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PRESORT STD US POSTAGE PAID ZACHARY, LA PERMIT NO. 6 CAR-RT PRESORT POSTAL CUSTOMERS ECWSS Postal Patron Local

The Post is the place for Zachary news.

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See You at the Pole

Zachary Post • Tuesday, May 6, 2014 • Vol. 9, No. 18 • Published Weekly • Circulation 16,000 • zacharypost.com © 2014

The Zachary High Fellowship of Christian Athletes gathered at the flagpole on campus last Thursday morning to celebrate another glorious day. They were greeted by crisp weather and a beautiful bright sky. The group unofficially meets at the flagpole daily to begin the morning right, and share in the Holy Spirit.

Audubon Park Apartments Project to be Built in Zachary School District

Audubon Park Apartment Homes LLC has purchased approximately 13.5 acres off La. 64, just west of the Americana Neighborhood development, for $1.3 million. The land is not within the City of Zachary, but well inside the School District. The purchase suggests that the Audubon Park Apartment project, which was originally submitted to East Baton Rouge Planning and Zoning Commission in 2011, is now ready to be built. As detailed in the original plans, the apartment complex includes three phases, the first of which includes a multifamily apartment complex on the purchased 13.5acre tract, complete with 12 twostory and three-story apartment buildings as well as a 3,600-squarefoot clubhouse, fitness center, business center and swimming pool. East Baton Rouge City-parish officials say they have not received any further development plans or applications regarding the project since 2011. Because the City of Zachary failed to annex the portion of land where the development will be built, Zachary will have very little planning and regulatory input into the large multifamily complex.

Zachary Seed Cleaning Business is a Living History Operation By James Ronald Skains

“This business has been located on the Plains Port Hudson Road since at least 1940, maybe a little earlier,” Daniel Biers, who along with his wife Beryl operate the 70 plus year old business, told the Zachary Post. “The seed cleaning business here in the Plains has been a very important part of the local and national agricultural economy

for two important reasons. First, on the local level, we have been an important place for ranchers to obtain seed for their pastures. Secondly, our major products on the national level, carpet grass seeds produced here in southeast Louisiana, are the only seeds that will germinate at a high rate.” “The seeds that we produce here with our 1940 model seed cleaning

machine are 98% pure,’’ Biers pointed out. “We also are required to have a minimum germination rate of 85%. However, based on tests, our germination rate is between 92-95%. We are proud of our track record over the past seven decades and through six previous owners.” Carpet grass grows on wet, lowpH. soils where few other grasses will persist. It also has a moderate shade

while producing a dense turf with good color if moderate fertilization rates are applied. Carpet grass will grow in tropical and subtropical areas, has the ability to withstand saturated soil, and will tolerate periods of standing water. It is a perennial grass that was native to the West Indies and in-

See SEED on page 4


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Zachary POST Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Letter to the Editor

P.O. Box 1637 Zachary, LA 70791

Phone (225) 654-0122 Fax (225) 208-1165 Email stories and photos to info@zacharypost.com Published Tuesdays 52 weeks a year Publisher & Editor Daniel Duggan Graphic Designer Tina Adams Account Executives Georgiana Walls Ashley Evans Contributing Writer James Ronald Skains Jen Bayhi-Gennaro New Year Historian Calla Duggan Minecraft Hackmaster Chandler Duggan The Ginger Avenger Cecelia Duggan Stunt Man in Training Colton Duggan

Deadline for news and advertising: Wednesday 5 P.M. Call for advertising rates.

Letters to the Editor are unedited submissions to the Zachary Post. Letters to the Editor may be submitted for publication at info@zacharypost.com. Submissions will be printed in the next issue of the Post, space allowing. Deadline for submission is by 5:00 p.m. the Thursday before Tuesday publication.

