Tuesday, July 24, 2007
the hits just keep on coming…..
From ABC news, another example of FEMA's total insanity, ice that was meant for the aftermath of Katrina is now going to be melted because it can't be used:
After a slow start, FEMA trucked in more than 200 million pounds -- way too much, as it turned out.
Stuck with the unused ice, FEMA put it back on trucks and sent it to storage centers all over the country -- even to far away Portland, Maine -- and paid storage costs, hoping to use it in a future disaster.
Now, two years later, FEMA has decided it may be contaminated, and will finally dump it.
We're talking big ice here -- 85 million pounds. How many gin and tonics could you ice with that? And how many people could you cool off who are pretty steamed about the waste?
On Sunday in New Orleans, Lauren Michele Fields told ABC News, "The ice story, it's infuriating but completely believable and obvious that it happened."
It's been $12.5 million to store this ice for two years, said Beth Normile, "and I think people will be outraged and frustrated."
I experienced the aftermath of Katrina in Slidell, Louisiana. We did not see ice for almost a week. It took that
long to get it shipped to the local Wal-Mart, where they were giving it away. For weeks ice was being rationed out to people. It was
a precious commodity. To see this as yet another example of the gross negligence of the federal agency is beyond disgusting.
On another front, the former head of FEMA, James Lee Witt found a way to jump into the "screw the victims" bloodbath
by charging the state of Louisiana double the cost for subcontractor services.
from MSNBC dot com
Blanco hired Witt Associates to help Louisiana’s stricken communities work through federal red tape and to help manage storm debris removal. The governor’s move was praised as a necessary step to getting the overwhelmed state on the road to recovery.
But the state’s open-ended no-bid contract with Witt Associates also raised concerns about the financial implications of privatizing disaster relief.
In an October 2005 New York Times article, Witt was clearly sensitive to the notion that he might prosper from the Katrina disaster. “I just don’t want anyone to say that we used this as a way to profit or to try to get new business,” he said. “I just don’t want that.”
And during a taped forum at the National Press Club the following month, Witt said emphatically, “I’m not charging Louisiana anything if I’m not doing something for Louisiana.”
Nevertheless, according to information obtained by NBC News through public records, internal documents and interviews, Witt’s company has made millions of dollars from sizable markups on work performed by its subcontractors
here is a copy of a timesheet
showing markups by Witt's company for services performed by RMI debris monitors
"RMI paid one worker $18 an hour. Records show that RMI then billed Witt Associates about $50 an hour. Witt Associates subsequently billed the state $100 for that same hour of work.
Again from MSNBC, Witt's organization blatantly falsified timesheets
“Every week, four to five times a week, I would write, you know, ‘very slow’ or ‘nothing going on,’ ” he recalls.
Yet, he says, his supervisor told him to report 11.5-hour workdays anyway.
“I was told by the supervisor that we had to do that or they would get somebody else to do it,”
There's much more in the article. I'm too disgusted to go on.