Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Murder of New Orleans: Trucks Loaded With Ice, Water, Food Wait in Maryla...: Trucks Loaded With Ice, Water, Food Wait in Maryland Parking Lot - Technology News - redOrbit 

(This is not incompetence. It is evil.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~
JUST GREAT!!!
The Kansas City Star article (Hosted by Red Orbit) has been removed from the interwebs.

It's not even in The Wayback Machine.
SCRUBBED!!!
Luckily I used it as a citation reference in a college essay.
I scanned the majority of the article.
Here is a JPG:




Its a lot of work when stuff I link to gets scrubbed and hacked.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Harry Shearer is interviewed for this weeks "Need to Know" PBS program.

Watch:

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

FARK.com: (4899867) You send us lead-painted toys, we send you 8,500 tons of used tires. It's the American way

Oooops, this is off topic but a good article... I willl leave it for a while.

FARK.com: (4899867) You send us lead-painted toys, we send you 8,500 tons of used tires. It's the American way

My comment on the story re: Smuggling tires to China:
StoryLINK

waitwhat: We need all the tires we can get in areas like Sacramento and New Orleans, et al. for shielding levees. They can be diced up into pellets for paving.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

This is where the coward gw bush jr slithered off and hid AFTER omitting Orleans Parish from the Federal Declaration of Emergency:

http://www.oilempire.us/northcom.html

The people should have risen up against the bush regime after the N' Orleans debacle!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dutch Dialogues

Dutch Dialogues
The Army Corps of Engineers could learn a few things... Lives are at stake and malfeasance is unbecoming.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Orleans floods 'fault of Army' - Google News

New Orleans floods 'fault of Army' - Google News
Judge: Corps' Negligence Caused Katrina Flooding : NPR

November 18, 2009
NPR's Kathy Lohr Talks About The Decision With Robert Siegel.

Listen:

Judge: Hurricane Katrina Flooding Was Caused By Army Corps Of Engineers' Negligence

Judge: Hurricane Katrina Flooding Was Caused By Army Corps Of Engineers' Negligence
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge ruled Wednesday 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.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval sided with six residents and one business who argued the Army Corps' shoddy oversight of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet led to the flooding of New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward and neighboring St. Bernard Parish. He said, however, the corps couldn't be held liable for the flooding of eastern New Orleans, where two of the plaintiffs lived.

Duval awarded the plaintiffs $720,000, but the government could eventually be forced to pay much more in damages. The ruling should give more than 100,000 other individuals, businesses and government entities a better shot at claiming billions of dollars in damages.

The ruling is also emotionally resonant for south Louisiana. Many in New Orleans have argued that Katrina, which struck the region Aug. 29, 2005, was a manmade disaster caused by the Army Corps' failure to maintain the levee system protecting the city.

"Total devastation could possibly have been avoided if something had been done," said Tanya Smith, one of the plaintiffs. "A lot of this stuff was preventable and they turned a deaf ear to it."

The 36-year-old registered nurse anesthetist lived in Chalmette close to the channel when Katrina hit. She was awarded $317,000 in property damages, the most of any of the plaintiffs.

Duval referred to the corps' approach to maintaining the channel as "monumental negligence."

Joe Bruno, one of the lead lawyers for the plaintiffs, said the ruling underscored the Army Corps' long history of not properly protecting the New Orleans region.

more...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Greg Palast » Economic Hit Men and the Next Drowning of New OrleansHurricane Bush Four Years Later, Part 2

Greg Palast » Economic Hit Men and the Next Drowning of New OrleansHurricane Bush Four Years Later, Part 2

Who put out the hit on van Heerden?

Ivor van Heerden is the professor at Louisiana State University's Hurricane Center who warned the levees of New Orleans were ready to blow — months and years before Katrina did the job.

For being right, van Heerden was rewarded with ... getting fired. [See Katrina, Four Years Later: Expert Fired Who Warned Levees Would Burst]

But I've been in this investigating game long enough to know that van Heerden's job didn't die of natural causes or academic issues. This was a hit. Some very powerful folks wanted him disappeared and silenced — for good.

So who done it?

Here are the facts.

Dr. van Heerden has lots of friends, mostly the people of New Orleans, those who survived and cheered his fight to save their city. But he also has enemies, many of them, and they are powerful.

First, there is Big Oil. More than a decade ago, van Heerden pointed the finger at....

(More)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

GAP - OSC Report Substantiates Allegations of Defective Hydraulic Pumps in New Orleans

Report Substantiates Allegations of Defective Hydraulic Pumps in New Orleans

Pumps that were promised to last 50 Years by Army Corps of Engineers, only good for 5 Years!

See todays newsletter from www.Levees.org :
September 23, 2009


Dear Daniel

The Army Corps of Engineers spent a half billion dollars on pump stations and related structures for the New Orleans outfall canals with 40 pumps that were supposed to last 50 years, but will have to be scrapped after just 5, according to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC).

And the Corps has apparently been lying about it.

Since 2007, Corps spokespersons have been telling the public that the MWI hydraulic pumps are temporary when records clearly show that the Corps went to Congress in 2006 and requested money for improvements, including pumps that would have a 50-year life, not 5. In addition, the Army Corps' contract with the pump vendor calls for a bearing life of 50,000 hours which represents a "very long life span, likely in excess of 50 years."

Now the Corps is claiming they said from Day One that the pumps were temporary.

But here is the truth. What was temporary from Day One was the housing structures that supported and surrounded the pumps, not the pumps themselves.

If this were not bad enough, the OSC has warned the President in a June 2009 letter that the expensive $40 million dollar pumps likely will not function if needed in a hurricane.

This is disturbing.
And it is one more reason the citizens of Louisiana and the American people deserve the 8/29 Investigation, a truly independent analysis of the levee failures, and the decision making involved, of the flooding on August 29, 2005.

Click here and demand the 8/29 Investigation.
http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/1625/t/4583/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=2949

Monday, August 31, 2009

YouTube - Protecting Coastal Communities: The Dutch Say Yes We Do - In America, We Can, Too

YouTube - Protecting Coastal Communities: The Dutch Say Yes We Do - In America, We Can, Too:

Levees.Org

Levees.Org: "Saying Katrina destroyed New Orleans is like saying traffic destroyed the Minneapolis bridge
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sandy Rosenthal

For the third time this season, Becky Bohrer, reporter for the Associated Press has used lazy shorthand when describing the federal levee failures in metro New Orleans that devastated the region.
Yesterday, Bohrer wrote that Southern University in New Orleans was “virtually wiped out by Hurricane Katrina nearly four years ago.”

To say Katrina wiped out Southern U is like saying traffic wiped out the Minneapolis bridge.

Both Katrina and the traffic precipitated structural failures and exposed blatant civil engineering incompetence.

I am not alone in my condemnation of using “Katrina” as shorthand for federal levee failures. John McQuaid, noted author and journalist specializing in science, environment, and various forms of government dysfunction agrees with me.

19 comments"

Friday, August 28, 2009

Neal Boortz: If New Orleans is rebuilt, the ‘debris that Katrina chased out’ will return.

As the fourth anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina disaster approaches, hate-radio talk show host Neal Boortz mocked President Obama’s pledge to rebuild New Orleans, calling the victims human “debris.” This weekend, President Barack Obama told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that he “remains focused on rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Coast,” and anything less “would be a betrayal of who we are as a country.” Boortz responded on Twitter by attacking the “debris that Katrina chased out”


Video of Ed Schultz show covers the story

Saturday, August 8, 2009

NOPD Investigated In Post-Katrina Civil Rights Cases - New Orleans News Story - WDSU New Orleans

NOPD Investigated In Post-Katrina Civil Rights Cases - New Orleans News Story - WDSU New Orleans:NEW ORLEANS -- A federal investigation is being conducted into the New Orleans Police Department to determine if New Orleans police violated the civil rights of people killed and injured in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
FBI agents raided NOPD headquarters this week in connection with the infamous Danziger Bridge shooting, but that case may just be the beginning of bigger investigation.

WDSU was told that the search warrant on police headquarters happened just a couple days ago, but this type of investigation had been years in the making and the probe into the police department is broader than the events that happened on the Danziger Bridge that left two dead and four wounded.

Files and computer hard drives are what sources said federal investigators were after when they raided police head quarters this week.

