Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bayou Liberty Pirogue Races

The 58th annual Bayou Liberty Pirogue Races will be June 1 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the St. Genevieve boat launch near the Bayou Liberty bridge west of Slidell. This is an entertaining small festival and is great for people watching.

Here are prior entries in this blog

about this event


Greg Peters lashes out at the powers that be and then sme with a deeply felt post that gave me the same adrenaline rush as the FYYFF post of by the much missed Ashley Morris. Damn I miss him.

Go read Greg's post and you'll find out what I mean.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Hurricane Season '08

There's some chatter in the NOLA blogsphere regarding the upcoming hurricane season, which runs from June 1 thru November 30th. It's interesting to read different perspectives and news items about this six month period that takes place in the heart of summertime in the Gulf Coast.

Our governor has had his crew put together a list of things that everyone should have on hand for an evacuation. here's the website . I just checked my little rubbermaid containter and have most of the stuff ready to go. I also put all of my important papers in a neat little box with handles to easily carry it. I certainly hope we won't have to evacuate, because that would entail getting five cats into five cat carriers. No easy task.

After living thru Katrina and all her wrath and dealing with the aftermath, I'm not complascent, but I'll think twice about leaving. I'm just wondering how many trees that were weakened by the storm will meet their demise this season.

I'm with Chris over at Prytania Waterline and probably won't leave unless there's a Cat 3 or higher headed toward us.

The ever-eloquent Mark Folse over at Toulouse Street reflects on the start of another hurricane season which ends with this quote which gives me goose pimples: One thousand days and counting: why do we stay, and why do more come home each day? They come and stay because it is home, and because in the civics class, film-strip America we were all raised to believe in the government does not tell you where to live. We will do it alone if we must, Sinn Fein. It may at times be bitter-bitter, but in the end it is our heart.

Tim of the nameless blog reflects on his feelings about his whole post Katrina experience and feelings. This post pulls at my heartstrings.

The Library Chronicles details the city of NOLA's plan to "get people out" in case a storm is headed this way as well. I can already see the chaos Nagin's "plan" will cause.

here's one of the better hurricane web pages for up-to-date information

Heads Up, New Orleanians

Humid City has publised and email by Matt McBride, who is a well placed thorn in the side of the hapless Corpse of Engineers in New Orleans.

In his email, Matt discusses the necessity of the public release of a final report on the London Avenue canal load test, held last summer. That report has already been through independent peer review.

For those of you who aren't from this area, The London Avenue Canal Levee and floodwall was breached during or shortly after Hurricane Katrina in late August of 2005. This breach contributed to the flooding of New Orleans. Some has speculated that were it not for the breachs most of western Gentilly may have been spared from major flooding.

click pic for full-sized version

Quoted from Matt's email to the citizens of New Orleans:

The report undoubtedly contains a great deal of information about seepage in existing floodwalls, as that’s what the load test was all about. Getting it released would definitely shine light on what the Corps currently knows about leaks through levees and floodwalls, much more so than a press conference and vague promises of future reviews. They’ve already got the information, so why not put it out there?

good question.

thanks to Loki for the heads up

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Because They Have No Words

“We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words." – from the novel Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.

I don't know if I've been living in a cave or something, but this is the first I've heard about a play about rescuing animals post Katrina. “Because They Have No Words” had its world premiere on September 2, 2006 at The Lounge Theatre in Los Angeles.

The play is now
in Chicago.
It focuses on the efforts of animal rescuers and is based on co-writer Tim Maddock's personal experience rescuing animals in the aftermath of Katrina. Maddock also stars in the production.

In September of 2005, Tim loaded his car with food, water, clothing and rescue gear, said goodbye to his partner and his dog, and drove straight into the heart of one of the greatest natural disasters in our country's history. During his time in New Orleans, Tim witnessed great human tragedy and stupendous bureaucratic blunders. From the stranded animals somehow able to weather the storm, to the frantic, grief-stricken families searching for the pets they were forced to abandon, the flood of emotion was a constant reminder of the failures of a city, a state, and a nation to respond when their citizens needed them most.

