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The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
March 28, 2013     The Ponchatoula Times
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March 28, 2013

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THE PONCHATOULA TIMES, MARCH 28, 2013, PAGE 4 BEES FROM PAGE ONE that grows in the front yard of what for years was Terry Ann McMahon's Magnolia Montes- sori school, and our family home on North Seventh Street. It is now where the office of The Ponchatoula Times is lo- cated, in the former classroom where so many Ponchatoula schoolchildren got their intro- duction to the worldwide edu- cation method developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy's first female physician, and a pioneer in early childhood development and education. Terry Ann was as certified Montessori educa- tor, with training in London, England and in Mobile, Ala- bama. These days it is a yard visited by our grandchildren and their parents, in addition to those seeking to place a classified ad or wishing to drop off a news re- port or photograph. The beehive hung within scant inches of the front gate, triggering vivid memories of my own toddler youth when I man- aged to tip over a racing tricycle and land squarely in a beehive at my cousin's house. This bee- hive had to go, and Robert G. Taylor Sr. was the man for the job. I called Taylor at 985-969- 4647. Taylor is an active member of the state association of bee- keepers whose members even have their own Louisiana li- cense plate, the sale of which helps fund their good works. Without bees, farmers like The Ponchatoula Times gardening columnist Dudley Clark would have a very dismal time at- tempting to grow crops, because ATTEND COLLEGE ONLINE FROM HOME *Medical, *Business, *Criminal Just-ice, *Hospitality. Job placement assistance. Computer available. Financial Aid if qualified. SCHEV authorized. Call 888-220-3921 Centura COLLEGE Weight Training oChildcare Fitness Classes Citize P ..... enior rograms Weight Loss Programs Sp00C00A, Our Fitness Classes Include: Silver Sneakers, Yoga, Abs & Spin, Step & Spin Atso avaitabte Massage E Tanning OPEN 24 HOURS 7 DAYS A WEEK 1330 Hwy. 51 North (Veterans Avenue) Ponchatoula, LA 985/386-8507 Michael Tournillon Owner/Operator *Ptus tax with this ad some restrictions apply offer expires 3/30/11 the bees pollinate the plants. Our local beekeeper has high praise for Ponchatoula's mos- quito abatement operation be- cause he says the bug-killing poisons that are sprayed here are consciously broadcast late enough in the evening to miss the honeybees, which find them PLEASE SEE PAGE 5 Porch FROM PAGE 2 the city council meeting with reference to a violation of the state constitution. I attempted to find the opinion, but being a lay person I do not possess the knowledge to locate this opin- ion. If the City of Ponchatoula is in violation of the state con- stitution, then this entire is- sue is much more serious to me than just clarifying permit regulations. Should the city officials ex- plain these violations to the citizenry and let the people be aware of why there are concerns of constitutional issues? I have no financial or personal connec- tion to the Strawberry Festival, but really tire of the continued bickering over the matter. With the exception of the financial gain by our local businesses and charities, the festival could move out of the city limits and make my life, as well as others, simpler. This past week, Beth and I had the pleasure to drive to Jackson to visit Coach Bill Johnson at the Louisiana War Veterans Home. Some of you know that Coach has been re- covering from various health is- sues but was in good spirits the day we visited. We spent several hours with him and had an enjoyable time reliving past glories and life ex- periences. I will always remem- ber the countless hours that he and Mr. Buddy Bodker shot free-throws and their little side bets on the outcome. The visit was highlighted by Coach's recount of his war expe- riences that I found very inter- esting. My childhood memories were brought back to light dur- ing some of his stories and how they related to those same ex- periences shared by uncles and cousins. Bill also spoke of his experi- ences with religion and how it had positively affected his life and others. I would like for all of you to remember Coach in your prayers and ask that, if you cannot visit him, drop him a line at: Mr. William "Bill" Johnson Louisiana War Veterans Home Louisiana Hwy 10 Jackson, La 70748 In sports news, the baseball and softball season is in full swing. Many of our local teams are experiencing exceptional seasons. Ponchatoula is doing well and a great deal of their success can be attributed to the carryover from a good youth program. The only way a team or school can achieve success is by having a good feeder program. The same methods could be applied to all sports if feeder schools and programs would incorporate the high school's of- fenses and defenses into their programs. Good Luck to all our area teams. AI00" GALLERY- CUSTOM F00ING 27 Yeers of InnomUve $00te & Queli00 Fl00p at Affordable Prices Ion-Sat l Onm-m or by AppolnUnt 1108 O1 De- ta A.G. leasing the prime locations. If the opinion holds on its face, local service clubs should prepare to pay considerably more than the typical one-dol- lar-per-year amount historically charged for lease on the service club-controlled properties. "These were leases entered into 20 years ago. We'll be ad- dressing this lease issue. It has been brought to our attention that the leases must be based on fair market value of the property (where the festival and service clubs are located)," said Mayor Bob Zabbia, adding: "When we find these things, we strive to correct them. And we want to give all consider- ation to community contribu- tions made by the affected ser- vice organizations," said the mayor. The Rotary Club Hut in Memorial Park, for instance, is where local Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts hold their meetings, this in addition to the generous world contribution every Rota- ry Club makes to the worldwide effort to eliminate polio. Its lo- cal contributions and that of its student wing Interact, are leg- endary. Rotary President Parker Layrisson, apprised by The Ponchatoula Times of the attor- ney general's take on what is, by the very fact of his opinion, a local controversy, replied: "Rotary's motto is 'Service Above Self.' For four genera- tions, our non-profit service or- ganization has consistently paid our own way by building and maintaining the Rotary Hut and, more importantly, provid- ing our city with demonstrable, objective, and reasonable value through our considerable public service. "For example, we recently helped provide free wills and es- tate planning worth thousands of dollars to roughly one third of Ponchatoula's underpaid po- lice officers. Every year we do- FROM PAGE ONE nate thousands more to local charities and public causes. We also provide the Boy Scouts and Chamber of Commerce a facil- ity to use for their meetings, and no one ever uses our Hut for personal gain. "We donate dictionaries to lo- cal 3rd-graders and plant beau- tiful oak trees on public prop- erty. "The list goes on and on, and it's clear that the city always gets the better end of the bar- gain. If the lawyer who wrote that non-binding A.G. opinion would have had access to the facts, I am confident he would have reached a different conclu- sion. As an attorney who has ad- vised governments on the state, parish, and city levels, I know that the City of Ponchatoula is well within its rights to lease land to non-profits like Rotary who always return fair value through community service and donations." What follows is Attorney General Caldwell's opinion which carries the force of law in the absence of law: August 10, 2012 OPINION 12-0082 Mr. Robert F. "Bob" Zabbia Mayor, City of Ponchatoula Dear Mayor Zabbia: You requested an opinion from this office regarding the lease of land owned the City of Ponchatoula (the "City") to cer- tain nonprofit organizations. You indicated that, in the past, these organizations were al- lowed to construct buildings on land owned by the City, which then leased the land to the orga- nizations for a nominal amount of rent. Some of the leases have now expired. Thus, you ask whether it is appropriate to continue leasing the City's land for a nominal amount. In light of the Louisiana Su- preme Court's decision in Board of Directors of the Industrial De- velopment Board of the City of Gonzales, Louisiana, Inc. v. All Taxpayers, Property Owners, Citizens of the City of Gonzales, et al., 2005-2298 (La. 9/6/06), 938 So.2d 11 ("Cabela's"), it has consistently been the opinion of this office that in order for an transfer of public funds-- including the use of land--to be permissible under La. Const. act. VII, 14(A), the public en- tity must have the legal author- ity to make the expenditure and must show: (i) a public purpose for the expenditure or transfer that comports with the governmen- tal purpose for which the pub- lic entity has legal authority to pursue; (ii) that the expenditure or transfer, taken as a whole, does not appear to be gratuitous; and (iii) that the public entity has a demonstrable, objective and reasonable expectation of re- ceiving at least equivalent value in exchange for the expenditure or transfer of public funds. The Cabela's standard places a strong emphasis on the recip- rocal obligations between the parties to ensure that there is not a gratuitous donation of public funds. Here, the City would only receive a nominal amount in exchange for giving up the use of its land to the non-profits. Thus, the transfer of the use of the land in exchange for a nomi- nal amount appears to be gra- tuitous on its face. Further, the City has no de- monstrable, objective and rea- sonable expectation of receiv- ing at least equivalent value in exchange for the transfer of the use of its land. Therefore, it is the opinion of this office that the city, by leasing its land to certain nonprofit organizations for a nominal amount, would violate La. Const. art. VII, 14(A). We trust this adequately re- sponds to your request. Howev- er, if our office can be of further assistance, please do not hesi- PLEASE SEE PAGE 5 REMAINING 2012 FORDS! 7 HOSE FROM TOT0014,987 TAKE ADVANTAGE OF % APR FINANCING ON NEW 2012 FORD, FOCUS NEW 2012 FORD FUSION NEW 2012 l-I SO TRUCKS NEW 2012 FORD TAURUS NEW 2012 FORO MUSTANQS NEW 2012 IIDRD r'---S2RISE STK#61171 NEW 2013 FORD FUSION SEDAN MSRP. ........................................ $22,495 FACTORY REBATE ...................... -$1000 BILL HOOD DISCOUNT. ............... -$1508 $ TOTA, 19.987 ATTENTION FORD RANGER OWNERS GET AN ADDITIONAL slOOO'" REBATE! SEE DEALER FOR DETAILS. .......... c .............. f 5TK#13204 NEW 2013 FORD MUSTANG V6 COUPE  MSRR ......................................... $24,290 FACTORY REBATE ............................. -$1500 BILL HOOD DISCOUNT. ............... -$1792 TO220,998 NEW 2012 FORD F-150 4X4 SUPERCREW 5TK#12612 MSRR ......................................... $44,885 FACTORY REBATES ............................ -$4000 XLT. ...................................................... -$1500 FORD CREDIT CASH .......................... -$1500 BILL HOOD DISCOUNT. .............. -$6000 TOTAL$31,885 NEW 2013 FORD F-250 4X4 CREW CAB XLT SUPER TOTAL$46,82S 1--855-346-1