Dear Editor:

Seven years ago, we began our search for the best place in or around Baton Rouge to raise a family. We considered many possible locations within or near to the Baton Rouge metro area including Central and Prairieville. We ultimately chose to move to Zachary for its small town charm, the fabulous school system, and the child-friendly atmosphere…all of which we felt offered the best environment for our growing family. We found a great neighborhood near the center of town just off of Church Street, near the Church Street Park, which we have frequented often. Upon learning of the City Council’s intent to rezone the property adjacent to the Church Street Park in order to relocate the car dealership, my wife and I were immediately concerned about the impact to nearby neighborhoods like our own, to our beloved park, and to the future and direction of our community. Upon hearing of the rezoning effort of the town council, I recall thinking: “Don’t most accidents occur within 3 miles of your home?” (a statistic that has stuck in mind since hearing it years ago) and “What does this mean for our children?” It seems such a common-sense notion to me that kids and high-traffic areas don’t mix. I suppose that to others, however, the economic benefits of relocating the dealership (of which I can think of none, since the dealership would only be moving to a different location) are more important than the safety of our children. I also recall thinking about how many accidents I already see on Church Street and how traffic is already an issue. At the entrance to my subdivision, where the median ends and the road becomes more of a four-lane, the speed limit changes from 35 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour. It is often difficult to judge if or when it is safe enough to turn from my neighborhood onto Church Street, since some cars are moving much faster than others. I sometimes sit there for many minutes before being able to turn safely, which I am sure annoys some of my neighbors who are diligently waiting behind me. I definitely do not want to see an unnecessary increase in the number of drivers along Church Street, especially those who are not familiar with the area or speed limits and those who may be distracted by the new-car smell and who are unfamiliar with the vehicle itself. Lastly, wasn’t Zachary named in Family Circle magazine as one of the 10 best towns for families in 2012? I’ll say that again…10 best towns for FAMILIES? Shouldn’t we focus on keeping and improving upon the things that landed us on that list in the first place? It may be just me, but I don’t think locating a car dealership (or any high-traffic commercial establishment for that matter) nearby to a park where kids frequent is why Zachary was touted by Family Circle as having a family-friendly atmosphere. According to that article over 41% of households in Zachary have kids. I wonder how many of those households would welcome the thought of a car dealership next to their neighborhood park. Jamie Godbold


Letter to the Editor

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 Zachary POST 3

Dear Editor:

My name is Pat Artieta. My husband and I have lived at 3145 Church Street for the last five years. I am writing this in regard to the possible rezoning of Church Street. When I retired from teaching, moving to Zachary and finding a home we loved was a great match. I taught at Zachary Elementary and have always loved the community. We are very concerned about the possible change in rezoning our street for several reasons. First, the way in which the rezoning was announced on a sign that could not be read from the street was not a positive (and possibly intentionally deceptive) way to start this in motion. Second, a car dealership built on a lot right next to a park is not ideal. The traffic on our street is extremely busy and I can’t imagine what another turning intersection would do to make it even worse. Third, it was our intention to live here and enjoy our retirement. When we purchased our home in a residential area we had no idea that this could happen. This area has always been residential, and we were assured it would remain residential forever because of the previously adopted Future Land Use codes of Zachary. I have placed several calls to members of the city council and to the Planning and Zoning office, only to have one call returned by a Councilman. Because the Mayor and Council of Zachary are not communicating with us about this issue, I do not feel that I had a voice in this matter at all. I am very thankful that the Zachary Post allows letters to the editor to be accepted, and maybe our elected officials will take note of the residents’ concerns, and are interested in getting input into this important matter. Thank you, Pat and Butch Artieta


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Zachary POST Tuesday, May 6, 2014

SEED

continued from page 1

troduced into America in the early 1800’s in the Gulf South coastal states. The seeding rate is 3-5 pounds per 1,000 sq. feet of lawn, and 50150 pounds per acre for pastures. “Mr. George Townsend built the mill before 1940 right beside the gravel road so that wagons could easily pull into the mill and unload,” Biers, who works full time at Georgia-Pacific paper mill in Port Hudson as an operator, related. “At that time all seeds were brought into the mill in 50 pound sacks.” “Seed cleaning was, and still is, a labor intensive business. About 30 years ago, the owners at that time installed silos, bins and blower systems to move the dirty seed to the cleaning machine. But at some point, you are still handling 50-pound bags of clean seed onto pallets for shipment. My wife says that the seed business is what keeps me in such good physical shape.” The seed cleaning business is both a unique and a complicated business.