Here's a link to an article about his experiences.

Thanks and God Bless you, Tim

Ghost of Katrina Still Haunts Louisiana

An excellent piece at bayou buzz dot com written by
Ron Chapman, an award winning columnist who teaches at Nunez Community College and has been a businessman and activist.

Here is an excerpt:

We have all lost that certain little something that had meaning if not real value. That one thing that makes all of our losses touch closer to the heart. That is what those who have not experienced Katrina will never understand. That sense of personal violation that never disappears. It has nothing to do with insurance, Road Home, or bricks and mortar. It has to do with an intangible sense of loss

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

FEMA just keeps on giving....

Sure to be one of the

worst president ever's top ten screw-ups is the lack of direction, compassion and intelligence in the handling of the aftermath of Katrina.

Under his "rule", FEMA proved to be inept to say the least.
We've all heard about the FEMA trailer formdaldehyde fiasco.
It gets better...... from this link:
Well, for those of you who have written off Katrina as yesterday's news, listen to this, the bush admin's deregulation mantra, their total lack of concern for consumer safety, their disregard for human health, their disdain for scientific data, will be appearing in a trailer park near you. These same manufacturers who were supported by government largess, these same manufactures of the trailers designed for the victims of Katrina, have been selling their products to regular consumers. ...... This was the excuse given by FEMA administrator R. David Paulison,

the guy responsible for the trailer boondoggle; that it wasn't just lack of FEMA standards, but it was do to lack of industry standards -  "this is bigger than FEMA"...Thanks to the bush administration

Monday, May 26, 2008

Thank You (Memorial Day)

My thanks to all who have served

Still Not Okay-33 months later

Think everything's still "hunkey dorie" down here, almost three years (or 1,002 days) after Katrina?

Think again.

Here's a blog written by a student from Columbia College in Missouri. They recently came down to Slidell to gut a house in the Bayou Liberty area

Thanks, Guys!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Scuzzbuckets of the Week

Two supposedly grown men in Slidell went after each other after a baseball game involving eight year old kids.

According to the TP
A Slidell baseball coach delivered a series of blows against another coach and slashed through the air with a baseball bat after tossing his wife from his back in a video of a Monday night brawl at a youth baseball game that shows events more violent and one-sided than initial police accounts.

The squabble, which brought out eight police officers, ended with the arrests of Jason Chighizola, 32, who is a board member with the baseball association, and Robert Johnson, 34. Both men, who each had a son playing for their teams, were booked with simple battery and disturbing the peace by fighting.

Monday night's game at the Slidell Bantam Baseball Association's fields near Old Spanish Trail seemed routine. The players, including both coaches' sons, played a clean game and had gathered at the center of the field to shake hands. But though his players abided by the show of good sportsmanship, Chighizola apparently refused to shake Johnson's hand, O'Neill said.

The two exchanged heated words, which Chighizola described as Johnson's attempt to provoke him as he tried to walk away toward the dugout.

"I tried to walk away from the confrontation," said Chighizola, 1008 Woodview Drive, Slidell. "He refused to let it go."

Johnson, 218 Crescentwood Loop, Slidell, declined to comment on the incident Wednesday.

After Johnson called him out, Chighizola said, he walked back to the opposing coach.

That's when the fists started flying.

When Chighizola got close, Johnson flinched as if he were preparing to hit him, O'Neill said. Chighizola said Johnson hit him lightly in the chest as he moved.

Chighizola struck, hitting Johnson above his left eye and leaving a cut that would require stitches, O'Neill said.

"Obviously I regret that," Chighizola said. "Hindsight being 20-20, I wish I had just walked away."

Spectators began to rush the field, spouses began yelling at each other and some people tried to separate the two men, he said.

