Saturday, September 17, 2005


Apartment update

I got back into our apartment again today. The National Guard actually stopped us and checked our information today, so that's good news. The house was pretty much as I left it on Wednesday, excpet that we got a pretty good rain sometime in the past few days and the water spots on the ceiling in the bedroom are spreading and more of the ceiling fell in. My folks and I moved all of our furniture out of the bedroom and I took more photos. There are a lot of New Orleans photos in there too, so browse them if you feel so inclined.

Back down the bayou, off to the windy city tomorrow.



Are they in or are they out?

First, I read yesterday that Southwest is totally out of New Orleans, and that all of their employees can be reassigned. Now, they're flying twice daily non-stop from Houston. What gives?


Friday, September 16, 2005


Heading down the bayou

I'm on my way to my parents' place in Lockport. I got into my office for a while this afternoon after climbing up 19 flights of steps, but it was worth it. My personal office is ok, some others in our group were not so lucky. I'm feeling lucky and blessed, and I know that Im' going to have a good Cajun meal tonight.

Hopefully I'll be back in the city tomorrow, and I'll have some more pictures to share with you all. Lack of internet access will be an issue, but if this coffeeshop is open with free wi-fi on the way back to the Bayou I'll try to post some for you.



Re-entry Plans Everywhere

Orleans parish here

Jefferson Parish here

St. Bernard Parish here


Lawsuits Lawsuits Everywhere

2:11 P.M. - EL DORADO, Ark. (AP) -- Murphy Oil Corp. said in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday that two class action lawsuits have been filed against the company and its Murphy Oil USA Inc. unit because of leaks blamed on Hurricane Katrina.
The suits were filed by residents of St. Bernard Parish, La., and seek unspecified damages caused by a release of crude oil at the company's Meraux, La., refinery.

10:31 A.M. - JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- The federal government is trying to find evidence of any past efforts by environmental groups to block work on New Orleans' levees, according to a published report.
The Clarion-Ledger said Friday it obtained an internal Justice Department e-mail sent out this week to U.S. attorneys that asks: "Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation."

8:08 A.M. - LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) -- A lawsuit seeks what attorneys say could be billions of dollars from a long list of oil companies for damages to wetlands that would have allegedly softened Hurricane Katrina's blow.
The class-action suit, filed in federal court in Lafayette this week, names as plaintiffs "all persons, businesses and entities in the state of Louisiana who have suffered damages as a result of Hurricane Katrina's winds and storm surge."

5:55 P.M. - BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- A group of Louisiana homeowners sued 16 insurance companies Thursday, asking a state district court to rule that neglect and wind damage caused the flood that inundated thousands of homes in Orleans and Jefferson parishes.
Breaches in the levees which ring the city allowed the water in, so the floods were not caused by an "act of God," contends the lawsuit filed Thursday in 19th Judicial District Court.


Going back in

I'm headed back in today, hopefully I'll have more info to post later tonight.


Thursday, September 15, 2005


Pics from our apartment

Check these out if you're interested.


Dispatch from New Orleans

Warning: This is gonna be a total stream of conciousness, since I'm way tired.

Arrived at the eerily quiet airport at 10:45, had to wait for about 30 mins because my ride was stuck at a checkpoint to enter the city. He picked me up and we stoped to visit a friend who owns a business in Jefferson Parish. After our visit, we drove from Airline to Earhart, had to exit Earhart at Clearview and took Clearview south to Jeff Highway. Jeff Highway to Causeway, south to River Road, then River road into the city. Honestly, it didn't look too bad, it just looked like a hurricane had passed. Lots of tree damamge, and the occasional really bad looking buildling.

As we approached the parish line, there was a National Guard checkpoint. I was prepared to show them my ID, however they didn't stop us (or any of the 20 cars in front of us either). We got to the apartment, and the initial assessment was that the fence around the place was down, but it looked kinda ok. We entered, and saw some damage, but no looting and nothing major. The office in the front of the house was just fine. The Living room had lost 1/2 of a window, and we took a few shelves from a bookcase and nailed it shut. Some water damage to one of our sofas and to the roof of the living room. There was also water in the closet in that room, and mold was starting to grow.

