is designed to cut costs and improve the health outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries, but details of how it will be financed remain unclear. The plan also must be approved by the state Legislature and federal government before it is implemented. Gov. Jindal said in a released statement, “We know the statistics, but behind these statistics there are real people. Louisiana is last in health care outcomes, we have far too many people with no health insurance at all, and this system will not improve on its own. We have to take action to improve our health care system, provide more access to health insurance for our people, and have a more transparent system where our system’s performance can be accountable.” Secretary Levine said

while Louisiana is a poor state 42nd in per capita income - its spending on Medicaid and the uninsured is very high. The latest Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts ranks Louisiana 20th in Medicaid spending in 2006. In the two years since, the Medicaid budget has grown by more than $1.6 billion – a 28 percent growth. Medicaid spending has grown from 8.5 percent of the state general fund, two years ago, to more than 16 percent today, with the expectation it will consume nearly 22 percent of available discretionary dollars by Continued on Page 6

Business First Bank is pleased to announce that Anne M. Miller has joined the bank in Lake Charles. Miller has been appointed Assistant Vice President in Commercial Banking. “We are excited to have Anne join our team of commercial bankers in Southwest Louisiana. She brings enthusiasm and experience to our bank,” noted Phil Earhart, President for Southwest Louisiana. Miller has been with Capital One in their Business Banking division since 1992. She is a graduate of McNeese with a bachelor’s degree in Business Anne M. Miller Finance. A graduate of the Chamber/Southwest Louisiana Leadership Program, Miller also serves on the Greater Lake Charles Rotary Club Board, in addition to the St. Patrick Hospital Foundation Board. Business First Bank has established a temporary office at 728 Ryan Street to continue its expansion of the business banking market into Southwest Louisiana. Construction is underway on its banking center in downtown Lake Charles at the corner of Ryan and Broad Streets in the Love’s Building, aiming for a tentative opening in January of 2009. The annual Gingerbread House Contest winners were announced at noon on at Historic City Hall in Lake Charles. The contest, sponsored by the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau and held in conjunction with the annual Southwest Louisiana Christmas Lighting Festival, features awards in different categories including amateur and school groups. Southwest Louisiana’s goodwill ambassador and mascot, Gumbeaux Gator, was on hand to take pictures with the winners. In the Children’s Division, Bethany Kingham was awarded first place; the Brownies/Daisy Scouts’ Troop 095 was awarded second place. In the Teen Division, Olivia Vincent Continued on Page 6 DECEMBER 22, 2008

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Who’s News, Continued from Page 5

Ent. Blvd., Continued from Page 5

was awarded first place and Robert Maddox took home the second place prize. Dawn and Austin Spooner were awarded third place. Ms. Dixie Yorks’ class from D.S. Perkins Elementary placed first in the Pre-School Division and Tina Harris’s class This tasty creation of Mona Holman was awarded Best of at Vincent Settlement Elementary. In the Show in the 2008 Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau Gingerbread House Contest. Elementary Division, Melissa Harrell’s class at Western Heights Elementary placed first and Diane Greenlee’s class at Pearl Watson Elementary placed second. In the Middle School division, Debbie Wild’s class of J.I. Watson Middle placed first; Pat Robichaux’s art club class at Vinton Middle placed second, and Benita January’s class of Molo Middle won third. The International Club at Barbe High School placed first in the High School Division. First place in the Amateur Adult Division went to Mona Holman; Kenneth and Theresa LaBove placed second, and Victoria and Jessie Cart won third. The Best of Show went to Mona Holman. This creation featured a small town complete with a home, diner, penguins, a Christmas tree and more. It is a true winter wonderland. The winning gingerbread houses will remain on display on the first floor of Historic City Hall throughout the month of December.

2011 – potentially eclipsing funding for schools, economic/job development, roads and law enforcement. Gov. Jindal called this rapid growth in spending with continued poor outcomes “unacceptable.” Secretary Levine reported DHH and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have been working to resolve the issue of $771 million potentially owed by the state for alleged overspending in Medicaid in the past. He reported the state has asked the federal government to freeze interest on this debt, and to pay back the debt over a five-year period, rather than the traditional 15-21 months. This move would allow Louisiana to invest an additional $100 million in expanded access to insurance. In addition, Levine said the state is asking for the full amount owed from the federal government to build a replacement hospital for the Katrinadamaged Charity Hospital in New Orleans.

The business growth program, “Make Mine A Million $ Business,” selected Rebekah Dressler, owner of 505 Imports of Lake Charles, as one of the 25 businesswomen finalists to compete for an awards package at the Hollywood, Florida event on Dec. 11 at the Westin Diplomat Hotel. The exciting event will feature female entrepreneurs from across the nation who will compete for business development packages that include money, marketing, mentoring and technology assistance to help their businesses grow into million-dollar enterprises. Described as a cross between “The Apprentice” and “American Idol,” the competition provides the finalists the opportunity to present their business in a three-minute “elevator pitch” to a panel of business experts and a live audience. The audience and judges who will collaborate on the selection process will choose fifteen winners. Becoming a finalist in the Make Mine a Million $ Business program is another steppingstone for Dressler as a budding woman entrepreneur. Her goals are to become an awardee of the program and then move forward to open 50 franchise 505 Import stores over the next 10 years. For more information about how women can grow their businesses, please visit Rebekah Dressler www.makemineamillion.org. Governor Bobby Jindal has announced appointments to the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Board of Directors and the Environmental Education Commission. Sandie Jordan of Lake Charles is involved with many humanitarian organizations, including the Imperial Calcasieu Museum. She will serve on the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Board of Directors. Dale Bayard of Sulphur represents the 7th Board of Elementary and Secondary Education District and will serve on the Environmental Education Commission. The Lake Charles Christmas Parade winners were recently announced. A panel judged the parade entries on presentation, performance, decorations, originality, and safety and trophies were presented to the top-scoring entries. Award recipients, by category, are: Best of Show, Gold Wing Road Riders Association; Best Decorated Vehicle, Magical Christmas by Marci Tweed; Best Specialty Group, Elite Dance Line; Best Christmas Float, First Baptist Church of Lake Charles; and Best Marching Band, Sam Houston High Pride and Spirit. Lake Charles Toyota/Scion was the official sponsor of this year’s Lake Charles Christmas Parade. Winners of the Light up the Lake Lighted Boat Parade, by category, were: Best of Show and Most Creative, The Four Amigos Canoe; First Place, Quality Tyme; Second Place, Leeward Time; Third Place, Moor Play. Winners received plaques provided by 92.9 The Lake FM Radio; a $100 gift card from West Marine went to the Best of Show. PAGE 6

DECEMBER 22, 2008

Major reform initiatives The governor’s proposed plan outlines some major reform initiatives, which the state is seeking approval, including: • Develop “coordinated care networks” in the Baton Rouge, Lake

Charles, New Orleans and Shreveport regions that are similar to managed care plans. These would provide beneficiaries with preventative health care and chronic disease management services, and would be expanded statewide within five years. • Expand Medicaid to some parents and grandparents of children enrolled in the program. Eligibility for the benefit would require that household income be no more than 50 percent of the federal poverty level. • A demonstration project in Lake Charles would extend Medicaid coverage to parents, caretaker relatives and childless adults with incomes between 200 percent and 350 percent of the poverty level. Those who qualify would be able to buy into the program on a sliding scales. The report said of Lake Charles, “This area of the state has the highest rate of uninsured people in Louisiana (approximately 28 percent of the population), making it the ideal place for implementation. Citing ongoing discussions with the Bush administration over the financial aspects and other details of the plan, Gov. Jindal said, “We’re not going to agree to terms (with the federal government) that are not in the best interest of the state.”

CPSO Institutes Holiday Robbery Prevention Mobilization at Mall Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office will institute their Annual Robbery Prevention Mobilization (RPM) in an effort to deter crime and assist shoppers in the parking lot at the Prien Lake Mall during the holiday season from now through December 29, seven days a week from noon until one hour past mall closing. The deputies will be on four wheelers and marked patrol cars in the parking lot, as well as manning the CPSO Mobile Command Center located in the front parking lot of the mall on Prien Lake Rd. Deputies will be available to help shoppers with such things as helping them find their car, jump starting their car if the battery is dead, changing a flat, assisting employees and shoppers by walking them to their car after dark, or any other assistance they can provide. “The CPSO Robbery Prevention Mobilization has always been instrumental in, not only assisting shoppers with their problems and concerns, but keeping crime to a minimum at a time of year when it is usually on the

rise,” says Sheriff Tony Mancuso. “We are very pleased to be able to offer this service to the public.” CPSO deputies are working this special detail to provide assistance to the public during the busy holiday season. They are not hired by the mall, nor will they be doing security for the mall. However, the presence of law enforcement on the premises is expected to deter crime in the parking lot. This is the fifth year the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office has provided this service to the shoppers. Deputies will also be conducting regular visits to all convenience stores in the parish during the holiday season to check with store clerks to see if they are experiencing any problems, or if they have any special needs. Also, deputies will be conducting these same checks with store clerks at businesses in the Southgate Shopping Center on Ryan St. and the Power Center on Highway 14 in Lake Charles.

