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Washington Parish Council Receives Awards

Community Preservation Awards were presented Monday night to Councilmen Ken Wheat, Marv Thomas, Relton Sumrall, and Clinton Miley for their service in preserving the community. These men saw through the spin of SB 639 and voted to protect the residents from the potential of further abuse of the Eminent Domain Law.

Had Sen. Ben Nevers SB 639 land grab scheme passed through the legislature, Washington Parish would have been underneath the power of another appointed commission with dangerous expropriation powers.

Sen. Ben Nevers and Rep. Francis Thompson are already abusing Eminent Domain by creating Reservoirs in a statewide land grab scheme.

Mrs. Beth Mizell read the following statement after presentation of the awards
Monday night July 24.

Ken Wheat, Marv Thomas, Relton Sumrall, and Clinton Miley.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is very rare that the spirit of our nation's fore fathers gets to shine through the smoke and mirrors of today's political systems. On the 22nd of May, it shown brightly through a single vote of these four men.

Through the smoke and mirrors they saw what could have been potential problems for the people of this parish, and they heard their cries.

The councilmen's vote of none support on May 22nd, sent a clear message to the people of Washington Parish, the state, and all of their political machines, that even in times when we need economic development, the rights and freedoms of the people of this parish will be protected. Also, that the spirit of our nation's fore fathers, though maybe dead in most places, lives on here in Washington Parish. Please accept this small token of our appreciation for the work you have done to help protect our homes, communities, and parish. We hope that your light, and that of our nation's fore fathers, will lead others in the same direction. Please notice that the eagle has been chosen because it is the symbol of America's spirit, her freedom, her morals, and her people's rights. Let it soar above you and live in your hearts.

Whenever you are in doubt, let it lead you. Follow it and you will never go wrong. Please continue to listen to the people who put their trust in you, for they are the communities that you serve and protect.

Gentlemen, for your efforts and service to this parish, we applaud you.

Also see: We saw that Washington Parish Council thanked
Post Compliments of
Oak Grove Community News.

Economic development discussions get under way

BY JOHN H. WALKER The Daily News, February 14, 2007

FRANKLINTON - Washington Parish President M.E. "Toye" Taylor confirmed Monday night he would ask parish council to approve a resolution of support for former bill SB 639.

SB 639, which was pulled last year when a vote of support failed 4-3 over wording that included powers of expropriation in the makeup of the Washington Parish Economic Development Commission it would have created.

But Taylor did a poor job of "playing dumb" when council member Kenneth Wheat told a full house, "I'll vote for it (economic development) as long as the language that created all the uncertainty (expropriation) is taken out. Taking that out will not change or alter a thing ... if there's uncertainty, leave it out."

Taylor then put both arms up in the air, looked at Wheat, who sits closest to him at the council table, and asked, "What's the language? What's questionable?" in what might be described as a sarcastic tone.

"Out of respect for the people," I'll stand my ground," Wheat said, "even against economic development" to a round of applause from the audience.

Wheat was the swing vote last year when the vote of non-support was cast, forcing Taylor to request SB 639 be pulled.

Discussion of economic development was opened by parish resident Winford Pittman, who presented council members and Taylor with a version of an economic development bill remarkably similar to SB 639.

It wasn't, however, a clone.

"There are some differences," Pittman, who was one of a number of vocal opponents of SB 639 said, reading them aloud.

The differences, he said, include the following:

  • The commission would have "no governing power over the parish, only over the property which it has bought."
  • The Washington Parish Council would have "sole authority to grant or deny expropriation for economic development inside the rural boundaries of Washington Parish." Expropriation could only be approved by a unanimous vote of the council after a public hearing.
  • A redirection of monies in the commission's general fund would support road construction, repairs and upkeep of roads the commission requires and would also put money into the school systems.
  • A parish industrial park would be created and include a farmer's co-op.

    During his comments, Taylor pointed out several times that expropriation was a part of the U.S. Constitution - a point he made during the initial arguments a year ago, even to the extent of pulling out a pocket edition of the document and slapping it against his open hand.

