Saturday, March 31, 2007
A key function of those overlapping communications grids will be to monitor water levels, making sure they don't exceed the "safe" level established for each channel: a maximum 6 feet of surge at the 17th Street Canal, 4 feet at London and 8 feet at Orleans.Probably because I believe Matt McBride over the ACoE. What's Matt got to hide?
Depth is a critical consideration. Flow rate is another. When the gates are closed, the huge pumps nearer the city's heart must not outpace the smaller temporary pumps the corps is installing to move water from the canal mouths out into Lake Pontchartrain. The canal floodwalls might not tolerate the pressure of water churning for hours on end, engineers said. (emphasis mine)
Bush blows smoke on New Orleans
By Jim HightowerMinutemanMedia.orgPublished Saturday, March 31, 2007
Poor New Orleans. Being devastated by Hurricane Katrina was awful enough, but it keeps getting hit again and again by that Big Windbag from the East, George W. Bush.
On March 1, he blew into town again with his entourage of political aides and the press corps for another photo op. This was the fourteenth time that the good people of the Crescent City have had to endure this guy trying to score political points on their backs!This trip was an attempt to make up for the president's glaring failure even to mention New Orleans in his State of the Union speech. He was roundly condemned for such callous indifference to the struggling city, so a quick fly-in/fly-out was arranged as a political fix. Mr. Bush said he came "to tell the people here in the Gulf Coast that we still think about them in Washington."
How sweet. Meanwhile, 18 months after Katrina and his botched response to the horror of the flooding, the areas outside of the Bourbon Street tourist district remain in shambles. About 60 percent of the city's evacuated people still have not returned, thousands of families are living in FEMA trailers, the city's health care is in crisis, and more than half of the promised federal aid has not been disbursed.
Bush didn't deliver a single thing on this trip other than speeches. As in his other 13 visits, all he did was flap his lips, promising yet again that "There is money in the pipeline." Admitting that the money is not reaching those who desperately need it, he declared, "If it is stuck because of unnecessary bureaucracies, our responsibility at the federal, state, and local level is to unstick it."
Why, gosh, George, you're right. So stop blowing hot air and start unsticking! You're the president, after all — kick some butts, move some people in, do something. Otherwise, please stop coming to New Orleans.
Yeah. And he totally left out Nagin, Congress, and FEMA.
Friday, March 30, 2007
In the meantime, I am listening to the Subdudes Primitive Streak album which I just got from lala.com. I love that service....
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
There was and is no outrage that New Orleans was not a 'natural disaster,' but rather a disaster of planning, neglect and of failed budget appropriations for decades. Rather the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans is a national disaster in which thousands and thousands of people for decades participated.John gets it. Succinctly and concisely. And others need to start getting it, too. Especially our president and the candidates who plan to take over in 2009.
After Sept. 11, 2001 the media was willing to parade the turmoil of the crying wives and families of the firefighters and police officers who died in the towers because television ratings, we the collective, were responsive to these images. After Hurricane Katrina, stories about the brave people who risked their lives to save strangers in the first hours of the floodwaters were absent. In their place, images of violence, looting, exaggerated stories of crime and chaos ran rampant because the media understood perfectly what Americans would watch. None of us asked why we were only shown these gratuitous images.
In England during World War II, average citizens opened their homes to Polish people fleeing the Nazi invasion and invited them to stay for the duration of the war. Some people graciously put themselves out to help the people of New Orleans, but most did not; if only the people of New Orleans had been born a different color. A few dollars to the Red Cross or a keg party was 'charity.' It was easiest but totally incomplete to blame George Bush, Ray Nagin or the sacrificial lamb, Michael Brown of FEMA, because it's all of them and even more. The failure to deal justly with New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina is a failure on the part of our country and its citizens, every last one of us. New Orleans isn't an isolated or distant problem; it's a symptom of everything that is wrong with our society. If you are looking for answers, or wondering about a way forward, you should start your search in a mirror.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
WASHINGTON: Public housing projects damaged by Hurricane Katrina would not be knocked down until the U.S. government has a plan to replace them under a bill the House of Representatives passed Wednesday.