BIZ BYTES — by Dan Juneau

INSIDE BATON ROUGE — by John Maginnis

Publicity Not Helping Edwards’ Release Bid arlier this year, Edwin Edwards politely turned down my request to visit him at the Federal Detention Center in Oakdale. He wrote that some previous interviews with reporters did not sit well with prison officials, and so as not to “rock the boat,” he thought it prudent not to have any “media types” visit him for now. Fine with me, but he should have told that to Grendel Levy. Had he rebuffed her too, his family and lawyer would not be bailing water from the wave of unwanted publicity she caused. Ms. Levy is a former producer for a New Orleans TV station who covered Edwards’ gambling racketeering trial in 2000. The attractive young redhead was noticed and known by practically everyone in the courtroom, particularly the defendant, as “the girl in the red dress.” She referred to herself that way in her recent letter to Edwards requesting an invitation to visit, which he promptly granted. Big mistake. Who knows what he told her during the three hours she said they spent together. By her account, which she shared on a radio talk show and was widely reported, Edwards has high hopes that his sentence will be commuted by President Bush at the urging of the first President Bush. On the air, she said Edwards told her, “Yeah, I have spoken to (former President Bush) and he said he’s personally gone to his son and personally requested that I receive a (commutation).” You could feel Edwards cringe. His attorney, speaking for the former governor, promptly issued a statement denying that Edwards had spoken with the former president about a commutation or that he said he did. But a news cycle had passed already and the alleged comments had entered the public lore: Edwin’s getting out of prison because old man Bush told his son to cut him loose. It was on the TV. That’s the last notion that Edwards wants advanced. Yet, one can only say the press flare-up hurt his chances for a commutation if he had a shot to start with, which seems unlikely. Come Jan. 20, many people will be surprised that Edwards is not free. A commutation seemed almost in the bag,

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according to comments over the last few months from former Gov. Dave Treen, who has confounded fellow Republicans by his mission to secure the freedom of his former rival. Treen may deserve the good sportsmanship award, but his chance for success on Edwards’ behalf was very bleak even before Grendel opened her mouth. It was Treen who first claimed that former President Bush had written to his son to request Edwards’ commutation. Yet, a source close to the Bush family denies that happened. If the president were to listen to anyone from Louisiana, it would be his friend, former Sen. John Breaux, who has written on Edwards’ behalf. Yet even his request likely falls on deaf ears. For George Bush to grant the early release of as notorious and polarizing a figure as Edwin Edwards would mark a radical departure from his approach to pardons and commutations, which has been among the most conservative of any president. He has signed only 171 pardons in eight years, all to people who had completed their sentences and were seeking the restoration of citizenship rights. What Edwards has applied for, a commutation of sentence, Bush has granted only eight, most of them low-level, non-controversial cases. Even if the president was more magnanimous, Edwards hardly qualifies as a sub-radar parolee. Whenever the subject arises in the public prints, the reaction from readers is starkly divided. Those most opposed to Edwards’ release are self-described conservatives, among the last supporters Bush has left. Why would he alienate them to favor Edwards? For my part, I wish he were out today. Six years in the pen is ample punishment for the Justice Department’s tortured theory of his crime, which turned opportunistic coconspirators Robert Guidry and Eddie DeBartolo into defenseless victims of extortion. Then U.S. District Judge Frank Polozola piled on by giving Edwards more time than the sentencing guidelines called for. But that’s all done, and it doesn’t look like the one who can undo it will. Once Jan. 20 passes, Edwin might grow less paranoid about who comes to visit, and I might get in to see him then, even without a red dress on.

Wisdom vs. Expediency n Dec. 15, Louisiana Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) will meet at the state Capitol to certify some very important fiscal data. The group is charged with giving the official estimate for state revenues that the governor and the Legislature must use to limit state spending. In recent years, the conference has done a commendable job of establishing conservative revenue estimates. While some in the Legislature would always like to have higher estimates to grease the skids for more spending, the members of the conference have resisted that temptation. When they meet on the 15th, the REC will also officially certify the surplus (projected to be approximately $850 million) for the fiscal year that ended June 30. They will also certify the amount of money in the state’s Rainy Day Trust Fund, which is expected to be in the $800 million range. As the price of oil and gas plummet and world economies crash, the status of the Rainy Day Fund is going to get a lot of attention from legislators very soon. The findings of the REC on the 15th will be heavily influenced by several sobering facts. Last February, the REC estimated oil revenues based on a crude oil price of $73.45 per barrel. Last May, with oil prices escalating worldwide, the conference upped the estimate to $84.23 for the current budget and $72.17 for the 2009/2010 fiscal year. Crude oil prices continued to soar, reaching a peak of $147 per barrel in July. Then the bottom fell out. Today, crude oil is selling for less than $45 per barrel. The importance of the price decline lies in the fact that for every dollar the price of a barrel of crude oil declines, the state loses $13 million in revenue. The math is ugly. Soaring crude oil prices during the first half of 2008 were the primary drivers of the surplus. The precipitous drop in those prices—along with an ailing national economy—will remove the word “surplus” from legislative budget discussions for the foreseeable future.

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Natural gas prices have also dropped significantly, triggering an additional revenue problem for both the current and the following fiscal years. If the REC continues its practice of conservatively estimating oil and gas revenues, the impact on the current budget could be a reduction of several hundred million dollars. That shortfall will have to be addressed once the revenue estimates are certified by the REC. Some in the Legislature will want to tap the Rainy Day Fund in order to avoid making cuts in the current budget. Perhaps as much as $270 million would be available from the fund to fill the void, but that would be a very foolish move for the Legislature to make.

THE STATUS OF THE RAINY DAY FUND IS GOING TO GET A LOT OF ATTENTION FROM LEGISLATORS VERY SOON. Faced with a 2009/2010 budget shortfall of as much as $1.3 billion, the governor and legislators should begin to reduce current levels of spending now to start addressing the problem. If state officials opt to start using the Rainy Day Fund to cover shortfalls in the current budget, they are setting themselves—and the taxpayers—up for a nightmare scenario if revenues plunge even further than estimated during the next fiscal year (a definite possibility). The actions taken by the REC on the 15th will begin a very interesting and important series of decisionmaking events that will cast light on how fiscally responsible our state leaders will be in handling our budget problems. A lot is at stake. Hopefully, they will do a better job of resolving Louisiana’s problems than our “leaders” in Washington have done in handling the nation’s.

DECEMBER 22, 2008

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Book Beat By Terri Shlichenmeyer

Reflections from the Trenches of the Retail World

The Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana wishes to thank our sponsors and our members for the unparalleled support shown during 2008. The dedication of our Board of Directors and VOICE Volunteers has made the Council's efforts during the past year more productive and enjoyable than ever before! We urge all residents in the five parishes of Imperial Calcasieu to embrace the many opportunities to enjoy music, theatre, dance, film and other cultural programming made available by the hardworking presenters and organizations which improve the quality of life in our region. We also urge you to join us in our efforts to provide additional support for cultural and educational programming. Be a part of Louisiana’s exciting Cultural Economy. Celebrate with us the many concerts, festivals, recitals and presentations that allow us to share our past, our present and our hopes for the future with our neighbors and visitors.

May the best of 2009 be yours! The Staff of the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana, Irene Vandever, Executive Director Jackie Dowden, Community Development Coordinator and Kay Andrews, Administrative Specialist and VOICE Coordinator PAGE 8

DECEMBER 22, 2008

You knew it was a bad time of year to go to that store, but you went in anyhow and you wished you hadn’t. The lines were long and filled with grumps and kids, both way past naptime. You couldn’t find anything because the place was a mess. The sound system was broken, and the same Christmas song was playing over and over and over until you thought you’d scream. You couldn’t wait to get out of there. Too bad you’re the person behind the cash register. In the new book, The Customer Is Always Wrong: The Retail Chronicles edited by Jeff Martin, you’ll see that you’re not alone. You’ll also see that there is humor in them there aisles, too. Want great discounts on merchandise? Don’t mind long (long!) hours on your feet? Do you have the negotiation skills of a statesman, the strength of a linebacker, and the patience of a kindergarten teacher? Are you ready for work with littleto-no job security? Then step up and sign on for a retail position. Jeff Martin has assembled 21 stories from the trenches, including great experiences and ones best forgotten. For retail workers past and present, there’s familiar hilarity in some of them, and sobering realism in others. Having spent time in retail (at a bookstore, of course!), I loved this book. Editor Jeff Martin says that the writers of this book “are retail survivors.” They’re the ones who help you find that elusive gift. They’re the people you yell at because they don’t have the color sweater you want. The writers represent all the people who ever took your money at a cash register. They might even represent you. Unless you work in a kids’ store, small shoppers can sometimes be a

challenge for retail workers. Mystery author Elaine Viets writes about doing research for a novel while working in a bookstore, and how a comment from a 12-year-old boy gave her hope for the world of reading. Stores are magnets for unique customers and local “characters.” Kevin Smokler in “Another Day at the Video Store,” writes about some of the ones who visited him at work. In “The Bad Call,” Clay Allen remembers an early-morning group of customers that made him cry. And the word “project” will scare you, too, when you read “Other Things in Mind” by James Wagner. And years from now, when you look back on your time spent working retail, think of “We Weren’t Really Rock Stars,” by Richard Cox. Maybe you’ll remember to be nice to the new guy behind the cash register. Had your fill of crabby shoppers, tinny music and crowded parking lots? No matter which side of the checkout counter you’ve been on recently, this book is the perfect antidote to it all. Pick up a copy of The Customer is Always Wrong, then go ahead and throw away the receipt. This is a book you’re going to want to keep on your shelf for a long time. The Customer is Always Wrong: The Retail Chronicles Edited by Jeff Martin Copyright 2008 Soft Skull Press $12.95 / $16.95 Canada 171 pages Terri Shlichenmeyer has been reading since she was 3 years old, and never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books.

By Sara Blackwell

AT-WILL-EMPLOYMENT With the unsteady state of the economy, it is important to maintain employment and continue a constant, predictable income. Although it may not be in the employee’s power to control his employment, the employee can shield himself with the protection of knowledge of Louisiana law. An employer/employee relationship is a contractual union. The employer and the employee are free to negotiate the specific terms and conditions of the employment contract as long as such terms and conditions do not violate the law or public policy. As an example of a term against public policy, the employer and employee may not stipulate in the employment contract that the employee is required to abandon any future-born children. Similarly, there can be no term in the employment contract that requires the employee to accept payment of less than minimum wage because such is a term against the law. Most employment contracts include wages and hours, but hardly include a tenure of employment. Nevertheless, if there is no employment contract that specifies the length of the employment, Louisiana provides a default rule of employment-at-will. Most employees are at-will employees, working without a contract binding the employer to keep them employed for a specific amount of time. Employment-atwill permits the employer the liberty to dismiss an employee at any time, for any reason, no reason, or an incorrect reason as long as it is not contrary to the law. Of course, employment-at-will also allows the employee to quit at any time for any reason, no reason or an incorrect reason without incurring liability for leaving the employment position. An example of an incorrect reason of an employee’s termination would be when an employee is falsely accused of stealing from the employer. The employee may be innocent, but is without repercussions for wrongful termination because employment-at-will permits the employer to dismiss an employee for an incorrect reason as long as it does not violate the law. On the other hand, if there was an employment contract, which stipulated a certain duration of employment, then there may be a claim against the employer for breaking the terms of the employment contract. Even with employment-at-will, the employer is not permitted to terminate employment in violation of a statutory or constitutional provision. Such illegal terminations include dismissing an employee based on his or her race, sex or religious beliefs. It is interesting to note that an employee-at-will is permitted to quit his employment without incurring liability even if it is based on race, sex or religious beliefs. There is one legal loophole to the employment-at-will which is rarely successful. The court may (it probably would not, but it could) grant a recovery of damages to an employee terminated from an at-will employment when the employee detrimentally relied on such employment. The Doctrine of Detrimental Reliance is designed to prohibit injustice and prevent parties from acting contrary to specific promises. To establish a claim of detrimental reliance, a terminated employee must prove three essential elements: That there was a representation by an employer through conduct or statement; that the employee justifiably relied on the employer’s representation; and that she suffered a detriment based on the reliance of the employer’s representation. A classic example of this legal notion is when an employee is hired by a company in a different state. The employee quits his stable employment, purchases a new home in the new state and incurs ample moving expenses. Merely two days after the employment commences, the employer terminates the employee’s position for no reason at all. Without an employment contract, the employee is subject to at-will-employment, which permits the employer to terminate the employee at any time, for any