As the crowd approached, Johnson grabbed a nearby bat and began swinging it in an apparently defensive effort to keep others at bay, O'Neill said. No one was hit by the bat, he said.

Chighizola was arrested on the scene and Johnson was taken to a local hospital, where he received stitches for the cut above his eye, before being booked in Slidell City Jail, O'Neill said.

The feud between the two men apparently dates back six months to a year, said Dennis Neyland, president of the baseball association and head of a committee formed to investigate the incident.

Chighizola said the bad blood started when he was chosen to coach an All Star baseball team over one of Johnson's relatives. Neyland said Johnson told the league's investigative committee a different reason for the dispute but did not elaborate on what Johnson said.

Whatever the cause, the fight could have serious repercussions for both men. If convicted, their charges could bring up to nine months in jail and more than a $1,000 in fines.

It's really pathetic when adults can't be role models for their children because of their precious egos. This is nothing new. There are parents out there whose children play sports that are unbelievably immature and obnoxious when they should be thinking about teaching their kids sportsmanship. I feel sorry for the children of these dolts.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Victory for NOLARISING

The Details of the Victory over the Grey Ghost and His Personal Vendetta Against NoLA Rising

image from toulouse street website

Southern Breeze Article

From the spring edition of Southern Breeze Magazine, a nice article about New Orleans and its residents:

Like Clark Kent’s transformation into Superman, Ritz-Carlton server Daniel Victory shows his New Orleans pride

Maybe it’s always been there, but maybe it’s become more apparent since Hurricane Katrina. One thing is certain: New Orleanians love their city! And they don’t care who knows!

You see it on car bumpers: a slogan touting the Crescent City or the ubiquitous fleur de lis. Ahhh, those fleur de lis…they’re everywhere and not just on the baseball caps of New Orleans Saints fans. It has become the unofficial logo of this city that came so close to…well, we all know what could have happened. As bad as Katrina was, all New Orleanians hold one truth self-evident: it could’ve
been a lot worse!

The old saying goes that “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone” almost happened. Luckily, New Orleanians do know what they have—a one-of-a-kind culture like nowhere else in America. Sure, they celebrate Mardi Gras in Mobile and you can get great shrimp po-boys in Biloxi and jazz fills the streets of St. Louis and Memphis…but it’s just not the same. It’s just not New Orleans.

New Orleans has inspired writers as diverse as William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, John Kennedy Toole, Mark Twain, Anne Rice, and legions of others. Singers, songwriters, and musicians have memorialized its people and places through the ages from the smoky sounds of Louis Armstrong to the revelatory soul of the Neville Brothers to Harry Connick Jr.’s silky crooning to the rollicking rhythms of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band or the Southern fried rock of Gov’t Mule. Strains of jazz, blues, rock, country, soul, R and B, Zydeco…they all coalesce with the heavenly aroma of the food that is only one part of the city’s distinctive magic.
And do I need to even discuss the food? I thought not. The term “culinary tourism” was created for New Orleans because where else would you rather be and spend your entire vacation sampling one mouth-watering delicacy after another? As for before and after dinner drinks: Hurricanes? Sazerac cocktails? Dixie Beer? It’s all good!
But all of this—the music, literature, food, drink, culture, architecture—would not amount to a pile of red beans and rice without the people. New Orleanians are proud, resilient, and a force to be reckoned with. Strike up a conversation with any local—native or transplant, it doesn’t matter—and you would think they all work for the Convention and Visitors Bureau!

But they all have one thought in the back of their collective minds they dare not
utter: “We almost lost it all.” True, some scars are far from healed, neighborhoods still stand in a “Katrina time warp” and they grieve for a city that will be
whole again. And while New Orleanians have always had a celebratory spirit, they fight just as hard to bring back City Park, Lakeview, and all their brothers and sisters scattered across the country.

