Gentilly Girl- a part of the 99%

November 12, 2007

FEMA Trailers Vanish!

Filed under: Federal Flood,FEMA,Levees,New Orleans,Rebuilding — Tags: , , , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 10:58 pm

Over the past week I’ve been seeing FEMA trailers being hauled out of the sacred “Lost Neighborhood” where our house sits. I kept thinking that something is strange since we didn’t have that many trailers in our neck of the woods and I didn’t notice any missing from the neighboring homes.

Well we went to visit “The House” to say hi and all, and then I noticed that an entire FEMA trailer park was gone. There were no craters signifying a meteor strike or wholesale abduction by aliens (FEMA and Shaw Group folks act like aliens…). There were no charred remains of those gaseous emergency shelters either. I figured that it was just magick, plain and simple.

The FEMA park filled Perry Rhoem Park, a football and baseball field that is the center of our neighborhood. So many folks showed up for the games, even if they didn’t have kids playing, and many would be grilling up goodies for all and sundry. It broke my heart to see the fields covered in white boxes on wheels… where would the kids play?

It turns out that there really aren’t that many kids around anymore. I still plan to do some fundraising so that the park will be better than before… a thank you to the fields for being a temporary home for so many folks, but when will our city have all of the various teams of short kids wearing huge shoulder pads or the little ones swinging a bat taller then themselves?

It is progress in the Post-Flood world here, but I will be very much saddened if the park doesn’t get used for what it was meant for very soon.

November 4, 2007

ChatUsHome Alert!: By Nov. 6– chance to get reform of FEMA elevation allowances for Lousiana homeowners

For those who have been following the news concerning rebuilding along the Gulf Coast post-hurricanes/Federal Flood, you might know that Mitigation Grants were being awarded that would aid folks in rebuilding safer and with less cost to the Nation in the event of another disaster.

We were awarded an ICC Grant for mitigation of our dangers by us raising the house to above the Base Flood Elevation and in accordance with the newest flood depth maps provided by the ACOE two months ago, but FEMA had to consider a way to allow those of us who have already done the necessary work to be re-imbursed for work  done prior to their October announcement.

FEMA is now in the process of amending it’s procedures and policy since the situation down here has taken too long and many of us decided that we didn’t wish to hang out and wait for the funds to be disbursed. We decided to work on our homes and do the right thing. We are rebuilding NOW.

CHAT has just alerted us to FEMA’s upcoming procedural changes, but as usual, FEMA didn’t give much of a lead time on these changes, and that’s were we need you to help. Please visit CHAT and send their message to the Feds by Nov. 6th.

This is vital to folks’ rebuilding efforts. Many people here in New Orleans, with the promise of these Grants have moved forward on getting back into our homes and businesses, but unless some of the rules are changed, we will never see those monies. If the latter proves to be the case, those of us who showed initiative in rebuilding will be shorted many dollars that were promised to us all because of forgotten procedural rules on the part of the Federal Government’s part.

October 8, 2007

A Light On In City Hall?

Filed under: FEMA,New Orleans,Rebuilding — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 5:15 am

I’ve spent the last several days pretty much bedridden and completely physically ill. Never has my body experienced this kind of pain and malaise (and I’ve has some really bad scrapes with med probs in my life)… then “Eureka!”, there was the brilliance not far away: The light was shining ON CITY HALL.

I have recovered fully, and I trust this symbolic gesture means that the City will finally use the rest of the damn funds given by FEMA to do even more important projects NOW!

(Actually I healed up on my own because it was my first major attack of nerves and PTSD. Betts called me a piker for having held out against it so long. “Just must stay centered… de-stress and find a hobby outside of the rebuilding. Sheesh! We are going out for drinks tonight.)

UPDATE: Saw the new City Hall sign last night… I like babies, I really like it.

September 24, 2007

House Raising Mitigation Grants Coming?

