Section 8: Misdirected money, corruption, mismanagement by local officials, and preventable levee failures
This subsection is primarily about mismanagement before Hurricane
Katrina hit. There is a separate page about the FBI raid on the offices of Congressman
William J. Jefferson. The first item
below is just a sample from that page.
politicians should be held to high standard. The [William J.] Jefferson case is
special. He has been on the legal hot seat for months. He's been the target of an
ongoing criminal investigation and a House ethics probe. He left a bitter taste in the
mouths of many New Orleans residents during the Hurricane Katrina debacle when he allegedly
commandeered a National Guard truck to check on his personal property and save personal
Death by Environmentalism. Preventing the disastrous flood in New Orleans would have
required a massive construction project necessitating many years to complete. Recent cuts in the
Corps of Engineers budget had nothing to do with the disaster. Even if funded by the Bush
administration, the work could not have been completed in time, nor would the planned levee
measures have been adequate. However, the enormous damage and loss of life that occurred could have
been prevented but for environmentalists who successfully blocked other flood protection measures
for over two decades.
$700 Mil in Hurricane
Recovery Funds Gone With the Wind. In yet another example of how the Obama administration blows the nation's tax dollars,
hundreds of millions earmarked for a failed housing program have vanished and the feds aren't terribly worried about recovering the lost
cash. The missing loot is part of a highly questionable Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program that liberally doled out cash
to Louisiana homeowners so they could elevate and protect their houses from storms. The feds came up with this brilliant idea after
Hurricane Katrina slammed the region in 2005 because the area, especially New Orleans, got flooded.
HUD report: Nearly
$700 million Katrina rebuilding funding missing. A report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office
of the Inspector General reveals that $698.5 million dollars in disaster recovery funds given to Louisiana homeowners in the wake of
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were not used to fulfill the purpose of the funding — to elevate damaged homes. According
to the report, dated March 29, a total of 24,042 Louisiana homeowners who received up to $30,000 each were "noncompliant, including
those that had not elevated their homes; were nonresponsive; or did not provide sufficient supporting documentation" to show that they
had used the taxpayer funding to reconstruct their homes as of Aug. 31, 2012.
Say Faulty Levees Caused Much of Flooding. With the help of complex computer models and
stark visual evidence, scientists and engineers at Louisiana State University's Hurricane Center have
concluded that Katrina's surges did not come close to overtopping those barriers. That would make
faulty design, inadequate construction or some combination of the two the likely cause of the
breaching of the floodwalls along the 17th Street and London Avenue canals — and
the flooding of most of New Orleans.
A Barrier That Could Have Been. In the
wake of Hurricane Betsy 40 years ago, Congress approved a massive hurricane barrier to protect New Orleans
from storm surges that could inundate the city. But the project, signed into law by President Johnson,
was derailed in 1977 by an environmental lawsuit.
Officials Indicted Before Katrina Hit. Senior officials in Louisiana's emergency planning
agency already were awaiting trial over allegations stemming from a federal investigation into waste,
mismanagement and missing funds when Hurricane Katrina struck. And federal auditors are still
trying to track as much as $60 million in unaccounted for funds that were funneled to the state
from the Federal Emergency Management Agency dating back to 1998.
Blocked Before Levee Break. Red Cross workers arrived in New Orleans
with enough food, water and blankets for thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims the
night before levees broke and flooded the city, but were prevented from delivering
the aid to stranded citizens by state officials.
blocked Red Cross. The Louisiana Department of Homeland Security blocked a vanguard
of Red Cross trucks filled with water, food, blankets and hygiene items from bringing relief to
the thousands of hungry and thirsty evacuees stranded in the New Orleans Superdome after Hurricane
Katrina struck, according to a Fox News Channel report.
Failures. While the Red Cross and Salvation Army were able and eager to
deliver water, food, medicine, and other relief supplies to those suffering at the
Superdome and convention center, Louisiana officials rebuffed them, for fear that
hydrating and feeding these individuals would chill an already glacial evacuation
while encouraging others to get cozy and settle in for the long haul. In short,
Louisiana officials starved their citizens out of town.
What Caused the
Flood? Hurricane Katrina makes for a straightforward narrative for
liberals: Big government could have prevented the catastrophe, but President
Bush so distrusts government, he didn't spend enough on levees and other projects to
save New Orleans. Leaving aside that the free-spending Bush is hardly a miser,
this narrative has no connection to the grimy facts on the ground.
Flowed to Questionable Projects. Before Hurricane Katrina breached a
levee on the New Orleans Industrial Canal, the Army Corps of Engineers had already
launched a $748 million construction project at that very location. But
the project had nothing to do with flood control. The Corps was building a huge
new lock for the canal, an effort to accommodate steadily increasing barge
traffic. Except that barge traffic on the canal has been steadily decreasing.
New Orleans: A
Green Genocide. As radical environmentalists continue to blame the ferocity of
Hurricane Katrina's devastation on President Bush's ecological policies, a mainstream Louisiana
media outlet inadvertently disclosed a shocking fact: Environmentalist activists were
responsible for spiking a plan that may have saved New Orleans. Decades ago, the Green
Left — pursuing its agenda of valuing wetlands and topographical "diversity" over
human life — sued to prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from building floodgates
that would have prevented significant flooding that resulted from Hurricane Katrina.
Environmental Groups Opposed Flood Protection.
Amid the slow recovery of the Gulf Coast from the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, a great deal of criticism
has fallen on the shoulders of the Bush administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for an allegedly
insufficient commitment to fortifying anti-flood levees. Mostly unremarked upon, however, has been the
opposition of environmental activist groups to building levees in the first place.
Floodgate May Have Thwarted
Storm Tragedy. Hours after Hurricane Katrina passed, New Orleans was
underwater. Some experts say the flooding could have been stopped a quarter-century
ago — had environmentalists not interfered.
Officials in Flood-Money Scam. Nine months before the Hurricane Katrina
disaster, three Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness officials
were indicted for obstructing an audit into flood prevention expenditures.
The Levee board
was under federal investigation before Katrina hit. Rampant public
corruption was doing big business in New Orleans long before Hurricane Katrina
ever hit. What then Congressman, now Senator David Vitter calls "corrupt, good
old boy" practices were apparent in the New Orleans Levee Board just one year before
the collapse of regional levees, emergency communications and government services
brought the Big Easy to the brink of anarchy.
appetite: Why did we ever think it would work? Whatever possessed us
to look for the ultimate in disaster relief from a governmental system that had dreamed
up public education, the agricultural subsidy program, Medicare, and Social Security? Why
did we think they would get this one right? Truth be told, all the whining about the
supposedly insensitive and slow response to Hurricane Katrina is off the mark.
Army Corps of Engineers projects plentiful in
Louisiana. Over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana has
received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about
$1.9 billion. … Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, the chief of the Corps, has
said that in any event, more money would not have prevented the drowning of the city,
since its levees were only designed to protect against a Category 3 storm, and
the levees that failed were already completed projects.
Read this: Greens vs.
Levees. The national Sierra Club was one of several environmental groups
who sued the Army Corps of Engineers to stop a 1996 plan to raise and fortify Mississippi
River levees. … Nearly all flood-control projects — even relatively small
ones — are subject to a variety of assessments for effects on wetlands, endangered
species, and other environmental concerns.
spending on levees. While the Bush administration is sure to
get most of the heat for cuts in proposed expenditures to maintain and upgrade New Orleans
flood control system, the Clinton administration repeatedly cut congressional allocations
for the projects and the recommendations on spending by the Army Corps of Engineers.
New Orleans had
many warnings. Just a year ago, Hurricane Ivan caused a disaster plan
review. There were hours-long traffic jams. Those who had money fled, while
the poor stayed. The warnings were the same: Forecasters predicted that a
direct hit on the city would send torrents of water over the city's levees, creating
a 20-foot-deep cesspool of human and industrial waste.
at it again. As Michael Tanner, director of health and welfare studies
at the Cato Institute, points out, the federal government has given billions of dollars to
New Orleans' poor since George W. Bush took office. Tanner estimates that
the Bush administration has spent some $10 billion in welfare assistance in Louisiana,
including $1.2 billion in cash assistance and $3 billion in food stamps, as well
as public housing, Medicaid and more than 60 other federal anti-poverty programs. But
all that money did not buy self-sufficiency, the commodity that largely differentiated those
who escaped the deluge from those who got stuck at the Superdome and Convention Center.
Unfortunately [Al Gore] was addressing the Sierra Club, which was not the best place to bring
up the flooding of New Orleans. The very day he spoke a congressional task force reported that
the levees that failed in New Orleans would have been raised higher and strengthened in 1996 by
the Army Corps of Engineers were it not for a lawsuit filed by environmentalists led by who else
but the Sierra Club.
protection has taken a back seat. Though he spent eight years on the Orleans Levee Board,
Robert Lupo didn't spend much time talking about levees. Instead, the real estate magnate organized
a $2.5 million renovation of the Mardi Gras Fountain, tried to find takers for the district's vacant
real estate and helped lead a failed effort to find a private manager for Lakefront airport.
1985 test predicted levee break. Scientists working on an independent study of a floodwall that
collapsed during Hurricane Katrina said Monday [3/13/2006] that a government test 21 years ago predicted
the wall could fail.
Corps of Engineers Sued Over
Hurricane Katrina. Five people whose homes were flooded during Hurricane Katrina sued the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday [4/25/2006], accusing the agency of ignoring repeated warnings
that a navigation channel it built would turn into a "hurricane highway."
Rebuilding New Orleans: Humans along
the Mississippi determined to live directly in the path of — and contrary to the natural
order of — nature. However, once the levees broke, Katrina, the storm of our lifetime,
sent water again down its natural path, and in addition to the overwhelming human tragedy, also
set in motion political changes of great consequence. But it all began with the far left
withholds Katrina money amid audit. Mississippi is withholding nearly $17 million in federal
reimbursement money from its most populous coastal county while authorities probe a "multitude of discrepancies"
in bills that contractors submitted for Hurricane Katrina debris removal, according to officials and documents
reviewed by The Associated Press.
146 U.S. levees may fail in
flood. The Army Corps of Engineers has identified 146 levees nationwide that it says pose an
unacceptable risk of failing in a major flood. The deficiencies, mostly due to poor maintenance, are
forcing communities from Connecticut to California to invest millions of dollars in repairs. If the levees
aren't fixed, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could determine that they are no longer adequate
flood controls. If that happens, property owners behind the levees would have to buy flood insurance
costing hundreds of dollars a year or more.
voluntary buyout outside levees. The draft document, which details work the agency already should
have completed, has not yet been released to the public. The corps missed a Dec. 31 deadline to make
recommendations to Congress, angering the state's congressional delegation, as well as state officials and
advocates for coastal restoration and flood protection.
Orleans levee alarms experts. Despite more than $22 million in repairs, a levee that broke with
catastrophic effect during Hurricane Katrina is leaking again because of the mushy ground on which New Orleans
was built, raising serious questions about the reliability of the city's flood defenses.
The U.S. Treasury — A Once and
Everyman's Oyster. Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu (D) asked Congress for something like
$250 billion — fixer upper money — to throw at New Orleans after Katrina. Whatever they got, many of
the dollars went to Louisiana crooks, some of whom refused to pay Mexican day laborers hired to help with the
cleanup. Criminally, Louisiana's thieves rank right up there with Washington's crooks and are often
compared on the corruption scale with Mexico, which has no law at all.
A quarter of
Katrina aid money still unspent. More than a quarter of the $20 billion in Housing and
Urban Development relief funds that were earmarked for Gulf Coast states after Hurricane Katrina remains
unspent five years after the storm, a fact noticed by at least one congressional leader who's eager to
spend it elsewhere.
Section 9: Odd news items connected to Katrina or New Orleans:
Generally, the newest items are at the bottom of this subsection.
Parade in Devastated New Orleans. Despite the devastating conditions left
in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, nearly two dozen homosexuals gathered together to
parade down Bourbon Street to celebrate the 33rd annual "Southern Decadence" festival
in New Orleans. The festival, noted for being the largest homosexual event in the
South, normally fills the French Quarter with thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual,
and transgendered people flaunting their lifestyle. One newspaper claimed that last
year's event drew more than 110,000 people.
Illegals Afraid to Get Storm
Aid. Some sneak into shelters at night and then slip out in the morning, praying they won't
be noticed. Others avoid government help altogether, preferring to ride out the chaos and destruction
alone in a foreign land.
Apocryphal at best: We
had to kill our patients. Doctors working in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans
killed critically ill patients rather than leaving them to die in agony as they evacuated
hospitals, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. With gangs of rapists and looters rampaging
through wards in the flooded city, senior doctors took the harrowing decision to give
massive overdoses of morphine to those they believed could not make it out alive.
Update: Katrina hospital deaths
lead to 3 arrests. A doctor and two nurses are charged with murder in the deaths of several
patients stranded in a New Orleans hospital after Hurricane Katrina swamped the city last summer, the Louisiana
attorney general's office said Tuesday [7/18/2006]. Anna Pou, a head and neck surgeon, and nurses Cheri
Landry and Laura Budo, all of Memorial Hospital, face four counts each of second-degree murder, according to
Attorney General Charles Foti.
in New Orleans Hospital Deaths. [Three people] were accused of intentionally killing four patients
ages 62 to 91 at Memorial Medical Center with a deadly combination of morphine and the sedative Versed.
They were booked on charges of being "principals to second-degree murder," which carries a mandatory sentence
of life in prison. "There may be more arrests and victims that cannot be mentioned at this time," Foti
said. "This case is not over yet."
Another update: Katrina Nursing Home
Owners Acquitted. The owners of a nursing home where 35 patients died after Hurricane Katrina
were acquitted Friday [9/7/2007] of negligent homicide and cruelty charges for not evacuating the facility as the storm
Big Brother under
the skin. It's 2005 and Big Brother is not watching you; he's under your skin. A
company is implanting Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags in corpses in Mississippi to help
identify the dead in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
gives back much of the FEMA money. The Department of Health and Hospitals has
declined the bulk of $352 million in disaster assistance handed to the state by the
Federal Emergency Management Agency late last week, with agency officials saying that they
spent only about $10 million during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Hotel Chain Asks Katrina Evacuees to
Leave. Hurricane evacuees — often several family members packed into a single
hotel room — can be a burden on hotel staff. They also use more water and electricity,
and do not spend much on food and incidentals.
Suit Claims Oil Companies Caused Troubled
Waters. A class-action lawsuit was filed during the week of September 12 alleging the oil
companies are to blame for the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, according to Associated Press. … The
suit contends oil and gas pipeline canals in the coastal marshes eliminated parts of the marsh area,
which allegedly serves as a buffer zone.
Sounds to me like corrupt Louisiana politics as usual... Politically
connected cycle shop hits the jackpot. The custom motorcycle shop in River Ridge, owned by
the father and uncle of state Rep. Gary Smith, D-Norco, features fast, modernistic machines ... What
Bourget's does not list on its Web site is that it sells travel trailers. Indeed,
state officials confirm the company didn't have a license to sell new trailers
until Oct. 18. Nevertheless, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has
pledged to buy 6,416 travel trailers from Bourget's through three contracts
worth almost $108 million, according to government reports.
Lawmaker's father, uncle
got $108 million FEMA trailer contract. The uncle and father of a Louisiana
lawmaker have won three no-bid contracts worth 108 million dollars to provide temporary
housing for Hurricane Katrina evacuees even though their motorcycle shop didn't have a
license to sell new trailers until after the first deal was signed.
write us off, residents warn. Elected officials and residents from New Orleans' hardest-hit
areas on Monday [11/28/2005] responded with skepticism and, at times, outright hostility to a controversial
proposal to eliminate their neighborhoods from post-Katrina rebuilding efforts.
Katrina Destroys Once Great
Wine Cellar. The wine cellar at Brennan's Restaurant, winner since 1983 of Wine Spectator
magazine's Grand Award as one of the 85 top cellars in the world, has 35,000 bottles that since
Hurricane Katrina have gone from vintage to vinegar.
escaped prison in Katrina chaos. Despite assurances from Orleans Parish Criminal
Sheriff Marlin Gusman in the days after Hurricane Katrina that no inmates escaped during a
tumultuous three-day evacuation of Parish Prison, fugitive arrest warrants were issued
for 14 inmates who were in the jail at the time of the storm, records show. They
include a murder defendant who recently was captured and booked with a fresh murder
Big Easy sacks its no-show police. New Orleans has fired 60 police officers and suspended
more than 25 others who did not show up for duty in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, its police chief
said yesterday [12/9/2005] as officials worked their way through a long list of disciplinary hearings.
Judge Orders Extension of FEMA Hotel
Plan. A program that put Hurricane Katrina evacuees in hotels at government expense
while they sought other housing must be extended until Feb. 7, a month beyond
the deadline set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a federal
judge ruled Monday [12/12/2005].
Red Cross president
resigning after difficult year. American Red Cross President Marsha J. Evans, who
oversaw the charity's vast and sometimes maligned response to Hurricane Katrina, is resigning
effective at the end of this month because of friction with her board of governors, the
organization said today [12/13/2005].
on relief fraud brings more arrests. At least 25 people have been arrested and
accused of attempting to "double dip" and fraudulently receive Hurricane Katrina relief funds
from the American Red Cross, Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt announced Friday [9/16/2005].
Dallas Accused of Katrina Fraud. Two Dallas residents have been accused of separate schemes
to impersonate hurricane evacuees and bilk the Federal Emergency Management Agency out of thousands of
dollars, authorities said. Lakietha Hall, 35, was arrested Wednesday [12/21/2005] and charged with
stealing more than $65,000 in FEMA money, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's
office. Authorities seized more than $10,000 in cash during a search of Hall's
apartment, the release said.
Numerous other cases of fraud connected to Katrina:
suspects held. A federal task force has arrested 143 persons nationwide for bribery,
extortion and fraudulent claims on hurricane disaster funding, and at least 1,000 investigations
are ongoing in New Orleans. … In addition, the Homeland Security Inspector General's office is
reviewing an estimated 350 contracts worth nearly $5 billion, and investigating more than 300
possible criminal cases, which so far have netted 51 arrests, 67 indictments and five convictions.
Four injured in evacuee-related
shooting. A shooting Friday night [12/30/2005] at a southeast Houston apartment complex
in which four people were reportedly wounded is another example, one tenant said, of the tension
between Katrina evacuees and local residents.
'You'd be out
of your mind to say no'. When the city of Las Vegas offered New Orleans help in the wake of
the Hurricane Katrina disaster, Crescent City Mayor Ray Nagin asked Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman to do
something for his weary emergency workers. The response was first-rate. Local casinos offered
rooms and show tickets and Vegas-based Allegiant Air offered flights to the weary firefighters, police
officers and medics. At least that's who they thought was coming for the R&R. The majority of
seats on the first flight to Vegas, however, were filled by Nagin's aides, janitors and people who don't
work for New Orleans at all.
Jury to Probe New Orleans Police. A Louisiana grand jury will investigate several
controversies involving police in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, including the theft of cars from a
Cadillac dealership and the shooting deaths of two men suspected of firing on contractors.
cost goes through the roof. The Superdome will sport a new, stronger roof before the end
of the next hurricane season. That's the good news. The bad news is it's going to cost
a whopping $32 million, more than twice as much as officials thought. Now the potentially
controversial news: It might be a different color.
Suit seeks to halt Katrina
evacuee evictions. Lawyers asked for a temporary restraining order today to stop
the evictions of 12,000 families left homeless by hurricanes Katrina and Rita from hotels across
the nation on Monday [2/13/2006].
New Orleans says it won't give
free ride. New Orleans doesn't want its poorest residents back — unless they agree
to work. That was the message from three New Orleans City Council members who said government
programs have "pampered" the city's residents for too long.
[Oh, great. Now Dallas and Houston are stuck with the ones who aren't inclined to work.]
Motion Filed Against New Orleans Mayor, Police Chief. The Second Amendment Foundation and the
National Rifle Association filed a motion on Wednesday [3/1/2006] to have New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and
Police Superintendent Warren Riley held in contempt of court. The city leaders have refused to comply
with a federal injunction to stop illegal gun confiscations and return all seized firearms to their rightful
Refugees Have Mixed Feelings
on Mardi Gras. For some New Orleans residents still waiting to return home, this is going to
be a pathetic Mardi Gras. To other refugees, however, the big parades in New Orleans seem almost
grotesque. They wonder whether the city has its priorities straight in throwing a party at a time
when many homes lay in ruins.
union loses its force in storm's wake. When the Orleans Parish School Board gathered last
month and voted to fire virtually the entire work force of 7,500 teachers, custodians, bus drivers and
kitchen staff, union brass might have been expected to clamor loudly in opposition. Instead, but
for one or two nonunion gadflies who spieled and sat down, you could practically hear the crickets.
Evacuees' poor TAKS scores revive money
issue. Hurricane Katrina evacuees trailed their Texas peers in third and fifth grade on reading
tests taken last month, adding urgency to school districts' request
for more funding to help the displaced students catch up. Forty-one percent of third-graders and
53 percent of fifth-graders failed the reading portion of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills,
putting them at risk of having to repeat a grade unless they pass the tests on future attempts.
Benefits Deadline Extended. FEMA is extending a deadline for benefit applications by a month in
Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas to give the non-English-speaking hurricane victims more time to seek help,
the agency said Friday [3/10/2006].
Reid 'Ashamed' Over Katrina
Mobile Homes. Senate minority leader Harry Reid said Saturday [3/11/2006] he was "ashamed for
our country" after visiting the thousands of FEMA-owned mobile homes lined up at Hope Airport that have yet
to be used as shelters for hurricane victims on the Gulf Coast. "I can't imagine that we could have a
sea of 11,000 mobile homes sitting there, rotting, while people around the country can't find a place to
live," the Nevada Democrat said.
Georgia Governor Gives up
Tax 'Windfall'. The governor's tax cut follows a one-month moratorium on the state sales
tax on gasoline that was implemented after hurricanes Katrina and Rita hurt supplies. That
moratorium was ratified by the General Assembly in a special session and saved motorists an
estimated $77 million.
evacuees' mental health eyed. As many as 500,000 Katrina evacuees around the country may need
mental health counseling, according to the U.S. Substance and Mental Health Services Administration.
trailers in Miss. sit in harm's way. The dots represent 132 trailers set up by FEMA for people
whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The trailers are crammed into a one-square-mile
neighborhood, and most of them are along the banks of the Jourdan River.
Katrina wasn't the first or the last hurricane. There will be
no object in N.O. car-removal. In seeking a contract to remove thousands of flooded and
wrecked cars from New Orleans, Mayor Ray Nagin's administration recommended that the city go with the
highest quoted price for the job, a review of the 14 proposals submitted last year shows. It
appears the chosen proposal, a $1,000-per-car bid from Colorado-based CH2M Hill, was nearly triple
the cost of at least three other bids, records show. The gap between CH2M Hill and the other
companies cannot be precisely ascertained, because not every proposal included a price, and some of
those that did listed tasks that others did not.
Evacuees Wear Out Their Stay in Houston. Seven months after taking in about 200,000 Louisiana
residents left homeless by Hurricane Katrina, Houstonians aren't feeling so hospitable anymore. Many
people in the nation's fourth-largest city complain that the influx has led to more murders and gang violence,
long lines at health clinics and bus stops, and fights and greater overcrowding in the schools.
New Orleans' recovery may take
25 years. A full recovery in New Orleans could take 25 years as homeowners, businesses
and tourists are coaxed back to the city devastated by Hurricane Katrina, the Bush administration's
Gulf Coast recovery coordinator said today. [3/30/2006]
[Again, that's assuming there will be 25 years without another hurricane.]
Houston's homicides up
nearly 25% in 2006. The number of homicides in Houston rose nearly 25 percent
during the first three months of 2006, compared with the same period last year, despite a
multimillion-dollar police effort in the city's most crime-ridden areas. … The carnage
this year reflects the same trends that police publicized in 2005 after a bloody Thanksgiving
weekend and a spate of homicides involving Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans.
Houston's homicide rate is on
track to be the worst in a decade. With more than 300 homicides since January, Houston
is on pace to record nearly 400 slayings for the year — which would be the highest number of
killings the city has seen in more than a decade. … The Houston Police Department said an uptick in
homicides by Hurricane Katrina evacuees has contributed to that increase.
Homicides Spike; Evacuees Cited. Evacuees from Hurricane Katrina have contributed to an increase
in Houston's annual murder rate, which could climb this year to its highest level in more than a decade, police
said. … "We recognize that the homicide rate is up as far as raw numbers and as well as percentages relative
to the population," Capt. Dwayne Ready said. "We also recognize that Katrina evacuees continue to have
an impact on the murder rate."
Atlanta Crime Spree Blamed On Katrina.
Atlanta police said they've been experiencing a level of crime never seen before in the city and a lot of it was
imported from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In the past two weeks, Atlanta Police, the US Marshals
and the ATF rounded up eight men and charged them with at least three murders and one aggravated assault.
Investigators said three of the men are Katrina evacuees and brought their violent crime spree to Atlanta.
Big Easy hit by crime wave as dealers
return. The wail of police sirens is back and gunfire again punctuates the night. As
drug dealers move into flood-damaged houses, alarmed residents say that in the past few weeks they have
begun to sense a return to the bad old days before Hurricane Katrina, when crime was an omnipresent
straitjacket on life in New Orleans.
left a flood of felons in Texas. As many as 3,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees in Texas are on
probation or parole in their home state but most are probably living under no form of supervision, and state
officials are providing their names to local authorities because they could be suspects in new crimes.
runs out of gas. State officials are expected to rebid a contract today [4/20/2006] for the
removal of storm-ruined cars and boats in southern Louisiana, after the previous low bidder's shot at the
deal dissolved in the face of financial uncertainty. … Scott Sewell, one of the leaders of the
consortium that now stands as the lowest responsive bidder with a price of about $120 million for the
previous scope of work, said it's too late to reverse opinion. "When the people see the gymnastics
state officials went through to give this contract to a company with no experience and no assets and no
management, there's already been an erosion of public trust on this one," Sewell said.
Evacuees Strain Texas Hosts. Houston is straining along its municipal seams from the 150,000
new residents from New Orleans, officials say. Crime was already on the rise there before the hurricane,
but the Houston police say that evacuees were victims or suspects in two-thirds of the 30 percent
increase in murders since September .
The 'Katrina effect' increases Houston
crime. Violence among Hurricane Katrina evacuees has accounted for nearly a quarter of homicides
in Houston so far this year, police officials said. Police have investigated 124 homicides since
Jan. 1, and 29 of them involved evacuees as victims or attackers, said Capt. Dale Brown of the
Houston Police Department.
Louisiana in a Severe Drought. Nature has outdone herself with this cruel joke: Southern
Louisiana, much of which was underwater not so long ago, is in the throes of a severe to extreme drought.
say New Orleans is a tough sell. It was pretty tough to persuade someone to move to New Orleans
for a job before Hurricane Katrina, recruiters and human resource specialists say. Since the storm,
recruiting has become even harder as the area's pre-storm problems, such as leadership and education, have
is making a comeback in New Orleans. Jane Anderson misses the old days — the days
right after Hurricane Katrina when National Guardsmen with rifles roamed the street outside the New Orleans
shop where she works. The days when there weren't many people around and crime was down sharply.
"I know it's still pretty safe," Anderson says. "But it doesn't feel that way. We're hearing about
more things happening, more murders, more bad guys returning."
Sue State Farm Over Katrina Claims. A lawsuit filed Tuesday [5/9/2006] by nearly 700 Gulf Coast
homeowners accuses State Farm Insurance Co. of using a "one-size-fits-all" engineering report as the basis for
refusing to cover damage to homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
suspect posed as Katrina evacuee. Police arrested a man accused of sexually assaulting at least
six women after talking his way into their homes by pretending to be a Hurricane Katrina evacuee.
who fled hurricanes lag in test. Just one in six high school sophomores displaced from
Louisiana by hurricanes Katrina and Rita passed a standardized test that is a precursor to the exam
they must pass next year to graduate. Test results were just as dismal for displaced high school
and middle school students in other grades, who scored much lower than their Texas peers.
Illegals exploited in Katrina cleanup, study
says. Because many are in the country illegally, immigrant workers rebuilding New
Orleans are especially vulnerable to exploitation, according to a study released Tuesday [6/6/2006] by
professors at Tulane University and the University of California at Berkeley.
HUD to demolish some
Louisiana housing projects. The federal government said Wednesday [6/14/2006] it will demolish
some of the largest public housing projects in New Orleans, using the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to
help improve poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods.
New Orleans, the Money Is Ready but a Plan Isn't. Billions of federal dollars are about to start
flowing into this city [but] local officials have yet to come up with a redevelopment plan showing what kind of
city will emerge from the storm's ruins. No neighborhoods have been ruled out for rebuilding, no matter
how damaged or dangerous.
New Orleans Is Recovering. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said Monday [7/3/2006] his city is
recovering and that people have been "hoodwinked and bamboozled" into believing it won't be rebuilt.
Texas gets funds for hurricane
double-whammy. Texas will get almost half a billion dollars in federal relief funding to help the
state recover from last year's hurricane double-whammy, officials announced in Houston today [8/18/2006].
Who's to blame for state
of New Orleans? In many ways, New Orleans is a huge crime scene, with bodies and victims and
fingerprints — many, many sets of fingerprints. But who did it? Who is responsible for this
mess, for a barely functioning city with large swathes still uninhabited — or
uninhabitable — a year after Hurricane Katrina?
takes a swipe at NYC in defending local recovery efforts. On a tour of wreckage in the
devastated Lower 9th Ward, Nagin said much of the debris has been removed from public property. When
a "60 Minutes" correspondent pointed out flood-damaged cars on the streets, Nagin shot back, "You
guys in New York can't get a hole in the ground fixed, and it's five years later. So let's be
fair," according to CBS.
Nagin Throws a
Stone. Who can forget Mayor Nagin — the fellow who dissolved into hysterical sobs, on
national TV no less, at the height of the Katrina crisis a year ago. Remember the utterly false
claims about how evacuation centers were being overrun by gangs of heavily armed rapists and
murderers? And whose police force was it that virtually deserted its posts in the
dark of night? Ray Nagin's.
tales of New Orleans: Although President Bush took some heavy and deserved hits to his approval
ratings for his administration's slow response to the Katrina emergency, most fingers of blame for the city's
sluggish recovery now point to [New Orleans Mayor Ray] Nagin.
Two unrepentant about selling
Katrina gift. A [Memphis] church that wanted to do something special for Hurricane Katrina
victims gave a $75,000 house, free and clear, to a couple who said they were left homeless by the storm.
But the couple turned around and sold the place without ever moving in, and went back to New Orleans.
'title washing' bill is needed. U.S. Sen. Trent Lott's proposed legislation to impede the practice
of "title washing" is a step in the right direction to protect consumers. Lott, a Katrina victim himself,
knows full well the dangers of "title washing" — in which cars with troubled histories are sold to
Evacuees Increased Murders. The number of murders last year in Houston hit a 12-year high and
increased by 13.5 percent over 2005, figures the mayor attributes in part to the arrival of evacuees from
Hurricane Katrina. Houston had 379 homicides in 2006. That was the most since 1994, when 419 murders
were reported, police said. In 2005, the city had 334 homicides. Mayor Bill White pointed to
Hurricane Katrina evacuees from New Orleans as one reason for the increase.
Struggling New Orleans
tries to find more teachers. Some of New Orleans' most desperate, run-down schools are beset
with a severe shortage of teachers, and they are struggling mightily to attract candidates by appealing to
their sense of adventure and desire to make a difference. Education officials are even offering to help
new teachers find housing.
soar for Nagin's top aides. Salaries of top New Orleans administrators have nearly doubled in the
past eight years, and paychecks for some positions have almost tripled, thanks to aggressive pay increases
pushed through by Mayor Ray Nagin. But whether the city is getting a big bang for the big bucks is an
Katrina vehicles flood the DC
area. Cars and trucks waterlogged by Hurricane Katrina are turning up in Virginia and Maryland in
numbers far exceeding the national average, according to a study released yesterday [2/1/2007]. The number
of vehicles for sale with undisclosed water damage increased in Virginia from 2002 to 2006 by 189 percent over
the previous five years, according to a report released yesterday by Carfax, a Centreville, Va., company that
sells vehicle history reports nationwide.
Judge OKs Katrina flood
suit vs. Corps. Residents whose homes were flooded during Hurricane Katrina can sue the Army
Corps of Engineers over claims the agency ignored warnings about defects in a nearby navigation channel, a
federal judge ruled Friday [2/2/2007].
Shift sought for New Orleans
levee funds. The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing to divert up to $1.3 billion for
levee repairs from the Mississippi River's East Bank, which was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, to the West
Bank, where tens of thousands of people have resettled.
In New Orleans, Dysfunction
Fuels Cycle of Killing. There were 161 homicides in this city last year, and there have been
18 so far this year, making New Orleans by most measures the nation's per capita murder capital, given its
sharply reduced population. Many of the victims and the suspects are teenagers. About two-thirds of
the deaths have gone unsolved: the killers, in many cases, continue to walk the streets and are likely
to kill again, the police say.
New Orleans Residents Are Bailing Out.