The legislation, approved 302-125, also would grant tenants who lived in New Orleans public housing before the storm the right to return to homes and apartments subsidized by the government.
"We need to address the affordable housing crisis in the Gulf region by returning people to their homes," said Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat, who sponsored the bill. "Every person who desires to live in the Gulf region must be given an opportunity to rebuild and to return home."
Thank you, Ms. Waters. I feel like I have been saying this for a long time now. The longer you make people wait, the less chance they will have to come home. This is why I am not particularly offended by C-Ray Nagin's recent comments. To think it is a conspiracy is not necessarily correct, but it could seem to people that this is so. I prefer to think of it as a bunch of "leaders" with their heads up their butts. Maybe it's collusion, maybe it's complicity, and maybe it's conspiracy, but I don't think so.
The Housing and Urban Development Department and the city's housing authority had approved plans to demolish New Orleans' four largest public housing complexes and other smaller sites. The August 2005 storm left about 7,500 apartments in a condition not considered worth repairing. The demolitions would have made way for an estimated $681 million (€512.3 million) worth of mixed-income neighborhood construction.
I thought HANO was defunct. Am I wrong here? Wasn't HUD in charge of the New Orleans housing projects? Is 7500 the number of apartments that were considered not worth repairing? I thought it was 7500 units were not reopened.
"To do as HUD has proposed across all public housing in New Orleans is tantamount to forced homelessness," said Rep. William Jefferson, a Democrat who represents much of New Orleans.I can't agree with with him, but at least he is speaking out for his constituents. I am sure this will help him somehow.
Under the bill, HUD would have to survey people who had lived in public housing and provide housing for any who wanted to return by Aug. 1. Residents would have to declare their intent to return to the city by that date and occupy the units by Oct. 1.
The government would not be allowed to demolish any public housing without having an approved plan to replace it.
Lawmakers also approved an amendment that would extend a Federal Emergency Management Agency housing voucher program through the end of the year and transfer those eligible to other housing assistance programs when the FEMA aid ends.
In January, hundreds of New Orleans residents protested the planned demolitions by cleaning up one of the larger housing projects.
Republicans argued that housing low-income families in mixed-income developments would increase living standards in public housing.
"We have a moral imperative to change the standard of public housing in New Orleans," said Rep. Spencer Baucus, a Republican. "We can do better than simply warehousing families in failed large housing projects and crime-ridden communities."
Mr. Baucus, who is from Alabama, may have a point. We know that public housing has failed. However, the priority must be get people back home. None of us would like to be forced against his/her will to live somewhere he/she was not wanted. The housing in New Orleans was substandard, but it's home to thousands of people. Get them back, get them engaged in the process, and then we can move forward. We can't keep telling people that we want them home, and then tell them "But not now. In 10-20 years."
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I will buy Boyden's book and read it because he gets it.
Some people are jerks. They will never get what happened in New Orleans. Because they don't want to. Someone is sticking up for us, and I will stick up for him.
We are all in this together. I thought that after 9/11/01, and I think that now. If one of us is suffering, we are all suffering whether we know it or not. I hope more folks start knowing it.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
WASHINGTON — New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin has suggested that the slow recovery of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina — which has prevented many black former residents from returning — is part of a plan to change the racial makeup and political leadership of his and other cities.
What happened in New Orleans could happen anywhere," Nagin said at a dinner sponsored by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a trade group for newspapers that target black readers. "They are studying this model of natural disasters, dispersing the community and changing the electoral process."
Nagin's remarks Thursday recalled the controversy stirred up by his prediction in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech in 2006 that, despite the evacuation of thousands of black people after Katrina, New Orleans would once again become a "chocolate city." He later apologized for the comment, which had infuriated many whites and blacks.