In a statement, the special agent in charge said, "The FBI executed a search warrant as it relates to the ongoing civil rights investigation into the Danziger Bridge shootings post-Katrina. The affidavit remains under seal."
"That is usually done after the internal investigation and after the local law enforcement authorities decide not to pursue any charges, and that's what has occurred here," said former U.S. Attorney Harry Rosenberg.

The search warrant was executed for files in the homicide division -- a move Rosenberg said is rare.
"It's done when the FBI believes evidence may be destroyed if officers or other individuals become aware of a criminal investigation and are likely to dispose of electronic data or paper evidence that might assist the FBI in it's investigation," Rosenberg said.


"Beyond the Danziger Bridge, sources familiar with the investigation said the FBI is looking into the police-involved shooting of Adolph Grimes on New Year's Eve and the death of Henry Glover, whose body was found in a burned out car in the days after Hurricane Katrina."

more.....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet lawsuit can go on, judge says - NOLA.com

Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet lawsuit can go on, judge says - NOLA.com

The lawsuit stems from the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment, which provides "private property (shall not) be taken for public purpose, without just compensation."

Braden said evidence of severe flooding in 2005 and other flooding since then showed the plaintiffs are entitled to ask the court for compensation.

But she also delayed bringing the case to trial until U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval issues a ruling -- expected in early September -- on a separate lawsuit charging that construction of the MR-GO was partly responsible for flood damage caused in both areas during Katrina.

Braden hinted the delay may be to determine whether that ruling will compensate the plaintiffs in her case for the damages caused by the MR-GO. Possible damages may also be reduced by federal grants given to Katrina victims, she said.

Braden threw cold water on the federal attorneys' argument that parish leaders, residents and businessmen knew or should have known the MR-GO had heightened flooding potential long before the six-year statute of limitations for filing such suits.

She said the landowners couldn't predict the flooding effects because those effects continued to change as wetlands eroded.

"In this case, the record evidences that the north bank of the MR-GO was not 'stabilized' in 1998, " the time limit federal attorneys argued for, the decision said.

The government's own evidence showed "that between 1968 and 2006, the surface width of the MR-GO increased up to 15 feet each year."

And it wasn't until the November 2004 Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration Study, which asked Congress for a major federal grant to rebuild wetlands along the channel, that the corps "acknowledged the urgency of the situation, " she said.

Braden said the corps also failed in 1957 to comply with a federal law requiring approval of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service before building the project, or to respond when objections were raised repeatedly by other critics, including the St. Bernard Parish government, who had for years demanded the MR-GO be clo......

more...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What is BlogThis! ? - Blogger Help

What is BlogThis! ? - Blogger HelpI found a workaround to fix the problem in my last post.

Click the title link if you have the same problem'

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I apologize for not updating this blog as often as I get important info.
The problem is with Internet Explorer, ever since I upgraded to IE8 it has been IMPOSSIBLY slowwwwwwww. I have been using Google Chrome which is about 15 to 20 times faster. The problem with Google Chrome (believe it or not) It is not compatible which Google Toolbar which allows me to quick post to Blogger.

It is painful to use IE8 and I am starting to think it may be due to some kind of malware or spyware or whatever (in spite of expensive protection on my machine), because IE has not patched their browser after all these weeks.

Anyway Chrome is blazing fast. I keep saving links I want to post here, but my ADD doesnt care about how bad I want to get back to something that requires extra clicks.

Lets hope Google Chrome will offer Google Toolbar some day so I can post urgent info to Google Blogger again.

Katrina's displaced: Worries about Census count | AP Texas News | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

Katrina's displaced: Worries about Census count

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

http://www.newsinferno.com/archives/7155

Decision in Katrina Levee Breach Case Gives Policyholders More Time To File Lawsuits

Date Published: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

::snip::

Typically, insurance does not cover damage to a business or home if it is caused by flood. But plaintiffs in the Katrina Canal Breaches Consolidated Litigation have argued that flood damage that resulted from levee breaches which occurred after Hurricane Katrina made landfall should be covered by insurance, since such flooding was not specifically excluded by insurance policies.

Last Tuesday in New Orleans, U.S. District Court Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. granted a request by insurers to be severed from the consolidated litigation. According to the Times-Picayune, the Judge ruled that disputes against insurers were individual, and not suitable to be handled as part of a class action.

When a class action petition fails to get certified, or as in the case with the Katrina litigation, some defendants are severed from the proceedings, individual plaintiffs can file their own lawsuits. According to the Times-Picayune, the deadline for filing such suits will depend upon the amount of time that remained between when the insurance portion of the levee breach litigation was filed and the original Aug. 30, 2007, deadline for filing suits.

In his decision, Judge Duval rejected a request from the plaintiffs committee to require insurers to inform their policyholders that they can now file individual lawsuits, saying he had no power to issue such an order.

Friday, June 19, 2009

REDUX:

25 Questions About the Murder of New Orleans

The Nation

Biloxi votes to extend deadline for FEMA trailers - WLOX-TV and WLOX.com - Building South Mississippi Together |

Biloxi votes to extend deadline for FEMA trailers
URGENT!

NOLA.com


Clock restarts for Hurricane Katrina victims disputing their insurance claims

by Rebecca Mowbray,

The Times-Picayune

Thursday June 18, 2009, 5:16 PM

The class action allegations against insurers in the consolidated levee breach litigation have been dismissed, restarting the clock for anyone who is dissatisfied with the results of their Katrina claim and allowing them to file a lawsuit against their insurer nearly four years after the storm.

Home and business owners and renters had two years to file lawsuits against insurers over claim disputes after the Aug. 29, 2005, storm. Class action lawsuit filings stop the legal clock by covering the rights of all potential members of a class, but if that petition fails to get certified as a class or individual defendants get cut from the proceedings, plaintiffs' individual legal rights to pursue similar claims are restored.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. granted a request by insurers to be severed from the Katrina Canal Breaches Consolidated Litigation, saying that disputes against insurers were individual, and not suitable to be handled as part of a class action.

Bob Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute trade group, says the ruling unfairly places insurers in double jeopardy.

"Insurers are going to be gratified to be severed from the levee breach litigation, but it's especially ironic that, by virtue of being found to have no culpability there, they are opened up to some very old litigation," Hartwig said.

The levee breach litigation names virtually every insurer operating in the state in broad claims of bad faith, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, giving home owners, business owners and renters a broad platform upon which to file new lawsuits.

Soren Gisleson, head of the insurance section at the Louisiana Association for Justice, said that the amount of time that would-be plaintiffs now have to file suits is contingent upon the amount of time that remained between when the insurance portion of the levee breach litigation was filed and the Aug. 30, 2007, deadline for filing suits.


More...

Read that last paragraph again.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

As timely for Iran and their civil unrest; and for New Orleans to stand up to government oppression, are these words from George Orwell:

“If there is hope . . . it lies in the proles” (George Orwell ~1984)
Newsletter from Levees.com:

June 18, 2009

Dear Daniel

In a sworn affidavit, a former managing editor of Nola.com, New Orleans' largest online newsource describes how the Army Corps of Engineers used significant tax payer resources to attack critics of the Corps.

According to the affidavit, a cadre of 20 people, for over 3 years, have hidden their identities and posted comments on the Times-Picayune affiliate's articles and forums that smeared New Orleanians and obscured the facts of the Corps of Engineers' responsibility for the failure of its flood protection.

The affidavit also described how many of the comments "appealed to racial division and at times engaged in racial slurs against African Americans."

Levees.org discovered evidence of this activity six months ago, and early this year submitted a written request to Nola.com/Times Picayune for all the comments data.

But their lawyer, Neil Rosenhouse of Sabin, Bermant & Gould told us that, while there is no legal reason to deny us access to the comments, they still won't give them to us. They cited "policy."

Don't we, the citizens deserve to know the full extent of the Corps' unethical behavior?

If you agree, write to Jim Amoss, Editor of the Times Picayune at this address jamoss@timespicayune.com, and say this:

"I deserve to know the full details on how the Corps of Engineers has been using my tax payer money to protect its image. I deserve to see all the comments that came from the Corps' computers."

You could also leave a message on Mr. Amoss's voice mail by calling his direct line: 504-826-3475.

