Jun 12, 2014|
Angela talks about the lights on the Crescent City Connection with Senator J.P. Morrell and YLC president Matthew Treuting.
We're discussing the hot topics of the day with co-host of First Take, Todd Menesses.
Angela discusses the shooting in Lafayette and says farewell to WWL as she hands her timeslot off to Scoot.
What's trending in sports, news, and entertainment?
Angela talks with WWL-TV investigative reporter Katie Moore and Tulane law professor Tania Tetlow about the city's backlog of uninvestigated rape cases.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
All the lights on the Crescent City connection are at risk of being turned off again. As you may remember in march of last year the bridge went dark when the holes ended in frankly made no sense then and it makes less sense now. What city in America turns the lights out on heavily trafficked bridge. It's a battle we have waged once and now obviously will do again. Joining us to talk about it those who join the -- the first time the lights went out. The young leadership council who raised the original money for the light in 1989. And who last year raise the money to keep them on. We are joined by Matthew -- who is president of wild scene and Scott Sternberg is the General Counsel for the young leadership council. And we are thrilled to have senator JP morello who has also helped keep those lights on as well. We also invited the regional planning commission executive director Walter Brooks. Who was unable to attend but I'm delighted that all three of you were here and I really mean that. I remember this so well first of all I remember way back in 1909. When the while she took this on but this is the greatest thing in the world like that bridge. I never thought of them as decorative -- I always thought of them as something far more substantial than that as. This is our landmark -- who we are. This bridge and for the safety issue for all of those of us who cross that bridge. But you all did it and then. When we end the tolls and they turned the mound I said to myself this is punishment. Because of the tells did you while interpreted as that. Hope. For assists this is Matt and while c.'s perspective we take no position on the bridge tolls themselves. Our position was strictly that we had donated lights with a contract with the state. And stay in turn promised to maintain and operate flights so we did not take a position on the tolls but unfortunately it's -- lights work paying. For the light maintenance. So when that's all expired that cut off funding that was being used to turn the lights on that's how we kind of got wrapped up with the bridge -- issue. But -- we just really have a contractual issue with the state and that's what we're trying to I maintain is that we made up a promise the state we give them the money. For the lights and amid a promised back to us that they would maintain and -- those lights. -- -- you do do you remember how much you raised originally to put the -- on sat half million dollars while I mean that's a lot in this in 1989 dollar yes. And we raised that half million dollars there was no contingency that the holes fond of the you know -- the energy for the lights for the rest of time and we raise the money. Promised our donors that we would have. Lights on the spurs and then gave everything the state and said okay we raise the -- now it's your turn you pay for it. For the rest of their useful life is what the contract says. And so now here we are you know again wondering how will we pay for these lights -- the state pay for these lights and that's where. Last through the regional planning commission stepped in and and that's kind of where we are wondering who's in a day. I'll think I think it takes aim at stepped in Moscow on the classification. And today when the tolls were discontinued on the redneck kind of greens I think it was. A combination of a punishment and just kind of the chaos after the polls expire by. The regional planning commission was given millions of dollars from the state that or the remains. Mobile the whole collection. And much of that money went to a transition funds requested a connection to handle things like paying for the lights. They're stole money in the fund the regional planning commission today it's all the meeting authorize use those funds to keep the lights and they have the money in there to do it. Figures -- legitimate question asked to -- they have had a mean to do so because if you look at the language in which we maintenance fund was created. It can easily be interpreted to include -- what's now. There is going to be an issue going forward as far as what that fund expires how we keep the lights on. I don't think that it bout will be as difficult as people think they got their a lot of different regional mechanisms we can use to create. A revenue streams of evidence sweetie we -- a dedicated revenue stream for the lights themselves. That's a lot of different ways we can do that one thing which I know off topic -- Marc Collins about his. We can do something as simple and attaching a dollar to rental car fees for people who come in and -- -- -- and that could generate funds for the -- for the lights. You can do things like we constantly are are are tinkering win. Things such as break taxi is we kept a decent to break taxis in the regional area which no one would really care about which -- go to -- it's the issue that is that. We haven't had a real leadership. Locally from the state to figure out what were gonna do with the -- is kicking down the road. It's an issue that I think would not be terribly difficult to resolve. If you had people in a different leadership positions in Iraq that bridge taken a position on it honestly. Many of the legislators were kind of surprised because we weren't even aware of the contract hadn't been re -- island til I was confident about media. Last through access section saying they haven't signed the contract light yet -- wasn't aware there was a problem. Honestly this bridge -- holes were discontinued -- same status. As every other birds in the state which state obligations state crossed the state of Louisiana -- transportation. Allocates money each year for a variety of maintenance issues on bridges this is no different. The problem you have is that. Some body some some political war. State subdivision body has to make a request the state to keep the lights somebody has to take that money and I mean I guess that that body at this point will be the regional planning commission because of the one currently signed contract but. It's it's it wouldn't be terribly difficult at someone if there is a money problem terribly currently there is. To simply put in a request the state every year saying we need. 179000. Dollars -- -- When a minute backtrack a little bit when the lights went out. Wasn't there a three month period where the wild seat for the -- -- the bill yes so the lights went out believe -- in March last year hand at that time. You -- PC that. And we its strong -- to get them turned back on leading care how that point. It's so when we met with the RPC we offered -- the -- for a few months and that we did we paid 2000 dollars. During the summer months to keep them turned on. That period and in the RPC kept at the end of the State's fiscal year which ends June 30. It's a one and a few weeks are PC though doesn't because they have that fund. Correct -- I thought and correct me if I'm probably very wrong. The cost 60000 dollars a year correct it's probably I think around 181000 dollars the lighting bill and in the main. Separates him as a person which is all kind of as far as as far as the way it's been pretty -- me every time they kind of hold together is out for the replacement of white balls right labored to climb up there and play slam ball so. The bill gets a little hefty but it's not. Four and I comic bridge. That provides both mean if you look talked to meet courses more -- the Crescent City Brandon -- is reports attraction on top of that. It's an obvious safety issue and though this bridge has more lights than most bridges the state routinely pays for other bridges to have -- There'll white balls be replaced it's not outside the bounds of what the State's complicated in the state should should do. We're gonna take a break up and give us a call 260 if you have any thoughts on not on the bridge lights could you know actually this is very important. And I'm sounding aggravated because I -- aggravated that'll get accurate a lot. I love that bridge and I love those lights and it's just maddening to think that is just sort of just little football. So -- to call 2601870. Will be right back on Angela on WW. Well we're talking about keeping the lights on the bridge going we are with two representatives with a young leadership council. Who was the original body who raised half million dollars to put the lights on. Matthew intruding who's the president and Scott Sternberg who is that the council to them wild city. And we have senator -- JP morale with us. Again just backtracked. We hear a month ago blighted and allow the regional planning commission which has got the fund to five point seven million dollars after the tolls and did. And has been paying this last year. As you say a center around just hasn't signed the contract. With -- or whatever it is that they're gonna continue. So the thought that the lights would go out at all is just very disturbing. That I want to go back and I'm so delighted we have some callers so Bradley and can stay with this. I remember well what happened. When. And our our good council here can confirm we refer to it. When they turn them off the first time the wild C reminded the state you know something he signed a contract. They did they did we do it right here act now you have a first they couldn't find that ninth found. Well it's it's actually funny weekly looked forward forever and then somebody founded in it and then -- a law office on the West Bank in a drawer somewhere and it was signed and so. You know we do you have a contract between bridge lights ink which is an organization at the -- he started and it's now up has been merged into the wild city. And the C Louisiana and which. Bridge slicing donates. The lights to the state in the state says