Katrina Networking

I am using my networking and marketing skills to pass along vital information to organizations, volunteers and survivors of the 2005 hurricane season. Grants, networking, advocating, assistance resources, articles and more. Updated regularly to better assist you.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

January 17 CoHR

The AFBF (American Farm Bureau Federation) is holding their convention in NOLA. The following blog is by a couple of guys reporting for Brownfield.

Hopefully they'll have more than this single post, so please go back to the site to keep an eye on it...


A Professor at Emory begins studying NOLA post-Katrina from a far different perspective:

Green’s work extends beyond the classroom to many areas of service and study including task forces on sexuality, violence, bioethics, and worker justice for the Boston Theological Institute and serving as faculty adviser for Hurricane Katrina Relief trips in 2006 and 2007. She has also been speaking and writing on ethics in the aftermath of Katrina.
“The topic is one that I, as a native New Orleanian, find especially compelling and a continuing concern in the recovery of New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast,” she said.


State Farm is at it again - They need PROOF you chose to rebuild or they'll cancel your policy...


So, let's get this straight. Hurricane Katrina battered homes with its 175 mile-per-hour winds ripping them apart as if made of straw and spit. Then insurance companies like State Farm deliberately and wrongly failed to pay American families for the wind related damages to those homes and the cost of living expenses while the home was being repaired, damages that the wind coverage under homeowner insurance policies cover.

A Health Clinic In A Home Set Up By Nurses - Lower 9th.


The Lower 9th Ward Health Clinic is its official name now.
"A medical home," Patricia Berryhill calls the facility offering primary care.
Before Katrina, this was Berryhill's own home. The living room where her kids congregated after school serves as a waiting area now, its walls painted a peaceful powder blue. The bedrooms are exam cubicles, the kitchen a file room and office.

Intellectual Discussion About Journalism In Disasters


The most memorable photographs of the London terrorist bombing last summer were taken by subway riders using cell phones, not by news photographers, who didn’t have time to get there. There were more ordinary people than paid reporters posting information when the tsunami first hit South Asia, in 2004, when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, in 2005, and when Israeli bombs hit Beirut this summer. I am in an especially good position to appreciate the benefits of citizen journalism at such moments, because it helped save my father and stepmother’s lives when they were stranded in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

FEMA Wins Appeal On Rent Aid

http://news.findlaw.com/ap/other/1110//01-07-2008/20080107183512_04.html"There is simply no indication that the regulations constrain FEMA's discretion to the point that it is bound to provide assistance to all eligible individuals," Judge Carolyn King wrote on behalf of a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit.

Business Tax Assistance, Even 2 Years After


If your business suffered losses because of Hurricane Katrina, you can at least write-off much of the loss. In doing so, you may be able to get a refund of taxes paid earlier in the year.
Tax law allows businesses to write-off business property that is damaged or destroyed because of a storm.

With the federal governments delay in rescue operations, your business may have suffered losses related to theft. New Orleans, in particular, seems to have suffered an outbreak of theft problems. While I can understand a person taking water and food, I must admit I have little empathy for people stealing television sets.

Ads Showing How Little Has Changed


The Katrina Foundation for Recovery campaign was developed at La Comunidad, Miami. “The whole point there is that the whole country is focused on something so far from here and there are problems in our backyard that no one is paying attention to,” said Jose Molla, co-founder of La Comunidad in Miami. “The idea is to show what the situation is like now. It’s amazing how badly it sill looks in the non-tourist areas.”

First Responders Out of TeleCom Loop Again


It has happened countless times, and will now apparently happen countless times again: first responders such as police and firemen will be unable to talk to one another because their communications equipment is not interoperable.

Video of a Katrina Diary


While residents along the Southeastern United States boarded their homes and evacuated for Hurricane Katrina, one Mississippi resident saw an opportunity to use his new filming gear not knowing how serious Hurricane Katrine would be and that it would be the last time he would ever see his house again.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Color of Change - NOLA

I received this 12/19 - sorry it has taken so long to post. IT's just been one of those winters for me.

Anyway, here's their most current newsletter. It really is a good way to keep up on news of NOLA....

While New Orleans faces its worst housing crisis in over 100 years, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) insists on carrying out a plan to bulldoze 4,500 units of affordable public housing, much of which could be made available to residents.

If HUD is allowed to proceed, it will eliminate the majority of affordable public housing in the city1, shutting out thousands of low-income Katrina survivors who have been fighting for over two years to return home. It would be a shameful slap in the face.

Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John Edwards, and the leaders of both houses of Congress--Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid--have called on President Bush to issue a moratorium to stop the demolition. But HUD hasn't budged, even with HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson and his staff under federal investigation for corruption in their handling of the contracting for the redevelopment plan.