In the bedroom, two of the four windows were blown open. We managed to close both, and remove the bed to protect from any further rain damage that might be possible, due to the huge gash in the roof above the bed. It may be salvageable, but there was a lot of damage to the roof of the bedroom, and the clothes that were on the floor (I'm a slob, I embrace the fact) were totally soaked and possibly lost.

The rest of the house was mostly ok. Only one other window had been pulled open, in the guest bedroom, and seemingly got little rain.

For those of you who have not been to your houses yet, let me tell you that nothing will prepare you for the refrigerator. That is by far, the most disgusting thing I have ever encountered. I pulled shrimp, chicken breasts, ground turkey and ground beef, mixed vegetables, fish from my parents, and who knows what else out of there. Bring gloves and cleaning supplies, gloves would have been great for me. The smell is the most horrid gagging smell that I have ever smelled, and it is still on my skin after washing my hands 5 times and taking a long shower.

I have pictures if anybody is interested, email me or comment here.

Catch you later. JBoo.


Bush Speech tonight from Jackson Square

Don't miss it! 9PM Eastern, 8PM Central,

3:37 P.M. - (AP) -- Faced with the nation's costliest natural disaster, President Bush on Thursday assembled an unprecedented package of housing, health care, job assistance and education for hundreds of thousands of Gulf Coast residents thrown into misery by Hurricane Katrina.
Trying to make up for a flawed response to the hurricane that embarrassed his administration, Bush was to announce a recovery plan in a nationally broadcast speech from Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter. Elsewhere in the famed city, workers were still pumping out flooded neighborhoods and collecting bodies left behind in the frantic evacuation.


Bills passed, but conference committe needed

The House and Senate tax plan, among other steps, waives penalties for hurricane victims who tap into their retirement savings accounts, helps the working poor hold onto an earned income tax credit, and provides a tax break to anyone who houses evacuees for two months or more.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley also hoped to pass a bipartisan $5 billion to $7 billion plan to speed health care to those displaced by Katrina by easing rules for the Medicaid federal health care program, though objections from unnamed senators had snagged the bill as off midday.

And the Senate is likely to pass and send to Bush a House-passed bill to temporarily ease rules requiring welfare recipients to work 30 hours a week for their benefits while extending the overall welfare program through the end of the year.

Separately, an amendment adopted Wednesday by the Senate on a voice vote would provide more than 350,000 families left homeless by Katrina with emergency housing vouchers averaging $600 a month for up to six months.

Any displaced family, regardless of income, would be eligible for the program, which is slated to cost $3.5 billion over six months.

full story here


Snooty people

I just got back from a quick shopping excursion to Best Buy and Target to get a few things for my computer and my office, and that combined with a discussion I just had with some friends working for the relief effort in Baton Rouge have me pretty depressed about the state of human-ness I guess. I've heard a number of times since the storm that times like these bring about the best and worst in human nature, and we've all heard stories about those who were trying to save people, and those who were taking advantage of the situation. I guess those stories will continue.

My friend's story is about a woman she encountered while shopping in Baton Rouge. I'm not sure how the conversation started, but the Baton Rouge woman told her that she can't wait for all of "these people" to leave because she is two hours late for her Pilates appointment.

Mine is similar. At the shopping center I visited, the National Guard is there distributing Ice, Water, and food to those who need it. Because of this, there are checkpoints at all of the entrances, and they are directing traffic. On my way out, I had seen a number of National Guard soldiers all over the shopping center, and I wondered if there was anything I could do to help them (as I walked out of target with my bag of cookies, maybe they'd like some? I don't know). I was stopped at the checkpoint, and I asked the guy. He said that they were well taken care of, but if I could just ask people to stop throwing water bottles at them. I asked why people would do that, and he replied that he figures they didn't like them being an inconvinence to their shopping trip.

The sum of these two encounters (which are hopefully the exception, not the rule) is just further confirming my feelings that we (as Americans especially) are becoming more and more selfish, and less and less compassionate about those who are truly suffering. Hopefully I'm wrong about that, and the scope of donations to charities to help us recover from this disaster would suggest as much, but I'm far from sure about it.