we will pay the bill. And we will maintain these lights for the rest of their useful life. That's that's the length. And then they came back and said. Very useful life ended after Katrina -- -- said they replaced the mall so that's a place but that isn't fair either. Because it's no lights but. One would think when one assigning that that the state is taking this on for ever. Well and with the state have replaced the lights at the -- you hadn't put on in the first place. Are you an agreement then that the state should be responsible in whatever form. That went as a wild city you raise the money put the lights that the state is responsible this is not a huge amount of money. I think the state took on the obligation in this contract but I think there's. A lot of solutions that we come up to -- to making sure these bridge lights stay on -- the state is definitely the one makes the most sense. Okay but let's go to a couple of our callers can thank you for holding. Hi Angela -- A -- -- you know as mentioned earlier about acting on a dollar to congress well he's attacking on their. That that governor and the mayor and got to start living in -- in the budgets space out. We can't keep it going on me that says that resident. For every little thing that they have on people they can find money -- balloons and -- we don't need actively. What does -- -- about that. -- Ayers balloon fares I don't know what that is out of the way out and well okay it's. It's actually have a pretty good event I understand that I didn't know that they found any money fourth. And -- -- found that out sentiment. Though maybe you can address some of the I'm. Well -- come out of partners obligated to print up private clubs and so forth. While I couldn't speak to that the issue is is that. Keep the lights on in perpetuity you have to and -- revenue stream that can be dedicate that specific purpose. When you're talking about allocating money each year it was the other way you can do it obviously you can go up there each year trying to market money for -- -- to stale. The thing to remember this is basic politics one on one is that. The entire Greer and -- delegation makes up less than 25% of the legislature. And if and this is real basic basic politics one on one if the majority of people don't think what you're -- your priorities a priority but your priority doesn't get done. So obviously I completely agree with -- as far as. When it deals with certain issues live within your means and obviously for rest for the city of morals character Jefferson this rally parishes they certainly have. Severe budget problems they have to address. What we're talking about at this point is a state operated that state bridge has. Quite a bit of -- -- And if we wanna put ourselves at the mercy of an allocation each year. And arrest those lights going out we can obviously do that but the problem is is that. -- the mercy of the politics of the legislature each year NF. If some guys from the rural caucus which makes of 75% of the legislature. Of the rulers the state decide that. They want to hole. A strawberry festival in -- Louisiana. And our bridge money goes to that than and that's work -- so -- so the reality is I. Obviously. I would love for there to be some money from some -- we can dedicates this purpose but I had my. Not right now there is some because we -- -- to let her money five plus satellite Wright is in there and but let me tell I keep going back to the 60000. 60000 dollars a lot of money please know that I appreciate that. But in the big scheme of things we waste that on pens and paper in the state. -- -- 8000 dollars right so but let's go back to we do have some money five point seven million dollars with the regional planning. That is for the operation maintenance. 60000 dollars if you just use that money -- have other things have got to do with it but that's -- ten years. But it -- -- the the issue is is that. Right now the current thing we're struggling with which is keep the lights on in the short term right is obviously result with the existing fund currently are currently out there so this is not. The issue itself as far as -- revenue extreme. Is in emergency the existing money that the RBC has can handle that. Over the next decade. Potentially. While the figure out how to load and fire revenue extreme just for those lights because. No matter how much the amount of money is like I said if he does talk to anyone the state right after our most recent monetary crisis. Well as HB one goes the process the build its amended and changed a variety of times. And if you have an issue that's important here -- general collectible legislators that region. There's no guarantee Hummer Hummer much that money is it's gonna go when there for an issue like the lighting of the bridge. Worldly obsessions to three months -- the year if we go through the process and we choose if that's the mechanism mean obviously I'm elected official people don't. Want to look at revenue stream and wanna go to a direct allocation each year that is what I will do but if we do that and we fail. You get to wait nine months until we get back in session again