Friday, September 30, 2005


Katrina pipeline damage more than first thought

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hurricane Katrina did more damage to underwater oil and natural gas pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico than previously thought, according to the U.S. agency that oversees offshore energy production.
The head of the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, Johnnie Burton, said two weeks ago that Katrina did not do as much damage to offshore pipelines as Hurricane Ivan did a year earlier.
However, Burton's estimate turned out to be too optimistic, and the damage is much worse. "It appears that way," said MMS spokesman Gary Strasburg, who pointed out that Burton's comments were based on initial data available at the time.
full story here


Maybe T.O. not totally horrible?

Sept. 30 Terrell Owens' 2004 NFC Championship ring sold for $48,200 in an online auction on Thursday.

Full story here


Thank Goodness!

Archie keeps eye on New Orleans cleanup. Full story here.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


Taking a train from Baton Rouge to New Orleans?

Wouldn't this be a good idea? I mean, it's almost like mass transit, which we've had almost none of for years!

The initial plan involves running two commuter trains per day between the two cities, starting at the Kansas City Southern rail depot near Memorial Stadium in Baton Rouge and running to the Union Passenger Terminal in downtown New Orleans, Allen said.Hurricanes Katrina and Rita damaged some of the track that runs across the LaBranche Wetlands in St. Charles Parish, but railroad officials say repairs should be finished soon.The group making the proposal includes Regional Transit Authority of New Orleans, Amtrak, the Capital Area Transit System, which operates the bus system in Baton Rouge, the KCS Railroad, the DOTD and Amtrak. RTA spokeswoman Rosiland Blanco Cook said the agency is "very interested" in the concept and has been holding discussions with all parties.

full story here


NOPD investigating reports of police officers looting

NEW ORLEANS — Acting New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Warren Riley is holding a press briefing this afternoon to discuss misconduct by some members of the force.

While the substance of the briefing was not known at press time, it likely will deal with recent allegations of misconduct by some members of the force. The department has launched an investigation into whether officers participated in the giant looting spree that overtook the city after Hurricane Katrina. News reports in the aftermath of the storm put officers at the scene of some of the heaviest looting, the Wal-Mart in the Lower Garden District.

Police spokesman Marlon Defillo says out of 1,750 officers, the department is looking into the possibility that a dozen officers may have been involved in misconduct.

Full story here


New Orleans Wine stores in the news

Cork and Bottle aquiring a Baton Rouge location, Martin's looking to do the same.

Full story here


The New Orleans' Saints Mission:

the parting message from Nagin was, "This is your fate, this is your mission - to lift the spirit of these fans."

This article gives me hope that this can happen for the rest of the season. Read it here.


Gulf Coast Bank doing legal Money Laundering

With a Washer and a Dryer.

Katrina also forced the Federal Reserve operations in New Orleans to move to Atlanta, making it harder for Hancock Bank to get fresh cash to meet surging demand. To remain liquid, the bank recovered millions of dollars from its A.T.M.'s, night deposit boxes and vaults that had filled with water and silt - and washed and dried the cash as fast as they could. "We're doing it the old-fashioned way," Mr. Hairston said.

Full story here


Pre-Katrina Audit showed weakness at FEMA

WASHINGTON -- Former FEMA Director Michael Brown was warned weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit that his agency's backlogged computer systems could delay supplies and put personnel at risk during an emergency, according to an audit released Wednesday.

The internal review of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's information-sharing system showed that it was overwhelmed during the 2004 hurricane season. In an Aug. 3 response, Brown and one of his deputies rejected the audit, calling it unacceptable, erroneous and negative.

The audit was released a day after Brown defended FEMA for the government's dismal response to Katrina, instead blaming state and local officials for poor planning and chaos during the Aug. 29 storm and subsequent flooding.

Full story here


When the New York police try to pull you over in New Orleans, you better stop.

