Thursday, June 29, 2006

Residual Headaches

It turns out that you actually can't move an entire library full of stuff out of a building, remodel that buildings interior, move everything back in, and expect to be ready to open all in less than one week. We've moved fully into the putting-out-the-unexpected-fires phase.... but the end is in sight. Many fun details to come... in a few more days.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Front Page News

With all the other stuff going on in town for the T-P to inadequately cover, it sure was swell of them to give front page coverage to the work ALA attendees are doing to help restore a few of our buildings. The article also does a pretty good job of describing NOPL's current operating status.. and a few other things I rarely talk about here while I'm busy ranting. When ALA is over I'll be back with more on the work the volunteers are doing. And then it's right back to complaining. Until then...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Martial Law

Sorry.. really going.. had to say this though

Blanco calls weekend murders 'shocking,' urges Nagin to enforce a juvenile curfew
The following is a statement released by Governor Blanco responding to this past weekend's murder of five teenagers in Central City.

“The senseless slaying of five teenagers this weekend is shocking. Things like this should never happen and I am going to do all I can to stop it.

“The situation is urgent and we will accelerate our plans to deploy law enforcement to the city tomorrow. Right now we are talking with Chief Riley about his exact needs and we will respond with personnel from the State Police and National Guard. We had begun putting plans in motion to assist the New Orleans police force last week.

“I will not tolerate criminal behavior. We must protect our citizens. Having more law enforcement patrolling the streets is a direct deterrent to the criminal element. Criminals are not welcome in New Orleans or anywhere else in this state.

“I spoke with Councilman Oliver Thomas early this morning and I told him that I am in full support of the New Orleans City Police officers and will work to stop this escalating criminal activity. This afternoon I briefed the mayor on our plans to support the city with law enforcement efforts.

“I have two warnings: First, to parents, keep your teenagers off the streets and out of trouble. Second, to judges, I am urging you to keep hardened criminals where they belong—in jail and off the streets. We must protect our citizens.

“I also urge the mayor to put a juvenile curfew in place.”

Something in me says that this has more to do with discouraging future protest marches on St. Charles Ave... but that's just crazy me talking.

Okay okay.. I'm going

Like I said last week, it will be light posting until probably next Wednessday. This week I'm going to be busy providing some of the physical labor involved in this project. I'll try to peek in when I can. Meanwhile you have more time to read the folks on the side-bar who (unlike me) actually tend to know what they're talking about.

Radio this morning

The WWL listener line is dripping with the worst kind of hatred over this
Dozens of activists and public housing residents Saturday protested the federal government's plan to demolish several of the city's largest public housing developments by marching through the lush Uptown neighborhood that lines St. Charles Avenue.
Next time they should bring firebombs. [/Bizzaro Coulter]

Update: Gentilly Girl has more This is a matter of basic human rights. I think we should march through Audobon Place every day until there is an honest plan to bring everyone home.

Update #2: Third Battle: WTF is going on at Newcomb Boulevard? I might actually be serious about those firebombs.

Friday, June 16, 2006

So I really hate Cox

And they want $162.00 from me up front just for the privlidge of paying them $100.00 per month for cable and internet. I just can't bring myself to do this on priciple... so... unless I make it to an open internet connection somewhere (I might once or twice) you won't see much from me for about a week or so. This weekend you can either 1) Watch the World Cup with Oyster or 2) Start a riot with Lady Morwen

Both sound like worthwhile activities (note also the natural proximity of soccer to rioting). Unfortunately I've got enough on my plate already this weekend.

Y'all have a good one.

How exactly is this going to help?

FEMA slashes amount of immediate aid it will give hurricane victims

Update: Especially considering this tidbit

Also see: Adrastos:
Kicking around small timers who *may* have chiseled $1 billion from FEMA (visit the Wetbank Guide for some unconventional wisdom about this) is a helluva lot easier than going after the Shaw Group and other big ass contractors who raped FEMA post-K and then bragged about it.