Less Me and more We, y'all.


Gimme that New Orleans Music

Mayor Nagin said yesterday: "I know New Orleanians, and once the beignets are in the oven, once the gumbo is in the pot, and red beans and rice are being served on Mondays, they'll come back . . . . I'm tired of hearing these helicopters . . . I want to hear some jazz."

Anybody who is a music fan in New Orleans knows about WWOZ, and they are still online and streaming music on as "WWOZ in Exile". Visit the website, it has Windows Media, MP3, and Real Audio streams that you can listen to. There is also a list of New Orleans musicians that are ok, etc. has its answer, Mardi Gras Radio which requires the RealPlayer.


Project Pelican

12:10 P.M. - WASHINGTON (AP): Louisiana lawmakers in Washington have outlined a detailed reconstruction plan for southeast Louisiana that includes full coastal restoration and economic development incentives to brings jobs and people back to New Orleans.
Dubbed "Project Pelican," the plan was developed by all nine Republicans and Democrats in the House-Senate delegation. There's no cost estimate attached to the proposal and it did not address the issue of whether the reconstruction should be managed by existing federal agencies or by a new entity.
Senator Mary Landrieu says an overriding principle of the plan is that the reconstruction should be directed by Louisiana officials and carried out as much as possible by Louisiana businesses and workers.
The plan calls for $20 billion to speed up the repair and enhancement of New Orleans' levees; $14 billion to restore wetlands to reduce future damage from storm surges; and the dedication of a share of Gulf Coast oil revenues to long term coastal restoration and infrastructure redevelopment.
In the economic development area, the plan would provide incentives for employers to hire displaced workers and local businesses. It also would provide loans and tax relief for small businesses in the state, and federal assistance to help state and local governments meet payrolls and restore tax bases.


Mississippi's dolphins found in gulf

This is pretty amazing:

GULFPORT, Miss. - In an “unheard of” rescue operation, eight dolphins that were swept out of their oceanarium by Hurricane Katrina have been rediscovered hundreds of yards out at sea where trainers are tracking, feeding and caring for them.

full story here


Duct Tape Man

The new FEMA chief is the guy who suggested that Americans stock up on Duct Tape and plastic after 9/11. I feel safer. Thankfully, I got a bunch of duct tape from a family friend as an engagement gift.


Interesting info on MSNBC's Katrina Blog


New Orleans reopenings

Algiers first to reopen to residentsThe first section to reopen to residents will be Algiers, across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter, on Monday. The city’s Uptown section, which includes Tulane University and the Garden District, will be reopened in stages next Wednesday and next Friday, he said. Residents in the French Quarter will follow on Monday, Sept. 26.
more here


Important: If you are a displaced family

This isn't a done deal yet, but stay tuned:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress is moving quickly to provide tax cuts and health care benefits to victims of Hurricane Katrina as government money continues to flow in response to the devastation.
Lawmakers were working on that aid as President Bush planned his fourth trip to the region to give a nationally televised address Thursday night on his recovery and reconstruction plans for New Orleans and other stricken areas.
An amendment adopted Wednesday by the Senate on a voice vote would provide more than 350,000 families left homeless by Katrina with emergency housing vouchers averaging $600 a month for up to six months.
Any displaced family, regardless of income, would be eligible for the program, which is slated to cost $3.5 billion over six months.

More here


Interesting NYTimes article re: public officials and the need to have the best rather than the best connected

Go check it out for yourself here


New Orleans residents in some dry areas can return Saturday and Sunday

N.O. Mayor: Some Can Move Home, Businesses Can Reopen
Strict Curfew To Remain In Effect

More here

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Hibernia lighting tower downtown

NEW ORLEANS — Hibernia Bank building engineers plan to light up the bank’s downtown office tower tonight. The iconic tower, which has been a fixture of the New Orleans skyline for decades, has been in darkness each night since the storm knocked out power on Aug. 29. Hibernia workers will complete an effort to deliver power to the tower via generators so it can be lighted even before electricity is restored to the remainder of the building and much of the Central Business District. The tower lighting is symbolic of the determination of the people and businesses of New Orleans, said Herb Boydstun, president and chief executive officer of Hibernia,

more here


Engaged Evacuees To Marry In Chicago - You'll want to check this out.