reason, as long as it is not against the law. However, it would seem logical to find that the employer would be liable to the employee based on the Doctrine of Detrimental Reliance in this circumstance. The first element—the employee must prove the employer made a representation—is easily met in the above situation, since the company offered and hired the out-of-state employee. The final element—the employee must show she suffered a detriment based on reliance of the employer’s statement—is also easily shown given the extreme cost detrimentally incurred by the employee based on the reliance of promised employment at the company. Unfortunately, the courts have found that the second element cannot be met because the out-of-state employee did not justifiably rely on the employer’s representation of future employment. Court decisions have stated that the employee was unjustified in relying in such a way on at-will employment. The employee should have demanded an employment contract if he was going to incur such a loss. Clearly, a recovery based on the Doctrine of Detrimental Reliance is an uphill path; however, it is an available path. So, now is the time for a meeting with your supervisor to draft an employment contract that includes a five-year-term of employment. Still, if your company refuses to bind themselves to a specific tenure, then your other option is to work so hard that you are an indispensable asset to the company.

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DECEMBER 22, 2008

PAGE 9

Throughout the year, the Shadow creeps around on little Shadow feet, attending fundraisers, concerts, auctions, parades, festivals, awards banquets, grand openings, plays, Mardi Gras balls, art receptions…need we go on? If it’s happening, the Shadow is there, snapping photos, taking names, and recording memories of all the fun events that happen in Southwest Louisiana. We always have more photos than we can use in every issue. Rather than discard these mementos, we compile them in A Year’s Worth of Shadow. It’s a quick reprise of all the wonderful

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DECEMBER 22, 2008

events that the Shadow covered this year, with many new photos that haven’t been published before. A Year’s Worth of Shadow is our gift to our readers. Share it with your family and friends when you come together this holiday season. Who knows? You just may find yourself in A Year’s Worth of Shadow!

Mayor Roach and Anne Drake

King Albert and Queen Lora Chinn of Krewe de la Famille

Ms. Mardi Gras Courtney Jinks and her escort, Sgt Arredondo

Bryan Verrett and Carol Watson

Roy Rafferty and “Miss Dazzling Diamond,” Morgan Murray

Randy Fruge, Tommy Fruge and James Alexander with Krewe de L’eau King Mark and Queen Patti Mallette

Daniel Castoriano, Lucie Jacques, Tesa Pace and Linda Castoriano

Tia Seely, Aminah Trahan and Leslie Harless

Dianna and Joey Alcede visited with Tom Morris

A

nd you thought Twelfth Night was early in ’05? Thursday evening, Jan. 3, krewes gathered at the Civic Center for one of the earliest Twelfth Night celebrations yet. Inside the Civic Center, the Duchess of Misrule, Shelly Johnson, presided over Twelfth Night, seated with all the Mardi Gras queens, princesses and select krewe Royalty. Each krewe paraded as the Master of Ceremonies, Dale Mann, announced their royalty to close the 2007 season and begin Mardi Gras 2008. The Lake Charles Little Theatre premiered their special holiday performance of A Christmas Story. Produced on stage like radio show of the 1940s, “A

Christmas Story” (aka ‘The Red Ryder BB Gun, You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out Christmas classic) included John Bridges, Mayor Randy Roach, and Dale Mann. Jean Shepherd’s familiar story (and movie) was adapted into the radio play format. Newly inaugurated Governor Bobby Jindal was the special guest as the Chamber Southwest Louisiana presented their 104th Annual Banquet at the Lake Charles Civic Center. CITGO’s Randy Carbo introduced Governor Bobby Jindal and we all enjoyed his speech. The Imperial Calcasieu Museum hosted a delightful media appreciation reception on Jan. 24. Enjoying the reception were Jackie Dowden, Kay Andrews and Irene Vandever with the Arts & Humanities Council, Patricia Prudhomme and Joseph Frazier with The Times and Eric Cormier

and Vanessa Deggins with the American Press. LifeShare Blood Center presented their annual appreciation luncheon for area donors on Jan. 25, at Reeves Uptown. I shared a table with Bill Hankins, CCO of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, Libby Murphy and Daphne Terral from LifeShare corporate headquarters in Shreveport, and Don Raborn, co-founder to the Jake Owen Raborn Foundation. The room was packed with blood donors who would later receive awards and thanks for their amazing generosity. The Romance of the Renaissance was recreated at the Krewe de la Famille’s 29th Annual Mardi Gras Ball on Jan. 26 at the Civic Center. His Royal Majesty, King Famille XXIX Bobby McLamore and Her Royal Majesty, Queen Famille XXIX Lydia McLamore were presented to their subjects by DECEMBER 22, 2008

PAGE 11

Anne Drake and Dr. Ken Eastman, Irene Vandever and Austin Gray Arabie historian Diane McCarthy

Tim and Lansen Castle

King John and Queen Linda Collins of Krewe of Omega

Captains Scot and Bea Hebert. Janelle and Donald Vincent represented Renaissance England and Sherry and David Boling represented Renaissance Spain. Mardi Gras brought Cupid to town early when Krewe de Charlie Sioux members from Southwest Louisiana and Sioux City, Iowa gathered at the LC Civic Center seawall, Friday evening, Feb. 1 at sunset. In spite of a brisk cool breeze, a crowd gathered to witness the nuptials of Marty and Kandy Pottebaum. The 12th Night Revelers and Tony Comeaux and Delores Beaco and other Krewe members waved as the happy couple boarded a boat for a cruise of the lake. Over at the Imperial Calcasieu Museum, an opening reception was underway in the Gibson-Barham Gallery

Angela Mefford, Gloria Sullivan, Terry Berry, Jody Boone and Lisa Dupuie

for the annual McNeese Student Juried Student Exhibit. The Juror was artist and special guest for the evening, Elemore Morgan, Jr. The next day, a Shadow spy snapped some wonderful photos of the Krewe of Barkus parade. What fun to see Dalmatians, Pugs, Corgis and mutts in costume! That evening, The Krewe of Illusions presented their 18th Annual Extravaganza and Ball. As I entered the Rosa Hart Theatre, I met Scott Higginbotham and John Hillenbrand, and Helen and Darnell Daniel. I also spied Barbara and Brent Downer, Laura Heller, and Dr. Lee J. and Anne Monlezun in the lobby. As always, it was an amazing event that never fails to dazzle and delight!

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DECEMBER 22, 2008

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Bea Hebert, Janice and Jim Pauley

Joey Frazier, Patricia Prudhomme and Katie Harrington

Larry Turner, Vanessa Deggins and Eric Cormier

Susan Reed and artist Elemore Morgan, Jr.

Mary and Elizabeth Sneddon, Elizabeth Tarkington and Steven Sneddon

Lynn Reynolds, Amie Herbert and Brian Vallier Carol St. Dizier with her daughter, Ann Kratzer

T

he Shadow never turns down an invitation to lunch with the Westlake Rotarians. Enjoying the meeting and camaraderie were Anne Drake and her guest Irene Vandever (Arts & Humanities Council), Sandy Domingue (Isle of Capri), Kathleen Ganise, Wendy Hatcher, Dr. Ken Eastman (Eastman Chiropractic), Austin Arabie, and Mike Hayes (Sasol). Cameron State Bank held a glittering premier party recently for their Dazzling Diamond Giveaway event. Needless to say, the CSB Main Office on Nelson Road was jumping with partygoers anxious

John Wells, Kay Andrews and Roz Wells

to see the fabulous jewels. Mr. Roy Rafferty greeted guests with “Miss Dazzling Diamond,” Morgan Murray, who modeled the $14,000, 1 1/2 carat diamond ring from Navarra’s that will be given away in June. And speaking of fabulous evenings of fun, I was delighted to accept an invitation to be the guest of Anne Drake for a First Class Dinner on the Titanic. Kudos to our hostesses, Leslie Berman and Carolyn Woosley who held THREE fundraiser Titanic suppers at the beautiful Woosley home in January. The First Class Dinner benefited Camp Fire and Camp We-Ta-Wentin. The menu was authentic and delightful, prepared by Chef David Kimball. A stellar crowd filled the Lake Charles Country Club on Feb. 8 for the annual opening reception for

Maya, Aminah and Kailey Trahan

McNeese Banners Series 2008 honoring sponsors, members and volunteers. Spotted in the crowd were Mayor Randy Roach, Renee LeLeux, Toni Yoder, Ruth and John Askew, Taylor and Charlene Kaough, Jean and Buddy Bolton, John and Roz Wells, Mandi Mitchell, Suzanne and Charles Vincent and Nancy Tower. The following night, Nagata Shachu, the Japanese Taiko and Music Group opened Banners 2008 at the Rosa Hart Theatre. We were enchanted with their performance which also included flute, chanting and at one point, the players wore ferocious traditional masks. Mary Richardson and volunteers including Anne Drake, Aminah, Kailey and Maya Trahan welcomed the crowd to the theatre. Nagata Shachu was a family night out and DECEMBER 22, 2008

PAGE 13

Marsha Montgomery, Betty Ross and Wanda Cooper

Melanie Fuselier, Taylor Simon, Kerry Oxley and Rachel Silliman Dr. Ramona Patterson and King Illusions XVIII, Cornell Thomas

Lydia Blue helping her grandmother, Carol St. Dizier

Rosa Hart was packed with all ages. The second annual Gems & Stems, “a sparkling event,” was held at Treasures of Marilyn’s. This dazzling night has become a much-anticipated fundraiser for the Calcasieu Women’s Shelter and Rape Crisis Outreach. The event was sold out and Treasures was packed! Here’s the fabulous fun: Purchased drinks (alcohol or not) are served in stemware and to each stem there is a lovely little bag containing a gem. Gems vary in value and it is so much fun to select a glass and discover your treasure! That weekend, the Children’s Theatre Company opened their latest production, Disney’s Cinderella at Central School. Children could dine in Cinderella’s castle with the cast before the production.