Proud without being boastful, New Orleanians have rallied around their city and each other. As the population begins to inch upward to pre-K levels, old businesses
reopening bigger and better than before and new ones moving in, the streets, restaurants, shops, museums, parks, schools, theaters, and hotels are flooded
with old neighbors and new friends, natives and newbies.

After a recent trip to New Orleans, I started to lament the brevity of
my visit before I got across Lake Ponchatrain. I finally started to understand Satchmo’s jazz classic…now I know what it means to miss New Orleans (but I’ll be heading back as soon as I can!)
—Mark A. Newman

Mark said this article will be online in the near future, but I just wanted to share it now.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

On the cusp of yet another hurricane season, during the midst of a rainy mid May afternoon, I ran across something in the WWL tv website that brings back memories of a New Orleans television/meteorlogical icon:


As a scientist, Nash Roberts looks at weather disasters, from Katrina to the more recent cyclone in Myanmar and earthquake in China, and sees these events not caused by years of man disrespecting the Earth, but more as a natural process.

From neworleansradiotheathre dot org, the history of this scientist who became the one to trust during hurricane seasons:

Long before Weather forecasters got to be television celebrities, Nash Roberts was forecasting weather conditions for areas as far away as the Gulf of Tonkin for his clients. It was said that no banana boat left South America without Nash's blessing, or rather, his forecast. Oil companies contracted Nash's company to get information about taking their crews off of their oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico during hurricane seasons.

The Nash Roberts forecasting accuracy was introduced to the TV screens of New Orleans soon after Ch 6 signed on the air and continued on WDSU-TV for over a quarter of a century in the 5PM, 6PM aand 10PM news programs as well as the "Midday" program.The people in New Orleans and the surrounding areas never said: "I wonder what the weather will be like." Instead, they asked: "What does Nash say?" When Nash finally retired from the broadcasting scene, he left several TV weathermen and their fancy radar and electronic presentations battling to assume his title and position as THE weather authority for the Gulf South. Nash Roberts was inducted into the GNOBA Hall of Fame in 1994.

Here's a link of Nash in action, predicting Hurricane Andrew's landfall No flashy storm maps or animations, he was at home using only his markers and experience to predict storms paths.

From a 1998 article in the New York Times
Mr. Roberts is often criticized by other meteorologists for deviating from National Weather Service reports, which he refers to derisively as 'the house thinking.'

'Some weathermen get unhappy because I don't always follow the Federal line, but if I have evidence to the contrary it'd be criminal not to give it,' he said.

Locals know a storm is serious simply when Mr. Roberts appears on the screen. 'They see me in the store buying my mark-up pens and they follow me around asking when the storm's hitting,' said Mr. Roberts, whose successful predictions, he said, come from treating each storm individually and keying in on the factors and the environment that await it.

'You're like a detective tracking someone,' he said.'You never know their next move.' Mr. Roberts said Hurricane Georges tipped its hand when the high-pressure system steering it stopped and the storm headed east.

He sometimes refers to computers as 'newfangled gimmicks,' but Mr. Roberts insists he consults the same reports and computer printouts sent to other stations. He also uses data from the oil rigs in the gulf, his private clients. With compasses and protractors, he calculates wind directions and plots each storm's path.

'We all get the same information, but it's what you do with it that makes the difference,' he said.

Here's another link of Nash talking about Katrina.

Katrina was the only hurricane that Nash evacuated for.

Happy Birthday, Nash!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

fema's doing WHAT?

Lynn Henderson, who lives with her four children in a Federal Emergency Management Agency mobile home in Richton (Mississippi), is outraged by the agency's latest offer.

FEMA has offered her and other Hurricane Katrina victims still living in emergency housing the opportunity to purchase their agency-provided mobile homes. She says FEMA has deluged her with phone calls and sent her a letter that said the asking price is $13,000.