Also also see: Maitri:
Don't rake us over the coals because you want to give us less money the next time around. Nine months and continued homelessness, hopelessness and unemployment later, that $2000 isn't burning a hole in a single struggling citizen's pocket. Our suffering from last year will only be compounded by the vagaries of the upcoming hurricane season. Can we depend on FEMA and our government to come through for us then? Right.

Pretty Vacant

Last night I dreamed I went to a show where the band dressed up in G.W. Bush masks and flight suits and played Never Mind the Bullocks straight through. The evening ended in spectacular bloodshed.

Weirder yet, last week I dreamed that Mayor Nagin held a press conference to announce that.. since the city needed a fresh start.. he was changing his name to Alf Zweipf.

I think they're putting something in the Abita Wheat. I really do.

City Finances

City's financial position still iffy
Sales tax shows gain, but new bills coming
Friday, June 16, 2006
By Bruce Eggler
Staff writer

New Orleans' post-Katrina financial situation continues to be dicey, with sales tax revenue unexpectedly strong but demands on the city treasury continuing to grow, a City Council committee was told Thursday.
My only comment here is see Moldy City.

Light Posting Ahead

This weekend all the way through next week will find me involved in some manual labor type stuff.. and with not as much time to complain on this little yellow forum. Things should get back to normal shortly thereafter.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Quote of the Day

"Mr. Jefferson will be dealt with"
-Mr. Burns.. I mean.. Nancy Pelosi

Fire Stats

Not as bad as it looks?

Third Battle has the numbers and they seem to indicate that we've been unnecessarily jittery.


I think that the fact that we're down to half the pre-K operational firehouses has had an effect on response time. Plus water pressure being what it is, I don't think you can say we've been too... um.. alarmist about this issue.

Mayor Nagin: "Unions Rock"

This quote doesn't show up in the T-P story but I nearly fell out of my chair when I heard it on TV last night. The AFL-CIO investment is the most comprehensive rebuilding plan yet put into play by any other entity public or private. Here are the major points published on the AFL-CIO site.
AFL-CIO Gulf Coast Revitalization Program

  • Multifamily Housing: HIT will provide $250 million in direct financing for the production or rehabilitation of affordable housing. The goal is to build or renovate 5,000 to 10,000 homes in New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities. This investment is expected to leverage an additional $150 million from other sources.

  • Commercial and Economic Development: BIT will invest $100 million for commercial real estate development—focusing on hotels and other projects that create construction and service jobs—in New Orleans and other Gulf Coast cities. These investments are expected to leverage an additional $150 million. The ITC also will explore the feasibility of alternative housing solutions, such as manufactured and modular housing.

  • Health Care and Hospital Facilities: HIT and other partners are exploring $100 million in investments in health care facilities and hospital construction to address the shortage of health care facilities in the region.

  • Home Ownership: HIT will designate $250 million to enable union members and public employees to purchase homes throughout the region. HIT also will work with local groups on innovative home-ownership programs for low-income families, such as limited equity co-ops and the Section 8 program.

  • Long-Term Commitment: ITC has leased office space in downtown New Orleans where experienced staff will work with the city and other labor, financial and community organizations throughout the Gulf Coast region to carry out the investment program.
Almost makes you believe in exploding pies.

Hey, just who the hell is driving this news cycle anyway!

T-P food critic Brett Anderson investigates a question raised last week by Dangerblond

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Mixed Message

HUD Giveth
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Wednesday that it will reopen 1,000 additional New Orleans public housing units this summer and increase the amount it pays for rental assistance to help bring the city's poor people back.

HUD Taketh Away : HUD to tear down four housing developments

Echo chamber time

Adrastos (or an associate of his) found this. It's worth passing along.

How to Fucking Evacuate

That's Our C-Ray

At it again... interpreting God's will and whatnot.
The hurricane, Nagin said, was an "unimaginable event," one he implied may have been designated by God.

