Thursday, July 06, 2006

The "recovery" continues to continue being planned

I have been trying to absorb and process the "news" about rebuilding plans but my anger (and...) has made it impossible. Plus, there are few details out. Now, it will be December when Nagin and the city council produce a "combined recovery plan" for the city, only 16 months after the city was flooded. Is it copywriter sarcasm that the article is called "N.O. blazes trail for grant money"? I'm sorry if I do not see this shit as timely progress. Homes and entire blocks have been empty for 10 months. People in the hardest hit areas of Ninth Ward, where houses were pushed off their foundations by water from levee breeches, are just starting to get trailers. Folks in the New Orleans diaspora have tried to live half-lives elsewhere while waiting to see what they can come home to and have little to go on still. Where is "our mayor"? What has he been doing since the election? Why is he still running for office rather than raising a stink about the levees, pushing people to move faster, demanding forward motion? (You can also ask what "our mayor" did in his first term. I did not see him and his cronies not robbing city government blind as much of an endorsement.)

None of these plans involve the most important aspect--flood protection. Do we have any? How reliable is it? Is it impossible to protect New Orleans or just impossible for the Army Corps of Engineers to protect New Orleans? The latest news is that there will be more street flooding than in the past, partly because the flood protection system we have is patched up, inherently flawed and in progress. Not street flooding when we get a category 2 hurricane but when a tropical storm (read: long heavy thunderstorm) passes over the city. It seems like (and I mean that strictly, not to infer that what follows is true) fears are being borne out--the majority of the population, black and middle class and working class and working poor (Who do you think worked in the hotels? acted as special education aides and changed diapers of autistic children? worked in the plethora of t-shirt and daiquiri shops pre-Katrina?) have been driven away and no plans are being considered or made to bring them back; the middle class we have, largely white but also black, Vietnamese, East Indian, etc., is leaving now, mid-summer, especially if they have school-age or young children. Every person I've met leaving New Orleans, permanently or semi-permanently, has children. The lack of a public school system will soon be less of a problem.


Blogger CrankyProf said...

We have several NO families in our neighborhood who HAD planned on going back, but...lack of jobs, lack of schools for their kids, lack of housing, lack of healthcare....they decided to stay. One mom said that there was no way, as a responsible parent, that she could go back.

After over a year of trying to pretend the relocation was temporary, they've just decided to settle in. They may go back in the future, but for now, they're PA residents.

Thu Jul 06, 02:38:00 PM  

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