Feb 28 Think NOLA
Get ready for another Coworking session on Saturday, March 1st, 2008 at the Bayou Coffee House starting at 11:00 am. I’ll be available to help you with information oriented things, but that’s not the point. The point is to bring some work to get done, and get it done.
Read about Coworking in the Recovery of New Orleans at Think New Orleans.
EditGrid – full featured online spreadsheets.by Alan Gutierrez
Would you like to see the demolitions in your neighborhood? Read on, there’s a map for every zip code in Orleans Parish after the jump.
But, I want to tell you about why I like the Internet and with I like software people.
I like the Internet because it connects you with people as far away as Hong Kong and allows you to collaborate with them, or in this case, it allows them to collaborate with you.
I like software people, because they create incredibly useful tools and for the most part, they are happy if you’ll just use them. All you have to do is be alert enough to know that you’re on the receiving end of a good deed.
Unfortunately, no one can accuse me of being alert.
This a post about a cool contribution to the New Orleans recovery by P.K. Chan, a look at more of the cool things EditGrid can do, and a bleated thank you.
When Matt McBride first created a spreadsheet of the city’s targeted demolition list, I published his article at Think New Orleans, as I always do when Matt sends out his research emails. I put the data in an EditGrid spreadsheet and placed it online with his article.
Th article is Updated Version of the City’s 1,400 Property Demolition Target List and the most recent version of Matt’s spreadsheet is February Property Demolition Target List.
When FEMA created the list, the took GPS coordinates. The next day I generated a Google Map using Super Snert. Unfortunately, Google Maps was slow with the 1,400 data points. There was no quick and easy way to break up the spreadsheet into smaller chunks.
Or so I thought.
Continue reading A Map of Every City Demolition for Every Zip Code In Orleans Parish Thanks to EditGrid and P.K. Chan by Alan Gutierrez at Think New Orleans.
Rebuild by B E M.by Alan Gutierrez
Recently, Matt McBride showed his spreadsheet acumen by creating a spreadsheet of the city’s targeted demolition list. He cross-referenced the demolition list against the city’s permit database, to find which of these structures already had demolitions permits. He did so by punching in addresses at city’s online permits database.
For those of you who don’t know, I was once a computer programmer.
It would make Matt’s life easier, I figured, if Matt didn’t have to pick through the city website to obtain the demolition permits. It would be easier if he had them all in a spreadsheet, because he seems to like spreadsheets.
So, I went and gathered up all the permits issued in Orleans Parish since January 2005 and put them into spreadsheets. They are available for download at Think New Orleans.
Continue reading A Spreadsheet With Every Permit Issued in Orleans Parish Since January of 2005 at Think New Orleans.
Recovery School District S.O.S.
y Eli Ackerman
Some citizens have been monitoring the Recovery School District here in New Orleans and are raising serious and immediate concerns.
In a three part series, I examined the record of RSD Superintendent Paul Vallas at his previous position as head of the Philadelphia School District. There were some things there – no-bid contracts, budget shortfalls, and a less-than-transparent 1.5 billion dollar capital building program – that might call for immediate answers regarding an increasingly suspicious situation here in New Orleans.
Alan Gutierrez has already explained in an earlier thinknola post, that the Recovery School District is putting the community through a farce of an input process for the Master Plan. Given that the District has already received demolition permits for several schools, it appears to many that a Master Plan is already in place and that the public planning phase is just for the sake of vanity.
Continue reading Recovery School District S.O.S. at Think New Orleans.
Follow the Dollars – Corps Depleting Pump Station Funds?
by Matt McBride
The Corps announced its fiscal year 2009 budget request a couple of weeks back. In the main document linked off its press release, all of the Southeast Louisiana work was lumped into a single $5.7 billion line item. I was curious about the details behind that line item.
If one digs through the Corps’ website, one can find the dollar breakdown for those numbers. The Corps’ Program Integration Division develops the budget among other things. Its webpage is here: http://www.usace.army.mil/cw/cecwb/
And the detailed breakdown on the FY2009 budget request is here:
To find the section on the SE Louisiana stuff, go to pages 220 through 233. For those of you receiving this directly on email, I’ve attached just those pages.
Finding this information is hardly obvious to the normal citizen, who one would think would be interested in how 5.7 billion taxpayer dollars were to be spent.
I was particularly interested in the budgeting for the permanent pump stations. There’s been various hints in presentations the Corps has given over the last year that the cost would be somewhere between half a billion and a billion dollars. To find the particular numbers on the pump stations, go to pages 224 and 225. You’ll see that the Corps is asking for $704 million for the pump stations. You’ll also see a double asterisk after that number.
Continue reading Follow the Dollars – Corps Depleting Pump Station Funds? at Think New Orleans.
Season of Mitigation
by K.C. King
In the gallactic view, hurricane protection depends on three layers; robust wetlands, levees adequate to the threat, and strong, elevated homes to protect against things that the first two layers miss.
Against this, we have the reality that the political will, from either party, is apparently not there to make the first two layers strong enough to protect against historic (Katrina was a 394-year flood) hazards let alone globally warmed future hazards. Instead the Bush administration, Congress and, more importantly the US Army Corps of Engineers has signed up for 100-year protection – period.
The implied message is – Katrina will never happen again. Some of us living behind cosmetically repaired flood walls have different views. We are trying to take steps to ensure our homes are safe but many others are not and leadership is keeping its mouth shut when it comes to promoting a safe rebuilding vision. On top of that, the mediocracats at the State and FEMA have still, after 2.5 years, not released any of the funds we are entitled to receive to help us elevate.
Continue reading Season of Mitigation at Think New Orleans.