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Conservatively liberal, moderately well-educated, and highly opinionated...

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Monday, September 05, 2005

A Gordian Knot

It is evident that being part of Orleans Parish is not helping the West Bank right now. It is understandable (and correct) that Orleans’ attention is focused elsewhere; the mind absolutely boggles trying to contemplate not only the current horrors, but the massive challenges still to come. Yet the situation across the river is radically different: light (to no) flooding, water and gas intact, etc.

I also see the logistics issue that Jefferson Parish has with Algiers, particularly over the next several days. Harry Lee will have problems enough trying to determine who belongs where with his own people. There's also the larger question of security. Undamaged areas are not necessarily safe areas, as recent events have shown.

You have had some good thoughts about the issue, and I definitely think something should be tried. One proactive suggestion is to bring up a page to host a petition. I've never tried to organize a petition, but experience elsewhere has consistently shown that those with a problem get better response if they can suggest solutions.

What if Algiers proposed specifics, such as: come through on the West Bank Expressway, to Terry Parkway exit (to access De Gaulle), beginning... say... next Monday, for 3 days or something, then out, like Jefferson Parish. From what I understand, the Jefferson Parish folks will be back out by then, so Algiers would not confuse the issue there. Somebody else suggested they screen using the Algiers zipcodes: 70131 and 70114. Makes sense to me.

It's also difficult to determine where a petition should be directed. The Governor? A General? Lower levels of government may not be helpful, considering Orleans is under martial law.

I'm confident we have the technical resources to put something together. What do you think? I've opened a discussion topic for this in the forum here:


  • At 8:30 AM, Blogger bigboy said;

    Let's do it. Our home is undamaged. We were lucky. We had another home to return to in Ohio. We had moved in the last stick of furniture at 1:00 A.M. Sunday and by 8:00AM we were gone with our neighbors. We are very attached to the Point and would like to help in some way. This blog is our source of information and we really appreciate all of you.

  • At 8:40 AM, Blogger Olivera said;

    Well, the way I see it we - ho evacuated - were the ones who obeyed the law and now we are being punished for it. As far as we know, our house is still standing as well, but with some roof damage at least. All that we want is to be able to go home to protect what is left, grab what we can and head out. The ZIP code idea is excellent.

    I also wanted to say that your blog is the BEST thing ever. We owe you big, polimom.

  • At 9:06 AM, Blogger Daniel & Tracy said;

    We should send the petition to Harry Lee, Aaron Broussard in addition to "Sugar Ray Nagin". Any and all of those involved. Don't we have any rights as home owners? My husband starts work back at Tulane University Hospital Nov.1, we certainly need to get back and get our home and lives ready for rebuilding the city. We just hope no one else has "commandeered" our home! We are grateful for your blog, keep up all good work!

  • At 9:34 AM, Blogger charleyh said;

    Count me in for the petition. Does anyone out there have any contacts with the media? I stated my case on WWL radio last night. One idea, EVERYONE CALL INTO WWL RADIO ABOUT OUR PLIGHT IN ALGIERS. It is simply unacceptable that we are denied access to our homes only because we are in Orleans. We are part of the WB. I, for one, will have dead cats soon if I cannot get in to get them out or at least take in more food and water. It never occurred to me I would be denied access to my home after the storm!
    Thank you for this forum, Polimom, you are a beacon of light for us!

  • At 9:38 AM, Blogger fergie said;

    contact Jeff Arnold's or Jackie Clarkson's office ASAP. Arnold should be the one to spearhead any efforts of residents wanting to go back and check on our properties.

    Jeff Arnold
    State Representative
    District 102



  • At 9:40 AM, Blogger NickSpetsiotis said;

    I belive that this letter or petition should focus on Algiers leaders such as Jackie Clarkson as well as Jefferson Parish leaders and the Mayor in that whatever we try to suggest has to take into account that we will have to work in conjunction with Jefferson Parish's security and logistical restrictions/requirments because our re-entry will have to go through their Parish.

  • At 9:41 AM, Blogger 400blockElmira said;

    natasha, shame on you

    this is no roumor
    I am in Houston.
    I have the info from the shelters.
    you should do more research.
    Texas food stamps/gas 800-500-4266

  • At 10:00 AM, Blogger charleyh said;

    I emailed Jackie and Jeff Arnold several days ago, no replies. I was told yesterday when I called WWL Radio that Jackie will be on today at 4:00. Call in!!

  • At 10:16 AM, Blogger Tacola said;

    Since my family and I had just moved to Algiers Point on the 26th of August, we have no Louisisana identification (we still have Washington driver's licenses).

