I wanted to put down some thoughts on Monday’s Senate field hearing, something beyond the raw notes I posted, but I’m finding no clarity. On the most fundamental level, I’m simply unsure what I witnessed Monday morning. I saw powerful politicians in nice suits. They said a lot of things that sounded very reasonable. But […]

Read More → Confessions of a Bewildered Cynic

I’m famous at last, quoted in an article on the Village Voice website by Anya Kamenetz, a former New Orleanian. “I’ve lost all sense of what’s normal,” says New Orleans resident Bart Everson. His house, which took on five feet of water, stands at a crossroads in the city’s recovery — one of the points […]

Read More → “I’ve lost all sense of what’s normal.”

This past weekend felt like a watershed for my neighborhood, but it also left me feeling overwhelmed. Our Mid-City recovery planning meeting with Clifton James took place Saturday morning, and it was both uplifting and inspiring and surprising. We’d expected Clifton to make some sort of presentation. Instead, he pretty much turned it over to […]

Read More → Overwhelmed

Los Angeles has them. Atlanta has them. Even Missoula, Montana has them. I’m talking about Neighborhood Councils. In Atlanta they call ’em Neighborhood Planning Units. I’m sure in other communities they go by other names, but the basic idea is the same: Neighborhoods need control over the basic decisions that affect our lives. If they […]

Read More → If Missoula Can Do It…

So I went to the neighborhood planning meeting for Mid-City and Gert Town Saturday morning, and was deeply disturbed by what I saw there. Something doesn’t smell right. It’s not just the lack of publicity for this particular meeting. The whole process seems suspect. The aim is to come up with a recovery plan for […]

Read More → Fattening Frogs for Snakes

The Washington Post published an article titled Amid Katrina’s Ruins, Black Colleges Survive: Xavier University, the nation’s only historically black Catholic university, expected half its 4,100 students would return this semester; instead 3,110 are back on its restored campus, surrounded by uninhabitable houses and boarded-up shopping centers. Until I read this article, I hadn’t thought […]

Read More → “Students may be the optimistic people in New Orleans”

According to a story in the morning paper, our neighborhood has four months to prove its viability. This is according to the new plan from the mayor’s Bring New Orleans Back commission. (Actually it’s supposed to be unveiled this afternoon. I guess someone leaked it to the paper.) It appears to be a compromise between […]

Read More → Four Months