Couple Planning Wedding In Three Weeks.

more here

Can you believe that it took an Alderman passing out on the floor of the City Council to bump this piece of hard news from the top spot?


Walking in Memphis

I'm here in Memphis, changing planes. There should be legislation requiring wi-fi in every airport, it makes layovers so much more enjoyable.

More from New Orleans hopefully this afternoon. btw, if any of you need info about anything from the city, drop me a comment and I'll do what I can.


Lawmakers looking at tax incentives

2:32 a.m.: Lawmakers Examine Tax IncentivesLawmakers are looking at possible tax exemptions to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. A package proposed in the Senate would let hurricane victims tap into their retirement accounts without penalty. It would also encourage people to donate things like cash, food and school books. In the House, a tax relief bill also includes help for businesses as well as state and local governments trying to fix damaged property. -- Associated Press


Industrious looters using boats

I'm consistenly amazed at the creativity of the looters. Read more here


Re-entry map from Louisiana State Police

If you are trying to get back, this is a valuable tool. Link


Residents could possibly return to Uptown, CBD, French Quarter, Algiers on Monday

Unflooded portions of New Orleans may be opened to residents, perhaps as early as Monday, Mayor Ray Nagin said in an upbeat and wide-ranging news conference Tuesday afternoon.The possibility of repopulating areas of the city so quickly marked a stunning turnaround from earlier predictions that New Orleans could remain uninhabitable for months. Nagin said the final decision on the date would hinge on pending results of federal tests measuring the toxicity of the city's air and water, but he said initial reports are turning out much better than expected."I'm starting to get into the mode of how do we reopen the city," Nagin said, speaking from the steps of Washington Artillery Park in the French Quarter, one of four areas targeted for early reopening. The others are Algiers, the Central Business District and parts of Uptown. "We are out of nuclear crisis mode and are in to day-to-day crisis mode," Nagin said.

Full story here


Katrina damages proposed tax cuts

Mary Dalrymple / Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- Hurricane Katrina means long-planned Republican tax cuts will be delayed but not abandoned, giving Congress time to concentrate on post-Katrina recovery and reconstruction work, lawmakers say.

Full story here


Bills mounting for most evacuees

I'm hearing more and more stories like this one:

"I'm worried. We have about a one-month gap where my income will be cut off and so will my wife's," he said. "I have to see if my business is still going to be OK. We're going to be out of our house for maybe three months, but I have a mortgage payment every month, and now we have to rent an apartment."

More here

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


It's been quite a 36 hours

Written late Monday night, moved to the top by request.

Here's a bit of a personal update.

Yesterday, I watched my beloved Saints play a great game against a very tough Carolina team, but eventually the good guys prevailed. It was wonderful to watch at a neighborhood bar in Chicago, I made a number of friends who bought me drinks and supported me in my shouting at the tv and merriment throughout. It was one of the most normal feelings that I've had in weeks to be able to watch the Saints play, even if I was at an Irish bar in Chicago. I'm sure that many of you share similar experiences, but everytime I tell people that I'm from New Orleans, I get such an outpouring of sympathy for our situation, and then I almost always get a story about a great experience that they had in our fair city. This gives me much hope for the future.

Afterwards, we had a great dinner prepared by the future in-laws, with my future Sister and Brother in law, Grandmother in law, and Aunt and Cousin in law. It's nice to have so much family support here.

Today, we got up and had lots of work to do. My daily 10AM conference call brought good and bad news, mostly we spent our time talking about a difficult situation that one of our clients is facing. Afterwards, however, we discussed my possibly making a trip to New Orleans to help recover some information and to establish our virtual office strategy now that Armstrong International is open again. A few hours later, I have an E-Ticket in hand and will be back in my fair city on Wednesday. Hopefully I'll be able to run by my apartment and check it out, grab some essentials, and then get into our office downtown to grab some documents and other important information. From there, it's across to the Northshore where I will spend the rest of the week, and then the weekend down the Bayou with my folks.

