Gentilly Girl- a part of the 99%

July 6, 2006

N.O. blazes trail for grant money

Filed under: Community Planning,Gentilly,New Orleans — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 5:55 pm

This is certainly good for the rebuilding of the city. I’m glad the the LRA is not holding up the distribution of the Block Grants to homeowners pending a citywide Master Plan.

The first excerpt explains the LRA’s part, and the second concerns some of the Neighborhood Planning Associations.

Work on a combined recovery plan for New Orleans neighborhoods should be complete by December and could later gain the force of law if it prompts major changes to the city’s zoning ordinance or master land-use plan, officials said.

The project’s completion is scheduled for December, months after the Louisiana Recovery Authority is expected to begin doling out billions of dollars in rehabilitation grants and buyouts to individual homeowners, but that should not be cause for concern in New Orleans, said David Voelker, an LRA board member heavily involved in negotiations with city officials.

“They’re able to get them (grants) on the same timetable as before,” he said. “Most of those (homeowners) by now have a pretty good idea of what they want to do, so there’s not reason to hold them up.”

He added, however, that as the neighborhood-specific planning effort plays out through the fall, it may help homeowners still struggling with rebuilding choices.

‘Pivotal step’

Louisiana Recovery Authority officials have fretted that slow neighborhood planning in New Orleans left a gaping hole in their work on a regional blueprint for recovery. But Andy Kopplin, the agency’s executive director, on Wednesday praised negotiations for the so-called Unified New Orleans Neighborhood Plan.

“Our job at the LRA is not to plan for the vision of New Orleans,” Kopplin said.”


“The planning program will take into account independent planning efforts launched early in some neighborhoods, including Broadmoor, Gentilly and Lakeview. A flurry of planning initiatives launched in Gentilly through the Gentilly Civic Improvement Association, and affecting nearly two dozen neighborhoods, make that part of town a model for the citywide effort, officials said.

Decisions that neighborhood residents are now making on rebuilding their homes will influence planning for infrastructure improvements, whether they involve water lines or transit service, Bingler said.”


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!

July 4, 2006

Independance Day

Filed under: Louisiana,New Orleans — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 4:35 pm

I was planning to write a screaming diatribe about conditions down here 10+ months after the Deluge, but others beat me to it. (See links below.)

Instead, I wish to thank the multitude of Americans that, through their generosity and kindness, helped so many of our folk out. It was an outpouring of care that the Founders “saw” for the folks of this Nation. It is an expression of Humanity that most of us will never forget, or be able to match.

Whilst I can never forgive the Gov’ment entities that failed the Coast, I will always hold the common Americans in the highest regard for the aid given to the victims of Katrina, Rita, and the Deluge. You helped save us, and by those actions, we have the chance to rebuild a wonderful city and region. We hope to do it right so as to honor your help.

We want to have you come visit, and let you all know that, in a way, you helped in the rebuilding of our area, that you are now part of the Coast. We wish to become strong again, and return the favors when something bad happens to you and yours. Our hearts are good, and they are bursting with gratitude for all of your help.

On this 230th celebration of the founding of this great Nation, I have to keep in mind that the failures of last year were due to the mechanisms, not the people of this country. And though I may scream and shout about what our Gov’ment is doing and not doing, and the fact that we are our own culture, I’m still proud to be a part of the people of America.

Be Blessed!


July 1, 2006

Speaking Frankly…

Filed under: Louisiana,New Orleans — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 11:25 pm

Alright Gentle Readers, I’m going for it, and my language won’t be nice.

It’s the Fourth of July weekend, a celebration of the Founding of this nation called the United States. Almost 203 years ago, our land, my ancestors’ land, was sold to the U.S. We did not get a say in this. Jefferson didn’t want the entire area… he wanted New Orleans. The price of the entire parcel of land changed his and Madison’s minds.

We were bought and sold, just as the slaves were. (I can write this as back in the Sixties, I’d be considered colored.) Our world was given over to another power, and we weren’t consulted. (My folks have been here since the beginning.)

