Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Hey folks.
No, the blog hasn't closed down yet.
I know it's been a while since the last one. We've been a little busy and lazy.
Our time recently has been filled with working and farting around.
As the Gulf Coast settles into the minutae of rebuilding, I guess I can't figure out as well what would be of interest to the outside world.
I'll start running some of the more interesting tidbits of info again that I get. (Example: found out that Long Beach alone had 4 million tons of debris.)
I don't know what my cohort's plans for this thing are.

Update on the Coast:
Debris cleanup is about 50% done. At least for all the debris that they're aware of.
The raging battle between slimy insurance adjusters (One of whom, I read in his report, claimed that Katrina was a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph when it hit shore) and homeowners goes on.
Illegal immigrants continue to get ripped off by contractors. I've heard (from both immigration authorities and immigrants) that subcontractors will frequently call immigration rather than pay illegals what they are owed.
Rebuilding has not really begun yet. The "new" construction I've seen has largely been small, cheap stuff way inland.
The Governer's Commission has big plans and strong assurances that their big plans will be put into place. To see their big plans, which are interesting, go to www.mississippirenewal.com.
I am personally skeptical of the high-minded values of modern urban designers winning out over the almighty green of developers and their interests.
Looting, apparently, still continues. I've heard from several Long Beach residents saying they've seen and dealt with shady individuals south of the CSX tracks on several occasions. As one woman told me, "They've stolen every last blade of grass at my place."
Housing is a funny issue now. There are still a lot of people in tents. They are quickly running out of public land on which to put trailers. Towns don't want to give up the land for it because of the strain on city services and the fact that there are still "emergency" trailer parks in Florida that are 3 years old now.
Jobs are still plentiful, they're just not good jobs. That is a large part of the reason why the Latino population is so succesful; immigrant laborers will do almost anything. However, as FEMA and Red Cross money dries up, those jobs will be filled up quickly.
We're coming up on the high stress season here. Combine the holidays with the normal PTSD-like symptoms that come up several months after disasters, and we should be in for an interesting holiday ride.
I don't know what else to write about.
Since there are probably only a dozen or two of you folks still reading this, I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have.

My personal info update: I've settled well into my new place. It's only about a mile from my old one, closer to the beach and on higher ground. Go figure.
My girlfriend's dog likes it so much that she's pooped on the floor an average of 1.5 times per week that she's lived there. I've been told that it's a sign of good luck.
I got to go home for Thanksgiving and was relieved that my relatives were largely gentle in their questioning.
I did the StoryCorps thing this weekend during the Giants game. (Which they won. Go Giants.) It's a really interesting project, if you get a chance, I'm gonna go ahead and link another website here: www.storycorps.net. It's great stuff and if you live near where ever they end up, you should check it out, it's great.

And just so those of you still with us know, you will know this blog has ended when I put up what I call, "the money shot," of my colleague showing Hurricane Katrina where the sun don't shine. Yes, there was a wire photo by a professional, but mine was better. So, if you see that, you'll know it's all over but the cryin'.


Blogger The Fergoosons said...

I talk to my brother in Biloxi almost daily...he has a son in the cemetary on 90, he tries to get there every day and each time he has to deal with a different National guard person who doesn't believe that is where he's going, so he has been ripped out of his car, handcuffed, harrassed, and embarrassed by these guys...he sees fights every day between people that just can't take it anymore...and said there are 100's of trailers behind fences that people can't have and don't have a place to put anyway...But, 3 casinos will be open by New Years Eve!!! Amazing where the priorities are....hang in there, I'll be here as long as you keep us updated...I still smile when I think of the photo you posted of the kids in the bottle of water and ration costumes...too cute!

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still reading, so keep it up (you know, when you feel like it. I'm on hiatus, too.).

My sister is in NOLA assisting with the clean-up (driving a truck and picking up hazardous chemicals, etc.). It's still a mess down there, so I can only imagine what it's like on the coast.

Take good care. Merry Christmas.

11:28 PM  
Blogger t_cole said...

Hi Josh,
Welcome back. Hope you had a nice break and a few cocktails to boot. I was blown away last month when we drove Highway 90. Mike convinced my friend and I that we should see for ourselves. I don't know how you guys even write about this - there simply are no words for the sights and smells.
We drove from DeBuys Rd to Long Beach and I didn't shed a single tear - & you know what a cry-baby I am. How can you emote when you can't even process the input? It's just too much, way too much...

as always - gratitude for the updates.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am grateful that you are continuing, and thank you for the update. All of my friends from there have left and my mother is in a nursing home, so no real contact with the outside. I hope to make it down the beginning of the year to see it all for myself, but not really sure if I can handle it.
So anyway, thanks.

11:45 AM  
Blogger mar-mar said...

still reading here in Chicago. do what you gotta.

2:35 PM  
Blogger beagle said...

thanks for the update! still reading from up here in Tupelo! please let us know if there is anything we can send or do even after all these months people still want to help. much love and support go out to you and everyone down there!

2:55 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Welcome back and thanks for the update. What might seem mundane and uninteresting to you (because you are living this) is important for those of us who are so far removed from this. It was at least somewhat tangible when we watched what was going on 24 hours on tv, but now the national media is basically gone (at least the in-depth coverage) and we need to know what is still going on; what are the needs, what are the good stories v. the bad. I had heard that there have been some issues with frauding the Red Cross. I can be more specific, but do know of this?