After all of that, we headed down to the Hurricane Katrina Disaster center in Chicago. It was an amazing conglomeration of assistance from the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, FEMA, and dozens of other services in the Chicagoland area. The Red Cross gave us a debit card that could be used for clothes, food, etc. that will be a big help. If you are an evacuee and have a Red Cross location near you, I'd seriously recommend that you go and register. After that the Salvation Army gave us some vouchers that could be used for clothing at their thrift stores, and a voucher for groceries. Beyond that, there was a place for people who hadn't registered with FEMA to do so, and a number of other city services that could help people with housing, enrolling kids in schools, changing address with the Post Office, giving out library cards, bus passes, and all sorts of other assistance. It was truly incredible. And the volunteers, they were so wonderful as well! Everybody was so caring, wanting to do whatever they could to help us feel at home. It was a heartwarming experience.

As we left, we got a phone call saying that we should head to the hospital, as my Fiance's sister was about to give birth. We headed that way, and at 6PM tonight, my fiance's sister gave birth to a beautiful, healthy girl. It was an amazing experience to be there, not so much to see the new baby being born. I've seen babies before, and to tell you the truth this one looked a lot like I know a baby to look, just a bit smaller. What was wonderful about the entire experience was watching how happy the new Parents, Aunt, and Grandparents all were. Seeing them all crying as they experienced something that they had all hoped for for such a long time now was truly moving, and life-changing for even me, whose largest contribution to the evening was a box of cookies that I bought earlier in the day.

Edit: We just checked online and our FEMA disaster assistance emergency housing money has been deposited into our account. Yet another positive.

Anyhow, here I sit, 36 hours later, knowing that my life won't be the same as it was just 36 hours before. It's a feeling I've had a few times during this journey, but this time it feels much more hopeful, much more like there's more happening around us that we could ever possibly be aware of, and that we should be aware and enjoy those moments while we can.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.


Bush in PrimeTime on Thursday

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush will address the nation Thursday night about the Hurricane Katrina disaster, the White House said Tuesday.
The 9 p.m. ET address is the latest administration reaction to Katrina, which roared ashore on August 29, flooding most of New Orleans and forcing evacuations across much of the Gulf Coast.
"The president will talk to the American people about the recovery and the way forward on the longer-term rebuilding," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters, according to Reuters.

More here


FEMA: Permanent housing is top priority

More here

Monday, September 12, 2005


Support a local charity and get a t-shirt.


Great Len Pasquarelli article on re Saints

On Saturday evening, in the final team meeting, coach Jim Haslett rose to read a letter that had been sent to him by Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans, graphically detailing the catastrophic destruction of the city, the loss of lives and homes, children orphaned and elderly dead in their homes. Haslett, who politely declined commissioner Paul Tagliabue's offer to address the team that evening, could not get through the letter. He handed the missive instead to director of player development Ricky Porter to finish.
Fortunately, for the Saints and the city they represent, the team performed with great heart all afternoon. It needed to, since the Saints, characteristically, did not play with their heads for much of the day.
"We did some dumb things, no doubt about it," Haslett acknowledged. "But we were able to overcome them, and that hasn't always been the case for us. This team, though, is very resilient. I told our guys that it's the closest group I've ever been around. They like each other, they stick together, they fight hard for one another. That's a good sign."
"If there's anybody left on Bourbon Street," said Horn, "I'm sure they're partying right about now."
Haslett, who was walking a pretty fine edge earlier in the week but maintained his poise and emotion Sunday, awarded one game ball to Mayor Nagin for the city of New Orleans. Another game ball, Haslett said, was dedicated to all the Gulf Coast residents.
"Those people, what can you say?" Haslett said in a near-empty locker room. "Believe me, our guys were aware of it. You could feel the emotion on the flight up here. You could feel it in the locker room. And you could definitely feel it on the field. This was an important win for this football team but it kind of goes way beyond that, doesn't it?"