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PAGE 14

DECEMBER 22, 2008

Angela Jouett and Sallye LeBleu

~ Make-Up ~ Up-Do’s ~ Highlights

Samuel Owens and Brandi Roessler from Westlake High School were in costumes as servers for Cinderella’s dinner. Samuel also worked sound and spotlights for the production. The next afternoon, Banners presented the jewel of the 2008 series – Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The Rosa Hart Theatre was packed to hear the nine amazing acapella singers from South Africa. The name came from Shabalala’s hometown of Ladysmith. Black referred to oxen, the strongest of all farm animals, and Mambazo is the Zulu word for axe – a symbol of the group’s ability to chop down any singing rival! They have taken their intricate rhythms and harmonies worldwide on a mission of peace, unity, and love.

Carol Ann Gayle and Oili Barchak

Dan Plummer, Denise and Tom Morris

Judith Washington, Gwendolyn Garner and Catherine Thomas

John Chavez and Ms. Erica D. Woods

Fred Sahlmann and William Kushner

Pam Spees visited with Ron and Troye Ware

Donna Ritchert and Mousee Babineaux

Buford Jordan, Mr. and Mrs. Chris Baggett

T

he League of Women Voters met for their regular monthly luncheon at Reeves Uptown Catering. Current LWV President Alfred Doucette, Jr. recognized each of the past presidents in attendance. Family Foundation of Southwest Louisiana honored Sam and Denise Hebert, Stella Miller, Thomas J. Morris, and Roy M. Raftery, Jr. at the Philanthropy Day celebration at L’Auberge du Lac. These five citizens were singled out for generously giving their time, talent, and treasure to the betterment of SWLA. The Lake Charles Rotary hosted a delightful dinner theatre evening. Rotarians and their guests enjoyed supper at the Pioneer Club. After dinner, we went to the Lake Charles Little Theatre for the final dress rehearsal – and the first presentation – of Peg O’ My Heart. The lively romance was directed by Jo

Ann Rigney and featured a cast of veteran actors and newcomers. “Yikes It’s Sykes!” Wanda Sykes did not disappoint when she appeared at the Isle of Capri Casino on February 23. The crowd responded enthusiastically to Ms. Sykes “blue” humor, for which she has become famous! A truly great evening. A crowd gathered at the Rosa Hart Theatre for the Lake Charles Symphony Orchestra performance. Among those enjoying the afternoon of music were Fred Sahlmann, William Kushner, Rebecca and Kenneth Lormand, Donna, Darryl and Molly Jones, and Molly and Carly Hand. The Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana kicked off the 2008 Gold Key Quest with a spectacular reception. The Grand Prize will once again be the winner’s choice of either a 2008 Ford F150 Pickup Truck or a 2008 Ford Mustang from Bolton Ford! There was a sea of red at the annual American Heart Association “Go Red For Women” luncheon at

Kay Andrews, Jackie Dowden and Connie Shaw

Treasures of Marilyn’s on Feb. 28. I met Angela Jouette and Cindy Desonnier as they made a bid on one of the many exciting “Red Purse” silent auction items. Larry and Jennifer Toups opened their lovely home at Canal Place on Feb. 28 to share details of the exciting new Providence development. Their beautiful old-world inspired home held a large crowd that had a first look at drawings of the development and homes for Providence planned community. Opening night at “A Block Off Broadway’s” Oscar and Felix, Neil Simon’s remake on the original stage play, The Odd Couple, made for a great evening of fun for everyone at the historic Strand theatre in Jennings, on Fri., Feb. 29. Meanwhile, at Reeve’s Uptown, the Samaritan Counseling Center celebrated 20 years of offering help and hope to Southwest Louisiana. I met Marion Bono, Clarice Raichel, Fr. Henry Mancuso and Rev. Mike McLaurin when I arrived. The next morning, it was “Pirates on the Bayou” DECEMBER 22, 2008

PAGE 15

Nancy Burleigh, Ruth Unkel and Ella Wakeley

GiGi and Fred Kaufman

Dawn Harrington and Scotsman Martin Shamalian LaKeisha, Nicholas and Cameron Simien

Buccaneer Sherman Corbello and Gumbeaux Gator

for Big Brothers/Big Sisters annual Bowl For Kids’ Sake at Petro Bowl. Keith O’Neal and Princess Heather were on hand to cheer on the teams. Buccaneer Sherman Corbello and Gumbeaux Gator were enjoying the fun. I left the fun at Petro Bowl to check in on the festivities at the Black Heritage Festival at the Civic Center. I was greeted by volunteers Stella Miller, Roxie Boxie, Betty Edwards, Chantell Smith, Joan Rigmaiden, Frankie Lane and Audrette Metoyer. Irish eyes — canine and human — were smiling in downtown Lake Charles when the Farmer’s Market held the second annual St. Paddy’s Day Dog Parade. Twins Kaitlynn and Karlynn Louviere paraded their twin

Chihuahuas, Buffy and Sadie who are both rescue pups. Lucky dogs! A few blocks down, the second annual St. Patrick’s Balladeer Festival was getting underway. Danny O’Flaherty, Drowsy Maggie, Constant Billy, and the Lone Star Pipe Band entertained revelers of Celtic descent – and those who were Celtic for the day. Meanwhile, MSU Athletic Foundation hosted their first Denim & Diamonds fundraiser on March 7. The Shadow spotted lots of happy cowboys and girls in the crowd. March 15, a once-in-a-lifetime event was celebrated in a big way. Christus St.Patrick Hospital commemorated their Centennial Anniversary with a black tie Gala at L’Auberge du Lac.

Brenda Shelton and Len Ford

Carolyn Smith

Angela Jouette and Cindy Desonnier

Barney, a rescued Dalmatian-Schnauzer cross, and Tip Harte Malinda and Gary Hightower

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DECEMBER 22, 2008

Dr. Ron Kober, Jen Kober, Stephanie Kober and Laura Kober O’Conner.

Ginger Patton and Tanja Tate

Shelia Babineaux and Joseph Frazier

Edwina Meaderis and Kay Andrews

Dr. Larry Cipolla from Minnesota, and Stanley Crist, Master Gardener from Minneapolis

Beth Hebert and Trudy Carbello

Pat San Miguel visits with Eileen Piper

Dennis Stine, Lollion Elmer and Alfred Doucette

Fu-Ling Nong, MSU student from Taiwan, and Jack Wong.

Marsha Montgomery, Elizabeth Roche and Tod Ardoin

T

rinity Baptist Church held their annual Easter Egg hunt, and it looked like the “Running of the Bulls!” Kids screaming and scampering, parents leaping and hollering and everyone else just getting out of the way! Ninety seconds later, it was over…yes, 30,000 eggs gone in just 90 seconds! Meanwhile, on March 2, artists and art lovers gathered at Gallery by the Lake for a reception to celebrate the gallery’s new addition. “Whimsical Art” was on exhibit, a creation of students and ALA artists. On March 27, the United Way Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon was held at Treasures of Marilyn’s. We packed the room – United Way supporters, volunteers, and staff — to celebrate a very

successful ’07 campaign. That evening, the League of Women Voters hosted their annual banquet at Reeves Uptown Catering. The featured speaker was Dennis Stine, CEO and co-owner of Stine Lumber, Chairman of Governor Jindal Government Reform Advisory Council, and Budget Advisor for Governor Jindal Transition, who gave us the latest update on what is happening at the State Capitol. The next day, I joined a happy group at the new Prien Lake Park for a preview and luncheon. Prien Lake Park is a pristine facility that includes paved walking paths, open grassy areas for play, SprayGround water park, soft-landing playground, a “soft launch” for kayaks and canoes, updated boat launch, beautiful fountains, and streams with natural native plant landscaping. Have you ever ordered your favorite dish at your favorite restaurant and thought, “I wish I knew how

Tyrone Holden and Linda Stagg

to make this?” Well, now you can. Jack Wong recently started evening classes in Chinese cooking at his restaurant, the Chinese King, in downtown Lake Charles. Meanwhile, young entrepreneur, Michael Seaberry, owner of Jamelia Fashion Productions, organized the Street Rush Spring Fashion Show March 15 at Central School Theater. Local young people presented dance, theater, singing, and the hottest fashions. When you work like a dog, says the SWLA Chapter of the Humane Society of Louisiana, you gotta take time out to smell the margaritas! And so we gathered at Luna Bar and Grill courtyard for the first-ever Lake Area “Yappy Hour.” The canines at Yappy Hour were all certified therapy dogs that participate in the parish-wide Pet Therapy Project. The Eljay Foundation’s annual fundraiser for Parkinson’s awareness took on an exotic flair on DECEMBER 22, 2008

PAGE 17

Morgan Wilson and her grandmother, Anne Drake

Kathy Griffith and Phil Battestin

Joey Alcede and Russ Bordelon

Grant Lyons “Spiderman” impersonation

A Lake Charles Tradition Since 1962

1025 Ryan St. • 433-3637 www.navarras.com

PAGE 18

DECEMBER 22, 2008

Denise Fasske and Phil de’Albuquerque

April 11, with a “Tour of Nations Extravaganza.” We experienced the culture, food, wine, fashions, art and traditions of African nations. The Extravaganza transformed the newly renovated Lake Charles Country Club into a magical land of tropical ferns, flowers and flavors. Early the next morning, the garage sale crowd had a special treat – a stop at the Lake Charles Little Theatre for their first Porch Sale fundraiser. Two of the most prized offerings were authentic pool tables donated by Darrell’s. Joey Frazier reported that the first one sold very, very early to a very determined shopper who showed up about 5:30 in the morning! I left the shoppers to get downtown

where the Children’s Museum was celebrating their 20th Birthday, complete with cake and candles (of course). The Junior League was on hand to help with the celebration and Denise Fasske, on behalf of Mayor Randy Roach, presented a certificate of appreciation for the Children’s Museum from the city of Lake Charles to Phil de Albuquerque, board president. That evening, the Lake Charles Symphony Orchestra presented their final performance of their 50th Season with a very special homecoming. Lake Charles natives Eric Kushner and Paul Groves performed for a standing room only crowd at the Rosa Hart Theatre.

