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To: Tradelite who wrote (40784)9/6/2005 3:56:04 PM
From: Tradelite
of 306829
 
In Baton Rouge, a Cool Welcome
Class Divisions Among Blacks Greet New Orleans Evacuees

By Wil Haygood
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 6, 2005; A19

BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 5 -- When this city's mayor, Melvin "Kip" Holden, issued a stem-winding warning that he would not tolerate "lawlessness" from arriving Hurricane Katrina evacuees, it seemed a page torn from the playbook of the celebrated former governor Huey Long, exposing an us-against-them dictate.

But many blacks here -- and those arriving from New Orleans -- were suddenly wondering whether this city was about to turn into a kind of ground zero of class warfare between blacks and blacks.

Holden himself is black, which had the potency of lifting the debate above the usual black-white fault lines.

"We know we don't want that criminal element," Sheila Mosby, 40, said while sitting on her front porch on the south side of this city and recalling scenes of recent looting in New Orleans. "I can understand trying to survive. But that element coming here, well, they might try to rob stores. To tell you the truth, it's really going to be something."

While dabbing at sweat beads with a pink hand towel, Mosby, who is black, went on: "Like Mayor Holden said, if they come down here and try to break into people's houses, and stores, there's a place for them."

She -- like the mayor -- was referring to the Baton Rouge jails.

Mosby said she envisioned "shoot to kill" orders if break-ins do occur.

Orders for the police? "No! From the people who live in these homes. They will shoot to kill. They gonna let these people know, 'You ain't in New Orleans. You in Baton Rouge.' "

This city of approximately 260,000 people, which lies 90 miles northwest of New Orleans, has not had the dramatic racial narratives of many other southern cities. There were bus boycotts in the 1960s -- and those of a certain age still remember a violent confrontation that took place during that decade between local Muslims and police here, which resulted in gunfire and injury.

Holden's comments seemed to bring to the surface the reality that local resources may well be strapped; that the holding-on blacks of this community realize there is sudden competition, from other blacks, for help in escaping poverty.

All day Sunday, hundreds had lined up at the Department of Social Services office to get assistance, especially food stamps. Many were Katrina evacuees, but hardly all.

"Now my biggest concern is the schools," said Tara Willimas, 34, a medical transcriber who is black and resides in Baton Rouge. "We don't mind sharing, but there's going to be competition for jobs."

Many, including the mayor, contend this city's population could more than double in the coming days and weeks, exceeding half a million.

"I can understand these people coming here from New Orleans," said Isadore Brown, 32, who also was standing in line for food stamps. He's a crane operator, a black man who says the power at his Baton Rouge home went out, ruining food. Brown says he already has visions of criminals from New Orleans running amok. "They're coming down here from New Orleans making us fear for our lives," he said. "Some people have talked about not leaving their house."

Already, this city -- home to Louisiana State University -- has been showing signs of tension. Some stores are closing early, leaving many to wonder whether they're doing so because of those unsettling images of blacks looting in New Orleans -- or simply because stores are running out of supplies. And it has not been uncommon in recent days to hear gunshots ring out in the night.

"Why do store owners all of a sudden want to close up their stores at 10 p.m.?" wonders Tammy Ruffin, 33, also black. "Many of these stores used to be open 24 hours."

There are upwards of 30 evacuees now staying at the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church on Eddie Robinson Sr. Drive -- named after the legendary Grambling football coach who grew up on this street. Eula Smith -- wife of Pastor Charles T. Smith -- directs volunteer efforts at the church, which serves a predominantly black congregation.

She says she immediately began to wonder about class divisions in the aftermath of Holden's comments.

"I don't know if the mayor was trying to alienate people or what," she said, seated in her office, the hallway buzzing with the sounds of New Orleans children playing tag. "He didn't say it right. Every population has this criminal element. But it sounded like he said all New Orleans people are thuggish."

Sleep has been hard to come by for Smith and her harried staff. She yelled out for someone to brew more coffee. "Now we do have to be careful," she continued, "that some of our people aren't using this situation to their benefit, getting into our shelters, and what have you. But Baton Rouge is bigger than Mayor Holden anyway. I think he said what he said for the benefit of his white voters, because he's looking to the future."