It's time for everyday folks to take a stand. As early as Thursday, the New Orleans City Council will vote on whether to permit HUD to carry out its demolitions. You can let them know that you expect them to reject any plan that uses federal dollars to gentrify New Orleans. And you can add your voice to the public demand that Bush hold HUD accountable and block any action until problems with the plan are addressed and the investigation of Alphonso Jackson is complete. It takes only a moment:

New Orleans Housing Crisis

With New Orleans in the middle of a serious housing emergency, it just doesn't make sense to destroy housing that's in good condition.2 Rents have gone up 45% since Katrina, the city has already lost 9,000 units of affordable housing, and half of the families that want to return home make less than $20,000 a year. In the last two years, New Orleans' homeless population has more than doubled--12,000 New Orleanians have no place to live.3

Many of the units HUD plans to destroy are in very well-constructed buildings that were barely damaged by Katrina, and would require a minimum of renovation to provide quality housing, even if only temporarily.4 Rather than addressing the pressing, immediate need for affordable housing, HUD's plan threatens to make the problem worse.

HUD's flawed redevelopment plan

Whatever your views are on public housing, HUD's redevelopment plan is ill-conceived and irresponsible. The plan calls for replacing New Orleans' current public housing with mixed-income housing, which many believe is a better model for public housing. But in making the switch, HUD refuses to rebuild the same number of affordable public housing units as it destroys. HUD's plan would destroy 4,600 affordable public housing units, while the new mixed-income housing would only include 744 units of affordable housing, and building those units will take several years.5 The inevitable result will be thousands of low-income residents--most of whom are Black--pushed out of the city.

Questions have also been raised about the motivations behind HUD's plan. The head of HUD, Alphonso Jackson, and his staff are under criminal investigation – by the FBI, Department of Justice, and HUD's inspector general -- for corruption in HUD/Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO)'s process for handing out contracts related to the redevelopment plan. The contract for demolishing and rebuilding the St. Bernard housing project was given to a firm that owes Jackson at least $250,000 (and as much as $500,000). Scott Keller – Jackson's right hand man and point person for dealing with New Orleans public housing – pushed hard for that firm to receive the contract. Investigators are also focusing on the fact that HUD/HANO paid $485,000 to one of Jackson's golfing buddies for work as a construction manager over an 18-month period.6,7

No Demolition without a solution that makes sense

At best, HUD has a goal that many think is good (moving towards mixed-income housing), but a deeply flawed plan that will be disastrous to New Orleans residents who need the most help. At worst, HUD is pushing a plan that will help enrich its secretary and his cronies, while leaving working-class people out in the cold and dramatically reshaping the class makeup of New Orleans. Either way, it would be a huge mistake to let HUD push forward with demolitions until these issues are addressed and resolved.

Tomorrow, the New Orleans City Council will decide whether it's going to allow HUD to continue down this reckless path. Council members need to hear that people across the country disapprove of HUD's plan. Will you join us in calling on the city council to reject the plan, and on President Bush to stop HUD from proceeding?


Thank You and Peace,

-- James, Van, Gabriel, Mervyn, Clarissa, and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
December 19th, 2007


1. Fewer Homes for Katrina's Poorest Victims, PolicyLink, December 2007

2. Condition of the Four New Orleans Housing Projects Slated for Demolition, Gulf Coast Fair Housing Network

3. Speaker Pelosi and Reid Urge President to Halt Demolition of Public Housing in New Orleans, The Gavel, December 15, 2007

4. See reference 2.

5. HUD Sends New Orleans Bulldozers and $400,000 Apartments for the Holidays, Common Dreams, December 3, 2007

6. HUD Probe Heats Up, National Journal, December 14, 2007

7. Questionable Contracts, National Journal, December 18, 2007

Subscription Management:
This is a message from ColorOfChange.org. To change your email address or update your contact info, send an email to subscriptions @ colorofchange.org.

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Katrina Connection - NOLA Site

Because of the genuine concern you have displayed since 2005, I'd like you to visit katrinaconnection.com, which was created to offer a fresh new outlet of expression for survivors, rescue workers, and concerned citizens, and help change media perceptions and offer positve views.

This site is not soliciting funds, which is why it is not a non-profit. There is and never will be a membership fee. It is simply an all-new, social networking & current affairs site, offering a change from the usual media about the New Orleans & Gulf Coast areas.

Objectives include, among other things, offering the most comprehensive current online links to resources available for survivors; offering interactivity through forums & visitor participation; providing news & news features affecting survivors; offering updates on life in and around New Orleans; and to push for indefinite investigations into the many unsolved missing or dead cases involving the hurricanes of 2005.