FEMA spokesman James McIntyre said the agency won't sell units that test high for formaldehyde. He could not say what FEMA has determined to be a safe level.

from the Washington Post:

FEMA hurriedly bought the 145,000 trailers and mobile homes via no-bid contracts just before and after Katrina hit the coast in August 2005. But the purchase quickly became problematic, with some communities refusing them for a variety of reasons.

FEMA was forced to put trailers on the market, selling them to anyone for 40 cents on the dollar.

In January, however, the emergency agency offered to buy them back, for their original purchase price, because of concerns that the trailers are tainted with formaldehyde. The agency said it is making the offer because of concerns about “possible adverse health effects” associated with the trailers.

And now they're selling them again. Unbelievable

In January FEMA was forced to put trailers on the market, selling them to anyone for 40 cents on the dollar.

Yesterday, however, the emergency agency offered to buy them back, for their original purchase price, because of concerns that the trailers are tainted with formaldehyde. The agency said it is making the offer because of concerns about "possible adverse health effects" associated with the trailers.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Another Katrina Victim

Howie Luvzus posts on the recent death of
7-year-old Christopher Jacobs
, who fell into an unguarded, algae-covered pool behind a neighboring empty house and drowned when he tried to retrieve a soccer ball. Christopher apparently had chased the ball into the yard, not realizing the bright green surface hid water.

Sad, sad story. What's even sadder is the comment left on Howie's post.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tolouse Street Gets it Right

Mark Folse responds to a Reuters article on yahoo that shows that the memory of the masses is short lived.

Here's an excerpt from this article

Americans get lots of warning when a storm threatens, can use their own cars or public transit to escape on efficient, paved evacuation routes, have sturdy homes or tall buildings to protect them from a flood and plenty of food and medical care in the aftermath, said emergency management experts at a hurricane conference in Fort Lauderdale.

Like I said, people have short term memory problems, but those of us who experienced the immediate aftermath of Katrina - the DAYS it took for us to get any kind of help - know better than the so called "emergency management experts".

Another rebirth


After nearly three years after the winds and storm surge from Hurricane Katrina
beat it up, Fort Pike is reopened to the public.

From the Baton Rouge Advocate
Fort Pike State Historic Site, on U.S. 90 just south of the Rigolets Bridge, is open to the public once again. It is the last property operated by the Louisiana Office of State Parks to be reopened after Hurricane Katrina caused massive damage in 2005.

One of Louisiana’s more fascinating historic sites, Fort Pike was begun in 1819 and completed in 1826. It was named for the explorer and soldier Gen. Zebulon Montgomery Pike whose name is attached to Pike’s Peak in the Rocky Mountains. Visitors to the site can quickly grasp the importance of this fort, which sits between Lake Pontchartrain and Lake St. Catherine and overlooks the Rigolets, the narrow passage that ships used to enter Pontchartrain from the Gulf of Mexico.

At the official reopening of the historic site, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, whose offices oversees the Office of State Parks, talked about the fort’s importance in protecting the Port of New Orleans. He said the fort played an integral part in Louisiana’s military history.

Stand outside the fort’s thick walls. Take a look at the watery surroundings, and you quickly realize just how important the fort was to the protection of Louisiana. The fort, a brick and masonry structure, was designed to withstand attack from land or sea.

Although the United States survived the War of 1812, the British destruction of our nation’s capital and their attack on New Orleans emphasized the weakness of our country’s defense. To prevent a foreign invasion from occurring again, President James Monroe ordered the placement of an extensive coastal system. The new fortifications, along with the old ones, stretched along the entire Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

Along with nearby forts Jackson and St. Philip, Fort Pike defended New Orleans from nautical assaults. During the Seminole Wars in the 1830s, Fort Pike served as a staging area for soldiers en route to Florida. It also was a collection point for hundreds of Seminole prisoners and their black slaves who were being transported to Oklahoma. During the Mexican War in the 1840s, the fort was a stopover for troops bound for Texas and Mexico. During the Civil War, the fort was held by Confederates until Union forces reoccupied the fort, using it for raids along the Gulf Coast. The Union also used Fort Pike as a training center, where former slaves were taught to use heavy artillery. These troops became part of the United States Colored Troops who played a role in many battles.