Before Katrina, Nagin said, New Orleans was a city of "haves and have nots," with one of the highest rates of poverty, one of the worst public school systems in the nation and a high percentage of young males involved in crime.

"Then, you know, God looked down on that and said, `You know, I need to change that'," Nagin said. "And then Katrina happened. And in the midst of all that devastation, God is now allowing us to have an opportunity to reset the table, and that was what the election was all about."
It's not the clownishness or even the stupid superstition that bothers me about this. It's the lie. C-Ray was the candidate of the haves in the recent election. His policies do not favor the people he claims to represent in this speech. American politics (drifting that way for a while) entered the Orwellian era in earnest sometime after 2000. C-Ray is every bit a man of his times.

More at the Metblog

Entergy Sucks

See Schroeder

Daily Fire


See also:

Slew of fires testing crippled force
Next blow could be loss of two helicopters

Amid the catastrophe, firefighters and rescue personnel descended on New Orleans from across the country. Equipment was donated, repairs were launched and help at fire scenes was plentiful. Ten months later, the department has largely been left to its own devices. Right now the department is lobbying hard to retain two frequently used fire-fighting helicopters -- Voodoo I and II -- on loan from the Federal Emergency Management Agency until June 30.

"We really don't know what they're going to do (with the helicopters), but we hope we can keep both. They're a tremendous asset to the city right now," Woodridge said.

To bolster its claim for the copters, the Fire Department is trying to systematically document the city's water-pressure crisis, a problem caused by the loss of 85 million gallons of water daily through broken subterranean water pipes.

Woodridge said fire personnel are checking fire hydrants throughout the city to gauge their water pressure, then logging their findings on a map. Dramatically low water levels are reported immediately to the city's Emergency Operations Center, but the bulk of the measurements just get added to the grid.

"In order to present FEMA with a solid argument that we need these helicopters, we're gathering scientific data on a day-to-day basis," Woodridge said.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Some good recovery news

Amid the continual haggling over pet rescue or cock fighting or consolidation of minor governmental offices.. finally someone has a plan to help build affordable housing.
The AFL-CIO plans to invest $700 million in housing and other projects to help rebuild this city left staggered by housing shortages and other infrastructure problems after Hurricane Katrina.

The money will come from the union federation's pension fund and its lenders -- investments that should make money for the fund while aiding a city left hobbled by the enormous disaster, said AFL-CIO president John Sweeney in an interview Tuesday. It also will create union jobs in a region with an enormous number of construction projects.
"I was horrified that so little has been done," said Sweeney, who last visited New Orleans about a month ago and saw tracts of housing left in ruin since Katrina struck Aug. 29.

"It feels like it's the city that America forgot."

The investment plan includes $250 million in financing for housing construction over the next seven years, with more than 5,000 rental units expected to be built. Another $100 million will be equity investments for commercial real estate and revitalization projects.

The AFL-CIO already has applied to get title on 200 properties controlled by the city because owners failed to pay taxes on them. Most are in the Treme neighborhood, a predominantly black working-class neighborhood adjoining the French Quarter.

Another $250 million has been set aside for home mortgages for city employees, union members and residents of neighborhoods where AFL-CIO projects will be located.

Up to $100 million will be used to finance hospitals or nursing homes, using federally insured loans.

"Hopefully, it will jump-start some investment" from other private entities, Sweeney said.

The investment plans are similar to ones the union has executed in Chicago and New York. The AFL-CIO created a $750 million investment program in Chicago last year, mainly targeting affordable housing, and one in New York after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Finally something to be in a good mood about. We need more of this and less condo-ization.

More here
Some developers are worried that because of tax incentives, there will be too much affordable housing and not enough mixed income developments.

"You can overload the city with affordable housing," local developer Pres Kabakoff says. "It's important we don't end up with concentratedly poor neighborhoods."
Remember, kids, anything Pres Kabakoff hates is bound to be good for New Orleans.

