Gentilly Girl- a part of the 99%

July 15, 2006

Why can’t they get the story straight?

Filed under: Corps of Engineers,FEMA,Levees,Louisiana,New Orleans — Tags: , , , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 3:33 pm

Okay, I’m confused as I read this article in today’s T-P :

The Road Home program will provide residents up to $150,000 to rebuild or sell houses severely damaged by the storms. Using Community Development Block Grants overseen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the program will pay homeowners for repair costs above what was covered by insurance policies, FEMA grants and Small Business Administration loans. But while the program allows up to $150,000 per homeowner in additional money, the total payout — insurance plus the grant — cannot exceed the home’s pre-Katrina value.

Now my understanding was that the Block Grants were just that, GRANTS. An SBA loan is a loan. I understand subtracting insurance proceeds and FEMA grants from the $150K, but to deduct the amount of an SBA loan? This is a concept concocted by, as I see it, delusional minds.

So, Betty went to the State’s Road Home site to look at the FAQs. On page 8 we found the pertinant question:

How does receiving an SBA loan affect the amount affect the amount of assistance I will receive?

What you receive from the SBA has no impact on the value of assistance you receive from The Road Home. Based on your SBA loan agreement, however, assistance you receive from The Road Home may be required to be used to repay any SBA loans.

This makes perfect sense, but why am I reading something different in the T-P? This is exactly the problem that all of us have here in SE Louisiana: bad freakin’ data! This is so unfair considering all that each of us is going through post-Deluge. We have been waiting for months for this first phase of reparations to be distributed, and now we cannot get accurate information. This cannot stand.

New Orleanians need an accurate database. The City’s is worthless, and so is the State’s. We cannot rely on what our paper reports to us. What is needed is an outside source.

And we still need to obtain the rest of the reparations our citizens deserve for the wrong decisions of the ACOE and the Guvmit, period! Justice for New Orleans!

Sinn Fein!


July 14, 2006

But we knew this! FEMA scorecard for July 2006

Filed under: FEMA,New Orleans — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 3:06 pm

This is from the current issue of Mother Jones. (Seems like they aren’t too impressed by the Guvmit’s “progress” here in New Orleans.):

Still Cleaning Up After Katrina
Still doing a heckuva job for Katrina victims

July/August 2006 Issue

205,000 houses were severely damaged by last year’s Gulf Coast hurricanes. As of May, 60% remained unoccupied.

Displaced families have moved an average of 3.5 times since the storms.

In March, the New York Times found that more than 1 in 10 New Orleans evacuees were homeless or had no permanent place to live.

Fewer than 35% of New Orleans’ 462,000 residents had returned to the city as of March. Only half are expected to return by September 2008.

State Farm and Allstate will no longer sell homeowners insurance in New Orleans.

Eight months after Katrina, fewer than 1 in 10 New Orleans businesses had reopened.

The Small Business Administration has rejected nearly 70% of the 2.4 million loan applications received from hurricane victims.

36 countries and international organizations donated $126 million to federal rebuilding efforts, half of which remained undistributed six months after Katrina.

FEMA spent $431 million on 11,000 trailer homes that were never used, $3 million for 4,000 unused cots, and $10 million to fix up 240 rooms in Alabama that housed only six people.

Carnival Cruise Lines got a six-month, $236 million contract to house evacuees on three of its ships, which sat half empty off the Gulf Coast for weeks.

The GAO found that there was insufficient oversight on 13 reconstruction contracts, including $100 million to Bechtel.

Experts predict there is a nearly 50% chance that a Category 3 or greater hurricane will hit the Gulf Coast this season.

On a scale of 1 to 10, FEMA director R. David Paulison gave the agency an 8 in terms of preparedness for this year’s hurricane season.

More than 100,000 families in Louisiana and Mississippi live in FEMA trailers that Paulison said “should not, or could not, ride out even a Category 1 storm.”


July 5, 2006

150 VA Nurses and Other Workers to Aid in Area Hospitals

Filed under: FEMA,New Orleans — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 8:18 pm

Now this is good news!

June 17, 2006

HUD to New Orleans Poor: “Go F(ind) Yourself (Housing)!”

Filed under: Community Planning,FEMA,New Orleans,Progressive News — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 4:13 pm

Well, as I was looking for more info concerning HUD’s plans for the poor of our city, I ran across this piece on Common Dreams by Bill Quigley from today. Here’s some info we ain’t seen on NOLA.

Excerpt (Emphasis mine):

“As James Perry, Director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Center says about the planned demolition of public housing, “If the model is River Gardens, it has failed miserably.” Despite HUD’s promise to demolish homes, the right of people to return to New Orleans is slowly being recognized as a human rights issue. According to international law, the victims of Katrina are “internally displaced persons” because they were displaced within their own country as a result of natural disaster. Principle 28 of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement requires that the U.S. government recognize the human right of displaced people to return home. The US must “allow internally displaced persons to return voluntarily, in safety and with dignity, to their homes or places of habitual residence. Such authorities shall facilitate the reintegration of returned or resettled internally displaced persons. Special efforts should be made to ensure the full participation of internally displaced persons in the planning and management of their return or resettlement and reintegration.” The US Human Rights Network and other human rights advocates are educating people of the Gulf Coast and the nation about how to advocate for human rights. HUD has effectively told the people of New Orleans to go find housing for themselves. New Orleans already has many, many people, including families, living in abandoned houses – houses without electricity or running water. New Orleans has recently been plagued with an increase in the number of fires. HUD’s actions will put more families into these abandoned houses. Families in houses with no electricity or water should be a national disgrace in the richest nation in the history of the world. But for HUD and others with political and economic power this is apparently not the case.”