In response to this disturbing information, Levees.org has filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). We requested all communications between the Corps of Engineers and its $5 million dollar PR firm Outreach Process Partners (OPP) which recently claimed on its website to play a "fundamental part" of reducing the volume of negative news stories about the Corps.

The PR firm spoke of "fostering strategic relationships" with news outlets. The Times Picayune is one of the news outlets that OPP boasted of "providing media support."

These revelations - the sworn affidavit, and the OPP claims - are two more reasons we deserve the 8/29 Investigation Act, a truly independent analysis of the flood protection failures, and the organizational component, that occurred in August 2005.

My dear supporters, we are winning!

These revelations - and the media attention both have garnered - is evidence that your ongoing efforts and support of Levees.org are paying off.

Sandy Rosenthal
Founder, Levees.org


Click here for the WWL TV Channel 4 Eyewitness News story:
http://delicious.com/leveesorg

Click here to see a copy of the sworn affidavit.
http://levees.org/?page_id=379

Click here to see examples of the insulting comments and lies posted to the internet by individuals at the Army Corps of Engineers.
http://levees.org/?page_id=379

California Chapter
kc.costa@levees.org

Florida Chapter
DrLevine@levees.org

Illinois Chapter
derbes@levees.org

Oregon Chapter
Oregon@levees.org

Launching soon: Chapters for New York and Texas


Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/LeveesOrg

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

:Audit: FEMA must do better tracking its contracts

Audit: FEMA must do better tracking its contracts

Audit: FEMA must do better tracking its contracts
By EILEEN SULLIVAN – 16 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency failed to follow some federal contracting rules, making it impossible to know whether the agency got its money's worth during disasters, a government audit found.

In a report released Tuesday, the inspector general for the Homeland Security Department said that auditors looked at 32 disaster contracts from 2007. That year, the president declared 65 major disasters, and FEMA spent $1.5 billion on disaster contracts, including purchasing and delivering ice for hurricane victims.

FEMA was unable to find copies of some contracts. In other cases, information on the contracts was incomplete. None of the contracts were in electronic form, and some contracting officials kept the contracts on their desks or filing cabinets, the report said.

FEMA's contract management opens the door to potential waste, fraud and abuse, the auditors said.

FEMA currently is setting up a room in Washington to hold contracts, and 80 percent of the contracts are there. FEMA told the auditors that the agency also is working to resolve many of its contracting problems, according to the report.

The Government Accountability Office, Congress' watchdog, has reported that all homeland security agencies have had challenges managing contracts since the department was created in 2003.

FEMA has been criticized for contract mismanagement and abuse during 2005's Hurricane Katrina. A 2007 report by House Democrats found that the government awarded 70 percent of its contracts for Katrina work without full competition, wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in the process.

"FEMA's contracting system has long been plagued by inefficiencies that hamper service delivery to disaster victims and waste taxpayer money," said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. "As FEMA's new leadership takes charge, they must resolve the problems created by the previous administration."

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Rumpus Long Interview With Dave Eggers - The Rumpus.net

The Rumpus Long Interview With Dave Eggers - The Rumpus.net

For Some Displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Permanent Housing Is Still Out of Reach - washingtonpost.com

For Some Displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Permanent Housing Is Still Out of Reach - washingtonpost.com

"700 Vacant cottages can withstand 150 MPH winds"

Insurer admits to shifting costs to NFIP in Katrina case | IFAwebnews.com

Insurer admits to shifting costs to NFIP in Katrina case | IFAwebnews.com

An insurance company admitted to shifting its costs to the federal National Flood Insurance Program in the first wind versus water damage case from Hurricane Katrina to reach Mississippi’s high court.

Insurance company USAA made the admission in oral arguments before the Mississippi Supreme Court June 9 in a heavily watched case about whether carriers bear the burden of proof to decide the extent of property damage caused by wind and if carriers can void a homeowner’s wind coverage because of prior water damage.

A lower court had asked the state’s high court to interpret the “anti-concurrent causation” clause in homeowners’ policies as a precursor to it addressing a policyholder’s request for coverage from USAA.

The high court’s ruling is critical in establishing

Biloxi City Council Set to Remove FEMA Trailers, Victimizing Katrina Survivors and Undermining Obama | CommonDreams.org

Biloxi City Council Set to Remove FEMA Trailers, Victimizing Katrina Survivors and Undermining Obama | CommonDreams.org: "Biloxi City Council Set to Remove FEMA Trailers, Victimizing Katrina Survivors and Undermining Obama

Residents, Advocates Urge Elected Officials to Stand Up for Human Rights, Vote Down Proposed FEMA Trailer Removal Ordinance
BILOXI, Miss. - June 12 - Despite President Barack Obama's decision to allow residents living in FEMA Trailers to remain in their trailers while the federal government partners with residents to find permanent housing[1], the Biloxi City Council is preparing to take action to kick these hurricane survivors out of their city."

More....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Dutch strive to make their country 'climate proof' - NYTimes.com

AMSTERDAM -- "Can we actually save the Netherlands? Or should we abandon part of the country?" This is the basic question Dutch leaders were asking themselves within the context of global warming after witnessing Hurricane Katrina's devastating blow to New Orleans in 2005.

During a visit to the Netherlands last week, a delegation from Washington and Louisiana heard that Katrina was a wake-up call for the Dutch because it showed them that levees could fail and that there could be catastrophic damages.

::snip::

more...

Friday, May 29, 2009

John Cornyn Repudiates Gingrich And Limbaugh Comments About Sotomayor: "Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and now he's appointed one.'" ~ Rush Limbaugh, on the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the supreme Court (link)

Blogger Note:
If Obama were even the slightest bit racist, New Orleans would have seen some hint of fairness toward the victims of levee failures. Instead, he sent DHS chief Napolitano.... todays version of Mike "Heckuva job Brownie" Brown.

Note to Napolitano:
If the levees were armored they would have been plenty high enough, you bozo!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ivor van Heerden cites policy lapses in Abita Springs talk - NOLA.com

Ivor van Heerden cites policy lapses in Abita Springs talk - NOLA.com

by Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, The Times-Picayune
Thursday May 28, 2009, 8:10 AM
Embattled public scientist Ivor van Heerden, who led investigations into Hurricane Katrina levee failures and whose forthcoming termination has been announced by LSU, spoke in Abita Springs on Wednesday night, reiterating his often repeated rallying cry that the Army Corps of Engineers failed in its duty to protect the New Orleans area.

He warned that scientists must be more integrated in public policy if future disasters are to be mitigated.

"What happened in New Orleans wasn't the natural disaster; the natural disaster was the trigger. The real disaster was the man-made structure, " van Heerden said. "If the levees hadn't failed, we wouldn't be talking about Katrina."

Van Heerden also briefly discussed his forthcoming dismissal, which the dean of the LSU's College of Engineering informed
by Benjamin Alexander-Bloch, The Times-Picayune
Thursday May 28, 2009, 8:10 AM
Embattled public scientist Ivor van Heerden, who led investigations into Hurricane Katrina levee failures and whose forthcoming termination has been announced by LSU, spoke in Abita Springs on Wednesday night, reiterating his often repeated rallying cry that the Army Corps of Engineers failed in its duty to protect the New Orleans area.

He warned that scientists must be more integrated in public policy if future disasters are to be mitigated.

"What happened in New Orleans wasn't the natural disaster; the natural disaster was the trigger. The real disaster was the man-made structure, " van Heerden said. "If the levees hadn't failed, we wouldn't be talking about Katrina."

Van Heerden also briefly discussed his forthcoming dismissal, which the dean of the LSU's College of Engineering informed.... (more...)


::SNIP::

Leading the state's independent Team Louisiana investigation into the 2005 storm surge, van Heerden gained national media attention in the months after Katrina because of his largely critical comments about the corps' levee and floodwall construction policies and designs.

His speech Wednesday revisited some of the research by Team Louisiana and additional research he and others, along with several Dutch researchers, had compiled for the MR-GO litigation, in which testimony ended this month.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval is expected to rule this summer on whether he agrees that the corps-designed shipping channel bears some responsibility for the catastrophic flooding during Katrina that inundated St. Bernard Parish, the Lower 9th Ward and parts of eastern New Orleans.

