Archive for the 'Baton Rouge' Category

Yuri’s Night

A worldwide celebration is happening tonight. Yuri’s Night!

The local arts organization I am a member of, Art Mob, is supporting our local version. Unfortunately Art Mob’s sight is having trouble, but the temporary site can be found here. I just spent the afternoon at a juried art competition and art walk we organized, “Smock Paper Scissors.” It was raising money to support the arts programs for Baton Rouge’s new Autonomous Schools Network. My job was to take students around to all the exhibits, discuss the art, engage the artists and students, etc. Great fun, the kids were wonderful, the artists eager to discuss their work and art with the kids.

To find your own version of Yuri’s night:

Yuri’s Night is like the St Patricks Day or Cinco de Mayo for space. It is one day when all the world can come together and celebrate the power and beauty of space and what it means for each of us.

You can go here. If there isn’t one, it isn’t too late to start an impromptu one. Ours will be at a local alternative bar downtown, Redstar. I am attached to the place because the jukebox is fantastic (The lovely lady pictured at the Jukebox is certainly a consideration as well.) I think it is the only place in town that I can count on being able to play the Stooges. Sometimes you just need to hear Search and Destroy while you are out drinking beer.

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Jindal sworn in as Louisiana’s governor

(cross posted at Risk and Return)

The most prominent Indian American politician in American history has now been sworn in as governor:

Bobby Jindal took the oath of office as Louisiana’s 55th governor at noon today, becoming the state’s first non-white governor since Reconstruction. Jindal, a 36-year-old Republican and Baton Rouge native, won the October 2007 primary outright against 11 opponents with 54% of the vote. He replaces Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat who chose not to run for a second term.

Here’s a roundup of Jindal’s big day:

—Festivities began at 10 a.m. with the House and Senate meeting in their respective chambers to swear in legislators and elect leaders. The day ends with the invitation-only inauguration ball at 7 p.m. at the River Center. Joel Chaisson, a Destrehan Democrat, was formally elected as Senate president. Jim Tucker, a Terrytown Republican, was elected as Speaker of the House, and Karen Carter Peterson, a New Orleans Democrat, was elected as speaker pro tempore.

—The inauguration is being televised live on Louisiana Public Broadcasting stations across the state, and live videos will be posted at and

—In an Inauguration Day editorial, The Daily Advertiser of Lafayette says that Jindal’s government experience will serve Louisiana well. “Jindal brings to the governor’s office broad experience, proven ability and a remarkable intellect. He has a record of success in every government position he has held. We expect that record to remain intact during his tenure as governor,” the newspaper says. Read the editorial here.

—New Delhi Television Limited, a private Indian station, has an article about how Jindal’s election is a giant step for Indian-Americans politically. There are more than 2.5 million Indian-Americans in the U.S., and many have broken through the glass ceiling and attained leadership roles in business and academics. The article notes how many Indian-Americans are proud of Jindal, but some are concerned about his politics and his backing of tough anti-immigration measures. Read the story here.

—CBS Sports announcer Tim Brando, a Shreveport native and former WAFB sports anchor, served master of ceremonies during the inauguration ceremony. Brando told USA Today why he thought he was selected for the honor. “I guess because I’m a rather verbose compassionate conservative—which Mr. Jindal is,” Brando said.

—A Times-Picayune story this weekend notes how Jindal’s inauguration comes at the perfect time. India is becoming a major economic power, with a growing number of companies looking to expand their operations and trade across the world. Outgoing Louisiana Economic Development secretary Mike Olivier says Jindal will “open up doors in a short period of time” for Indian businesses looking at establishing a presence in the U.S. Read the story here.

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My Next Project

We have a number of things in the works over the next few days here at A Second Hand Conjecture. We will let you know more over the next couple of days. I can only say I am extremely excited.

MeThat is my picture, the scruffy 40+ year old, beer drinking, female ogling, punk/alt rock loving, irreverent blogger you have grown to despise, like, hate, love, etc. It was taken just after a pretty fun night (about 6 AM) in New Orleans with my wife.

Now it is time to introduce my more professional side, the one in the suit. One of the things which has been a source of frustration since I began, is that there are a number of topics around which I have had to skate because of legal and regulatory issues surrounding my career. Those have now been largely removed and will allow me to discuss more fully issues which involve economics, finance and investing. Until you are a blogger or writer one doesn’t realize how many areas touch on that, and how it lead to all kinds of self censorship. Try discussing Social Security reform without discussing likely returns in the capital markets!

So expect a lot more from me in the coming months on these and associated topics. For those who do not know, I am the portfolio manager for Peters Wealth Advisors, a team of professionals located in Baton Rouge, La. Which leads to my next project.

I am now starting a new blog devoted to economics, finance and investing, as well as some discussion of news and events related to my hometown and my own interests. It will be part of the Forbes blog network which they are building. Some of the material will appear here as well, some I’ll let you know about, and some you’ll need to visit to see. I have a smattering of interesting stuff up already, though some of it has already appeared here. Comments aren’t enabled at this time except on the introductory post, though maybe they will be sometime down the road. Please feel free to leave comments here, at that post or e-mail me with suggestions, links, questions you would like to see addressed, whatever. I am looking for any feedback I can get to make the site a good one. I have the feed for the site over in the sidebar.

It will give you a chance to chide me, as we will be showing our investment results in general terms at the site. Of course you will have to wait for some future date, because when my review of the year and how things went goes up, you will find we had a fantastic year. In fact, our institutional portfolios were even up in the fourth quarter, and so far this year as well. We have been bearish, as regular readers I am sure divined when I did speak on these matters, even if indirectly, so we built the portfolios to do well regardless of the direction of the overall market. I still am bearish. If you want to know why, or even what I mean by bearish, well, keep on visiting.

I really want to thank everybody who has been visiting here and supporting the site, especially all of you who contribute to, or read, QandO, the site which brought most of us who started this thing together in the first place, Glenn Reynolds and his readers who have been generous in lending us their attention, and all the other bloggers who have supported us. The next year promises to be even better, with a great lineup of contributors here, and it is what I learned here that has allowed me to start this new project.

So please visit Risk and Return and let me know what you think and what you want in the future. Please visit the About Page for some background on what the sites philosophy is, and who I am. I guess my pseudo anonymity will now end, and I’ll need to update the “About Page” here as well.

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Baton Rouge’s Downtown Jewel

From The Baton Rouge Business Report we learn that one of the key linchpins in Baton Rouge’s rapid progress in revitalizing the downtown, the Shaw Center for the Arts, has been recognized by The American Institute of Architects:

The Shaw building is among 28 projects chosen from 800 entries for the award. Winners were recognized for excellence in the categories of exterior architecture, interior architecture, and regional and urban design. Thirteen of the winning projects were recognized in the architectural category largely for sustainability. Baton Rouge firm Schwartz/Silver Architects designed the Shaw Center project. According to AIA, “the architects combined two primary public venues, the Museum of Art and the performing arts theaters, to form a single structure that cantilevers over the historic rebuilt Auto Hotel. Clad in channel glass and aluminum, the building is designed to withstand major hurricanes, as demonstrated by weathering hurricanes Katrina and Rita shortly after it opened.”

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