New Orleans Revitalization

2252107112_d3d135ac9b Silver Spring Campbell Robertson from the Times did a piece on the Katrina impact on New Orleans at the 4th anniversary and given the fact – to their credit – that the Times has stayed on the New Orleans / Katrina story all of these years, it bears attention, if for nothing else to monitor the spin.  Here are the parts that caught my eye:

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.

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Labor Chaos

hotel-worker New Orleans  Sensitive, internal memos and financial information are leaking like a sieve exposing vulnerabilities in some of our storied unions.  This hurts workers and all of us.  In labor we need some real leadership and something likea “Geneva convention” or “Marquis of Queensberry” rules for how to handle internal conflict within unions without eroding protections and rights for union members themselves.  We would need some kind of Geiger counter to find any evidence of principles and restrain in how the UNITE, HERE, and SEIU ménage de trios is now breaking out.

In the bitter court battle and divorce struggle within UNITE HERE as they try to unwind the merger of their organizations several years ago and reassemble various pieces into a new formation or in the former UNITE case to affiliate with SEIU, like the worst of Hollywood divorces both sides seem unrestrained in trying to destroy the other, no matter who and what is hurt at the hindmost.  Most recently when the HERE forces seized the building in New York City where the former UNITE forces had been operating, a flood of documents has been unleashed in internet way past acceptable boundaries.

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