BATON ROUGE (AP) — One hundred New York State Police troopers have been sworn in as temporary officers in the Louisiana State Police. The New York troopers will be performing general law enforcement services as well as working with local authorities, such as New Orleans Police, in the areas of the state ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Col. Henry Whitehorn, head of the state police, has already sworn in 3,200 federal, state and local personnel from out-of-state to aid in the hurricane relief and recovery efforts. The newly sworn-in New York officers will have the same power to arrest for criminal violations inside Louisiana.

Full story here


Lawmakers concerned that Katrina money will be spent poorly

"I fear that the days are soon upon us where we will see daily reports of exotic, unnecessary and grossly overpriced purchases of goods and services under the guise of providing hurricane relief and recovery," said Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash.
"It does not appear that a single inspector general is in full charge of seeing that these monies are wisely spent," he said.
Full story here


Great article about New Orleans mogul Joe Canizaro

If New Orleans will be rebuilt, it will be because of people like him. Read the story here. Some tidbits:

Mr. Canizaro is inclined to view the flooding of New Orleans as both a tragedy and an opportunity. He notes that the city's schools were substandard, its housing stock crumbling and its crime rate among the nation's highest. "I think we have a clean sheet to start again," Mr. Canizaro said. "And with that clean sheet we have some very big opportunities."

Like many in the city's establishment, Mr. Canizaro declined to give his vision for a new New Orleans. But many locals expect Mr. Canizaro will use as a starting blueprint a report from the Committee for a Better New Orleans that he and other civic leaders have sitting on their shelves. In 2000, he started that committee, which brought together more than 100 business and community activists to talk about everything from the poor state of the city's schools to the high crime rate and preponderance of dilapidated buildings.

CBNO/MAC has done great work for the past few years in bringing people together and asking tough questions. You can read their blueprint for a better New Orleans here, and see just what I'm talking about.

Of course, other business leaders are expected to play a central role in the rebuilding of New Orleans. One is Donald T. Bollinger Jr., who runs Bollinger Shipyards, based in Lockport, Miss. (That's incorrect, Lockport is in LA!!!), and who confirmed that he had been asked to serve on the commission.

Mr. Bollinger, who splits his time between homes in New Orleans and others scattered around the Gulf Coast, is also prominent in Republican circles in Louisiana. His résumé includes a long list of community activities, including a stint as chairman of the local United Way and a turn as the head of Citizens for a Better New Orleans.

Boysie will be a great addition to this committee, for his influence and business background.

The list also includes several prominent African-American business leaders, including Alden J. McDonald Jr., the chief executive of the Liberty Bank and Trust Company, and Daniel F. Packer, the chief executive of the New Orleans subsidiary of the Entergy Corporation, which filed for bankruptcy protection last week.

Scott Cowen, the president of Tulane University, who first arrived in New Orleans in 1998, is also expected to be named to the mayor's commission. "A few decades ago, New Orleans was the kind of closed community where unless you were born and raised here, you couldn't have much influence," Mr. Cowen said. "In recent years, that's clearly changing. As a result, people like Joe Canizaro and others can have much more influence than they would have had a decade or two ago."


Good Job LSU fans

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU athletic director Skip Bertman has apologized to the Tennessee athletic director for what he called "the unfortunately an element in every crowd that does not exhibit good sportsmanship.'' Bertman sent the letter of apology Mike Hamilton because of the rowdy action of LSU fans as Tennessee's team and official party's buses approached Tiger Stadium before Monday night's Southeastern Conference football game.

I'm amazed that nothing happened after the game....

Full story here

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Very interesting update from LA State House Rep Steve Scalise

Steve Scalise’s Hurricane Katrina Update for Wednesday, September 28, 2005

New Orleans Reentry Plan: At our weekly meeting with Mayor Nagin today at the Capitol he just outlined the City’s plan for reentry. It will be as follows:
- Beginning Thursday morning businesses can continue entering the following targeted ZIP codes: 70114, 70131, 70116, 70115, 70118, 70130, 70112, and 70113.
- Starting Friday residents in these targeted ZIP codes will be allowed back in to inspect their property. They will be allowed to stay if they desire, but people are encouraged to leave at sunset.
- If a red sticker is on your home that means the City’s inspectors determined your house is a structural hazard and you should get it inspected before you enter.
- Beginning Wednesday, October 5th ALL residents will have full access to the entire City WITH THE EXCEPTION of the lower 9th Ward.

