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funkybutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:25 AM
Original message
Rebuilding New Orleans still a priority, Obama says
Source: Times Picayune, New Orleans

President Barack Obama said his administration remains focused on rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, that anything less "would be a betrayal of who we are as a country, " and that he plans to visit New Orleans by the end of the year.

"Well, keep in mind I've been in New Orleans multiple times, and I intend to be back in New Orleans before the year is out because I want to see first-hand where progress is being made, and where it is not, " Obama said.

-snip-

"I think that Katrina was really a wake-up call for the country -- about our need to fulfill our commitments to our fellow citizens, a recognition that there but for the grace of God go I, that all of us can fall prey to these kinds of natural disasters, " Obama said.


Read more: http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2009/08/post_1.h...



Dear Mr. President, the flooding was caused by the failure of the Federal Levee system. This was not a natural disaster as you referred to it. I really hope you understand this. Unfortunately, I have not seen recovery speed up at all since you were sworn into office. Yes, we've had high ranking cabinet members visit and we recently saw money allocated to _one_ under-performing public university. This is not enough. Please keep your promise to us!
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Laura PourMeADrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. Amen. And my he could bring Donald Trump and tell him to get
busy on the skyscaper he's supposed to build.
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revolution breeze Donating Member (510 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:41 AM
Original message
Not that ugly thing
I think the New Orleans skyline is better off without the proposed monstrosity.
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Laura PourMeADrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 10:55 PM
Response to Original message
30. huge building = people-jobs-visitors-capital. besides - it's downtown
among all the others tall bldgs - so???
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revolution breeze Donating Member (510 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #30
36. This will be the tallest building on the New Orleans skyline.
There is talk among contractors that the whole project has been scrapped but Trump is using the economy as an excuse so he does not lose face.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #30
38. NO is a relatively "short" city....
It will not blend in.
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DatManFromNawlins Donating Member (640 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. In the CBD?
It will blend in just fine.
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Laura PourMeADrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-26-09 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. I agree. I think the juxtaposition between CBD and FQ is interesting.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. It'll be huge... HUuUUUUUuuge! n/t
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funkybutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
2. A bit more positive view...
http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2009/08/obama_ke...

"Obama keeps close tabs on New Orleans recovery -- from a distance"
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
3. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have done more for NO than the entire federal
government. It is outrageous. He needs to do more than go there. He needs to insist things are done now. That would also help elect some dems like Melancon.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. She has definitely provided a lot of direct stimulus
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Wal-Mart donated a half-hour's worth of their corporate profit to rebuild NOLA.
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 11:53 AM by Ian David
I hope it didn't hurt too much.

:sarcasm:

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revolution breeze Donating Member (510 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. Unfortunately too much paperwork
The mountains of paperwork required to be completed by the contractors to be part of the Make It Right Porject, not to mention the insurance requirements, have kept many smaller cntractors out of the project. But the eight houses which have been completed are impressive.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
8. for who though? For the poor who once lived there or for developers and the rich?
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funkybutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Most of the people who live here are poor
Tales of developers who have gotten rich off of this disaster are grossly exaggerated.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. glad to hear that
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revolution breeze Donating Member (510 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Alot of the residents of the area were renters
My uncle bought two houses on Reynes Street in the Ninth Ward in the 1960s. He rented one of the houses to a family who lived there until Katrina. My uncle did not want to rebuild as he is almost 90 but offered to rebuild the house and sell it to the family since it had been "theirs" for almost 40 years (they could not get Road Home because they were renters, etc.....). They said NO, they didn't want to own the property, because they would have to maintain it and pay taxes on it. So my uncle demolished the house and hires a man to come weekly to mow the grass. The family has since moved to Altanta.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
24. Not surprising...
Not everyone wants to be a property owner.
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placton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
10. Based on his performance so far
anytime Obama promises something - it ain't happening. Rebuilding NO is good for soooo many reasons - not the least of which is resettling Dems there who were transported to GOP states.
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
13. Sure it is.
I love words. They sound so good.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
14. To "still" be a priority would mean it was one at any point (nt)
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IrishBuckeye Donating Member (336 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
15. Is it a good idea to rebuild a city that is located under the sea level?
With predictions stating Hurricains will become increasingly more violent will we not see a repeat of Katrina's destruction in the next 10-15 years in the same area?
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. I think I'll have an Abita and a large
:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

Katrina was at least a 300-year storm, i.e. NOLA had not seen its like since its founding in 1718. And as the OP said, most of the damage was caused NOT by the storm itself, but by the inadequate protection of the levees and floodwalls.