The Isle d’Orleans was taken over by another power, and the effects still occur today. We are constantly being used and abused. Our lands are destroyed for the Nation’s oil/gas interests. Same with our port.

Our lands had Free People of Color two centuries ago…. it was a cosmopolitan mix that couldn’t be found anywhere in the New World. New Orleans was happenin’. It all ended during Reconstruction. The North stepped in and took control.

Yes, we’ve had our share of scoundrals and whatnot, but take a look at the “machines” in the Northern cities’ Past. We ain’t any different from them. So fuckin’ what? We have seen our bad days, and we see the bright Future. We see New Orleans becoming the bright jewel of this country. We just became the beacon of Hope.
The Spirit that runs through this place, just like the flow of the River, is inexhaustable. We won’t quit. Our love for our home is beyond anything you can know. This IS HOME for folks like us, no matter the race or economic situation. It’s WHERE WE BELONG. We ARE all New Orleans, same as SE Louisiana. Same as the Gulf Coast. IT IS OUR HOME!

Anyone from another part of America that wants to come at me for this…. bring it on babe. We’ve been screwed big time, and we are just good folks trying to live in this world. Yes, it’s a freakin’ swamp, but think about the dangers where you live… blizzards, earthquakes, flooding, tornados, etc. We aren’t that different.

We are all Americans, though bought by powers… we are still Americans. We still have the right to declare ourselves citizens of the Isle d’Orleans, and I am totally in support of that notion. Senn Fein, “We, ourselves”.

That sums it up folks, and that’s where I stand, right next to St. Joan, and armed as Hell. I will fight for this city. Trust me…..

Corps report ignores call for specifics

Filed under: Levees,Louisiana,New Orleans — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 4:18 pm

Sweet zombie jezus! Just when we were slightly thinking that things would get fixed for SE Louisiana, here comes this article from today’s T-P . Here’s the opening lines:

“The Army Corps of Engineers, which was directed by Congress to prepare a report on how to protect Louisiana from a Category 5 hurricane, is poised to issue a vaguely-worded document that will not list the specific projects that would be needed to secure the state’s fragile coastline.

The report was to be issued Friday, but the corps postponed action until July 10 after several heated exchanges with representatives of Gov. Kathleen Blanco who say the Bush administration has inappropriately removed a list of specific projects that corps engineers had included in the document’s initial draft.

Instead of listing the projects, a draft of the report shown to state officials merely outlined a “decision matrix” the administration would use to decide how to pick projects in the future to protect Louisiana.”

If this isn’t depressing enough, look at this statement from page 3:

The draft report says the traditional corps economic justification system would be unlikely to “justify risk reduction measures for storms having the surge characteristics contemplated” by Congress, in part because they “do not consider such non-economic assets as human life.” 

Now… I’m not sure in which context I should take the bolded portion of that paragraph. Restoration of our wetlands will protect Human life, or maybe Human life isn’t cost-effective. I’m confused.

I’m also concerned that they are now talking 5 to 7 years to provide protections, but they aren’t thinking of starting until 2012. This cannot stand. We can start on Coastal restoration today, it’s not rocket science, though the Corps would have us think otherwise.

The Administration is trying to find a way to cut the deficit they have created by their illegal war in Iraq and their funneling of monies to garbage companies like Halliburton. They are putting all of the folks of SE Louisiana in harm’s way for their personal protection. Once again, this cannot stand.

We Louisianians do not just exist for the Nation’s benefit. We are a soveriegn state. We ARE Human beings and citizens of the U.S.. We ARE NOT expendable. For the Administration of the Chimp to do this to us is inexcusable. A change is needed, both in Congress and the White House. (I’ll go for seccession… we have the oil and the reserves.)

Independence Day is coming up… it’s Holy to me. This year will be different: I am now only a citizen of the Isle d’Orleans, and I’m freakin’ ready to fight back.

Any others?

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