    "This commission's not going to take your property. It can't take property unless this council approves it," he said, adding that the argument over expropriation was unfounded.

    Yet, when Wheat said he would support economic development legislation if expropriation were removed, Taylor balked.

  • Taylor begins lobbying effort for commission

    BY JOHN H. WALKER The Daily News Jan 31, 2007

    BOGALUSA - While it remains to be seen if a bill creating an economic development commission in Washington Parish will be filed prior to the legislature convening on Monday, April 30, Washington Parish President M.L. "Toye" Taylor has begun a lobbying effort in support of such a bill.

    Last Thursday, following Washington Economic Development Foundation President Mickey Murphy's closing remarks, he asked if anyone had anything they wanted "to share with the group."

    Taylor asked the group to support and push for another bill similar to SB 639 and to use whatever influence they may have to help get it passed. Taylor said the lack of such a commission "puts us behind our neighbors" in St, Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes.

    Murphy agreed, saying it was important that the parish have such a tool to help facilitate economic development with WEDF and the Franklinton Area Economic Development Foundation.

    Taylor told the gathering of about 75 persons that the lack of foresight by the Washington Parish Council when it cast a 4-3 vote of non-support for SB 639 last summer put the parish in a situation where it did not have the economic development tools to compete.

    Last May 22, council members Clinton Miley, Relton Sumrall, Marvin Thomas and Kenneth Wheat voted against SB 639 with Wheat casting the deciding vote.

    On Thursday, Taylor was again critical of that vote, prompting Sumrall, who was sitting two tables behind Taylor, to shake his head from side to side. Miley, who is now council chairman, was also seated behind Taylor but showed no visible reaction.

    The problem the four had with SB 639 was that it established powers of expropriation for the commission, a point that was vehemently opposed by a number of residents of the parish who feared the tool would be used improperly.

    Despite Taylor's best efforts to assure the citizen's group - and his council - that that would not be the case, he failed - and the bill was pulled.

    At the time, Taylor took the council to task for what he called "the worst vote I've seen this council take in my time" as he gave his president's report.

    He said despite support from both the Washington Economic Development Foundation and the Franklinton Area Economic Development Commission and despite support from mayors of all four incorporated areas in the parish, the council chose to take away a tool of economic development that he said could help the parish move forward.

    The board's action, he said, allowed a few to come into council chambers and make fear of expropriation an issue.

    At the board's next meeting, Winford Pittman, one of SB 639's more vocal opponents, gave Taylor and council members a copy of a draft of what he said was a "proposal for an economic development commission."

    Pittman told council members he was not against economic development.

    "I've talked to you before about this (economic development)," he said. "We need it, but we don't need it where folks' property can be taken."

    Sen. Ben Nevers, intimidator is Intimidated

    Mysterious Intimidating Flier will reveal voting record 4/28/05

    Beware Possible 2007 election mailer

    WBRZ Video

    Lawmakers complain about
    threatening flier

    Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa, demands the identities of people behind a flier. The flier warns it could be a possible Mailer for the 2007 election.

    Scum Bags, we will smoke them out of their holes, and throw them out of our office.
    Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa, called the mailers of the fliers scumbags . The flier was personalized with a picture of Nevers. The flier said, Sen. Nevers wants to tax us to the tune of $75 million just for being sick.

    The flier is about the governor's proposed sick tax and shows the Smith family, who got priced out of being able to afford health insurance.

    Flier says, How many more Louisiana families
    have to lose their health-care insurance before politicians learn?
    Take it from the Smith family vote NO to Sen. Ben Nevers.

    Moon Griffon talks on Fliers
    To listen to Scum Bags, and
    Smoke Um out of their holes

    The Dead Pelican Article


    Who is Shawn and Lee Kelley?

