Archive for the 'transportation' Category

Who is Katrina bashing, California?

October 26, 2007

I should be upset about the recent comparisons of the California, San Diego fires to hurricane Katrina. The media would like to take every opportunity to degrade the state of Louisiana and what happened during Katrina. The fact of the matter IS California is one of the richest states in the Union if NOT THE RICHEST state in the United States. Louisiana is rural. It’s largest city is New Orleans. Comparisons between Louisiana and California should be limited to Hollywood fantasy. . They quite simply cannot be made legitimately. Why the media has chosen to bash Louisiana again for hurricane Katrina, I do not know. These media types have been struggling for news stories, have forged journalistic credentials, and are typically dense and careless with their reporting. Of course California would have better emergency planning than Louisiana. They have more money. Those reporting comparitively should be required to donate their personal time in helping rebuild in Mississippi and Louisiana. As for those families in California who have lost everything – they have my condolences.

This post goes into the Clueless Katrina comments file.

And a new catagory – Katrina bashing.

Update: Oct. 27, 2007 – Here are the links to a few comments from LiveJournal in MSGulf Coast Community and New Orleans Community. And this post from an account by “Feets” Binkowski in California link from jdquintette @ LiveJournal.

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Why were over 60% of Louisiana Nursing Homes NOT EVACUATED PRIOR to Katrina?

September 8, 2007

Owners of Louisiana Nursing Home are acquitted, Mary Foster, AP – PilotOnline.com
“…The defense was prohibited from using testimony or documents showing that the majority of nursing homes in the path of the storm 36 of 57 did not evacuate, or that there were deaths at other homes, including 22 at a New Orleans nursing home…”

See previous posts – Here.

See Levees lawsuits and then click here for previously posted info on St. Rita’s.

Who cares for the welfare of the elderly of Louisiana?

August 11, 2007

Cheryl Martin, God Bless You!

Article(s) to read first:  Levees-Lawsuits and especially one from Victor Hull at St. Pete Beach, “Care facilities lack buses for evacuation”

“… Representatives from Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and other states agreed. They also cited communicating after a disaster, when cell phones and land lines typically fail, and deciding when to call for evacuations as other major hurricane challenges facing nursing homes..”

Find Law for Corporate Counsel reported on Friday, August 10, 2007 concerning Lafon Nursing Home. It was the first article I’ve found on Lafon.

Katrina Suit Defendant Must Disclose Nursing Home Residents’ Info

By KEVIN MCVEIGH, ESQ., Andrews Publications Staff Writer
The owner of a New Orleans nursing home sued over the deaths of 22 residents during Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath must disclose the names and home addresses of all people who were living there when the storm hit, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk ruled that disclosure of the residents’ identities does not violate Louisiana’s health care provider-patient privilege, because the information is necessary to determine whether the federal courts may continue to exercise jurisdiction over the class-action lawsuit against the Lafon Nursing Home of the Holy Family. Cheryl Martin, who filed the suit, said she will use the information to show that more than two-thirds of the surviving residents and victims’ families are Louisiana citizens, thus making the case a “local controversy” over which Judge Africk may decline jurisdiction under the federal Class Action Fairness Act.

Martin’s mother, Ida Antoine, was one of 22 residents who died at Lafon in the days following Katrina.

Lafon, a Roman Catholic facility run by the Sisters of the Holy Family in eastern New Orleans, housed 130 elderly residents in 81 rooms at the time of the hurricane, according to the Washington Post.

Martin filed suit July 20, 2006, in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court, seeking to represent a class consisting of all facility residents and visitors who suffered injury or died as a result of conditions at the home during and after Katrina.

She alleges that Lafon failed to evacuate the residents before the storm hit and disregarding warnings and the mandatory evacuation order New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin issued Aug. 27, 2005.

The storm hit two days later and cut the facility’s electrical power, which combined with the extreme heat to cause “unreasonably dangerous conditions” at the home, the suit says.

Lafon removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in August 2006 based on the Class Action Fairness Act.

The 2005 law provides federal courts with original jurisdiction over all class actions in which the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million and at least one class member lives in a different state from the defendant.

Martin asked the court to return the case to the Louisiana state court, citing the law’s “local controversy” exception.

In January Judge Africk refused to remand the case, ruling that Martin had failed to provide any evidence that two-thirds of the proposed class members are Louisiana citizens, as required by the exception.