I can see how people could perceive this, but I don't know if I can believe this to be true. That seems like a lot of collusion from a lot of sources. And I still think that everyone that wants to come back should be able to come back.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Here's a plan:
Mr. Jordan - If 60 days isn't long enough, plan on having the work done in 30. Then you have 30 days to fix any mistakes. Don't tell your employees that they have 60 days and then have them screw up the reports on the last day at the last minute. That's dumb. That let's murderers out on the street. That's dumb, too. Figure out something to make the system work. We have a system - a slow, abused, bogged-down system. Make it work or fix it.
Mr. Nagin - Show your face. Tell us what you are doing. Do you what you are saying. And stop being holier-than-thou and raising money for the next office. You were elected to raise New Orleans in a time of crisis. You are failing. Miserably.
Mr. Riley - Report the crimes. People are afraid and you have the ability to reassure them. You don't. You have the power to make positive change in the community. Be a presence. Be a force. Be proactive. Just don't complain about it. It's your job, and you wanted it.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
I didn't know that the National Housing Partnership was involved. According to the press release, they have their hands in 1400 units with another 1600 in the pipeline. However, the website lists 284 units in New Orleans (Forest Park?) and 384 in Westwego.WASHINGTON, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The NHP Foundation (NHPF) announced
today that it has received $3 million from the Ford Foundation for
acquisition, rehabilitation and construction of low- and moderate-income
housing in New Orleans. This program-related investment (PRI) loan will
significantly aid in NHPF's three-year recovery program of the Gulf Coast
region-currently well underway at an estimated cost of $300 million.
According to the mission statement regarding the Gulf Coast Region:
The NHP Foundation's (NHPF) objective is to create 3,000 quality affordable housing units at a cost of $300 million of which 2,500 housing units will be located in New Orleans and vicinity, and the remaining 500 units will be in other parts of the State. Four of our properties totaling 952 units were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and vicinity. Immediately after the Hurricane, NHPF arranged for over 300 evacuee families to relocate in our properties in Texas.If my math is right (there is a reason I teach Latin), 284 + 384 = 668. That's less than half of 1400. Is this more lip service and deceptive math? Does anyone know where this is happening?
Friday, March 09, 2007
The students' answer was to develop several proposals. One is a campaign called "Got Guts?" — a challenge to politicians to come to New Orleans and gut one house, to experience Katrina in an emotional and physical way.
The experience, Legendy said, will let policymakers "walk in the shoes not only of the people you're not helping enough, but the people who actually are trying to help." They've set up a website, www.wegotguts.com, to promote their efforts.
Also, because the students had such a difficult time coordinating the logistics of their trip, they have added helpful links for prospective volunteers on their website.
The proposals are providing a way for the students to continue their service to New Orleans though they're back on campus.
"We need to do something to really institutionalize volunteering in New Orleans and really get it going," Whalen said, "and remind the nation that it's still an issue."
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Some rules I would have:
1) Mayor says thank you - one drink/sip per person thanked
2) Mayor says "man" - one drink/sip
3) Mayor misspeaks - one sip
4) Mayor mentions "President" or "Governor" by name- one sip
5) Mayor takes question - free
6) Mayor takes question and then appears belligerent - one sip
7) Mayor answers actual question - finish your beer
8) President says "nucular" instead of "nuclear" - one sip (Whoops! How did that get in there?!)
Any takers? I would love to participate in this game. If you can send me a video...
Monday, March 05, 2007
The Atlanta Police Department wants more officers who can work in a tough city. And they've come to New Orleans to find some.Interesting tactic... According to the article, only 4 individuals showed up at the recruiting meeting and, get this, a NAGIN COMMENT! Wahoo! Unfortunately, these kinds of comments are the ones that he is good at making (snarky) and not the visionary, honest, or trustworthy kind.