Simmering class divisions aside, the bugaboo of racism also has reared its head. Barbara Martin, 58, was a teacher in New Orleans. She and her husband, Alphonse, who are black, evacuated here. "Soon as the mayor made his statement about New Orleans," she said, "no-vacancy signs went up everywhere here on apartment complexes."

"We have sat in our car and watched whites go in these places and come out with paperwork to get apartments. The mayor is black. His head must be in the sand," she said. She goes on, her husband amen-ing her every word: "I accept what he said in terms of lawlessness. I don't believe in lawlessness myself. But what he said affected everybody. Some people were on lockdown here, as if we were going to tear up the city."

Martin says she has been made to feel "uncomfortable" in Baton Rouge. "I'm a middle-class black person, and I'm being treated by the color of my skin."

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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To: Tradelite who wrote (40786)9/6/2005 3:58:32 PM
From: Tradelite
of 306829
 
Wall Street Sees Limited Storm Impact

By Ben White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 6, 2005; D01

NEW YORK, Sept. 5 -- Wall Street economists and money managers spent the long holiday weekend keeping close watch on the effects of Hurricane Katrina, with many saying that, despite the devastation, the long-term impact on U.S. and global economic growth should be muted.

But several analysts also warned that global stock, bond, currency and commodities markets may react sharply in the coming days and weeks to any signs of prolonged energy supply disruption, depressed consumer spending or rapidly rising unemployment.

"The economic and market implications of Katrina, and her ugly aftermath, remain highly problematic," Robert J. Barbera, chief economist at ITG-Hoenig, wrote in a report to clients over the weekend. "Most obviously, a slower trajectory for global growth now seems unavoidable. . . . U.S. consumer spending will take a hit in the months ahead."

Several Wall Street firms reduced their predictions for U.S. economic growth in the second half of the year, citing the impact of gas prices on consumer spending and the disruption of commodity shipments through the critical ports at the mouth of the Mississippi. Credit Suisse First Boston, for instance, reduced its estimated gross domestic product growth for the third quarter from 3.7 percent to 3 percent.

William C. Dudley, chief U.S. economist at Goldman Sachs & Co., wrote in a research note that the reduction in economic output should be limited to the next few months. But he said such an outcome was not guaranteed. "The worst-case scenario is if the drop in consumer spending leads to significant [enough] job losses to push the unemployment rate materially higher. That could be sufficient to generate the type of dynamics that culminate in recession."

Several analysts said that whether those dynamics emerge will depend in large measure on the pace with which oil and gas production return to normal levels. Signs of improvement should limit further spikes in oil prices and in turn ease the rise in gas prices. Positive news on Gulf of Mexico production helped ease crude oil prices in London trading on Monday.

However, analysts said any further anecdotal reports of gas hoarding or long lines at filling stations could cause panic and another sharp increase in oil and gas prices. In such a scenario, stocks would sell off quickly and Treasury bond prices, which rallied last week, would rise further.

Several Wall Street economists said any economic growth erased this year may simply be deferred to early 2006, as spending on Gulf Coast rebuilding creates jobs and pumps money into the economy. Several also predicted that Katrina's impact may spur the Federal Reserve to put its campaign of interest rate increases on hold. That could help keep mortgage rates low, extending the housing boom.

Money managers will be closely watching the municipal bond market this week. According to investment firm Cumberland Advisors, the three states hit hardest by Katrina -- Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama -- have a combined $11.5 billion in outstanding municipal debt.

In some cases, payments to holders of those bonds are scheduled to be made by cities and counties that were badly damaged by Katrina. Some of the bonds are backed by payment guarantees from state governments. Many are backed by bond insurance firms. Nonetheless, Cumberland Chairman David Kotok said credit downgrades from the major rating agencies are likely for many bonds. Such downgrades could cause a wave of selling.

The impact could further ripple through the bond market if the companies that insure municipal bonds sell large parts of their own portfolios to raise cash to meet claims or are themselves put on negative credit watch by any of the ratings agencies.

Internationally, any significant dent in U.S. consumer spending could have a major impact, especially for Asian economies that rely on exports to the United States.