New Orleans is a city on a knife's edge. A year and a half after Hurricane Katrina, an alarming number of
residents are leaving or seriously thinking of getting out for good. They have become fed up with the
violence, the bureaucracy, the political finger-pointing, the sluggish rebuilding and the doubts about the
safety of the levees.
Gov. Wants New Orleans
Projects Reopened. Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Monday [2/12/2007] she wants to temporarily reopen the
New Orleans public housing projects that have been closed since Hurricane Katrina, despite federal plans to demolish
them. Hundreds of people protested the demolitions in January. Last week, a federal judge dismissed a claim
that the plans discriminated against the projects' black residents, a move that housing authorities said cleared the
way to raze the buildings.
Orleans Seeks Mardi Gras Donations. New Orleans may have half the population it did before
Hurricane Katrina, but the cash-strapped city still loves a party, so to help pay for Mardi Gras, it's
trying a new money source: text-messaged donations. The fundraising campaign, which also
includes online giving, aims to raise $1 million over the next year.
Woman found guilty of fraud. A
Gulfport woman is in custody awaiting a possible 20-year sentence for conviction of FEMA fraud. Rose Maria
Crosby, 48, was found guilty Tuesday on five counts involving a false statement for disaster-relief assistance
after Hurricane Katrina.
asks whopping $77 billion in claim to corps. Submitting a claim for a staggering $77 billion,
the city of New Orleans joined tens of thousands of would-be plaintiffs who rushed to beat a Thursday
[3/1/2007] deadline to alert the Army Corps of Engineers that they may sue for losses resulting from
the levee breaches after Hurricane Katrina.
Mayor Nagin: We 'Piled It on' in Suit
Against Army Corp of Engineers. Only $1 billion of the $77 billion the city is seeking
from the Army Corps of Engineers is for infrastructure damages it says it suffered because of levee breaches
during Hurricane Katrina. The rest is for such things as the city's tarnished image and tourist industry
losses. The city "looked at everything and just kind of piled it on," Mayor Ray Nagin said.
The Editor says...
This is the entitlement mentality at work. The mayor evidently sees $77 billion as free money
because it comes from the federal government. Has he no shame? This is nothing more or less
than unmitigated greed. Does the mayor (or anyone else) really believe that the city's "image" and
tourist industry are worth $76 billion?
filed with corps so far seek $400 billion. Only halfway through the process, Army Corps of
Engineers officials who are examining claim forms filed by tens of thousands of people over Hurricane Katrina
flooding estimate the alleged damages have already passed the $400 billion mark. The demands run the
gamut, from damages for the loss of a pet to a $200 billion claim by the state of Louisiana — the
single largest to surface thus far.
Thousands Suspected of Katrina
Fraud. An Illinois woman mourns her two young daughters, swept to their deaths in Hurricane
Katrina's floodwaters. It's a tragic and terrifying story. It's also a lie. An Alabama woman
applies for disaster aid for hurricane damage. She files 28 claims for addresses in four states.
It's all a sham. Two California men help stage Internet auctions designed to help Katrina relief
organizations. Those, too, are bogus.
Katrina fraud swamps system.
Federal agents investigating widespread fraud after the Gulf Coast hurricanes in 2005 are sifting through more
than 11,000 potential cases, a backlog that could take years to resolve.
Are FEMA Trailers
Making Residents Sick? August marks the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Today
the government says 86,000 families are still living in those white FEMA travel trailers across the Gulf —
more and more waking up with a host of health problems — tied, medical experts believe, to the place they
still call home.
FEMA trailers for sale to occupants.
FEMA is asking families currently living in FEMA temporary housing units if they want to buy them. The
purchase, under FEMA's "Sales to Occupants" program, applies to the government-owned temporary travel trailers
and mobile homes now provided as temporary housing to victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
New Orleans scales back rebuilding plans. After
struggling for months to come up with $1.1 billion for stage one of New Orleans' hurricane rebuilding plan,
city officials faced with growing public frustration intend to move ahead with a drastically scaled-back first
step of $216 million.
N.O. police want federal
troops to stay. Violent crime has been a major concern in New Orleans as it slowly recovers from
Hurricane Katrina, which flooded 80 percent of the city in August 2005. An estimated 273,000 people
live in the city, which had a pre-Katrina population of 455,000. The city earned the title of murder
capital of the nation in 2006, when 162 people were killed. This year the count stands at 163 with
2½ months remaining.
Katrina-ravaged cars being sold in Bolivia.
The bathtub ring of mold on the ceiling of Colleen McGaw's Mini Cooper marks how high Hurricane Katrina's
floodwaters rose inside the sporty red coupe. Two years later, McGaw was shocked to learn from The
Associated Press that her beloved Mini turned up 3,600 miles south in Bolivia.
We fear missing
out on something. The headquarters of Intermarine Inc. exist in New Orleans in name only.
The company's chief executive, chief financial officer and most of its senior staff live and work in Houston.
Most of the company's clients are in Houston, too. "The official headquarters is in New Orleans.
There is no desire to change the headquarters," said Mike Dumas, the company's chief financial officer.
"But now most of our employees are in Texas.
Razing awareness! Razing
of New Orleans Housing Halted. Demolition of three public housing complexes,
slated to start this weekend, was halted Friday [11/14/2007] amid complaints about the
scarcity of housing for the poor after Hurricane Katrina.
Stun guns, pepper spray used on New
Orleans protesters. Police used chemical spray and stun guns today as dozens of protesters
tried to force their way into a packed City Council chamber during a debate on the planned demolition of some
4,500 public housing units. One woman was sprayed with chemicals and dragged from the gates.
Battered N.O. OKs
Razing Public Housing. Despite occasionally violent protests outside, the City Council voted
Thursday [12/20/2007] in favor of demolishing some 4,500 public housing units, a milestone in the city's
effort to balance its heritage and its hurricane rebuilding efforts.
[They're concerned about preserving the city's "heritage" of public housing?]
New Orleans population
nears 300,000, about 65% of pre-Katrina. Mayor Ray Nagin has pointed frequently
to the population estimates as a key way to gauge the city's success at recovering from the
August 2005 storm. Some of New Orleans' hardest hit areas are still dotted with
overgrown lots, empty houses and crumbling streets. But Nagin has said he thinks 2008
will be a turning point, as additional federal aid is freed up and more rebuilding grants are
made available to homeowners.
Murder Rate Rises in New Orleans.
The bloodiest city in the country in 2006, reeling from crime in its struggle to recover from Hurricane
Katrina, got even worse in 2007. New Orleans registered 209 homicides last year, a nearly 30 percent
increase from the 161 recorded in 2006.
General Retiring From the Army. The gruff, cigar-chomping general who led federal troops
into New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina is convinced America hasn't learned its lesson from the storm.
As Lt. Gen. Russel Honore gets ready to retire from the Army and hand over his
command he says he wants to spend the rest of his life creating a "culture of
preparedness" to prevent another post-disaster disaster.
Judge Throws Out Katrina Suit
Against Army. A federal judge threw out a key class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers over levee breaches after Hurricane Katrina, saying that the agency failed to protect the city
but that his hands were tied by the law. U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval ruled Wednesday [1/30/2008]
that the Corps should be held immune over failures in drainage canals that caused much of the flooding of
New Orleans in August 2005.
Police Officer Shot to Death. A vagrant wanted for questioning in a rape overpowered a police
officer who was trying to handcuff him, then shot her to death with her own weapon, police said. [Officer
Nicola] Cotton was among the first graduates of the police academy after Katrina. At the time, the Police
Department was hemorrhaging officers and was aggressively recruiting.
New Orleans police struggle with
mental patients. Authorities here say they're still having a horrendous time dealing with the
mentally ill, more than two years after Hurricane Katrina washed away a massive mental hospital that has yet
to be replaced.
victims still awaiting cottages. In December 2006, the Federal Emergency Management Agency
announced a $74.5 million grant for Louisiana to build about 500 cottages. More than 18 months
later, the state hasn't produced a single unit for storm victims. But the contractor waiting to build
cottages for Katrina survivors sold a virtually identical version to [Chris] Cheramie, 34, who moved to
Baton Rouge earlier this year.
After despair, New Orleans
homeless camp cleared. Inhabitants of a New Orleans tent city that attracted donations, drugs and despair
for nearly a year were cleared Thursday [7/17/2008] by a nonprofit group, which says it now must find lasting solutions
to a doubling of homelessness since Katrina.
Feds descend on nonprofit's
office. Federal investigators descended Monday [8/11/2008] on the office of a nonprofit
hired by the city to run a home gutting and clean-up program that's now under investigation. Sheila
Thorne says agents from the FBI and IRS as well as the offices of inspectors general of the U.S. Housing
and Urban Development and the city were at the office Monday morning. The FBI spokeswoman declined
to provide details but said it wasn't for the execution of a search warrant. A newspaper's photo
showed agents wheeling out boxes from the building where the New Orleans Affordable Homeownership
Corporation, or NOAH, operated.
demolishes couple's newly bought home. The scenario was perfect: a bigger house in the same
New Orleans neighborhood, plus they would be restoring a property that hadn't been touched since Hurricane
Katrina. So it came as a surprise Friday [8/15/2008] when Erica DeJan, who is nearly eight months
pregnant with her fourth child, found a sticker on the house stating that Mayor Ray Nagin's administration
had declared it a public health threat and planned to tear it down.
Feds say woman filed fraudulent claim
for Galveston home. A Houston woman appeared in court today after being charged with filing
multiple fraudulent claims for federal disaster assistance during hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike.
Phyllis Ann Taylor, 28, is the first person charged in the area with fraud in connection with Hurricane Ike
and the 86th charged in connection with hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Government can't do
it all. [John] Stossel visited New Orleans to see how government reconstruction is progressing
three years after Hurricane Katrina. What he found should not surprise anyone. Huge numbers of
houses remain unrepaired thanks to a bureaucracy that could serve as a plot for a horror movie called
"Nightmare on Bourbon Street." The forms necessary to apply for permits to conduct any repairs or
construct new buildings take 10 minutes to explain.
Plan for New Orleans Hospitals
Draws Outcry. Local and federal officials on Tuesday announced plans for a 70-acre medical
campus in the heart of New Orleans to replace two hospitals damaged during Hurricane Katrina, a $2 billion investment
that supporters say will create thousands of jobs and begin to rebuild the city's shattered health care system.
Still Waiting for the Recession in New
Orleans. Much of America's news in recent months has been dominated by the gravest economic and financial
crisis in decades. But parts of this region continue to experience an economic boom mainly driven by recovery
efforts related to Hurricane Katrina.
The Editor says...
Will George W. Bush get the credit for good economic times in New Orleans?
$3.9B in hurricane aid still
unspent. A massive effort to fix public works destroyed more than three years ago by the Gulf
Coast hurricanes remains largely stalled, leaving more than $3.9 billion in federal aid unspent and key
repairs far from complete. The scale of that job is enormous. The Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) has promised $5.8 billion to repair everything from flooded libraries and schools to sewer
systems and roads that were ruined when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita obliterated huge sections of coastal
Louisiana and Mississippi in 2005.
The Editor asks...
How does a flood ruin a sewer system?
Guard to pull out of New Orleans
after 3½ years. Three and a half years after Hurricane Katrina, the National Guard is pulling
the last of its troops out of New Orleans this weekend, leaving behind a city still desperate and dangerous.
Residents long distrustful of the city's police force are worried they will have to fend for themselves.
New Orleans, Unguarded. The
last members of the patrolling National Guard are pulling out of New Orleans by the end of this weekend, and residents are
petrified at the prospect of not having federal troops around to aid and protect them. ... Residents of an American city
don't want to "have to fend for themselves" in the absence of federal troops. This is an astounding comment on the
enduring failure of Louisiana's local and state government.
'First real trial' about Katrina under
way. A landmark trial against the United States government began [in New Orleans] today [4/20/2009],
with prosecution lawyers arguing that the Army Corps of Engineers contributed to the catastrophic flooding
that hit the city after hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Houston woman sentenced on false
hurricane claims. A Houston woman who fraudulently claimed she had homes damaged by hurricanes Katrina,
Rita and Ike has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison. Acting U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson says Phyllis Ann
Taylor's sentence is one of the longest imposed nationwide related to fraudulent claims for hurricane assistance.
FEMA working to move Gulf Coast trailer-dwellers.
The only thing keeping Gerard Rigney from getting back into his home is the FEMA trailer in his front yard. It needs to
vanish so his plumber can redo the piping into the house, which was damaged by Hurricane Katrina's flood waters almost four years ago.
New Orleans Wants Ex-Residents Counted.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is calling on former residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to claim their
old city addresses in next year's census, drawing criticism for trying to circumvent rules for winning federal
funds. The mayor — encouraged that New Orleans has thrown off its post-Katrina malaise to become the
U.S.'s fastest-growing big city by percentage — wants the U.S. Census Bureau to grant an exception for its
former residents, currently living elsewhere, who want to rebuild homes in New Orleans.
Katrina victims in Oprah homes
indicted. Three Hurricane Katrina evacuees who found homes in Houston thanks to Oprah Winfrey's
charitable foundation are accused of bilking the government of tens of thousands of dollars in housing assistance.
Federal agents arrested the women Wednesday morning at their homes on Angel Lane, to the surprise of neighbors
who have struggled to build a thriving community in their southwest Houston subdivision. They plan to
arrest the sister of one of the women today on similar charges.
victims rebuilding lives. When Hurricane Katrina blew drummer Quin Kirchner from New Orleans to
Chicago, he thought for sure he'd move back. He hasn't, and now he won't. Holistic therapist
Sharon Mathieu saw the hand of fate and settled in Uptown. Page and Carter Wilson built a new life in
Downers Grove — not New Orleans, but at least it's not Buffalo, they say.
The Editor says...
This is not news. Many people move from bad situations to better ones.
Judge: Corps' negligence
caused Katrina flooding. A federal judge ruled Wednesday [11/18/2009] that the Army Corps of Engineers'
failure to properly maintain a navigation channel led to massive flooding in Hurricane Katrina, a decision
that could make the federal government vulnerable to billions of dollars in claims.
Time Writer: Army Corps of Engineers Killed '1,000' During Katrina. [Scroll down] It's
scientifically ridiculous to insist Katrina was a "man-made disaster," as if the Bush administration or the Army
Corps created the hurricane and directed it into New Orleans. It's liberal political pandering to insist
that there people living "in harm's way" should never be judged as irresponsible for failing to evacuate.
Hurricane Katrina victims to sue oil companies over global
warming. Victims of Hurricane Katrina are seeking to sue carbon gas-emitting multinationals for
helping fuel global warming and boosting the 2005 storm. The class action suit brought by residents from
southern Mississippi, which was ravaged by hurricane-force winds and driving rains, was first filed just weeks
after the August 2005 storm hit.
new Katrina slap. Rep. Gregory Meeks is adding insult to injury, lobbying Hurricane Katrina
victims he stiffed in a "robo-call" aimed at a Louisiana Republican. The Democrat from Queens, who
never delivered on his promise to help Katrina victims through a charity he founded, is urging citizens
of the Big Easy to confront their congressman over his vote on the health-care bill.
slapped with subpoena in federal probe of Katrina funds. A federal grand jury has slapped New York
Rep. Gregory Meeks with a subpoena as part of what is shaping up to be a sweeping corruption probe of the
Queens Democrat and other city lawmakers. Meeks announced he had been subpoenaed Tuesday [4/13/2010] on
the House floor, complying with rules that require members to publicly disclose when they are subpoenaed.
Pastor sentenced for
stealing Hurricane Katrina relief funds. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W.
Bush raised millions of dollars to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and Pastor Gary Dante
Johnson did everything he could to get a piece of that for his church. But the church, as Johnson
later admitted, sat more than 100 miles north of the coast in Marengo County, and did not sustain a
scratch in the storm.
claims rejected by federal jury. A federal jury on Monday [3/29/2010] rejected a New Orleans
man's claims that government contractors provided him with a trailer after Hurricane Katrina that exposed
him to dangerous fumes, dealing another blow to those suing the trailer makers.
Energy Policy. Now, some are calling this "Obama's Katrina," comparing Obama's inaction now to
Bush's alleged inaction to Hurricane Katrina. But this comparison is unfair — to Bush.
First, while during and immediately after the Katrina flooding there was a hurricane blowing through the region,
there was no bad weather in Obama's case to stop him from flying down immediately. Second, the primary
responsibility for dealing with the New Orleans disaster lay with its fatuous mayor, Ray "Chocolate City"
Nagin, who was too busy arranging for his own family to move to Houston to bother using the city's numerous
school buses to get people out (despite Bush's urging immediate evacuation). Also impeding the Feds was
the air-headed governor of Louisiana at the time, Kathleen Blanco. But the BP oil rig disaster took place
over fifty miles out at sea, well beyond the jurisdiction of any affected state. It was from the outset
solely a federal matter.
No Stimulus Money Will Go Toward Katrina Recovery.
Democrats who routinely criticized President George W. Bush for not sending more money to the Gulf Coast
appear to be giving Obama the benefit of the doubt in his first major spending initiative.
Ray Nagin clone
in the White House. Forty-eight hours or so before Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, I
wrote Thomas Lifson here at American Thinker and predicted, as it turned out, very accurately, the scenario that
would unfold in New Orleans. That insight was based upon my having lived there briefly back in the 70's.
Briefly, because of all the places we have lived in our lives, New Orleans was the one site my wife and I couldn't
get out of soon enough.
Theme park devastated by Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans has made a remarkable recovery since the
city was devastated by flooding during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. But now stunning new images have
emerged which show how one part of the Big Easy has yet to be revived — its Six Flags theme
park. The haunting photographs, taken over the past six years, reveal an almost post-apocalyptic
landscape dominated by twisted and corroded rides, now silent forever.
work leaves homes in limbo. Darlene Self's Marrero home is floating 3 feet off the ground
on cockeyed, unstable stone blocks. It's bending in the middle and busting at the seams. She says
it got that way after a contractor approached her in 2009 promising to elevate her home of 13 years at no
cost to her, through the state-run, federally financed Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
In other news from New Orleans... Liberals Try to Remove
Anti-Obama Signs in New Orleans. A New Orleans resident posted a couple signs on his own
private property criticizing President Obama. Some liberals wandered by and didn't like the fact the
signs made fun of President Obama. These liberals freaked out so much that the media, police, and even
some liberal politicians got involved.
still dogs New Orleans. Stories of street killings continue to crowd nightly newscasts, despite vows
by leaders to stem the violence. As of Thursday [12/29/2011], police had counted 197 murders in the
city — well above last year's tally of 175. The murder rate last year was 51 per 100,000
residents — 10 times the national average and five times larger than other similar-size cities,
according to New Orleans Police statistics. This year's rate promises to be even higher.
Rising murder rate
may spoil Mardi Gras party. The new year started bloody, with 12 people murdered and 47 wounded
by gunfire in the first 12 days of January. Murders in New Orleans jumped 14 percent in 2011 to 199,
making the city's homicide rate the highest in the nation at nearly 58 murders per 100,000 residents, or
12 times the national rate.
FBI investigating drug
bust by New Orleans area police officers. The FBI has opened an investigation into the recent arrest
of a 25-year-old New Orleans man by a multi-jurisdictional police task force, after the man's attorneys claimed
that officers ordered him to take them to his French Quarter apartment where they stole $3,500.
Ray Nagin is focus of
federal grand jury probe. A federal grand jury is investigating whether city vendors gave former New
Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin gratuities ranging from plane tickets to materials and equipment for his family's
granite-countertop business and also helped the firm land an exclusive installation deal with a retailing giant
while Nagin was in office, according to several sources close to the probe.
Next time, sue the weatherman.
It's a victory for the law, for science and for common sense. On Tuesday [3/20/2012], Federal Judge Louis Guirola Jr., in the
Southern District of Mississippi, dismissed the case of Comer vs. Murphy Oil for lack of standing. Gulf Coast property owners
had sought to hold a grab bag of energy companies responsible for damage they suffered from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The
plaintiffs claimed the power companies knowingly had endangered them by emitting unsafe levels of carbon dioxide. The case
was dismissed in 2007, then resurrected by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2009. The latest ruling should put an end
International delegations will
observe voting process today in New Orleans. Two international delegations will be in New Orleans today [3/24/2012] to observe
the state's election process as voters head to the polls for presidential preference primaries and a special electon to fill an
at-large City Council seat. Orleans Parish Clerk of Criminal Court Arthur Morrell will host the groups from the Department
of State's International Visitor Leadership Program.
Court Ends Global-Warming Suit. A federal judge in Mississippi has ended a long-running suit that
attempted to hold a selection of U.S. utilities and coal and oil companies responsible for flooding damage caused
by Hurricane Katrina. U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr., in a decision released yesterday, dismissed Comer
vs. Murphy Oil with prejudice, meaning it can't be refiled or reconstituted. The decision should serve to
preclude, other similar lawsuits accusing companies of emitting global-warming gases that cause damaging weather
New Orleans resurgent but troubled seven years
after the storm. After Katrina hit, people across the world watched for days on television as the mismanaged levees breached and
a major American city descended into chaos and death. There were predictions New Orleans would never recover. But many residents
say New Orleans is a better place to live now than even before the devastating flood.
New Orleans homeless hole up in Hurricane
Katrina's abandoned buildings. There are roughly 40,000 such buildings, some still bearing the search-and-rescue markings
that indicate whether dead bodies were found inside after the flooding. A quarter of the residential housing in the city remains
vacant, even as much of New Orleans has enjoyed a remarkable recovery from the flooding.
New Orleans is no longer the most blighted
city in America, report finds. Since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has consistently held the unwanted crown of most blighted
city in America. That's no longer true, said Allison Plyer, chief demographer for the Greater New Orleans Data Center. A report
released by the nonprofit agency on Monday [8/20/2012] shows that Detroit and Flint, Mich., had a greater percentage of dilapidated housing
stock than the Crescent City, a first since the levees failed and drowned the city in 2005.
An end of an era for NOLA newspaper.
Seven years ago next week, Katrina ravaged New Orleans. Among the heroic efforts was that by the staff of the Times-Picayune newspaper.
The news will continue in New Orleans — just not on paper every day as the Times-Picayune will be cutting back its print edition.
The Editor says...
Seven years after Katrina, I would think New Orleans would be well prepared for a hurricane, except for the part about living five or six feet
below sea level. But apparently they're just as susceptible to hurricane damage as ever.
On Bourbon Street, party but don't preach at
night. The ordinance passed in October bans spreading "any social, political or religious message between the hours of
sunset and sunrise." City officials say it's a public safety measure to keep people moving at night along the crowded, raunchy
strip. During the Southern Decadence festival over Labor Day weekend, a group of nearly 10 street preachers were arrested.
Dems (and Bloomberg) Run 9 of 10 Dirtiest
Cities. [#2] New Orleans: Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street's home, writes Travel and Leisure, has "a
tough time keeping up with debris." New Orleans also ranks number one for "wild weekends," which might contribute to the city's
The Editor says...
Anonymous hedonistic tourists are no more likely to clean up after themselves than a bunch of two-year-olds.
Big Bill for Levee Upkeep Comes to New Orleans.
By the time the next hurricane season starts in June of 2013, the city will take control of much of a revamped protection system of gates, walls
and armored levees that the Army Corps of Engineers has spent about $12 billion building.
Feds closing in on Ray Nagin. A businessman
pleaded guilty Wednesday [12/5/2012] to plotting to bribe an unidentified former New Orleans public official in a case that appears to be linked to
a federal probe of former Mayor Ray Nagin.
Reid: Sandy Was Much
Worse Than Katrina, You Know. Whether he's publicly recapitulating the hallucinations of an imaginary friend, or wrongly assuring
the public that various government programs are "fully funded," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tends to struggle with the truth.
Ex-New Orleans Mayor Nagin
Indicted for Katrina Fraud. I'm still waiting for the indictment of the media for its fraudulent Katrina reporting which
depicted the hurricane aftermath as Mad Max on water, while refusing to report on the disastrous aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Mayor Ray "Chocolate City" Nagin attacked Bush for not doing enough for New Orleans, but he was doing alright for himself.
Ray Nagin, former New Orleans mayor,
charged with taking bribes while in office. A federal grand jury charged former Mayor Ray Nagin Friday with 21 counts
of corruption, including six counts of bribery, one count of conspiracy, one count of money laundering, nine counts of deprivation of
honest services through wire fraud and four counts of filing false tax returns, alleging that while in office, Nagin took cash bribes and
gifts from two city contractors. Nagin's long-expected indictment arrived more than two and a half years after he left City Hall
and relocated to the Dallas area.
Former Mayor of
New Orleans Is Charged in Sweeping Corruption Case. C. Ray Nagin, the former mayor of this city who fulminated against the federal
government's response to Hurricane Katrina but became for many a symbol of the shortcomings of government himself, was indicted by a federal
grand jury on Friday [1/18/2013] on 21 counts including conspiracy, bribery and money laundering.
Ray Nagin indicted. Former New Orleans mayor
Ray Nagin, who rose to national prominence by blaming the Bush administration for his own incompetence in preparing for and handling Hurricane
Katrina, has been indicted by a federal grand jury[.] Gordon Russell of NOLA.com writes that the indictment contains...
The Real Super Bowl Winner.
The Super Bowl makes its tenth stop in New Orleans on Sunday, but only the first since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. For once the Big
Easy has earned this excuse to party, coming back to life better than ever. New Orleans has patented no magic sauce. Katrina
created the opening for different policies to turn around what was one of the worst-run and most politically calcified places in America.
Report: Post-Katrina FEMA funds still unspent seven years later. Another FEMA Misfire. More than seven years after Hurricane
Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans, federal grant funds marked for a nature center in the city have yet to be spent, leading
federal watchdogs to recommend the revocation of some of those funds. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded
$12.3 million in disaster assistance funds to the Audubon Commission, a division of the city of New Orleans. The
commission administers a number of nature-related attractions in the city, including a zoo, an aquarium, and the Audubon
Will Ray Nagin continue to resist the
lure of a plea? According to one of the counts in his indictment, Nagin liked to have [Mark] St. Pierre pick up his tab
and swanked around exotic locales on his dollar with family in tow. But that is just a little taste of the corruption depicted in
a pretty intimidating indictment; Nagin was required to intone "not guilty" 21 times as the counts were read out at his arraignment
last week. A jury could acquit him on, say, 18 counts, thinking he should appreciate the favor, and he'd still be looking
at a serious stretch.
2nd high-ranking Orleans sheriff's deputy
pleads guilty in kickback scheme. A second former high-ranking deputy in the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office pleaded guilty
Thursday morning [3/21/2013] in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to commit bribery for an alleged bid-rigging and kickback scheme
that is expected to produce more charges in the coming weeks or months.
You said, "loan." They heard, "gift." House approves budget bill that can lead
to forgiveness of Katrina disaster loans. The House gave final congressional approval Thursday (March 21) to a spending
bill that could lead to forgiveness of outstanding federal disaster loans from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita for Metro New Orleans school
districts, government offices and law enforcement agencies. Nearly, $500 million in loans are outstanding in Louisiana
communities. The bill passed 318-109.
Louisiana tops the list for corruption in public
office. Louisiana has emerged as America's most corrupt state with the highest rate of convictions for people in public office, official figures
revealed this week. The Southern state came top for public corruption convictions with nine per 100,000 population. Overall Louisiana convicted
403 public officials in the past ten years. The data was compiled by the Justice Department, covering the period from 2002 until 2011.
Reversal of Danziger Bridge convictions a 'bitter pill' for
Hurricane Katrina survivors. For many metro area residents, the day when former police officers were convicted for their roles in gunning down
unarmed people on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina marked a cathartic moment. On Tuesday [9/17/2013], however, a federal judge toppled
those hard-won convictions, not citing faulty evidence, but because of the "grotesque" conduct of prosecutors who never even talked to the jury.
Judge Orders New Trial in Katrina Bridge Killings.
More than two years ago, federal prosecutors exchanged hugs and held hands with victims' relatives after a jury convicted five former New Orleans police officers
of civil rights violations stemming from deadly shootings on a bridge after Hurricane Katrina. But a judge threw out those convictions Tuesday [9/17/2013]
and ordered a new trial for the officers, concluding the case had been tainted by "grotesque prosecutorial misconduct."
The NOPD is stuck with its $10-million-a-year babysitter. It's not so easy to invite the feds out.
[Scroll down] The feds should have stuck to what was their job — prosecuting past wrongdoing, including allegations of egregious
brutality and killings after Katrina — and let the new mayor run a new police department. Instead, the feds wrote their
reports — and New Orleans's already sky-high murder rate kept rising. In 2010, when Landrieu took office mid-year, the
number of murders was 175. In 2011, it was 199 — and in 2012, 193.
'Grotesque' DOJ Misconduct.
In a shocking case of "grotesque" misconduct by federal prosecutors, a federal judge in Louisiana has ordered a new trial for five New Orleans police
officers convicted for a shooting on the Danziger Bridge on September 4, 2005 — in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina — and
for a subsequent cover-up. This is another black eye for the Holder Justice Department that the media have barely covered.
Participating in the misconduct that the judge said had created an "online 21st-century carnival atmosphere" was Karla Dobinski, a lawyer
in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department and the former deputy chief of the section.
New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward is still marked by Hurricane Katrina.
The Rev. Charles Duplessis navigated the new landscape of the Lower 9th Ward, crossing from newly paved streets to those still muddy and rutted as riverbeds.
He drove past a gleaming duplex designed by Frank Gehry and the skeletons of vacant homes, past a community garden and overgrown lots with "no dumping" signs, until he
reached his destination: Flood Street. Here were more examples of the progress made after Hurricane Katrina — and the problems that remain.
As Ray Nagin trial nears, judge
finalizes jury questions. Potential jurors screened for the scheduled Jan. 27 corruption trial of former New
Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin will be asked about their understanding of the indictment, and their ability to presume Nagin innocent
until proven guilty. They will not, however, be asked a series of questions proposed by Nagin's defense attorney, Robert
Jenkins, that inspired opposition among prosecutors, a federal judge has ruled. Nagin is accused of accepting bribes and
kickbacks during his tenure as mayor.
Ex-New Orleans mayor denies taking bribes
after Hurricane Katrina. Former New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin on Friday [2/7/2014] testified during his federal corruption
trial that he had not traded city business for bribes after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. Nagin, 57, faces 21 charges of bribery,
conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion related to contracts for millions of dollars in recovery work after the 2005 storm.
Ray Nagin, former New Orleans mayor, convicted in corruption trial.
Ray Nagin, the former two-term mayor of New Orleans indicted after he left office, was convicted Wednesday of 20 federal corruption charges, stemming from
illegal dealings with city vendors dating back to 2004. A jury delivered the verdict just before 1 p.m. after six hours of deliberations that
followed a nine-day trial.
Ray Nagin can't shift blame for his corrupt actions
anymore. The picture painted by the government's 26 witnesses was of a man consumed with the need for other people to pay his
bills — contractors, friends, employees and the public. Mr. Nagin's defense was that everyone else was lying. He claimed
not to know that a city technology vendor and people seeking business or permits from the city were paying for flights on private jets and lavish
vacations for him. He said he only courted contractors to further the city's recovery.
The Man With No Party. CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News and ABC
World News broadcasts gave brief mention to the conviction of former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin Wednesday [2/12/2014] on 20 federal counts, including
bribery and conspiracy, but all three omitted the fact that he was a Democrat. CBS anchor Scott Pelley and ABC fill-in anchor George Stephanopoulos
referred to him as the "former mayor" while NBC's Brian Williams called him "controversial."
Ray Nagin found guilty on 20 of 21 counts.
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, whose tenure in office included disastrous incompetence in handling Hurricane Katrina (for which the media blamed President
George W. Bush), has been found guilty on 20 of 21 counts of corruption in a federal trial. Conviction on all counts could have led to a
20 year jail sentence and $1 million in fines, but at this point it is unknown which count went not guilty and how that will affect the sentence.
Bill Chappell of NPR writes an article that does not identify Nagin's political party, which is the mainstream media convention when treating criminal Democrats: [...]
live out Hollywood eco-agenda. I stopped by the Lower Ninth Ward to see how rebuilding efforts are faring nearly
nine years after Hurricane Katrina. I visited one particular spot — the area where in August 2005 a flood
wall holding the waters of the Industrial Canal broke, setting off a calamity that continues to this day. The
destruction was total; the rebuilding is at best partial. The first thing one notices today is that solar energy
panels seem to outnumber people in this particular stretch of the Lower Ninth.
calls 911 when intruder tries to enter home, waits hours before police show up. [Terri] Bice
believes it wasn't the door, but barking from Molly that stopped the intruder in their tracks. So,
she did what anyone would do. Grabbed her phone and dialed 9-1-1. She got no answer. "We
all know about first responders and what their importance is that's not going to happen if no one
answers," said Bice. She documented her calls for help: two to 911; two to the NOPD's non-emergency
line; and one to NOPD's Second District. The final call was answered and Bice confirms an officer
showed up two hours after the attempted home invasion.
Border Crisis Is Obama's Hurricane Katrina? Don't Be Ridiculous! Some (including some Democrats) are saying that
the crisis on the Southwestern border is President Obama's Hurricane Katrina. But there are at least two fundamental
differences between the illegal immigration fiasco and Katrina. First, the response to Hurricane Katrina was actually
the largest and the fastest response to any natural disaster in history, as Popular Mechanics, as I recall, later documented.