to see if we can put money back him but like like what he said Angela that issue as far as the funding of those lights. With the amount of money it's currently in the transmission on its not. The funding for the lights currently exists it's just an issue that going forward a decade for an hour so we're gonna have to figure out forums which. Let me ask you because I know very little about the regional transit via regional authority if you were planning commission and on -- sorry I wish I knew mark and but. They this money is also used for the grass cutting and things like that or is that not. Don't let that that that it is also believes is also being used. For the grass cutting under the West Bank expressway which is also which is also not not insurmountable amount of money but. There's been a lot of discussion between the -- a lot of local authorities because obviously. Those different local authorities like for example. Are gonna have to thus far from extremes locally as wealth take -- of Nebraska and -- that there were lots of little. In the vast sum of money that -- produced or some legitimate cost a small amount or built and or actually covered from maintenance. And that Smart money is required to cover them all but. The grass cutting issue. Is also quiet -- but even if the grass cutting was was ridiculous pistol you know for five years before that fund could possibly -- -- -- it was any of the told money used for. The maintenance of the West Bank expressway and the punch -- express line. Yes I'm -- that. Because it was it was contemplated misses this is well before mark on me now I might not have been born when this was actually being negotiated but. No end the west makes West Bank expressway it was built it was seen at the Thomas an extension of the bridge if you look at. Part of heart when you look at the West Bank here especially Jefferson Parish part of the rage that fuel the repeal withholds that. What -- tolls were last renewed their renewed on the basis that the current bridge authority promised. That different projects -- what spring expressway with built such as the Manhattan flyover and so forth. Those roll off the West Bank expressway in the west -- -- sent to the bridge that was all allowable. What happened was that as people uncovered dug into the issue so that will none of the promises that been made to those different communities. That pay that paid at all had been kept and at that point they said what we just don't trust this to to work anymore and though the maintenance and the and the lights were sort of small portion of that amount. When you look at the courage to ask the -- what the expressway bear the unfunded mandates that are left over the tolls expiring so it's something where. The grass cutting thing is going to be an issue that were really and it's not the other thing we've pushed down local government and figure out a way to cut the grass and the Britannica articles on it but. Those that to kind of kind of -- -- issues -- or missiles we have to figure out solutions for. What we have to take another break and go to the newsroom but I want all of our callers thank you very much Ken for calling -- Don will be with you any minute now let's go to the news program. We -- back talking about. Are those lights going to be turned off on the bridge were joined by two representatives of the young leadership council. Scott Sternberg and Matthew trading and also our senator JP -- let's take a quick couple of calls in the we're gonna continue talking Bradley. Yes I have yes and got a couple of -- comments. You know that -- and icon for the city of New Orleans just like superdome just like there arena is yes we -- -- On street expressway right there that huge billboards that are fairly deep advertised. Well as a native New Orleans you know a lot advertise on our bridge. But with the -- it would be great and she managed orderly or crescent. Peaceful orderly coming up and down river maybe under what but if you put on each side the bridge ships that are coming up the river can see it all -- as ships that are going down river that there inner city of new Portland's. And and that would be great advertisement itself for football games and whatever else. That it would -- it when shot liberated on cameras on the bridge to CNET big crescent. Has become an up and down Mississippi River due to an end up. And then also you know again. What LEDs signage like on the bill immediately you know -- put something near the bridge don't advertise it helped its lights. Like I'm watching war. On that issue. On from the while c.'s perspective our organization is a nonprofit organization. And the mission of organization is to create leadership through community projects. And we had a few. Members of organization can't get a very recently. To discuss exactly how to do that consider how to use -- -- Tonight's first and only delighting can be more cost efficient means you can do more things such as the decorous signage economic lights -- And -- complete lack but certainly gold currency and game. So there -- world of opportunities out there and the whilst he wants to be part of the