"Asia has been able to shake off higher oil prices extraordinarily well. What matters for Asia is U.S. consumer demand and the extent to which that's affected," said Amy Auster, chief international economist at ANZ Bank in Melbourne, Australia. "If gasoline prices stay high for a long time you have to assume consumption in the U.S. will soften, and that will be an issue for Asia."

The only major effect so far, Auster said, is that speculation about a pause in interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve has caused the dollar to fall against major currencies. ANZ has lowered its estimate for the dollar as a result, with the bank's forecast for the year-end shifting from 115 yen per dollar to 106 yen per dollar.

Hans Timmer, chief macroeconomic forecaster at the World Bank, said that if oil prices remain high "the biggest impact by far will be on the poorest countries" such as Ethiopia and Kenya that do not produce oil and must spend a large proportion of their output on oil imports.

Staff writer Paul Blustein in Washington contributed to this report.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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To: Tradelite who wrote (40787)9/6/2005 4:01:54 PM
From: Tradelite
of 306829
 
No Place to Go But Home

By Linton Weeks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 6, 2005; C01

METAIRIE, La., Sept. 5 -- Vincent Salamone is one of the fortunate ones. He is alive and in his home and he is already rebuilding his very good life.

But even he is upset about the handling of the disaster. He did exactly as he was told. He evacuated from his comfortable home here on the banks of Lake Pontchartrain in Jefferson Parish last Wednesday when the authorities told him to, and Monday he returned for the first time in nearly a week, also when the authorities told him to. During the time he was away -- bouncing from Jackson, Miss., to Covington, La. -- he had plenty of time to seethe over the incompetence of the bureaucracy, the inadequacy of communications and the indignities unbefitting a law-observing business owner/taxpayer/lifelong Louisianian. And as he talks about it, the anger rises in his voice like floodwaters.

"They didn't ask your name, or say, 'Kiss my behind,' or whatever," says Salamone, 65, as he sits at a patio table in his back yard. He's talking about state troopers who wouldn't give him the time of day during this crisis. And he doesn't understand.

He has returned to a place that was laid low by Hurricane Katrina. Trees are jammed through roofs; power wires swoop from tree to tree like thin black bunting. It would be a nightmare if not for the fact that, for thousands of others in Louisiana right now, this is paradise.

People were allowed back into Jefferson Parish for 12 hours Monday. The Salamones aren't planning on leaving no matter what anybody tells them to do.

"They'll have to pull me out with a tow rope," his wife says.

And Salamone is concerned about the next devastation. He says he will not leave his house again. Even if the authorities tell him to.

"I tell you why I'm going to stay," he says. "Where do I go?"

Vincent and Doris Salamone live on Folse Street in a quiet neighborhood on the east side of the parish. The lake is just behind their house, on the other side of a levee. A levee that held. They had some water damage in their two-story brick-and-stucco home from the rains -- but not as much as some of their neighbors. The Salamones' carpets are ruined. They lost a satellite dish, and gutters were ripped from the eaves. They have no electricity, water or phone service.

You can tell by looking at Salamone that he's a successful guy. Silver, wavy hair, tan complexion, a certain bonhomie that comes with feeling good about your success. He owns an appliance distribution company in New Orleans. He has 12 employees. He doesn't know whether his business is still standing. He hasn't heard from any of his employees.

When he heard the order to leave, he packed up his 2003 Cadillac DeVille and he and Doris, 66, and his sister Rosa, 71, and their two dogs headed north up Interstate 55, looking for lodging. There was none.

"They want people to evacuate," Salamone says. "You've got to have a place to evacuate to."

Hours later, around Jackson, they realized they weren't going to find a room. So they started back south. They stopped at a little hunting camp that Salamone owns in Hazelhurst, Miss., but there was no power. They did find a five-gallon can of gas, though.

"If it wasn't for that," says Doris, "we would have been stuck on the side of the road."

They drove toward home. But when they got to a security checkpoint on the outskirts of Metairie, they were told by a state trooper they had to sleep elsewhere.

"Where?" Salamone asked. The trooper suggested a Red Cross shelter in Covington, so they turned around and motored back north. They reached the town just east of Baton Rouge about 8 p.m.

As he talks on his patio, the levee shines green behind him. Overhead helicopters drift by like noisy dragonflies, and dragonflies pass like silent copters.

