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Ponchatoula , Louisiana
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August 2, 2012     The Ponchatoula Times
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August 2, 2012
 

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 X W THE NEWSPAPER OF AMERICA'8 ANTIQUE CITY www.ponchatoula.com/ptimes THURSDAY, AUGUST2, 2012 32 " YEAR NUMBER 42 50 Attorney Calls Walmart on Apparent Bait and Switch Negotiation Tactics Story Chris O'Connor The Ponchatoula Zoning Board voted on July 2nd to recommend that a 21 acre tract off Hwy. 51 be subdivided and rezoned from residential to commercial so as to ac- commodate the development of a Walmart SuperCenter there. This vote came after a bizarre and unorthodox process that involved a suddenly postponed public meeting followed by a back room conference and then a rushed vote on plans that were only conceptual, not written and not available to the public. Local attorney, Parker Lay- risson, who originally brokered the deal between Timber Creek subdivision neighbors and the Walmart representatives dur- ing that process now feels that they have not been dealt with in good faith. He told The Pon- chatoula Times that, 'qalmart lied. They are attempting to defraud our community with a classic bait and switch scam. The plans Walmart submitted to the City Council clearly con- tradict th e promises they made to the zoning board, and their bad faith can be easily proven by referring to the audio tapes of the zoning meeting. The audio- tapes confirmed that Walmart was lying and my description of the agreement was accurate. Walmart promised the zoning board 103 feet of trees for a buffer including 80 feet of un- disturbed existing pines. How- ever, their plans submitted to the city council only show 35' of trees. That's not honest.A deal is a deal. The tapes are clear. Walmart must honor its prom- ise for 103' of trees including 80' of existing pine. " Layrisson concluded, '%Ve've met with Walmart's' reps 4 or 5 times and they've lied to us just about every time. They lied PLEASE SEE PAGE 4 North Oaks Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Speaks at Rotary North Oak's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Michelle Sutton spoke at Thursday's meeting of the Ponchatoula Rotary Club regarding the recent and on- going changes and developments at North Oaks. The changes include a massive expansion to the number of North oaks clinics as well as many innovative practices currently being used at the hospital. Ms. Sutton expressed a strong need for these changes citing that our parish is very medically underserved." From left are, North Oaks employees Jim Cathey, Sybil Paulson (Ponchatoula Rotarian), and Michelle Sutton, North Oaks Board Member A.J. Bodker (Ponchatoula Rotarian), and Rotary President Parker Layrisson. (Courtesy Photo) Warehouse 140 to feature national acts, Western- style d00cor in Ponchatoula Times Report The late Stanley Cowen would have loved what they are do- ing to his Ponchatoula Auction Company, now Warehouse 140 on North Baronne in the block an- chored on East Pine. The entire swath of prime real estate on the near-east side of Ponchatoula includes Warehouse 140, the legend- ary Hayride Building, and the onetime Blue Room Restaurant now reborn as Mi Patio Mexi- can Restaurant. Stanley Cowen founded and owned it all and it is now the property of Bob and Melanie Mayeux. Cowen, the Irish-American Ponchatoula mailman and in- veterate showman who brought Miss America Maryann Mob- ley, Dolly Parton, Porter Wag- ner, Loretta Lynn, and a host of other legendary musical tal- ents to his stage in Ponchatoula PLEASE SEE PAGE 3 Bob Mayeux PHS to give new student tours Ponchatoula High School will conduct New Student Tours on Friday, August 3, from 9 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. Student Council members will lead tours every 20-30 minutes throughout the morning, and parents of new students are welcome to par- ticipate. There will also be stu- dent representatives from other organizations, including Key Club and Interact, to answer questions and encourage cam- pus involvement. For more in- formation, contact the school at 985-474-8800. Most retail purchases exempt from state sales tax August 3 & 4 Louisiana Department of Revenue Louisiana shoppers can make purchases free of the 4 percent state sales tax on most retail items during the 2012 Louisi- ana Annual Sales Tax Holiday on Friday, August 3, and Satur- day, August 4. The exemption applies to the first $2,500 of the purchase price of each eligible item. Eligibility The sales tax exemption ap- plies to "individual items of tan- gible personal property" under the following conditions: PLEASE SEE PAGE 6 0 UR PONCHA TO ULA By OLE HARDHIDE The Alligator I am thinking of strolling down to the community center next Monday evening to introduce myself to the Walmart of- ficials. I plan to submit my resume for a position as one of the new store's greeters. That is, provided that they purchase my long wished for gatormobile and donate it to the city for me. I feel my attitude toward the human community perfectly reflects theirs. While I am basking in my chariot in the park- ing lot under the shade of the beautiful landscaping Walmart promises to provide, I may catch a glimpse of some of my cousins from Lake Maurepas. They will be able to navigate the Anderson canal right up to the back of the store, with- out a thought for traffic on Hwy. 51 or the parking lot. Once they spot me, my relatives will no doubt be green with envy. I, however, will sport a blue and red theme. So much for all of you Tulane Alums who were being recruited into branding the traveling vehicle for your town mascot. I've moved on. Now I can relax and go fishing. Times cub reporters Danielle Makar, 1, Lucas Sanchez, 3, Anna Maria Sanchez, 6, Patrick Terrance McMahon, 1, and Felicity Brigit McMahon, 2, were touring Kliebert Alligator and Turtle Farm on Monday when the guide gave them a scoop. Look for a new swimming pool being installed - with alligators! So long as the tape holds, their jaws will be sealed to swimmers. Legal eagle Jean Paul Layrisson and his wife Claire have launched Wandering Juice, a juicing business in New Orleans, which makes perfect sense if you have ever tasted the exotic juice blended by the Ponchatoula Police Chief's mother Celeste, or her homemade soups, used recently to lure The Times' Ole Pinchpenny the Publisher back from the heart of darkness and dread disease. He is now fairly bounding up North Seventh Street with his walker, uplifted also by a St. Patrick prayer coin contributed by Hizzoner the mayor. Those of you who might think chain mail is an Internet email bother must not know Alvin Brumfleld, he of Louisi- ana Renaissance Festival (November 5-December 11) fame. The Renaissance Festival is organizing its popular Student Days this year for Nov. 13-15. Ah, to leave this time and jour- ney back to the days before knives and forks! Look for nurse Florinda Price and her game mate and fellow time traveler and actor who wouldn't miss the event for all the mead in the shire. The Ponchatoula Times - 145 West Pine St. - P.O. Box 743 - Ponchatoula, LA 70454-0743 - editor@ )onchatoula.com