solution. The solution long term for this we don't want to you know hang up -- -- walk away or just be litigious of the argument of justice can be an argument we want to find solutions for this. But that's ritual a great minds or thinking about the LEV lighting. I I'm athletic camps say that no Bradley you're in -- thank you very very much let's go to John in Mississippi John. -- -- Stop stop me if this used to all the -- but dumb how about issuing a tag you never want to what -- on the West Bank. I Prado taller -- -- -- -- lower the cost of privilege. And not him. Army stepped -- and all -- There are you -- over there. At all -- never not ever traveled browser are you plans to put the home. You know for people who don't look forward problems. I know here I know. The common now what the -- the child elements vessel that the issue is this we we have -- represented former government. The people of New Orleans Jefferson. Clocked amendments for -- -- is overwhelmingly said they don't want tolls. So I think it's really kind of around here in -- I don't I don't think that putting its hold back on the bridge. Is even something anyone consider at this point considering the people this area and says. They do not wanna see tolls and. Madonna I appreciate your thoughts and I really appreciate the call. Let's just talk about some of the ideas that you'll do it. A -- out for the bridge or for other projects -- rife with the bridge and and got to keep in mind the room was still cooking on this this is new because it really came out as a solution. Putts when we realized lights were expiring. It's out of the last year we've been really thinking about this now we are hoping if we can dream date and that's our organization does we -- -- we are so staunch -- Norris. If you can't organization with a great idea you're young professional we do our best to fund that idea to make a reality for the betterment of our community that's what we do. So with the entrepreneurs that came to -- our social entrepreneur said look we have a lights that are cheaper now than when new installment in 1989. Only dividing might be up pennies on the dollar for regular incandescent ball so we have now. So let's take a hard look at that and see how much would be to not to install it -- to maintain over the years for that price tag. Let's also figure out a way to maybe think beyond the bridge. As a senator -- lived through earlier at the bridge does connect -- the nine miles to the West Bank as well. Also the overpass that connects all the way to super down so not only completely. A bridge but perhaps we can think bigger and white community from the West Bank through the superdome and what display that would play. 8 o'clock -- you know when we get an -- Super Bowl hopeless at all the shots will be that. Will be discount line that we have created it -- observers had. And it's not just the Super Bowl every sporting event it's every time you see new loans on T wouldn't it be fantastic -- the bridge -- synch -- with the superdome. And you know we -- fantastic display are ready. It's every cruise ship that comes and doctrine and the bridge I mean -- and there's got to be -- and -- we know we owe it to our donors and the people the people who did all this work in the eighties to to get these flights on the average. Were trying to figure out a way to make sure that they are sacrificing their donation is honored so that we can continue that work and keep. Keep those lights burning but in it it cheaper way we -- who can save the states and money and also. In a way that may be is more decorative so that we can. Show that new role as early as this beacon of entrepreneurship in this place that we read about in the papers and in the magazines about and on the Internet of course about how. Great it is to live here and -- forward thinking everyone as well you know I think. The wild -- is focused on trying to show that with that with the bridge lights we got a great group of of of young people were really kind of spinning their wheels right now trying to figure out how to let -- Cost would be first to do the bridge itself with LED lights what that is. Basic cost would be and then the main Richardson would be much less than in his right now that's -- we understand now and then your saying extended all the way to the down. What their -- there's a couple of projects that there's a couple of ideas that they've come up with including lighting underneath the bridge and come -- above its. They're coming up with some artistic lighting. To kind of illuminate these gateways enemies saint Charles. As it passes underneath I -- there's a lot of ideas out there and -- some of them are feasible some of them mark kind of a pipe dream but. We're looking at all. Yes and we're taking a quick look other cities have done this Austin Birmingham they have with their bridges in incredible ways with only delighting in it looks fabulous to trust people come see them drives revenue drives excitement around the city so. These are -- Okay I'm feeling better already stay with us everyone I'm not done I'm Angela WW. Our beautiful bridge are beautiful bridge needs those