    Before deciding to write for "Hard Copy" I made a detailed study of owners Shawn Kelley, and his wife Lee. Here’s what I found:

    Shawn Kelley is originally from Detroit, Michigan. He retired from U. S. military as a Navy Chief after 22 years service. He speaks English and fluent Italian.

    Early in Shawn’s naval career, he went to Vietnam onboard a destroyer; the USS Cone. Shawn’s adventures with the Navy took him to many foreign locations. Serving his country included serving in Guam, Philippines, Japan, Italy, Spain, Greece, Canada, Portugal, and numerous other locations. Several of Shawn’s later years in the Navy were spent in Detroit where he served the Navy’s Recruiting District as Director of Advertising for the entire state of Michigan.

    During the Gulf War, Shawn was recognized as the "Lynchpin" (or pivotal person) whose main responsibility was moving cargo into the Middle East while operating a deepwater NATO port located in Sicily, Italy. This Port, Augusta Bay, was commonly referred to by logistics people throughout the American and NATO Forces as "Kelley’s Place" as a code name.

    Recognizing the intensity of the conflict back then, Shawn often arranged barbecues for entire ships on the pier. When ships came to port for more than a day, Shawn often arranged social events for the troops to relieve some pressure before they headed back into the conflict. None of what Shawn did to preserve troop moral was officially ordered.

    After Shawn and Lee’s move to Bogalusa, they decided to name their print shop after the nickname of that Sicilian Port where they had both established many long lasting friendships amidst the crisis.

    Working under heightened security risks, terrorist activity, and other intense pressure, Shawn together with the men that worked for him, strategically scheduled and tracked movement of over 315 million tons of repair parts, vehicles and supplies to ensure timely arrival at their destination to U.S. military bases in the Middle East. This later proved to be the largest total tonnage ever to be moved by the U.S. Military in such a short time frame. For this, Shawn received Navy Achievement Medal.

    Lee Kelley, born and raised for part of her life near Oslo, Norway, speaks four languages fluently: English, Italian, Norwegian and Swedish. In her youth, Lee’s family moved to a small village in the interior of British Columbia. This had earlier become the home of her dad’s oldest brother. Lee’s dad, an avid outdoorsman, originally moved to Canada because through his older brother a picture had been painted of Canada as the ‘Land of Opportunity’.

    Carrier Indians mainly populated this remote locale. Upon her arrival, Lee and her siblings spoke no English, nor were they prepared for what lay ahead – an adventure to say the least. After beating the language barrier, she was quick to engage in establishing relationships with the Indians and becoming very active in Sports. Lee learned to hunt, ice-fish, skin a moose, smoke salmon, and run from the bears. Winter activities like skiing, and snow-mobiling were her passion.

    In later years, Lee relocated to Vancouver Island. Very well educated, Lee’s outstanding athletic talent was ice figure skating. For over 15 years she competed throughout western Canada and participated in numerous ice shows.

    The Kelleys met on Vancouver Island while Shawn was stationed at a joint military test range. After marriage in Las Vegas, the Kelleys moved to Detroit, and later, to Italy.

    Because of her Norwegian citizenship, it was impossible to obtain employment in the civil service overseas. Lee bided her time volunteering for one of the world’s largest global non-profit organizations headquartered in the United States. Recognizing her talents and dedication to people, causes, and political injustice, Lee was soon hired in a counseling capacity. A short time later, promoted to management, then upper-management. Within a year of gainful employment, Lee was promoted to the Executive level and served as Senior Executive Director serving the Mediterranean and South East Asia working under and exclusive memorandum of understanding with the United States Navy and Marine Corps, carrying the rank equivalency of a two-star Admiral. Lee made numerous television appearances and worked in radio promoting quality of life.

    As a civilian, Lee had the privilege of serving with many of the Navy and the Marine-Corp leaders. Lee worked directly with Admiral Smith, Admiral Ryan, Admiral Redd, Admiral Johnson (now retired as vice-Chief of Naval Operations), Brigadier General Beans, Admiral Travers, Admiral Pappas, and Admiral Boorda’s staff, but her fondest and most respected memories are serving long term with Installation Commander, Captain Stephen R. Arends. Together they aggressively spearheaded issues and promoted a better quality of life for service families overseas by capturing the attention through leadership channels in Washington D.C., where Lee made numerous trips to reinforce the often gloomy position of service families and their needs.