Water on the Westbank is drinkable. The Eastbank’s water is under a boil order but it is now safe to shower. Officials encourage returning residents to run their hot and cold water for about 10 minutes prior to using it in order to flush out their systems. They are hoping to have drinkable water on the Eastbank by the end of next week.
Power has been fully restored to Algiers, and most of the CBD, French Quarter. Uptown should be energized by the end of the week. Restoration progress can be viewed at

Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) is hosting a “Back to Business Briefing” for area companies to get information on business recovery assistance. Representatives from JEDCO, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and other organizations will be on hand to address concerns and answer questions. The meeting will be held this Thursday, September 29th from 4-6pm at the Radisson Hotel in Kenner, 2150 Veterans Blvd (near Williams Blvd.). It will be in the Bayou Room on the 1st floor and is free of charge.

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP): Last week I met with a representative of the NFIP. There were a number of questions, and he said up front that many coverage-related questions would depend on each policy. The questions he did address dealt with the ability to rebuild and provide flood insurance in the future. Decisions on changes in building codes will ultimately be up to local government officials. He said that the NFIP will continue to write flood insurance policies in the future. As long as a homeowner is in compliance with local building codes they will be able to purchase flood insurance. There are also caps that prevent them from increasing premium rates by more than 10% in any given year. Another important item we discussed was a program they have that allows homeowners who had flood insurance to obtain up to $30,000 in grant money to raise the elevation to the current flood plane if they need to rebuild.

Lake Pontchartrain: I spoke with the head of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation Carlton Dufrechou last week. He had some very encouraging news about the status of the Lake that is similar to positive reports by the Department of Environmental Quality. Testing is being done by his organization as well as a number of governmental agencies. Results performed since Hurricane Katrina show levels not much higher than pre-Katrina levels. The area most affected by the water pumped out of New Orleans is the first mile of the Lake from the 17th Street Canal heading east. He is very optimistic that the Lake will heal itself and the water quality should return to its normal levels within 6 months.
Earlier this week I was able to partially open my Legislative office. If you have any questions or issues we can help with feel free to contact me at (504)888-9899.


Holy Crap!

View pictures from where Rita came ashore and totally wiped a cajun community off of the map here and here


New Orleans loses its 3rd professional franchise for the season

The Voodoo will not play at all this season, Administrative Staff and head coach kept on the payroll for now.

Full story here


Not much from Chicago today

We've had a busy morning, and have a tasting at our reception venue tonight. More news tomorrow I am sure.


Great MSNBC article looking back on the past month

View it here

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


A new Frat at LSU in Baton Rouge

This is great :) I wonder what kinds of hazing rituals they will have in mind. I also wonder how the parties will be down the street from the new tenants.

A new fraternity of sorts has moved in on the Greek row at Louisiana State University: the FBI.

About 50 New Orleans agents displaced by Hurricane Katrina will be living in the red-brick home once occupied by a fraternity exiled for hazing violations.

"They've been jokingly referred to as Phi Beta Iota," Special Agent in Charge Jim Bernazzani said Monday. "We even had T-shirts m ade up."

Full story here


FEMA scores another hit

We're sorry your house flooded, but you can't get federal aid. Yet. It didn't get windy enough there.

In a memo Monday, William Lokey, FEMA’s deputy federal coordinating officer, wrote that although Gov. Kathleen Blanco asked for all parishes to be declared disasters, and eligible for relief money, only the Louisiana parishes that suffered hurricane-force winds have been included.

Saturday, FEMA declared nine Texas counties and five coastal Louisiana parishes in the southwest portion of the state disaster areas and eligible for individual assistance -- including low-interest loans to rebuild damage homes -- as a result of Rita.