The Salamones live in an upper-middle-class neighborhood. Homes here sell for between $100,000 and $600,000. Salamone says he would have liked to have gone to a shelter near his home.

They've paid taxes to help the authorities prepare for such a disaster but, Doris says, "We never heard where shelters were around here."

"I don't think they even have shelters for us," Rosa says.

In Covington, the Red Cross directed people to a gymnasium. Salamone gets peeved thinking about the way it was lighted -- a generator was used to power one measly fluorescent floor lamp in the middle of the vast room. It was dark in there, Salamone says.

Doris, white-haired and soft-spoken, adds, "The bathrooms were deplorable."

The women slept in the Cadillac, Salamone says, "with the dogs." They got up at 6 Thursday to get gasoline, then they tried to go home again.

Once more they were turned away. Salamone says the state trooper didn't give him any reason. "They had nothing else to do," Salamone says. "He could have talked to me a little. They were arrogant as can be." They turned around again and went to stay with some friends in Independence.

The future, Salamone says, is murky. He's not sure he will reestablish his business in New Orleans. "It can be anywhere," he says. "I could go to Hammond or Jackson."

He is concerned that the authorities do not care enough about him and his business.

"I have millions of dollars of inventory," he says. "All they are talking about is the evacuees. What about the rest of us?"

Every once in a while Salamone catches himself. "This side of town is devastated," he says. "But that side of town," he points toward New Orleans, "is worse for the evacuees. I never felt so humbled in all my life as that night in the shelter. I had money in my wallet and couldn't spend it."

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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To: Tradelite who wrote (40788)9/6/2005 4:06:14 PM
From: Tradelite
of 306829
 
New Orleans disaster serves up a tough lesson on environment

URL: physorg.com

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To: shades who wrote (40774)9/6/2005 4:06:33 PM
From: ~digs
of 306829
 
i offer a sincere apology and you give me CAPS about being rude..
oh well, take a look at your 'people marks' to 'ignored by' ratio... ouch! it's far less than 1:1

as for me,
"If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid with regard to external things. Don't wish to be thought to know anything; and even if you appear to be somebody important to others, distrust yourself. For, it is difficult to both keep your faculty of choice in a state conformable to nature, and at the same time acquire external things. But while you are careful about the one, you must of necessity neglect the other." ---Epictetus

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To: Moominoid who wrote (40782)9/6/2005 4:07:54 PM
From: shades
of 306829
 
You think a gold bug would go through the trouble of posting a germans attack on soros and all the work he would have to do to get that at the top of google search just to make his gold go up? That sounds desperate to me - but stranger things have happened.

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To: Tradelite who wrote (40789)9/6/2005 4:12:31 PM
From: Tradelite
of 306829
 
The Plucky Few
Some Survivors Manage to Stay Put And Get Out, Too

By Ann Gerhart
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 5, 2005; C01

NEW ORLEANS

Here, on the deep waters of the neighborhood called Elysian Fields, it was quiet. The only sign of desperation was a big white dog, pacing back and forth on the porch of a house up on stilts, water licking the top step. There was a perverse serenity to the place. Instead of helicopters, brilliant dragonflies buzzed around. A gorgeous pink crape myrtle bloomed, high above its submerged trunk. Oil on the muck matched the sheen on a magnolia's leaves. One house still flew the American flag, a sure sign of inhabitants there; after wind like that, someone had deliberately unfurled it.

The rescuers had put their boats in at a highway off-ramp where a street named Humanity had once been, and set off through nearby Elysian Fields to make paradise wait for any souls still stranded. There had been some dramatic rescue stories throughout the week -- the 95-year-old man who saved himself by flashing a pocket mirror in the sun from the hole in his roof; the nuns who stayed with the nursing home patients. Inspiring stories, the kind the media need on Day 6 of any disaster.

But to the searchers' surprise, many had refused to leave. (Denial? Dementia?) So they came back Saturday, offering one last chance to people surely starving, dehydrated and weakened, five days after the hurricane.

The small punts chugged off -- a medic, a seriously armed guard and a rescue professional on each -- and the support teams waited for them to return. There was the doctor set up on the highway above, and the tacticians with their global positioning systems, radio equipment, grid maps and satellite photos. They had come from all around the country, and many of them had their skills honed and their jaws set by picking the rubble at Ground Zero and Oklahoma City. But this, they all agreed, this was the worst.