Please take time now to visit katrinaconnection.com, join and participate in our forums, and/or send a comment and tell us what you think.

Thank you.


Wayne Filmore

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Think NOLA

To join this list, send an email message to subscribe@thinknola.com. That's all. The sender's address will be added to the list.

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority is facing political and procedural challenges. There are many organizations working to address these challenges. The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority Unconference will create an environment where these organizations can collaborate. They can share their experiences with and concerns about the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority and its mission.
Register Now - Please help us accommodate you by registering. Fill out this simple registration form.

We are hosting a participant driven conference which will strengthen relationships between grassroots organizations and will further the successful collaborations between grassroots organizations and government.

Where: Grace Episcopal Church, 3700 Canal St, New Orleans, LA

When: Saturday, January 12th, 2008 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Contact: Alan Gutierrez, alan@thinknola.com, (504) 717-1428
Register Now - Please help us accommodate you by registering. Fill out this simple registration form.
Think New Orleans is partnering with Mid-City Neighborhood Organization, Downtown Neighborhood Improvement Association, Trinity Christian Community, CityWorks, Common Knowledge, Citizens’ Road Home, Phoenix New Orleans and CBNO/MAC to produce an unconference format forum to discuss the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. The Trinity Christian Community has pledged financial support to produce the unconference.

The issues that surround the vast inventory of blighted, adjudicated and Road Home properties are of great concern to many of us involved in the recovery. We are in the midst of a critical public input phase of the future of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. We should get together and talk.

The Unconference Format
The unconference format is a real format that comes out of Silicon Valley, where technical people got tired of going to conferences to sit in audiences and get lectured by marketing types. Why are you telling me about the future of the industry when I’m the one who’s implementing it? Thus, they set out to create a format with more human interaction, less sitting still eyes forward. (And no, it’s not computerized or technical at all.)

The unconference is a structured format, but it allows the participants to set the agenda, not the conference organizers.

So often, we attend public hearings to try and inject our message or ask our questions in those three minutes before the microphone cuts off. As is always the case, the real information is exchanged in hallways before and after. We’re adapting the unconference format to create participant driven civic participation.

Questions and Comments
If you have any questions about the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority Unconference, please email alan @ thinknola.com or call Alan Gutierrez at (504) 717-1428.

Visit the unconference web forum to connect with other participants.
Special Thanks
The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority Unconference is produced with the financial support of the Trinity Christian Community.

Huli’s Louisiana Festivals and Events Calendar
Huli's 2008 Louisiana Festivals and Events Calendar lists every major festival in Louisiana. This is the best calendar to plan your year. You'll never miss another festival again. They are all listed. Not only New Orleans festivals, but all the festivals all over the state of Louisiana.

These beautiful calendars are full of photographs of the festivals. Each month the festivals and events are listed on the grid part of the calendar indicating the actual days in 2008 that the festival takes place. They are also listed on the same page alphabetically with the town name and a phone number.

You can support the efforts of Think New Orleans and get a great gift for yourself or your friends by purchasing Huli's Louisiana Events Calendar at Think New Orleans.

City Government Razing the Private Homes of New Orleans
If you thought Eminent Domain was bad, just wait until you hear about the Imminent Health Threat ordinance of the city of New Orleans. FEMA gave the city money to demolish thousands of homes and the city can’t wait to spend it.
If you live in New Orleans, your home may be next.
The City that Hates Houses
Here’s the experience of teacher and homewoner Kelly Voight formerly of Gentilly.
My house at 5537 Franklin Avenue was demolished without proper notification to me or the mortgage company. Out of 4 notification channels, the city only followed 2 of their 4 channels.

We had been waiting for the city to issue us a renovation permit for almost 18 months. I had called and traveled to the 5th floor of City Hall. I had taken pictures and filled out all correct forms for my permit. As of the day that they knocked my house down, the permit was still “pending.”

My house was a 1945 Gentilly bungalow with double parlor, original floors, the Gentilly tile, and deco molding. It was in no danger of falling down. My contractor drove by, called, and asked why there were bulldozers on the property the morning they tore it down. Before he could reach us, the house was gone.

I was a teacher who only taught at-risk children in New Orleans Public Schools. My husband was a criminal defense attorney. We never made a lot of money in the city, but we felt that we gave to the city whatever we had.

The city gave back to us by perpetrating this horrific crime. That house was a jewel. The 1970’s house next door to my house was zoned for section 8 housing. It has no windows and little chance for renovation. Yet my house is the one that is down.

I cannot return to the city now. I feel such pure fury when I think of my house being torn down. City bulldozers trespassed on my property and tore down my lovely Gentilly bungalow. New Orleans has nothing to do with America anymore. New Orleans is dead to me, and I will not lift a finger to help or give back to it again.