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Once the seeds from the field (with their mixture of grass stems, other type seeds and some sand) arrive at the seed cleaning mill, they are fed through the wooden structure cleaning machine that has four screens of varying size. The machine shakes the screens continuously while allowing various sized particles to fall through to the next level, while jettisoning trash. The frame, bins, the thin oak shaker strips and screen frames are all made of wood. The machine is electrically powered and operates with a series of ropes and pulleys. “We actually have 30 different size screens that we use from time to time, depending upon what type seeds we are running,” Biers, who is also a member of the Louisiana Air National Guard, explained. “During the cleaning process with this type of machine that was invented nearly a hundred years ago, we are testing our seed both under a microscope and by their weight to determine purity.” “The Louisiana Agriculture Department also comes by to test our seeds. We have testing probes for

each type of seed we clean. After the carpet grass seed, Pensacola Bahia grass seeds make up our next largest amount of seeds we clean. Wilmer Mills owned and operated the seed cleaning plant for 30 years. During that time period, he cleaned seed corn and soybean seeds for farmers for planting purposes.” The success of the Biers seed cleaning business actually begins in a farmer’s field with any type seed. Most cattlemen graze their carpet grass through early summer until the carpet grass is ready to go to seed in August. The seeds are harvested in August and usually cleaned in the winter. “The better the harvesting practices employed by the farmer or cattleman, the better seeds we will have to work with,” Biers, who is a Crew Chief on a UH 60 Black Hawk helicopter in the Air Guard, emphasized. “The better cleaning system the combine has, the less trash we find in the seeds when they arrive at the mills. When Wilmer was operating the plant, he would actually go out to the farm and make sure the settings on the combine were the best they could be for cleaning purposes.” “After the seeds are brought out of the field, they have to be dried on a wooden barn floor. The seeds I harvest for my own pastures are dried on the second story of a barn at Mr. Gilbert Mills’. It’s the same barn that you might have seen in the movie, “Dukes of Hazard,” with Burt Reynolds and Willie Nelson. In drying the seeds, you have to stir the seeds every few hours to help in the drying system.”

Once the seeds have been dried, they are loaded up for the trip to the “old seed-cleaning mill.” After cleaning to the purity level of 98%, the seeds are bagged, then stacked on pallets and then sent out on trailer trucks for destinations around the Gulf South. “When Wilmer was operating the plant, he had to find buyers for the seeds until he found a broker,’’ Biers noted. “That was a great move when he found a buyer because in our operations now, we know we have a ready buyer when the seeds are cleaned.” “I’m planning on moving the operation to a location closer to my house on the other side of the Plains Road in a couple of years. Operating it closer to my house will be a distinct advantage and I won’t be paying any rent. I do plan to make some minor updates, especially in the product handling, because at age 58, handling 50-pound bags all day gets tough physically. I don’t intend to make any real changes to this machine because, even after 70 years of operation in the Plains community, it actually works better in cleaning seed than most of the new metal versions of seed cleaning machines.” Writer’s note: Even though the “old seed cleaner” will probably be moved from the west side of the Plains Presbyterian church to a location a couple of miles to the east of the Plains Church, I don’t think it will lose its “living history aura.” One thought that I had as I stood there watching the “old seed cleaner” at work was, “Whoever invented that machine really knew what they were doing.”