However, he said Martin could refile her motion once she conducted discovery of the class members’ domicile.

Martin served Lafon with discovery requests seeking the identities and addresses of all potential class members. Lafon responded that the information was privileged.

In May Magistrate Judge Karen Wells Roby ordered an alternative to discovery under which Lafon will submit names, addresses and next-of-kin information to the court, and the court will send questionnaires to potential class members.

The court will then review the results to determine the class members’ domicile.

Lafon filed a motion to set aside the order, arguing that Judge Roby refused to apply Louisiana’s health care provider-patient privilege, which expressly prohibits the disclosure of the private information of patients not involved in the litigation.

Lafon argued that the state privilege is applicable since the case involves only state law negligence claims.

Judge Africk agreed that the magistrate erred by not applying the state health care provider-patient privilege. However, he said the state privilege does not bar discovery of medical records in cases where courts determine that the interests of justice are served by the records’ release.

Any exception to the privilege should be narrowly tailored and should extend only to necessary and relevant information, the judge said.

He found that disclosure of residents’ identifying information is necessary to determine the jurisdiction issue and for Martin to fulfill her duties as lead plaintiff by notifying all potential class members.

“Releasing this information presents a de minimis intrusion into the patients’ privacy, which is offset by the potential benefit that plaintiff’s lawsuit may provide,” Judge Africk wrote.

To comment, ask questions or contribute articles, contact West.Andrews.Editor@Thomson.com.


Martin et al. v. Lafon Nursing Facility of the Holy Family Inc., No. 06-5108, 2007 WL 2228633 (E.D. La. July 31, 2007).
Nursing Home Litigation Reporter
Volume 10, Issue 04
08/10/2007
Copyright 2007
West, a Thomson business. All Rights Reserved.

See Also: Martin et al. v. Lafon Nursing Facility of the Holy Family Inc., No. 06-5108, 2007 WL 2228633 (E.D. La. July 31, 2007).
Nursing Home Litigation Reporter
Volume 10, Issue 04
08/10/2007
http://west.thomson.com/product/40211158/product.asp

The Fight Moves Forward!

And from Atlanta Daily Report there is news about St. Rita’s.

Monday, August 13, 2007
Couple faces trial in wake of Katrina
Nursing home owners accused of negligent homicide, cruelty to elderly after flooding leaves residents dead

TWO YEARS AFTER Hurricane Katrina killed more than 1,400 people, the only individuals charged with any of those deaths will go on trial Monday.

Salvador and Mabel Mangano, owners of St. Rita’s Nursing Home in St. Bernard Parish, where flood waters left the dead amid mud and wheelchairs, are accused of 35 counts of negligent homicide and 24 counts of cruelty to the elderly or infirm.

The combined maximum sentence for each defendant would be 415 years in prison. The trial is expected to last at least three weeks.

The trial was moved to St. Francisville, about 100 miles northwest of New Orleans. Prosecutors, defense lawyers and state District Judge Jerome Winsberg agreed that assembling a jury would be difficult in St. Bernard. The New Orleans suburb was devastated when Katrina struck Aug. 29, 2005 and its population has been slow to return. Only six jurors are required but their verdict must be unanimous.

Prosecutors charge the Manganos’ refusal to evacuate St. Rita’s residents before the storm was a criminal act.

A mandatory evacuation order was issued the day before Katrina hit. Forecasters had predicted a 21-foot storm surge would hit St. Bernard. Of five nursing homes in the parish, only St. Rita’s was not evacuated.

St. Rita’s has been closed since Katrina and the Manganos say they have no plan to reopen the nursing home.

Speaking before Winsberg imposed a gag order, Jim Cobb, lawyer for the Manganos, said state law did not require nursing homes to comply with mandatory evacuation orders. A report compiled by the Louisiana Nursing Home Association, a trade group, showed 36 of 57 nursing homes in the New Orleans area were not evacuated as Katrina approached.

St. Rita’s was built 20 years ago, and the location had not flooded since. However, during that period no hurricane even close to Katrina’s strength had made landfall in the parish, which is ringed by waterways connected to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Manganos say the area didn’t even flood when Hurricane Betsy struck in 1965.

That history, they say, was the basis for their decision to ride out Katrina in the one-story building rather than evacuate, Cobb said.