Filed under: Drainage,FEMA,Louisiana,New Orleans,Our House,Rebuilding — Tags: , , , , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 1:41 pm

News from the T-P. It looks as if the Hazard Mitigation Grants will be here later this Fall.
Sounds like good news for folks desiring to raise their homes, but there seems to be a catch:

“Deckert said he applied to the state-run Road Home program for federal aid to rebuild and raise his home in New Orleans’ Lakeview neighborhood. But since the mitigation grant he expected to get got tied up in the squabble between the state and feds, he used his rebuilding money to raise his house. He doesn’t think he should be penalized for trying to get on with his life.

“It’s frustrating,” said Deckert, who lives in a government trailer in front of an unfinished house now raised 9 feet off the ground. “If you took care of it because you couldn’t wait any longer, because you can’t fix your house until the foundation is fixed, you’re screwed.”

It looks like Betts and I are screwed too. We were awarded the $30K grant, but then the squabble between the State and FEMA held off the delivery of the money until the Fall. We couldn’t wait that long to get back into the house… it took 10 months to get the thing raised anyway from the day we made the down payment.

My fucking depression is not getting better over this news.

August 23, 2007

Greg Palast on the Drowning of New Orleans

Once again Palast digs the freakin’ dirt on the assholes who fucked New Orleans when the levees failed under conditions that were way below spec. Read it and weep America… one day soon this kind of dog and pony show may just visit your locale.
Here’s a snippet:

“That leaves the big, big question: WHY? Why on earth would the White House not tell the city to get the remaining folks out of there?

The answer: cost. Political and financial cost. A hurricane is an act of God – but a catastrophic failure of the levees is a act of Bush. That is, under law dating back to 1935, a breech of the federal levee system makes the damage – and the deaths – a federal responsibility. That means, as van Heeden points out, that “these people must be compensated.”

The federal government, by law, must build and maintain the Mississippi levees to withstand known dangers – or pay the price when they fail.”

Link to his article.

Curtsey to Ana Maria for this.

May 1, 2007

18 Missing Inches in New Orleans

Here’s a piece from Greg Palast concerning the release of the Trade Paperback version of “Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans.

As always I have snippets, and this one is a reminder of the truths of the Federal Flood and our demand for REPARATIONS:

“The White House had good reason, or at least political and financial reasons, to keep mum. A hurricane is an act of God, but catastrophic levee failure is an act of the Administration. Once the federal levees go, evacuation, rescue and those frightening words – responsibility and compensation – become Washington’s. Van Heerden knew that “not an act of God, but catastrophic failure of the levee system” would mean that, at least, “these people must be compensated.”

Not every flood victim in America gets the Katrina treatment. In 1992, storms wiped out 190 houses on the beach at West Hampton Dunes, home to film stars and celebrity speculators. The federal government paid to completely rebuild the houses, which, hauled in four million cubic feet of sand to restore the tony beaches, and guaranteed the home’s safety into the coming decades – after which the “victim’s” homes rose in value to an average $2 million each.”

Reparations to the victims of the Federal Flood!

February 14, 2007

NYT Op-Ed- Unmatched Destruction

Just a nice little breakdown on some of the clean-up costs for some disasters and a plea to the Bushite to give the Gulf Coast waivers for the matching funds crap.

“Yet somehow the Bush administration has not found it necessary to forgive the local match for Gulf Coast states after the double-whammy of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, except for costs associated with debris removal and some emergency services — despite the fact that the two storms wreaked roughly $6,700 worth of damage per capita in Louisiana. This inaction is particularly surprising, given that such a large proportion of the damage can be attributed to the failure of the federal levees that were supposed to protect the New Orleans area.”

(Curtsey to Tim’s Nameless Blog.)

December 18, 2006

My FEMA trailer was burgled…

Filed under: Aside,FEMA,New Orleans — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 1:13 am

I’m really like super pissed off right now.