Bold Mid-Term Election Prediction

Habitual optimist that I am... I see a Republican romp coming this fall. They will not be timid even where they're dead wrong. This is the key. As we have seen in New Orleans, Democrats still don't get that.

Daily Fire

At least this one comes with an explanation.

Literary Link of the Day

With the much anticipated ALA convention fast descending upon New Orleans, Loki could not have picked a better time to link to this Books for Understanding New Orleans page. I think this might be the best New Orleans book list I've seen in a while. Although I can also think of a few titles that might improve it a bit. Here they are in no particular order:

The Last Hayride and Cross to Bear
John Maginnis
Two outstanding books covering the landmark Louisiana gubenatorial elections of 1983 and 1991. Each provides some great insight into the colorful career of four time Governor Edwin Edwards.

Earl of Louisiana
A.J. Liebling
I first mentioned this one way back in 2003. Liebling draws a compelling parallel between Louisiana and Mediterranean culture. He also recognizes the customary New Orleans Y'at accent as being reminiscent of Hoboken, New Jersey and describes Earl Long (who the national media viewed as something of a clown) as "the most effective liberal south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Frenchmen, Desire, Goodchildren and Other Streets of New Orleans
John Churchill Chase
I'm really surprised that this local classic was not on the list. It's a colorful study of New Orleans's history and folklore as reflected in the names of its streets.

The Lost German Slave Girl
John Bailey
A dramatic rendering of the story of Sally Miller, a German immigrant who was sold into slavery in New Orleans. Her legal battle for her freedom provides a window into the city's complex racial history as well as the truly byzantine nature of slave law. Reviewed in Gambit last year.

Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America
John M Barry
This book has been discussed ad nauseum in New Orleans (and mentioned way too many times on this site) over the past year. See my sloppy semi-review here and here.. and Oyster's more coherent thoughts here. Oh and read this book if you haven't yet done so.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Attn. Louisiana voters

There is still time to contact your Senators and urge them to support net neutrality. This is very important.

Bloody Czechs

Not a good start for Team USA in World Cup play.

Has anyone asked about using machetes?

Look out, Florida

They're calling it a hurricane now

Jackass of the day

I mean really? Do they really have to keep going on with this?
Seminary president: Katrina washed Satan out of New Orleans

T-P goes too far

In the post I refer to below, David takes the Picayune (and some other local journalists) to task for lazy and irresponsible reporting of what is shaping up to be a disasterously mismanaged recovery effort. And while they may indeed be shamelessly resting on their Pulitzers, the T-P editorial staff has made some other egregious errors over the past few months.. some of which I've mentioned. They've scaled back the Thursday food section and merged it with the Living section. Some of the most useful reporting in this paper appears in the Money section which has been similarly de-emphasized for some reason. And, of course, the readership continues to be bludgeoned with one pretentious and stifflingly unfunny Chris Rose column after another. But Saturday, I think our local rag may have hit a new low.
After sitting out in the heat enjoying the Tomato Festival, I decided to retire to the cooler more comfortable environs of Molly's at the Market to relax and maybe work a little on the... but wait... no.. they didn't... did they really? Yep.. looks that way. I turned the Saturday T-P inside out at least three times before I finally came to grips with the horrid fact that it CONTAINED NO CROSSWORD PUZZLE. I called Daisy immediately to.. to.. well I had to tell somebody.

Me: That's it. They've gone too far. I'm sending them a mail bomb.

Daisy: I don't think a bomb will really help them improve the paper.

Me: Oh yes it will.

I am still seething... I've never been so insulted by a media outlet in my life.

Just passing along

Read Moldy City. David is right on target.

Yet more fire


Which, of course, is why this makes such perfect sense.


What happens when you get the following elements in the same location?