“We’re talking frail people, people with special needs, people who would be at risk during an evacuation,” Cobb said. “The Manganos thought they were saving lives by sheltering in place.”

The couple, in their 60s, was so certain St. Rita’s was safe that they invited relatives, staffers and others to shelter there. About 30 people, including the Mangano’s children, accepted the offer, the Manganos say.

As the storm subsided, it appeared St. Rita’s was safe—the roof was tight, the parking lot was dry. But broken levees soon brought a torrent of water that over a 20-minute period flooded the building almost to the ceiling.

The Manganos and staff managed to rescue about 28 patients, floating some out windows to save them. Other rescuers arrived later that day but the bodies remained in the building for up to 10 days. No one other than patients died at St. Rita’s.

The defense contends that because of government negligence, including faulty levees that broke during Katrina, the Manganos could not have known about the potential for flooding in advance.

Among the witnesses defense attorneys have subpoenaed are Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, head of the Army Corps of Engineers, which was responsible for the levees. Strock has since retired.

The defense wants Strock to repeat his statement at a news conference in June 2006 that defective levee design was the corps’ fault and caused most of the flooding. The federal government is fighting his subpoena.

Blanco and other public officials failed to organize an effective evacuation and help transport “at risk” people to high ground as required by state law, according to the defense.

In court filings, defense lawyers say responsibility for the tragedy can’t be determined “without evidence that the state and local authorities failed their duties.”

The Manganos sued the government this summer, saying federal, state and local officials failed to keep residents safe and evacuate vulnerable citizens as the storm approached. If the levees had not failed, they claim, the St. Rita’s residents would have been safe.

More than 30 lawsuits have been filed against the couple by patients injured at the nursing home and the families of people who died there.

The only other criminal charges connected to Katrina deaths are against six former or current New Orleans police officers who face murder or attempted murder charges from a shooting after the storm. But the is not tied to flooding or direct impact of Katrina.

At least 34 people died at Memorial Medical Center in Uptown New Orleans after the hurricane, but three women arrested by the attorney general’s office will not stand trial. A grand jury refused to indict Dr. Anna Pou. Charges against nurses Lori Budo and Cheri Landry were dropped.

Twenty-two people died at Lafon Nursing Home, a facility run by nuns of the Holy Family order in eastern New Orleans. Residents were moved to the second floor as flooding began, but the home lost electricity. Rescuers did not arrive at Lafon until Sept. 1 amid a heat wave that had gripped the city.

Attorney General Charles Foti investigated the deaths at Memorial Medical Center, St. Rita’s and LaFon. The results of the LaFon investigation were turned over to the New Orleans district attorney a year ago but no action has been taken. A spokesman for District Attorney Eddie Jordan said the case remains under investigation.

Why would I buy all that if I wasn’t fixing it?

August 9, 2007

I understood that New Orleans and Louisiana, in general, had affordable housing issues prior to Katrina. Unsightly housing, or blighted housing has affected many in Louisiana. I’ve seen the old barge board, shot gun homes that people are actually living in today. I’ve walked through them before they were scheduled to be demolished. I’ve seen these places all over Louisiana. People need a place to call home, a place to live, and work, and rear their children. Regardless, of the substandard housing…they pay their rent and work and play like everyone else. Sure they complain to the landlords about the structural problems of their home. All of these landlords have one excuse or another as to why they never fixed the leaky roof, the plumbing, or the stove. The rent was cheap and so possibly some tenants did not complain. They were thankful for a place to live. The issues in New Orleans post Katrina are not new, unfortunately. It appears, as far as affordable housing is concerned, that they were only, and I use that term loosely and with sarcastic undertones, exacerbated after the disaster.

Some parishes, cities, or towns, have housing inspectors and some do not. Not everyone affected by Katrina lived in either Baton Rouge or New Orleans. It is an overlooked and under-exploited fact. Most of the inspection issues are applied both at the town, city, or parish level and require little else but an ordinance and the staff to conduct the inspections. Of course, the fees for the inspections are likely the responsibility of landowners. Inspections are just another financial issue for the homeowner/ landlord to deal with that they may not be able to afford.

