The official results of the 2010 U.S. Census were released in mid-December and it’s no surprise that Louisiana will lose one of its seven seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Louisiana is one of ten states (along with Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Jersey) losing a House seat. Two states – New York and Ohio – are losing two.
Texas is the big winner, picking up four seats, while Florida gains two. Georgia, South Carolina, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Washington all gain one each.
People concerned over Louisiana’s future point out that our state had the lowest growth rate (up just 1.4 percent from 2000) of all southern states. Hurricane Katrina is widely cited as a major reason for our lack of growth. Yet Mississippi, which was also hit hard by Katrina, actually grew by 4.3 percent while Alabama jumped 7.5 percent.
The only states that had a lower growth rate than Louisiana were Rhode Island (+0.4%) and Michigan, which declined 0.6%.
Gov. Jindal, ever the optimist, points out that the state’s population has grown by 157,000 residents over the past three years, a pace faster than the national population.
I haven’t seen the parish-by-parish numbers that will be especially important in redrawing the Louisiana House and Senate districts, also required by the new Census. Officials here and in neighboring Iberia Parish are already campaigning hard to keep the two parishes together in the 22nd Senate District.
The state Legislature will convene in special session on March 20 to redraw the congressional and state district lines, including the state House and Senate, Public Service Commission, Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), Courts of Appeals, and Supreme Court. Their work must be completed no later than April 13 – a pretty narrow window.
THIS & THAT . . .
Nice Spread – The Advocate newspaper featured a nice full-page spread on St. Martinville in its Dec. 13 issue. It focused on the historic town square, with pictures of St. Martin de Tours Church, the Evangeline statue and many of the old buildings along Main and Bridge Streets. Very well done.
Christ- or X-mas? – A recent letter to the editor in the Daily Advertiser made a point that I’ve always agreed with concerning the dismay of some folks over the use of Xmas in place of Christmas. Those familiar with the early church know that X is also the Greek letter “chi” which historically was recognized to represent “Christos,” or “the anointed one.” It was cited as early as the third century by Emperor Constantine. So while I’m not advocating the regular use of Xmas, it’s certainly not the blasphemy some might claim.
Grinding Done – Most area farmers completed cutting their cane just before Christmas, and I think the St. Martin mill shut down early this week. The 2010 crop was a little down in tonnage, but otherwise I think farmers are pretty pleased with the harvest.
Anniversaries – Friends and subscribers who celebrated wedding anniversaries during the past week included:
Dec. 29 – The 49th anniversary for Theodore and Mary Pena of Breaux Bridge; the 48th for Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bazile of St. Martinville; the 44th for Jerry and Marcia (Bienvenu) Delhomme of Breaux Bridge; and the 12th for Mark and Christine (Fuselier) Poche of St. Martinville.
Dec. 30 – The 60th for Lawrence and Anne Caillier of Groves, Texas; the 36th for Jessie and Lilly Dugas of Morgan City; the 16th for Ryan and Myra (Stelly) Guidry of St. Martinville; and the 10th for Jeremy and Alyson Finch of Breaux Bridge.
Dec. 31 – The 60th for Floyd and Bootine Breaux of Breaux Bridge; the 50th for Herman and Naomi Dautreuil of St. Martinville; the 24th for Nathan and Marie Girouard of Cecilia; and the ?? for Dennis and Sherry Castille of Lafayette.
Jan. 2 – The 46th for Roland and Aline Louviere of Breaux Bridge; the 18th for Errol and Celeste Greig of St. Martinille; the 5th for Timothy and Raylene Choplin of Breaux Bridge; and the ?? for Jason and Anyia Chretien of St. Martinville.
Jan. 3 – The 30th for Frank and Margaret DeBlanc of St. Martinville;
The 19th for Gervis and Anna Thibodeaux of Cecilia; and the ?? for Louis and Euranic Cormier of Breaux Bridge.
Jan. 4 – The 47th for Bobby and Loretta Calais of Cecilia.
Jan. 1 was the 41st anniversary of the ordination of Father Edward Degeyter of St. Martinville.
New subscribers who have joined our family of readers in recent weeks include Robert Boudfreaux, James Latiolais and Steve Ledbetter, all of St. Martinville; Charlotte Austin and Francine Fields of Breaux Bridge; Betty Judice of New Iberia; Tallie Cummings of Maurice; Loretta Broussard of Lafayette; Elsie Chautin of Leonville; and Charles JeanBaptiste of Shawnee, Kan.
Clair comme le jour: Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like. –Will Rogers