Katrina update

Billions of federal dollars are about to start flowing into this city
after President Bush on Thursday signed the emergency relief bill the
region has long awaited. But, with the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina
approaching, local officials have yet to come up with a redevelopment
plan showing what kind of city will emerge from the storm’s ruins.

No neighborhoods have been ruled out for rebuilding, no matter how
damaged or dangerous. No decisions have been made on what kind of
housing, if any, will replace the mold-ridden empty hulks that stretch
endlessly in many areas. No one really knows exactly how the $10.4
billion in federal housing aid will be spent, and guidance for
residents in vulnerable areas has been minimal.

How about this?

Mr. Voelker, who is in charge of the state authority’s efforts to
coordinate with neighborhood planning, sounded uncertain even about the
nature of the master plan.

"I don’t know what this master plan is going to say, because I’m not a master planner," Mr. Voelker said.

Here is the full story.  Mr. Voelker’s honesty is to be applauded, even when it appears he is trying to rewrite Aristotle’s Law of Identity.

For background on Katrina I recommend the forthcoming Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City, by Jed Horne.

If you want other tragic news, here is Man Charged After Wife’s Head Flies From Truck, and that happened while he was committing two other murders.


Herr Cowen,

If the local/city government announces restrictions on rebuilding in areas that many believe should be ceded to the lake, the public protests and accuses Nagin turning his back on the poor who would be affected more than rich and middle class folks by the “lighter footprint†. An announcement so soon after the election would result in accusations that he is a hypocrite, holding back only until he won the election.

Is it wrong for the federal government to pump this money into the region with no central planning yet available from the city? Wouldn’t the marketplace allocate the resources most efficiently? After all, big business across the country is always looking for investment opportunities and often is willing to invest in developing countries with legal structures and corruption that are worse than in NOLA.

What would you do?

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