Van Heerden presented his research stating that the MR-GO channel had increased water conveyance into the city, in essence "inviting the enemy right into our home, " and that it created larger waves that destroyed many levee reaches early in the storm.

"Why did St. Bernard Parish flood so badly? Why did it get such high" water levels? van Heerden asked the audience. "We now see that waves chewed up the MR-GO levees."

"If there had been no MR-GO, 80 percent less water would have gotten into Greater New Orleans."

Friday, May 22, 2009

New Orleans's Not-So-Super Bowl

New Orleans Not-So-Super Bowl

Um, yeah....OK; better get started on that Katrina clean-up, eh?

State Farm called Katrina a ‘water storm’ - Featured Story - SunHerald.com

State Farm Insurance sued Katrina
Rigsby and her sister, former adjuster Cori Rigsby, have accused State Farm of conspiring with two vendors to minimize what the company owed for wind damage by overcharging the federal government for water damage.

::snip::

She said State Farm told adjusters to “hit policy limits” on flood claims and tell policyholders an engineer would be sent out to determine whether State Farm owed money for wind damage.

Kerri Rigsby repeated previous allegations that State Farm claims manager Alexis “Lecky” King ordered reports changed if they failed to conclude that water was the cause of a policyholder’s damage. When too many reports reflected wind damage, Rigsby said, State Farm cancelled further reports en masse, even those for property that had already been inspected.

more....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Landrieu Leads Second CODEL To Netherlands to Study Dutch Flood Protection

Landrieu Leads Second CODEL To Netherlands to Study Dutch Flood Protection * Levees.Org

Landrieu Leads Second CODEL To Netherlands to Study Dutch Flood Protection
Monday, May 18th, 2009
Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., will this month lead the second Congressional Delegation to the Netherlands to study the Dutch integrated water management system. Louisiana and administration officials, including EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, will join Sen. Landrieu to study the world-class water management and flood protection system in the Netherlands, which shares many of Louisiana’s challenges in protecting populations and economic infrastructure below sea level.

In early 2006, Sen. Landrieu along with the Royal Netherlands Embassy led an initial Codel to the Netherlands. Since 2006, Louisiana has made progress in protecting coastal communities, including 100-year flood protection for the New Orleans region to be completed by 2011, but this trip will help the state assess remaining challenges. Sen. Landrieu will also explore policies, which may include innovative Dutch technologies and practices, that can reduce the persistent delays and cost overruns of Army Corps of Engineers projects.

More.....


Blogger Note:
AWESOME!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

MR-GO flooding suit in judge's hands - NOLA.com

MR-GO flooding suit in judge's hands - NOLA.com

Trial ends in lawsuit against Corps, ruling could take weeks or months | News for New Orleans, Louisiana | Local News | News and Weather for New Orleans | wwltv.com

Trial ends in lawsuit against Corps, ruling could take weeks or months | wwltv.com

04:30 PM CDT on Thursday, May 14, 2009

Associated Press

A trial in a lawsuit blaming the Army Corps of Engineers for the flooding of eastern New Orleans, the Lower 9th Ward and St. Bernard Parish during Hurricane Katrina has ended after four weeks of testimony from a series of experts.


Now, U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. will take the case under consideration and rule sometime in the coming weeks -- or months.


The lawsuit by five people and one business was the first major case against the federal government over flooding from Katrina. The fate of more than 120,000 other claims by individuals, businesses and government bodies hinge on Duval's ruling.


The suit claims that the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, a shipping channel the Army Corps dug in the late 1950s, led to the destruction of the natural environment southeast of New Orleans and the wipeout flooding during Katrina.



(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Poverty in America - Change.org: Policies that Make People Disappear

Poverty in America - Change.org: Policies that Make People Disappear

::SNIP::

This observation was striking, and I thought of many examples of how post-Katrina policies have literally made people disappear.

In the fall of 2007, I visited the largest post-Katrina FEMA trailer park in Louisiana, cruelly named Renaissance Village. It was converted into a FEMA trailer park when FEMA covered a cow pasture with gravel. It was only possible to access Renaissance Village by car- you could not walk to it from anywhere else and public transportation was weekly. It was surrounded by a high fence and patrolled by a private security company (who also controlled access- I had to obtain previous security clearance to enter). All residents were poor, the vast majority were black, many had mental and physical disabilities, and a great deal of them were public housing residents before Katrina. There was no access to jobs or even grocery stores. I was deeply affected by this visit and the people I met. It literally felt like FEMA dumped the most vulnerable group of Katrina affected people in the middle of a field somewhere to be forgotten. It was like they disappeared.

In the meantime, local and federal government officials have been busy ensuring that there are no physical reminders of these internally displaced people’s presence in New Orleans. This includes local governments who have refused to allow the rebuilding of affordable housing. But perhaps the most dramatic example was HUD’s determination to demolish 4,500 units of New Orleans public housing, much of which wasn’t even damaged by the storm or flood.

When I talk with volunteers who come to

Neal Boortz Says Katrina Refugees are Parasites

Neal Boortz Says Katrina Refugees are Parasites

You gotta wonder if this Nazi favors genocides, too.

Obama administration rejects federal wind insurance for hurricanes - Politics AP - MiamiHerald.com

Obama administration rejects federal wind insurance for hurricanes - Politics AP - MiamiHerald.com

Obama administration rejects federal wind insurance for hurricanes
By MARIA RECIO
McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has quietly told Congress that it "strongly opposes" federal wind insurance legislation - surprising a Mississippi lawmaker who lost his home to Hurricane Katrina and who's spent more than two years fighting for wind coverage.

The legislation would permit homeowners who participate in the federal national flood insurance program to purchase wind coverage at actuarially set rates.

Homeowners in hurricane-prone states like Florida, the Carolinas and Texas have found wind coverage either expensive or impossible to find, forcing many states to form wind pools or, in the case of Florida, a state-owned insurance provider.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has been a strong backer of the legislation, which passed the House of Representatives last session by a wide margin as part of the flood insurance reauthorization. It failed, however, in a lopsided 74-19 Senate vote.

A shell-shocked Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., said he learned just a few days ago that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Craig Fugate, the nominee to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency, had written lawmakers in opposition to Taylor's legislation.

"I'm obviously extremely disappointed," Taylor told McClatchy Newspapers, "that an administration that ran on 'change you can believe in' did this without taking the time to talk to us.

"I'm particularly angry that they're bailing out AIG, but when it comes to the excessive cost of wind coverage, they're not helping the people of coastal areas," he said. American International Group is one of the nation's largest insurers.

OpEdNews » Obama Shows His True Katrina Colors

Obama Shows His True Katrina Colors

If response to the crimes of Katrina is the litmus test for 21st Century Black politics – and it should be – then the Obama administration has failed to distinguish itself from its predecessor under George W. Bush. The Bush imperative was to take gruesome advantage of the hurricane’s destruction to accomplish a national goal: to drive poor Blacks from the central cities. Every governmental crime of omission and commission in the wake of Katrina was coldly calculated to permanently exile several hundred thousand African Americans from New Orleans. The city was deliberately rendered unlivable for a huge portion of its previous residents, while corporate vultures from across the nation and even Australia schemed to create a new urban “model” – minus African Americans.

From the beginning, candidate Obama denied that racism played a role in Katrina’s aftermath. The prevailing “incompetence,” he said, was “colorblind” – proving either that he, Obama, was the blind one or that the man who would be president is as hostile to the inner city poor as George Bush.

Obama waited until his first 100 days in office had passed to delegate to his minions the task of evicting Katrina survivors from 3,000 FEMA trailers. Most of the trailer inhabitants are elderly. Two-thirds of them own homes that they have been trying to make habitable, with or without help from the government. Their evictions from the trailers will make it that much harder to renew their lives as permanent residents of New Orleans – which is the whole point of the evictions.

“Obama has effectively adopted the Bush policy on New Orleans, in whole.”

FEMA claims that it has always offered to allow people to buy the trailers for as little as $300. But the trailer residents overwhelmingly dispute that story. According to the New York Times, “virtually all of the residents interviewed said they had offered” to buy their trailers, but were “told they could not.” Who are you going to believe, the people or FEMA?

And who is to blame? Not George Bush, not anymore. President Obama has effectively adopted the Bush policy on New Orleans, in whole. Not a single one of 500 planned “Katrina cottages” has been made ready for occupancy. Elderly people squat in abandoned buildings. There are no credible plans to repair or create an infrastructure that could accommodate the poor who still remain, much less the New Orleans diaspora, scattered to the four winds three and a half years ago.

President Obama’s economic stimulus plan, of which he is so proud, revealed his

::SNIP::

more....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

LegalNewsline | Hood says State Farm settlement should stay sealed

Hood says State Farm settlement should stay sealed

::snip::

"Hundreds of thousands of Mississippians were adversely affected by Hurricane Katrina," Jackson New Media attorney Andy Taggart said.

"This was a watershed piece of litigation that tens of thousands of homeowners and all Mississippi taxpayers have a stake in. All we ask from the Court is to allow the press and the public their First Amendment right to access to relevant court materials and remove the lingering doubts as to what really happened in this matter."

Hood sued State Farm and four other insurance companies weeks after Katrina, claiming that they intentionally misrepresented to policyholders the amount of damage done by wind (covered by their policies) and water (covered by a federal program).

A proposed settlement with State Farm had the potential to affect more than 35,000 policyholders, but a federal judge did not approve of it for procedural reasons. A separate successful settlement of 640 claims was coupled with a $5 million payment to Hood with the agreement his criminal investigation would cease, the company said.

More...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Housing Travesty After Katrina Isn't Over | Culture11

Housing Travesty After Katrina Isn't Over | Culture11: "There are times when our federal government's missteps in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina can make even the Keystone Cops look organized and efficient. I just about chomped through the cigar I was puffing on yesterday when I scanned down the front page of yesterday's New York Times to be greeted by the headline 'Ready or Not, Katrina Victims Lose Temporary Housing'. The first thought that snapped through my mind was we are building new schools in Iraq to replace the ones we blew up, but we can't take care of our own citizens?"

The Associated Press: Critics: Army Corps' $5.2M PR tab is wasteful spin

The Associated Press: Critics: Army Corps of Engineers' $5.2M PR tab is wasteful spin: "Critics: Army Corps' $5.2M PR tab is wasteful spin
By CAIN BURDEAU – 1 day ago
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A public relations firm boasts it turned around media coverage of the much-maligned Army Corps of Engineers since Hurricane Katrina wiped out sections of New Orleans in 2005 — to the tune of $5.2 million.
But critics say the PR spending was a wasteful move that amounts to little more than spin.

In 2007, the Army Corps in New Orleans awarded the PR contract to Outreach Process Partners Inc., an Annapolis, Md.-based firm. Although the company says the contract is a fraction of the $14.6 billion Congress allocated for improving the region's levee system, a New Orleans-based group has led the public outcry and urged people to send letters to congressional representatives. Some 500 letters have been sent so far, according to the group, Levees.org.
'Now we don't even know how to say 'No comment,' we need to hire people to say that for us,' said Harry Shearer, a New Orleans actor and blogger. He argued the corps is trying to 'keep the knowledge we have in New Orleans limited and parochial and to keep the rest of the country bamboozled.'"

BLOGGERNOTE:
Spending taxpayer money intended to repair the levees to LIE ABOUT HOW WELL THE CORPS IS DOING???

Get a rope.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Leaving the Trailers - Ready or Not, Katrina Victims Lose Temporary Housing - Series - NYTimes.com

::snip::

“I need the trailer,” said Mr. Hammond, 70. “I ain’t got nowhere to go if they take the trailer.”

Though more than 4,000 Louisiana homeowners have received rebuilding money only in the last six months, or are struggling with inadequate grants or no money at all, FEMA is intent on taking away their trailers by the end of May. The deadline, which ends temporary housing before permanent housing has replaced it, has become a stark example of recovery programs that seem almost to be working against one another.

Thousands of rental units have yet to be restored, and not a single one of 500 planned “Katrina cottages” has been completed and occupied. The Road Home program for single-family homeowners, which has cost federal taxpayers $7.9 billion, has a new contractor who is struggling to review a host of appeals, and workers who assist the homeless are finding more elderly people squatting in abandoned buildings.

Nonetheless, FEMA wants its trailers back, even though it plans to scrap or sell them for a fraction of what it paid for them.

::SNIP::

FEMA says it has done everything it can to help those in temporary housing. But, as is so often the case when it comes to Katrina issues, the agency’s clients give a different account. Agency officials insist, for example, that they have been working “extensively” to help families in trailers and hotels find permanent solutions.

“A lot of people are involved in the process of making sure that no one falls through the cracks,” said Manuel Broussard, an agency spokesman in Louisiana. “Everyone’s been offered housing up to this point several times. And for various reasons, they have not accepted it.”

But the dozen temporary housing occupants interviewed for this story said they had received little if any attention from FEMA workers and were lucky to get a list of landlords, much less an offer of permanent housing.

::SNIP::

FEMA officials also say that residents can buy their trailers, sometimes for as little as $300. But virtually all of the residents interviewed said they had offered to do so and been told they could not.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New Orleans Recovery Chief to Leave - NYTimes.com

New Orleans Recovery Chief to Leave - NYTimes.com

Edward J. Blakely, the New Orleans recovery director, who was given enormous power to steer the city’s rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, will leave his city government post this summer after two and a half years, he told The Times-Picayune on Wednesday.

When he was hired, Mr. Blakely, a former chairman of the department of city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley, was known as a prominent expert on post-disaster recovery, and he freely proclaimed his own importance to the city. But many residents quickly grew frustrated with the slow pace of rebuilding.

Mr. Blakely, who was chairman of urban and regional planning at the University of Sydney, in Australia, and commuted from there despite his $150,000 city salary, quickly came under scrutiny for spending time away from the city while neighborhoods languished.

In recent news interviews he has defended his record, saying almost all of the federal block grant money has been allocated and 400 rebuilding projects were in the pipeline. Mr. Blakely did not return phone calls to his office on Wednesday.

Ceeon Quiett, a spokeswoman for Mayor C. Ray Nagin, said the projects


more.....

BloggerNote:
Good Riddance!!!

Katrina victims use science to sue US government - environment - 07 May 2009 - New Scientist

Katrina victims use science to sue US government - environment - 07 May 2009 - New Scientist

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Heres an email I just sent to my Representatives:

From Daniel G*****


To Doris Matsui (D), Dianne Feinstein (D), Barbara Boxer (D)

Subject: Make New Orleans safe
Message: Dear Senator and Congressperson,

Please support any legislation that improves the levees and wetlands in New Orleans. Please give royalties from off shore oil production to Louisiana; (as is done for other Gulf region states), to improve environmental destruction caused by pipeline construction.
Help rebuild New Orleans.
And last but not least; would somebody please waterboard, or at least censure, Rep Baker for his bigotted comments immediately after the governmental failure of the levees:
"We couldnt clean out New Orleans housing projects, but God did."
~Richard Baker, Republican Congressman

Thank You,
Daniel G*****

You too, can send a letter, starting HERE:
http://www.troublethewaterfilm.com/page/speakout/HBOStandUp

.....and using your own words like I did.

Hurricane Katrina survivor's footage utilized by Trouble the Water's filmmakers | Straight.com

Hurricane Katrina survivor's footage utilized by Trouble the Water's filmmakers | Straight.com: "“At the same time, we just felt it was really important to illustrate some of the disconnect that the rest of us were having with the situation—particularly with President Bush, who we show in one scene speaking directly to the people in New Orleans on television when the people in New Orleans had no television.”"

Katrina backwash stalls Fugate's confirmation - Florida - MiamiHerald.com

Katrina backwash stalls Fugate's confirmation - Florida - MiamiHerald.com

Friday, May 1, 2009

Poverty in America - Change.org: Mass Incarceration: An Unacceptable Strategy for Poverty Reduction

Poverty in America - Change.org: Mass Incarceration: An Unacceptable Strategy for Poverty Reduction: "According to the Pew Center on the States, the United States incarcerates more people than any country in the world, with approximately one in 100 people behind bars in 2008. Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the nation, with 1 in 55 adults currently behind bars. This figure only includes people behind bars, not people on probation or parole. Since 1982, Louisiana’s incarceration rate has risen by 272 percent."