In his memo, Lokey wrote that although Blanco wanted all parishes included in FEMA’s disaster-assistance program, "FEMA determined to initially include only parishes which sustained hurricane-force winds."

Terrebonne sustained tropical-storm-force winds during Rita, but a 9-foot storm surge swamped thousands of homes and displaced a significant portion of the parish population.

Full story here


Police Cheif of New Orleans resigns

“Today is a sad day for the city of New Orleans, when a hero makes a decision such as this," Nagin said. “Chief Compass is loved by many, and we will miss him. He helped guide the city through one of the toughest times we’ve ever had. However, we have to respect someone who makes the decision to retire on top.” “Today is a sad day for the city of New Orleans, when a hero makes a decision such as this," Nagin said. “Chief Compass is loved by many, and we will miss him. He helped guide the city through one of the toughest times we’ve ever had. However, we have to respect someone who makes the decision to retire on top.”

More here


A well written article on how difficult it is to put a price on these events

"I searched Google and the database Factiva and found hundreds of stories that mentioned the $200 billion cost estimate, but most attributed it to unnamed officials or simply stated it as a fact.

I traced it back to Sept. 6, when Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said the recovery and relief operations "will cost up to and could exceed $150 billion."

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, accused Reid of playing "political games."
But shortly afterward, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H., weighed in, saying the cost might be as high as $200 billion.

I called Reid's office to find out where he got his estimates but didn't get far."

Read the full story here


A small bit of solace

My barbershop is going to re-open! It's the smallest things these days that help me to feel like home will really be home again. I got my hair cut the other day, and it was the first time in at least 2 years that somebody else has cut my hair. How I miss going to Aidan's and getting a Dos Equis or a Guiness. This new barbershop offered me water. Water? How is that going to help me get my hair cut? I think a beer is a much better option.

We at Aidan Gill for Men have upmost sympathy for those in the wake of Katrina. While we're currently spread out across the country, we know the spirit of New Orleans lives on in the hearts of all of us. The Aidan Gill for Men shop did sustain damage from Katrina, but we will rebuild – we survived the famine and we'll survive this too. We are dedicated to New Orleans and look forward to returning home.

Oh, and the guy who owns it is Irish, i.e. the famine reference.

Visit their website here.


Interesting idea to fund Katrina relief

And from an unlikley source to boot! Fox News!

President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 asked Congress to enact a one-year 10 percent income tax surcharge to help pay for the cost of the Vietnam War. Congress agreed and I remember going to the bottom line on my tax return for that year and adding an additional 10 percent. It seemed like the patriotic thing to do.

Congress could enact a one-time 10 percent tax surcharge (effective for tax year 2005) on all personal and corporate income taxes to help defray the cost of President Bush’s Katrina program. Current Congressional Budget Office projections for 2006 are that the Federal Government will collect $1,013 billion in individual tax revenues and $258 billion in corporate tax revenues for a total of $1,271 billion in total revenue. Ten percent of this would be $127 billion. Thus a 10 percent surcharge would pay for a little more than half of President Bush’s program.

Full story here


New Bankruptcy laws may hurt storm victims

Those who try to beat the Oct. 17 deadline in hopes of filing under the less-onerous current law may find it impossible to do so, because residence rules generally require that individuals seek protection against creditors in their hometowns. (Assuming people in New Orleans can find their lawyers and records, they can file for bankruptcy protection in their bankruptcy court, which has reopened and is sharing space with another court in Baton Rouge.)

Moreover, most people displaced by the storm will probably not know for months if they even need to file for bankruptcy. By that time, the tougher new law will be in force.

"Six to nine months from now, FEMA will be gone, the church groups will be gone and creditors will once more be demanding their money," said Bradford W. Botes, a bankruptcy lawyer whose firm represented victims of Hurricane Ivan, which struck Florida a year ago.