This is what the city calls progress.

Madness, Smackdown, Madness, Adjournment
Here’s how Monday’s Housing Conservation District Review Committee meeting went. They had an agenda of 130 properties that city wants to demolish under the new Imminent Health Threat ordinance. The meeting was overflowing the small room in which the meetings are usually held.

It stated at the the wrong time and stopped. It restated at the right time in a new larger room to accommodate the attendees.

Council At-Large Jackie Clarkson arrived, watched, and then spoke and asked that the committee explain it’s processes before city council on January 24th, 2008.

Continue reading City Government Razing the Private Homes of New Orleans. Concerned About Eminent Domain? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet and leave comments at Think New Orleans.

Demolished Part 2 – A Further New Orleans Tale
Matt McBride
Demolition is not a plan. But the city of New Orleans wants to convince everyone, including its own bureaucrats, of the opposite.

Over the past few months, as I’ve studied the workings of demolitions in New Orleans, I’ve gotten more and more dispirited. There’s no leadership, no direction, just mixed up mountains of paper and growing numbers of confused, scared citizens getting victimized by their own city government. Homeowners discover their nearly restored house is targeted for demolition, and are forced through all nine circles of hell to prove to their own city that the city is wrong. And some only discover this after the home is bulldozed by the city. It’s horrible.

I and a few talented individuals have taken upon ourselves to do what the government should be doing: forcing the city to abide by its own laws regarding demolition. This has turned into a herculean struggle, as the degree of intransigence and incompetence in city government has gradually come to light. Against rather long odds, though, there has been progress.

About three weeks ago, I put out a rather voluminous email about demolitions. I detailed how New Orleans’ Safety & Permits department was likely avoiding public review of over 1200 demolitions through various sneaky means. Much has happened since then, so let me bring you up to speed. There has been progress in the administrative, legislative, and judicial arenas.

Continue reading Demolished Part 2 – A Further New Orleans Tale and leave comments at Think New Orleans.

Build a KaBOOM Playground at Stallings Playground
Charlie London
A History of Stallings Park by Charlie London.
Join the Faubourg St John Neighborhood Association and KaBOOM! as a new recreation area is created for Stallings Playground.
When: Saturday, January 19th, 2008 at 8:00 am.
Where: 1600 Gentilly Blvd, New Orleans, LA (map)
The fun starts at 8:00 am.
With the help of KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit devoted to creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America we are building a new playground at Olive A. Stallings Playground, Saturday, January 19th, 2008.
Email Charlie London at excelsior@mindspring.com or call Mcihael Nuwer at (504) 486 1575 if you can join us.
Watch a video history of Olive A. Stallings Playground at Build a KaBOOM Playground at Stallings Playground and leave comments at Think New Orleans.

Wrapping Up a Murderous Year
There are a number of citizens who track crime in New Orleans. There are two people come to mind when I think of community organizing on crime in the digital realm.

More As It Happens
I receive email from a fellow who goes by C. B. Forgotston, who sends an email for each murder that occurs. He writes with dark humor about the state of affairs of New Orleans criminal justice. For example in Striving to Comfort the Citizens of New Orleans he compares and contrasts quotes about crime, to determine whether the NOPD spokespeople expect us to feel more comfortable about targeted violence or random acts of violence.

The Parish Line
Mark Deane writes about crime as well. He is a professional journalist, who maintains M.D. Filter. Not only does he write about crime, he gathers data and performs analysis.
Mark has maintained the Care Forgot page of the New Orleans Wiki. In that vein, he wrote Goodbye, 2007, a farewell to the 206 murder victims as reported in the media in Orleans Parish.

Mark also wrote The Parish Line, a comparison of the violent crime in Orleans Parish and Jefferson Parish. He’s produced graphs that illustrate how the crime in Orleans rises when the crime in Jefferson falls and vice versa. He says that he needs to think about what it means, but you should think about it with him.

This is the sort of citizen oversight that we perform in New Orleans, filling in the gaps with our own reporting systems and analysis.
Leave comments on Wrapping Up a Murderous Year at Think New Orleans.

Day of the Dead Party for the 3rd Annual Bayou Boogaloo
Come celebrate the Day of the Dead to support the 3rd Annual Bayou Boogaloo. The 2nd Annual Bayou Boogaloo expanded to two stages. In it’s 3rd year the Bayou Boogaloo will expand to two days. We need to raise money to keep the Bayou Boogaloo a free admission concert. Show your support by attending our first fund raiser this Friday at Studio 3 right behind the American Can in Mid-City.
The Day of the Dead Fundrasier

When: Friday, November 2nd, 2007 from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Where: Studio 3, 3610 Toulouse St, behind the American Can next to the Vespa dealership.
Music: The Desto St Band, Margie Perez.
Food: From Juan’s, Taqueria Guerrero Mexicana.
Drinks: Open bar featuring Mojito’s, Mai Tai’s and Cuba Libres.
Tickets are $40 a person or $75 for a couple. You can reserve your own table for $375.