Tuesday, May 6, 2014 Zachary POST 5

In Our Community

Special Interest Camps

Congratulations to the LA Lady Lightning 10U softball team for placing 2nd in the Fury Spring Fling Tournament! The tournament was held in Monroe, La., at The University of Louisiana at Monroe on April 26 & 27th. The team is based out of Zachary and is comprised of 9 & 10 year old girls from the Central, Zachary, St. Francisville & Watson areas. Pictured: L-R (Back Row) Coach Kellie Guercio, Coach Jason Guercio, Head Coach Brandon Bankston & Coach JC Fresina; (Middle Row) Kaitlyn McClure, Elaina Kreamer, Madelyn Edwards, Charleigh Parolli and Brianne Bankston; (Front Row) Mallory Kendrick, Morgan Fresina, Destiny Gary, Bailee Avants, Bailey Guercio and Autumn Vessier The Northwestern Middle Braves competed in a number of meets this season in surrounding areas. They ended their season with a first place win for the girls and second place for the boys in the Braves’ Finale held at Zachary High.

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Zachary POST Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Rollins Place Students Enjoy a Tour of the Zachary Branch Library

By Jen Bayhi-Gennaro

Thanks to the combined efforts of a team of Rollins Place Elementary teachers and the Zachary library, every student at the school had an opportunity to visit the library and receive their first library card at the end of April. The teachers hope this field trip helped to plant the seed for a lifetime of loving to read. More than 800 first and second graders were brought to the library on April 29-30 as part of a project to sustain students’ reading growth through the summer and prevent reading regression, says Rollins Place teacher Brandie McNabb. McNabb is a part of the team of teachers at Rollins chosen by the International Reading Association

to receive a grant to attend the IRA Conference, which will be in New Orleans this month. While many teams entered, theirs was one of just three statewide chosen for this funding. The teachers have been meeting weekly since January discussing goals and research on their topic. Trying to prevent summer reading regression is the ultimate goal, and this library visit was just one activity the team hopes will do that for the students in Zachary. The students came in groups throughout the two days and enjoyed a story time at the library, followed by a library tour and a tour of the Bookmobile, which was

Storytime on the Zachary Branch of the East Baton Rouge Library tour.

parked outside. “The kids screamed when they saw the Bookmobile,” McNabb says. Finally, those who didn’t have their library cards were able to sign up for one. This summer, the Bookmobile— essentially a library on wheels— will be around town at popular

spots, such as parks, the school or the Wal-Mart parking lot. Anyone with a library card may pop in and check out one of the thousands of books in stock. Rollins Place Elementary turned in over 300 new applications for Library cards during the visits.


ZHS Track Wins District, Looks to Claim State Championship

The ZHS Track Team is winding down a very successful 2014 Track Season. They finished out the 2014 indoor season with a third place finish for the girls and several individual state championships. On the boys side Darryl Anderson Finished 2nd in the Indoor High Jump and the boys ran right into the outdoor season with a lot of promise. During the outdoor season the girls teams finished 1st or 2nd in every meet that they entered. The boys finished 1st or 2nd in all but two track meets. On April 23 the Boys and Girls Team Won the District 4-5A Championships. On May 1st the track teams will be at the 5A Region II Track Meet at Baton Rouge High. Top Three qualifiers will advance to the State Meet on May 10th at LSU. Some of the exceptional stats from this season:

#2 in the State Jennifer Brown-200 Meter Dash (25.35) #5 in the State 4 x 200 Relay-Dakota Williams, Jennifer Brown, Tia Coleman, Janie O’Connor (1:39.93) #1 in the State 4 x 100 Relay-Dakota Williams, Jennifer Brown, Kenyetta Franklin, Tia Coleman (48.16) #1 in the State 4 X 400 Relay-Kenyetta Franklin, Tia Coleman, Jennifer Brown, Janie O’Connor (4:03.03) #2 in the State Kenyetta Franklin-300 Meter Hurdles (45.30) #1 in the State Kenyetta Franklin-100 Meter Hurdles (15.68) #3 in the State Dakota Williams-100 Meter Dash-(10.40) #5 in the State

Boys: Darryl Anderson-High Jump (6’4”) #2 in the State 4 x 200 Relay-(1:30.30) #5 in the Region II 4 X 400 Relay-(4:26.13) #5 in the Region II Kentrell Fisher-100 Meter Dash (11.08) #4 in the Region II Janie O’Connor-400 Meter Dash (54.88) Kentrell Fisher-200 Meter Dash (22.88) #5 in the Region II #1 in the State Janie O’Connor-200 Meter Dash (24.58) Ceasar Moore-400 Meter Dash (50.40) #5 in the Region II

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 Zachary POST 7 ADD HIGHLIGHTS.