Full NYTimes story here


Mike Brown doing what he does best

That's right everybody, he's passing the buck, or playing the blame game:

Sept. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Michael Brown, the former head of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, defended the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina before a congressional committee and called the state and local governments in Louisiana ``dysfunctional.''

``We can't deny the point that it worked in the other states and it didn't work in Louisiana,'' Brown told the House Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation and Response to Hurricane Katrina. ``The people of FEMA are tired of being beat up and they don't deserve it.''

Is it possible that the scope of the catastrophe was just a little bit different in New Orleans than it was in other states? Or maybe this was more complicated than being Commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association?

Full story here

Update, Both sides of the aisle are calling Brown out, here is a favorite passage of mine:

But some Republicans aren't holding their fire. Connecticut Republican Christopher Shays says it's apparent Brown wasn't ``capable of doing the job.'' And Texas Republican Henry Bonilla says FEMA is now widely seen as ``the dullest knife in the drawer.''

That story is here

Monday, September 26, 2005


FEMA Loves You

Where did FEMA workers in New Orleans evacuate to in anticipation of Rita?

Gulf Shores, AL

That's right: they went to the beach while the Ninth Ward flooded again.


What lies ahead for Lakeview?

A special report from is here


This doesn't seem right to me. Am I missing something?

Gov. Rick Perry today asked President Bush to designate the two consecutive hurricanes as one natural disaster for administrative and funding. He said such a designation would allow Texas to be reimbursed at the same level for Hurrican Rita as is expected for Hurricane Katrina.

"The shelter that we provided for the evacuees of Hurricane Katrina affected every aspect of our preparation, response and recovery for Hurricane Rita, which makes the argument for considering these consecutive hurricanes as one tragedy," said Perry.

"With indications that the federal reimbursement will be less for Hurricane Rita based on information received from FEMA, I want to emphasize the state's position that it makes sense to provide the same level of federal support for a storm that did much more extensive damage," Perry said at a news conference in Austin.

Full story here


Government not ready to spend $200 Billion?

WASHINGTON, Sept 26 (Reuters) - U.S. government spending to repair Hurricane Katrina damage may turn out to be just half of early estimates, or about $100 billion, the Senate Majority Leader's chief budget aide said on Monday.
Bill Hoagland, who works for Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Frist, also said congressional leaders would shortly ask lawmakers to find additional spending cuts to help pay for hurricane disaster aid, but added: "It's going to be tough."
At a conference on Katrina reconstruction, Hoagland said an estimate frequently cited on Capitol Hill that federal recovery costs would hit $200 billion "has no basis in analysis."


Killer Dolphins on the loose?

Well, maybe. That is, if they actually exist, if they are armed, and if they did get loose. I always take what I read in the Guardian with a grain of salt.

It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.

Dolphins have been trained in attack-and-kill missions since the Cold War. The US Atlantic bottlenose dolphins have apparently been taught to shoot terrorists attacking military vessels. Their coastal compound was breached during the storm, sweeping them out to sea. But those who have studied the controversial use of dolphins in the US defence programme claim it is vital they are caught quickly.

Leo Sheridan, 72, a respected accident investigator who has worked for government and industry, said he had received intelligence from sources close to the US government's marine fisheries service confirming dolphins had escaped.

'My concern is that they have learnt to shoot at divers in wetsuits who have simulated terrorists in exercises. If divers or windsurfers are mistaken for a spy or suicide bomber and if equipped with special harnesses carrying toxic darts, they could fire,' he said. 'The darts are designed to put the target to sleep so they can be interrogated later, but what happens if the victim is not found for hours?'

Usually dolphins were controlled via signals transmitted through a neck harness. 'The question is, were these dolphins made secure before Katrina struck?' said Sheridan.

The mystery surfaced when a separate group of dolphins was washed from a commercial oceanarium on the Mississippi coast during Katrina. Eight were found with the navy's help, but the dolphins were not returned until US navy scientists had examined them.

Sheridan is convinced the scientists were keen to ensure the dolphins were not the navy's, understood to be kept in training ponds in a sound in Louisiana, close to Lake Pontchartrain, whose waters devastated New Orleans.