Second, President Bush didn't cause the hurricane. The current disaster is entirely attributable to Barack Obama's willful
refusal to enforce the immigration laws, in violation of his oath of office. Is Obama's subversion of the nation's laws an
impeachable offense? I don't think there is any doubt about it.
sentenced to 10 years in prison for public corruption. Former New Orleans Mayor Ray
Nagin was sentenced on Wednesday [7/9/2014] to 10 years in federal prison. Nagin, 58, the
two-term mayor who was the face of the city during Hurricane Katrina, joins a list of Louisiana elected
officials convicted of misdeeds. He is New Orleans' first mayor to be convicted and sent to prison
for public corruption. Nagin is set to report to prison on Sept. 8. He could serve his
term at a minimum security federal detention center in Oakdale, a city in central Louisiana.
Nagin, corrupt ex-New Orleans mayor, sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. A disgraced New Orleans
politician is going from the Big Easy to the Big House. Former Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced Wednesday to
10 years in federal prison after being convicted earlier this year on 20 counts of bribery, money
laundering, fraud and tax evasion. The two-term mayor, who left office in 2010, was sentenced on the
lighter side, said U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan.
Katrina? It's Actually Worse. [C]ontrary to the White House interpretation of events,
the injustice here is not to Obama but to Bush. After all, despite some of the more extreme
criticisms aimed at the 43rd president, nobody really believed Bush was capable of causing bad
weather or had any impact on whether the levees were strong enough to prevent floods. Katrina was a
natural disaster and though the response to it was clearly inadequate, the failures were mostly the
fault of the collapse of local and state authorities rather than federal bungling. The push to blame
Bush for it was largely the result of media distortions in which the perception of racism overwhelmed the facts.
Former New Orleans
Mayor Ray Nagin Arrives at Prison to Serve 10 Years. Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin arrived at a federal prison in Texas
on Monday [9/8/2014] to begin serving a 10-year sentence for corruption. Nagin arrived at the Texarkana Federal Correction Institution
at 11:45 a.m. Monday, according to NBC affiliate WDSU. The facility is a minimum security prison reserved for non-violent white
Former New Orleans Mayor to start
jail sentence for graft. Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin reported to federal prison on Monday [9/8/2014] to begin
serving a 10-year sentence for corruption committed during the years when the city was struggling to recover from the devastation
wrought by Hurricane Katrina.
Orleans' Post-Katrina Identity Crisis. Hotel rooms are booked. The convention center
is packed. Throngs of revelers spill out of jazz clubs on Frenchmen Street. New Orleans is alive
and thriving. Or so it seems. Nearly a decade has passed since Hurricane Katrina flooded the city
and displaced more than 400,000 New Orleanians. Billions of federal dollars have poured in to
rebuild the Big Easy, along with thousands of volunteers and immigrant day laborers.
O'Keefe Files Bar Complaints Against DOJ Lawyers. James O'Keefe has filed an ethics
complaint with various bar associations against Department of Justice Civil Rights attorney Karla
Dobinski and three others arising out of a prosecution of police officers in New Orleans. [...]
Dobinski was in charge of the taint team in the prosecution of New Orleans polices officers on civil
rights charges in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The taint team was responsible for protecting the
constitutional rights of the accused police officers. It was responsible for ensuring that evidence
obtained in the local internal affairs investigation did not make its way into the criminal prosecution.
$40 Million in FEMA Sandy Aid Possibly 'Improper or Fraudulent'. Almost $40 million of
the aid provided by FEMA to Hurricane Sandy may have been "improper or fraudulent," but that figure
represents a huge improvement over the percentage of FEMA aid deemed questionable after Hurricane
Katrina and Hurricane Rita, according to a watchdog report released Friday [12/12/2014]. The
Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent federal agency that conducts audits for
Congress, identified $39 million in possible improper payments, or 2.6 percent of the $1.6 billion
disbursed by FEMA for Sandy relief via its Individuals and Households Program to 183,000 survivors.
Estimates of the questionable payments after Katrina and Rita, which hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, ranged
from 10 to 22 percent of $7 billion in FEMA aid, or as much as $1.4 billion.
Orleans' major crime took a major jump in 2014, NOPD reports. New Orleans last year
saw double-digit percentage increases in reports of virtually every major crime category except
murder, according to annual year-end statistics released by the NOPD late Friday [2/6/2015]. The
biggest jumps were seen in the number of reported rapes and armed robberies, which shot up 39 percent
and 37 percent, respectively, over the totals reported in 2013. Reports of assaults (27 percent)
and auto thefts (22 percent) also exceeded the previous year's counts by more than 20 percent.
Banning Obscene Rap at Parade Is Racist. In an attempt to keep the upcoming annual
Mardi Gras parade family-friendly, the St. Martinville, LA police have asked participants to refrain
from playing rap music with vulgar lyrics. [...] In an increasingly coarse culture created by the
ACLU's destruction of minimal public decency standards, it would be no wonder that nothing could
possibly be considered offensive, even at an event where hundreds of children are present.
Characters in Search of a Reason for New Orleans's Smoking Ban. New Orleans's city
council has unanimously approved a city-wide smoking ban in all bars and casinos, making it the
latest big city to pass such a smoking ban without the courtesy of a popular vote. The ban
itself, like the others that came in cities before it, is purported to promote the public welfare.
Non-smokers, government officials argue, have the right to have their lungs be unafflicted by dangerous
secondhand smoke if they choose to visit or work in any establishment. In the case of New Orleans,
teary-eyed city councilman James Gray II read aloud the names of people he knew who died of lung cancer,
which "convinced" lawmakers to approve the smoking ban. [...] This is all about coerced behavior change
and conformity to a government-approved lifestyle which is to be decided upon by our betters.
New Trial Upheld for 5 Ex-Cops in
Post-Katrina Shootings. Five former New Orleans police officers deserve a new trial on charges connected to the deadly
shootings of unarmed people amid the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday [8/18/2015], upholding
a judge's 2013 decision.
Federal Appeals Court Blasts DOJ Misconduct in Police Prosecution. A federal appeals court has blasted misconduct by
Justice Department lawyers in a civil rights prosecution against New Orleans police officers. The case arose in the aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's grant of a new trial because Justice Department
lawyers — including those responsible for protecting the civil rights of the defendant police officers — engaged
in an anonymous blogging campaign to taint the defendants during the trial. The court noted that Justice Department lawyers
stoked a "mob mentality" against police officers.
to mark Katrina anniversary. Ten years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, President Obama will
visit the city to celebrate its recovery. Obama on Aug. 27 will meet with Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D), tour neighborhoods and
meet with local residents. He will deliver a speech hailing the city's rebuilding efforts and how they have helped spur
economic innovation, the White House said. The 2005 storm was the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, flooding
80 percent of the city, killing more than 1,800 people and leaving a million people displaced.
Katrina 10 years later. Ten years ago the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina poured relentlessly into the Lower
Ninth Ward, battering a struggling neighborhood of mostly poor black families. It was, at the time, a New Orleans
neighborhood of about 14,000 people. Now fewer than 3,000 people live there — a decade after most of the
homes were simply washed away.
Justice Department's 'Grotesque' Misconduct against New Orleans Cops. As we've previously observed, the Obama
jihad to fundamentally transform America's police, spearheaded by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, proceeds
from the premise that police departments are corrupt institutions, beset by a culture of racism and law-breaking. This week,
after a federal appeals court's exposé of a breathtaking prosecutorial conspiracy to deprive indicted cops of their
civil rights, and then cover it up, it is again time to ask: Which is the corrupt institution beset by a culture of
racism and law-breaking — the nation's police, or the Justice Department, which presumes to tame them?
often forgotten Katrina resurrection. I didn't grow up in New Orleans. My family didn't even live in Louisiana.
The home we had owned for more than 30 years was one of the 65,000 destroyed in Mississippi, leaving more than 100,000 people
homeless. Few realize that the massive hurricane veered east at the last minute and roared onshore at the Louisiana-Mississippi
state line, making the Magnolia State ground zero. The sustained 125-mph winds, 30-foot storm surge and hopscotching tornadoes
reduced virtually every structure within a half-mile of the water to kindling. Because Katrina was so vast, the destruction
stretched the entire length of the more than 75-mile-long Mississippi Gulf Coast all the way into Alabama.
Blaming Me for Hurricane Katrina. Had I left the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the spring of 2005, my
life would be very different today. And I really wish, in retrospect, that I had. But after the 2004 hurricane season, when
FEMA's excellent responses to hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne in Florida were widely praised, White House chief
of staff Andy Card persuaded me to stay on as director through the 2005 hurricane season. [...] People are still saying now,
as they said then, that what went wrong in New Orleans a decade ago was all my fault. They were wrong then, and they are
years later, extent of Katrina fraud still unknown. A decade after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast with
historic ferocity, the federal government still doesn't know how many taxpayer dollars were lost to waste and fraud in the
aftermath of the storm. Botched contracts, rampant fraud and mismanaged projects squandered millions of dollars meant to
help the victims of Katrina. Politicians and business owners who skimmed off the top of the government's relief effort
were later jailed, with some remaining behind bars to this day.
We Still Have No Idea
Who 30 Katrina Victims Are. Cleaning up after a massive hurricane is a difficult affair, but a decade after Hurricane
Katrina ravaged New Orleans and claimed what Live Science reports is an estimated 1,833 lives, 30 bodies have yet to be
identified. WWL-TV arrived at that number after making a public records request to the current coroner, who did not agree
to be interviewed. The data comes from autopsy reports — reports that contain only a few identifying details,
like the location of the body and what it was clad in or carried.
In Katrina commemoration, Obama
cites inequities 'brewing for decades'. President Barack Obama returned Thursday [8/27/2015] to an outwardly
thriving New Orleans to mark strides 10 years after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the city. But underneath the
visible recovery lie persistent racial and economic inequities that haven't receded since the storm — figures
Obama said prevent New Orleans from declaring itself fully recovered a decade after Katrina.
How Hurricane Katrina Changed Schools in New Orleans. In the aftermath of the 2005 storm, instead of rebuilding
a public school system where roughly two in every three schools were deemed "failing," the city transformed almost all of its
traditionally run public schools into independently operated charter schools. Charter schools changed the city's approach
to education, eliminating attendance zones, removing unions and giving parents a real say where they send their kids to school.
New Orleans mayor avoids house arrest in firefighter
pay squabble. A last-minute action by the Louisiana Supreme Court saved New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu from being placed under weekend house
arrest over a decades-old dispute with local firefighters who are owed $75 million in back wages. The standoff arose from a decades-old dispute
over back wages that went unaddressed by the city through several mayoral administrations.
Orleans will get another $1.2 billion to repair roads, infrastructure. The feds are kicking in $1.2 billion to
help fix roadways and water, sewer and drainage pipes in New Orleans damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The settlement brings the
total to more than $2 billion for roads and subsurface infrastructure, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced Thursday [12/10/2015].
The city has been in discussions with FEMA for the past year to determine the final estimate of costs for repairs.
Lee Circle no more: New Orleans
to remove 4 Confederate statues. Lee Circle will lose the statue of its namesake after the New Orleans City Council voted 6-1 Thursday
(Dec. 17) to remove four monuments related to the Confederacy from their prominent perches around the city. Besides Gen. Robert E.
Lee, statues of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard at the entrance of City Park and Confederate president Jefferson Davis in Mid-City and the obelisk
dedicated to the Battle of Liberty Place at the foot of Iberville Street will all come down.
Orleans to remove four prominent Confederate monuments after mayor approves bill. Four prominent Confederate monuments
in New Orleans were slated for removal Thursday [12/17/2015], ending a months-long process that began in the aftermath of the killing
of nine African Methodist Church members in Charleston, S.C., by a white supremacist last June. Mayor Mitch Landrieu, a Democrat,
approved the removal by signing legislation only hours after the city council voted 6-1 in favor of the move. In order for New
Orleans to move forward, "we must reckon with our past," Landrieu told the council ahead of the vote.
Preservationists Charge It's 'Obscene' to Pull Civil War Monuments Out of New Orleans. New Orleans Mayor Mitch
Landrieu told the New Orleans City Council they should not have a 60-foot tall statue of General Robert E. Lee, pointing in
the direction of the invading Union Army, as a symbol of their city in the 21st century. "New Orleanians have the power
and the right to correct historical wrongs and move the city forward," Landrieu said. The council agreed. But tens of
thousands of city residents disagreed, and they have hired attorneys to stop the city's plan to take down Lee's statue and
three other monuments to New Orleans' Civil War history.
wound patients cost New Orleans hospital more than $40 million, TV station reports. Gunshot wound patients cost
New Orleans' University Hospital more than $40 million over the course of a six-year period, WDSU reports. Dr. Russell
Russo, who trained at University Hospital, researched data from 2007-20013 during which time the now-closed LSU Interim Hospital
saw 3,500 gunshot wound patients. It cost $73 million to treat them and the hospital took in just $31 million.
"A big part of it is, sadly, most of the time gunshot victims are uninsured," Russo said, according to the story. "Some do
get Medicaid after the fact, but only about 6 percent had some form of insurance when they came to the hospital."
Orleans is sinking faster than previously thought. Scientist already knew that New Orleans was sinking.
But a new study finds that the Big Easy and its environs are losing elevation (a process called subsidence) at a faster rate
than previously thought — some two inches per year near the Mississippi River and in industrial areas, and more
than an inch-and-a-half in the Upper and Lower Ninth Ward, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The Weather Channel
sums up the issue: "When a city already sits below sea level, any additional sinking is a cause for major concern."
This city is sinking twice as fast as New
Orleans. If New Orleans is sinking, Beijing might as well be in freefall. A new study in the journal Remote Sensing finds depleted
groundwater is causing the Chinese capital — the growing Chaoyang district, in particular — to sink as much as four inches per year; a
recent study found New Orleans was sinking up to two inches per year. As CNN reports, Beijing is the world's fifth most water-stressed city, using
an estimated 3.5 billion liters per year — two-thirds of which comes from groundwater accumulated over millennia. As the water is
extracted, surrounding soil dries up and compacts. Researchers, who used satellite imagery and GPS data, say Beijing has sunk about 14 inches
in the last decade alone.
Obama ripped Bush's 'unconscionable ineptitude' during Hurricane Katrina. President Obama, under fire for
golfing on posh Martha's Vineyard during a week of anguished cries for help from flooded Louisiana, ripped former President
Bush 11 years ago when the Republican was seen as slow to react to Hurricane Katrina's crash into New Orleans. Obama,
who had just returned from New Orleans, preached on the Senate floor about Bush's poor reaction to similar cries for help
Democrats Ignore Own Disaster Response Advice; Could Cost Clinton Black Votes. In 2005, erstwhile talented
rapper Kanye West made the following claim at the end of an otherwise incoherent rant during a live fundraiser for the
victims of Hurricane Katrina: "George Bush doesn't care about black people". Fast forward 11 years, when over three
times as much rain has fallen on Louisiana, and you will see a news media doing their best to ignore the Obama administration's
fecklessness during a similar time of strife, and a central government response that in and of itself has been underwhelming and
deleterious to public confidence.
Hillary Called W. 'Invisible' After Hurricane Katrina in 2007 Ad. In a radio ad to African American voters in
2007, then-Senator Hillary Clinton called President George W. Bush "invisible" in his response to Hurricane Katrina.
Clinton blasted Bush in the ad, which she ran in South Carolina, portraying him as an absentee president who neglected
Katrina victims, despite flying over the state when it was hit with the fatal natural disaster. "And if you're stuck on
a rooftop or stranded in the Superdome during a hurricane, you're invisible to this president even when you're on CNN,"
Clinton said in the ad.
Orleans Changes Sanctuary City Policy After Crime Rates Increased. New Orleans altered its sanctuary city
policy last week in response to increasing crime rates and to further comply with federal law. Under the new policy
police can honor ICE detainer requests but are still prohibited from asking or checking a person's immigration status.
The new policy was announced during a congressional hearing by the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration
and Border Security. During the hearing Louisiana Attorney General, Jeff Landry, said sanctuary city policies, "allow
illegals to commit crimes, then roam free in our communities."
Whites Die': Anti-Trump Rioters Vandalize NOLA Monuments. What started as a protest against President-Elect
Donald Trump soon turned to violent riots where one of New Orleans' most famous monuments was covered in graffiti and glass
windows were shattered out of a nearby bank. Hundreds showed up to denounce the election of Trump — but
despite media reports of a peaceful gathering, the crowd grew increasingly hostile and violent, according to Breitbart Texas
sources on the ground. Students holding signs reading "End white supremacy" originally gathered on the steps of the Lee
Circle monument before the demonstrations turned destructive.