Time passed under a blistering sun. The computer inside a Coast Guard command vehicle gave a readout: 95 degrees, with a heat index of 105. Then, a humming grew to a chugging and two boats drew up to the highway ramp.

Survivors! Snatched from the grasp of death!

Many of the people who emerged out of working-class Elysian Fields and the adjacent middle-class Gentilly seemed quite durable, which, as the day wore on, seemed all the more inspiring.

When they talked about why they stayed in their homes, they had their own reasons, but the theme was clear: They had kept their ears to the 24-hour all-hurricane news station, WWL-AM, and in a city completely in chaos, they knew they had a better chance of survival if they kept control over their own lives. Saturday, the news accounts indicated the horrible backlog for the displaced was ending.

When the rescue team came this time, Shirley Rihner, 83, agreed to come in. "I'm just fine, thank you," she said. She had her gold sneakers on, and she looked as though she had just been to the beauty parlor before going to Atlantic City. Her husband, Charles, 95, wearing his WWII Vet ball cap, and her granddaughter, Laurel Laborde, 25, were with her.

But her son and her other granddaughter had refused to leave. The waters were down to about a foot in Gentilly, the city's highest point, at the very rim of the bowl that is New Orleans. And they could communicate now, she added, because "Laurel went out there on the roof and got through one of those -- what do you call it, Laurel? -- yes, texting things."

Here came two gentlemen, Ray Lang, 47, and Alex Sanabria, 59. Sanabria leaned on a rosewood cane with a gold carved handle. Lang led their dog, Caesar, a cairn terrier wearing an expensive blue leather collar studded with gold dog medallions. Caesar's leash had one of those little baggie dispensers dangling from it, and there was good supply of baggies in there.

The couple had been eating well -- good coffee every morning, and salads at night. Each morning they got up, looked at the water level on the fire hydrant out front and then planned what to make for dinner, based on what was thawing most quickly in the powerless freezer. "I have chicken marinating in the fridge right now," said Lang, head of the computer science department at Xavier University, "but they weren't going to let us stay to eat dinner."

Twice before, offers of rescue had come, but Caesar wasn't allowed along. This time, the task force members did, but Lang left the cats. His 87-year-old neighbor wouldn't go, so the rescuers took his two five-gallon jugs of spring water over to her.

"She thinks the water will go down and she will walk to the store for coffee again," said Lang.

Another boat came, another landing party. A woman with fresh nail polish delicately stepped out of the boat and handed her knockoff Louis Vuitton duffel to a Coast Guardsman, who meekly carried it behind her, like a porter.

Two little girls with her trailed behind, and their hair was freshly braided, their summer dresses clean. Another young woman in their landing party came ashore clutching a bottle of turquoise liquor.

"I would say about half of them are still staying put," said Mike Lee, a safety officer for the task force from Colorado, after coming in from a rescue. "We look for the visible people. We offer them water and a last chance to leave. When they have made up their mind to stay, they stay."

On Saturday, rescue crews across New Orleans brought more than 600 people to dry land. But in many neighborhoods, as in Elysian Fields and Gentilly, up to half of those contacted opted to stay home. The problem has been so widespread that yesterday, Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff went public with a stern warning that time was running out.

"They ask 'Where am I going?' " said Gerald Eubanks, a Coast Guardsman from Iowa, who had worries of his own about family in Biloxi. "They have heard the rumors."

* * *

Elsewhere in the devastated city, acrid smoke poured into the air, dozens of choppers made their racket, and the homeless wept, moaned and collapsed as they waited to leave.

Shelby Lance was piloting his pontoon boat around, hoping to become one of those "man-in-the-flooded-street" heroes, and offered a reporter and photographer a ride. (Rules set by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which coordinates the massive convoys combing the waters each day, allow only necessary personnel on boats, to conserve space for those rescued.)

Lance's boat headed past the intersection of what had been Franklin Avenue and Pleasure Street. A man in a yellow T-shirt lay on his back, his arms outstretched, as if enjoying a summer float under the brilliant blue sky. Someone had tied a wrist to the highway marker, so the corpse did not drift away.

