NOLA to New York
Katrina survivors reach out to Sandy survivors
Salvador and Mabel Mangano, the owners of St. Rita’s nursing home in St. Bernard Parish,
where 35 patients drowned in Hurricane Katrina’s flood waters, were found not guilty of negligent homicide and cruelty to the infirm charges tonight by a six-member jury. Read their story and decide for yourself if they're guilty.
The Best Laid Plans: The Story of How the Government Ignored Its Own Gulf Coast Hurricane Plans.
A new report from CREW describes FEMA's plan to respond to a hurricane of Katrina’s magnitude and its subsequent failure to implement that plan. [Via C&L.]
"It took the Mississippi River 6,000 years to build the Louisiana coast. It took man (and natural disasters) 75 years to destroy it. Experts agree we have 10 years to act before the problem is too big to solve." [Via First Draft.]
A little more than a year after leaving New Orleans, I miss the culture of sophisticated drinking. Sure, maybe not on Bourbon Street, home of the sickly sweet hurricane
and Hand Grenade
. But you head off Bourbon and you can get a very pleasant Pimms cup
at the Napoleon House
. And just down the street is a military antiques store that was once the pharmacy where Antoine Amadie Peychaud
invented the sazerac
, which lays claims to being the word's oldest cocktail. Any good bartender in New Orleans will be able to make you one; finding a sazerac-capable bartender outside the city is almost impossible. Of course, just outside the French Quarter, in the Fairmont Hotel, is the Sazerac bar
, but, surprisingly, their specialty is not the sazerac, but the favorite drink of Huey Long
, the delicious Ramos Gin Fizz.
Nearby, back in the Quarter, on an upper floor of the Pharmacy Museum
, was the former home of the Museum of the American Cocktail
-- now seemingly in transit after Katrina. At the opening, cocktail chef Dale Degroff
served up his specialty -- pre-Prohibition cocktails
, including a brandy crusta
that still makes me weep from the pleasure of it. Sure, up here in Minneapolis we invented
, but somehow a drink that's also become popular as a perfume
doesn't have that same Crescent City je ne sais quoi.
New Orleans City Ordinance #26031
--...those who have not been able to make the necessary repairs to their battered homes by August 29th risk having their property seized and bulldozed by the city....
Bush says today: Katrina Repair Will Take Time
, but time's up for many New Orleans residents. (more here from ACORN, who has been trying to help save homes there
Stress building in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina anniversary could spark more problems
Like many other New Orleanians nearly a year after Hurricane Katrina, John McCusker was experiencing the overwhelming
stress of rebuilding his life
. McCusker, a photographer who was part of The Times-Picayune's 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning staff
(reg. required, but worth it. Trust me.), was seen driving wildly through the city Tuesday, attracting the attention of police. He eventually
, but not before he was subdued with a Taser and an officer fired twice at his vehicle. During the melee, he begged police to kill him
. For some, it's still Katrina every day
A New Orleans Times Picayune flash animation of exactly how, and where, and when the city of New Orleans and surrounding areas flooded during Hurricane Katrina. Here's the accompanying article
. Even as a local, I had no idea how weak the levee systems were. And apparently still are
. Here's some more info
from a local grassroots group
fighting for better levee protection.
"You drowned 1,200 people! I rebuke you."
Politics as usual? Yes, if you're from Louisiana. Is it hot where you are? Well, at least your federal government didn't trick you into living in your car in 100 degree weather because they won't give you the keys to your trailer.
Oh, but try not to get sick, because even though New Orleans is almost back to its Pre-Katrina size (1 million out of 1.3 million), half of the hospital space is gone
. Only six weeks
until hurricane season! Woot!
Mascots helping Mascots
High schools across America have witnessed the devastation brought about by several recent natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. An outpouring of sympathy and concern, and a desire to help, have come forth from high schools wanting to assist those in need. To enable schools to help other schools, the National Federation of State High School Associations has initiated a fundraising program called the Mascot Adoption Program.
"In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush
and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage
When the levees broke,
he looked for was his camera and a boat. This Times-Picayune photographer tells his story of what happened next.
Katrina Ushers in Return of Big Government
We have a larger govt now (people working for the govt) than we have ever had. We have now the Patriot Act, overseeing much of our activities. We have intelligence agencies doing lord knows what domestically, and security checks etc. Now we learn that Big govt is back? Where had it been before the storm?
After The Flood Surprising stories from survivors in New Orleans. We give people who were in the storm more time than daily news coverage can to tell their stories and talk about what they're thinking. This leads to a number of ideas that haven't made it into the regular news coverage.