Funny how you rarely hear people say, for instance, "Is it a good idea to rebuild a city that is located on an active earthquake fault?"
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revolution breeze Donating Member (510 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Purple Haze
My favorite!
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. Ugh...
I drank way too many Abita's last month. And I do think its a bad idea to build a city on a fault line!
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nolabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. Fact is, the port is there so the city will be.
NO is unique in being at the junction of a seagoing port and the country's largest commercial waterway. Most people don't realize how important it is to American manufacturing and commerce; that's why it's so old and much-disputed in the history of the country. The cultural issues are, as we say, lagniappe. It's going to be there, come hell or high water. We've already proved that more than once.
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revolution breeze Donating Member (510 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
16. Have any of ya'll been to New Orleans recently?
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 01:54 PM by revolution breeze
The CBD and French Quarter are thriving. They received no flooding but the wind damage was phenomonal. There is active discussion on reopening the old Charity hospital complex. New Orleans East has a brand new Lowes on what was The Plaza at Lakeside Mall, and apartment complexes are being rebuilt at an fast rate. Gentilly is slowly coming back. Lakeview looks good. The Lower Ninth Ward only acounts for 2 square area miles of the city of New Orleans.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. I was just there end of last month....
beginning of this one. French Quarter looks great. Wish they'd reopen the other Tropical Isle location though.
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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. Tropical Isle
One of them was busted in a sting for underage drinking, and no updated liquor license. Rumor is they will open soon (if not already).
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #29
33. Interesting..
I didn't think they ever enforced underage drinking in NO.
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nolabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
19. Don't forget the coast--again!
I loves me some New Orleans (see monniker) but the Mississippi Gulf Coast also continues to suffer the loss of its culture, its historical landmarks and much of the tourist draw, not to mention HOME for many generations of people. The fact that it was more of a natural didsater there so people can't get up in arms over the dramas of levee failurt and racism, both absolutely real problems that need addressing, makes it less dramatic and so less of a soap-seller.

I lived in and love NOLA, but grew up in Biloxi and the surrounding area, and let me tell you, it was wiped off the face of the earth. Imagine all the landmarks, all the flavor and identity shaping elements of your home town simply gone one day. You can't. It's unimaginable. But it's real. Casinos, about which many of us are ambivalent but they're there getting everyone's hard earned money back in circulation, aren't really a sign of growth and health on the coast. People continue to be poor and need help.

I hate to be cynical but I'd like to see concentrated attention, and not just around the anniversary of the devastation.
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revolution breeze Donating Member (510 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. You are so right.
I drove to Pascagoula yesterday and three years later it still brings tears to my eyes when I remember what used to be as opposed to what is now. Bay St. Louis is coming back but will never be the same, Gulfport still looks like someone ran a plow over parts of the city.
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nolabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. I also lived in Pascagoula as a kid. Was there in Spring
and it's all but been destroyed. Since it doesn't have the casinos or the stronger tourism (and let's face it; Pascagoula is industrial coast more than pretty tourism coast though the beachfront was lovely at one time) it gets no attention. It'll survive becasue of the shipyard, for now, but its old and fascinating history has been neglected almost to death.

*sigh*
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
23. No, not really.....
The flooding was caused by building in areas BELOW sea level.
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New Orleans Ladder Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. Failed Cause
Edited on Mon Aug-24-09 01:09 PM by New Orleans Ladder
The Independent Louisiana Investigation Team (ILIT) Report states that the levees failed, at half load capacity due to Preventable engineering design flaws --NOT storm surge from Katrina and certainly not the citizens of New Orleans.
The Corps of Engineers flooded New Orleans. They admitted this in Open Federal Court.
These are facts. Another Fact is that 51% of New Orleans is at or above sea level, and of the areas that flooded, over half of them had never flooded before.
These are facts.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. The oldest parts of the city,,,
the areas that are most above sea level suffered little to no damage, The areas in the bowl that were originally not built upon were the areas worst hit. These are the facts, Those original settlers were pretty smart. Its our sprawl which is pretty stupid.
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DatManFromNawlins Donating Member (640 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. The original settlers...
... also did not build on slab construction. It makes very little sense to build on a slab down here. Your house stays hotter in the summer, colder in the winter, and is more prone to flooding. Those old homes aren't built high off the ground for show.
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #23
35. So just a point of interest...
...what is your suggestion for Holland then?
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. Don't move further South....
:)
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #23
40. If that were true, those areas would be flooded all the time.
The levees failed, the White House knew and they didn't warn anyone for a whole day.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-26-09 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. New Orleans has experienced a lot of floods throughout
Edited on Wed Aug-26-09 04:26 PM by WriteDown
its history. Read up.