Not just for history buffs, Fort Pike offers a fantastic view of the Rigolets Pass.

Fort Pike was officially abandoned in 1890. In 1972 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Fort Pike is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday through Monday (Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day). Entrance fee is $2 per person. Free for seniors age 62 and older and children age 12 and younger. Groups are asked to call in advance. For information, contact (888) 662-5703 or (504) 255-9171. Also send e-mail to

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Orleans East update

One of the hardest hit areas by Katrina, New Orleans East is very slowly coming back to life. It's evident from I-1O going into and out of New Orleans.

Building Better Communities, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the rebuilding of homes and lives in the devastated city of New Orleans, will host its grand opening in eastern New Orleans May 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 10555 Deer Park, Building 9, near Lake Forest Boulevard.

New Orleans East residents will once again have access to a community health clinic

Operation Blessing operated the clinic from April '06 thru December '07.

Operation Blessing, an international, faith-based group, had operated the clinic from April 3, 2006 through Dec. 21, 2007. The Charity Hospital system began operating the clinic April 28, said Dr. Cassandra Youmans, the system's medical director for outpatient clinics and services.

"We will be able to see all patients regardless of their ability to pay," she said. "Some will be sent bills based on ability to pay. Others will qualify for free care."

The clinic will be staffed with two full-time physicians, one nurse practitioner, one medical assistant, a certified wound-care specialist and one hospital admission technician.

The staff ought to be able to see more than 70 patients a day, Youmans said.

The clinic will provide preventive care, acute primary care, prenatal care and link patients to mental-health care, including counseling and affordable medications, she said.

Walk-ins will be accommodated, but the clinic prefers patients to make an appointment by calling 245-7951.

Operation Blessing is providing modular buildings for the clinic and the Greater St. Stephens Full Gospel Baptist Church is providing the land. The clinic is being financed by patient fees, federal grants and state money, Youmans said.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Levee Stories

From MSNBC dot com, May 2008
Army Corps says condition of levees unknown

Agency that oversees nation's levees lacks inventory of thousands of them.

The Army Corps of Engineers made a startling revelation in the light of recent storms in the US which have seen numerous people killed saying they have no inventory of the country's levees and no idea of their condition.

Recent wet weather in the US is creating concern within the Corp which oversees levees. A University of California at Berkeley levee expert said when an inventory is finally produced "I think we're not going to like what we find."

Last year, the National Levee Safety Act was passed in the US congress which so far has failed to provided funding for the inventory of levees the act promised and isn’t likely to do so until 2009.

Today, about 2,000 levees are either operated by the corps or by local entities in partnership with the corps, generally protecting major population areas such as St. Louis and New Orleans.

Thousands of others _ no one is sure how many _ are privately owned, operated and maintained. The majority of those are "farm" levees keeping water out of fields, but some protect populated areas, industries and businesses.

Here's a pdf list of "levees of maintenance concerns" compiled in February 2007. This list accompanied a blog post I did last May about the fact that substandard levees - the cause for New Orleans' flooding after Katrina - are not just located in the deep south.

Couldn't have said it better....

Michael Homan discusses the hypocracy of the Bush administration regarding their recent comments on the Myanmar and China disasters.

I couldn't've said it better. Thanks, Michael

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Scuzzbuckets of the Week

Reggie and Kimberly Colliers of Haughton, Louisiana

HUD has charged them with housing discrimination.

The are former owners of
"Camp Joy Marina"
in Haughton which is in north Louisiana. In September 2004, Reggie Collier observed an African-American woman and a white couple viewing a property for sale in the development. Believing the African-American sales agent to be the potential homebuyer, Collier allegedly called the office of the real estate firm listing the property and stated that he did not want "those kinds of people" moving into the development. In addition, Collier allegedly threatened to disconnect water and sewer service to the home if the firm sold the home to African-Americans.