The post office in the year since Katrina (now two years) had issues in delivering mail to the appropriate person(s) due to the mail forwarding time limits, names, families, etc. For those of you familiar with the postal services’ rules and regulations with regards to forwarding – you understand. I’ve sent letters off in the mail to Katrina damaged neighborhoods only to find the letter back inside my mailbox several weeks to a month later. I’ve had to call local Post Masters in order to verify addresses and tell them how silly they are being, all the while knowing that these people still live at the address I’ve listed, but I have received the letter stamped, “forward expired”.

The WAFB article dated June 2007 states that the city of Baton Rouge gave her six months in order to respond. The article was written in June, and said that the woman was given notice in August of 2006. The home was not damaged by Katrina according to the article, but was damaged by a fire after Katrina in the summer of 2006. The journalist was quick to point out that the original owner of the home, was dead, but did not go into detail. Assuming that the daughter kept her maiden name, which is a large assumption, there are a number of “Davis'” on the Katrina Victim list.

Did the journalist provide pertinent and adequate detail? “Woman Upset the City of Baton Rouge Bulldozed Her Home”.

Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine points out, “We’re here from the government, we’re here to help you.” August 6, 2007 A story from the Ninth Ward’s Jason Banks on KSAT San Antonio, Texas news online.

No One Knows Why Family’s Home Torn Down – Local News Story – KSAT San Antonio: “NEW ORLEANS — Jason Banks got his trash hauled away, obtained a building permit, gutted his Ninth Ward home and was ready to renovate.

But then, the brick house vanished, reduced to a slab in an unwanted demolition.

‘I was heartbroken. I was in tears. I was furious,’ he said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said orders to tear down the house came from City Hall — but no one in City Hall is answering questions about Banks’ home.

‘They don’t know why. It happened it wasn’t on the blighted list. The last call I made yesterday, they told me FEMA did it. Then, a guy called me back from FEMA and said they’re not in the business if tearing down homes,’ Banks said.

Jason Banks said he kept his grass cut, paid his taxes and had the home appraised at $147,000. He was just waiting on money from Louisiana Road Home rebuilding program to make repairs to his house.”

And still more housing demolition articles gathered from The Truth Laid Bear.

Map with housing scheduled to be demolished in and around New Orleans. Disregard some misinformed, un-educated commentors who believe the map is a “propaganda” tool. The housing crisis before Katrina was too obvious to those who attempted to solve the problem. . . I wish it were all just propaganda! Internet maps are kewl and their display (ie linked icons – pins, circles, etc. ) oftentimes must be sized largely to create the internet link. Some of the comments here reflect extreme ignorance to both internet map making, and housing issues. Karen, listed below, also has a map of her photographed homes on the chopping block.

Still there are people who believe the housing crisis and issues in New Orleans are exclusive to the “African American” community. I have to give them credit for their media coverage, but I also have to interject that the short sighted focus on larger cities, and racial prejudice is getting into muddy water. Everyone deserves a place to call home – is my point exclusively. Others choose to make housing in New Orleans a racial issue. They can. It is their right. However wrong I feel about making this a racial issue, – the majority rules… and they are not home, yet.

Update: 11:25AM See also : Library Chronicles “It’s about G8d d*mmed time”

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal – It’s on today’s front page – link views actual paper.

Various Flickr Groups Photos
New Orleans
BloggingNewOrleans
louisiana
New Orleans Recovery
Hurricane Katrina
Defend New Orleans
Hurricane Katrina Photos – Pool
Humid City

Hey, mister…where’d ya get that gas?

July 27, 2007

Last month the Houston Chronicle printed a story on the plans being made to get gas to evacuating residents. I’m wondering given the absence of articles in daily Louisiana papers if there are any plans in local parishes along the hurricane evacuation routes to get generators to those gas stations that have gas during evacuations. Here are two stories on the issue that I’ve found on line. There are no others to date that I have found. Let me know if you have found other stories on the gas lines and shortage on the Louisiana Hurricane Evacuation routes from your local parishes.

Plan aims to get gas to evacuating residents -Houston Chronicle
June 24, 2007, 3:09PM
Oil industry helped Texas craft storm strategy
Plan aims to get more gas to evacuating masses
By TERRI LANGFORD
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle
3 stations are ready to pump
Hammond Daily Star Online – By Brennan David
Monday, July 9, 2007 11:09 AM CDT

“…Cashio’s Chevron and Quinn’s Texaco Service own generators in Hammond, as well as Harris Gas and Liquor in Ponchatoula – all three were open after the hurricane hit this area Aug. 29, 2005…

In fact, all three stores claim they were the first to start their generators to supply gas.