Chelsea Joubert, Samual Owens, and Josh Ledet

Geralyn Simons, Lydia Guillory-Lee, Lillian Browning, and Jim McGough

Debbie and Buddy Bradley

Peter “Picass-O’Carroll”

Phyllis Morgan, Sarah Judson, Oily Barchak, Len Barchak, and Lynn Knapp

Anne Marie, William and Craig Hebert mugging with Cecile Cutrer Hannah Leger and Anna Liggio

T

ake A Hike!” That was a polite suggestion April 16 from the Chamber SWLA and the American Heart Association’s 2nd Annual National Start Walking Day — a day devoted to helping Americans improve their health. This year’s theme for the annual ICM fundraiser, Calcasieu Boogaloo, A Wild Night in the Vieux Carre, certainly lived up to its name! Hosted at 710 Downtown Bar and Grill, this shindig was rocking early and continued on til well into the morning hours! On Wednesday evening, I was blessed with primo seats for the Louisiana Premiere of hometown done well Tony Kushner’s Caroline, or Change. Costumes, sets, props, all blended together to form a cohesive, coherent production that I feel was the

Patron David LeBleu and Barbara Downer

best the MSU Theatre Department has done in MANY years. The talented theatre students at Westlake High performed BANG, BANG YOU’RE DEAD The Columbine Story. It was a brave and stirring production by the talented students of Westlake High. The fun had already begun when The Shadow arrived at The Harlequin Restaurant for the 2008 Whistle Stop Wine Tour. My compliments to Nic Hunter and Sharon Boniol for their hard work and I congratulate them on the success of the event. The Calcasieu Cameron Retired Teachers meet each month for a luncheon at the Pioneer Club. Guest speaker Bryan Beam with the Calcasieu Police Jury presented an informative update on “Vision Calcasieu,” the newly opened Prien Lake Park and the status of the “C-Gov” channel on area cable. The annual artistic Battle of the Red Berets was fought May 1 for the Children’s Miracle Network at Louviere’s Fine Art in Moss Bluff. Hector San

Christine Fisher and Mona Richard

“Van Gogh” Miguel, Bob “Chagall” Chandler, Allen “Toulouse” Tumey, and John El(vis) Greco Ieyoub all donated their talents for a good cause. That evening, the fun continued over at the Brick House when the Lake Charles Symphony hosted their popular Wild Beast Feast. Kevin and Stephanie Richardson served up “Jammin’ Jambalaya” and Rib Tips from Trail Blazin’ BBQ & Grill. Mary Jo Canik and Briant Smith (from the Blue Duck Cafe) served up Verde Venison Chili, Hobeaux Gumbeaux and Spicy Caribou Bites. The final show of the Lake Charles Little Theatre season, Philip King’s See How They Run, had the audience literally rolling in the aisles! Following the sell-out evening, the cast treated the audience to a reception in the lobby of the New Stable Playhouse. The Children’s Theatre Company presented the classic, “James & the Giant Peach” the weekend of May 2. The popular story attracted fans of all ages, including Savannah, Heather, Jason and Gabe Adams. DECEMBER 22, 2008

PAGE 19

Kevin and Stephanie Richardson

Dr. Dan Vidrine and Kerry Oxley

Maya Johnson and Elizabeth Campbell

Maggie Gauthreaux and Chef Joseph Heacook

On May 8, Cameron State Bank invited us to “Get it Together, Girl!” This workshop and social at the CSB main office on Nelson Road attracted a standing-room-only crowd. The “Nashville Portraits” exhibit by photographer Jim McGuire premiered at 1911 City Hall Gallery on May 8. The 60 black and white photos celebrate 30 years of country music’s most influential talents. May 13 at Pujo Street Café, The Children’s Theatre Company celebrated another successful season by recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of its actors at their annual Your Choice Awards. A very dedicated group of athletes turned out on May 17, for a Spin-A-

Thon to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network. Sponsored by GiGi’s Fitness Center on Nelson Road, the group worked out under a tent to the lively music of “Arsnova.” Later on, I attended the “Business of Art” workshop at the Lake Charles Boston Academy of Learning. It was the first workshop of its kind in the state and hosted folks from Lafayette and Shreveport and all points between. Lake Charles Civic Ballet honored the life and music of composer Keith Gates with their season finale at the Rosa Hart Theatre. The work of Keith Gates is alive today as envisioned by his daughter, Elizabeth Gates, a former LCCB company member and current LCCB instructor.

Pam and Kevin Mattingly

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DECEMBER 22, 2008

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Lauren and Phil de Albuquerque

Jan Ehlers, Sarah Ehlers, and Celine David

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Colin Istre and Dalton Broussard

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he Shadow mixed with some very enthusiastic animal lovers at the Animal Angels fundraiser to benefit Neuter-n-Spay SWLA. The moniker for the night “Come Look What the Cats Dragged In!” put everyone in a pet-friendly mood. With both silent and live auctions items, there were plenty of opportunities to support the local group. Downtown at Sundown rolled into town for the third installment on May 30 on the corner of Broad and Ryan Streets. Cold Sweat was the entertainment for the evening and they kept the dancers shaking their groove things. There were activities for young ones, vendors showing art and jewelry, and of course, good food. The Arts and Humanities Council of SWLA set up the beverage tents and wagons.

Mollie Pickett, Brad DeZoux and Darnell Belmer

Mary Lin McNeill and Derek Wells

Donna and Rick Richard

It was also Telethon time again. In its 21st year, the Children’s Miracle Network Annual Telethon aired on KPLC on Friday and Saturday night to close out May. Funny hats, noisemakers, special gifts, food, more food, and scrumptious cake were the backdrops to this two-day marathon of giving. The first Catch a Concert of 2008 kicked off on the very balmy evening of June 2. A crowd gathered at the Lake Charles Civic Center’s Arcade Pavilion to hear selections from the Lake Charles Community Band. This is the first performance of five in June on each Monday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Banners Series was the benefactor of two fundraisers. The first, “An Epicure’s Evening,” was held by Randy Fuerst at his home on May 10. Randy donated the wines, and Stephanie Miller volunteered her services as sommelier. Nic Hunter, proprietor of The Harlequin, prepared special foods to go with the wines Stephanie chose.

Chris and Andrea Bacarisse

The second event was a wine dinner that took place at The Harlequin on June 3. Nic Hunter had donated the dinner to the highest bidder at a wine tasting hosted by Randy Fuerst, and all proceeds went to the Banners Series. The evening of June 5 brought a crowd to the Henning Cultural Center. Gathered on the porch for the Artisans Gallery Master Works 2008 show were Karl Matte, Randy Broussard and Norman Farr. Inside, was a vast array of artwork. It didn’t take long for The Shadow to spy that one irresistible piece of art to take home. The American Heart Association presented their 2008 Gala on the beautiful Friday night of June 6. Supporters gathered for The Phantom of the Heart with a Silent Auction, fantastic meal, and a lively Live Auction. And as always, bidding for the evening ended with the very sugary cake auction. The Church of the Good Shepherd’s Summer DECEMBER 22, 2008

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Chris Khoury and Joel Garrett

Kerry Andersen and Dana Puckett

Stone Manning, son of Dr. Bryan Manning, Dr. Dean Manning and Charlotte LaBarbera Leah Tatum and Adam Benoit

Theresa Hanebury and Susan Mahoney

Carolyn Logan, Buddy Logan and Kristin Logan

Music Festival XXI on June 10 chose First Class Brass as the second concert of the season. First Class is not only the name of the group, it also describes its act. A reception followed the performance, allowing the audience to mingle with members of the band. This year, Fusion Five partnered with The Times to conduct the search for nominees for the annual Up and Coming and Under 40 awards announced in the June 12 issue of The Times. June 16 marked the first Up and Coming and Under 40 dinner to honor the recipients. Everyone gathered at the Isle of Capri to recognize the 10 honorees. A lively social time preceded the dinner and program.

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DECEMBER 22, 2008

Mary Jean & Rita Malbroux

Maurice “Sharp Eye” and Debra Gold

Patrice Fontenot and Mona Griffin

Nara and Peggy Wolfe

Ken Moser, Cookie Phillips, Ron Ware and Ret. Commander Reginald Ware

T

he band Ashes of Babylon created a light and festive mood for the guests at 505 Imports’ Summer Bash, a fundraiser for Parkinson’s disease. Ten percent of the sale proceeds were donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. A gang of cowpokes and lawmen rode in on Saturday night for the opening of Annie Get Your Gun. Cowpokes and strays seen in the drive were Beverly and Keith Atchinson, longtime supporters of ACTS Theatre, Dana Sorrells and Jeannette McCann; and Elizabeth Goldsmith and Corene Davidson. U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu was late to her own roast due to flight delays and the usual traffic jams, so the heat was on before she even arrived in Lake

Annie Barnes, Linda White and Bertha Sweet

Charles. Jackie Frank, Mistress of Ceremonies, kept the program moving along in a delightful manner. A cheer went up in the room upon the arrival of the guest of honor and the fun began. Roasters included George Swift, President/CEO SWLA Economic Development Alliance; Paul Rainwater, legislative director for Senator Landrieu, and Claude “Buddy” Leach, President and CEO of Sweetlake Land and Oil Company. Louisiana citizens have been closely following the political scene regarding the Legislative session just ending. The League of WoMen Voters Legislative Wrap Up provided the venue for our elected officials to speak about the session with a question and answer opportunity afterwards. You can’t find a more fitting tribute to those who guard and protect our country at home and abroad than the annual Patriots Ball. The pomp and

Elizabeth Goldsmith and Corene Davidson

Denise Foster and Helen Curol

Lonnie and Martha Smith

circumstance of recognizing the various members of the Armed Services and fire and law enforcement units was the highlight of the evening. 710 Day on July 10 - 7/10; get it? Well, lots of folks in town did get it and came out to hear Ashes of Babylon, Mothership and 2nd Party Program crank out the tunes. Touting itself as Lake Charles’ newest live music venue, 710 Downtown Bar and Grill provided the stage for a variety of well-known bands to get the crowd in the mood for fun, fellowship and partying. The Imperial Calcasieu Museum presented the first installment of the Summer Film Series, All the President’s Men, with narration and discussion led by Hector San Miguel of The American Press. Susan Reed, Blaine Miller and Summer Culpepper greeted guests and offered popcorn, candy, soda and lemonade. DECEMBER 22, 2008

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Barbara Streete Bailey, Jim Streete, Jennifer Corman and Taylor Corman

Daniel Stretcher and Sandra Guidry

Lace Charlie and Justin Ruttley

Carol Ann Gayle and Oili Barchak

July 11 was opening night for two shows at Central School Arts and Humanities Center. The Black Heritage Gallery and Art Associates Gallery openings provided a double dip of history, heritage, art and culture. Art Associates Gallery exhibitor, Cynthia Reeser, works in a variety of media including oils, acrylics, graphite, oil pastels, photography, digital media and others. The exhibit, “Cynthia Reeser: Works in Oil” was a visual of the range of Cynthia’s talent. The Zigler Art Museum in Jennings welcomed the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana and provided an appropriate backdrop for the Council’s 2008 Foundation Fundraiser closing reception. Home to

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Spencer Cole and Joe Benoit

the largest single collection of William Tolliver artwork, the Zigler Museum has something for everyone. Friends of the Museum and the Council joined the crowd for the fundraiser finale. Pam McGough ushered The Shadow into the hallowed halls of the old Lake Charles High School for the Lake Charles High School Reunion. Former students laughed and talked about the olden days as they circulated through the mass of memorabilia spanning the 40s to the 80s. No doubt returning alumni were remembering classroom antics, cheering sports crowds, principals and teachers, books and blackboards, sweethearts and more while they reminisced with old friends.