The navy launched the classified Cetacean Intelligence Mission in San Diego in 1989, where dolphins, fitted with harnesses and small electrodes planted under their skin, were taught to patrol and protect Trident submarines in harbour and stationary warships at sea.

Criticism from animal rights groups ensured the use of dolphins became more secretive. But the project gained impetus after the Yemen terror attack on the USS Cole in 2000. Dolphins have also been used to detect mines near an Iraqi port.

Full Story Here


Kermit Ruffins: We will swing that place again

"We will swing again in that place," Kermit Ruffins said by phone from Houston, where he went when Hurricane Katrina came. Mr. Ruffins is a trumpeter beyond compare, the crowned emperor of the New Orleans sound, who cooks red beans and rice and plays with his band, the Barbecue Swingers, every Thursday down at Vaughn's, in the Bywater section of the upper Ninth Ward. A flashlight aimed at Vaughn's last Thursday night revealed an intact building - and a big mess to go with it. "Could be six months, could be eight, could be a year," Mr. Ruffins said, "but I can't wait to get there and throw the grand reopening party on the new New Orleans. Count on that."

Full story here


Two Saints stories

Ernie Conwell (who is a really great guy, even though I don't always like his on the field performance) buys a couple their engagement ring here


An interesting article about the NFL and New Orleans that doesn't include much in the way of new information, but it is an interesting read nonetheless. Link here


Arnauds Restaurant will re-open

NEW ORLEANS —Management of the well-known fine-dining establishment Arnaud's Restaurant says the restaurant will reopen as quickly as possible. Proprietor Archie A. Casbaria says damage assessment is under way and cleanup and repairs will begin soon. "Our staff is regrouping and we are interviewing to fill open positions," he said.

Full story here


Knights of Babylon will parade

One key change for the post-Katrina parade is that two floats will be dedicated to the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). "They have gone through hell keeping our city together. Our organization is composed of professionals, many of whom were helped by the NOPD during Katrina, and we wanted to be sure that they are honored properly," said the Captain, who began his involvement with the parade as a page at age 5. "My family's foundation will pay for the cost of the beads for them to throw."

full story here


Hotels downtown doing incredible work

This is pretty amazing to read of how these places are up and running, and extremely busy. Full story here


Cameron Parish hit hard by Rita

From the air, it looked as if Erath had been picked up and placed in a shallow lake. Only the goalpost and the highest tier of bleachers of a football stadium could be seen above the water line. In Vermilion Parish, much of the parish remained flooded Sunday. Flooding also plagued Calcasieu Parish, including Lake Charles.

