May 1, 1998

Now our governor, as everybody knows, is from St. Mary Parish, so we shouldn’t have any problems. If all the business places would contact our officials, this would be to their advantage.

Someone told me that the biggest portion of all the gambling money goes into the General Fund. The General Fund must be as big as the New Orleans Superdome. However, I know that some politicians are going to ask me what business is this of yours. And I will answer them by saying: “(A) I live in Berwick; (B) I am a concerned taxpayer; (C) I am trying to save lives.” One life, to me, means more than the cost of the much needed street lights on the highway.


I have been getting a lot of phone calls from people just to write about things in general – something like education, needs of our area, and crime. The people must think I’m “Bill Capo!”

The most important thing that is wrong with education today is the lack of discipline. Teachers and principals should be given the right and power to have discipline in their schools. Today in schools if you touch or try to correct a student, some parents would want to sue you right away, regardless if the student is right or wrong.

In my time, we in Berwick didn’t even have a town lawyer. The only person we had to help us with legal matters was old Judge Ryan, if you could catch him sober. If I told my Daddy that I got a whipping in school, or told him that I was just observing a fight and not doing anything wrong, he would give me another whipping anyway. He would say that there’s no such thing as being right or wrong, and that I had no business being there at all.

Now, in order to have a school with discipline and to avoid calling policemen, the sheriff, the National Guard, the FBI and the SWAT teams, give our teachers and principals the authority to run the schools without interference. Without discipline, we have nothing.

When I went to school in Morgan City during the ’20s and ’30s, our principal was Harry Hover. He was a wonderful person and an outstanding principal. When he would walk into our classroom, you could hear a pin drop. What a difference a few years can make. Today you could not hear the roof if it should drop off.

Well, crime is one of our biggest problems today. Eighty percent of our crime is definitely drug related. A couple of years ago these drug pushers would say that they turned to drugs because there were no jobs. Wrong, wrong wrong! Every business place that you see today has a sign saying: “We are now hiring,” urging people to get into the work force.

In the ’20s, ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s, there was comparatively no crime. People used to leave their doors open at night. They never locked doors for safety because we really didn’t know what drugs were.

Now we have drugs and we have crime. The only solution that I can see is to devaluate the cost of drugs, whereas the producers and pushers can’t make their big bucks. Whatever drugs cost, the addicts are going to buy it, even if they have to steal or kill for it. There is so much money in drugs and the attraction is so great, that even some of our law officers, especially in large cities, are in the drug business.

How did the government get rid of crime in 1928? At that time, gangsters were killing innocent bystanders, blowing up night clubs and forcing restaurants and clubs to buy their rot-gut whiskey at any price. Well, stop and think what to do. I know what to do.

Now let’s talk about two rusting highway bridges – the La. 182 and U.S. 90 bridges. It looks like nobody has the initiative to name the bridge. Everybody is saying “old bridge” and “new bridge.” Well, the next generations not going to know which is “old” and which is “new” – by then, they will both be old.

First, the Long-Allen Bridge used to have lights on it for walking traffic. Now
unfortunately, the lights have been discontinued because the state finds it too expensive. Revenue from one slot machine can pay for those lights.

The Berwick Bay Bridge has places to put the lights, but you will be old as Methuselah before you will ever see lights. These are the only two bridges that do not have speed limit signs; consequently, they have a lot of wrecks on them. The other day, I was cruising along on the Berwick Bay Bridge going about 60 mph – cars were passing me so fast I couldn’t see one number on their license plates.

Now, as far as the railroad bridge is concerned, I understand that if the rust was scraped off, the rust would clog up the river and stop boat traffic.

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