CREATE SPARKS.


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Zachary POST Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Trust is the Key to the Jewelry Business Says Gary Blanchard By James Ronald Skains

“It took a few years to gain the trust of the people in the Zachary area when I bought this store some 14 years ago,” Gary Blanchard told the Zachary Post. “Until the word spread around town that you could trust Gary Blanchard Jewelers to perform a quality job on repair work with quick turn around and that people could also buy quality jewelry at a reasonable price, our business did not start to grow.” “But once we gained the trust that our repair work was excellent with a quick turnaround, that our prices were reasonable, and your jewelry was absolutely safe with Gary Blanchard Jewelry, our busi-

ness began to grow steadily each year. The growth of our business has surprised me very much. I never believed the business could be this successful.” “Trust and service is what Gary Blanchard Jewelers is all about. In our early years, people seemed very obsessed about bad things that could happen to their jewelry when left for repair at a shop,” Blanchard acknowledged. “We now have three employees. Box was with the store when Danny Crosby operated it as Diamond Distributors.” “I got the job in a roundabout way,” Chandra Box, who is originally from Clinton, related. “The manager of the store at that time

14 years of service.

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needed someone part-time to work the sales counter. It was a good fit for me at the time.” “After Gary bought the store, it seemed good for me to stay on with him. Now, 14 years later, I still do sales but my role has expanded to doing whatever needs to be done around the business. We actually have a very good four person team here at the store that keeps things in good shape.” “When I’m at the store I’m always available when needed up front, but I love to repair jewelry, so you will find me at my table working,” Blanchard admitted. “I loved it from the very first day that I went to work for Jules Madere in

Baton Rouge 40 years ago.” “I never attended college after high school, just went to work for Jules Madere. He trained me like I was going to college. It was very intense, but I loved every minute of it. I’m eager to get to work each morning just to see what I have to repair that day. Working on jewelry is exciting for me.” “The only other thing I have a real passion for, other than my family and repairing jewelry, is fishing,” Blanchard says. “We have a condo and boat down at Perdido on the Alabama Gulf Coast near Orange Beach. When I’m not here on a workday, I’m there at Perdido. I can’t imag-


Tuesday, May 6, 2014 Zachary POST 9

years by the oldest son, Chad who is an engineer. He lives in Prairieville. The younger son, Brett, is a graphic designer in Baton Rouge. “Both of our boys attended Catholic High School in Baton Rouge,” Blanchard said. “They both were given the opportunity to learn the jewelry business and work with me, but they chose other professions.” “That is understandable to me because you really have to love the jewelry business to do well in it. I can easily imagine that most people would find it difficult to sit a workbench everyday repairing jewelry as I do. But I find it a great, satisfying challenge to reach for the next piece of jewelry to repair, analyze the problem and fix it back to where it is as good as new.

Gary Blanchard at his jewlery repair bench at Gary Blanchard Jewelers on Main Street in Zachary

ine anything outdoors more relaxing than fishing.” Blanchard is a 1974 graduate of Tara High School in Baton Rouge. However, Blanchard grew up attending Istrouma High until his senior year when his parents moved to the Tara area.

“My wife Pam and I attended school together in north Baton Rouge,’’ Blanchard explained. “Actually, we grew up next door to each other so my wife is actually that girl next door.” Gary and Pam have two sons and one granddaughter, Parker, 4

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I enjoy doing what I do so much, that I call my work my hobby.” “I actually thought that watches were going out of style because of cell phones but we still change several watch batteries every day,” Blanchard observed. “We have regular customers from as far away as Centerville, St. Francisville, Jackson, Clinton, Baker and Baton Rouge.” “We are now selling engagement rings to school friends of our sons. We have found that word of mouth advertising is our very best advertising. Our team here at Blanchard’s, Chandra, Rosy, and Kasey, do a great job of spreading the word about the store and helping bring in new customers, as well as keep the ones we have.”