David Martin and Helga Gravitt

Rick Matt and Ken Meche

Josie Scott, Ronnie and Jackie Simien and PA Reliford Christine and Colette Soileau

Debra and Irven Guillory and Bertha Sweet

T

he Central School Arts & Humanities Center was the place to be when the Arts and Humanities Council of SWLA presented the second Business of Art Summit in conjunction with the McNeese Small Business Center. Presenters Gene Meneray and Veronique Le Melle had a captive audience of established and beginning artists and entrepreneurs who came to learn about identifying their potential market and crafting an artist’s statement. One hot Saturday found the Shadow at the 21st Annual Cajun Music & Food Festival. If it’s Cajun, you can find it at the festival, including food, music, dancing, handmade crafts, etc. The Cajun

Reve Greenberg, May Gray and Louise Marks

Nicole and Shannon Spell with Charlotte Colosky, Jana King and Geralyn Davis

French Music Association Lake Charles Chapter sponsors the event each year at the Lake Charles Civic Center and it just keeps getting better. If you didn’t see someone you knew at the 36th Annual Gridiron Show, then you just weren’t looking. A packed house awaited the preview of the traditional comedy revue by the Ad and Press Club of SWLA. This yearly spoof is not to be missed! Smooth jazz music wafted down the hallway as the Shadow entered the Central School Arts and Humanities Center for the exhibit celebrating 100 years for Sacred Heart St. Katharine Drexel School. The exhibit contains memorabilia, artifacts and other interesting items, some dating back to the 1800s. The Shadow paled in comparison to the presence of the Three Phantoms in Concert at the Lake Charles Symphony Summer Pops 2008 at the Lake

Robert and Roxanne Boxie and Jerry Honore

Tara Funk, Lydia Crochet and Lara Madison

Charles Civic Center. Gary and Heather of 92.9 the Lake brought their high energy to the stage. The Three Phantoms, Brad Little, Craig Schulman and Kevin Gray entertained with a variety of tunes from Jesus Christ Superstar to Les Miserables, but the real audience pleasers were the selections from The Phantom of The Opera. Beach bunnies Amy Grimes, Bea Hebert and Anne Monlezun ushered the Shadow into the second annual Mardi Gras Museum Beach Blanket Bingo Fundraiser. This ladies-only event was packed with krewe members and guests, with Deep South Productions providing the music to keep everyone in the swing of things. It was successful evening of fun, with proceeds going towards the maintenance and upgrade of Lake Charles’ fabulous Mardi Gras Museum. The Shadow had the privilege to meet Steve DECEMBER 22, 2008

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Aimee Henry, Angie Hantz, Tracy Stelly and Cindy Desselle

Marilyn Kudla and Kelly Dillon

Michelle Lee and Denise Dinneson

Jessica Corbello and Justin Morris

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DECEMBER 22, 2008

Jim Spitzkeit, Anne Dentler, Jessie Kelly and Nancy Czejkowski

Racca, president of the Marshland Festival, at his popular event at the Lake Charles Civic Center. All enjoyed this Louisiana tradition of good food, good music and good times. Rebekah Winters and Tara Demarie of the Lake Charles Junior League rolled out a huge celebration cake for the start of the 6th Annual Moonlight and Magnolias Benefit Gala and Auction presented by the Volunteer Center of Southwest Louisiana. Auctioneer Phil de Albuquerque cajoled the audience toward the highest bids for the live auction. Seen enjoying the festivities were Andy Jacobson, Betsy Doucet, Blake McCaskill, Valerie David, Misti Gravouia, David Phillips, Bob K.J. Smith and Joy Fruge

Lori Beth Shove, Shelby Seay and Kayla Sanner

Goldman, Jim LaFargue and John Lennox. Toni and Rex Alexander welcomed friends, fans and new pottery enthusiasts to the opening night of Made in USA Recent Works by Rex Alexander in the Art Associates Gallery at Central School Arts and Humanities Center. Down the hall in the Central School Theatre, the First Breathe Company Show opened to an excited crowd. Children young and old were there when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus came to town. The Boom-A-Ring band kept the music going as the non-stop parade of performers entertained and delighted the circus-goers. Wow! What a show!

Shanna and Blake McCaskill

Caryn Frazier and Courtney Parker

Kayla Bartholamew, Ethan and Cameron Kyle, front row, Branden Barlow, A.J. Frazee and Bryce Barlow, second row, with Brandy and Lane Kyle

Veronica Rachal and Michael Rachal

Megan John and Edith Juka

Cindy Richard and Karon Roach

Mark Castille, Danny and Colleen DiPetta with Jim Morris

Trudy Mayeux and Sara Vidrine

The Powell family, Mike, Jessica and Adrian

Alyssa Rather and Ashley Fisher

I

t really was more “cowbell” for the McNeese football pre-game festivities at the season opener. As best I can tell, tailgating is a science and is not to be taken lightly. The most important thing the Shadow learned on this assignment was not to eat prior to attending. Thanks to all of you “tailgators” who offered the Shadow some grub—I’ll be looking for you next time! The red carpet was rolled out for the attendees of Cameron State Bank’s second free seminar for women. “Get it Together, Girl!” is designed to help women protect their financial identity, as well as maintain their personal identity. Cameron State Bank has created an excellent community outreach initiative addressing specific needs

Dr. Juan and Leah Bossano

and concerns of the female population; and, we appreciate it! Violinist Audra Gruspier gave an excellent performance recently at the Coffee Beanery café. Owner Chad Galicia offers the Beanery to a variety of artist types as a means to bring them and the community together in a relaxed and comfortable environment. The 2008 Midnight Fantasies Car and Truck Show was filled with the dreams and fantasies of car, truck and motorcycle enthusiasts: Old cars and new cars; all fantasies come true for the many whose absorption with the motor vehicle is unquenchable. Fantasies, daydreams, whatever—all involved are living their dreams. MEN! MEN! MEN! Thom Trahan and his staff welcomed a stream of gallery visitors on opening night of the Works of Men at Henning Cultural

Manuel and Kelly Maldonado

Randy and Becky Goodloe with Casey and Chas Drost

Stacy Shearman, Rachel and Libby Looney

Center in Sulphur. The artistic offerings at the opening night reception were as varied as the artists as the Shadow viewed dramatic and awe-inspiring pieces of photography, watercolor, oils and folk art. Author Tommie Townsley and artist/illustrator Anne Dentler were the special guests at the 6th annual Imagination Celebration fundraiser for the Children’s Museum. Ms. Townsley, well known for her Cajun Tales and Ms. Dentler, award-winning illustrator of Ms. Townsley’s books, have created delightful children’s stories about Louisiana culture. Volunteers, board members and supporters joined together to ensure another fun and successful event for the Children’s Museum. Children of all ages appeared on the first morning of the Family & Youth Counseling Agency’s Family Festival 2008 to hear the Westlake Marching Band. DECEMBER 22, 2008

PAGE 27

Stephanie Dubard, Amanda Venable and Jacob Roland

Stephanie Cochran and Tonya Richard

Alexis Trahan and Diane Bono

Linda and Jim Fazende with Libby and Charles Timpa

Crazy, funny hats, tattoos, animals, athletes and entertainment greeted the Shadow upon entering the Civic Center for the festival. Hats off to the organizations, agencies and individuals who understand the importance of the well being of our youth. “Kats Domino” aka Stewart Read tickled the ivories in the most delightful manner as guests arrived for the second annual Kool Kats Night Out auction to benefit the Hobo Hotel & Spankey Halfway House. All the kits and kats appreciate the sponsors, volunteers, corporate and individual donations that added so much to the success of this event. The American Cancer Society put on another fabulous Jamaica Me Crazy Party for a Cure Gala. Josh Rogers and

the staff of O’Charley’s presented the guests with an array of delicious food items. The real fun began when Hal McMillin, auctioneer extraordinaire, took the mike, sang his auctioneer song and coaxed bids from throughout the room. Proceeds from this colorful and fun event are used to continue the lifesaving research, education, advocacy and patient services of the American Cancer Society. The Young at Heart Expo’s second year was another great success. Seminars addressing many aspects of life after 50 followed the theme “Living Happy & Healthy After 50.” Impersonations, a fashion show and music from Happy Harmonizers, Cajun Friends, and Country Sunshine rounded out the day.