    The only link to our residency is the utilities, which are in our name.

    Any suggestions on how we would be able to get in?

  • At 10:27 AM, Blogger Rebecca said;

    I think there must be a petition. I have email here from people asking me to please help out their cats, check on their property, etc. if my husband and I can make it back into the Point.

    What's bothering us is that our house is okay, and we're able bodied adults. Our return to the Point would lighten the load on neighboring states, while giving New Orleans a workforce to help with the rebuilding. For crying out loud if they can import workforce from states across the country, why NOT use those of us willing to stick it out, even without power, in our own homes on the Point? I don't get it.

    Please stay on the petition idea. Something has to be done. I will be writing Jeff Arnold immediately. I agree that Nagin has too much on his plate right now and the Governor, well I won't go there right now.

    We'll keep checking this blog. We plan on doing SOMETHING by Wednesday.

    Is there any hope that if enough of us showed up all in the same place at the same time that they'd let us in? Just thinking out loud right now.

    We'll check back later.

  • At 10:59 AM, Blogger dash said;

    Unpopular opinion coming:

    I can see setting something up for people to come in to take care of some business (animals, etc) for a day or so (like Jefferson seems to be doing), but I have to agree with Clarkson on this one. I think the city is trying to get people out and it'd be too hard to evacuate one part of the city while others are moving back in. As long as the city is trying to convince people in New Orleans to leave, people need to stay away.

    It sounds as though Algiers is going to be a staging point for the feds to work from. Right now, I don't think there's much we can do to help rebuild. Hell, as messed up as this whole thing has been they probably don't even know how to start rebuilding, let alone how the average citizen can help.

    As well, we go back, and what do we do? We clean up what we can, but then what? No power exists, it's not like we have jobs to go back to. I don't have confidence that the people in control have any idea of what to do with some sort of workforce. I even doubt that there's a plan to put the city back together at this point, beyond getting the water out. I just believe that our presence would be a distraction, and I think it's been well-proven over the past week that any distraction results in disastrous delays.

    So, as much as it pains me - because I want to go home - I figure it's best to sit tight. At this point, I think the presence of residents, be it on the east or west bank, is a liability to the city. Someone to worry about and someone to take their focus off of cleaning up and getting the city ready to re-build.

  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger Polimom said;

    Just my two bits - I actually agree with dash. In and out, for assessment and personals, seems a reasonable request. Staying there would probably create more problems than it would help.

  • At 12:11 PM, Blogger Natasha said;


    I have checked my sources. This comes directly from Texas Dept. of State Health & Services http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/dshstoday/bogusemail.shtm
    Bogus food stamps/gasoline e-mail

    An e-mail is being circulated that indicates that food stamps and free gasoline for Hurricane Katrina evacuees are available from or through the "Texas Department of Health and Human Services."

    The e-mail is bogus.

    However, hurricane evacuees wanting accurate information about food stamps availability may call the 2-1-1 information service or 1-888-312-4567.

    Some versions of the e-mail include the Web address for the former Texas Department of Health, now part of the Texas Department of State Health Services.

    The food stamps program is administered by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

    Neither agency is supplying free gasoline.

    Last Updated September 1, 2005

    I understand that we are all very hurt, very worried and very upset about this situation. I have loved ones who are just as affected as you. I have been working as much as anyone to get accurate information and help to the people who need it. If the shelters are giving out the info it appears that they are giving out the wrong info- there is no free gas. People must go through the appropriate channels in Texas to find out about food stamps. Please do not attack me. This is the time we should all be working to support each other and should be treating each other with kindness and respect. I grew up in the Point. My mother still lives there; we are your neighbors.

  • At 12:20 PM, Blogger bluevintage said;

    I don't want to get in anyones way.I dont want to be near the city. All I want is to save my cats. I actually thought I was doing them a favor by locking them in the house with food and water, till I could return. They are feral(wild) and would do much better out on the street. Also, I would be happy to let the feds use my house. At least it would be safe. there is no way that I can bring my three year old back to the city anytime soon. Parents please think about the health hazards for children even if they do let us comeback to the point and algiers.

  • At 3:53 PM, Blogger Daniel & Tracy said;

    It is important for us to remember each individual CAN help. Every last twig, branch, debris needs to be picked up. The longer they keep us away from our city, she will slowly die a little each day. Yes, the Feds are helping - thank god. But Nola is our city, she needs us now. Please don't lose hope, and certainly do not forget the profound impact each individual can make...

  • At 10:14 PM, Blogger Rocksinger said;

    What about Senator Francis Heitmier? He has bee a big help to me when I needed him and I believe that he would be a good person to send a petition to.

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