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Plaintiffs wrap up their case in MRGO trial - State - SunHerald.com

Plaintiffs wrap up their case in MRGO trial - State - SunHerald.com
::snip::

Before stepping down from the witness box, U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. allowed Rodriguez to make a final statement. And the politician - a looming figure with his black and brown cowboy garb, big belt buckles, walking cane and blunt language - spoke with emotion.

"What it took Mother Nature to put together in 1,000 years, the corps destroyed it in 40 years," Rodriguez said, referring to the channel's destruction of marsh and swamp forest.

"I'll be totally honest with you," Rodriguez said. "I think, today, that the corps and the steamboat association should be indicted for murder. That's how I feel about the whole thing."

"Thank you, sir," Duval said.

The Corps of Engineers referred questions to the Department of Justice. Charles Miller, a Justice Department spokesman, said "we would have no comment in regard to" Rodriguez's statement.


more...........
Elite engineering panel says New Orleans needs better protection - duh! - New Orleans Levees News and Views
::snip::


Before now, Levees.org had considered the NAS fairly incorruptible. But then we saw this opening sentence of the group's press release:

"Levees and floodwalls surrounding New Orleans -- no matter how large or sturdy -- cannot provide absolute protection against overtopping or failure in extreme events.."

The word "absolute" makes the sentence a truism, but did not stop publications like the BBC from publishing headlines like "Levees cannot save New Orleans."

This NAS press release is terribly damaging to the folks in New Orleans because it leads people to think New Orleans and the vicinity cannot economically be protected.

Dr. Han Vrijling, Professor of Hydraulic Engineering and Probabilistic Design at Delft University of Technology had this to say about NAS's opening sentence.

"...Levees will never give infinite protection, but it is economically wise to make levees in New Orleans very safe up to levels of failure of in average only once in 5000 years. Right now it's once in 100..."

The press release has the effect of announcing to the world that people should not trust American civil engineering.


more.....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

DHS: Secretary Napolitano Announces Additional FEMA Funding for Katrina/Rita Public Assistance Projects


Blogger note:
Big Brother still AWOL on the levees

Thanks to Harry Shearer for quoting this gem:

"Dept Homeland Security chief Napolitano:
"No levee can be built high enough to withstand a hurricane like Katrina." "

Blogger Note:
The HEIGHT of the levees was NOT the problem. What a loser!

Amid e-mail controversy, Nagin Sanitation Chief Veronica White publishes book of FEMA wisdom - NOLA.com

Amid e-mail controversy, Nagin Sanitation Chief Veronica White publishes book of FEMA wisdom - NOLA.com: New Orleans Sanitation Director Veronica White has managed to keep a low profile since news broke early this month that she gave thousands of City Council e-mail files to a local lawyer before the city attorney could review them for sensitive information.

But she popped back into the spotlight this week with news of the publication of her book, "How to Maximize FEMA Funding After a Natural Disaster."

The 80-page paperback is on sale at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for $35, though Internet sites for both vendors indicate the book is not in stock, and a clerk at a local Barnes & Noble store said Tuesday that it has not yet been delivered to warehouses.

::snip::

"'How to Maximize FEMA Funding' was published by DEW Enterprises of Orleans, which was incorporated in September 2008 by David E. White -- who should not be confused with Mayor Ray Nagin's close friend and campaign treasurer, David A. White. David E. White is Veronica White's husband."

The only way this loser could get published, is because her HUSBAND is the publisher.
"80 page paperback.... for $35" oh boy! So hows that cleanup going in New Orleans, biatch?
Apparently the best way to "Maximize FEMA Funding" is to misappropriate the funds entirely, then profit off your failure by writing a book.... as if you were some kind of expert.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Harry Shearer: The First 100 Days in New Orleans

Harry Shearer: The First 100 Days in New Orleans

::snip::

He made a vague assertion that he'd make real the promises President Bush uttered that eerie, floodlit night in an otherwise-darkened Jackson Square, and all the administration has offered to New Orleans so far has been a fact-finding trip by Janet Napolitano, who observed that "no levee can be built high enough to withstand a hurricane like Katrina." So, more facts need to be found, at least for the DHS Secretary.

Here's one: there was not one dollar in the stimulus package, not one out of 700-billion-plus, to help the rebuilding of the tattered levee-floodwall system (despite the Corps of Engineers' statement, a few weeks ago, that, supposedly because of money shortfall, they would choose the "technically not superior" solution to the repair of one poorly-built floodwall; not one dollar out of 700-billion-plus to accelerate the restoration of the coastal wetlands that buffer New Orleans from stronger hurricanes, despite the fact that human activity, including Corps of Engineers-built canals and oil company pipelines, have caused most of the destruction of the wetlands. Not shovel ready? The only thing readier for a shovel is the hope that the new administration might really bring the nation's attention to the federal government's responsibility for the disaster, not just for the lackluster response, and might step up to its responsibility to do the job right this time.

All during the campaign, and then during the first 50 days, Obama partisans would say to me, "his heart's in the right place, just give him some time, he's got a full plate." Yet, the Corps is making decisions right now that chill the blood of New Orleanians concerned about their city's future, and Simon Cowell will be on welfare before this Congress will pass another stimulus bill. The money window is shut, and the administration has been content to focus the nation's attention on Latin American relations, on high-speed rail, on Bo -- on anything but the near-destruction of a great American city.

Nice 100 days' work. Happy Jazzfest.

Barack Obama
Obama's First 100 Days

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Statement from plaintiffs' attorneys in corps lawsuit - NOLA.com

Statement from plaintiffs' attorneys in corps lawsuit - NOLA.com

Judge Duval ruled that the 17th Street, London and Orleans Avenue outfall canals were federal flood control projects and therefore statutorily immune from suit under the Flood Control Act of 1928. Joseph M. Bruno, the Plaintiffs' Lead Counsel in the consolidated Katrina litigation who along with a team of attorneys filed litigation on behalf of over 300,000 New Orleans residents, businesses, and property owners says the legal team intends to appeal the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

"This decision, if allowed to stand, would mean that there is no Congressional oversight, nor review of the Corps' actions which, in this instance, resulted in the greatest engineering disaster in the history of this country," Bruno said. "On a more personal level, the families of the deceased, and the thousands of families who lost everything will have no way of seeking some justice and restitution. In this case, well over 300,000 homes and businesses were wiped out because of the Corps' arbitrary, capricious, and in many instances even reckless acts in carrying out its Congressional mandate. Now, more than ever, Congress needs to conduct a full review of the Corps' conduct by establishing an August 29 commission similar to the one established after September 11th tragedy without delay. We are calling upon all citizens to write their senators and congressmen to demand the Corps be held accountable." Bruno said.

In the 46-page decision, Judge Duval commented on the immunity shielding the Corps:
"This story-fifty years in the making-is heart-wrenching. Millions of dollars were squandered in building a levee system with respect to these outfall canals which was known to be inadequate by the Corps' own calculations. The Byzantine funding and appropriation methods for this undertaking were in large part a cause of this failure." Opinion, p. 44

"The cruel irony here is that the Corps cast a blind eye, either as a result of executive directives or bureaucratic parsimony, to flooding caused by drainage needs and until otherwise directed by Congress, solely focused on flooding caused by storm surge. Nonetheless, damage caused by either type of flooding is ultimately borne by the same public fisc. Such egregious myopia is a caricature of bureaucratic inefficiency." P.45

The lawsuit alleges that the Corps unilaterally abandoned the authorized plan of protection of the Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection Project that was mandated by Congress in 1965 (the so-called "Barrier Plan"). The Barrier Plan would have protected metropolitan New Orleans from deadly storm surges entering Lake Pontchartrain from the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Borgne . As a consequence of that decision, the Corps finally had to implement a "High-Level Plan" which posed numerous known design problems, most notably weak foundation soils. This crucial change in the plan of protection for the New Orleans metropolitan area was made without the necessary authorization from Congress, and the plaintiffs argue that this lack of authorization removed the Corps from the immunity afforded by the Flood Control Act.

Furthermore, with regard to the 17th Street Outfall Canal, the plaintiffs contended that the stability of the canal embankment on the Orleans Parish side was severely compromised when the Corps authorized the dredging of approximately 470,000 qf of canal bottom by the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board. The lawsuit alleges numerous instances of negligence and cites expert reports warning the Corps of the failure of the canal due to weak soils as far back as 1974. Since the Corps had authorized the dredging of the canal as part of a local drainage project, not a federal flood control project, plaintiffs contend that the Corps should not be entitled to the immunity afforded by the Flood Control Act.