Down at one end of the neighborhood, the liquor store looked like folks had been helping themselves, and a canoe was tied up outside. Another man looked headed that way. "You all right?" called out Lance, and the man grinned and said he was fine. "I'm getting around," he said. "You could say I'm a commuter."

* * *

As the day wore on, about two dozen adults and three children arrived at the ramp and clustered together under a blue tarp, to await transport by Army truck to Destination Unknown. The rescuers, sweating in their blue jumpsuits, loaded down with their equipment, handed out water and Meals Ready to Eat.

Ariel Opara, 22, and her sister, Courtney, 21, wore matching "I'm So Lucky" T-shirts, as if they had been planning for this day, this boat. "No, we weren't waiting for them," she said. "It was what I had. The other [shirts] were all standing up by themselves."

An executive assistant at House of Blues and a mass communications student at the University of New Orleans, Opara got off work Friday night and headed off for the weekend with her mother, Jacqueline, 50, and sister, who was stricken with a chronic vascular disease two years ago and now uses a wheelchair. "I do that every weekend," she said, "to give my mother a break, since she's the primary caregiver."

When she heard the hurricane was coming, she stayed. When their first-floor apartment flooded, Ariel kicked down three doors of evacuated apartments on the second floor until she found one suitable for the three of them and her mother's boyfriend, Ronald Corley. Then, with the elevators out, she carried Jacqueline up the stairs.

"And we were fine," she said. They played charades by candlelight and put the boombox on the balcony where the other residents could hear it.

"I made bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning on the grill," said Jacqueline. "Well, it's sort of a grill," assembled as it was from the vent of a room air conditioner, a base scavenged from down the hall, and the oven rack.

When Courtney ran out of one of her 12 medications, Ariel waded down to the Walgreen's, "which by then," as she put it, "had been reopened. I had the money to pay for it, but I couldn't." They took turns in Courtney's commode chair, an unexpected comfort, which made them the envy of others. They bleached the "twig water" from outside in their bathtub and rinsed with it.

"We were fine," said Jacqueline. "We had plenty of water, we were going to sleep when we were tired, in our own beds, and we were eating our own good food, and we were enjoying each other."

The night before they came out, they had a family meeting and thought about where to go. Courtney wanted Austin, Ariel said New York, and Jacqueline thought she might like Seattle. Corley would have to find them down the road, because he was out looking for food when the boat came along.

* * *

Medics waiting for more arrivals at the highway ramp seemed to be dealing with the hazards of a Walgreen's reopening.

"Spike a line!" one yelled, to get an intravenous line running in a young woman they brought off a boat. She seemed in and out of consciousness and slurry of speech.

A medic rifled through her backpack and asked her name. "Anastasia," he demanded. "Why do you have all this codeine?" The work became frantic. The medevac helicopter was called.

Up above, under the tarp, as the heat bore down, the talk turned spiritual. Jerrell Carter, "the Reverend Jerrell Carter," lubricated and jolly, thought the time was right to marry a couple. He asked for a Bible, and several were pressed forward. He asked Robert Collins, from a Coast Guard unit from Peoria, to witness and sign the impromptu license, on yellow lined paper.

No one had any objections, and Carter, 56, an Army veteran who left his home with little more than the camouflage fatigues and hat on his person, said, "You may now kiss the bride."

There was much applause. Asked her name, the bride said, " Mrs. Uthrelle Scott. Mr. and Mrs. Uthrelle Scott. I'm Lucky."

The newlyweds had known each other but a month, said the new Mrs. Scott, "and we done got real close through this storm."

Collins looked on, shook his head slightly, smiled slightly. There are many people who have beseeched him for help during his stints of Coast Guard rescue. The wedding, that was a first.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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To: ~digs who wrote (40790)9/6/2005 4:14:39 PM
From: shades
of 306829
 
<oh well, take a look at your 'people marks' to 'ignored by' ratio... ouch! it's far less than 1:1 >

WOW! Do you know how many people tell me that in both public and private messages - like that is supposed to be something that concerns me - isn't it obvious by that very ratio I dont give a flip about it? HAHA - what do you think this is - some kind of popularity contest? Sheesh brother. I feel true pity who for whatever reason think an SI ignore to people mark ratio is some kind of important thing in a persons life to be concerned with - I mean its not just you - I have gotten probably 30 people in public and private messages telling me how much I must be HURTING because I have so many ignores - well when I had zero ignores I spoke what I felt from my heart, and if I have 1 million ignores I will speak the same - from my heart - you want to worry about ignore ratios and popularity contests be my guest - they do not concern me - hehe.