1 killed, 9 injured in
shooting in New Orleans' French Quarter. One person was killed and nine others injured following a shooting early Sunday [11/27/2016]
in New Orleans' famed French Quarter, officials said. Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said during a news conference that officers
responded about 1:30 a.m. Sunday to the shooting at the intersection of Iberville and Bourbon streets. Harrison told reporters the
shooting victims whose ages ranged from 20 to 37 included two females and eight males. One male victim died at a hospital.
shot, including one fatally, in New Orleans' French Quarter. Two arrests have been made in connection with the
shooting of 10 people — including one who died — in New Orleans' French Quarter early Sunday morning,
police said. "A total of 10 victims were shot in the incident on Bourbon Street. One victim has died from his
injuries," tweeted the New Orleans Police Department of the incident, which occurred around 1:30 a.m. on Bourbon
Street. Police said it is unclear what precipitated the incident.
Orleans Confederate monuments can come down, court rules. New Orleans officials can begin the process of
removing the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at Lee Circle and three other monuments at the center of a
long-running, city-led effort, a federal appeals court ruled Monday (March 6). In the ruling, the three-judge
panel with the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that the groups trying to block the removal of the monuments, Monumental
Task Committee and the Louisiana Landmarks Society, failed to present a case that contained a legal argument that showed the
monuments should stay up. The court wrote that the groups relied on two legal claims, "both of which wholly lack legal
viability or support."
Orleans takes down Confederate monuments under cover of darkness. In New Orleans in the small hours of the
morning on Monday, workers wearing bulletproof vests and scarves that obscured their faces removed the first of four
prominent Confederate monuments. The precautions were taken in response to what police said were death threats, as the
Big Easy became the latest southern institution to sever itself from symbols viewed by many as a representation racism and
The Bayou Taliban. The city of
New Orleans [...] toppled a 106-year-old statue of former resident Jefferson Davis this week as part of an ongoing campaign
to bowdlerize history through the destruction of Confederate monuments. The government vandals arrived in the dead of
night. They wore masks. They blacked out the names on company trucks. The only thing more Orwellian than
the removal of the statue and other memorials is the rationalization behind the suppression.
The Battle of New
Orleans. Last Sunday in New Orleans a group of patriots surrounded Robert E. Lee and beat back the Northerners
who were trying to take him down. They weren't just defending a statue. They were defending American
history. The left's version of events is, progressives tried to remove four monuments to racism but only managed to get
one because Nazis got in the way. It was a Civil War over the Civil War. This all started when Hillary lost and
NOLA mayor Mitch Landrieu realized he wasn't going to have a job in her administration. He needed to make a move that
garnered national attention so he decided to lick some Northern ass and pretend the most important statues in his town were
promoting slavery. Louisianans don't believe this, and I suspect he doesn't either.
Moral Of New Orleans: Americans Can't Live With These People. The murder rate for New Orleans is up 70%
compared to last year and police say it is driven partially by the heroin epidemic (fueled by Mexican drug traffickers).
Police are also having a harder time solving murders, with less than a third being cleared, a phenomenon NOPD Superintendent
Michael Harrison blamed on victims not cooperating with police. This is a not uncommon phenomenon in America's
post-Western cities, where police are perceived as the enemy even by the non-white populations merrily slaughtered by their own
co-ethnics. So, naturally, the city fathers of New Orleans think the real threat to the "community" is some statues.
Orleans Is Not New Orleans Anymore. The video of Robert E. Lee being taken off his pedestal —
literally — was stunning enough, since that 1884 statue by Alexander Doyle is sculpted in a Florentine
neoclassical style that just doesn't exist anymore. Even more shocking is where it happened. New Orleans?
This really went down in the Southern city most associated with tolerance, community, art, hospitality, jazz, street
celebrations, and a melting pot of black, white, mulatto, Creole, French, Spanish, Cajun, Native American, German, and
Haitian peoples sprouting from various historical periods and cultural traditions? The city of laissez les bon temps
rouler really singled out particular monuments from the city's multilayered history and targeted them for iconic
destruction, like the Taliban? But it gets stranger. The idol smashers also took down the equestrian statue of
General Beauregard, their own Creole hero, a man whose first language was French and who, in keeping with the loyalty
that Louisiana inspires, chose to remain in the hostile Reconstruction South after the war, working for universal black
voting rights, rather than accept lucrative offers to lead foreign armies.
The overwrought coverage
of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath in New Orleans. If you will recall, that disaster was caused by outside
forces — the hurricane — but was compounded by corrupt local politicians' mismanagement of the levees
and the gormless responses by then-mayor Ray Nagin (now serving a ten-year sentence in Texarkana prison camp for corruption)
and Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, since retired from public office. Recall if you will the hyperbolic (and false)
accounts of cannibalism in the Superdome, babies dying there, bodies stacked up in the Convention Center, the slanders that
levees were deliberately blown up to destroy the black part of the city, and that the federal government — that
is, George W. Bush — was slow to respond.
Orleans looks underground as parts of city slowly sink. "I know where I live," said Keith Daggett.
Daggett's home sits by the London Avenue Canal. The floodwall along the canal breached during Hurricane Katrina more
than 13 years ago. An outdoor exhibition now stands at the site of the devastation, marking the flooding caused by the
failures of the canal. "Yes, there is a flood risk here," said Daggett, who recently moved to the neighborhood.
Pitt's New Orleans housing charity is in trouble. Brad Pitt is caught in a hurricane of litigation over
defective houses his Make It Right foundation built in New Orleans and he can't find a graceful exit from the storm.
Make It Right appears to be barely functioning. The charity reportedly stopped building new houses in 2016. Its website
hasn't been updated since December 2015, and social-media accounts went idle in mid-2017. Like most nonprofit orgs, Make It
Right has publicly posted its tax filings and financial statements for several years, but the last available filing is for the
2014 tax year.
Future of New
Orleans in peril as $14B flood protection starts sinking. The $14 billion upgrade to New Orleans' system of
levees to fortify the city is sinking, according to engineering experts. After investing an amount of money that is
five times greater than the gross domestic product of the island country of Aruba, the Army Corp of Engineers said levees may
not be adequate enough to protect New Orleans and the surrounding region from major flooding associated with a 100-year storm.
Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry. Tropical Storm Barry presents New Orleans
with an unprecedented problem, according to the National Weather Service. The Mississippi River, which is usually at 6 to
8 feet in midsummer in the Big Easy, is now at 16 feet, owing to record flooding that's taken place this year all along the
waterway. In the meantime, Barry is spinning away in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening a storm surge of 2 to 3 feet at
the mouth of the river, said Jeffrey Graschel, a hydrologist with the weather service's Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in
is 1 arrest warrant for every 7 residents in city of New Orleans. According to city data — there are
more than 55,000 outstanding warrants in Municipal and Traffic Court in New Orleans. If you do the math, that means
there is 1 outstanding warrant for every 7 people in the city of New Orleans. "The main reason so many people are in
this cycle is because they are poor and they could not get off work and did not have child care, they couldn't afford that
fine on the front end," City Councilman Jason Williams said.
Orleans Needs a Better Way to Do Mardi Gras. Standing in line at the hardware store on the edge of the French
Quarter one December Monday, I overheard the cashier talking to a regular customer about manhole covers that had exploded
just before dawn that morning a couple of blocks away. The metal discs had burst into buildings and crashed into the
underside of a car, which in turn caught fire. Power outages and evacuations had ensued. This was just the latest
addition to a cluster of troubling events. In the previous few days, a turbine powering the low-lying city's
storm-drainage system had also exploded, unrelated water-main ruptures had flooded neighborhoods on opposite sides of town,
and a cyberattack had crippled City Hall. Not to mention the usual spate of shootings that punctuate the daily news in
The Editor says...
The condition of the city's infrastructure has no connection to Mardi Gras, unless the city's numerous problems are evidence of
the wrath of God, brought on by the annual celebration of drunkenness, gluttony, fornication, and exhibitionism. (Fortunately
for all of us, that's not the way God acts, since approximately April of 33 A.D.) A more likely explanation for the city's
problems is that it's just another big city that has been ruled by Democrats for decades, and Democrats aren't good at managing
big cities (e.g., Chicago, Baltimore, San Francisco). A third explanation might be that the entire city of New Orleans is below
sea level, which explains the widespread problems with underground utilities, which are even further below sea level. A
fourth possible explanation is global warming, so let's go with that.
Or Less Now. Mardi Gras fell on Feb. 25 of this year. New Orleans has since seen a significant spike in
Wuhan virus cases; the city proper has well more than 3,000 known cases and an official death count of 125 as of this
writing. It's said the nightly gatherings of revelers during that carnival season were a super-spreader event turning
the Big Easy into the Big Sneezy. [...] The first known coronavirus case in Louisiana came on March 9, two weeks after Mardi
Gras. Anecdotally, people in that city had been complaining of a respiratory "crud" with symptoms quite similar to
coronavirus for two or three months before then. Nobody identified it; all they knew was they were testing negative for
the flu. To shut Mardi Gras down in mid-February would have been more or less unthinkable. New Orleans doesn't
have much industry left. Idiot politicians like [Mayor LaToya] Cantrell, and the stupid policies they bring with them,
have run off everything but tourism and hospitality. Take Mardi Gras away from that city and it's a cross between
Detroit and Mogadishu.
After Katrina. Hurricane
Katrina smashed into New Orleans 15 years ago last Saturday, destroying levees and floodwalls and submerging entire
neighborhoods, from the poorer Lower Ninth Ward to the wealthier Lakeview district, for weeks. By some measures, New
Orleans has made a remarkable recovery since the storm. Jobs, income, and educational attainment are up, and even the
city's population loss, though substantial, is not as dramatic as many, at the time, feared would happen. Strikingly,
though, the city's black population is down sharply.
The Editor says...
That's because a great number of them went to Texas and stayed there. The Katrina People are all over Dallas.
A New Orleans
police officer groomed and raped a 14-year-old girl he was assigned to take to a rape kit exam, a lawsuit
alleges. The mother of a 14-year-old girl has sued the city of New Orleans and a former police officer,
alleging the officer groomed and raped the girl after he was assigned to take her to a children's hospital for a rape kit
exam last year. The lawsuit, filed in federal court this week, said the police department dispatched Officer Rodney
Vicknair to transport the girl to hospital on Memorial Day weekend of 2020. But while Vicknair and the girl sat in the
waiting area, he showed the girl pictures on his phone of what he claimed was his 16-year-old daughter posing in bikinis and
lingerie, according to the lawsuit. The lewd photos were just the beginning of a series of increasingly inappropriate
encounters that would devolve into sexual assault and rape, the lawsuit alleged.
Zoo, aquarium cancel pro-police promotion, citing 'divisive' potential. After drawing up plans to offer
discounts to anyone wearing blue to show support for the New Orleans Police Department, the Audubon Nature Institute
announced Tuesday it was canceling the six-day promotion, citing feedback that "this event could be unintentionally
divisive." A statement from a spokesperson for the Audubon Zoo and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas said the purpose of
hosting Blue at the Zoo from May 11 to May 16, alongside the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation, was to "promote
and foster positive interactive experiences" with the Police Department. But an announcement last week of the promotion as
well as a planned news conference triggered "feedback ... from members of our community and from persons outside of our community"
which convinced Audubon to scrap the idea, the statement said.
Hurricane Ida, New Orleans and Louisiana Seem to Have Learned Nothing in 16 Years. Hurricane Ida will go down
as one of the most powerful storms to make landfall in the United States. On the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina,
the city of New Orleans was struck by this storm and left broken yet again. [...] Right now, the city is completely without
power. Cell service is sporadic at best in and around New Orleans. Transmission towers fell into the Mississippi
River. Many people are stuck where they are with no power and no phones. They are completely in the dark, and
it's not because they chose to stay. For the vast majority, many simply couldn't leave. What's worse is that the
city will be relying on not just the state but the federal government for assistance to get through. But three hours to
its west is Lake Charles, which still has gotten none of the federal assistance it was promised by the government after
Hurricane Laura. It, too, remains in tatters and struggling to recover a year later. The federal government is
being run by the Biden administration, who over the last two weeks has proven it is incapable of even formulating a plan,
much less following through on it.
Suspect arrested in cold-case killing of [white] Tulane graduate. A convicted felon has been charged in the
cold-case slaying of a St. Louis man who was killed five years ago while visiting New Orleans to scout wedding venues,
authorities said. Ernest Weatherspoon, 34, was indicted this week on murder charges in the May 2016 death of Thomas
Rolfes, a 25-year-old Tulane University student who was shot and killed during an armed robbery. They've been through a
lot," District Attorney Jason Williams said Thursday of Rolfes' anguished relatives, NOLA.com reported. "They're still
going through a lot." Weatherspoon was also charged with armed robbery, Williams told reporters.
mayor holds maskless party weeks after reinstating indoor mandate. Weeks after reinstating New Orleans's indoor
mask mandate for public buildings and schools, the city's Democratic mayor, LaToya Cantrell, was seen partying maskless
Friday at an indoor Mardi Gras event. Over 100 videos showing Cantrell's party at Gallier Hall could be seen online
before they were taken down, according to a report.
grandmother, 73, is killed in brutal carjacking. A 73-year-old grandmother was killed during a brutal
carjacking Monday in New Orleans, with a group of teenage attackers dragging her down the street for nearly a block while the
woman screamed at them to let her go. Witnesses also described the gruesome scene after both her arm and her clothes
were ripped off during the incident when they got stuck in the car's seat belt.
The Editor says...
Apparently it goes without saying that the suspects are black and the elderly victim was white, because the Daily Mail didn't mention that detail.
dead, two injured after gunfire breaks out after Morris Jeff graduation. A woman was killed and two others were
injured after gunfire broke out Tuesday following the Morris Jeff Community School graduation on the Xavier University
campus, New Orleans police said. The bloodshed comes just two weeks after four people were injured in an eerily similar
shooting outside of the commencement ceremonies for Hammond High School. That graduation was also held at a college
campus: Southeastern Louisiana University. At a press conference, NOPD Deputy Superintendent Christopher Goodly
said two women began fighting in the parking lot of Xavier's convocation center after elated graduates and their loved ones
spilled out of the 10 a.m. ceremony.
Homicides Skyrocket In New Orleans, Young Teens Openly Walk Around With Their Illegal Firearms. As crime run
rampant in New Orleans, young street thugs walk around with their semi-automatics, none of which are purchased legally.
Want to bet these guys will laugh at any new gun control bill to come out of the uni-party in DC? Homicides in
Democrat-run New Orleans are up nearly 50 percent over year-to-date numbers from 2021. The Metro Crime Commission's
Weekly Orleans Crime Bulletin shows that as of June 5, 2022, homicides in New Orleans were up 46 percent over where they were
in 2021 and 89 percent over where they were in 2020. [Video clip]
city with the highest per capita murder rate may not be the one you think. What is the first city that comes to
mind when you think of the city with the highest murder rate? For me, it's Chicago. The cities that frequently
make the news due to high murder rates and other violent crimes usually include Chicago, New York City, Baltimore, and
Philadelphia. However, a compilation of police data for the month of June from cities with populations of more than
200,000 was put together and the top 31 American cities with the highest murder rates might surprise you. AH Analytics
co-founder Jeff Asher listed the top cities with the highest murder rates per capita (or 100,000 residents) and the
city that tops that list is New Orleans.
petition filed against Mayor of New Orleans. The Louisiana Secretary of State
confirmed that a recall petition was officially filed on Friday against New Orleans Mayor LaToya
Cantrell. The city is experiencing a spike in violent crime and Mayor Cantrell's time in
office has been filled with controversy. A petition was filed by a community activist and
perpetual candidate for office, and the mayor's former social media manager. The activist ran
a long-shot campaign against Cantrell in November and now he's filing the recall petition with
Eileen Carter, a staffer who helped manage the Cantrell administration's social media presence for
three years. She is also the sister of former Louisiana state Senator Karen Carter
Peterson. Peterson recently resigned from office and is under federal investigation for
illegally using the state Democrat Party's funds (she is the former state chair of the state party).
Orleans overtakes St. Louis to become the Murder Capital of America: Homicide rate up 141% from
2019. New Orleans overtook St. Louis as the US murder capital in the first half of this year, as the
city struggles with its lowest police staffing level in modern history amid a crisis of officer morale. In the
first six months of 2022, New Orleans recorded 41 murders per 100,000 population, a higher homicide rate than any other
US city, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from the Major Cities Chiefs Association. By
comparison, the first-half murder rate per 100,000 was 11.5 in Chicago, 4.8 in Los Angeles and 2.4 in New York City.
mayoral recall is murder-capital New Orleans' last chance. People who want cities to succeed post-COVID
should be heartened by the news out of New Orleans: a spunky, no-holds-barred movement to boot the second-term mayor,
LaToya Cantrell, out of office. The "No LaToya" recall campaign may be New Orleans' last chance to avoid reaching
a tipping point. It's still missing 15% of its tourist jobs, and crime is rampant: A random attacker stabbed two
people Saturday in the French Quarter. The United States has had a bad time since 2020, but New Orleans has really
had a bad time. This year, 203 people have been murdered, a third above last year and more than double the
pre-COVID level. The killings bring the murder rate to an unheard-of high. In a city with a population shy
of 400,000, the current pace is an annual murder rate of 70 per 100,000, multiple times the national average. Most
of the victims are black men and boys.