No other gas stations have come to own generators since Katrina.

Demand for gasoline was so high at the time that the City of Hammond approached Charles Cashio of Cashio’s Chevron about opening his store. Cashio did not own a generator at the time, but he was allowed to use a welding machine that could power the pumps…”

“…Gasoline was pumped throughout the day, supplying both public, private and government vehicles by all three providers.

“The city asked if we had gas in the tank,” Cashio said. “So they let me use a welding machine. The city needed the gas to clean the streets and clean things up. I had the gas and was willing to sell it. I just needed the power.”

Cashio said once the gas was pumping, the main obstacle was to not run out of gas. If emergency vehicles needed gas in the evening, he might not have any to give.

In the week after Katrina, Cashio said times were so busy that he was asking other gas stations to open their doors to lighten the load.

Across town at Quinn’s Texaco Service, owner Davey Quinn was also open for service after Katrina, and today has the capability to power all six pumps in the event of a power outage.

“We had people from Washington Parish that needed gas to milk their cows,” Quinn said. “I gave away a lot of free gas. Some people would drive up with nothing. I would fill them up and tell them to leave.”

Like the other two owners, Quinn said a supply truck would refill the station’s empty tank each day. Everyday for almost a week Quinn ran out of gasoline but would reopen once resupplied…”


KATRINA DAYS – Traffic backs up along West Thomas Street near Quinn’s Texaco Service in the days after Hurricane Katrina. Quinn’s is one of a few service stations in the area that has a generator to power gas pumps during extended power outages. Daily Star File Photo by Kari Wheeler

What’s in the news for da parishes 7/25/07?

July 25, 2007

SBA ERRORS from The New York TimesAgency Erred in Canceling Loans to 8,000 Along Gulf, Audit Finds, By RON NIXON

“We all wanted to see the loans processed and disbursed more quickly and the red tape removed,” said Senator John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the committee. “Unfortunately, even with good intentions, some disaster victims are still being left behind, and that’s not acceptable.”

More NYT Katrina

National Geographic on New Orleans(Link Courtesy of –The Mosquito Coast)August National Geographic

The National Geographic seems to educate the masses, however, their lack of some information concerning New Orleans is evident. Louisiana State Text books from the 1950’s put New Orleans above sea level, whereas, current studies (last 20+ years) have technologically advanced systems like GIS that have assisted in determining issues of both Coastal Erosion and “sinking”.

Legislator resigns seat for DOTD post
By MARSHA SHULER
Advocate Capitol News Bureau
Published: Jul 25, 2007 – Page: 18A

“State Rep. Roy Quezaire, D-Donaldsonville, resigned his House seat to take an $86,500-a-year job with the state’s transportation agency…

…House Clerk Butch Speer said no election would be called to fill the remainder of Quezaire’s term, which ends in January.

Under state law, Salter must call an election if there is more than six months left in a term. But he has discretion if there’s less than six months remaining.

Qualifying for the regular election opens in September. Quezaire’s House District 58 includes parts of Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes.

Quezaire said his experience in the legislative arena on transportation issues makes him “absolutely” qualified for the new job…”

Maybe Quezaire can assist with transportation issues from the inside the DOTD that face the areas he formerly represented. I wonder if he catches a bus to work…I doubt it. LA SWIFT says it make intermediate stops in St. James, however, there is nothing to indicate from St. James Parish where these stops are located (from on-line sources.) Most of the issues found over the web concern the tourist industry in the parish.

RTA plans to pick up new buses
Fleet to get smaller and more efficient

Wednesday, July 25, 2007
By Frank Donze

… “We’re losing riders,” said Commissioner Barbara Major. “My friends have taken to their bicycles because they can’t depend on the buses. It’s awful. It’s been two years. If we can’t get them a decent bus, we’ve failed.”

More than half of the RTA’s 350 buses were wiped out by flooding, and most of the vehicles that survived Katrina are nearing the end of their 12-year life expectancy. As a result, the agency has been forced to use a patchwork fleet of its own run-down buses and castoffs from other transit systems. ”

Two years later...

