The incorporation issue seems to have piqued everyone’s interest

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 16, 2008

By Kevin Chiri

This widely interesting issue in Garyville has certainly got people reading the papers, hasn’t it?

I’m referring to the big vote this Saturday, July 19, for the people in that region to decide if they want to become incorporated or not.

Needless to say, yours truly has been spending quite a few hours writing stories about this issue, since it is a very controversial matter.

Last week I made a couple of visits to the courthouse in Edgard for a couple of hearings, since we all know that the legal system has now been drawn into things.

As I waited outside for some key people to show up for me to get a few photos for the front page, I watched as an elderly gentleman made his way toward the back-door steps.

I said hello, and began chatting, soon finding out the man was O’Neil Himel from Garyville. Turns out he had come all the way across the river to sit in the court hearing himself, just since it was something that had gotten his interest.

Mr. Himel is a perfect example of the way this issue has gotten people interested in government and politics more than they normally would.

Now I got the impression Mr. Himel was always interested in some of these news items, but the simple fact that he had made the long trip from Garyville to Edgard showed how much this matter has garnered the attention of the public.

His explanation of why he was there?

“I came here feeling kind of bad,” he said, referring to his physical condition. “But this thing is so exciting, it makes me feel better just sitting in there listening to all the stuff going on.”

How true.

If you have any interest at all in politics or government, this issue has got to be a good one for you. We have certainly got our share of politics being weaved into this issue, even though it wasn’t really supposed to be that kind of matter. But living in St. John Parish, I have learned in my four years here that politics will definitely become a part of anything like this.

And so it has.

I’m obviously trying to remain impartial on this matter as I continue to write story-after-story, and regardless of whether some readers don’t see me that way, I realized long ago I can’t please them all.

For that matter, I even got questioned last week about why I didn’t put a particular related story on the front page for one of our editions. Never mind that I had two very lengthy stories, along with pictures from a public hearing, all over the front and giving the “Garyville Incorporation” about three-quarters of our front.

Like I said, you can’t please ‘em all.

I have to give some props to my new buddy at the courthouse, Sgt. Rudolph Sorapuru, who was working the check-in door where you get scanned for weapons….or whatever.

Rudolph has been with the Sheriff’s Office of St. John for over 22 years but was such a nice guy that he interrupted his lunch when I showed up, just to hold my camera for a minute as I ran inside to look for someone.

That was good enough. But he really got on my good side when I started talking to a couple of ladies, who were asking who I was, as I stood there with my camera and looking like some kind of media guy.

When I said, “I’m with the REAL local paper,” Rudolph immediately made sure they knew by chiming in, “The L’Observateur.”

Rudolph, you’re my kind of guy!

Don’t miss a chance to catch a great local theater production, with St. John Theater putting on “Jekyll & Hyde” starting this Friday night, July 18.

The play will also be held on July 19, then July 22-26, all at 7:30 p.m.

The theater is located at 115 West 4th Street at River Road in Reserve.

The musical production is directed by Darryl P. Clement and features Brent Torres as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Jennifer DeLatte plays Emma Carew, and Courtney Anderson-Boe is Lucy Harris in two of the other key roles.

Tickets are available during the week at Allied Express (next to the Sears store) in LaPlace, or at the Theatre Box Office one hour before the show, and cost only $10 each.

Kevin Chiri is Publisher of L’Observateur and can be reached at (985) 652-9545 or at