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The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
April 19, 1984     The Ponchatoula Times
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April 19, 1984

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70454 Thursday, April 19, 1984- 3rd Year, Number 30 ,t PONCHATO00A TI00S 5o' Half Price For Subscribers See Coupon-Page Two festival a huge success Staff Report , Festival Director Steve Strawberry Festival was COme true, total success, a lime. the year has taken its toll kon the high still " Pugh said the r the weekend festivities. range from 126,000 the two day event, the in Louisiana. and festival veterans Saturday was a slower with Sunday breaking An unestimable amount of made to benefit a wide causes and clubs. Uere only two arrests on the fairgrounds Saturday and none Sun- day, Pugh is quick to point out, There were other arrests in the crowded city. however, including the apprehension of a hit and run driver and his friends who ran into a young man on Fifth Street, pitching him into the air and causing severe injuries before racing off and leaving a path of destruction before being caught by police on the south side of town, Still, with the city's normal population multiplied by 31 there were relatively few arrests citywid. Pugh said that the new company providing festival rides drew praise from many visitors. And Pugh said the Sunday open-air church service featuring a Baptist missionary who dresses as a clown was well-received, h was one of several additions to the Strawberry Festival" schedule which seem likely to continue from this festival forward. Nurseryman Joe Pemn, a Jaycee. is expected to be formally named chair- man of the 1985 festival when the board meets May I. Asked what advice or good wishes he could offer his successor, Pugh replied. "'My wish for Joe is that he have a board and elected officers as good as I did." Pugh said he would stay on as an advisor for next year's festival. Perrin could pick up on at least one trick employed by this year's chairman. At one point Sunday it started to sprinkle raindrops, but Pugh had a plan. "'We just started throwing dou- bloons into the crowd until the rain stopped." he said. Asked if he wanted to speak directly to the reaJers during this. the final interview of his yearlong tour of service as festival director. Pugh replied with the following characteristic response: "'! just wanted to thank everybody who worked with the festival Board. those who manned the booths and did the million tasks necessary to put on such a large festival., I even want to thank everyone who came to this year's festival. Some say Steve Pugh did a reat job. That's ridiculoust It is the trawberry Festival Board who should attract all the thanks and praise. They did a fantastic job!'" Bids threaten local beer distributor Jamaica to Ponchatoula By EDDIE PONDS Times Reporter was a busy day for newest business. JSM Inc. shipment of Jamaica beer Louisiana, and unloaded in Red Stripe lager. Inc., located at 145 Street. is owned and oper- S. McGary of Pon- Inc. will be import- distributing Jamaican beer Louisiana. will give their taste to taste the taste of Red Stripe beer" from Ja- Stripe beer has been 1918.'" said McGary, a attorney and an Attorney. end of summer. 1 should be Stout. a much stronger and some of California's McGary said. 'of 1983. the 21st Judicial Bar was held in Jamaica. District Attorney Johnny S. along with judges and other attorneys from the surrounding areas, attended the convention. While in Jamaica, McGary said he noticed a]] the American tourists enjoy- ing Red Stripe beer and reggae music. In November of 1983 McGary began the long, tedious process of obtaining the necessary documents to import Jamaica beer and found out that the road from Kingston to Ponchatoula was a winding one indeed. JSM Enterprises is expected to hire about 10 to 15 local residents when the company begins a full scale operation. Johnny is the father of three children. Tamika 13, Shondra, 5, and Johnny Jr. 2. His wife Barbara is a teacher at Martha Vinyard Elementary School. The Ponchatoula attorney was chosen one of the outstanding Young Men of America in 1983. McGary graduated from Greenville Park High School. He received his BA degree from Grambling State Univer- sity in 1970, a masters degree from Kansas State University in 1971, and Dr. of Juror degree from Tulane University School of Law in 1974. In 1979 Attorney McGary became assistant district attorney to District Attorney Duncan Kemp, Ponchatoula School budget Staff Report High construction bids have threat- .. tned to burst the budget for Poncha- oula area schools now being built with money from the new sales tax. First to feel any cuts would likely be the athletic facilities, according to