10 Zachary POST Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In Our Schools

Each year, students at Zachary High School have future ambition projects they work hard at all year. This year several students approached us here at The Zachary Post about writing some journalistic stories to be published. Of course we want to help! Continuing this week, we are showcasing some of Zachary’s finest “Cub Reporters.”

Financing College: The Path Least Expensive

By Alliciyia George

You have made your list of ideal schools and sent off your applications. You checked the mail numerous times and finally the acceptance letter you have been waiting on has arrived. Moreover, you were accepted! Now here comes the truly exciting part figuring out how you are going to pay for school. Wait? So, college is not free? Nope. Sure, the university you chose gave you some scholarships, you might have even received a grant from the Federal Government, but that is not going to cover the two grand in tuition and fees. Just look at the bottom of your financial aid package. Now do you see it? Those are called student loans! The good things about the loans is for a couple of years school expenses are covered and you feel carefree, but if college is to prepare you for your future, then is starting it off in debt the best option? You do not have to take them, but what

options do you have? So, what are you going to do, accept defeat and go down the path of least resistance, or fight for your right for a less expensive college education? It is your choice. I have decided to take the road less travelled by and I am confident in my decision. See, if you were to peek into my ordinarily neat dorm room, you would see bags and bags of clothes packed into boxes. No, I am not getting a head start on moving out for the summer. I am conducting a clothes drive, for a $10,000 scholarship. If awarded this scholarship, I would not have to take out loans next year. You see for me high school graduation was one of the happiest moments of my life. I filled up with excitement and hope as I hear my name called, I mentally prepared for college and the glories of adulthood. Unfortunately, my joy replaced with the realization that college is expen-

sive, and getting loans sucks. With this new outlook on the college experience, I made a vow at the beginning of the year to not go into debt because of student loans, so I pledged I would not take out anymore student loans for the rest of my college career. Since then, I have been working diligently to keep the promise I made to myself by working to get scholarships, earn money through jobs, and I even started my own GoFundMe (a website that lets you make a page to ask for donations) to raise money to pay for college. This year, I was able to get $23,000 in scholarships, loans, and work-study, but it still left a $3000 gap in my tuition bill. The past two semesters I have been working and paying off my debt out-of-pocket all while applying for scholarships and waiting for donors to fund my campaign on GoFundMe. Actually, it was not until I talked with my professor, I realized I was passively seeking help. In order to draw attention to my cause I had to be proactive. How could I not see that, after all the hard work depends on you, but pray like it depends on God is one of my main virtues. I had lost sight of that in the bustle of college to be diligent in not only my academic and career future, but my financial future too. The remaining balance on my tuition is currently

$2,700. If I were to reach my $3,000 GoFundMe goal, I can pay the remaining balance on my tuition for this semester as well as cover the five percent commission fee GoFundMe charges. The link to my page is http://www.gofundme.com/ helpalliciyia. Although I have not raised any money for my campaign so far, I can attest to the fact your donations would go to a worthy cause. Regardless of the outcome of my GoFundMe, I will continue to work hard to earn my degree with as little as debt as possible. I think this is an admirable goal for all college students to have. You do not have to just accept that college is expensive. You should not just sit on your hands, take out a bunch of loans, and then complain about how unfair life is. You must be proactive about your financial future. This leads me to my advice for the graduating class of 2014, which is to dream big and think small. This means to dream big by envisioning your wildest idea being completely possible, and then think small so that you are not constantly talking yourself out of what could be possible for you. Thinking too much makes you doubt yourself, and it sucks all the imagination out of your idea because that doubt tells you that you would not succeed. I encourage you, the class of 2014, and everyone else to adopt it as yours, too.