Federal Emergency Management Policy Changes After Hurricane Katrina: A Summary of Statutory Provisions

Federal Emergency Management Policy Changes After Hurricane Katrina: A Summary of Statutory Provisions

The Post Katrina Act

.PDF HERE:
http://training.fema.gov/EMIweb/edu/docs/Federal%20EM%20Policy%20Changes%20After%20Katrina.pdf

CNN.com - Report: Criticism of FEMA's Katrina response deserved - Apr 14, 2006

CNN.com - Report: Criticism of FEMA's Katrina response deserved - Apr 14, 2006:

"Inspector general: 'Much of the criticism is warranted'
From Mike M. Ahlers
CNN Washington Bureau

Friday, April 14, 2006; Posted: 3:00 p.m. EDT (19:00 GMT)"

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- After being roundly criticized in a slew of media, congressional and government reports, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's internal watchdog Friday returned its own verdict on the handling of Hurricane Katrina: The criticism against FEMA is largely deserved.
In a hefty 218-page report, the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general writes that the federal government and FEMA received "widespread criticism for a slow and ineffective response to Hurricane Katrina."

"Much of the criticism is warranted," Inspector General Richard L. Skinner writes.
The report gives an account of FEMA's recent history and response to Katrina, covering ground that has been well-plowed in recent months, although adding some details.
It describes manpower problems, a decline in planning for natural disasters as attention focused on possible terrorist scenarios, and confusion over the roles and responsibilities of officials in responding to disasters.

It culminates with 38 recommendations to FEMA's director and to the agency's parent organization, the Department of Homeland Security.

Among the findings:

Comprehending the disaster:
With the communications infrastructure destroyed, it took FEMA officials about three days after landfall to grasp the magnitude of the hurricane's destruction.

Meeting expectations:
FEMA has long held that state and local governments should be prepared to survive 72 hours before federal intervention. But the report says, "It is unclear whether this is responsive to the needs of a state and the needs of disaster victims." The report continues: "What is clear is that a 72-hour response time does not meet public expectations, as was vividly demonstrated by media accounts within 24 hours after landfall."

New response plans:
The federal government was phasing in two "watershed planning documents" when Katrina struck -- the National Response Plan and National Incident Management System. Katrina exposed "severe deficiencies" in the response plan, such as the role of the principal federal officer, the person designated to coordinate the federal government's response. Then-FEMA Director Michael Brown was designated as such a person for Katrina.

The role of emergency managers:
The report questions the need for "emergency managers," one of 14 functions carried out by FEMA staff members during an emergency. Agency staffers who created the "emergency manager" function said it was "hastily designed, is incomplete and has not been fully implemented," the report says.

Integrating federal and state command structures:
The report says the federal government and the state of Louisiana, in particular, had "great difficulty" in meshing their command structures and "never fully achieved a unified command with FEMA."

Emergency housing:
The report cites numerous shortcomings with delivering housing. It notes that cruise ships contracted to provide shelter for emergency relief workers were 35 percent occupied during the first 30 days after the disaster. "At that occupancy rate, the cost to FEMA was approximately $3,363 per week per evacuee, which was about three times higher than the existing per diem rate for federal government workers in the area," the report says.

Search and rescue:
FEMA was ill-prepared to conduct the massive search-and-rescue function. Its federally coordinated teams conducting secondary building searches found spray-painted symbols indicating that state teams already had looked through the buildings.

Ice, water and supplies:
FEMA needs to improve the tracking of supplies. Some FEMA and state workers said they had to order twice as many supplies to get half of what they needed, primarily because they had no confidence in the system.

Disaster drills:
FEMA conducted large-scale natural disaster exercises between 1995 and 1998 but then opted for smaller ones with fewer participants. FEMA officials also said it became more difficult to maintain relationships with local officials when the job of awarding grants was transferred to another unit within the Department of Homeland Security.

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | 'Thousands dead' in New Orleans

BBC NEWS World Americas 'Thousands dead' in New Orleans:

"Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said 1,700 truckloads of essential supplies were on their way there."

Trucks Loaded With Ice, Water, Food Wait in Maryland Parking Lot - Technology News - redOrbit

Trucks Loaded With Ice, Water, Food Wait in Maryland Parking Lot - Technology News - redOrbit

This is not incompetance. It is evil.

NAACP Legal Defense Fund -- News

NAACP Legal Defense Fund -- News

Among the issues identified by the commission were rampant housing discrimination against prospective African-American renters who survived the storms; racially-exclusive apartment listings on housing web sites that were designed to assist evacuees in finding housing after the storms; and discriminatory local policies designed to keep storm survivors out of certain neighborhoods and lock them out of opportunity. The commission also found that federal housing officials have been slow to respond to these abuses. The commission will release a comprehensive report on the state of fair housing enforcement, to be presented to Congress at the end of this year.

NAACP Legal Defense Fund -- News

NAACP Legal Defense Fund -- News

"As we commemorate the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and anxiously await the arrival of yet another storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, the news from the Gulf Coast remains discouraging. Despite some notable individual success stories, meaningful relief and stability have not reached the masses through what has been a largely market-driven recovery effort. For every pocket of hope, there are much larger pockets of despair. Seriously misplaced priorities of federal, state and local officials have stalled progress and provided precious little justice for the people of the Gulf Coast. And all the while, people who have returned to the Gulf Coast and storm survivors who are scattered throughout the country (collectively, the Katrina Diaspora) still struggle, many in disbelief that this nation's leaders would permit their continuing suffering.

Three years after the storm, critical housing issues still affect the Katrina Diaspora. Many of us know families who have rebuilt their homes. Yet, for every family that has returned, we see new policies being implemented that virtually guarantee that others will never make it back. Thousands of homeowners who were promised funds to help them to rebuild have been left with sizable financial gaps, with black and poor homeowners having the largest gaps of all thanks to funding formulas that reward those who had greater financial means before the storm. And some residents in forgotten coastal communities in Mississippi and Alabama have been altogether left out of funding considerations. Meanwhile, renters – who comprised the majority of the pre-Katrina population in New Orleans – have not received a dime of direct assistance from the state-run Community Development Block Grant disaster relief program. People living in FEMA trailers faced the double sucker-punch of first learning that the trailers contained toxic levels of formaldehyde and then being ordered to move out of the trailers by local officials seemingly more concerned with the aesthetics of neighborhoods than the plight of the people living there. Since the hurricanes, rental rates have nearly doubled in some areas as affordable housing has become increasingly scarce and the city's homeless population has risen to an all-time high of nearly 12,000 people. Yet, a miniscule number of new housing units are primed for construction and over 4,500 structurally sound public housing units have been demolished. "

More....

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Engineer testifies of 'hurricane highway' in MR-GO trial News for New Orleans, Louisiana Top Stories News and Weather for New Orleans wwltv.com

::snip::

"Bob Bea, a civil engineer with the University of California at Berkeley, said Katrina's flooding would have been minimal if the 76-mile Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet had not been built or if the Army Corps of Engineers had maintained it properly.

"This was not a natural disaster, this was a manmade disaster," said Bea, who specializes in studying engineering disasters and risk management and who, by his own account, has spent about 10,000 hours studying the levee failures during Katrina.
The testimony came at the end of the first week of a federal trial against the corps." "

::snip::

"During the first week of testimony, plaintiffs' experts testified the gulf outlet was a disaster.

John Day, an emeritus professor of marine and environmental sciences at Louisiana State University, said the outlet destroyed large areas of freshwater swamp, 15-foot-high marsh grasses and cypress forest because it let salt water from the Gulf of Mexico wash inland.

He said the corps was told repeatedly the outlet was destroying wetlands southeast of New Orleans and that the agency should block the salt water intrusion. But he said those warnings were ignored, even as the corps' own studies showed the importance of wetlands."


Blogger Note:
Make sure you read the last sentence!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ISS - FBI opens inquiry into death of Henry Glover

ISS - FBI opens inquiry into death of Henry Glover

"Police, according to Tanner, then seized both the auto and Tanner's body. The car, a Chevrolet Malibu, was eventually discovered in an isolated spot along the Mississippi River. Inside was Glover's severely burnt corpse, which had been reduced to little more than ashes and bone fragments, autopsy records and photos show. No witness has yet come forward to describe how the car caught fire."