Any questions? Respond to alan@thinknola.com or call (504) 7171-1428.

You can purchase tickets online, natch.
Purchase Tickets to the Day of the Dead Fundraiser Online.

So Much for Katrina Fatigue
Here’s a recent op-ed by a member of a Wisconsin Chamber ofCommerce leadership group that visited New Orleans a few weeks ago. The writergot some of the facts wrong but the conclusion is heartening. I think that “Katrina Fatigue” (a term invented by right-wing Bay Buchannan – Pat Buchanan’s sister – to prematurely head off the debate on Bush’s bungling of the recovery) is largely a disease of older white Americans. I sense just the opposite among young people, African Americans, and women. They comprise a growing social justice movement that views New Orleans as a symbol of our nation’s misplaced priorities and domestic failures. Over one million volunteers have come to the gulf coast in the last two years and their future plans are even more expansive.

Continue reading So Much for Katrina Fatigue at Think New Orleans.

Eddie Jordan: Is This Goodbye?
The New Orleans Agenda newsletter has announced that District Attorney Eddie Jordan will resign his post today. There walk of his resignation at NOLA.com in the article Sources: Talks underway for Jordan to step down.

I’ve been told that there is a press conference scheduled after a 1:30 pm staff meeting that is taking place now.
I’d like to know what you make of this news. Is this the end of District Attorney Eddie Jordan? Is it possible for the DA’s office to improve under a Eddie Jordan selected successor such as First Assistant District Attorney Keva Landrum?
Please help me understand what’s going by leaving a message in Eddie Jordan: Is This Goodbye? at Think New Orleans.

Road Home Unconference This Saturday: How Do I Get There?
The Road Home Unconference will be held this weekend at:

The New Orleans Yacht Club - 403 N Roadway St, New Orleans, LA (Map)
This is a change. A final change.

The New Orleans Yacht Club has Wifi with commercial broadband, so bring your laptop.

Road Home Unconference This Saturday: When Is It?
The Road Home Unconference will be held this weekend:
Saturday, July 28th, 2007 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.
We'll probably linger a bit afterwards. The Yacht Club won't be in a hurry to get rid of us.

Road Home Unconference This Saturday: Do I Have To Register?
Yes and no. Yes. It would help a lot of you registered. No we won't turn you away at the door. Please, register so we can better accommodate you.

Road Home Unconference Registration

Road Home Unconference: What Is On the Agenda?

The agenda will be set by the participants, but there is so much we have to cover. Please, read through the materials at the New Orleans Wiki, created by the Citizen's Road Home Action Team.. If you have suggestions for topics, you can leave them in the Road Home Unconference Discussion Forum.

Road Home Unconference This Saturday: Can I Become a Sponsor?
Yes. Sponsorships are still available. There is space to present your products. You'll be able to share your product with people who are dedicated to rebuilding their homes in Louisiana. Sponsorships run $200.00 to $500.00. Respond to this message with your interest.

Laura LeBon on The Road Home
Working with Mark Morris Productions, the Citizen's Road Home Action Team has produced a series of videos on the Road Home, telling the stories of applicants. You can watch the first video in the series, the story of Laura LeBon and her home in Lakeview, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Watch Laura LeBon on the Road Home at Think New Orleans.

David Vitter and the Erotic Masseuse
There are two people you'll want to follow for the trials and tribulations of Louisiana Senator David Vitter.

Vindication for Christopher Tidmore, who wrote about David Vitter and Wendy Cortez way back in 2002.

This vindication is good for his candidacy for State Representative of District 82. His biggest foe within his party is in no position to stand in his way. (David Vitter attacked Christopher Tidmore for his 2002 article.)

More importantly, people see his journalism as a sign of honesty and daring to challenge the rising star as a sign of courage. David Vitter is denying the New Orleans stories, which will only prolong the vindication.

He runs his campaign from a blog and communicates with his supporters and detractors in writing, in his own words. A social media candidate?

The Tragic Situation That Surrounds David Vitter at Christopher Tidmore's campaign website.
This Vitter thing opened up a family size can of happiness for Mark Mosely. He's got opinions of his own, with links to the opinion of anyone who has an opinion. The local clearing house for all things David Vitter. His bias is against Vitter, but he's still the best one stop shop, sending you in all directions.

The Vitter affair: as it stands now at Your Right Hand Thief.