Full story here


Reports of Dome deaths have been greatly exaggerated

Widely reported attacks false or unsubstantiated, 6 bodies found at Dome; 4 at Convention Center
Of those, four died of natural causes, one overdosed and another jumped to his death in an apparent suicide, said Beron, who personally oversaw the turning over of bodies from a Dome freezer, where they lay atop melting bags of ice. State health department officials in charge of body recovery put the official death count at the Dome at 10, but Beron said the other four bodies were found in the street near the Dome, not inside it. Both sources said no one had been killed inside.
"I think 99 percent of it is bulls---," said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Lachney, who played a key role in security and humanitarian work inside the Dome. "Don't get me wrong, bad things happened, but I didn't see any killing and raping and cutting of throats or anything. ... Ninety-nine percent of the people in the Dome were very well-behaved."
Doug Thornton, regional vice president of SMG, which manages the Dome, walked the complex from before the storm until the final evacuation and kept a meticulous journal. In a Sept. 9 interview, he said he heard reports of rapes and killings, but they were unconfirmed and came from evacuees and security officials. "We walked through the facility every day, and we didn't see all this that was being reported," said Thornton, one of about 35 Dome employees who rode out Katrina in the building and lived there in the days after the storm hit. "We never felt threatened. It's hard to determine what's real and what's not real."
One widely circulated tale, told to The Times-Picayune by a slew of evacuees and two Arkansas National Guardsmen, held that "30 or 40 bodies" were stored in a Convention Center freezer. But a formal Arkansas Guard review of the matter later found that no soldier had actually seen the corpses, and that the information came from rumors in the food line for military, police and rescue workers in front of Harrah's New Orleans Casino, said Edwards, who conducted the review.
Soldiers and police did confirm at least one attempted rape of a child. Riley said a man tried to sexually assault a young girl, but was "beaten up" by civilians and apprehended by police. It was unclear if that incident was the one that gained wide currency among evacuees
Compass said rumors had often crippled authorities' response to reported lawlessness, sending badly needed resources to respond to situations that turned out not to exist. He offered his own intensely personal example: The day after the storm, he heard "some civilians" talking about how a band of armed thugs had invaded the Ritz-Carlton hotel and started raping women - including his 24-year-old daughter, who stayed there through the storm. He rushed to the scene only to find that although a group of men had tried to enter the hotel, they weren't armed and were easily turned back by police.
As the Dome cleared out Sept. 3, Beron, the National Guard commander, fashioned a plan to deal with the dead. He knew of the six bodies in the freezer, but expected far more. He and an Ohio National Guard commander sent 450 Ohio troops to search every nook of the Dome, top to bottom. They told them to mark locations of bodies on a map of the Dome, to rope off suspected crime scenes, and leave a chemical light sticks next to each one so they could be retrieved later. "I fully expected to find more bodies, both homicides and natural causes," he said.

They found nothing.

full story here


Inspiring Quote of the day

"Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure."
George E. Woodberry1855-1930, Writer and Critic


Ernest Gaines takes in his family and reflects on the storm

The author of 2004 One Book, One New Orleans selection A Lesson Before Dying talks about hosting his family and other items here


Ever wanted to talk to Brian Wilson?

Just donate $100 to hurricane relief through his website:

Beach Boy Wilson dials up donations to help New Orleans
''Iowa Jim'' was suspicious. Was Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson really putting messages on his official Web site urging people to contribute to Katrina relief efforts?
The Web surfer using that screen name e-mailed a challenge: If Wilson called and proved it was really him, Jim would gladly donate $100.
''So I called him up!'' a jovial Wilson told the Associated Press. ''I was surprised that he said he didn't think I was involved because I really was. So I called him up.''
Then Wilson and his wife, Melinda, got another brainstorm. Why not have the legend behind such musical standards as ''Good Vibrations,'' ''California Girls'' and ''Surfin' '' call everyone who donates $100 or more? And he decided to match any contribution of $100 or more posted through his Web site by Oct. 1.

more here, about halfway down the page


Archdiocese of New Orleans laying off workers

According to Father William Maestri, all employees must report their location and availability to report to work to their supervisor on or before Monday, October 3. Workers that cannot get in touch with the supervisors directly are asked to call 1-888-366-5024.

If jobs are available, those employees will be notified when and where to report to work, Maestri said. If jobs are unavailable, those employees will be let go and given two weeks severance pay, as well as the opportunity to apply for other jobs outside the archdiocese.

The archdiocese said if a job is available, but the employee cannot or chooses not to report to work, the employee will be laid off and given two weeks of severance pay. If an employee does not make contact by October 3, then the employee will be laid off with no severance pay.

Full story here


Algiers Open

But still under curfew from 6PM to 8AM.

Full story here


FEMA instructions on how to clean mold and mildew

These are actually pretty good, and make sure you read these before you get back to your house. Link


A nice weekend without internet

Actually it was kinda annoying as it usually is to not be online, but hey, what are you gonna do. I'm not willing to spend almost $100/month for a mobile network card, so I'll have to do with wi-fi at occasionaly sources. What's up with the people who turn on the security on their wi-fi anyway? Don't they know that there are people who are evacuated that need to borrow some bandwith?

Anyhow, there's lots of news to update from the weekend, so be prepared for a blitz of posts.


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