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NYT: Katrina Recovery ‘Is Not Enough’

From a tear-soaked New York Times:

In New Orleans, Recovery Is Not Enough


August 31, 2009

NEW ORLEANS — Houses still sit empty, residents are still scattered and streets still echo with the sounds of hammers and power saws. But on the fourth anniversary of the hurricane that redefined its future, New Orleans is no longer talking about mere recovery.

Yes, people are returning: the number of households receiving mail is now more than three-fourths of the pre-Katrina figures, according to the latest estimates, up from fewer than half three years ago. Projects stalled by red tape and the bad credit market, like the Lafitte public housing complex, are finally getting back on track.

But reverting to the city that existed here before the flood is not the goal. For a city that justly if sometimes self-consciously relishes its own nostalgia, there was much about pre-Katrina New Orleans, from the unstable floodwalls to the stagnant economy, that was best left behind. Employment had not grown for the six years before the storm. The population had been shrinking since the 1960s. In 2005, there were only two Fortune 500 companies with headquarters here — now there is only one, Entergy, a power company.

So instead of returning to a decaying economic structure, New Orleans is talking about revitalization, a buzzword behind the new energy in the city, carried by an intensity and idealism that would have bordered on indecent in the old, charmingly carefree New Orleans.

It is there among the legion of young nonprofit workers crowding the bars of the Bywater at night, drawn to what one described as her generation’s civil rights struggle. They envision the city as a national example for innovative schools, smart urban planning and a housing stock built to the highest environmental standards.

And it is there among the swaggering entrepreneurs, who have set up small branding firms, music licensors and green energy companies in the downtown warehouses. Over drinks at a downtown boutique hotel, they seem largely untroubled by the reluctance of Fortune 500 companies to bring their headquarters here. This is not a town for old-line corporate thinking. This is a town for pioneers, risk-takers, they say.

But this energy is not enough, on its own, for a new, flourishing, functioning New Orleans. A large-scale rejuvenation of the city’s economy needs a large-scale commitment, with the city’s leadership on board. And the tens of billions of government dollars flowing into the city for the next few years give it a rare, but not unlimited, chance to make that kind of commitment…

What will ever be enough?

(This is a rhetorical question.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, August 31st, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

18 Responses to “NYT: Katrina Recovery ‘Is Not Enough’”

  1. MinnesotaRush says:

    I wonder how many total federal dollars have been flushed thru tho’???

    Bet far more than we’d even guess!

  2. proreason says:

    “What will ever be enough?”

    No matter what is done, it will never be enough.

    • catie says:

      No, it will never be enough. I really would like to know why MS & AL recovered more quickly than NOLA. Idiots who rebuild a city under sea level are just asking for trouble. I know that the Kos Kid Troll Brigade comes over here often but I don’t care. I am sick and tired of hearing about Katrina. They have an idiot for a Mayor who wanted the people ridden out of town in style not on cheese wagons. They had a moron for a Gov. who didn’t follow through when idiot Nagin didn’t have a clue.
      Liberals, they’re priceless idiots.

  3. BillK says:

    It’s going to take another hurricane to hit the area to demonstrate the levees will hold

    Of course with the city under sea level the levees matter not one whit when a major hurricane hits and tens of inches of water fall directly on the city.

    This statement is like saying several major earthquakes will need to hit San Francisco or Los Angeles without damage before people and businesses move there.

    For better or worse, many of the nation’s major cities are not possible disaster targets but are instead 100% certain of experiencing them.

    There has to be a compelling reward there to outweigh the risk.

    New Orleans’ is…

    Not saying there isn’t one, just that a strong case needs to be presented to show one.

  4. Rusty Shackleford says:

    As an exercise in observational studies, I have casually watched this episode in our nation’s history unfold.

    I was wanting to see if, in fact, all the rhetoric that the left was screaming was worth it. I had thought, that perhaps the area would become a bastion of liberal ideas…a “Paris of the US” if you will by becoming a reborn area with new and exciting architecture that they all talked about in years past.

    But, no. Not even a visit by Brett Favre could inspire these people to anything. I do not read tidbits in the paper or on Brian Williams “ain’t-we-great?” segments at the end of Nightly Spews that outline inspirational stories of never-say-die-ism in the Gulf Coast region.

    Nope….looks like it’s been abandoned except on slow news days where the media has to stick it to the Bush administration yet one more time, like a parent opening the door to a teenager’s disastrous room and saying something like, “See? THIS is what you did”.

    But the connection is incorrect, of course.

