Happy Birthday to us!
This week marks the 22nd year that The Times — in two incarnations — has served the people of Houma, Thibodaux and the larger Bayou Region.
The paper was founded by entrepreneur Darrin Guidry, who sold it in 2014 and sits on the Terrebonne Parish Council.
Today we are a division of Rushing Media, and have garnered a reputation for reporting factual news of interest to the community, and bringing readers to the greater level of depth that is more easily done with a weekly paper.
We are proud of the work we have done and continue to do, online as houmatimes.com and in the print version.
We are the only independent, locally-owned voice in the region and take pride in features like the Gumbo Entertainment Guide.
Another component of the family is Point of Vue, a glossy general interest magazine that focuses on the local.
We strive to support local businesses, by giving them a venue to get their messages out to local customers.
Despite a difficult economic climate, we have kept our subscription costs low. A full year of The Times, delivered weekly to your mailbox, is $9.99. That’s about 19 cents per issue. And despite difficult economic times we continue to provide news of quality.
It is difficult in this small space to thoroughly explain why an independent local paper is so important to our community. But there are a few things you may not think about right away, of which was could all stand to be reminded.
A free local press allows the continued flow of information in a free society locally. We pride ourselves on being an outlet for various points of view on local issues on our opinion pages, featuring prominently the views of many people, including those with whom we might not specifically agree.
This is because the exchange of ideas is what matters. As long as the best minds in our community are bent on solving problems, even if they come at those problems from different perspectives. Diversity is key to a successful community. We make certain that the door is open to diverse points of view.
Only by discussing ideas with each other can we be sure that the best decisions ultimately are made. For those ideas to be discussed a platform is needed. We are proud to provide that.
We look forward to continuing to serve as your local newspaper. We are always welcome to ideas about how we can better do that. Happy birthday to us!
Last week, the state legislature’s House and Government Affairs Committee defeated a bill that would have been the first step toward bringing Louisiana in compliance with the U.S. Voting Rights Act as regards election of state district court judges in Terrebonne Parish.
The bill as presented may have needed some work. The five sub-districts proposed, in our opinion, might not have been needed. But one minority subdistrict carved out of the larger one, as was done on a map submitted with proposed legislation in 2011, would have served as a reasonable compromise, if the legislation proposed this year was allowed to live, and amendments made.
This would have taken courage from our local legislative delegation, members of which have acknowledged their lack of knowledge in regard to Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and its requirements.
Parish President Gordon Dove, in testimony before the committee, noted as he has to us that the late District Judge James Brady’s decision places Terrebonne Parish in a bad light, by indicating that the creation of at-large voting for judges back in 1968 or thereabouts was done with a discriminatory purpose.
Separate water fountains at the parish courthouse served a discriminatory purpose. Schools remaining segregated long after Brown vs. Board of Education served a discriminatory purpose. That Terrebonne Parish, like all the others in Louisiana, partook in the evils of Jim Crow should come as no surprise. But if Judge Brady’s ruling — and the law — were read carefully, what would emerge is an understanding that the parish has not been called out.
The state of Louisiana approved the at-large system. Terrebonne Parish is not a participant. Indeed Judge Brady refused to allow the parish to become a co-defendant in the litigation, even though the parish inexplicably attempted to do just that.
Before an already cash-strapped Louisiana goes ahead and invests more money in appeals, cooler heads must prevail and find a solution in the chambers of Judge Shelly Dick, who now has the case. It is the wise thing to do, but more importantly the right thing to do.