2)Chris Rose
3)A whole lot of tomatoes

Well.. nothing really but don't think I didn't think about it. Rose seemed to be in enough discomfort having to sign books in the thousand degree heat. Instead I just moved on to the bloody mary stand. Blogger is currently throwing some tomatoes of its own at my attempts to post pictures. Just take my word for it.. the Creole Tomato Stuffed with BBQ Shrimp is a thing of beauty.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Will the last non-corporate entity on the internet please turn out the lights?

House kills net neutrality

Uh oh

Tropical Weather Outlook

Statement as of 11:30 am EDT on June 09, 2006

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico...

Widespread cloudiness and showers over the northwestern Caribbean
Sea and adjacent land areas are associated with an area of low
pressure centered a couple hundred miles east of the Yucatan
Peninsula. This system is showing signs of organization this
morning. Despite the close proximity to land...and upper-level
winds that are only somewhat conducive for additional
development...a tropical depression could still form during the
next or two as the system moves slowly northward. An Air Force
reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate this system
tomorrow afternoon...if necessary. Even if a tropical depression
does not form...heavy rainfall is possible during the next couple
of days over portions of Honduras...Belize...the Yucatan
Peninsula...the Cayman Islands...and western Cuba.

Elsewhere...tropical storm formation is not expected through
Forecaster Mainelli/Knabb

Obviously no reason to freak out... but I think I might gas up the Tercel this afternoon.

Chocolate Alert Level upgraded to: Blue Hershey's Baby Gift Tin

Update: Yeesh!

Quote of the Day

"I don't understand how you call yourself a public school system when the majority of the public can't go to your schools,"

Yuppies taking over the neighborhood

My new across-the-street neighbors have arranged to have my next door neighbor's damaged car towed by the city. My next door neighbors are a young couple of kids from Chalmette who are trying to save up enough money to get the car fixed after a recent accident. The guy accross the street is an out of state guy who just bought his house for $300,000 plus. Since moving in, he has removed the attractive cast iron fence from in front of his house, cut down a nice tree in his front yard, and installed a driveway thereby reducing the amount of available on-street parking on my block. (I live in a medium sized appartment building with no off street parking so yeah it kind of pissed me off.) Apparently he just couldn't abide that eyesore of those kids' "abandoned vehicle" parked on the street so he had it towed. I hate people.

Water water everywhere but everything's on fire

Well for starters I think we may have stumbled upon a new method for restoring South Louisiana's wetlands. It's a freshwater diversion project of sorts.
Nine months after Hurricane Katrina, S&WB officials are scrambling to plug an untold number of underground leaks, cracks and gashes, most of which sprung when the epic storm's winds uprooted trees and pried loose the water pipes around them.
How much water is leaking? Slightly more than the whole city uses under normal circumstances.
Before the Aug. 29 storm, New Orleans' 455,000 residents used about 120 million gallons of water every day, and about 30 percent of it regularly disappeared through cracked pipes, or was used to fight fires or for other public uses, said S&WB Executive Director Marcia St. Martin.

That means that 84 million gallons served the city's pre-Katrina citizenry.

Now, with the population estimated at 221,000, the S&WB is pumping out even more than before the storm: about 135 million gallons per day, she said. Billing records show that only 50 million gallons are needed for private use, so 85 million gallons are pouring into the ground.
The leaking water is a major threat to the entire city's infastructure. Everything from sewer lines to city streets to the foundation of your house is at risk due to rapid soil subsidence caused by the underground gushers. A few days ago City Hall had to close early due to lack of water pressure. I may have mentioned also somewhere that we are also dealing with constant fires all over town. Not a good thing with no water pressure. Especially when FEMA is threatening to pull emergency funding from your fire fighting efforts.. which would mean discontinuing those firebird choppers we've seen so much of lately.