    Lee was recognized worldwide for many of her positive accomplishments and is well known for her respected reputation for getting things done. In her stacks of letters and awards is one that particularly caught my eye. This was a letter of Commendation from Admiral John R. Ryan, Commander, Fleet Air Mediterranean and Maritime Surveillance and Reconnaissance Forces, U.S. Sixth Fleet. The letter recognized Lee for "superior performance" and strong professional leadership, managerial expertise, and training to prepare over 10,000 members of the armed forces for deployment to Bosnia. Lee’s efforts for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to Bosnia were paramount.

    Glancing through the correspondence from some of the military’s most prestigious leadership, I saw words describing Lee as "very positive", "she’s still doing great things", "extraordinary", and "hard charging", and "exceptional professional ability". And finally, at the end of her nine years with the military a letter that said, "loved and remembered by many, missed by all."

    Shawn and Lee met over 17 years ago and their 15-year marriage has produced two children. Shawn has three other children by a previous marriage and the Kelleys have a granddaughter, age 11. Why did the Kelley’s come to Bogalusa? After enduring both short and long term separations due to their respective careers, the Kelleys made a commitment to their children and being there with them to watch them grow up. The Kelleys had entertained Visions of "small town USA", wonderful climate, and convenience for a long time prior to relocating. They vacillated over the relocation for a long time, as their children spoke no English.

    At the time the decision was rendered, the Kelleys had deep roots in Sicily. They owned two stores (a bath and body shop and a business center), and a newspaper. They hired competent management, took the plunge and never looked back. The Kelleys still maintain a small "home away from home" in Sicily in a historic little town called Motta Sant’Anastasia.

    Recognizing the need for people to be heard in Washington Parish, the Kelleys started the Washington Parish Hard Copy. The weekly newspaper publishes, in detail, comments made at various parish political meetings plus letters to the editor, critical, informative or praiseworthy, signed or not, from the reading public. The paper's intent is to inform the public enough so that our elected officials will have overwhelming public feedback and finally receive the message that only good government is expected from them and that all records, itemized budgets and internal decisions formerly kept from public view are made available to parish residents.

    In addition to Hard Copy: Since 1994 Kelleys publish The Signature, for the Naval Air Station in Sigonella, Sicily. The Signature has received awards for being the #1 Civilian Enterprise newspaper throughout the Navy. This full-color paper tells Americans stationed abroad what’s going on in their Italian and Navy communities helping them cross language barriers and offering them opportunities to buy and sell. Annually, the Kelleys publish "Benvenuti A Sigonella," a 64-page award-winning full-color, softbound magazine giving a guide to Naval Air Station newcomers. Look them up at www.sicily.navy.mil/signature. The Kelleys originally started their publishing business in 1992 with The Broadside, like our Timberland, in that it had mainly classified and other advertising. It became so popular the Navy asked them to apply for the base publishing 5-year contract. They are now into their second 5-year contract.

    With Internet technology and a publishing manager in Italy they keep daily contact on newspaper operations from their Bogalusa business location. Their business, Kelley’s Place is well equipped to produce any graphic presentation. Specialties include: large format printing (5 feet by any length), digital color copies, photo enlargement and restoration, T- shirt printing, trophies, plaques, magnetic signs, graphic design, and web-site building.

    Advertisers originally shied away from Hard Copy unsure of readership potential, but that's quickly changing. This paper is here for the long term. Anyone with something to say will find plenty of readership exposure in this newspaper. Our Magic Touch of Health massage studio weekly ad has resulted in many phone contacts and several new clients. I’m very impressed with quality of readership; and public interest and I wanted to share my advertising results with you.

    Charles Rimes

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