Continue reading David Vitter and the Exotic Masseuse at Think New Orleans

7/18 The Road Home Unconference will be held on Saturday, July 28th, 2007 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Lindy C. Boggs International Convention Center.
Please, register for the Road Home Unconference.

Road Home Unconference Registration.

Road Home Unconference Registration.
The basic premise of an unconference is that there is more knowledge and experience in the audience than there ever could be on stage. These events are popular and successful among technology and media professionals, because they help create new relationships and they launch new collaborations. Ideas are not presented. They are socialized. We don't listen to a speaker, we talk amongst ourselves.

Unconferences are networking events. The Road Home Program effects so many of our communities. Attend the Road Home Unconference to connect with other Road Home applicants, to share your services with Road Home applicants if you are a nonprofit. We will collaboration on solutions to the delays and the shortfall. We will discuss the land use issues that all the Option 2 and 3 buyout present.

The issues of the Road Home Program are by no means resolved. We have a long way to go on this road, so please register and attend.

Soft News, Casual Slander, and The Tyranny of the One Newspaper Town

I'm still shocked that our local newspaper would cover a a contentious mass demolition by calling one of the neighborhood leaders a gadfly. That is what John Pope did in his article Xavier planning for 21 demolitions.

Karen Gadbois is a woman who lead her neighborhood when the tornado that struck Carrollton in February, who has been documenting demolitions throughout our city though an innovative application of social media the Squandered Heritage website, and who has been working to make the city enforce existing ordinances about notification of demolitions.

It helps me understand, however, why people are so cautious. It fits nicely into my new understanding of why people disdain the web as a means of communication about New Orleans and the issues of our recovery. You expose yourself to quick and easy slander.

Continue reading Soft News, Casual Slander, and The Tyranny of the One Newspaper Town. Eddie Jordan Calls for More Baby-Sitters: Are You Ready to Baby-Sit Eddie?

The solution to Eddie Jordan seems to be to assign him as many baby-sitters as our legal system can muster. This includes the Attorney General's office, the National District Attorney's Association, and at Arnie Fielkow's request, the Louisiana State Supreme Court. Our civic leaders seem to believe the more the merrier. Are there any other organizations available for District Attorney baby-sitting? Does Nancy Drew still have a fan club? That's a natch.

Unfortunately for Arnie and others, Eddie Jordan only has two hands. He is fast running out of hands for the holding.

Is Eddie prepared to hold hands? Last I checked, Eddie had a tendency to heap shame upon people who dared to question him, the way he did in his outrageous Nightline interview with Brian Ross.

Doesn't Play Well With Others
The problem with Eddie Jordan is that he won't try murderers. Which is why the solution might fall short. It's not that he isn't doing a good job. It's that he is not doing his job at all.

The case against Dinerral Shavers' suspected murderer, David Bonds was dropped as Bart Everson told us in Nolle Prosequi. You can read all about David Bonds in Docket Master, in Case Dismissed, Ken Foster tells us that ballistics were never run on the murder weapon.

The case against Michael Anderson for the systematic execution of five teenagers in Central City was dropped when the District Attorney could not locate the one witness in the case. The NOPD produced the witness at a press conference the following day.

Both of these murders produced an outcry from the citizens. The murders of Dinerral Shavers and Helen Hill, in a wave of murders over the New Year produced the march on City Hall.

We do not get the impression that we are being heard.

Continue reading Eddie Jordan Calls for More Baby-Sitters: Are You Ready to Baby-Sit Eddie?.

A few of the New Orleans bloggers are gearing up on the resignation of District Attorney Eddie Jordan. They feel that that 7% felony conviction rate, the murderers released because of the failure to press charges (701 releases), and the dismissal of two high-profile murder cases in as many weeks serve as indicators that Eddie Jordan is not fit to be District Attorney.
In the request to attend the protest at the Cabillo this morning, they made reference to an interview with investigative reporter Brian Ross that aired on ABC's Nightline. However, they linked to an edited version of the interview as it appeared in the Nightline episode. If you watch this clip, Eddie Jordan may come across as quick tempered, but not altogether infantile.

The unedited version completes the image.

Continue reading The Unedited Version of Eddie Jordan's Hissy Fit on ABC's Nightline at Think New Orleans.

6/22 Road Home Unconference
In This Issue
Road Home Unconference
New Orleans' Murder Clusters
New Orleans' Study Abroad Program - Learning from Harvard and Mexico City
The City In Links

To join this list, send an email message to subscribe@thinknola.com . That's all. The sender's address will be added to the list.


Road Home Unconference

Viewing the schedule of The Personal Democracy Forum's Unconference in New York by Jill.

