Friday, January 06, 2006


Flood insurance might be another Katrina casualty

Interesting piece in the NYTimes today discussing the above. Even if the feds to bail on offering flood coverage, some company will probably come along to write it. Potential insureds won't like the premiums, though.

Modifying the program is not enough for Representative Wayne T. Gilchrest, a Maryland Republican whose district spans the state's Eastern Shore from the Atlantic Ocean to the Chesapeake Bay. Mr. Gilchrest, the chairman of the House subcommittee on fisheries, conservation, wildlife and oceans, says the flood insurance program encourages people to put themselves in harm's way by building on the water's edge, in the expectation that the federal government will bail them out.

"We need to eliminate incentives for people to move in to flood-prone areas, whether it's on the banks of the Mississippi River or the coast of Maryland or wherever," he said. He called the program "a huge burden that is only going to get worse."

Full story here

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Feds agree to build new twin span

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Gov. Kathleen Blanco says the federal government will fund up to $600 million for a new six-lane twin span Interstate 10 bridge over Lake Pontchartrain, where Hurricane Katrina severely damaged the existing four-lane spans.

More here


Mark your calendars

It is important for as many people from the community as possible attend these meetings and take part in the process of rebuilding our home.

NEW ORLEANS — The Bring New Orleans Back Commission will begin presenting to Mayor C. Ray Nagin its master plan for rebuilding the city during a series of meetings that will begin next week. Committees of the commission will report on their particular sections of the master plan in seven separate meetings scheduled as follows:

• Wednesday, Jan. 11, 1 p.m., Urban Planning Committee
• Tuesday, Jan. 17, 1 p.m.. Education Committee
• Tuesday, Jan. 17, 3 p.m., Cultural Committee
• Wednesday, Jan. 18, 1 p.m., Health & Social Services Committee
• Wednesday, Jan. 18, 3 p.m., Infrastructure Committee
• Thursday, Jan. 19, 1 p.m., Administrative/Government Effectiveness Committee
• Friday, Jan. 20, 1 p.m., Economic Development Committee

The meetings will be held in the Napoleon Room at the Sheraton Hotel, 500 Canal St., in New Orleans. The presentations to Mayor Nagin will culminate on Friday, January 20, 2006.


Interesting new study

I'll be curious to see the finished product in a few years. Should be quite compelling

The struggles and stories of some 2,000 Hurricane Katrina survivors across the country will be documented regularly over the next two years in a project that aims to track their recovery. Their tales will be published and their advice sought for government policy makers, researchers said Thursday.

More here


Hope this doesn't get in the way of the carnival kickoff

NEW ORLEANS — Mayor C. Ray Nagin, former New Orleans Mayors Marc H. Morial, Sidney J. Barthelemy and Maurice E. "Moon" Landrieu along with five surrounding parish presidents will address the New Orleans City Council on Friday, Jan. 6 at a specially called meeting that begins at 10 a.m.

More here


More people leaving Louisiana than entering

United Van Lines Moving Survey states the following regarding LA:

While it was classified in the “balanced” category in recent years, it moved into the “high outbound” group in 2005, in no small part due to the impact of hurricanes in the final quarter. “With many difficult challenges throughout the year,” Louisiana, with a 57.9 percent outbound rating, saw 4.5% more outgoing moves after being classified as a balanced state for the past four years, the United report stated.

More here


Price Gouging Suits Filed in Alabama

(Alabama Attorney General) King says the stations raised the price of gasoline by as much as 86 cents a gallon in the days immediately following Hurricane Katrina. He says the stations raised their prices even though they had not received a new delivery of gasoline since before the hurricane hit the gulf coast.

More here


Harrah's re-opening 2/17, hosting job fair

Harrah's New Orleans Casino will conduct job fairs on Wednesday, Jan. 4, Thursday, Jan. 5 and Saturday, Jan. 7 to recruit the staff that will re-open the casino on Feb. 17, 2006. All three job fairs are from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel on Canal Street in the Nottaway Room on the 4th Floor. Applicants will fill out an employment application and be interviewed. Successful applicants must agree to a background check. According to a recent press release, Harrah’s has been in direct contact with more than 90 percent of employees who worked at the casino before Hurricane Katrina. Harrah’s expects to hire or re-hire more than 1,000 employees for the re-opening. For more information, go to


Another small town pitching in

The good people of Metuchen, NJ doing their part....