The T-P article mentions that the city is contracting for new sensor equipment that will help detect these leaks.. but it doesn't mention much in the way of how the job of fixing them will be handled. I'm sure they'll get their best people on it ASAP.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Conspicuously absent

Far be it for me to point out to the Times Picayune that there are libraries open in New Orleans this summer. While we won't watch your kids for you all day like the summer camps lamented in this article we have managed to put together a fairly robust summer reading program this year.. all things considered.

Daily Fire

Acutally that's five in 24 hours.

I realize that we are contending with an undermanned and underequipped fire department, lots of empty buildings, water pressure issues, not to mention a great deal of questionable job safety practices in town right now... all of which can contribute to a greater fire risk. But are we sure something suspicious isn't going on? I'd like to see where recent fire investigations are leading. Shouldn't someone report on this? Or at least ask?

More Carpetbaggery

Yankees taking over Boudreaux's Butt Paste Better get to work on that T-shirt too.

Save Charity Rally

Today at 1:00pm

Where can I get a Kirschman's T-shirt?

Ain't Dere No More

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

More Fire


Here's the wrap-up

Crappy idea of the day

Cleo Fields wants to install a less democratic system for Louisiana congressional elections wherein two parties dominate the selection of predictably bland runoff candidates.

Louisiana's congressional agenda

Is Mary looking for a spanking too?

Talk about having your priorities out of whack!

Update: Ok Ok it's over for now.. and we don't have to spank her.

Daily Fire

Here we go again.

Fun with bureaucracy

Dangerblond has been trying to purchase some adjudicated property from the city. Quite an exciting process.
Finding the guidelines on the city’s website took me a whole morning. I had to register as a “vendor” to the city, giving them my social security number, just to get the guidelines. But, when you download the guidelines after finally finding them, it tells you on the first page exactly where to go to get . . . the guidelines. I need to tie a rope around my waist because I am totally entering Kafkaland. Of course, I picked up a copy of the guidelines at their office in the Amoco Building, but the copies were bad on several crucial pages. So just skip that step and go to the City of New Orleans website. Then click on the Purchasing Portal. Then you have to register as a vendor, even though you are wanting to buy something from them, not sell them something. Whatever. It makes as much sense as anything going on in this town, like those psychedelic blinking traffic lights. Still don’t have the traffic lights fixed, Ray.
I also gather from following her experience that the city is seeking only to deal with development companies and not individual buyers. This strikes me as a bit unfair.. not to mention hostile to people who lost homes during the storm although I could be wrong about that.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Time to give up on Meemaw

If she signs this bill she deserves to lose... even if it's to Jindal.

Wither Mega Zeph?

Fate of Six Flags New Orleans unclear
Park shuttered for 2006

Lazy with the site maintenance and whatnot

Finally getting around to fixing dead links.. adding folks I've long read but not gotten around to linking.. moving some things.. maybe I'll get this place organized someday.

Condo Condo Condo

Developers continue to move in and remake the landscape.

$100 million condo project planned for Central City

Remember.. that election last month when a lot of people thought they were voting for an administration that wouldn't squeeze them out and turn their neighborhoods into vacationland paradise for out of state yuppies? Remember that?

Also there's this.
In 1998, Albertsons grocery chain unveiled plans to develop a 66,000-square-foot store on the property. Preservationists upset about the size of the proposed grocery waged a long battle against the project. Albertsons pulled completely out of the New Orleans market in 2004, shuttering about a half dozen stores, and the Felicity store was never built.
Correct me if I'm wrong.. but didn't the Albertson's desertion have more to do with not wanting to compete with Wal-Mart? You know.. after they bulldozed St. Thomas in order to build that.... remember that?

Monday, June 05, 2006

City Hall by Hyatt

Just thought I'd second Adrastos's reservations about the proposed big changes downtown. I'll add that I'm leery of the idea of a "Jazz Park" at all. Lolis Eric Elie had a pretty good point the other day along these lines.
Well, if money is not going to be a problem, and if jazz is going to be the centerpiece of this new development, wouldn't this be a great opportunity to invest in those historic jazz landmarks that have been neglected for the past several decades?