The Road Home Unconference will be held Saturday, July 28th, 2007 at the Lindy C. Boggs International Convention Center at the University of New Orleans. We'll be getting together to talk about the Road Home Program.

Road Home Unconference.
The unconference is a new format that is shaking up the $122 billion dollar a year conference industry, because it is easy to convene, flexible and inexpensive. It is perfect for industries where the expertise lies in the audience, and is very popular among technology and media professionals. The premise is that there is "more expertise in the audience than there possibly could be on stage".

How many times do we attend a meeting, and sit patiently while someone reads us their latest press release? We deserve more than three minutes of public comment. And after these many months, who really knows what's going on in the city? It is us. We the citizens of New Orleans. We have become full-time, professional citizens. The 24/7 citizens.

We all know that the real knowledge is to be had in the hallway after the meeting. An unconference is all hallway.

This savvy and professionalism is exemplified by the Citizens' Road Home Action Team (CHAT). For eleven months, they have worked closely with Road Home Program officials to shape policy. Though their constructive accountability, they have asked questions, and brought about change.
At the Road Home Unconference, we will invite those of you effected by the Road Home Program, members of Core CHAT, Road Home Program and Office of Community Development officials, and FEMA and HUD officials. We'll invite people who can discuss media and legislative strategy. We'll chose topics for the first thirty minutes, and then work in groups to address the problems of policy, procedure and communications.

You're all more than welcome to register.
New Orleans Murder Clusters
Murder Cluster Map by Da' Po Boy.

Da Po' Boy at Da' Po Blog has broken out the Google Maps and painted a picture of the plague of murder that ravages our city. In his post NOLA Murder Clusters he shows how the murders are clustered, and provides some breakdown on locale.

Mid-City/Treme/7th Ward - 25 murders
Central City - 16 murders
Marigny/Bywater/9th Ward - 12 murders
Algiers/Behrman - 8 murders
Hollygrove/Leonidas - 6 murders
Little Woods - 5 murders
But, you have to click through and see the maps. Leave comments.

On Father's day, Da Po' Boy reminded us that Each One Had Father as he lists the slain for June 2007.

Another New Orleans blogger who's worth your time and attention.

New Orleans' Study Abroad Program - Learning from Harvard and Mexico City

Karen Gadbois in Mexico City by Laureen Lentz.

Bart Everson tells about his experience at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's leadership Program. Bart was invited by Harvard to take part in this leadership program, because Harvard is a totally awesome, New Orleans loving institution.

Our crisis has created an unusual situation. We are longing for those in authority to help us with difficult changes. That's why neighborhood groups and citizen-led initiatives are intervening in places you'd normally expect to find government. We are exceeding our authority and intervening in our own destiny.

Karen Gadbois and Lauren Lentz go on a Mexico City Preservation Tour to answer the question asked by Becky Houtman Why Aren't We Looking At Mexico City?

Many of the buildings which suffered the worst devastation in Mexico City were ones that were constructed by the government. After the disaster, angry citizens began to demand that these buildings be built to stricter codes for sustaining earthquakes. Similar to the situation with New Orleans? flood control system, it has been a fight for bureaucratic accountability. Another similar result of the Earthquake has been a permanent active solidarity among the citizenry.

The City in Links
Ray in New Orleans reviews Breach of Faith and is not too terribly impressed, especially annoyed with the punctuation.

The American Zombie weaves a strange tale of Rove and Nagin conspiracy in Nagin (R - New Orleans). Is a politicized Justice Department skewering Jefferson and Morial, while offering Nagin a pass? That's what American Zombie posits. Adrastos echoes the wonder in Letten Nagin Off Easy?. Jeffery asks Will the Viel be LIFTed?

Oh, The Humidity! at The Chicory the coming of summer is related in a quick tale.

Adrastos gives you the Who's Who behind the Justice for Congressman Jefferson website. Louisiana Cold Cash Jefferson Assets Get Frozen so insert freezer joke here. The Jeffersons is recorded before a live grand jury. I Told You To Keep The Faith, Maitri says Dambala, as Brooks-Simms goes down.

Debrisville Gets an Inspector Generalnote Adrastos with some hope that the new IG has some determination but Jeffery says The Countdown is On for some token crackdown on petty offenders, like say, Nagin's "Crackdown" on Corruption - one more Dog & Pony Show.

Concordia's $3.8 million contract to rebuild the public schools? Nothing Fishy Here, Just More Red Dots for Bingler say Michael Homan. He also responds to the Assessment Released on State of New Orleans Schools.

New York Has a Website - Why would anyone build the largest securities market in the country in a flood zone?

Bart Everson finds that our plight might be an issue in 2008 according to Zogby on Katrina.

When the times comes to head for the hills, are you ready? NOLA-dishu gives you a tour of his Emergency Preparedness rig.