The most recent episode of This American Life
is now up on their website--This American Life
is one of the best programs on public radio and this was one of their best episodes ever. It is well worth a listen.
Michael Brown, head of FEMA is relieved of duties.
After a rocky week
and increasing doubts about his background and experience (like a padded resume
), Brown gets pulled from FEMA duty. Pretty surprising to see, given that the "CEO President
" proclaimed "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job
" just a few days ago.
Losing New Orleans:
Four months before it happened, I described for a New York editor, in detail and with stunning accuracy, the tragedy that is now unfolding in New Orleans.
In April, I e-mailed the editor my proposal. Two weeks later, she sent her response.
As much as I hate saying this,” she wrote, “the only way for this book to actually work is if New Orleans had already sunk.”
I’d like to know what “transportation security” meant to Mr. Hutchinson, if it did not include the concept of evacuating a stricken city, or protecting its great port, or safeguarding the third of our nation’s fuel that enters by way of New Orleans?
If I, a reporter in Little Rock, with nothing more than Internet access, a car and a telephone, could predict, almost hour-by-hour, the horror that Katrina would unleash, what were Hutchinson and his cronies at Homeland Security doing with all the assets at their disposal and nearly $40 billion in funding?
Reading the news after the Katrina Hurricane and the lack-of-response disaster, a pattern began to emerge. Mainstream media compilation - Collective Bellaciao via xymphora, which has several other uniquely critical posts on Katrina
BEHIND THE CURTAIN....
George Bush's photo-op tour of New Orleans yesterday has apparently driven Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu over the edge. Today she blasted FEMA for its feeble response to Hurricane Katrina and Bush for his phony, stage managed promises of action:
is how The Army Times
has characterized post-Katrina New Orleans. And this isn't about race?
The Matrix shatters before the eyes of the nation (sorry, WMP link) --
and on Fox News! For those old enough to remember, it's so significant that Geraldo Rivera says of conditions in the New Orleans Convention Center, "it's like Willowbrook in there." (Rivera became famous in 1972 by
exposing the horrendous conditions in a home for the mentally retarded called Willowbrook; finally, after decades of degrading himself, he remembers what his job is.) And Slate's Jack Shafer on "the rebellion of the talking heads
" -- the refusal of reporters on the ground in New Orleans to regurgitate the official spin. [via TalkLeft
CNN of all places
has a great overview of the BS coming out of washington about Katrina - "security is really good", the bodies in the convention center are "rumors" - versus reports from the ground. Fantasy land.
They are feeding the public a line of bull, and they are spinning, and people are dying down here:
A post with a link to MP3 of an explosive WWL radio interview in which New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has a message for politicians: "I don't want to see anybody do any more goddamned press conferences... put a moratorium on press conferences, don't do another press conference until the resources are in this city, and then come down to this city and stand with us... Don't tell me 40,000 people are coming here - they're not here; it's too doggoned late. Now get off your asses and let's do something...
Horror writer Poppy Z Brite
is a NOLA resident affected by Katrina. Here's some journal entries
Some of the best still images of what remains in Hurricane Katrina's wake
are up over at the Washington Post
; there are a lot of compelling shots there that put into perspective the horror of the situation. If you're looking for a well-edited group of photos that convey what the Gulf coast has faced over the past few days, and will face in the coming months, this is it; I'm in awe of the photographers that continue to work hard to document the disaster.
Drowning New Orleans
A major hurricane could swamp New Orleans under 20 feet of water, killing thousands. Human activities along the Mississippi River have dramatically increased the risk, and now only massive reengineering of southeastern Louisiana can save the city
By Mark Fischetti
Let the bush bashing begin.
Funding for work on New Orleans' flood prevention system slowed to a trickle in 2003, and many people (long before Monday) claimed that was due to the Iraq war. [more inside]
Ivan as seen from the Space Station
It looks like the French Quarter will be spared. But oh my . . . (Click image for larger version).
Hurricane Risk for New Orleans:
"if that Category Five Hurricane comes to New Orleans, 50,000 people could lose their lives. Now that is significantly larger than any estimates that we would have of individuals who might lose their lives from a terrorist attack. When you start to do that kind of calculus - and it's horrendous that you have to do that kind of calculus - it appears to those of us in emergency management, that the risk is much more real and much more significant, when you talk about hurricanes. I don't know that anybody, though, psychologically, has come to grip with that: that the French Quarter of New Orleans could be gone." (Nb. this excerpt from a fascinating 2002 American RadioWorks documentary does not refer specifically to Ivan.)