May 31, 2006

Contractors rake it in as they clean it up

Filed under: Corps of Engineers,FEMA,New Orleans — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 3:05 pm

Like DUH!

They call this news? (Note to self: Stop reading MSNBC)
“For companies in the disaster business, 2005 was a very good year. And if preseason predictions are correct, it could be the first in a series of profitable years for a rapidly growing industry that encompasses engineering firms, debris haulers and logistical specialists who rush in whenever disaster strikes… ”


May 27, 2006

Secret FEMA Plan To Use Pastors as Pacifiers in Preparation For Martial Law

Filed under: FEMA,Progressive News — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 6:43 pm

I’m not usually in the “It must be a Conspiracy…” camp, but I ran across this today on Prison

Considering some of the response and actions perpetrated on N.O. after the Deluge, this kind of crap frighteningly seems possible to me considering the current Ruling Elite to me. I don’t like thse kinds of threats to our liberties as citizens of this country.

Figures… I thought we had already been screwed enough here, and it looks like it could be worse nexttime. Fuck!

Read on:

Secret FEMA Plan To Use Pastors as Pacifiers in Preparation For Martial Law
Nationwide initiative trains volunteers to teach congregations to “obey the government” during seizure of guns, property, forced inoculations and forced relocation

Paul Joseph Watson/Prison | May 24 2006

A Pastor has come forward to blow the whistle on a nationwide FEMA program which is training Pastors and other religious representatives to become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to “obey the government” in preparation for a declaration of martial law, property and firearm seizures, and forced relocation.

In March of this year the Pastor, who we shall refer to as Pastor Revere, was invited to attend a meeting of his local FEMA chapter which circulated around preparedness for a potential bio-terrorist attack, any natural disaster or a nationally declared emergency.

The FEMA directors told the Pastors that attended that it was their job to help implement FEMA and Homeland Security directives in anticipation of any of these eventualities. The first directive was for Pastors to preach to their congregations Romans 13, the often taken out of context bible passage that was used by Hitler to hoodwink Christians into supporting him, in order to teach them to “obey the government” when martial law is declared.

It was related to the Pastors that quarantines, martial law and forced relocation were a problem for state authorities when enforcing federal mandates due to the “cowboy mentality” of citizens standing up for their property and second amendment rights as well as farmers defending their crops and livestock from seizure. It was stressed that the Pastors needed to preach subservience to the authorities ahead of time in preparation for the round-ups and to make it clear to the congregation that “this is for their own good.”


Check out this source too:   NVOAD program

May 18, 2006

Environmental group says some FEMA trailers unsafe

Filed under: FEMA,New Orleans — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 1:36 pm

I just knew something was wrong with my still-unpowered FEMA trailer… formaldehyde!

Before they locked it up I went in to see what living in a little white box would be like, and suddenly I couldn’t breathe. (I have asthma.)

Here’s a breaking story:

Environmental group says some FEMA

trailers unsafe

An environmental group says thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims in Mississippi and Louisiana may be living in unsafe conditions after tests it conducted showed dangerous levels of formaldehyde in some government trailers.

The Sierra Club on Wednesday asked for a congressional hearing after it claimed that 30 out of 32 Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers it tested had levels of formaldehyde that were unsafe.

‘‘We started doing this testing because people were getting sick, having nosebleeds and having constant coughs,” said Mississippi Sierra Club spokeswoman Becky Gillette. ‘‘The government is making people sick. They are putting people back in harm’s way.”

May 11, 2006

Color Me Angry…

Filed under: FEMA — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 5:49 am

I picked this up from the T-P late tonight. My heart hurts, and sleep is very far away right now.

This story upsets me greatly:Without the fact of Fate and a wonderful partner, I could easily be one of the future homeless people. I’m permanantly Disabled, 22 years of HIV and HEP-C…. I’ve worked for almost four decades, a veteran for nine years, and I’ve spent the last three decades working on Social Issues.

Would someone like me stand for this Federal screw-job on poor people?

If I had an AK-47 and a 9mm Glock, FEMA would need some new people. (I don’t miss. I’m a professional.)

I don’t care what anyone thought of the folks in the Treme, the 6th through 7th Wards, the Lower Ninth…. they are freakin’ us! They are part of our city, and dammit’, we need to fight for them.

This was a Federal Disaster… it hurt all of us, and the freakin’ Feds had better own up to that. The Feds owe us.

Look… I’ve had a 45 in my chest, been chased on my bike at 4 AM. That’s freakin’ life. All of us deserve to come home to N.O.. Maybe things will be different… maybe not, but that’s the city. It’s what we live with and accept.

I biked the neighborhods… watched the Grannies cooking gumbo, the kids playing in the yards… Try to find that anywhere else in America. Rejoice in what we actually have here… a real Culture.
This is my city… my home. Accept it as yours, and get ready for the fight of your lives. It’s coming, and our city is worth saving. There is nothing else we can do.
I’m ready… are you?

Policy shift could leave thousands of evacuees homeless

By Bruce Nolan
Staff writer

A coalition of advocates for displaced New Orleans residents called on the city’s mayoral candidates Wednesday to speak up for thousands of families exiled to Houston and elsewhere who are about to lose FEMA rental assistance, and perhaps their apartments.

A FEMA spokesman in Austin confirmed that about 7,000 of the 36,000 New Orleans area families now living in Houston are at risk of losing rental vouchers because they do not qualify for a longer-term federal assistance program with tougher eligibility requirements.

Local families displaced to other states after Hurricane Katrina are in a similar bind, although national numbers were not available Wednesday.

The news distressed local housing advocates for the poor, who said they worry that New Orleans tenants evicted in Houston may try to make their way back home, where there is little to no affordable housing for them.

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