Trio of survivors

During the announcement of this new jazz-centric complex, it was noted that the facility will be built near Louis Armstrong's old home. But little was said about the importance of an area just a few blocks away, the 400 block of South Rampart Street.

That block is home to three crumbling buildings that might be the most important surviving structures in the history of early jazz. The Eagle Saloon, the Iroquois Theater and the Little Gem Saloon are all standing, though barely.
Building a sanitized park and "Jazz orchestra hall" while ignoring the historically significant landmarks nearby smells strongly of Disneyfication of street culture to me. In fact.. it looks like part of this project calls for building more condos in the very neighborhood Lolis is talking about.

Meanwhile it turns out that the city is making budgetary projections based on some um less than complete demographic info
Given the lack of consensus on the city's financial situation, some experts said the city should try to get more reliable information on where things stand before attempting a look into the future.

When asked about New Orleans' current population, Lomba said it is 200,000 to 250,000. That's far too wide a range to use for meaningful population studies, Stonecipher said. He noted that a study done by Rand Corp. estimated that the city's population was 155,000 in March and would reach about 198,000 by September.

Stonecipher is urging city officials to pay for their own census, which he said would cost less than $1 million but would provide an irrefutable starting point for economic forecasting.

"We ought to be asking ourselves: Why are we satisfied with sophisticated guesswork when we can do better?" Stonecipher said. "I think the answer is obvious: The (New Orleans) government is afraid of what it will show. And there is no need for that. Whatever it shows, it shows. I don't think we should be assuming the worst here."

Even without hard data, however, Stonecipher said he is "very skeptical" about the city's population estimates, which show the population climbing from 258,352 in 2007 to 333,386 in 2010.
... which might be understandable but one gets the impression from this article that some of those projections are deliberately self-delusional.
Demographers take issue with the city's best-case population estimates, which are the driving force behind the revenue gains. They say the slow pace of recovery could prompt many of those who have returned to pull up stakes. Although some population experts say the city could have as many as 300,000 people by 2010, they also say it is possible that New Orleans could be home to just 210,000 residents.

"These projections look extremely enthusiastic," said Elliott Stonecipher, a demographer and political scientist in Shreveport, about the city's presentation to the bankers.

Local assessors are equally skeptical. They question projections that show the city raking in $63 million in real estate taxes by 2008 -- $10 million more than the city collected in 2004. Assessor Erroll Williams, whose 3rd District includes nearly half the homes in New Orleans, said he thinks it will take at least five years for property tax collections to reach pre-Katrina levels.
This looks very much like government by cheerleaders who prefer to do as little homework as possible to get by.

Which.. finally brings us to the quote of the day which comes from.. of all places.. Ballzack who has the following to say to Antigravity Magazine regarding the city fathers.
AG: It sounds like you're really happy to be in New Orleans. Do you have any reservations about staying here?

BZ: I love to be able to stay in New Orleans. Sure, it might get destroyed but we'’ve lived with that risk even before. It'’s not much different, it'’s just now we'’re more aware of the consequences and know what it actually looks like. So, I'’m going to stick it out. I love the city and couldn'’t go anywhere else. But I do wish New Orleans would get its act together. It really seems like a city run by C students.

Guess who's likely going to the Pro-Bowl this year

Saints trade Sullivan to New England

Monday cat blogging

No really... We didn't want to disturb them enough to get a decent picture.. but it looks like someone became a mamma in the bushes next to the library either last night or over the weekend.

And there is your "aww cute" moment for this week.

June Salutes You

I wanna be there for each hopeless affair

Hurricane season week two Atlantic-Caribbean-Gulf of Mexico: There are no Tropical Cyclones at this time.

Chocolate Alert Level: Chocolate Hulk

Friday, June 02, 2006

Wiki Wiki

Just saw this on the metblog.

The folks at ThinkNOLA have put together a New Orleans Wiki. The success of these things depends on the contribution of as many users as possible.. so.. you know.. get to work.

