Spotlight on New Orleans

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  1. Ty Poli..Glad you are back from vacation ..Hope it was Good..thanks for the nice Read..As a crusty Quarter Carpenter, Shop in upper 9’th.. I’m starting to crumble.. My rents way up to much, My town is gone,.. The local politicians speak poo..Forgive me if not leaving here and working through it all at our normal prices, that this August 29’th, I’m gonna break down and cry my heart out.. Please keep NOLA in mind and keep posting.. God Speed..

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  3. I hope full coverage is given to what happened to all areas after Katrina hit. By full, I mean that I want the media to compare how towns in Mississippi and Alabama have done as well if not in comparison to New Orleans. We can all guess that NOLA has lots of work to do and is not where anyone wants it to be (how many big cities ever are) but how many nights will Anderson Cooper be live from some other town besides NOLA? I just hope that when the Katrina anniversary is covered, the media realizes that it was a large storm that hit a very large area, and only by showing how vast that area is can people remember why there is so much to do. When it is conveyed as somehow only being NOLA that still needs work, it oversimplifies the work left to be done.

  4. The city of New Orleans, along with the smaller towns and cities also affected by Katrina, deserves a lasting spotlight that will not fade until the damage has been fully repaired. Hopefully as a collective, people like us can cause national attention – and maybe even international – to linger strongly after the inevitable spike as the one-year mark approaches and passes.

  5. So, Poli, what do we do about rebuilding a city that has been hammered as much as NOLA was in Katrina? Last year, it was all about assigning the blame for the failures – of the levees, of the evacuation, of the response at all levels of government. And, while that may have helped one or the other political party, it didn’t address exactly how we need to respond to such a disaster.
    And, this isn’t just about New Orleans. Except for that last-minute course shift, Rita would have done much the same to the Houston-Galveston area (and it did do a lot to the Beaumont/Pr Arthur/Orange area, as well as western LA.) San Francisco is just one major earthquake away from being in the same boat: LA/San Diego, Seattle, other cities on the Pacific Coast could be similarly wiped out with a tsunami. Getting away from the coast doesn’t guarantee safety, either: many largish cities are vulnerable to a massive tornado, or a heatwave, or a super blizzard/cold spell. And, the Mother of All Disasters, Yellowstone super-volcano, could eliminate around 50% of the country any day.
    Except for the latter (or maybe an asteroid which wipes us all out), I would think the government (meaning all of us) really need to decide in advance how we as a society are going to respond. How much aid will come from the federal gov’t (that means all of us) vs. how much will be provided by the area hit. How do we prioritize the repairs/rebuilding? How do we handle resettling the refugees? How do we ensure that those who can’t get out on their own are not simply left behind or forgotten?
    Just like the question “are we really going to shoot down a commercial jetliner full of innocent civilians, if the hijackers look like they are going to fly the thing into a building/dam/bridge/other structure or landmark?”, these questions are best answered before the fact, when we can think with our heads and not simply react. It also allows us to have a plan in place for rescue/recovery (something that was missing post-Katrina).

  6. Those are good questions, Ed. All of them.
    And I would ask these, too: What is the social contract that Americans have with the country? Where is the limit of liability, and is there a difference between a place that had federally-designed levees that were flawed from inception (and failed), and places that took it right in the teeth (like Biloxi)?
    The lines of responsibility aren’t clear. At all.
    Leaving the immediate aftermath alone (mostly cuz the storm response is every bit as convoluted and complex as the rest) — how does a city recover, when it was very poor to begin with? Do we abandon poor cities because they don’t have the resources for something of this magnitude?
    Surely not.

  7. I thought of you last night while reading the latest issue of New Yorker, or rather the latest one that has reached me here in Texas… There’s a long piece in there about what has/has not happened in New Orleans in the last year, and some possible reasons for the problems. It also happens to be available online. Enjoy!

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