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What Did I Do?

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Let me see if I have this right. After working for 27 years on Capitol Hill and living in Virginia, I retired and moved to Louisiana.

Now comes a study from Bankrate.com listing the best and worst states to retire. As it turns out, Virginia is the 10th best state to put your feet up, and Louisiana is the 7th worst state to enjoy the days of leisure.

Here is what the study had to say about Louisiana:

“Louisiana is a relatively cheap place to live, with a light tax burden and low cost of living. It’s everything else that pushed the Pelican State to the bottom of this year’s list.

“Crime is a problem in Louisiana, with relatively high property and violent crimes. It also posted poor health care quality scores and a low ranking on the Gallup-Healthways’ wellness survey.

lou Burnett“The weather can also be tough to endure, especially over the summer. Overall, Louisiana is the second-most humid state in the country, ranking just behind Mississippi. The average morning humidity is 90 percent in Lake Charles. In New Orleans, it’s 86 percent.”

Let me put in my two cents worth in Lou’s study. When I left the D.C. and Virginia area in 1993, the traffic was atrocious, every store and venue was over-crowded, and I never liked the snow. I can’t imagine how much worse it is today.

So, bottom line, I am quite content in Shreveport, Louisiana. Geographically, we miss the brunt of hurricanes, are not in tornado alley, and I can get anywhere I need to go in 20-30 minutes.

Here are the study’s worst places to retire: New York, West Virginia, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Maryland, and Kentucky.

The best places to retire are: South Dakota, Colorado, Utah, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, Idaho, Iowa, and Virginia.

Landrieu traverses I-20

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu last week took the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, on a road trip across north Louisiana via I-20, stretching from Monroe to Shreveport.

The state’s senior senator showed Johnson the potential for the I-20 corridor to become the top high-tech, cybersector in the country.

Landrieu is chairperson of the Senate Energy Committee and the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.

Their first stop of the day was at CenturyLink headquarters in Monroe. The company has become a national powerhouse and plays an essential role in protecting the country.

Johnson said he was impressed with CenturyLink, which plans to create another 800 jobs at its new Technology Center of Excellence, and agreed its talent for cybersecurity will play a pivotal role in that capacity.

Then it was on to the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC), which Landrieu played a key role in establishing in Bossier City. The Center has helped create 800 new jobs for the Shreveport-Bossier area.

CIC and CenturyLink is partnering with Louisiana Tech, Grambling, and the University of Louisiana at Monroe to increase the number of degrees in computer science, computer information systems, and cyber-engineering over the next five years.

After leaving CIC, Landrieu and Johnson held a job creation roundtable discussion with top officials from Barksdale AFB at BPCC.

Political Tidbits

U.S. Rep. John Fleming of Minden, a Republican who represents the 4th Congressional District, held an informal discussion with journalists and guests at last Tuesday’s Media Lunch at Ralph & Kacoo’s in Bossier City.

Fleming was accompanied by his director of communications, Doug Sachtleben, and press aide Mark Malone, who is from Shreveport and the son of former state Sen. Max Malone.

Fleming discussed various governmental issues and took questions from the attendees.

The meeting lunch is open to anyone.

Lou Gehrig Burnett is a seasoned veteran of national and local politics. He publishes Fax-Net Update, a weekly political newsletter.