St. Charles staff plans shelter role
If evacuated, they would help Avoyelles

Wednesday, July 25, 2007
By Matt Scallan

Canal eroding, but still safe, corps says
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
By Sheila Grissett

“…A high-ranking official in the corps’ hurricane protection office said Tuesday that three district engineers doing a detailed walking inspection of the floodwalls and water-side canal banks after Hurricane Katrina saw erosion in the area, photographed it and included it in a “trip report” that should have been passed along to the East Jefferson Levee District for action.

“This scour was noted right after the storm,” said John Grieshaber, executive support chief in the Hurricane Protection Office.

“We would normally consider it (scour) a maintenance issue . . . and show it to the appropriate” levee district, he said.

Report not received

But Fran Campbell, executive director of both the East Jefferson Levee District and the regional levee authority, said no one from the corps gave her the report or told her about the erosion. ..”

…A section of the east floodwall breached during Katrina…”

Someone should be fired for that…

Marsh Maneuvers’ Teaches 4-H’ers About Coastal Environment
Tom Hess

Students at Marsh Maneuvers listen to Tom Hess, at left, talk about coastal erosion at the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge. Hess, a biologist for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, told the students that several erosion control methods will be tested at the refuge.

Scotsman.com Living, High and Dry by: SHAILA DEWAN

“THIS was not how Cindy Cole pictured her life at 26: living in a caravan park wedged amid the refineries and cane fields of tiny St James Parish, 18 miles from the nearest supermarket, and sustaining three small children on nothing but food stamps, with no playground, no security and nowhere to go.

Rather than being here at Sugar Hill, Cole was supposed to be paying 275 a month for a two-bedroom house in New Orleans – next door to her mother, across the road from her aunt, with a child-care network that extended the length and breadth of her large family. With her house destroyed and no job or savings, however, her chances of recreating that old reality are slim.

For thousands of evacuees like Cole, going home to New Orleans has become a vague and receding dream. Living in bleak circumstances, they cannot afford to go back, or have nothing to go back to. In the two years since Hurricane Katrina hit, the shock of evacuation has hardened into the grim limbo of exile…”

“…Hardly any of the 77,000 rental units destroyed in New Orleans have been rebuilt, in fact, and the local and federal governments have done almost nothing to make it possible for low-income renters like Cole to return. Because she was never a homeowner, she is not eligible for a federally funded Road Home grant to rebuild her house, destroyed in Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters along with the rest of her neighbourhood…”

“…IN MANY ways, evacuees have become the region’s new pariahs, shunned by towns and parishes, who have erected a series of legal barriers to keep them out. At least five jurisdictions in Louisiana and neighbouring Mississippi – St Bernard Parish, St John the Baptist Parish, Jefferson Parish (all of which are in Louisiana), Pascagoula and Ocean Springs (both in Mississippi) – have begun revoking permits for trailers or allowing their zoning exemptions to expire. Those moves affect families still living in some 7,400 trailers across the Gulf Coast, according to the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, a group based in Washington that has sued to stop the evictions…”

The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights was founded to fight racial discrimination. Katrina didn’t discriminate…

“There are severe racial overtones to these actions. There’s all this concern that black and low-income people will be coming into your neighbourhood.” – Joe Rich, project director.

The Committee’s major objective is to use the skills and resources of the bar to obtain equal opportunity for minorities by addressing factors that contribute to racial justice and economic opportunity.

“…In Jefferson Parish, a suburb just west of New Orleans, officials blocked a 200-unit complex for the elderly, citing concerns that it would increase crime, and are fighting the construction of a second similar complex nearby.

“Some people just lack any degree of civilisation,” insists Chris Roberts, a Jefferson Parish councillor who has fought to remove Fema trailers and block subsidised housing developments. “I think low-income housing which is not properly run invites those people.” He complains that such residents are often idle, but many evacuees have burdens that prevent them from working…”

Like lack of transportation services….Day care….Adult day care… Home Health care… Health care…Phone service…etc, typical low income issues city, town, parish, and state officials ignore continuously. And therefore, the “persistent poverty issues in Louisiana continue.”

I finally did find transportation at the St. James website. And Jefferson Parish transit info can be found here. St. Charles lists a “demand responsive” transit from the Council on Aging also used by the general public. This means you have to call first, usually. The fees are outrageous.

