Friday, November 18, 2005


Effort to replace every musical instrument lost to Hurricane Katrina underway

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- U2 guitarist the Edge and rock producer Bob Ezrin are working to replace every musical instrument lost to Hurricane Katrina.

Gibson Guitars and Guitar Center have pledged to help MusicRising, the initiative to replace destroyed instruments and ensure the Gulf Coast's musical heritage lives on, reported.

"The idea that it would be just a place of history for music is awful to me," the Edge said.

"Coming from Dublin in the '70s, when music was something you had to search out, I'd never dreamed that somewhere like New Orleans could exist. Music was coming out of the walls. It seemed not just a form of escapism, but like it was weaved into everybody's life."

Gibson is creating a custom guitar that will be sold at Guitar Centers and the two companies have pledged a minimum $1 million from its sales to the effort, Ezrin said.

MusicRising will start by replacing instruments lost by professional musicians then expand to churches, marching bands and schools.

"It's clearly achievable," the Edge said. "Something should be done and not just because New Orleans deserves it, but because the world needs New Orleans."

Source story here


College's fundraising effort "abysmal"

Favorite quote: "With nearly 30,000 students and more than 1,500 employees, Palomar raised a grand total of $2,650 - roughly 8 cents per person - again, pitiful."

Full story here


Quick Hits 11/18

"Hurricane Katrina was sent to punish gay people" I guess that's why the french quarter and marigny are still mostly in tact.

Editorial: Pay for Katrina victims, not war

Inside Orleans Parish Prison during Katrina. No food, no water, no toilets, no power.

Interesting article about a few people's impressions of New Orleans after coming here to volunteer

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Favorite Post-Katrina Headline so far

New Orleans' crooks gone with Katrina


Quick Hits 11/17

New Orleans sees first murder since Katrina

Hurricane Katrina discussions raises more questions than answers on race and class

Katrina victim, a symbol in death, buried

Payments on Katrina contract halted after "mathematical error"


Inspirational Quote of the Day

So important to consider this, in New Orleans right now...

I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.

-Anne Frank

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Fitch downgrades Audubon, Sewerage and Water Board debt

UPDATE: A reader had a question about what the effect of these rating downgrades mean. Fitch Ratings ( provides research on the creditor of copmanies, so that people who are considering lending money to those corporations fully understand the risk that they are taking. Fitch ratings range from AAA (exceptionally strong) to D (distressed) and short-term ratings range from F1 (strong) to D (actual or imminent. default). A company who has a AAA long-term rating, is basically like an individual that has good credit. They can borrow money more easily, in larger amounts, and at lower interest rates. By downgrading the credit rating on these bonds for these entities, they will have to pay higher rates of interest to borrow money, and the holders of the outstanding debt would get less for them if they were to try to sell them today. I hope this helps a bit, and post in the comments if ya'll have other questions about this or anything else!

AUSTIN, Texas - Fitch Ratings has downgraded the underlying ratings of the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans and the New Orleans Audubon Commission and continue to have the two on negative ratings watch. Sewerage and Water Board's bond ratings are:

-- $200 million sewerage service revenue bonds lowered to 'B' from 'BBB';

-- $137 million sewerage service refunding bond anticipation notes series 2005A lowered to 'B' from 'F2';

-- $46 million water revenue bonds lowered to 'B' from 'BBB';

-- $27 million drainage system bonds lowered to 'B' from 'BBB+' (all outstanding debt of the board, with the exception of the BANs, is insured).

Audubon Commission's bond ratings are:

-- $42 million general obligation aquarium bonds lowered to 'B' from 'BBB' (all outstanding bonds are insured). These actions follow a previous downgrade of these credits on Oct. 6, 2005.

More here


Inspirational Quote of the Day

"Throughout all history, the great wise men and teachers, philosophers, and prophets have disagreed with one another on many different things. It is only on this one point that they are in complete and unanimous agreement. - We become what we think about."

Earl Nightingale

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Profits from Katrina

Insurance, at least. And who knew that Saks Fifth Avenue was based in Birmingham?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Birmingham-based Saks beat analysts' estimates by reporting a slight profit for the third quarter. The department store chain reported net income of $200,000. That was partly due to a $10 million gain linked to the estimated insurance settlement from the Saks Fifth Avenue store in New Orleans that was damaged by Hurricane Katrina.


Katrina Death Toll Rising

More than a month after the official search ended for victims of Hurricane Katrina, the death toll has jumped by 104 as some returning families in New Orleans continue to find bodies.
Many of the newly discovered victims are elderly people who sought refuge in attics and upper floors from the rising waters throughout the devastated Ninth Ward section of the city, said Frank Minyard, the coroner in greater New Orleans.

Full story here


Inspirational Quote of the Day

"The only person who succeeds is the person who is progressively realizing a worthy ideal. That's the person who says, 'I'm going to become this' - and then begins to work toward that goal."

Earl Nightingale

Monday, November 14, 2005


We could learn from the Dutch

Regarding their innovative flood-prevention techniques:

The plan, he said, represented a fundamental shift in approach. Rather than continuing to design levees to withstand the highest known flood levels, the government instead built protection to a particular safety level based on risk assessments.

The approach required examining every area of the small country and in each area evaluating a range of risk factors — such as the probability that major flooding would occur there and the density of population in the area — in addition to the area’s elevation above or below sea level. The result was a plan showing differentiated safety levels based on risk. The higher an area’s risk, the higher the government ranked it in terms of priority for flood protection.

Zijlstra said the government saw investing in the plan as “a kind of insurance policy that society, and not the individuals, pay for” in order to assure protection for the whole country. “And today, no one is afraid of living or investing there,” he said.

Full story here


$5 Million in grants for HBCU's in Katrina area

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Bush Foundation has awarded $5 million in unrestricted grants to two private historically black universities and a college to support their efforts to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Dillard University and Xavier University, both in New Orleans, will each receive $2 million and Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss., will receive $1 million.

More here


New Orleans Battlefield took big hit during storm

The flooding that followed the Aug. 29 storm was high in Chalmette, just south of New Orleans, where Jackson won a lopsided battle over battle-hardened British troops at the end of the War of 1812.

"We took the storm surge," said David Muth, chief of resource management at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park, who estimates damage to the now-shuttered historic site at over $1.5 million. "The museum displays were hopelessly ruined."

Katrina blew scaffolding into a marble obelisk, damaging a commemorative structure that Jackson dedicated after the war.

The deep flooding also uncovered some remains in a Civil War-era national cemetery that honors soldiers who died on both sides of that conflict, Muth said.


Inspirational Quote of the Day

You can't keep blaming yourself. Just blame yourself once, and move on.

-Homer Simpson

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