Section 9A: Post-Katrina politics and election plans
The Katrina Conundrum. [Scroll down] The nightmare that was Katrina was broadcast on network television
to a shocked public. Symbolic of the breakdown of civil order was that a group of Australians found themselves targeted
inside the Superdome by locals who thought foreigners would get special treatment. Sixty foreigners huddled in a mass
inside the Superdome; had they integrated they would likely have been killed. Two Aussie couples were rescued under a
bridge by an Australian television crew. Bush's political Waterloo was that the public blamed him for failing
to take actions he lacked clear statutory authority to take. The public, unschooled in such arcana, blamed the
president — aided by a national media that presented a purely anti-Bush/Republican picture. Thus the Katrina
Conundrum: Though preeminent statutory authority rests with the States, the public holds the president primarily
Election Postponement Gives
Democrats Time to Regroup. Is the postponement of the Orleans municipal
election a form of political engineering? Secretary of State Al Ater announced
Friday [12/2/2005] that the February 4th New Orleans election is impossible, given
the physical destruction in that parish. But this buys more time for the state to
track down displaced New Orleans voters, most of whom are democrats.
The Editor blurts out...
Yes, and it will give them time to find all the dead and fictitious voters, most of whom are Democrats.
The politicians may have to face the fact that many potential Democrat voters were
evacuated to Texas and may never return.
Odds of Governor Blanco
Recall. At the heart of the recall effort against Louisiana Governor Kathleen
Blanco comes massive frustration. From the pundits to the public, everyone can agree
on one thing: There appears to be a strong desire to appoint blame sooner rather than
later; and lots of it.
New Orleans Election. The Department of Justice should postpone upcoming elections in
New Orleans until displaced voters have been located, NAACP officials said Saturday [2/18/2006].
In response, the editor says...
Those who were displaced can vote in their new places of residence, if they are inclined to vote at
all. But this isn't Cuba. In a free country it is not the government's responsibility to
round up voters and make sure they vote.
want N.O. satellite voting. Displaced New Orleans residents deserve the same voting
privileges as the people of war-torn Iraq, several black leaders argued Friday [3/24/2006] in pushing
for satellite voting from locations outside Louisiana.
Judge Refuses to
Delay New Orleans Vote. A federal judge on Monday [3/27/2006] refused to delay New
Orleans' April 22 mayoral election, telling both sides to solve any problems that might hinder
displaced residents' ability to vote. "If you are a displaced citizen, like I am, we have a burning
desire for completeness," said U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle, whose own New Orleans home flooded after
to begin for New Orleans mayor. Hundreds of Hurricane Katrina evacuees from as far away
as Texas and Georgia have signed up to board buses and return to Louisiana in order to vote on the
future of New Orleans.
[The buses in New Orleans seem to run really well when there's an election at
stake. What happens after they vote? Will they be re-evacuated?]
All politics is local. In New Orleans and
satellite sites around Louisiana, voting has begun in a mayoral election that may well blow incumbent Ray
Nagin out of City Hall. Twenty-two candidates are challenging the reelection bid by Mr. Nagin,
a black man whose post-hurricane leadership many critics said consisted more of finger-pointing
and race-baiting than practical policy.
Losing the Race: Nagin
says win would send racial message. Mayor C. Ray Nagin says a victory in tomorrow's election
will send a message on race that "will echo throughout America." "This election will say in spite of
American prejudice, I was able to attract votes from all races and classes and move forward with the process
of healing," said Mr. Nagin, who has hinted that whites locally and nationally are working to unseat him from
the post, which blacks have held for nearly 30 years.
wins re-election as Big Easy mayor. Voters re-elected Mayor Ray Nagin, the colorful leader whose
blunt style endeared him to some but outraged others after Hurricane Katrina, giving him four more years to
oversee one of the largest rebuilding projects in U.S. history.
Why Spend More Federal Money To
Rebuild New Orleans? Ray Nagin, the man who completely ignored his most-important responsibilities
as Mayor of New Orleans over the past few years, has been reelected. The man who would not order a
mandatory evacuation of New Orleans because he was afraid of lawsuits from the hospitality industry will be
leading New Orleans again. … The primary blame goes to the voters, many of whom voted by absentee
ballot and will never make New Orleans their home again.
White House suitors deluge New
Orleans. Although New Hampshire and Iowa hold the first-in-the-nation presidential primary and
caucuses, the Gulf Coast region ravaged by Hurricane Katrina has emerged as a crucial stop for 2008 contenders.
Suffering After Katrina. Katrina's floods then scattered thousands of residents from New Orleans,
normally a Democratic stronghold. "Welcome to post-Katrina electoral politics," said Silas Lee, a New
Orleans-based political analyst. "Displacement is going to be a factor. How important that will
be remains a big question."
Suspects a Plot To Keep Blacks Away. New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin has suggested that the
slow recovery and rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina — which has prevented many black
former residents from returning — is part of a plan to change the racial makeup and political
leadership of his and other cities.
raising cash but mum on plans. Just a year after he won a second term, speculation is swirling that
Mayor Ray Nagin is looking for another job — perhaps governor or congressman.
Updated 11/18/2007: NOLA Council Wins White
Majority. A former councilwoman won an at-large seat on the New Orleans City Council on Saturday
[11/17/2007], creating the first white majority in more than two decades. Analysts had said the race
could set a baseline for the changing political landscape in a post-Hurricane Katrina city in which the gap
between white and black voters is narrowing. Blacks remain the majority but are now about 58 percent
of the population, down from 67 percent before Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005.
Nagin a sporadic voter. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin recently pronounced himself "disgusted" with
apathy among city residents, saying it was "unacceptable" that only about a quarter of registered voters bothered
to cast a ballot in the Oct. 20 primary. Turns out the mayor himself has skipped a few
elections, according to state records.
Race and Crime in New Orleans:
For many critics, the disarray in the DA's office can be traced to a decision [District Attorney Eddie]
Jordan made shortly after being elected to a six-year term in 2002. During the campaign, Mr. Jordan
pledged to make the DA's office look "more like New Orleans," code words, many assumed, for hiring more black
staffers and attorneys. Using a "cultural-diversity report" compiled by his transition team, Mr. Jordan
proceeded to systematically fire veteran white staffers and replace them with African Americans with
little or no experience.
Is violent reputation
hurting N'Orleans? In the last two years, New Orleanians have been killed at a rate well above
pre-Katrina years when factoring in the city's huge population drop. That's giving New Orleans a
reputation as a national murder capital, even though it was listed as the 65th most dangerous U.S. city in a
recent report based on FBI crime statistics, which were analyzed by Washington-based CQ Press. Last
summer, Mayor Ray Nagin drew harsh criticism from activists when he said violence "helps keep the New Orleans
brand out there."
Cracks Down on Corruption. Fed up with crime and political corruption, New
Orleans' business leaders in 1952 organized to flush out the twin poisons they believed were
harming economic development. It was a time when illegal gambling and the Carlos
Marcello crime family operated openly in a city that was a bustling business hub.
and Optimism in New Orleans. [Scroll down] "I think it's bad," said Merline Kimble, 59, a
music promoter from the Treme neighborhood who recently returned to New Orleans. "For people who want to
come home, rent is more expensive, utilities are more expensive, everything's more expensive. Nobody's
doing anything to get people home."
The Editor says...
Billions of dollars have been spent on New Orleans since hurricane Katrina, and yet there are people who
say "nobody's doing anything." Why would anyone want to return to New Orleans, knowing it is at or
below sea level and the same thing could happen again? More importantly, the taxpayers in the
other 49 states now realize how easily New Orleans can be flooded. After the next big storm hits,
why should Uncle Sam pitch in and help ungrateful people who see reconstruction as an entitlement?
Back to normal, at last! New Orleans ranks highest in crime, survey
finds. A controversial ranking of U.S. cities' crime rates indicates New Orleans, Louisiana,
has the worst crime rate, while a New York exurb has the lowest. The CQ Press "City Crime Rankings"
list named New Orleans its most crime-ridden city based on a reported 19,000-plus incidences of six major
crimes — including 209 murder cases — in 2007. The Gulf Coast city of about
250,000, still grappling with the aftermath of 2005's Hurricane Katrina, was followed in the rankings by
Camden, New Jersey; Detroit, Michigan; St. Louis, Missouri; and Oakland, California.
Obama hates white
people and wants them to die. With nearly 1.5 million people in the mid-west without power
during a cold snap, what other possible reason is there that this new "competent" administration and FEMA
would be failing so spectacularly in helping in this natural disaster? ... Of course, I am just aping what
lefty blogs were saying about Bush less than 24 hours after Katrina's hurricane winds stopped
blowing. ... Isn't it interesting that now that we have a Democrat as president that all of a sudden,
disaster relief is a state and local matter and the federal government should stand aside and allow
them to do their jobs?
Kentucky: No Power, No FEMA. When a
million people in flyover country are suffering, and 42 people have died, we don't hear much about it. If this
was New York, Washington, Boston, [New Orleans,] (or if the president had an R after his name) you'd see non-stop reports,
and the press would be roundly criticizing FEMA's absence, and the White House's disregard. Right?
Fedzilla Goes Quack. Amazingly, the
stooges who bitterly complained about the slow response of Fedzilla to Hurricane Katrina are the same morons
who are clamoring for Fedzilla to take over the nation's health care. If you are one of these terminally
dumb logic-challenged buffoons, please do America a favor and do not breed.
The Louisiana purchase: The $100 Million
Health Care Vote? On page 432 of the Reid bill, there is a section increasing federal
Medicaid subsidies for "certain states recovering from a major disaster." The section spends two pages
defining which "states" would qualify, saying, among other things, that it would be states that "during the
preceding 7 fiscal years" have been declared a "major disaster area." I am told the section applies to
exactly one state: Louisiana, the home of moderate Democrat Mary Landrieu, who has been playing hard
to get on the health care bill.
The Editor says...
Oh, I see. It's the Katrina people again. Look, Hurricane Katrina was not the first
storm to hit Lousy-ana, nor will it be the last. If you don't like hurricanes, you
shouldn't live in a city that's several feet below sea level. Move to higher ground,
or just get over it! In any event, stop asking for more and more money to
recover from a storm that blew in years ago.
Orleans City Hall dysfunction leaves specialist 'shocked'. Calling New Orleans city
government the most dysfunctional he's ever seen, a leading turnaround specialist delivered a report to
Mayor Mitch Landrieu this week identifying a long list of problems at City Hall, as well as a 10-point
plan on how to right the ship. Since taking office in May, Landrieu has identified many of the
problems outlined by consultant David Osborne, including decades-old computer systems, civil service
rules that beget mediocrity, senseless red tape and staffing shortages dating to Hurricane Katrina.
border crisis isn't Obama's Katrina — it's worse. Many have parsed what
President Barack Obama's critics mean when they charge that the handling of the crisis on America's
southern border is "Obama's Katrina." [...] It is impossible to know how many children crossing the
American border have died as a result of their trek across forsaken deserts. At least one
15-year-old Guatemalan boy lost his life as the result of dehydration, but there has not been a
death toll comparable to Katrina. In terms of body count, these two crises are not comparable.
But this is all Obama's supporters have going for them. The president's approach to this crisis is
distinct from George W. Bush's approach to Katrina insofar as the current president is comfortable
campaigning on, rather than addressing, an ongoing disaster.
shooting spree leaves 3 dead; armed citizens credited with saving lives. Armed citizens were credited with
limiting fatalities in a shooting in Louisiana on Saturday [2/20/2021] that left three people dead, including the suspect,
according to authorities. The outburst, at a gun store and range just down the road from Louis Armstrong New Orleans
International Airport, also left two people wounded, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. [...] "At this time,
it appears a suspect shot two victims inside the location, then was engaged and shot outside the location by multiple other
individuals," the sheriff's statement continued. "The suspect is one of the deceased on scene." Employees at the
Jefferson Gun Outlet typically carry sidearms at the facility, but it was not immediately clear whether the good Samaritans
were customers, outlet employees or other individuals.
man selling bike online killed after meeting up with suspect. A Louisiana man trying to sell a dirt bike on
social media was fatally shot after meeting up with a potential buyer over the weekend, authorities said Monday [3/9/2021].
Joseph Vindel, 29, left his New Orleans home around 10 a.m. Sunday to meet up with Jalen Harvey in the town of Harvey, where
he planned to sell the bike, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto said at a press conference. "Mr. Vindel never
returned from that transaction," the sheriff said.
Man Fatally Shot While Trying To Sell Dirt Bike On Facebook Marketplace. A 29-year-old Louisiana man, who was
trying to sell a dirt bike through Facebook, was shot dead by an alleged buyer Sunday afternoon [3/8/2021]. Jefferson
Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto said Joseph Vindel left his home between 10.00 am ET and noon to meet up with
20-year-old Jalen Harvey at an apartment complex in Manhattan Boulevard to sell the bike. [...] Harvey was arrested Monday and
charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery, and obstruction of justice. [...] The suspect has a past arrest record for
burglary of an inhabited dwelling and illegal carrying of a firearm, but hasn't been convicted.
Orleans man found dead after trying to sell dirt bike on Facebook Marketplace. A 29-year-old New Orleans man
was shot and killed Sunday [3/8/2021] while trying to sell his dirt bike over Facebook Marketplace. [...] "Our deputies went
to that location and were able to find the dirt bike in one of the patios in one of those apartment complexes. At that
point in time they made contact with Mr. Jalen Harvey," Lopinto said. Harvey was arrested Monday morning for
Vindel's murder. JPSO said he admitted to shooting Vindel multiple times in his car in Harvey and then driving the
vehicle to Coliseum Street in the Garden District in New Orleans. Police say he abandoned Vindel's vehicle with his
body inside. He drove the dirt bike back to the the apartment complex in Harvey.
The Editor says...
The suspect's surname is the same as the name of the New Orleans suburb in which he was arrested. If you're just
skimming, it's a bit confusing.
fatally punched in French Quarter; brother has 'no earthly idea why'. The brother of an Alabama-born
grandmother who was fatally punched on a French Quarter street last week is trying to understand what motivated her killing,
but he expressed relief Wednesday that police had captured a suspect. "We have no earthly idea why this happened," said
Jeffrey Johnson, brother of Margaret "Jane" Johnson Street. "It won't bring my sister back, but it helps knowing who
did it and that they have him." New Orleans police say Johnson Street, 61, got into an argument with Jeremiah Mark, 23,
in the 100 block of Royal Street on April 18 at about 7:45 p.m. Details about the argument haven't been available,
but Mark punched Johnson Street in the face, causing her to fall backward and hit her head on the concrete, police wrote in a
sworn statement filed in Criminal District Court.
Section 10: People who helped, and people who didn't
Panic Buying Reminds Us 'Price Gouging' Is Good. One of the most absurd and infuriating stories that
illustrates how foolish it is to crack down on entrepreneurship comes from 2005's Hurricane Katrina disaster. When John
Shepperson saw many had lost power from the storm and needed generators to restore electricity to their homes, he was
inspired. The Kentucky resident bought 19 generators, rented a truck, and drove "600 miles to a part of Mississippi
that had no electricity," John Stossel reported. While he could have probably charged more, he offered to sell the
generators for twice what he paid for them. "People were eager to buy," says Stossel. "But Mississippi police
said that was illegal." So Shepperson was arrested for the crime of selling a legal good to willing buyers. Who,
then, benefited from Mississippi's anti-price gouging law? Not those who needed power. The police confiscated
Shepperson's generators, said economist Mark J. Perry, and they "never made it to consumers with urgent needs who desperately
wanted to buy them."
Pitt's Hurricane Katrina homes are rotting, leaking and caving in. Walking around New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward
neighborhood, people are still angry at the impact of Hurricane Katrina and how unprepared the city was for the massive storm
nearly 13 years on. [...] Among the first to lend a helping hand was [Brad] Pitt, who — along with his then wife Angelina
Jolie — owned a house in New Orleans and set up the charity Make It Right to help regenerate the area. Pitt was lauded
as a humanitarian who willing to put his money where his heart was. But according to residents interviewed by DailyMail.com,
Pitt hasn't been seen in the Lower Ninth Ward in years and the last Make It Right home was built in 2016, giving up on its
promise to construct 150 new homes — as stated on its out-of-date website — with just over 100 being built.