Ashley Morris gives a short one act (rated R) play, called You are from what country? New Orleans.

Are you wordy? Then you need a blog. Join the fray. Web publishing workshops are coming soon.

Think New Orleans Newsletter for June 8th, 2007
In This Issue

Parents Guide to Public Schools
New Orleans Public Schools at New Orleans Wiki
How Search Engines Shape the New Orleans Wiki
Road Homework
Mr. Jefferson Goes to Trial

Parents Guide to Public Schools
Right after the last newsletter, Aesha Rashad wrote to tell me about the Parents' Guide to Public Schools which is being released today. This is a printed guide to the New Orleans Public Schools, with a page for each school, in a standard format.

This is the product of Agenda for Children, New Orleans Network, New Schools for New Orleans, Operation Reach, Inc. and the Urban League of Greater New Orleans. These organizations worked closely with individual schools and with the Recovery School District and the New Orleans Public School system to collect information about schools.

This Parents' Guide to Public Schools needs help from New Orleans organizations to distribute the printed guide and to get them into the hands of parents who can use them. Please, if you have resources for distribution of the guide, please respond to this message with the name of your organization and the number of guides you'd like to distribute.

We'll forward it to the Parents' Guide to Public Schools organizers.

New Orleans Public Schools at New Orleans Wiki
This week, volunteers from UC Berkeley Magnolia Project worked to compile a New Orleans Public Schools Directory at the New Orleans Wiki.

The volunteers, being the Internet savvy sorts that they are, used the New Orleans Wiki to layout a page for each of the schools.

Each school page links to a discussion forum, where parents can ask questions. We'll do our best to forward your question to the right people at the school. You can also leave constructive feedback on the school for other parents to consider.

Already, we're getting questions, and we're hoping to get your help answering these questions.

New Orleans Public Schools Directory.

How Search Engines Shape the New Orleans Wiki
Most websites get the majority of their incoming traffic from search engines, like Google or Yahoo!. Think New Orleans is no different.

Looking at the website statistics, I found that the second most popular search term that brings people to Think New Orleans is "Recovery School District". When I do a Google search for "Recovery School District", I find that Think New Orleans is the third result listed. It is the first non-governmental result listed.

If people are coming to Think New Orleans looking for schools information, we'd better put some out there.

Now that the Parents' Guide to Public Schools has been released, we hope to collaborate to make sure that this information is available throughout New Orleans and beyond.

Road Homework
Thank you for your response to the Citizens' Road Home Action Team requests for letters to Senators Landrieu and Stevens. Your support gives CHAT the leverage they need to keep the government focused on the needs of the applicants.

CHAT can still use your support in writing your state legislator. We need to get the shortfall for the Road Home Program funded.

Citizens' Road Home Action Team.

Mr. Jefferson Goes to Trial
When you read New Orleans bloggers, make sure you stick around for the comments. The comments Oyster make in his own blog are to the point, as interesting as the original post; Dollar Bill Indicted. This is his theory on how we reelected Jefferson.

I think the story of the election is that Dollar Bill got 70% of the vote in Jefferson Parish.

Turnout was low and some of it was suppressed with bullshit side issues like the Harry Lee's "contempt" for Carter's comments about the CCC closure, and irrelevant social issues like gays and abortion. But the most idiotic side issues were the "strategic concerns" by conservatives and others who believed re-electing the crooked political pariah would best serve their parish or their party's long term interests.

And many of the people who think Jefferson and Carter are two interchangeable "crooks" with nary a dime's worth of difference between them - a monstrously unfair assessment, btw - are the same people who were holding out hope that Derrick Shepherd might win or make the runoff for District 2. These people are incredibly misinformed, or willfully delusional.

Adrastos and Schroder remark on the strength of the indictment. Schroder says in Oh, Happy Day!
The two newspaper articles I read failed to report how incredibly strong the 16-count indictment is. Following what I've heard attorney and Gambit editor Clancy Dubos say, and after reading the actual indictment, Bill Jefferson is going to spend several years or more in jail. The indictment has presented an array of evidence which doesn't rely upon the constitutionally-challenged FBI raid of his office. It's solid evidence.

The gist of the blogger reaction is that it is good that we are no longer waiting for the indictment. But it's not like we didn't see it coming. From Maitri's Day 644: William Jefferson Indicted - Big Whoop.

Despite my funny feeling that Jefferson will be convicted on at least half a dozen counts, this is not monumental news. So, please turn your attention back to our crime rate and preparedness (or lack thereof) for the current hurricane season. We had a nice get-on-Jordan-and-Riley momentum going let's not lose it. a nice get-on-Jordan-and-Riley momentum going

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