The HUD charge now goes before an administrative law judge who may award damages to each complainant for actual loss as a result of the alleged discrimination, as well as damages for emotional distress, humiliation, and loss of civil rights. The judge may also order injunctive and other equitable relief to deter further discrimination. Additionally, the judge may impose a maximum civil penalty of $16,000 for each violation for the first offense, in addition to actual damages for each complainant and order payment of attorneys' fees. Sanctions can be more severe if a respondent has a history of housing discrimination.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

We Can Feel & Understand Their Pain

Formerly known as Burma, the country of Myanmar is reeling from a Cyclone Nargis, which wielded maximum sustained winds around 130 mph with gusts ranging from 150-160 mph. This made it a strong Category 3 or minimal Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Many people were killed in a 12-foot tidal wave.

The cyclone pummeled Yangon for more than 10 hours from Friday night into Saturday, with 20 inches of rain. Reminiscent of claims immediately following Katrina, there are news reports of up to 40,000 killed.



Video from the scene showed residents in some areas hacking their way through downed trees and trudging through knee-deep, swirling brown water. Thousands of tropical trees had been ripped up and thrown down, some into roadways.




New Orleans

Even without the destruction from the cyclone, travel and communications can be difficult in the country because of its weak infrastructure, said David Mathieson, an expert on Myanmar with Human Rights Watch, a private organization.

In Yangon, he said, people usually get only five or six hours of electricity a day, and some remote areas have no access to electricity. “So the fact that electricity is down is not really that important,” he said.

While Myanmar's ruling military junta has been accused of not warning the public about the approaching cyclone, witnesses say state media did report the storm -- it just came too late.

Officials said they would open the doors of their closed and tightly controlled nation to international relief groups. So far, most foreigners and all foreign journalists have been barred from entering the country.

Witnesses and residents said the military had been slow to respond to the devastation of the cyclone, and some suggested that the government’s performance could affect the vote in an upcoming election for a new consititution.
Residents of the country, formerly known as Burma, said that they were being pressured to vote “yes” and that riot police officers had been patrolling the streets before the cyclone in a show of force that was more visible than their relief efforts afterward.

Here's a link for organizations accepting donations to help.

• International Committee of the Red Cross
• World Food Programme
• Save the Children
• World Vision
• International Rescue Committee

Monday, May 05, 2008

Finally Home

Head on over to Tim's Nameless Blog and wish him congratulations for finally moving
into a place he and his family can call home.

Jazz Fest 08

Sunday had the perfect weather for Jazz Fest. Incredible. Lots of people, but everyone was peaceful.

Keb Mo. His music soothes.

Sonny Landreth was electric

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I don't think so!

from NOLA dot com:
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana has asked a federal judge to award the organization more than $65,000 in attorneys fees and court costs, stemming from a ruling earlier this month that said Slidell officials broke the law by hanging a portrait of Jesus on the wall at Slidell City Court.

Who asked these ass hats to come in and cause a ruckus? Everyone is entitled to their opinion of this organization and mine is that they should just go away.

The ACLU said plaintiff "John Doe" and others "have suffered, or shall suffer, damages, including mental anguish and emotional distress" from viewing the image.

the picture is still on display, joined now by more than a dozen other images of historic lawmaking figures, and there are no plans to remove the image.

"This is the first case I know of that upholds a display of a picture of Jesus," Douglas Laycock, professor of constitutional law at the University of Michigan Law School, told Cybercast News Service. "It is significant."

Spillway imagery

Schroeder has a post including incredible satellite photos of the lost sediment that could have been used to restore Louisiana’s dying wetlands and disappearing coastline is falling off the continental shelf.

Why New Orleans rules

Check out the Lady of Perpetual Crawfish grotto.