June 2007 Archives
I walked out to the hotel pool to check on the kids, and on the way back in this above-the-fold lead story in the complimentary copy of USA Today caught my eye:
New Orleans deaths up 47%
Post-Katrina surge as city's lost doctorsBy Steve Sternberg
Hurricane Katrina's tragic aftermath lingered for at least a year after the storm abated, boosting New Orleans' death rate last year by 47% compared with two years before the levees broke, researchers reported Thursday.
Doctors say the dramatic surge in deaths comes as no surprise in a city of 250,000 mostly poor and middle-class people who lost seven of 22 hospitals and half of the city's hospital beds. More than 4,486 doctors were displaced from three New Orleans parishes, creating a shortage that still hampers many hospitals, says a companion study released Thursday.
A few minutes later, I'm futzing around on my free (!) in-room wifi, rebooking flights to come home a day early, and this nola.com headline catches my eye:
Feds want plans for downtown hospital scaled back
Posted by Washington bureau June 21, 2007 10:29PM
By Bill Walsh and Jan Moller
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration made it clear Thursday that it has serious problems with Louisiana's plan for a 484-bed teaching and research hospital in downtown New Orleans, sending Gov. Kathleen Blanco and state lawmakers scrambling to defend the project they hope will help revitalize the hurricane-worn city.
At the same time, [HUD Secretary Alphonso] Jackson took aim at virtually every aspect of the proposed teaching and research facility, including the size, cost, scope and long-term viability. He called state estimates of local demand for hospital beds "inflated"...
The Ben & Jerry's in the hotel gift shop is now catching my eye, since it seems to be one of the few affordable means of self-medication around any more.
So the particular Camazotzian suburb of Raleigh that I'm stuck in for the next few days makes Kenner look like fucking Prague, but that doesn't excuse the narrow-minded Caucasian Food Blandness Act of 2007 passed in Jefferson Parish. Ban taco trucks? Are they nuts? A hundred years ago this line of reasoning would have banned the muffulettas and poor-boys that those invading hordes of Sicilians were using to corrupt our youth.
In regions of the US where Mexican and Central American culture is strong, like Texas, the taco is the equivalent of the poor boy. Everybody eats them, all the time, you can get one on every corner, neighborhoods and cities will argue over who has the best tacos, what makes a proper taco, what neuvo innovations are sacreligious and what classic traditions are worth defending.
Bringing real tacos, real Mexican and Central American food to New Orleans in a familiar form (and taco trucks are practically an indigenous cultural icon) is a good thing for this region.
Jefferson Parish can do what they want, but New Orleans, we need to keep these folks and their food.
The Corpse of Engineers has released the interactive IPET risk maps finally. I've played with the Google Earth version just a little, late last night after flying into Raleigh for a hockey tournament so my brain was likely not firing on on cylinders.
Somebody check my math here, but looking at the "French Quarter/Garden District" map, (which includes everything between City Park and the river), it seems to me that for the 2% risk maps (50-year event) there is no difference between current risk and pre-Katrina risk. Similarly, the .2% 500-year "now we're really fucked" event, there's no difference...massive flooding all the way to Tchoupitoulas. Only in the 100-year event is there a reduction in flood levels between pre-Katrina protection and current protection, and that still leaves Broadmoor heavily flooded out.
What I don't have a firm grasp on is how various storm scenarios map to X-year events. Was Katrina a 100-year event, or worse, or better?
Dambala posts an extraordinarily fascinating scenario explaining, basically, how a so-called Democrat mayor like Nagin manages to get away with everything he gets away with, considering the highly politicized nature of the Republican DOJ.
Read the comments as well.
Cyclone Gonu may be the first tropical cyclone to ever enter the Gulf of Oman.
Millions of people in Oman and Iran live in low-lying coastal areas where they rarely even receive any rain, and have never been hit by a tropical system.
A full analysis from the Weather Underground, including satellite photos.
Three predictions of varying degrees of sketchiness:
1. If Jefferson leaves office, Nagin will run to take his place, 'cause there ain't no way he's running for governor.
2. The liberal blogosphere will pay attention to us again for a few days, but will learn nothing, and at least one Kossack will say something derisive about New Orleanians and how stupid we all are for living in this part of the world. (BTW, whatever happened to Nancy Scola's part III? The MSM picks shitty stories to cover, but at least when they get stuck on something they really stick).
3. Jeffrey will tell everybody why my prediction #1 is full of shit.
Freret Street Festival. Four stages. Plus Food. Saturday.
Help Lisa find her marbles by moving stuff out of her house and doing some light gutting. Email schroeder915 at yahoo dot com if you want to help. Sunday.
Carrollton bike ride with Recovery Czar Ed Blakely. Starts at St. Charles & Carrollton at 2:00pm Sunday. Ends at Palmer Park.
Myself, I'll try to make one or two or these, but most of the weekend I'll be packing up Napoleon getting ready for the move to Willow.
No, not this Willow: