Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Diabolical Demolitions

To the point of Rob's most recent post about uncalled-for home demolitions compliments of Knuckle Head Nagin's incompetent administration, I found a lot of good info with-in the September issue of Preservation in Print(see www.prcno.org ). The most resounding issue is that the New Orleans City government has not successfully organized their home demolition efforts. They have no reasonable process to inform home owners of the status of their homes that have been targeted for demolition. So, as with every other vitally important issues, grassroots groups have had to step up and have had small but significant successes. The one most touted in the PIP is Squandered Heritage which in conjunction with the PRC and neighborhood associations have had 131 historic homes removed from the red tag list and have helped more than 700 home owners challenge the city's plan for demolition of their homes. This is of course a drop in the bucket of more than 12,000 homes slated for demolition, but it is a win for the people of New Orleans who are trying to make their home here despite the city leaders' apparent plans to drive everyone away. There are many other issues to discuss related to this issue which will have to wait until future entries.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Found this article...

On the Hartford Courant's website. Although it makes many good points, the one that sticks out in my mind is how little effort is being made to find those with still-blighted property even as demolition orders are being processed. Admittedly, the task is huge. People from our city have been scattered to the winds, many financially unable to easily return. The Road Home program is like a running gag that no one wants to admit to telling, and although many voulenteer organizations have stepped forward to help the thousands still in need, there is as yet no system of advocacy in place to speak for these displaced thousands as their properties are torn down as blighted housing.

There are real health risks involved with these properties, I know. Some have not been touched or looked at by their owners since Katrina. Just the process of tearing one down creates a neighborhood health hazard... But these were people's homes. If your house was about to be torn down, no matter its condition, wouldn't you want someone to speak out for you?

from the forum... Barry speaks out about a recent National Geographic (aug 07) article:

Talk about pissed me off!!!! I read the entire "controversial" article in NG about the current state of New Orleans. The entire article sides with the argument that our city can not be helped and it should be allowed to be reclaimed by the Gulf and the Miss. River. It does finger the Corps of Engineers for botching their jobs and making bad decisions since 1965. It also suggests that local leadership has historically steered flood protection money toward pet projects that were known to be less effective and less expensive but more profitable for developers. Granted, all of this has plenty of merit and likely grounded in truth. Much of what is cited as scientific inevitability regarding hurricane activity cycles, polar ice melting, and global warming is open to interpretation across the scientific community. Certainly, looking at worst case scenarios helps to be prepared for them, as well as lesser scenarios. What made me angry was that the article paints a picture of New Orleanians as blindly charging toward a disasterous destiny. Our primary modes of denial appear to be an "ask me no questions I'll tell you no lies" unshakable faith in... no dependency upon.. our levee system. Our other sin of denial is described by the author as "love of home" which is presented as an undesirable illness that afflicts us. Well, if you don't understand it Jack, it's because you don't live here!!! It's easy to say "pull up the stakes and pack your pack your bags" when you are used to a lesser lifestyle than you can find here in NO. This city is and will remain the most interesting and unique city in this nation. It has all the natural resources to be the one the most economically important as well. Instead the city is floundering due to inadequate leadership nationally,
statewide and locally. Yes, all of us here are optimists. That's because we know how great this city is and how much better it can be with good leadership. The naysayers had better get on the right page as well. The article quotes a Holland born researcher at Tulane University as saying that the US turning it's back on NO would be equivalent to losing Amsterdam or Venice, Italy. It makes little mention, however, that the most perilous issue that we face is the lack of leadership with-in.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

This can't be right... He's running for governor?

I was shocked to see this article come over the AP feed here at NO Leadership HQ. I'm not really shocked that he's running for governor, because he's proven himself delusional enough to think that he can win... I'm shocked that anyone is taking it seriously. It also shocked me a bit that his Disapproval rating is only 65%. I would have thought it would be closer to 90% with the way he and his cronies have been running the city into the ground.

Can it be that some of our neighbors have no idea that the fault for many of the problems this city faces right now rest squarely on Nagin's shoulders? It is his blundering and lack of leadership that led to the creation of this blog. Maybe in the coming months we can push Bozos like him out for good.