Karen Sherbine, an MDK volunteer, got the whole town of Metuchen involved in helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Sherbine received an e-mail in early September from MDK, asking for donations for over 30 families affected by Hurricane Katrina who have relocated to New Jersey. “I started calling my family, friends and neighbors asking them for anything they could give from bed sheets to toys,” said Sherbine.

More here

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Asking for our fair share

This is incredibly important. If we can get this share, which is what states get from federal royalty revenues on land-based projects, we don't need help from congress to pay for our reconstruction. We can do it ourselves.

BATON ROUGE — A group of federal, state and local officials were expected this morning to launch a drive seeking to obtain for Louisiana a 50 percent share of federal offshore oil and gas revenues.

more here


After your first King Cake on Friday:

NEW ORLEANS — As part of the official kickoff of the 2006 Carnival season, the Phunny Phorty Phellows will take their annual historic streetcar ride this Friday.

The costumed and masked krewe will assemble on the neutral ground at the corner of Crozat and Canal (near the old Krauss Department Store building) at 6:30 p.m. Because the full streetcar line is not yet in operation due to damage from Hurricane Katrina, the group will follow the available route, down Canal Street to the riverfront and up and down the Riverfront streetcar line.

More here


Important Homeowner's Insurance Note

For those of you who are currently working on your property, but not living at that property, a big change was scheduled to hit. Traditionally, homeowner's insurance isn't available to those who are working on reconstructing a home. Builder's risk policies are issued to cover those situations, however they are more expensive and more difficult to obtain. The Louisiana Department of Insurance has issued emergency rule 23 which prohibits companies who were writing your homeowner's coverage from dropping you and your residence because it is under substantial reconstruction.

Full text here


Favorite Headline from today's reading

Katrina Refugees Shoot Up Houston

First of all, I don't know who Peggy Noonan is, but her quote “City Journal is the best magazine in America.” is prominently displayed on their website to somehow validate their existence. The article isn't all bad, as it doesn't seem to paint the issues that Houston is facing as entirely due to the fact that many New Orleanians have relocated there. However, the call towards the end of the article stating that New Orleans should use some of the federal reconstruction funds towards building a top-notch justice system in order to prevent crime seems a little odd to me. Certainly our courts needed upgrading, but it would seem that improving the education system and the economy would do more to reduce crime than building bigger jails or more efficient courts.


Inspirational Quote of the Day

"In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future." – Eric Hoffer, philosopher


Decisions due on taking private land for levee upgrades

NEW ORLEANS — Homeowners along the canals that breached following the Aug. 29 hurricane may learn this month how much private property the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intends to take over in order to strengthen local flood protection.

more here

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Thank Goodness!

Does this mean that the my earthquake insurance policy rates aren't likely to go up either? What about my volcano insurance?

Wisconsin Insurance Rates Likely Not Impacted by Hurricane Katrina


King Cake Friday

The best present that the 3 kings brought was undoubtedly King Cake. If you want some free King Cake and a chance to meet the mayor and other dignitaries, the annual kick-off will be at Gallier Hall on St. Charles, a half block uptown from Poydras street, at 10AM Friday.


State-run schools in New Orleans?

Turns out, not really. They are going to be accepting proposals from Universities, non-profits, etc. to run the schools.

I hope this works out well, but I'm a little skeptical.

More here


New Homeland Security Grants

Are available to cities that are threatened by natural disasters, as well as terrorism. Hopefully N.O. will apply for some of these. Read more here

Monday, January 02, 2006


Students returning to New Orleans Universities

We are starting to see more students in the neighborhood, which is good and bad. It's good to have the energy and more folks around, I just wish they would pay a bit more attention to the fact that street lights are still out and there are stop signs at all of those intersections. We've seen many more people blow right through those in the past week than we have in months before. They'll get used to it, I hope. I also hope they all take part-time jobs to help solve some of the service labor shortage that exists.

"The number of students returning will not be known until classes begin. Loyola University and Tulane said about 85 percent of their undergraduates plan to come back, while Xavier University expects to retain more than 75 percent of its students."

Full story here


Time pictorial review on Katrina

This looks like it will be a good retrospective, as Time always does such a good job with works like these. A passage from the article and book did make me wonder, though. Where is Gen. Honore? Is he still around?

"Critics who carped that the U.S. government didn't do anything right in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina must have overlooked Gen. (Russel) Honore," says the staff of TIME. "The lean Louisiana native arrived in the region on Aug. 31 to lead the U.S. military relief effort and proceeded to take names, kick butts and convince people that there was at least one adult on the scene: After watching the general in action, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin compared him to John Wayne."

Full story here

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