earlier statements made by engineer Ed Mire- mont who is handling the architectural end of the project. These include a sports stadium, track, lighting and an athletic building. School officials are going to be busy 1' the balance of this mo-im3  .... figure out how to trim the second phase of the building project so it comes in at the cost budgeted. The local building committee is expected to bring the matter before the school board in early May. Concern for the budget was triggered by the recent high bids received for the second phase of construction, bids which exceeded the monies set aside to pay for them. The budget for the entire project is $11 million. Gator closer to new home By BRYAN T. McMAHON The town alligator may have come out of the 1984 Strawberry Festival better than either the king or the queen. The king was in the hospital when his beautiful queen was gliding across the dance floor at the royal ball. And the lovely queen followed suit just days before the festival itself, falling from a horse and fracturing her pelvis, an injury which kept her on crutches whenever the news cameras weren't clicking. But the alligator made out pretty good. The Chamber of Commerce effort to build Ole Hardhide a bigger cage was boosted by the sale of 200 specially designed gator T shirts. With help from Chamber President Joe Singerman and his wife, who did yeoman service at the Country Market booth both days, and members such as Lyle Glldermaster and Country Market President Ruth Berner, and others, the entire supply of shirts sold out. The Chamber will sponsor future fundraisers for the alligator project, in an effort to build the kind of gator pen that will be attractive to visitors, humane for the alligator and a visual plus for Ponchatoula. Committee members plan in the near future to journey to the audubon Zoo in New Orleans to ask the experts for pointers on designing a newer and larger gator pond, The Ponchatoula Times is one of the Chamber member businesses who has come forward with its own gator cage promotion - offering to donate half of all new subscription funds to the project (see Page Two). rnor uses carrot, stick on legislators !-F."BIL L" CHAPMAN "pecial Correspondent i ROUGE .. The carrot and the Governor Edward's tooLs addressing the opening the regular legislature Mon- in Baton Rouge. and enticed legisla- voted for his special proposals and urged them on the other hand, he about it when he cited basic state services that along with the resulting he predicted would if certain anti-tax iegis- their way, along with the he would personally let know who was if they did not come "on announced that he was of executive orders and for which any citizens could volunteer to internal efficiency of a cost-benefit committee pomiity of doing rome functions outside the civil service, one on school discipline, one on testing in schools that would compare our school childrens' accomplishments "to .the realities of Louisiana life," and anreher that would form a group of" the "captains of industry" to assist with the economic recovery. He also an- nounced he would be issuing executive orders forming groups to study better- ing vo-tech schools, the feasibility of putting the state's charity hospitals under private management while re- taining help for the poor, a special release program for certain prisoners, possible private management of prisons, the cost of all state health programs, and a "fresh and learned look" at the state's universities. He then went on to announce that he was going to be offering specific pro- grams on education, hazardous waste, minority affairs ("not a hand-out pro- gram but a participation program"), and a port system to include an off-shore bulk terminal, as one-third of U.. corporate profits and jobs depend on international trade, On fiscal mat,ers, thre'J constitutional amendments were proposed for capital development, permanent funding, and stabilization. He said he would not oppose reducing gasoline taxes if a aduated motor vehicle license plate were substituted. Legislation con- cerning civil service and politics that would let the two inter-mingle except for running for public office and making campaign contributions was encour- aged. Edwards also suggested wiser investment of retirement funds to better enrich them and the possible use of some funds to provide loans for low cost housing. It was at this time that the Governor began his strong use of the carrot and the whip. He referred to the last budget letter former Governor Treen submitted quoting Treen as saying, "this results in outlays below which the state needs to properly function" and explaining that it meant the state could not properly function as it was currently being funded: this was the reason for the new tax package Governor Edwards wanted. He then went on