Saturday, April 22, 2006


when you're going to new orleans...

you gotta go see the mardis gras... or so the song goes, as i heard the welcome sounds of the preservation hall jazz band at the french quarter festival yesterday. it apparently was their first time playing back in new orleans post-katrina. their second line rendition of "the saints" (no extra tip required) was the perfect capstone to the week. once i have my pictures developed, i'll post the one of the big fat white guy dancing with his funky umbrella. it's classic.

but apparently, when howard dean comes to new orleans... he's gotta go see the lower ninth ward. this story and picture, via the nytimes:

In the Lower Ninth Ward, Mr. Dean put on a white hazardous-materials suit and, more than a little winded, helped gut a house. He needed barely a nudge from reporters to declare the federal effort here a disgrace that would cost Republicans control of the government.

"This is a searing, burning issue," Mr. Dean said, "and I think it's going to cost George Bush his legacy, and it's going to cost the Republicans the House and the Senate and, maybe very well, the presidency in the next election. People will never forget this."

Pointing to two abandoned hulks of cars, he added, "I hate to be partisan at a time like this, but this is why the Republicans are going to be out of business."
therefore, on friday morning, instead of working on gutting another house in gentilly or lakeview, neghborhoods that only had about 7 feet of moldy, smelly, bacteria-infested water, all of us acorn volunters instead went to the lower ninth ward. lakeview seems rebuildable, the lower ninth is something else. the two houses we worked on may have been the only two houses in that area still solidly on their foundations.

it was a little bit of a dog and pony show with the dems and the media, and way too much attention was focused on the democratic staffers pushing a wheelbarrow gussied up in their brand new tyvek suits and n100 masks (what n95 isn't good enough?), with not enough mention of acorn and the volunteers who have been coming down and doing this work for months.(abc news does a slightly better job in this regard). but in any case, the media on the event/action seems relatively positive, and the outcome will hopefully be helpful for the residents of new orleans.

and man, those houses in the lower ninth are nasty inside. trust me, you never want to smell a washing machine full of moldy katrina water.

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