    The fault lay with the citizenry and always has. From the top to the bottom and everywhere in-between it’s corruption and selfishness at every single step of the way. Ever since I saw N.O. cops stealing…I said, “That’s it. I have ceased to care”.

    Granted, it’s probably a few that make the rest look bad but I have only the bad examples I saw to go on. I didn’t see a whole lot of civic-minded duty going on. And four years later, well, other flood-addled areas have recovered and taken the time to plan ahead for the future.

    The answer is not to throw money at it. The answer is to find those people who are willing to put forth the effort to rebuild it and thus, when the “gimmees” come around again, (and they always come around) they won’t “get” because there will be FORMER ‘gimmees’ who will say NO.

    New Orleans could’ve been something to marvel at. Instead, it’s a joke to anyone who wants to look. Billions wasted. I knew there was a problem when Nagin made the Saints a top priority. Sure, something to inspire but…in the real world, you don’t spend the money to paint your car when the tires are all flat.

    • Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

      “in the real world, you don’t spend the money to paint your car when the tires are all flat.

      True Rusty but this is ghetto world, where you don’t just paint it, you put some chrome 24s on it and install a slammin’ 2000W sound system. These lowlifes will never change. Cradle to grave is a way of life for these scumbags.

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    Four years later and the mosquitoes want mo’ blood. They are out to suck us dry. If you kill the host…………lest we forget!

  6. Confucius says:

    If Harry Connick Jr. would stop dancing around a Lincoln for just one minute, maybe something could get done.

    By the way, speaking of dunces, where is Spike Lee and the power of X?

    • Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

      Spike’s busy making his next craptacular feature that six film critics will pay to see.

  7. MC Hammer says:

    I have one word to explain the corruption and lack of recovery in New Orleans:


    2010, Proud to see him gone…

  8. canary says:

    catie, MS,Al, and Fargo ND, did not have the gangbangers who stayed behind to loot, shoot, and rob the misfortunate. They should have fixed the levy’s instead of ignoring the problem. An ounce of prevention is wortha pound of cure.

    • Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:


      The levees weren’t the problem. The problem was the po’ folks who had ONLY 5 days warning that the storm of a lifetime was bearing down upon them. Even if whitey wasn’t workin’ overtime keepin’ the black man down, dem folks dint stand a chance cause President Bush don’t care ’bout black people!

    • proreason says:

      “The problem was the po’ folks who had ONLY 5 days warning ”

      In the really long view (thousands of years), evolution will solve the problems we face today.

      People with the mentality of the people who stayed in New Orleans will deselect themselves from the human race.

      And with socialism and Islam ascendant, it will simply happen faster.

  9. David says:

    Only the U.S. could both win and lose the battle of New Orleans.
    Any chance we can rewrite history to let the Brits have it?

  10. Yarddog1 says:

    Simply a glaring example of the “compassion” of the socialist gubmint which created this underclass of bottom dwellers who have no idea what responsibility and self-sufficiency is. But, alas, no lessons in reason will be learned from this fiasco.

  11. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Mexico evacuates thousands ahead of hurricane

    From the astute AP:

    By MARK STEVENSON, Associated Press Writer Mark Stevenson, Associated Press Writer – 4 mins ago

    LOS CABOS, Mexico – Heavy winds, battering waves and intense rain pummeled residents and tourists in this vacation resort as Hurricane Jimena, one of the largest hurricanes this year, raked the coast late Tuesday.

    Baja California prepared shelters to hold up to 29,000 people as Jimena, which weakened to a still threatening Category 3, churned northward offshore. But the state’s biggest resort, Los Cabos, appeared to escape major damage from the storm beyond power outages and mud-choked roads.

    Rest of article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/tropical_weather;_ylc=X3oDMTI1NzZyc3Q3BFJfYWlkAwRSX2RtbgN5YWhvby5jb20EUl9maWQDYmRhMGMzMzU0NTFiYmY2YjY0Y2Q0MWRlYjBiYWRlNDYEUl9sdHADMQ–

    —–See, here’s a sterling example of good common sense.

    Mexico, one of the poorest of nation’s, though also very socialista, seems to have sense where other nation’s citizens lack.

    Although it is unclear that the evacuation is a state-ordered deal, which I suspect it is…it is, nonetheless, potentially life-saving.

    And, with regard to thousands, I wonder what mode(s) of transportation they are using. Looks like a lot of them are walking.

  12. canary says:

    Couple of years ago, Arnold Swarzneggar said the California levi’s are weak, and asked for governement help. Sure don’t see the greenies making sandbags to save their state. Too busy beeching over trying to regulate the nation to their liking, and fighting fires from the solar panels.

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