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Tuesday, May 6, 2014 Zachary POST 11

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furnished. Washer and dryer available. Shared kitchen/TV. Call or text (225) 317-7891. LOST Wedding Ring in Winn Dixie Parking Lot in Zachary. CASH REWARD if returned. Please call (225) 658-0570 or (225) 933-4805. Short order cook needed. Teddy’s Juke Joint in Zachary. Call (225) 658-8029. Specialty Maintenance Contractors LLC. Additions, Contstruction, Remodeling & Repairs. Whatever your needs may be, we do it. 225-572-3673. Do you want to make a difference in someone’s life? We are looking for someone who is loving and attentive but strong and mature to work one on one with a young male who has a developmental disability all day during the summer. Great job for para professional! Zachary/Jackson area. Please apply in person at 622 Shadows Lane Suite A Baton Rouge, La 70606 or send your resume to stjohnthebaptisthumanservices@gmail.com 4th Annual Plant Sale, Saturday, May 10, 8am-2pm, 15424 Beau Bois Drive, Zachary (between Joor Road and McCullough), Plants & More, all proceeds donated to American Cancer Society. Plants make great Mother’s Day gifts!

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12 Zachary POST Tuesday, May 6, 2014

In Our Schools

Each year, students at Zachary High School have future ambition projects they work hard at all year. This year several students approached us here at The Zachary Post about writing some journalistic stories to be published. Of course we want to help! Continuing this week, we are showcasing some of Zachary’s finest “Cub Reporters.”

OPINION: Discrimination in American Society is Still a Problem Discrimination is unfair treatment of a person or a group of people based on their sex, race, religion, etc. Many people feel as if discrimination was eliminated from society a long time ago. It would be logical to assume that Americans do not experience many acts of discrimination seeing as though we are supposed to be a “melting pot” complete with a variety of different people and cultures that all have the same rights. That is in fact not always the case. Discrimination very much still exists in today’s society. African Americans are judged, stereotyped, and discriminated against on a daily basis.

Discrimination against blacks did not just recently occur. Black people were first discriminated against in 1619 with the initiation of slavery. Blacks were brutally beaten, if not sometimes killed, and forced to work hard labor in poor conditions based on the color of their skin. African Americans still went through difficult times during the Civil Rights Movement. Because they were black, they had to sit at the back of the bus, use different water fountains, use different restrooms, etc. There were separate facilities and areas but they were surely not equal. During the civil rights movement, many brave blacks were cruelly called names and beaten for standing up for their deserved

rights. The civil rights act of 1964 ended discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, etc. It also ended unequal practices at the workplace and in public accommodations. Although acts of discrimination have significantly decreased since slavery and during the civil rights time, it still is very much a factor in today’s society. African Americans are still unfairly judged on a daily basis. Blacks are often stereotyped as uncivilized, crazy people. For example, if a black man was to kill someone the media’s response would be that he is a thug and he was not raised right; if a white man kills someone they would say that he is mentally insane and that

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he did not know any better. Also, many people label blacks as being thieves. I saw a white woman clutch her purse in fear that the black man standing in line behind her would attempt to take it. The man looked harmless, but because he was black she automatically assumed that he was trouble. African Americans are targeted more often by the police force than white people. The black population in prison is almost double the population of white men in prison. Although we have gotten better as a society with learning to not discriminate against one another, we still need work. It is foolish to say that discrimination is not an issue in today’s society because it can be very difficult to erase and forget about centuries of slavery and injustice. The first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one; therefore, admitting that discrimination still exists would be the first step to solving the problem. Although many people were raised a certain way, it is best to find out if you like someone yourself rather than judging them based off of other people’s opinions. Another way we can fix discrimination is by learning to not judge someone based off of skin color because a white man could be just as guilty as a black man. Also, hiring equal number of blacks and whites can help with the discrimination issue. All in all, it takes a society working as one to change a matter.

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Zachary Post May 6  

May 6, 2014 • Vol. 9, No. 18