Full article here


Great Tom Benson Quote

Saints owner Tom Benson reiterated his commitment to the area. "I don't want to leave Louisiana," he said after a press conference at Tiger Stadium.


I've been wondering when this would happen...

Broussard's, one of the French Quarter’s oldest restaurants, is ready and anxious to reopen, owner and chef Gunter Preuss said Monday.“We’re ready to roll, said Preuss. “We’re waiting on water and electricity.’’Broussard’s, 819 Conti St., first opened in New Orleans in 1920.


Levee Repair Leaking on London Canal -

Reports of a leak in a levee repair in the London Avenue Canal Monday afternoon caused an increase in chatter on emergency radio frequencies throughout New Orleans, but U.S. Corps of Engineers workers said the overtopped levee was minor and should have little impact on the flooded city.According to an Army Corps of Engineers official who declined to be named because of Corps media regulations, one of the original breaches in the London Avenue Canal that caused massive flooding across parts of New Orleans in the wake if Hurricane Katrina began leaking again Monday. He said the spilling occurred not because of a failure in the repair but because a pump was activated at the London Avenue Pumping Station No. 3, causing water in the canal to rise and overtop the repaired section. The pump was shut off until the levee could be shored further, he said.The ripple of alarm prompted rescue workers from San Diego, stationed along the Washington Avenue drainage canal to mark the water line with spray paint, checking for fast-rising water."We're marking the water level to see if it's coming up, because if it is we're going to leave," said Perry Peake, spokesman for California Task Force 8.There was no noticable increase in the water level.


UNO hoping to be back at full capacity soon

UNO hopes to reopen in DecemberBy Ed AndersonCapital bureauBATON ROUGE – The University of New Orleans will try to reopen for a short semester starting in December since most of the campus was not flooded, UNO Chancellor Tim Ryan said Monday.Ryan told reporters that he hopes to get UNO campuses in downtown New Orleans, Jeffreson and St. Tammany parishes and on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish running as soon as possible.He said UNO will have 500 classes offered online for 120 courses by Oct. 10.“The University of New Orleans is not only coming back, but it is back,’’ Ryan said.He said only one-third of the campus was flooded and most of the campus’ classroom buildings were on the two-thirds that was not flooded.


Peter Finney - Saints Victory biggest in their history

By Peter FinneySports columnist

“When you talk football down here,’’ he said, “you’re speaking from the heart.’’Something Ole Miss’ Deuce McAllister learned long ago.“What the hurricane did was bring a close team a lot closer,’’ Deuce said. “The whole atmosphere, staying in a hotel, apartments, condos, in San Antonio. The hurricane left people fighting for their lives and we want them to know, if they don’t give up on us, we’re not going to give up on them.’’

More here


Blaine Kern Sr. on Mardi Gras

The question on the lips of many - fans who've already booked flights and hotels, and those who are just looking for the definitive sign that New Orleans is alive and kicking - is "Will there be Mardi Gras in New Orleans this spring?"The answer from the guy who can rightfully claim the title of "Mr. Mardi Gras" - Blaine Kern Sr. - is an unqualified "absolutely." Kern is the New Orleans artist whose float designs revolutionized Mardi Gras parades beginning in the late 1940s, leading the the huge superfloats and superkrewes that draw the biggest crowds during modern Carnival parades. His Kern Studios and Mardi Gras World have produced the world's biggest, most elaborate floats, and his massive compound in Algiers supplies floats and tractors for the majority of metro New Orleans parades.A couple of dens (warehouses where a krewe stores and builds its floats) have been damaged in Gretna, Kern said Sunday in a defiant interview on WWL-870. But the majority of building of floats for superkrewes Endymion, Rex and Orpheus has already been finished, and the captains of these krewes and others are looking not only to have Mardi Gras in New Orleans during the Carnival season that peaks on Fat Tuesday - Feb. 28, 2006 - but to make it bigger and better than ever . . . to make a statement.

