Previews spur protest against cable

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 21, 2001


HAHNVILLE – Protesters led by a Christian radio broadcaster awaited the arrival of Cox Cable representative Steve Sawyer at Monday’s meeting of the St. Charles Parish Council, but Sawyer was a no-show due to scheduling conflicts. Grant Storms, a Destrehan resident who broadcasts a program called “The Reformer” on WSHO radio, led a group of neighbors to protest Cox Cable’s practice of previewing premium channel shows on unblocked channels accessible to children. Storms said programs such as HBO’s “Queer as Folk” are previewed where people who do not want such programming in their homes cannot block it from their families. “It’s very offensive,” he said. The group also plans to carry their protests to Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes, Storms added. “I enjoy my cable, but we’re trying to find a satisfactory solution.” In other business, the parish council postponed a resolution toward establishment of a citizens’ advisory committee on federally-mandated reapportionment of council districts. Councilman Clayton Faucheux said the resolution was drafted “to proactively go after the census figures coming out in April,” and get a jump on the necessary redistricting. However, as the St. Charles School Board faces its next election sooner than the council, Faucheux agreed to defer to that body to take the lead and withdrew the resolution. Another matter delayed was that of a proposed ordinance to better lay out the role and functions of project managers in the public works and sewer capital projects. Councilman Terry Authement, who presented a revised ordinance different from that originally advertised, agreed to delay a vote on the matter until all the council has reviewed it more thoroughly. The next parish council meeting is set March 19, as council members will be attending the NACo (National Association of Counties) legislative conference March 2-6 in Washington, D.C. Normally, the next council meeting would have been March 5. The parish council did agree to a cooperative endeavor agreement to allow the parish to make use of the old Allemands Elementary School site, possibly as a playground or park. “Several ideas were kicked around, including locating a fire station there,” said School Board member Clarence “Sonny” Savoie. The parish council tabled action on two change orders on the Hahnville regional wastewater treatment plant and for the Montz/Norco pump station. Dan Garrity of the engineering firm Camp Dresser & McKee Inc. told the council, “When you do a project, you figure on five to 10 percent more on change orders.” He continued that the Hahnville plant would be coming in at thousands of dollars less, something “unheard of.” Garrity added the change order he proposed, to increase the contract time by 80 days and slash the price by $197,284.73, would be the final change order for that job. Also, the parish council voted to retain Hibernia National Bank as its fiscal agent, with finance director Lorrie Toups citing improved interest rates and an agreement that the bank would accept waterworks bill payments from residents. The parish council also narrowly approved in a 5-4 vote a waiver request on the council ordinance mandating subsurface drainage on new subdivisions. Developer Michael Bernard’s Lakewood East Phase II was approved for open ditches, matching Phase I, in Luling. Voting in favor of the waiver were Minnich, April Black, Desmond Hilaire, Lance Marino and Brian Fabre. Finally, Parish President Albert Laque and the parish council recognized the King and Queen of the Krewe of Lul, Stanley and “Bunnie” Petit; King and Queen of the Krewe of Des Allemands, P.J. and Genevia Rogers; Grand Marshal of Lul, N.J. Gaudet; Grand Marshals of Des Allemands, Virgie and Rosalie Naquin; and the organizers of each krewe for their hard work for two days of fun.