Leslie and Jim Whitney

Lucas & Noah Meche

Geoff Russell with Nomi Mdleleni and her daughters Anelisa and Siyanda

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DECEMBER 22, 2008

Patrick Gazzini and Jon Fagan

Michael LaVergne with sons Devin and Brock

Tamra and Gaby Weemes with Linda Hebert-Sonnier

Lauren Swafford, Jason Murff and Aly Schlain check out one of the vendors, Twisted with Trammell Stewart, Chris McDonald, Russell Brown and Kelsey Richardson

Samantha Trahan with the Bordelon family, Luke, Michella, Zachary, Anthony and Mikayla

Carrie Chrisco, Bob Cooper and David Miller

The Moreno family, Eden, Isabelle, Kim and Chad

T

he annual Cajun Bon Ton Festival gives the community three days of fun, food and entertainment. Carnival rides and games kept the young folks happy while bingo, cake walks, raffles and live and silent auctions provided activities for adults. In its third season of live, highdefinition performance transmissions to movie theaters around the world, the Metropolitan Opera is causing quite a sensation. The Shadow was thrilled to be a part of the live Opening Night Gala from the New York Opera House at the Cinemark Theater. The 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center is celebrating cinema with the “Magnum Cinema” Photo Exhibit, a pictorial history of some of the most well-known and important movie sets of our time, and the “Between Takes” photo exhibit, a

Judy Hannan with sister Barbara Dugas

Joe Vanchiere, John Patick O’Dowd and Colin Broussard

Jerry Woolman and Gale Materne pose with Ricky Mayo and Kevin Thomas

collection of photographs by Hilary Bronwyn Gayle taken on the set of independent feature films. The Arts and Humanities Council of SWLA in conjunction with the Lake Area Film Group recently presented the first installment of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers’ screenings. Ripe For Change, with producer, Jed Riffe explores the debate over agriculture and sustainability and the implications for all of America. Madelyn Bonnot Griffin, VP of Operations, and Crystal Miller, Promotions Director for FOX29, greeted the Shadow at the FOX29 Ethel Precht Breast Cancer Breakfast and introduced me to the key members responsible for the formation of the Ethel Precht HOPE Breast Cancer 3K Walk/Run. The JAVA! exhibit at the Henning Museum showcases the history of coffee roasters in Louisiana. The exhibit of coffee treasures includes vintage coffee makers, cups and servers, and coffee-making and tasting equipment. Artist renderings of the meaning

Mr. and Mrs. Jim George

Janet Polito, Gloria Morris and Kristi Wooldridge

Jackie Dowden, Chuck Ehlers and James Raley

of coffee are interspersed throughout the exhibit. The Shadow recently attended the Recording Academy’s informational gathering held at The Brick House. Reid Wick, Sr. Project Coordinator for the Academy, gave an enlightening presentation regarding the Grammy process and the painstaking journey for Louisiana representatives to introduce Zydeco and Cajun music as a category for the music awards. The Shadow found herself sampling more than one of the spicy offerings available at St. Margaret’s Calca-Chew Festival. There was certainly plenty of entertainment, food, fun and fellowship, all providing a day of enjoyment for the entire family. Gary Scroggs, Lake Charles Symphony Board President, welcomed the assemblage in Rosa Hart Theatre to the opening concert of the 51st symphony season. Guest Conductor Gregory Pritchard took the baton to begin a wonderful afternoon of symphonic music. DECEMBER 22, 2008

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Lesa Cormier, Reid Wick, and Larry Miller

Erin Cormier and Adley Cormier

Kellie Ackel and Brooke Habetz

Curtis Nelson and his wife Betty

The Art Department of the Calcasieu Parish School System presented “Days of the Dead.” Works by K-12 Art Students depict artwork typically created for this traditional Mexican holiday honoring the deceased. Lake Area residents filled the Central School Theatre to see Tab Benoit and Leon Medica in a live broadcast of Louisiana Crossroads. No one was disappointed as this unique collaborative duo played and sang the evening away. The Black Heritage Festival of Louisiana recently presented Louisiana Zydeco Treasures at the Central School. Boozoo Chavis’ son, Poncho, accepted an award in honor of his father. Lawrence, Sean and Chris Ardoin

also received awards. At the Fall Conference reception of the Women’s Commission of SWLA, Debbie Allen was introduced to an eager crowd and expressed her appreciation for being asked to be a part of this year’s celebration. The Women’s Commission of SWLA Fall Conference is a premiere event focusing on life’s impact on women and women’s impact on life. The McNeese Banners Series hosted its third installment of Rouge et Blanc. The lawns of Historic City Hall and the Courthouse, were covered with tents, and the tables overflowed with wine samples and delicious food. Local restaurants provided exquisite choices from their menus to complement the wine tastings.

Josh and Aiden Orsot show off their fishy winnings with Roxie Boxie

Mary Richardson

Faye Caesar, Beverly St. Mary, Belinda Dugas and Verda Anthony

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DECEMBER 22, 2008

Jessie Kelly, Kenneth and Becky Monceaux

Dawn Johnson-Hatcher and Charlene Warren

Miss Sophia Moreau with mom, Laura

Allen and Dale Richert with Lucy Romero

Hershel Frazier helps Rachael Willis grind corn

Matt Prejean and Melissa Guillory

Shelby, Kristen and Henrietta Ellis

Tyler and Triston Guillory LaVerne Kludsikofsky and Jessie Kelly

Matthew Crumhorn and Brie and Michelle Wittle and Haus

T

he Arts and Humanities Council of SWLA cranked up the 20th annual ArtsFest as hundreds of children, parents, cowboys and Indians filled the big tent on the grounds of the Lake Charles Civic Center for “It’s a Wild, Wild West Fest!” After the show ended down at the Arts Council corral, everyone packed up their crafts, artifacts and such and moseyed on back to the ranch—

until next year! The Shadow made an appearance at the recent Kiwanis Arts and Crafts Show at the Civic Center. It was a shoppers’ paradise with everything from items woven from long leaf pine needles to handknitted baby items—not to mention one of the

Irene Vandever and Mandi Burk

Shadow’s favorites – jalapeno pepper jelly. The Shadow will mark her 2009 calendar and be sure to return. It was a great day to be outside and relax, listen to music, create art, and play with friends and family—and all that happened at the second annual Pony Fest on the grounds of Central School Arts and Humanities Center. There were kids games and fun activities on the front lawn, and numerous bands played inside and out, giving attendees a variety of genre choices. Fun times! The Humans Involved in Victory Over AIDS and The Southwest Louisiana AIDS Council sponsored a reception for opening night of the first Ribbons of Hope HIV/AIDS Awareness Art Exhibit, located on the first floor of 1911 Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center. You won’t want to miss this exhibit.

Shatonia Chatman, Cindy Richard and Cheryl Dillon

The Foundation House was the venue for “Smoke & Mirrors” presented by the Black Heritage Festival of Louisiana. Touted as “A Revealing Event for Women,” Sharon Lair, Tobacco-Free Living Program Coordinator, discussed the misleading campaigns by tobacco companies directed at women and cited reasons to choose a tobacco-free life style. When the Shadow arrived at the Lake Charles Country Club, Affaire d’ Art was in full swing. This annual fundraiser for Associated Louisiana Artists is co-presented by the McNeese Visual Arts Department. The evening provided an opportunity for relaxed social mingling with plenty of food, drink and laughter, along with valuable pieces of art donated by some of the Lake Area’s finest artists. A balmy morning welcomed the hundreds of walkers for the 11th annual American Heart DECEMBER 22, 2008

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Larry and Gayle Smith

MacKenzie, Jennifer and Lane Stanford with Julie Bellard

Kaysie Bolton with M.B. Rich Toni and Leianni Vital

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DECEMBER 22, 2008

Richard and Carolyn Smith

Association Walk. It drew participants of all shapes and sizes—friends and families and family pets— who walked along the boardwalk and around the Lake Charles Civic Center. Congratulations to the American Heart Association for another successful Heart Walk! A welcoming Art N Style signature martini set the tone for an elegant evening of fashion and entertainment as The Perfect Fit couture trunk show was unveiled in the ballroom at L’Auberge du Lac. Barbara Dubose pulled out all the stops to provide top-of-the-line fashions at the second annual fashion event, all to benefit the Arts and Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana. The Lake Charles Symphony knows

about “our kind of music,” which was evident as Maestro Harvey Benstein directed another extraordinary program of symphonic musical enjoyment. Gary Scroggs, Symphony President, welcomed all to the Rosa Hart Theatre and this second installment of the Lake Charles Symphony Season 51 Segue. The second annual Louisiana Theatre Festival provided a day of fun and learning for the 75 participants. Workshops throughout the day included everything from make-up to set design, and acting and technical theatre classes. The festival was born from an idea to pull together the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of professional artists and organizations and present acting and technical theatre workshops.

DECEMBER 22, 2008

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"Circular Logic" — we keep going around and around.

by Matt Jones • ©2008 Jonesin' Crosswords Brought to you by Melanie Perry, Agent State Farm Insurance

Last Issue’s Answers

Across 1 He played the grandfather in "Little Miss Sunshine" 10 ___ avis (unusual species) 14 One who doesn't mind feeling the pinch 15 Planet inhabitants? 16 Mark Morrison R&B hit of 1997 18 Cube in a container of pork and beans 19 ___ amis 20 "Un momento, ___ favor" 21 Had more than a feeling 23 Herb used in Mexican cuisine 28 Home of d'Artagnan in "The Three Musketeers" 32 Qatari ruler 33 Breakfast mishap 36 Mazda Raceway Laguna ___ (Monterey racetrack in operation since 1957) 37 Genetic messenger material 38 "The Pillars of the Earth" novelist Ken 40 "___ blu dipinto di blu" ("Volare" alternate title) 41 "___ not have sexual relations with that woman" 43 Bucket at the theater 45 "Don't ___ me, bro!" (2007 catchphrase) 46 Sean Preston's mother

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DECEMBER 22, 2008

47 49 53 54 57 58 64 65

February birthstone Use as a quote Yahoo's Jerry Yang, until late 2008 Dorm supervisors, for short Public regard Movies like "Star Wars," e.g. Fix some paragraphs TV title sung after "Ain't we lucky we got 'em" 66 Food bank containers 67 Youthful status Down 1 "That deaf, dumb and blind kid sure plays ___ pinball!" ("Tommy" lyric) 2 It may be ordered with extra foam 3 Sch. that's home to the Sun Devils 4 "Cheers" exclamation 5 Spotty problem 6 Greek letters that look like P's 7 Zapp Brannigan's assistant, on "Futurama" 8 "Was ___ das?" 9 Degree in math? 10 "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" band, with "the" 11 Rented pad 12 DVR remote button 13 Pose a question 16 John-John's uncle

17 22 23 24 25

26 27 29 30 31 33 34 35 39 42 44 48 50 51 52 54 55 56 58 59 60 61 62 63

Smog watchers: abbr. Chicago-based cable superstation Fuel mining site Bee or beetle, e.g. Bulwer-___ Fiction Contest (yearly contest involving deliberately awful opening sentences to novels) Sch. with a Houston campus Dental hygiene brand Grp. that oversees liquor and Lugers Visit Fireworks attraction, perhaps Water filter brand name Free up a river's flow, maybe Go wild Three, in Torino Picks up on "The city that never sleeps," for short Tilling tool Like some verbs: abbr. See 62-down Pre-album samplers: abbr. Foxx who played Sanford Blue chip, perhaps Make Kool-Aid Triple ___ (liqueur variety) BlackBerry, e.g. Insurance worker: abbr. Anonymous surname With 51-down, burlesque dancer and Marilyn Manson ex Dita John's "Pulp Fiction" costar

1

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Gumdrop Circle and Nutcracker Lane

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he Shadow started out early to catch breakfast with Santa at Sulphur’s 7th Annual Christmas Under the Oaks festivities on Dec. 6. Children, parents, grandparents, pancakes, sausage and lots of syrup created a sweet scene as the Shadow joined the crowd for “Breakfast with Santa” sponsored by Pitt Grill. As the temperatures began to rise and the gates opened onto Gumdrop Circle, Nutcracker Lane, Elf Avenue and Candy Cane Cove, the crowds began filling the various tents, the Holly Jolly Shop, and the Henning House Cultural Center to see every kind of Christmas gift idea there is. Elves were seen scurrying around making sure everyone had a happy time. The Lake Charles Junior League provided samples of Cowboy Candy, Cheese Biscuits and Chocolate Toffee Crunch made from recipes found in their new cookbook, Marshes to Mansions. Animal Angels had furry little critters available for adoption to a loving family. The Bayou Jazz Kings were all festive in their holiday attire, and provided popular tunes to make us all merry. There were all sorts of Christmas activities including carnival rides, fireworks, performances and live music were conveniently located all around the Henning Cultural Center. There was something for everyone to create a magical Christmas for all.