More here


Looking grim for St. Bernard

By MELINDA DESLATTE The Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Thousands of St. Bernard Parish residents who journeyed to the state Capitol, desperate for information about their homes, received only grim news Monday: Every part of the parish was flooded by Hurricane Katrina. Some homes were coated with oil from a nearby refinery. And one official estimated no one would live in the parish until at least summertime.

More here


State to Movie Industry: Please, Don't Go...

"Yes, we are wounded; but we are healing and we need your help to continue doing that," said state Sen. Art Lentini, who represents Jefferson Parish, home to the Jefferson Movie Studio, which is creating a digital video production studio.
Michel Shane, executive producer of "Catch Me If You Can" and "I, Robot," pledged his support by announcing that his next film, "Paranoia," a thriller set to begin production in Brazil would now be moved to Louisiana early next year.
Link here


Saints to play 4 games at Tiger Stadium

Associated Press
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The New Orleans Saints will play four home games at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., and three in the Alamodome in San Antonio this season.
The Saints, displaced when Hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans area and their Superdome home, will play the weekends of Oct. 30-31, Nov. 6-7, Dec. 4-5 and Dec. 17-19 on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge. The San Antonio games will be on the weekends of Oct. 2-3, Oct. 16-17 and Dec. 24-26. blog highlights for Monday

6:22 P.M. - The Mississippi River is open to all ships — and except for the 20 miles nearest its mouth, for 24 hours a day, the Coast Guard said Monday.
Until Monday afternoon, ships could move only during the day from New Orleans to the river's mouth, because so many buoys and other navigation aids had been blown away by Hurricane Katrina.

6:16 P.M. - Entergy says 278,000 customers are without power and that about 167,000 of them are in Orleans and not likely to be returned anytime soon.

6:15 P.M. - Texas schools won't get federal emergency funds to pay for additional teachers and textbooks to accommodate students displaced by Hurricane Katrina, according to a memo released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Texas schools will need an estimated $450 million to educate the anticipated influx of students displaced by the hurricane. Officials had hoped those costs would be covered by grants from FEMA because Texas has been included in the disaster declaration.
But, according to a FEMA memo sent to state officials on Saturday, Texas schools will be eligible for reimbursement for temporary classroom buildings, mental health counselors and school computers. Hiring additional teachers and the purchase of books is not eligible "at this time," according to the memo.

5:20 P.M. WWL-TV Reporter Bob Greene: Northwest Airlines to be first carrier to return to Armstrong International Tuesday.

5:05 P.M. - WWL-TV reporter Ben Lemoine said that St. Bernard Parish officials said that 100 percent of the homes and buildings in the parish were damaged by hurricane Katrina and the parish was declared "unrecoverable."
5:03 P.M. - Lemoine: Parish officials say that no one in St. Bernard can even begin to rebuild until next summer.

4:55 P.M. - Dickie Brennan, of Brennan’s Steakhouse and other noted New Orleans eateries, and Justin Frey of Bourbon Street’s famed Galatiore’s restaurant, will join directors of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board to deliver a status report on Louisiana’s seafood industry, which has an annual economic impact of more than $2.5 billion each year in Louisiana alone.
The group will unveil its plans to revive the seafood and restaurant industries recently ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. They will also ask the state to reopen sustainable fisheries. Redfish and speckled trout, healthy and sustainable fisheries, have been off limits to commercial harvesters for some time.
A number of stalwart shrimpers in Louisiana are already harvesting product from the Gulf despite the hardships brought on by the hurricane. What’s more, oyster beds that lie west of the river are expected to open in the near future. Shrimp and oyster fishermen and leading distributors of Louisiana Seafood will join the restaurateurs and industry experts.

4:00 P.M. - WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Emergency Management Agency director Mike Brown resigned Monday, three days after losing his onsite command of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. The White House picked a top FEMA official with three decades of firefighting experience as his replacement

2:42 P.M. - WWL-TV Reporter Thanh Truong: Few business owners have returned to New Orleans to assess situation and get papers, despite invitation to do so.

2:37 P.M. - Children's Hospital spokesman: Despite rumors, there was no looting at the hospital.