light shining -- that so we're talking about -- from Los Angeles were thrilled you're calling. -- -- Let's bring your conversation. And that recent -- timing but I'm inventor and Matt Light and EL EEB lighting technology. Two days leading. Lighting company in fact the official. Polity lighting company at the White House. So it's -- should be seen on the out what exactly what you guys are talking them out is it as it's called. -- I can only be fitting system comes and. A variety of different types of and including street lights. Floodlights. Certainly can be. -- place in the Al lamps as well. That it comes with a simple remote control system patent pending that the user. Residential commercial to switch from holiday. The year and the sports teams that tendency can execute and collars and put them on fear and -- game time. I -- am -- in particular function in Austria you know it's throughout the year so. But the golden. -- a Campbell Flickr building and so. This -- control him and -- -- systemic -- immediately between the bridge. And the -- home or location and control from 1 central location with. The need for changing. They went for 50000 hours so it's. Plus years secure line and just at night. You know what we need to give you the number here. By the young leadership did give us a call we we would love to hear from you more ideas are our number while C office is 50 or. -- -- 515100. And -- -- while signal. I'm actually. -- the only country that some family here and having. Look all you have to do is Google while seen if we don't pop up in the top ten search results mentioned Mona yes we wish her well we will. 5515100. -- 58515100. -- -- -- -- -- Can ask for anyone at the while C office I'll I'll tell him to expect your call. Excellent list and I appreciate what you're doing the same city even like the populated donate to that conference. To make sure that the religion and -- an occasion like it's they lit it with the functionality of what might that and offers. Incest or -- I said at ending in your new best friend. You are wonderful to call thinking so -- very much. Thank you very quickly Stephen slight hill. -- stomach is of course so why are there urged. So users -- the only be strictures so light up -- sure don't. Take those sort type structure. Out. It down -- make sure structure of the entire bridge. And you can cost a lot court at all. Wants are sure Lou. Each lecture. And ask how old you are out if you don't mind to our membership is between ages 21 and 42 and I have a perfect spot viewed as a product and and you project is -- Let me tell you believe we can change the -- -- an emotional guy who works at channel four so talented and you are adult the calls to me. -- out -- that you pre install our body suggest. Or certain. Configurations. Are you and she'll our society used our hourly beast reports that Ali. Put -- video. If you put up or -- or bridge. So here's our door storms are -- But a single charge amounted to top each -- the -- Pointing out why in the column and Altman -- a bill on side of the bridge so well. A possibility. And you are you to do Karl coordination at all very simple control -- Well Steve we know where to find you. If you don't requirements I think they'll them. For. All -- think about it for calling really appreciate you listening as well. I appreciate all of you being here that this is important this is not just 60000 pounds a year this is the big dream as you'll start in which. The young leadership council started in 1989. About it Don and 89 started before them. We need to continue to think -- We deserve. A thank you all so very very much and we'll stay in touch with the good senator as he continues to fight all the fights. I'll stay with -- everyone will be back. One thing so much Matthew intruding and who is president of the young leadership council Scott Sternberg the General Counsel. And also senator JP from real final thoughts on what's gonna happen from -- The first think that the RPC will step up -- like the average. And hopefully a whole state -- while seat to figure out what wonderful plans they have going forward. And how we're gonna pay force definitive way going for -- -- -- again. We work together with our state and local are all of our leaders to -- long term solution that's our goal. Think long term solution could be including replacement lines. But we in the short term we need the lights on we can't have and go out looks really -- first it'd take a step back at this time it does it truly does and. You know may be on the big scale like this isn't the biggest thing but it is because it's an emotional thing that the bridge lights. Were created for all the right reasons by the young people who have left a mark and now you've picked it up and you're going to be doing the same thing. We will be very interested in the future here. Ideas that come forward. That's very very exciting and to have people like to -- the LA colon and say hey I've got this invention in makeshift field that. Okay thank you you all make me feel better. Stay with us everyone the next hour we're gonna shift gears we're talking about how to help when you lose your.