LA DOTD website I cannot see the links clearly on my puter… the website mouse over links are icky. Here’s the rural link.

Transportation in rural areas of Louisiana demands improvement.

Iberia Parish President Quits

The Daily Iberian – 25 July 2:10PM

“NEW IBERIA, La. (AP) — Iberia Parish President Will Langlinais agreed to resign Wednesday to avoid prosecution on charges that he used public funds to do work on private property and pressured parish employees to help in political fundraising.

At a court hearing, Langlinais also pleaded no contest to malfeasance in office and agreed to pay $50,000 in restitution. Sentencing was scheduled Aug. 2…”

How fast can you hand-wheel out of the path of a 450mi wide issue?

July 24, 2007

Advocates decry lack of housing in New Orleans
High rents undermine aid extension, they say

“…HUD spokeswoman Donna White said 377 apartments are available, mostly at the Iberville complex. She said another 400 are being rehabilitated and should be available soon. Opening the doors to renters has been slow because the Housing Authority of New Orleans is required first to contact the former apartment residents to see whether they want to return…”

Of course, two years later most have HAD to MOVE on. FEMA rules indicate that if evacuees moved in with other family members they were not eligible for FEMA reimbursed housing assistance.

Poll: 1 in 3 would not evacuate for hurricane
Tuesday, July 24, 2007 1:50 AM EDT

“…Robert Blendon, the Harvard professor who directed the survey said he expected more people to say they would not evacuate after a mild 2006 Atlantic hurricane season.

“It just shows how people can become complacent if they’re not immediately threatened,” Blendon said.

In addition to finding that 31 percent of respondents would not evacuate, the study found another 5 percent said it would depend on the circumstances.

The poll was conducted by telephone and surveyed more than 5,000 people 18 or older in coastal areas in eight Southern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. All respondents lived within 20 miles of their state’s coastline. The poll was conducted between June 18 and July 10…”

States other than Louisiana and Mississippi during Katrina did not sustain a high number of fatalities. I believe, Alabama, had between one to three fatalities from hurricane Katrina in only one county – Washington – and that was on the highway. Most of the fatalities in Louisiana were due to drowning . . . 60-70% were elderly or infirm.

EDITORIAL: Katrina’s lessons lost
Tuesday, July 24, 2007

“…Residents of hurricane-prone areas shouldn’t have forgotten the hard lessons of Katrina so soon, but a new survey shows that people have dangerously short memories.

The Harvard School of Public Health surveyed residents of eight states beginning last month and found that 31 percent would not leave this year if the order came to evacuate. That’s up from 23 percent last year. ..”

FEMA available for questions on formaldehyde
Published: Monday, July 23, 2007 6:35 PM CDT

This site has the ability to post comments in addition to providing the 1-800# to call for questions.

Defense wants attorney general’s recusal in Hurricane Katrina nursing home deaths case
By MARY FOSTER, Associated Press Writer- ST. FRANCISVILLE, La. (AP)

“…A couple charged with negligent homicide in the deaths of 35 nursing home residents after Hurricane Katrina said Monday that they want the attorney general barred from prosecuting the case, citing a conflict of interest.

Defense counsel for Salvador and Mabel Mangano, owners of St. Rita’s nursing home, are expected to use evidence of alleged negligence against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the state of Louisiana and the government of St. Bernard Parish at trial.

But Attorney General Charles Foti also has filed a $200 billion claim against the Corps, contending faulty levees caused floods that inundated the New Orleans area, including St. Bernard Parish…”

Now why didn’t I think of using the levees as an excuse for poor emergency evacuation planning? It seems that everyone else is blaming the levees instead of having personal responsibility for evacuations. A Plan, you know, would be prudent and essential. Now why or how this facilities plan fell apart has become a “levee” issue in the courts. Yes, the levees failed, however, the evacuation plan indicates ….hello? …an EVACUATION PRIOR to …the levee failure…the storm…a serious problem…a singular negligent homicide…encountering a 450 mi wide storm.

I hope someone who advocates for the elderly, nursing homes, and those who are defenseless is paying attention to this case. This is infuriating!

More LQ’s rant on this from Newsvine.

National Guard deployment raises questions over storm preparedness – 09:36 PM CDT on Monday, July 23, 2007
Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News Reporter

We can’t say thank you enough to the military for their response during hurricane Katrina!