2:32 P.M. - (AP) Louisiana religious leaders said Monday they want the federal government to develop a comprehensive family recovery plan for victims of Hurricane Katrina, but not without input from New Orleans' displaced families.
"We don't want to be just the recipients," said Father Michael Jacques, pastor of St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in New Orleans. "We want to participate."

2:02 P.M. - (AP) Forty-five bodies have been found at a hospital that was abandoned more than a week ago after it was surrounded by floodwaters unleashed by Hurricane Katrina, a state health official said Monday.
The bodies were located Sunday at Memorial Medical Center, said Bob Johannesen, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Hospitals. Johannesen said the bodies were those of patients, but he had no other information.
The Louisiana death toll rose to 279 on Monday, up from 197 on Sunday, Johannesen said.
On Sunday, reporters were kept at a distance from Memorial Medical by law enforcement officers as workers removed bodies from the hospital, situated in the city's Uptown section.
The 317-bed hospital, owned by TenetHealthcare Corp., remained closed Monday and was still partially surrounded by floodwaters.

1:12 P.M. - Gordon Nelson, Louisiana Dept. of Transportation spokesman: Crews have mobilized and work has begun on the Twin Spans. We hope to have phase one of the plan, one side of the Twin Spans, up and running with two-way traffic in 45 days.

12:23 P.M. - Mike Olivier, State Dept. of Economic Development: We owe it to the people who died to rebuild the city.

12:15 P.M. - President George W. Bush: The people of New Orleans can lay out the vision of what New Orleans will look like in the future and we will help. I don't think the best policy would be for the federal government to come down and say, "this is what your city should look like."
12:12 P.M. - Bush: The storm didn't discriminate and neither will the federal government. When those rescuers were plucking people off of rooftops, they didn't ask or look at their color.

11:10 A.M. - (AP) The waters in New Orleans, which once covered 80 percent of the city, have pulled back far enough to allow for a scenic drive down Esplanade Avenue, past the handsome, columned two-story home where the French artist Edgar Degas once lived to the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park.
The same can be said for Saint Charles Avenue. While many homes are deserted and the old green street cars are gone, the beauty of the Greek Revival and Victorian homes, fronted by a canopy of live oaks, overwhelms the sight of debris piled along the road.

11:05 A.M. - (AP) -- Business owners in the central business district were issued passes into the city Monday to retrieve vital records or equipment needed to run their companies, as New Orleans slowly and painfully stirred back to life two weeks after being slammed by Katrina.
Traffic was heavy on the only major highway into the city that was still open, and vehicles were backed up for about two miles at a National Guard checkpoint in Westwego, a suburb across the Mississippi River from New Orleans.

3:22 A.M. - MEMPHIS, TN (AP): A Memphis woman who tried to collect more than $1,500 in hurricane relief money has been charged with forgery and attempted theft.
Tennessee authorities say they believe Emma Hill is the first person charged in Memphis with posing as a hurricane victim.
Evacuees in Memphis must remain diligent. They are crime targets. It appears criminals are looking for Louisiana license plates. Many people have had their vehicles taken, along with thousands of dollars in cash and valuables. Police say at least 56 evacuees have been crime victims.


More about the horror that was the Superdome



Jefferson Parish wants You!

If you're a business owner, please come back and re-open. More from Jefferson Parish's website here


MSY Reopening for passenger flights - NYTimes

BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 11 - Officials announced today that they plan to resume commercial flights into and out of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport on Tuesday, a critical precursor to any reconstruction effort in the flood-ravaged city.

link here


New Orleans to allow limited access to businesses

09:41 PM CDT on Sunday, September 11, 2005
Associated Press
BATON ROUGE, La. — Beginning Monday, officials of businesses in the New Orleans central business district will be able to get temporary passes so that they can retrieve vital records and equipment.Business owners or representatives should call the New Orleans Police Department police at 504-599-5541 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for information on how to obtain the pass, which will allow entry into the city from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., said Trooper Johnny Brown, a state police spokesman.The passes will allow employers and business owners access to payroll records, computer drives or other items business owners might need to operate outside of New Orleans, Brown said.Overnight stays will not be allowed, Brown said.

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