Finally, tourists again have somwhere they can pay $40.00 for eggs

Brennan's re-opens

Politics of the Past Indeed

Dollar Bill at the C Ray show.
What Adrastos said

Mayor's Speech: A thousand points of light

Ray Nagin's second inaugural address to the city of New Orleans predictably contained very little in the way of specifics regarding the Mayor's plan to reconstruct the battered, insulted, and demoralized city. The Mayor's rhetoric however made it clear to the audience just how much help the weary citiznery could expect from its government in the rebuilding process.. or even in the event of another storm. Judging by Nagin's phrasing, this amounts to something approaching, to use a term of his from the debates, zero-donut-egg.
"This is not on President Bush," Nagin said. "It's not on Kathleen Blanco. It's not on Ray Nagin. It's on you."
The Mayor said in an attempt to deflect blame for past and future government atrocities committed against the city... even going so far as to suggest who we should look to in order to solve that nasty evacuation of the elderly and infirm problem when the next storm comes.
Specifically, the mayor called on residents to help elderly and sickly neighbors evacuate during the next storm and to prop up a crippled recreation department by reaching out to children "who may not have someone to talk to," particularly during the summer months.
All of this sounds to me a lot like the first President Bush's "Thousand Points of Light" speech disingenuously heralding "volunteerism" over actual solutions to real life problems. This policy of favoring rhetoric over action has been the identifying m/o of the Mayor's good friend the current President Bush for five years now the effects of which have been.. well.. you know.
Congratulations, New Orleans. In your hour of greatest need, you voted for as little help as possible. At least you got someone who understands your cultrual traditions such as.. oh.. I don't know.. Indians on St. Joseph's day.
Mostly, though, Nagin stuck to his theme of optimism, going off-script to catalog the "miracles" that make New Orleans a special place.

"A miracle is Mardi Gras Indians on St. Patrick's Day," Nagin said. "A miracle is tasting that juicy po-boy, and sinking your teeth in and knowing you can't get that nowhere else in the world."
Oh well.. that's our C Ray!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Spiffy new rebuilding plan

Jaybird lays it out beneath this Humid Haney post about the proposed architect of the new City Hall by Hyatt
Here's the plan....we plant charges all throughout the building, then we stage an elaborate plan for untrained Saudi terrorists to fly a 747 into it on 6/6/06. After the building is destroyed we claim it was a terrorist attack which marks the beginning of WWIII and the rise of the Anti-Christ. Then we tell the country we need 70 billion dollars to rebuild city hall, the rest of the city, and restore the wetlands....as it's the only way we can defeat the prince of darkness, who is currently living on Bourbon Street and can't stand to see the city rebuilt...we make everyone believe New Orleans is the battlefield for the second coming.

I think middle America might buy it...we've tried everything else, why not this?
It's either that or we could just continue applauding volunteers. Seems to work.

June 1: No Tropical Cyclone Activity

Nothing to see here.


Terror Alert Level: Blue or whatever the coolest color was.... wait a minute.. according to DHS, blue is a warmer color than green. This can't be right can it?

Update: In light of this, I've determined our Chocolate Alert level to be:
Chocolate Frog

Fun with Quotable Sources

The potential of greatly reduced pumping capacity has elected officials and the residents they represent in New Orleans and East Jefferson neighborhoods that drain into the 17th Street and London Avenue canals concerned that inland flooding will result when floodgates are closed against storm surge during tropical storms accompanied by significant rain.

"You are telling me that the corps is now saying that it cannot provide more than 2,400 to 2,800 cfs at the 17th Street Canal, and if that is true, I say that is totally unacceptable," Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard said late Wednesday.

"That cannot be tolerated. The corps has to do everything possible to double that amount to at least approach 6,000 cfs," he said. "Tell me: Can they at least get us the 4,000 cfs they verbally promised by the end of August?"