Went to my trailer tonight to store New Year’s meats and stuff in my fridge and found that my trailer had been broken into and the fuckers trashed the entire unit either Friday or Saturday night. The only things missing were the contents of my fridge and the chainsaw. (the jerks left the bolt-cutters, sledges, pry bar and flashlights that could have furthered their filthy thieving desires.)

Nothing from the few things I rescued from the house and kitchen were stolen. They did try to bundle up all of my program discs, but either they didn’t have a ‘puter, or they recognized the music discs in the pile (“All The Pretty Horses”- premiere Trans glam heavy metal). The antique glasses and my Corning wear was just sitting there as if they weren’t needed. Coffee makers, a juicer, and other useful items were untouched.

I’m just angry and saddened right now. I feed folks and give money to large groups that tries to help folks out during tough times. I give money for kids to have toys on Xmas. My life isn’t about money (good thing: I only have Disability), but I try to do my part as an asset to the community and then some animals decide to rip off a little person just because they can.

It isn’t about what was lost: it’s ABOUT the fact that people like the perps can and will do this to anyone. It’s disgusting, and it also points out that many of the areas around the city are not being patrolled. (and my trailer is two blocks away from a FEMA park that houses first-responders)

We don’t need the dregs back: only the good folk of our cities.

November 19, 2006

Comic Relief 2006… WooHoo!!!

Tonight we watched Comic Relief 2006, a benefit for New Orleans. It was wonderful, and the local insights offered through the broadcast were definitely on target. They also pulled in $15M in donations. This is a good thing.
This, combined with the results of the last election, shows that folks do care about America’s Jewel. Americans do care about America, and honeys… we are more American than most. We have the history and the sacrifices for a nation’s growth through the many decades that the U.S. has been around. Culturally, only the Fundies and Disney-types DON’T like New Orleans.

So, give a hand to Comic Relief, HBO, and TBS (not that I watched their broadcast… you can’t say “fuck” on TBS) for their efforts on behalf of the people of New Orleans.

And… it’s time for all of the NOLA Blogosphere to start the poop-storm again about the situation down here along the Coast. It’s time to play the heart-a-chordian again.

September 23, 2006

“The Entergy shareholders sing this song, doo dah, doo dah…

Filed under: Civic Blogging,FEMA,New Orleans — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 7:11 am

The bankruptcy path is many lies long, Oh the doo dah day.”

It’s 6 A.M. and this owl must return to it’s lair before the dawning of the day. (Morning sun hits my skin and it talks a gallon of moisterizer to recover myself.)

I saw this pop up on NOLA, and I saw that Entergy, or the Entemy has over billed it’s customers for $88M that they can’t charge for. There’s also the $77M that the company received post-Flood that was claimed improperly or not at all. More from this segment:

The storm, however, gave the company some benefits that aren’t accounted for in the rate filing, according to Legend.

In its rate filings, Entergy New Orleans does not account for a $71 million federal tax refund that the company received as a result of the Gulf Opportunity Zone Legislation. The company also doesn’t properly give credit for deferred income taxes that it didn’t have to pay because of storm damage to its system.

Other disputed charges include more than $3.5 million for the company’s incentive plan and $2.6 million in stock options. The report also says that the rate filing includes an expense related to personal financial consulting services provided to Entergy New Orleans president Dan Packer.

“Ratepayers should not be responsible for compensating corporate executives at such a precarious time and should be borne by ENO’s (and Entergy’s) shareholders,” the Legend report states.

Legend also says that Entergy New Orleans is charging customers for its bankruptcy costs, costs that shouldn’t be passed on until the bankruptcy is resolved.

The advisers also question whether Entergy New Orleans has property credited the sale of New Orleans’ share of Grand Gulf nuclear power to customers. “

Someone pick this up please, or I’ll be ranting all tomorrow night. You’ve been warned. *giggles* (Oh Goodness! She’s manic now.)

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