Blogger Note:
Nazi pigs dispose of their most outspoken critics first; in the most horrible ways.

Miss. Mayor Indicted In Katrina Fraud - CBS News

Miss. Mayor Indicted In Katrina Fraud - CBS News: "(AP) The mayor of Gulfport, an area hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, has been charged along with his wife in a 16-count federal indictment related to an allegedly false claim for disaster assistance.

Mayor Brent Warr issued a statement Wednesday saying the charges have nothing to do with his role as mayor and he will continue to run the city."

What? He commits insurance fraud off the clock?

Previous Coverage: Hurricane and Immediate Aftermath - Los Angeles Times

Previous Coverage: Hurricane and Immediate Aftermath - Los Angeles Times
See right hand column, scroll down

Why FEMA Was Missing in Action - Los Angeles Times

Why FEMA Was Missing in Action - Los Angeles Times
ISS - Mister GO goes to trial::snip::

""It's the most expensive catastrophe in United States history. And it's actually man made," Jonathan Andry, the plaintiffs' lawyer, told CBS News Monday.


In his opening comments, Judge Duval, who is hearing the case without a jury, also called the case "the first real trial" about Hurricane Katrina, the levees and the role of the federal government. "This is a significant case that could affect hundreds of thousands of people," Judge Duval said Monday. "You all know what this is about:...What did the Corps know, when did it know it, and when should it have known?"


The federally-funded MR-GO was dug into the swamps southeast of New Orleans in the 1960s as a shortcut between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. For years coastal advocates charged that the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies allowed energy companies to decimate Louisiana's coastal wetlands, the best buffers against hurricanes, with projects like MR-GO. Residents, environmentalists, civil rights groups and policy makers steadily argued for MR-GO's closure, as the channel continued to grow in size due to erosion, bringing with it daily tidal flows of salt water that killed wetlands, marsh and cypress swamp forests. Hurricane experts warned that the destruction of wetlands around MR-GO eliminated a key barrier to advancing storm surges, and that MR-GO's faulty design created a funnel effect, accelerating the force and strength of storm surges. But all these warnings went unheeded.


On Monday the plaintiff's expert on geology and the coastal environment, Sherwood M. Gagliano, testified that the channel was "one of the greatest catastrophes in the history of the United States." According to the New York Times, Gagliano cited reports from as early as 1957 that claimed the canal would pose a danger to the people of St. Bernard Parish and reports of his own dating from 1972 that warned of the increased flooding risk from wetlands destruction. He also testified that the Corps was aware of such research and even prepared a report in 1988 that mentioned the possibility of catastrophic damage to urban areas from MR-GO. Despite such assessments, Gagliano explained that the Corps did little to reduce the risk.


Yet, the Corps has consistently argued that the canal's effect during Hurricane Katrina was insignificant. But at the direction of Congress, the Corps has begun to close the MR-GO canal using 434,000 tons of rock.""

Newsman Norman Robinson testifies he considered suicide, turned to alcohol after Hurricane Katrina - NOLA.com

Newsman Norman Robinson testifies he considered suicide, turned to alcohol after Hurricane Katrina - NOLA.com: "His testimony came during the third day of a trial in which he and four others hope to prove their case that the Army Corps of Engineers' failure to maintain the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet created a speedway for Katrina storm surge that destroyed their property."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Black Contractors Say They're Excluded - New Orleans News Story - WDSU New Orleans

Black Contractors Say Theyre Excluded WDSU New Orleans

The Raw Story | WSJ: White rich elude Orleans chaos, don't want poor blacks back

WSJ: White rich elude Orleans chaos, dont want poor blacks back
FindLaw: Hurricane Katrina Victims Lawsuit Against the Federal Government and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Norman Robinson, Kent Lattimore, Lattimore & Associates,
Tanya Smith, Anthony Franz, Jr., and Lucile Franz v.
United States of America and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
April 25, 2006


New Orleans property owners sued the federal government and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, alleging that they knew or should have known that the Mississippi Gulf River Outlet's ('MR-GO') "design was flawed" by failing to account for the channel's "inherent and known capability of serving as a funnel or conduit [during] storm surges" and how they affected levees in New Orleans and St. Bernard Parsish.

The plaintiffs owned homes, businesses, and property that was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. They content that the storm flooding caused by an improperly constructed MR-GO destroyed their homes, property, businesses, and changed their lives for the worse.

The plaintiffs also alleged that the Army Corps of Engineers "failed to 'armor' levees on both banks of the MR-GO." Armoring is a process used to construct a stronger, water-


Read the 45 page lawsuit: HERE
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Are you starting to get it?
It wasnt a "Natural Disaster" it was an "Engineering Disaster"

Obama Administration Says New Orleans is Not Forgotten - Essence.com

Obama Administration Says New Orleans is Not Forgotten - Essence.com

Monday, April 20, 2009

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Lawsuit Against Army Corps Over Katrina Begins - NYTimes.com

NEW ORLEANS — A groundbreaking civil suit begins in federal court here today to consider claims by property owners that the Army Corps of Engineers amplified the destructive effects of Hurricane Katrina by building a poorly designed navigation channel adjacent to the city.


The Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, a 76-mile-long channel known locally as MR-GO and pronounced “Mister Go,” was completed in 1968 and created a straight shot to the Gulf of Mexico from New Orleans. The suit claims that the channel was flawed in its design, construction, and operation, and that those flaws intensified the flood damage to the eastern parts of New Orleans and St. Bernard parish.

If they win, the plaintiffs — a local newscaster, Norman Robinson, and five other people whose

more....

2theadvocate.com | News | MRGO closing to boat traffic — Baton Rouge, LA


2theadvocate.com | News | MRGO closing to boat traffic — Baton Rouge, LA

By AMY WOLD
Advocate staff writer
Published: Apr 20, 2009
Comments (0)


The long-awaited closure of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet will reach another milestone Wednesday, when the channel becomes officially closed to boat traffic.

But that will not be the end of the work that is needed, members of the MRGO Must Go coalition say.

“While they shut the channel down to boat traffic, MRGO is still an accident waiting to happen,” said Aaron Viles, of the Gulf Restoration Network.

The MRGO is blamed with bringing salt water from the Gulf of Mexico into the freshwater marshes in St. Bernard Parish and hastening marsh and land loss.

The wetlands — and cypress forests — that used to exist are what members of the MRGO Must Go coalition would like to see restored for ecological and hurricane protection reasons, said Wilma Subra, consultant with the Louisiana Environmental Action Network.
Marylee Orr, director of LEAN, agreed.

“I think a lot of people say it’s closed so it’s not a reason for concern,” Orr said. “It’s not done.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is building a rock closure on the man-made shipping channel between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico at Bayou La Loutre in St. Bernard Parish. The structure will include 433,500 tons of rocks piled 450 feet wide at the bottom of the structure and 12 feet across at the top, according to a corps news release.

The top of the structure will be about eight feet above sea level. The project is about 50 percent complete and is expected to be completed by July, said Greg Miller, senior project manager for the MRGO project.

Enough work has been done that the water depth over the project has gone from 40 feet to about 14 feet, which makes it hazardous for boats still using the channel that need 12 feet of draft, he said. That’s why the channel will be officially closed to boat traffic Wednesday, Miller said.

On the ecosystem restoration side, the corps is working on a feasibility study and Environmental Impact Statement that Congress approved in the 2007 Water Resource Development Act or WRDA.

That study will look at restoration in areas impacted by the channel stretching all the way from north of Lake Maurepas down through the channel area and even into Mississippi, he said. In all, the feasibility study is looking at project area measuring 3.86 million acres — about 6,000 square miles, Miller said.

“It’s a very large area,” Miller said.

To better manage the large area, the corps has broken the study area into more manageable pieces and met with people interested in that specific area, he said. One of the most recent meetings included discussion about the central wetlands in St. Bernard Parish between 40 Arpent levee and the MRGO levee.

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BLOGGER NOTE:
Interesting that they would publish this TODAY.
It shines a favorale light on the US Army Corps of Engineers.... when their trial begins TODAY for the utter failure of 53 levee breaches!!