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Lake life

Tainter gate & Christmas ducks…

Consider today’s entry a Christmas shopping special:  Two for the price of one! First, a look at D’Arbonne’s new tainter gate followed by a quick note about the highlight of Redneck Christmas TV — the Robertson’s Family Christmas Special.


KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERATuesday was a fitting day for the official dedication and ribbon cutting for Lake D’Arbonne’s new $8+ million dollar tainter gate structure. Recent rains have swollen the lake and have it about a foot high. Without the new 80-foot long section funneling water out over the top of the gate, the water would probably even be much higher.  And that’s with the gate shut. As I write this, water is pouring about a foot over the top of the new gate just as it is designed to do. It’s already helping.

The official dedication was held at the Lake D’Arbonne Country Club because of frigid outside temps, but it didn’t dampen the excitement of those who attended, including guest of honor Governor Bobby Jindal. In case you caught a glimpse of the helicopter over the lake Tuesday, yes, that was Governor 1 coming in for a visit. He helped push through the project along with most every elected official in our area. As I looked at the group up front, I have to tell you, I know elected officials in general are politicians. But we are fortunate in Union to have elected officials who are more. They are truly public servants. So are the ones that aren’t elected, like the lake commission members. They do a good job and if they wouldn’t have pulled together along with a willing, caring governor, this day would not have happened. Tell them thanks.

But back to the gate: The new structure will give the Lake Commission and Department of Development KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAand Transportation a new, although very complex, set of alternatives to helping manage the water level in the big 16,000 acre lake. And that’s a good thing. The new state-of-the-art radial gate water control structure is not only much easier to open, it will dump a ton of water out of the lake much faster. A word of caution — it isn’t an end-all to every water problem. There are certain “ifs” involved — if there are two 10-inch rains in a week and if the Ouachita River has already backed up to the gate and if…you get the picture.  But it’s man’s best effort at controlling almost all the variables Mother Nature can throw at him.

A whole lot of work went into this from conception, planning, funding and construction. Everyone involved should be commended. It’s more than just a new gate. It’s a great overall project which included work on the old spillway, great new technical planning tools for managing high and low water and a state of the art tainter gate that should alleviate most flooding fears, increase property values and make the 50-year-old lake safer and more enjoyable overall.  Happy Birthday, Lake D.


The Duck Dynasty folks are back. At least for one night. Merry Christmas to us. Tonight at 9 p.m., the family will present the Duck Dynasty Christmas Special on A&E. A few tidbits about the show might have leaked out a bit, such as this show featuring a lot more of the shorter bearded brother, Al.

It includes Phil taking a couple of the ladies on a hog hunt to harvest the family ham and also features Miss Kay in the kitchen with some of her favorite recipes. That includes duck and banana pudding, and if memory serves me right, they’ll probably be taking a shot at their own version of turducken, only with turkey, duck, chicken and — a pig.

There will be some shopping scenes and I even hear that Willie and Jase may have to get some advice from little brother Jep. Surely not. And expect to see the family around the Christmas tree sharing some gifts.

The Robertson’s certainly know the true meaning of Christmas and will present it on the special as well, ending the episode with a live nativity scene featuring the whole family.  There are a few rocky moments, though, as the ladies have their hands full with the bearded ones. But everything works out. Hey, Jack. It’s Christmas!



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