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad to see you've rested and settled in to your new home alright ... as for the dog i'm not entirely sure that she's leaving pressies for good luck .... she may just be telling you that she's not sure of the big change... i'm going through same thing with my dog as she is peeved at me for going back to school after 5 yrs of blissfull togethrness 24/7 ... BARB

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still reading in Missouri and wishing you guys well.

8:17 PM  
Blogger JulieP said...

Still reading up in Jackson. You guys have a unique view of what's going on down there, so keep posting now and then.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Sarabeth said...

I'm still reading in Virginia. Because the national news doesn't cover much of the rebuilding in Mississippi, I will still browse your blog to see what is going on.

6:45 AM  
Anonymous matt said...

I'm stuck at mississippi state till christmas and you are one of the only places I still check for updates. Keep it up. I miss Long Beach like crazy! Funny seeing that, I always thought it was crap growing up. Guess its like they say, you dont know what you have till its gone.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Scout said...

Still reading from Tennessee. My mom, whose apartment was obliterated in Long Beach, and sister, whose home on the Seabee base was damaged enough to be forced out, have both relocated to near Knoxville, TN. But we want to know when we can come back to visit, to put some money into the local economy. When we can come to the beach again. I can't imagine going through what you go through every day. I still cry anytime I see anything related. I wonder about things like "have all the casinos that floated inland been removed?" Same thing for the barges. If the casinos will be open, at least that is work for some people and money in the economy to help the people there(I'd hope). What about the mall(my mom worked there)?

So many questions...I can understand the time away from it. Thank you for all you have done.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous jules said...

I'm still reading from Mobile. If you post, we will come. Any update is good. I haven't been west yet but try to keep up with what is going on over there. Your posts are better than the national media. You are there, they have long since gone on to the next big story. Keep up the good work.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am thrilled that you are still going---you have made many astute and sensitive observations of our coastal situation. Plus, your pictures are great....don't moon us, keep it up! We have a lot to do, and it is only just beginning.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Castaways Concepts said...

Still reading and checking in from California as well. Your coverage of all that has occurred has touched us. Thank you!

8:36 PM  
Blogger Keeper said...

Still reading from birmingham,The Sun hearald is the first thing I read every day,to see how folks are making out.It sickens me when I see a story like the one in todays paper.Stay safe and healthy,and Thanks

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am from Pascagoula MS, and my friends and family have (and still are in many cases) suffered a great deal. I've been watching/reading this from the beginning and want to thank you for keeping me informed. Best wishes for the holidays!

5:40 PM  
Blogger KC said...

I can see by the 18 (+1) comments, so far, that there are more than a dozen of us still here. I was so happy to see a new post today! Thanks for keeping us in the know.

I'm glad you had a nice Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays to you. I'll still be stopping in several times a week until we get that "money shot." LOL!

6:58 PM  
Anonymous The Gnome said...

Hi Josh, hope you don't finish up too soon. I've followed your blog since you started and I reckon its the only honest record of what happened after the event. Here in Scotland we had what I would like to believe was honest coverage from the BBC and also The Guardian. Your blog acts as a witness to the way in which we perceived New Orleans to have been abandoned by the most powerful and richest nation in the world. We are now seeing a number of CD's being produced, compilations of work by those with a New Orleans connection. I am presuming that these are fund raising projects but before I part company with my money I wouldn't mind a hint about where you think the cash is going. My fear is that it is to quickly support the cultural centre and not support the poorest in your community. I hope you will use your blog to give us a clue about this. Much respect to you !

3:22 AM  
Blogger BillieS said...

Don't stop. I'm still reading.

8:25 PM  
Blogger cheesemeister said...

Still reading in Colorado, and think it's great to see a real person's perspective and not just media whitewash.

2:03 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Still reading in California. In this Age of Information, when so much of what we are exposed to is superficial, over-hyped and pointless, your blog is real and deeply meaningful. I not only intend to follow this blog to the end, I hope you will allow us (readers) to follow you on to whatever comes next.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Blue Dog Art said...

Still reading in Alexandria, VA. Thanks for the update.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Stitches 'N' Stones said...

Still reading faithfully here in Tucson, your time and perspective are much appreciated.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous H. Baldry said...

My whole family is reading. If you do give up on this one, please start something else. Also, consider Topix.net's new self-posted news options.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope we never see that money shot picture. You have brought this entire event to a great number of people in the most personal way possible. I'm not a blogger, or do I read a lot of blogs, but from almost day one I've followed yours because of its personal view. I hope "higher-ups" have read this chronicle and realize how gifted of a observer you are. Keep up the good work and have a blessed holiday season.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Eva said...

Also still reading and checking in from New Jersey. Let us know what we can do to help out the folks there; we still care and want to do something...

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another checking in to say that what you've been doing here is important. Though I get reports from my family about the Pass and from friends about Waveland and BSL between visits, the blog has given me another perspective that I've enjoyed reading since the storm hit. The spirit of south Mississippi will persist, but continued reporting keeps the coast in the minds and hearts of the world through rebuilding and recovery. Keep up the good work and take care.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still reading from Wa state too. Your blog has given me a different perspective on what is obviously still going on. Thank you for this..

3:46 PM  
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