to cite a long list of various services that might have to be cut entirely if his tax package weren't approved, such as p'ublic works, the needed matching funds for highways, overlays, and bridge replacement. He also listed as endangered: the state share of insurance of state employees and teachers, programs for the elderly, nursing homes and mentally retarded facilities, adult education, and a host of others including any state action on flood control. The Governor told the leslators, "Not a person in this room honestly thinks this state can do what it needs to do if we adopt this (Treen's) budget. One of two senators serving Poncha- touls, Gerry Hinton, was one of those named by Edwards to be on a special committee to both look at possible budget cuts and new sources of reve- nue. Edwards went on to remind all the legislators that he felt future elections would not have people looking at them as to their tax vote as such but as to their willingness to bite the proverbial bullet and do what was needed at what he considered a time of grave crisis for the state. MY PONCHATOULA By OLE HARDHIDE The Alligator Whew! Is it over yet? Can I come back up to the surface? There lwas in my bedroom waking up, head throbbing, tail dragging, throat about as scratchy as my claws, and my first thought Saturday morning was that I was going to concentrate real hard all day trying not to set off so much as an unnecessary ripple in the pond, when all of a sudden I realized that roar I was hearing was not coming from between my own ears, or compliments of a passing locomotive, and it was about that time I realized there was no way around it. I would have to open at least one of my eyes. And there they were. Hundreds of faces pressed up against the fence so hard it looked like hamburger coming out of L.J.'s big meat grinder. And their ceaseless chatter in Whereyaat? accents and sing-song French and that awful metal-on-metal clanging of talking tourists from the Midwest, all talking about yours truly in their own adoring ways, was enough to make me pray that it was all a transient nightmare. It wasn't. The annual Alligator Festival was on full tilt, and a few church and civic groups were holding the 13th Annual Strawberry Festival at the same time to capitalize on the crowds. They could have picked a better day. Oh the weather was fine (makes you wonder if those stories about Steve Pugh promising his first born in payment didn't have some truth to them), but the timing was definitely off. Somewhere it is written that you should hold no festivals or fairs the day after an invasion. And l'm not talking about the gray-haired air streamers in their bermudas either. I'm talking about the Jamaicans. The Jamaican invasion of Ponchatoula started quietly enough. Ole Johnny McGary kind of sidled up to the cage like he does when he's facing a tough legal problem and he needs some scholarly advice, but this time it was different. "I've got something better than your pond water, reptile breath," Well to make a long story short, McGary had three gasoline thiefs on loan from Eddie's jail and each had an old siphoning hose which they stuck through the cage and into the pond, Within minutes the cage was as dry as their former victims' gas tanks, and Ole Johnny set to popping open this Red Stripe lager from Jamaica and filling up the pond with it. l asked him if he wanted me to impersonate a pretzel, but he insisted he was serious and coaxed me back into my bubbling pond. I was in Billy Young Heaven. And getting thirstier by the second. The last thing I remember seeing was a fleet of wierd Red Stripe trucks driven by obvious Jamaicans, taking over the town. (I guess it beats getting invaded by Russia, or worse, California). Anyway, Ole Hardhide's already got the secret weapon, and I don't mean her winning...smile. I bring it to you in case you have run out of hope and your head still throbs this long after the Alligator Festival and the Jamaican Invasion. BONNIE SIDE'S HANGOVER CURE Take one ripe, peeled lemon, saturate with whiskey bittern. Suck lemon. Follow with  of club soda. Gross but effective and surefire. Ole Hardhide's personal suggestion is to stick to good old-fashioned pond water taken from Ponchatoula's fresh, sweet water pipes, the drinking of which has yet to result in a single hangover. But we seem to be going in the opposite direction. Let's talk about the festival and the changes it has wrought on My Ponchatoula. Like for,instance all the new car dealerships expected to open up: Betty Cutter's Buick, Doug and Sandy's Subaru, Paul's Care and Plymouth Dealership, Aw Shucks Oldsmobile, and Jaycee Jeep. The idea had to have hit all of the local tavern and beer store places in town, as well as the service club with the festival beer stand. If a car dealership can SEE PAG FiVE