Obamacare is Obama's
failure by choice, not fate. Katrina was an act of God and/or nature, a phenomenon beyond the control of mere human
beings, a catastrophe not of choice, but of nature's necessity, outside the realm of man's will. George W. Bush didn't
cause it to happen, nothing he did could have made it not happen, and he surely did not make it worse. The federal response
wasn't inspired, but the reason this mattered was that the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of Louisiana were not only perhaps
the two stupidest people ever to hold public office, but the stupidest people to ever draw breath.
Quit Katrina Fund Panel. Their ranks included rabbis, imams and ministers, including the man
hailed by some as the next Billy Graham. But as of Thursday [7/13/2006], seven of the nine religious
leaders serving on a committee created by the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund to disburse money to churches destroyed
by Hurricane Katrina had quit their posts, claiming their advice was ignored.
Black Charity Sits on Katrina Cash. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, which slammed
the Bush administration for its allegedly slow and racially insensitive response to Hurricane Katrina, has
yet to spend any of the estimated $400,000 that it raised for the victims of the Aug. 29 storm.
Linked to Katrina Charity Controversy. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, criticized
on Dec. 22 for admitting that it had not distributed any of the estimated $400,000 it raised for
Hurricane Katrina victims, now claims to have handed out most of the money on Dec. 9. However,
a Cybercast News Service investigation has uncovered a possible conflict of interest between the chairman
of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the group that received the $290,000 grant.
Christians. Many people, including Muslims and atheists, are getting their
hands dirty in post-Katrina help. So are government and nonprofit professionals. But
everyone knows that church groups are key.
249 New Orleans Police
Officers Left Their Posts. Nearly 250 police officers roughly 15 percent
of the force could face a special tribunal because they left their posts without permission
during Hurricane Katrina and the storm's chaotic aftermath, the police chief said.
New Orleans police chief
resigns. New Orleans police chief Eddie Compass has unexpectedly resigned,
four weeks after law and order broke down in the city following Hurricane Katrina.
Reagan Beats Nagin. Earlier
in the day, the department said that about 250 police officers — roughly
15 percent of the force — could face discipline for leaving their posts without permission
during Katrina and its aftermath. … Sally Forman, a spokeswoman for the mayor, said it is not
clear whether the deserters can be fired. She said the city is still looking into the civil
service regulations. … What we see here is Democratic big government at work. Employees
walk off their job when they are most essential, and weeks later their bosses haven't figured out if
that's a firing offense!
investigation of Cadillac cops may involve brass. Acting New Orleans Police
Superintendent Warren Riley said Thursday [10/06/2005] that as many as 40 officers from the
department's 3rd District, including the commanding captain, are "under scrutiny" for
possibly bolting the city in the clutch and heading to Baton Rouge in Cadillacs from a
New Orleans dealership.
siege: Extremists at the grandiosely named Americans United for Separation
of Church and State are at it again. The group, best known for trying to drive religion
from the public square, now wants to make sure no faith-based organizations are reimbursed for
rescuing and caring for thousands of victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Orleans needs more freedom. When Hurricane Katrina struck, private citizens wanted
to help, but often the government got in the way. The doctors who wanted to heal people in
New Orleans, but were told to fill out tax forms instead, experienced just one of many horror
tales. Government seemed to have declared a monopoly on helping people — but
then its insane bureaucracy made certain it did a lousy job helping.
Head of New
Orleans' Levee Board Quits. The head of the Orleans Levee Board has quit amid questions
about no-bid contracts to his relatives in the days after Hurricane Katrina. The final days of board
president Jim Huey's tenure also had been marred by his collection of nearly $100,000 in back pay several
weeks before the storm. Huey had led the board for nine years.
N.O. Police Fire 51 for
Desertion. Fifty-one members of the New Orleans Police Department — 45 officers
and six civilian employees — were fired Friday [10/25/2005] for abandoning their posts
before or after Hurricane Katrina.
cops get chilly reception in Dallas. As many as 10 New Orleans police officers suspected of
desertion during Hurricane Katrina have been rejected for employment by the Dallas Police
Department. Dallas Deputy Chief Floyd Simpson said his department's screening process
for new applicants exposed about 10 New Orleans officers who vanished during the storm.
Americans gave $260 billion
in 2005. US charitable giving rose 6.1 percent to $260.28 billion in 2005, fueled by a
record response to three major natural disasters, a study showed on Monday [6/19/2006].
Seven New Orleans
officers indicted in post-Katrina killings. Seven police officers were indicted Thursday [12/28/2006] on
murder or attempted murder charges in a pair of shootings on a bridge that left two people dead during the
chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The district attorney portrayed the officers as trigger happy.
Leftist Activist Pulls Back the Curtain On ACORN. [Scroll down] Over the following years, that
particular style of political attack was prominent in New Orleans. Anytime that ACORN was displeased, the other
party was deemed a racist. If the other party disagreed with the label or with ACORN's agenda, they were met
with "of course you feel that way. You are a racist." Though it is clearly woefully inaccurate and
unethical to use such an accusation as a political attack and as a means of shutting down philosophical debate
and discourse, some at ACORN didn't let that stop them.
Years later... Ex-FEMA
worker, cousin charged with Katrina fraud. A former Federal Emergency Management Agency employee
and her cousin have been charged with allegedly stealing more than $721,000 in Hurricane Katrina money that was
meant for storm victims.
Ex-New Orleans big:
Charity vowed Katrina aid — but never delivered. The promises Congressman Gregory
Meeks made to the victims of Hurricane Katrina were broken as badly as the levees, a former official in New
Orleans told The [New York] Post. The man chosen by the Queens Democrat to identify needy families
displaced by the monster storm said the pledged financial assistance never arrived.
Former police officer
pleads guilty to Danziger Bridge shooting cover-up. Admitting a cover-up of shocking breadth, a former
New Orleans police supervisor pleaded guilty to a federal obstruction charge on Wednesday, confessing that he
participated in a conspiracy to justify the shooting of six unarmed people after Hurricane Katrina that was
hatched not long after police stopped firing their weapons.
Orleans Shooting Cover-Up: The Worst Type of Police Corruption. It has been nearly five
years since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city of New Orleans. ... But even as things appear to be looking up
for New Orleans, there remains in the Crescent City a stubborn stain, one that won't be as easily painted over
or washed away as the high-water marks still visible in some parts of town.
de-files his pledge to reveal all. Under intense grilling about missing money from a Hurricane
Katrina charity fund, Rep. Gregory Meeks had offered to open his files to show all he'd done for the victims —
but slammed the door when a [New York] Post reporter arrived at his Queens office yesterday [3/16/2010] to
take him up on it.
Coffins Made With
Brotherly Love Have Undertakers Throwing Dirt. Five years ago, Hurricane Katrina gave the
Benedictine monks at St. Joseph Abbey a new calling. After the storm pummeled much of a pine forest
they had long relied on for timber and income, the monks hatched a fresh plan: They would hand-craft
and sell caskets. But now, local funeral directors are trying to put a lid on the monks' activities.
Barbour Is One of the Heroes of Katrina. What we learned from Hurricane Katrina is that good
leaders become great leaders and others are shown to be empty suits. It also became clear that government
has a job to do but only local communities can implement those tasks. Locals know who needs what and how
to cut through the bureaucracy.
Section 11: Red Cross issues
Red Cross Spent 25 Percent Of Haiti Donations On Internal Expenses. The American Red Cross spent a quarter of
the money people donated after the 2010 Haiti earthquake — or almost $125 million — on its own internal
expenses, far more than the charity previously had disclosed, according to a report released Thursday by Iowa Sen. Chuck
Grassley. The report also says the charity's top officials stonewalled congressional investigators and released
incomplete information about its Haiti program to the public. It concludes "there are substantial and fundamental
concerns about [the Red Cross] as an organization."
Somewhat related: The Red Cross yields to pressure from the Muslims: Red
Cross Demands Branches Remove Crucifixes to Be More Secular. Volunteers have criticised the Red Cross charity after
receiving a communication telling them to remove crucifixes from the walls of their branches as the organisation looks to become more
secular. The Belgian branches of the international aid organisation received an email from the Provincial Committee of the
Red Cross in Liège to remove all crucifixes. [...] Several volunteers spoke to Belgian broadcaster RTL and expressed hostility
to the move, with one saying: "Let things remain as they are. We used to say 'Christmas holidays', now it's 'winter
holidays'. The Christmas market in Brussels has become the 'Winter Pleasures'." "For a certain part of the
population — because of the Muslims — the crosses were removed in the Red Cross houses and, more
particularly, in that of Verviers," the volunteer added.
A black eye
for the Red Cross. My grandfather, who rarely talked about his World War II service, recalled how the women of
the Red Cross let enlisted men languish while plying chocolate and cigarettes on officers. After Katrina, the group
raised a fortune in part by promoting an emergency number those in need could call. It rang endlessly, since they
didn't get around to finding people to answer the supposed hotline. I saw firsthand their workers at Ground Zero racing
to be first on the scene when news cameras arrived as the group kept raising money off of 9/11 long after they knew they
wouldn't be spending it here. Surely plenty of Red Cross volunteers and workers did honorable work, but I didn't see
them. After the earthquake in Haiti, the Red Cross raised half a billion dollars, with little sign of any of it being
put to good use there. After Sandy, I again saw firsthand the group's feeble but TV-friendly efforts. Later,
ProPublica reported that 40% of the charity's available trucks were diverted from delivering help to serving as backdrops for
news conferences. After Isaac, one driver reported that Red Cross trucks, supposedly filled with relief supplies, drove
around empty, so it would look like they were delivering help.
Here's Why Haitians Are
Urging You Not To Donate To The Red Cross. As the death toll in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew reaches 1,000
and 1.4 million people are left "in need of humanitarian assistance," reports of deadly cholera outbreaks are beginning to
concern aid groups. But despite the desperate pleas for help coming from the hurricane-torn island nation, some
Haitians are not thrilled about the presence of scandal-ridden organizations such as the American Red Cross (ARC) —
or even the Clinton Foundation — in their country. Thanks to a 2015 report exposing ARC for its poor management
of Haiti-bound donations, Haitians like Facebook user French Francois have been urging the public to steer clear from the
135-year-old foundation. Instead, she wants individuals willing to help to reach out to Haitian organizations instead.
the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti and Built Six Homes. In late 2011, the Red Cross launched
a multimillion-dollar project to transform the desperately poor area, which was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Haiti
the year before. The main focus of the project — called LAMIKA, an acronym in Creole for "A Better Life in
My Neighborhood" — was building hundreds of permanent homes. Today, not one home has been built in
Campeche. Many residents live in shacks made of rusty sheet metal, without access to drinkable water, electricity or
basic sanitation. When it rains, their homes flood and residents bail out mud and water. The Red Cross received
an outpouring of donations after the quake, nearly half a billion dollars.
The Secretive American
Red Cross. According to ProPublica in a newly-published article: "Just how badly does
the American Red Cross want to keep secret how it raised and spent over $300 million after Hurricane
Sandy? The charity has hired a fancy law firm to fight a public request we filed with New York
state, arguing that information about its Sandy activities is a 'trade secret'... As we've reported,
the Red Cross releases few details about how it spends money after big disasters. That makes it
difficult to figure out whether donor dollars are well spent. The Red Cross did give some
information about Sandy spending to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who had been
investigating the charity. But the Red Cross declined our request to disclose the details."
Cross Fires Administrators in New Orleans. In a major shake-up of its relief operations in
New Orleans, the American Red Cross dismissed two key supervisors yesterday [3/24/2006] as part of a
wide-ranging inquiry into the improper diversion of relief supplies after Hurricane Katrina, a Red Cross
Red Cross cash 'wasted' on
stars. The American Red Cross has come under fire over payments to publicists who recruited
stars to add lustre to its image, even as funds ran short for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Millions of Katrina
aid wasted, review finds. In the Justice Department probe, the largest investigation
centered on a Red Cross call center in Bakersfield, California, in which some employees schemed to
steal the emergency money for themselves and others, prosecutors said. Fifty-three people have been
charged in this probe.
Tsunami Relief: Reconsider the Red
Cross. Laurie Morrow, hostess of a conservative talk radio show in Vermont, cautions
against giving your money to Red Cross. Part of her discontent is with Red Cross's behavior
following 9/11. In November of 2001, "Red Cross officials decided, without the knowledge or
consent of most of the donors, that better use of this money could be made than distributing it among
the victims. Acting as if the $564 million were the Red Cross's money rather than donors' money
entrusted to them for distribution, the officials decided to spend the money as they saw fit, regardless
of the donors' intentions. They planned to distribute only about 1/3 of the Fund to the
victims of September 11th. $264 million of the $564 million would be set
aside for vaguely defined "long-term effects of the disaster."
Related article: American
Red Double Cross. Six weeks after the September 11 attacks, the Liberty Fund, set up by the
American Red Cross, had filled up with a staggering $505 million from average Americans, but
the ARC appeared reluctant to disperse the funds.
Is the Red Cross Too
Politically Correct for Christians? Michael Hartman worked with the American Red
Cross for eight months before he was fired over his disagreement with an organizational decision
to celebrate gay and lesbian pride month. The firing raises questions about the direction
of the relief organization, which was founded by Christians, including Clara Barton, in 1881.
Its Coffers Swell, Red Cross Is Criticized on Gulf Coast Response. Time and again in
past disasters, the Red Cross has raised more money than it has needed for relief. It has
also been less than clear in the past about where its money goes, and it has rarely shared its
money with other organizations that tackle long-term needs of victims.
The Red Cross money pit. With
Hurricane Rita now making news, it's time for Americans to take a more disciplined look at their tremendous
generosity. As of last week, the American Red Cross reported that it had raised $826 million in private
funds for Hurricane Katrina victims. … I doubt each victim under Red Cross care will see more than a
doughnut, an interview with a social worker and a short-term voucher for a cheap motel….
[Viewing the entire article requires registration.]
Red Cross Donations are
Wasted in Africa. To argue these people, aid agencies, pop stars and celebrity publicists
didn't know the profound mess they are causing is a nonsense. They stand accused of knowing exactly
what they were doing, the effects their actions would have in ratcheting the numbers up, and therefore
the fact a percentage factor of Africans would die as a result.
Personally, I would recommend a donation to the
Salvation Army instead. Here's why:
Years later... Democratic
lawmaker back from Haiti says Red Cross nowhere to be found. Donors should think twice before
giving money to the Red Cross for earthquake relief in Haiti, a Democratic lawmaker said. Rep. Debbie
Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who traveled to Haiti with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Rep. Sheila Jackson
Lee (D-Texas) earlier this week, said Thursday [4/8/2010] the internationally renowned relief group was
nowhere to be found in Haiti.
Cross defends aid to Taliban. The international Red Cross said Wednesday [5/26/2010]
it would continue giving first aid training and kits to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, despite drawing
angry e-mails from around the world and criticism from an Afghan official after the practice was
Red Cross Runs Campaign-Like Ad Featuring
Obama. On Friday night, swing-voters across the nation saw a one-minute advertisement paid for by the Red Cross featuring President Barack Obama.
The ad comes on the weekend before the election, and while the Red Cross does unquestionable good for millions of Americans, the choice to run this ad comes
noticeably close to a campaign endorsement for President Obama.
Was Obama's Red Cross Ad Designed to
Dodge FEC Rules? An ad featuring President Obama released last week appears to have been produced with taxpayer funds, allowing President
Obama to reach out to television viewers without adhering to strict federal disclosure rules for political ads. [...] No Federal Election Commission
disclosure of who paid for the message was included in the commercial, although [Ron] Meyer noted clear parallels between the PSA script and President
Obama's stump speech.
Cross' Secret Disaster. The Red Cross botched key elements of its mission after Sandy
and Isaac, leaving behind a trail of unmet needs and acrimony, according to an investigation by
ProPublica and NPR. The charity's shortcomings were detailed in confidential reports and internal
emails, as well as accounts from current and former disaster relief specialists.
Search Of The Red Cross' $500 Million In Haiti Relief. When a devastating earthquake leveled Haiti in
2010, millions of people donated to the American Red Cross. The charity raised almost half a billion dollars.
It was one of its most successful fundraising efforts ever. The American Red Cross vowed to help Haitians rebuild,
but after five years the Red Cross' legacy in Haiti is not new roads, or schools, or hundreds of new homes. It's
difficult to know where all the money went.
says Red Cross told him not to pray with flood victims. A law enforcement officer said he was asked to leave a
Red Cross shelter in Lafayette, Louisiana after he prayed with several flood victims. Clay Higgins, a reserve city
marshal and a local legend, dropped by after work to minister to evacuees at the Heymann Performing Arts Center on
Aug. 19. "I was not proselytizing," he told me. "I was just there to thank volunteers and offer prayers
and encouragement." Higgins, who is also running for Congress, was dressed in uniform and was holding a Bible.
Note: More information about the Red Cross can be