Here's a good history:

http://www.madere.com/history.html#004

"So, although New Orleans' situation is geographically magnificent, located at the mouth of the great Mississippi with its vast network of tributaries, the actual site is miserable, swampy land located in a dangerous, hostile environment, where the Mississippi debouches into the Gulf. The site's problems are numerous. The older and main parts of New Orleans rest on the natural levees of the Mississippi, about fifteen feet above sea level, with the firmest, most solid soil being silt. Most of the modern city is at or below sea level, with the Mississippi usually flowing past the city at a height of ten to fifteen feet above sea level, flooding at twenty feet. Behind the old city, between river and lack, until recently, was a backswamp, with no solid building foundations, which was a breeding ground for malaria until 1900. During heavy rains, the area filled up with water"
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-26-09 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. Yes, however the disaster that was Katrina was man made,
not a natural disaster. The Feds keep eliding that to CYA. The levees weren't footed properly and the Army Corpse of Engineers had ignored warnings for decades.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-26-09 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. No it wasn't...not at all...
Edited on Wed Aug-26-09 06:55 PM by WriteDown
The original city used the NATURAL levees and that is why it was almost undamaged. The ARTICFICIAL levees are there for the new city or SPRAWL and that is where the failure occurred. Once again, the original settlers had the right idea. New Orleans has had CONSTANT floods throughout its history, but that is what limited areas of building.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-26-09 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. The failure occurred because the levees weren't footed deeply enough.
And you can CAP LOCK all you want but that's what happened.

The Army Corpse of Engineers didn't build those levees properly and in fact, the ones that are up now aren't any better.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-26-09 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. The original settlers did it right and lived with nature..
when we choose to live against nature is when we have problems.
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New Orleans Ladder Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
27. Letter to the White House
Thank you for keeping the light on the Exquisite Corps.
Harry Shearer posted on this in his latest at Huffinton post. Please come check out my blog the New Orleans Ladder.

My letter to the White House website last night:
Please feel free to copy and send.

Mr. President,
I am stunned actually that you have become so clueless about why New Orleans flooded on 8/29/05, but, given your apparent reliance on the Corps of Engineers for New Orleans' flood safety,
I am downright angry at your incredible naivete of Who is giving you this False Information. It was NOT a Natural Disaster, as you stated in your interview with the Times-Picayune recently.
We call that: "THE KATRINA LIE".

IT'S THE LEVEES STUPID!

I have to ask, what NATURAL DISASTER?
New Orleans flooded because the Corps did not build our flood walls correctly the first time.
They admitted this in Open Federal Court.
Those flood walls failed in 53 different places, with the most catastrophic failures at 3 of them BELOW DESIGN SPECIFICATION AT HALF LOAD. Half load, Mr President.

It really frightens me that you do not know this.
It terrifies me that you are Not commanding the Corps of Engineers but apparently allowing them to command you.
This is a Big Problem for the entire country, as 41% of us live near a Corps built levee. Over a million acres of land has flooded in just the past 2 years because of Corps levee failures across the country. I cannot believe you are so dense.

Mr President, you just lost my vote, and (so far) 17 of my friends who worked so hard to get you elected. This matters.
What an absolute let-down. I want you to understand,
YOU HAVE LOST MY VOTE IN THE NEXT ELECTION.
I will work for whoever wants to run against you.
Ask yourself why I would be so angry about the Katrina Lie.
I have decided to go Zero Tolerance of this MisInformation, because if/when our levees fail again it will be the same engineering mistakes that crucified New Orleans on 8/29/05, and we will have to deal with the same Corps of Engineers' shell game of obfuscation about Natural Disaster.
This status que must stop somewhere.

Mr President, you said:
"a recognition that there but for the grace of God go I,"
But, You are not coming to New Orleans for the Anniversary of the Federal Flood. You went on vacation, to nice expensive Martha's Vineyard. This is so sad.
I really believed that you would know what you are talking about, but you don't. And it hurts very deeply.
Now I feel so silly, like you will never see this contact, like I am talking to someone else who is laughing at me for being such a gullible fool to have believed in the Audacity of Hope.
Now we have the Gall of Disillusionment.

Thanks Mr. President --For Nothing.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
34. Ummm, how about rebuilding DETROIT, Mr. President?
Or do only tourist destinations deserve national support?
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