I remember reading to kill a mockingbird there was some town drunk, but all he drank was coke - but everyone thought he was a worthless drunk because they believed the popular consensus - you are better than that right? hehe

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To: Tradelite who wrote (40789)9/6/2005 4:26:14 PM
From: Tradelite
of 306829
 
Influx of Relief Workers Spurs Tension Over Housing Priorities

By Ariana Eunjung Cha
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 6, 2005; A17

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The billowing white tent cities sprouting up overnight in and around the city represent a hopeful turn in the housing shortage in areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Portable air-conditioning units create a cooling breeze. Canvas cots are decent, if not luxurious, beds. And caterers offer menus that include rib-eye steak and fresh apples.

But the facilities aren't for those evacuated from their flooded homes. They are for relief workers.

Their appearance in recent days has highlighted what has become a major dilemma for the aid effort across the Gulf Coast: Each worker the Federal Emergency Management Agency brings in creates more competition for housing and other basic necessities for victims of the hurricane.

And it has touched off uncomfortable questions about who should have priority in emergencies.

"I just don't understand it. How can they have air-conditioned tents and trailers so quickly for themselves and nothing for us?" said Linda Harold, a 49-year-old preschool teacher, whose home in New Orleans is underwater and who has been traveling from shelter to shelter with eight of her relatives.

In Biloxi, Miss., where finding a working bathroom has become a daily ordeal, the displaced have grumbled that relief workers have set up a tented complex at the convention hall with rows and rows of portable toilets but that they were not allowed to use them. In Jackson Parish, La., people complain that while utility crews have managed to put the power back on in the New Orleans central business district, where military and search-and-rescue crews are based, many homes remain without electricity.

FEMA and other Department of Homeland Security personnel deployed to the region number nearly 10,000. There are 35,000 National Guard troops, plus 7,200 on their way. In addition, there are tens of thousands of contract repair crews and nonprofit aid workers. The number of displaced, meanwhile, could be as high as 1 million.

Nowhere is the tension more apparent than in Baton Rouge -- the state capital, the closest major city to New Orleans and the base of operations for the relief effort. The population of the area has swelled to 1 million, almost double what it was before the storm.

The proliferation of tent cities has left some of the displaced with the impression that all relief and security workers have it easy, or at least better. That isn't the case. A unit of the Arkansas National Guard, for instance, had the grim task of staying at the New Orleans Convention Center after the evacuation. They slept outside on the sidewalk, without running water or electricity, amid the smell of rotting food and other trash.

Every hotel room in the Baton Rouge area is booked, and in the past week, displaced residents and relief workers have taken most houses for sale off the market.

Before the storm, the ReMax Real Estate Group had 300 homes for sale. It closed 70 contracts this week and has about 150 pending.

"I've been in the business for 29 years, and I've never seen anything like it. I hate it," said Donna Cutrer, 56, the firm's owner. "People are buying property sight unseen. People are fighting over properties. Everything has multiple offers."

"It's sad," she said. "You have all these people who have no place to go and trying to find housing. Our rental market is completely depleted and our sales market is almost completely depleted, and they have no place to go."

FEMA officials say they have been working hard to try to minimize their impact on the local housing market.

"Anything we can do remotely we are doing so we don't take a resource away from a victim," said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Carter. In addition, the agency has had to be creative about how and where it houses relief workers in the region.

The lucky ones are in the few hotel rooms and apartments the agency managed to secure. About 200 are in bunks set up in an office building the agency leased to coordinate the relief effort. At least five people are assigned to each room, and they are on what FEMA calls a "hot beds" system, where people share beds and sleep in shifts.

David Fukutomi, FEMA's liaison to power companies and other utilities, is sharing a one-bedroom apartment with 10 or so people from the staff. He never knows exactly how many people will be there each night because people drop in at all hours.

