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Tom Wooten’s Disaster Myopia: Too Close and Too Far Away

Rock Creek   Yes, I still read Katrina books, even as we are fast approaching the beginning of the 9th year since the storm on August 29, 2005.  Having written one myself, I respect the small fraternity of writers who have tried with varying success to put their arms around the disaster and somehow wrestle lessons [...]

An Insider Hits the Nakedness of the Charter School Empire

New Orleans   Everywhere around the country, charter schools and their operators are poking through the concrete of school yards like weeds.  Billionaires and beleaguered Mayors and school superintendents often herald their potential as a way out of their own gnarled path of over grown capacity and underfunded programs.  Huge fights in Philadelphia and now Chicago are [...]

LSU and Louisiana Silence the Truth of Corps of Engineers’ Levee Failure after Katrina

New Orleans   Seven and a half years have ticked off the calendar since Katrina devastated New Orleans and much of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  At this point it is widely conceded, common knowledge, and general consensus that the heart of the destruction of New Orleans came from the “catastrophic structural failure due to pressure bursts” in [...]

Did Going Cheap and Working Non-Union Cause Superdome Blackout?

New Orleans   Football season might be over, but the pain of the blackout during the Super Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome still smarts in New Orleans.  SMG’s Doug Thornton, the Superdome management company, and Entergy, our Fortune 500 utility, both promise a full, independent, and “transparent” investigation.

We’ll see if that is really what develops, because [...]

Mayor’s Failure on Community Benefit Agreement May Prove His Corruption

Ray Nagin

New Orleans  Big news in New Orleans, a city that decidedly does NOT specialize in irony, surrounds the Mayor of the Katrina years, C. Ray Nagin and whether or not in addition to being incompetent, which is widely acknowledged, he was also corrupt.  The irony comes into play because speculation in the U.S. Attorney’s [...]

Locating Housing for the Poor: Good Intentions, Expediency, and Living with the Consequences

Robert Moses, seated at left in 1959, used his position as head of the Mayor's Committee on Slum Clearance to mass-produce thousands of units of public housing, often near the shoreline.

 Quito    One of the ironic outcomes of recent disasters, whether New Orleans or now New York, is that the public, policy makers, and politicians [...]