PHOTOS SHOWN: 1–Adee and Breck LeDoux, Bear LeDoux, Denise Trahan and Traci LeDoux are looking for Santa. 2–Breakfast buddies Dylan Cini, Brooks Beddoe and PawPaw at Breakfast with Santa. 3–The Brimstone Beauties painted the town red while shopping at Henning House Cultural Center Christmas Under the Oaks. 4–Sheila, Brent and Daniel Garner visit Country Antiques at Christmas Under the Oaks.

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5–Nicholas and Carli Migues like this Gingerbread House at the Convention and Visitors Bureau Gingerbread House Contest. 6–Abigail and Taylor Seaman, Daelynn Young, Josephine and baby Ben Suliman are excited about the Lake Charles Christmas Parade. 7–All in a row and ready for the Christmas Parade to begin are Jason, Cayson and Jordan Sanders and Connor, Ashton and Logan Ellender. 8–Making merry at the Christmas Parade are Dickie Fournerat, John and Connie East, Al Manela and Larry Boudreaux.

DECEMBER 22, 2008

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PHOTOS SHOWN: 9–Having family fun at Santa’s Workshop on the Lake are Shelby Trahan, Woody Jones, Rebecca and Ry Chapman and Ashley Jones. 10–Gordon Condit, Kathy Scoggins, Ann Caston and Barbara Belew at the Buckles Winter Concert. 11–Jessie Kelly talks with Boriana and Michael Buckles after the Winter Concert at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church. 12–Relaxing after the Michael and Boriana Winter Concert are Wanda Alexander, Nancy and Father Peter Cook and Ernie Colonna.

The Light Up the Lake Christmas Celebration officially heralded in the Christmas Season for the Lake Area. A Gingerbread House Contest, Christmas exhibits, Christmas Parade, Santa’s Workshop on the Lake, the Community Band Christmas Concert and the Fireworks Extravaganza presented a busy day for the Shadow. The Convention and Visitors Bureau Gingerbread House Contest entries looked just yummy displayed in the first floor gallery at Historic City Hall. The entries were so good that judging would surely be a challenge. The Shadow noticed Patsy Manuel, Carli and Nicholas Migues, Gail Tucker, Charles Molbert and Bradley Henderson checking out the displays. I watched closely to be sure no one sampled any of the entries! Tasha Tudor’s Spirit of the Holidays original art exhibit is extraordinary. The exhibit illustrates the season with art inspired by holiday celebrations dating from the early 1940s. The parade was the kick-off to the days’ official festivities. The community gathered to see the marching bands, dance troupes, princesses and queens, motorcycles, and the Lake Charles Little League team, honored as the parade Grand Marshals. The candy and Mardi Gras beads tossed from the various parade entries brought Christmas

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337-494-LUNA PAGE 36

DECEMBER 22, 2008

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PHOTOS SHOWN: 13–Family members of James Olivier shown at the Sacred Heart celebration include Juanita Connie Colston, in front, Theresa Olivier, Linda Marchand, Matilda Olivier Fuller, Bishop Leonard Olivier and Earline Olivier. 14–Stephanie Simmons and Vincent Dupre at Sacred Heart St. Katherine Drexel Catholic School celebration. 15–Lake Charles ladies Darleen Biagas, Lillie Labbe and Sheila Biagas at the Sacred Heart Gala.

cheer to kids of all ages. Mayor Randy Roach flipped the switch that lit the Civic Center grounds, and filled the evening with the magical glow of Christmas. The evening wound down as the boat parade lined the Lake Charles Civic Center seawall. Sponsored by the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau, the fireworks extravaganza culminated a day of fun and festivity. Father Cook of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church welcomed the crowd in attendance for the Michael and Boriana Buckles Winter Concert. The early dusk and chill of the evening did not deter music enthusiasts

and neither were they disappointed. In his seventh year at McNeese State University, Michael Buckles is an Associate Professor of Upper Strings and Music Education and is an academic advisor for string majors. Additionally, he has been featured soloist of the Lake Charles Symphony three times in the past five years. Boriana Buckles is currently the choir director and organist at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, organist for Immaculate Conception Church in Sulphur and the Lake Charles Symphony pianist. Michael and Boriana demonstrated their mastery of the violin and piano, respectively as they presented selections from the

PHOTOS SHOWN: 16–All together now, at the Sacred Heart Gala are, front row – Sandra Jones, Alfred Doucette, Jr., Dr. Susan Jones, Father Danny Torres, Monsignor Jace Eskind, Father Rueben Buller, Alvin Biagas and Tony Jones. 17–Jan Ehlers shown with Jon Margeaux owners Greg Mahoney and Sarah Ehlers during White Lights Night. 18–White Lights Night shoppers Grace Chapman, Cheree Chapman and Lezlie Fletcher.

music of George Frideric Handel, Johannes Brahms, Clarence Cameron White, Charles Dancla and Jay Ungar. The Shadow recognized many faces at the Winter Concert, such as Ellie Lemoine, Elaine Cameron, Barbara Belew, Audra Gruspier, Ann Caston, Dawn Leger and Jessie Kelly. For 100 years, Sacred Heart St. Katharine Drexel School has been educating and molding the lives of countless African-American children; providing an environment conducive to the development of each student’s fullest potential spiritually, academically, socially and culturally. A cornerstone of the community, Sacred Heart St. Katharine Drexel School’s administra-

tion, faculty and staff impacted the lives of many young men and women who have assumed their places in civic, professional, political, business, academic, religious and social life, locally and throughout the world. I guess you could say that the Centennial Celebration date of September 13, 2008 was set in stone, or so it seemed, as accolades and congratulatory plaques engraved with that date were presented to the school on the eve of the rescheduled gala. Mayor Randy Roach alluded to this fact as he presented the City proclamation proclaiming September 13 and November 29, 2008 as Sacred Heart St. Katharine Drexel School Day. DECEMBER 22, 2008

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PHOTOS SHOWN: 19–Christmas spirit abounds as Melody Hartwell, Christin Edwards and Elaine Dyer shop during White Lights Night. 20–Janet Fewell of the Focal Point welcomes Sandra Futrell, Nancy Melton and Betty Langlinai during White Lights Night.

Alfred Doucette, Jr., President of the League of Women Voters, also presented a congratulatory plaque engraved with the original date. A weekend of celebration began with a Social Mixer, at which time alumni and previous administrators, teachers, and more came from across the nation. Alumni in attendance included the three oldest known living graduates; Ms. Willie Mae Geyen Jackson, class of 1935, Ms. Margarit Geyen Haley, class of 1938 and Ms. Leona Charles, class of 1944. Saturday included a morning parade, a tailgate party at the school and the Gala Centennial Celebration in the evening. Classmates, family and friends reunited and fellowshipped together. In from California, Pattie Simon, a Sacred Heart graduate, and daughters Jackie Villegas and Jennifer Hayes shared special time with cousin Maureen Hardy. All came together to celebrate this momentous occasion. Congratulations Sacred Heart St. Katharine Drexel School—may you continue to be a guiding light for the community. Oh Christmas night, the lights were brightly shining as the Shadow and friend Jessie made the rounds of Midtown Lake Charles for the White Lights Night event. The shop owners PAGE 38

DECEMBER 22, 2008

gussied up and put out a spread of goodies for an event that brought out holiday shoppers looking for just the right gift. The music, bright and shiny holiday decorations, punch and other holiday treats put everyone in a festive mood. These locally owned shops have some of the finest and most unique gifts available in our area, ranging from jalapeno pepper jellies at Louisiana Market to instant snow (and it really feels like snow) at The Perfect Gift. Jon Margeaux carries high fashion pewter tableware and other Louisianastyle serving ware and cookware. Frame House Gallery features a variety of art genres by local and statewide artists. Focal Point Antiques is the setting for a collective of vendors including Becky Suttle, who has a line of unique handmade greeting cards including a necktie card that you just have to see to believe. Accessory Zone can make your accessorizing dreams come true with a fine line of clothing, jewelry, purses and more. Other gift shops on the holiday shopping trail were Stacy’s Armoire, TeCi’s, Paradise Florist, and My Favorite Things. Whew! And there were more that the Shadow and friend just couldn’t get to, but will keep on the list for a later visit. We shopped til we dropped!

Below: Merry Christmas from Autumn Buck, Braxton Manning-Nickerson and Kyler George.

Below: A snowman on the corner of Kirkman and Drew streets is holding a spatula in one hand and a beer in the other - truly a SWLA snowman!

Above: Eileen Grantham enjoys a Hot Shot cherry at the Buccaneer Xmas party.

Above: Dawn Sonnier Rasch on her wedding day with grandmother Renola Simon (left), mother Dru Sonnier, and two friends.

Parting Sh o ts

1) E-mail your snap shots to myphoto@timessw.com. Must include a contact name and phone number. 2) Photos should be attached as a file and not imbedded in copy or photoshopped into a format. Original size, please, do not compress the file. No mailed or fax photographs can be used.

3) Subjects in photo must be identified by name. Children should also be identified by parent or guardian. Unidentified or anonymous photos will not be considered for publication. 4) The Times reserves the right to decline publishing photos of questionable taste or subject matter, or for space limitations.

DECEMBER 22, 2008

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Times of Southwest Louisiana