"I find out how many people are there when I wake up," said Fukutomi, 40, who came in from Pasadena, Calif.

New arrivals are told to bring sleeping bags or blankets and typically end up crashing on hallway floors and in cubicles, cars, vans and motor homes for at least the first few days. Hundreds of others are in the tent complexes.

At the Louisiana State Police Training Academy, the headquarters of the FEMA operation, contractors have set up three tents for relief workers. During the day, they serve as dining halls. Dinner Saturday was boneless chicken; on Sunday, rib-eye steak. In the evenings, the tents are filled with blankets and pillows, providing shelter for 165 people each. The air conditioning is on so high that two soldiers who spent the night there recently complained that it was "freezing."

Entergy Corp., a utility company that has 10,000 relief workers on the job, has based one of its larger teams in a shopping mall parking lot just south of the city. The facility includes air-conditioned RVs and a mobile first aid center. Food is being provided by Spectrum Catering, Concessions and Special Events, a privately held firm from The Woodlands, Tex.

"That's over nine times our normal staffing size during normal operation, and so the logistical challenge is vast," said Kelle Barfield, a spokeswoman for Entergy.

Enrique Maldonado, 37, a Houston resident who works for ABC Professional Tree Services Inc., a debris removal service that is a subcontractor for Entergy, said he was told that he was likely to be in the tent city for three to four weeks and that he doesn't mind. "At least the food is very good," he said.

Ruben Garcia, Spectrum's vice president for operations, said the company is feeding 400 to 1,400 workers a day at the parking lot and that its menu had included salad, fried catfish, chicken-fried steak and pecan pie. He said the company had its own logistical problems trying to house its six employees on site. It had to rent an RV for the cooks and servers for the first time. "Every hotel room for several states is booked. So this is unique for us," Garcia said.

Meanwhile, most of the displaced have been moved from the filthy and dangerous Louisiana Superdome and the convention center in New Orleans to more decent shelters, but they are still a far cry from the sterile and efficient tent cities that many relief workers have made their homes.

In Donaldsonville, La., more than 200 people sleep in four darkened rooms next to the railroad tracks and share a portable shower. In Jackson, Miss., several dozen are housed in a cavernous congregation room of a church. At the nicer shelters, food is potluck, consisting of things such as gumbo and hot dogs, while at those that are less nice, people get "heater meals" in cardboard containers or even military rations.

Amanda Trulove, 26, a specialist with the Mississippi National Guard, has been in Waveland, Miss., since Tuesday, chafing at the inability to land and distribute supplies because relief efforts were so disorganized. Now there is plenty of food, water and medicine and some ice. But the inhabitants still lack the most-requested item: portable toilets. "I know, I know," Trulove said. "We've been asking."

It is in this context that a debate over longer-term housing options is brewing. Hurricane Katrina is expected to have destroyed or made permanently uninhabitable a number of homes that will far exceed those lost in any previous disaster in the United States. FEMA has said it has not ruled out any possibilities. It is renting luxury cruise liners and buying mobile homes and travel trailers and is even considering converting steel shipping containers into housing.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, at a news conference Sunday at FEMA headquarters, said the government should build giant tent cities like in Iraq for the displaced around the New Orleans area so that the many families that have been separated into shelters in distant states can be reunified.

He criticized the shelter system and said that the government had a "get them out of here" attitude that led them to make a poor decision about how to temporarily house the displaced people.

"We need to re-establish communities," Jackson said. "The people of New Orleans love their city."

Staff writers Sally Jenkins in Biloxi, Miss., and Anne Scott Tyson in New Orleans contributed to this report.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

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To: shades who wrote (40791)9/6/2005 4:37:13 PM
From: Moominoid
of 306829
 
No just all the links around that which Google bases the ranking on are all about gold and Rothschild and Soros. Whereas positive links about Soros don't mention gold.

I'm very disappointed that these guys don't let me in on the big conspiracy :P

Go here:

members.tripod.com

Follow the links for family Stern 2

and you will find me David Stern, they spelt my middle name wrong...

By the time the Sterns showed up in Frankfurt from their small village in the countryside though the Rothschilds were in London and French castles :)

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