Friday, December 28, 2007

going green

"if just one car idled 10 minutes less every day, CO2 emissions would be reduced by 550 pounds per year"
-world wildlife federation

Thursday, December 27, 2007


they have assassinated bhutto and i find it appalling that the head line of her death on yahoo shared space with the fact that paris hilton won't get all her money. my god! why is paris hilton news worthy? it is a sad day that american girls look to the likes of paris for their role models but have no idea who bhutto is. you want a real role model, try the first female leader of an islamic nation, who despite the danger returned to pakistan because she believed in something larger than her self. she spent five years in a prison and you can be assured that it had nothing to do with drunk driving. she dedicated her life to a cause that she believed in and that in part was giving a voice to the disenfranchised and especially to women facing terrible day to day challenges in a muslim world. she was an inspiration. a light has gone out and tonight the world is a little darker.

Friday, December 14, 2007

housing project

they are actually having trouble knocking the buildings down in b.w. cooper and all i have to say is that there is no way they are going to erect anything as sturdy as those structures.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

housing projects

i talked with a friend the other day who said that she couldn't see the beauty of the buildings, only rape, poverty, child abuse, drugs, and other crime. well i can't exactly argue that fact when housing projects have been a failed experiment. yet, i don't think the buildings are to blame. i believe in mixed income housing and roads cutting through so that we alleviate the stigma of walling off parts of our society as though being poor is something unsavory but you can do that with the existing buildings. we are in the worst housing crisis since the civil war and everyday our homeless population swells and yet we have structurally sound buildings to quickly rehabilitate and move people inside. it will cost 762 million in taxpayer funds to tear down over 4600 units and replace them with them with 744 units. do the math. there is a disparity there. it is an 82 percent reduction and yet they say they want all our citizens to return. bullshit. in addition they plan to build a 1,000 market rate and tax credit units, which is still a loss of 2700 apartments. these additional buildings will cost over 400,000 each. architects have inspected the existing structures and said that the damage to them is over rated. so start moving people back in while you rehabilitate others. i am all for renovating the structures and implementing mixed income housing but it can be done with the existing structures. cut roads through and bring back police presence via patrol cars and beat cops. it is almost christmas for christ's sake...give the poor some place to live. get them out of the tents and from under the over pass. give them hope. you know i think what we fail to recognize is that these are not just slums, they are the homes of many and just like our homes, they are full of memories. a child's first birthday. the smell of ya mama's stuffed peppers.candle lit dinners. must we continue to punish the poor for being poor, disenfranchising them, deciding things for them and telling them they will be happier in the long run as though they are children? will they see fit to rip down all the trees too, just like they did in st. thomas? make some noise! get out there on the protest lines. do not let them take our city and make it in the image of houston or atlanta. we have soul, so feel it. dust off your compassion. move to action and while you are at it, elect me supreme ruler of the universe. i will make mondays silly walk days, and anyone caught not walking silly will be forced to watch marathon bouts of monty python in clown shoes. because it is my belief that it is hard to take yourself so damn seriously when you are being silly and god help us, but we all take ourselves too seriously. spoke, supreme ruler of the universe...yeh i like the sound of that!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


ive written about this before but damn, why must we be so hell bent on tearing things down in this city post-katrina? can you imagine if we had this attitude all along? we would look like atlanta or houston and i would be in amsterdam or paris where they value the beauty of old architecture. when they tore st. thomas housing projects down, i was sad. those buildings were beautiful. in addition, they also up rooted many of the elegant oak trees on the site and this kind of reckless abandon is what pisses me off. why is it so impossible to rehabilitate these buildings? look at lafitte, they are beautiful and surrounded by stately oaks. if we let them have their way, there won't be anything left on the damn site. no trees, nothing and for what? so they can erect ticky tacky houses that all look the same and by same i mean cheap. there have been independent architects that have said the damage to these buildings is greatly exaggerated. look, i'm no proponent of housing projects. i think it is a failed attempt to care for the poor and failed because it segregates them from the rest of society. it stigmatizes them but the middle of a post-disaster housing crisis is not the time to try and fix all of our societal ills. people need housing now! and i do not believe that the answer is demolition over rehabilitation. you can make them into nice apartments and turn the area into mixed income housing. you want more police presence? bring back the beat cop. theres an idea. kids in these inner city slums have no role models but the drug dealers. the only time the cops show up is to clean up. oh, they might drive by in the isolation of their patrol cars but there is no significant connection being made. so let's bring the beat cops back and not just into the projects but everywhere. new isn't always good. i challenge everyone to ride by these areas scheduled to be demolished and see the potential of the existing structures. and remember that many people call them home and that many of them wait, homeless. keep in mind that hano says the new buildings will not be ready until 2010. if you live in a tent at city hall, that is a mighty long time to wait. if anybody reads this, go out and make some noise. call into the city council. march. protests. this is our city. take it back. we have allowed things to happen to us for far too long. enough!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

quote of the year

"it is my belief that you don't choose new orleans-new orleans chooses you. those who have fallen for her; live with her; are sprung, lost and turned out in love with her know exactly what i mean. ain't no amount of wind, water, gunfire, potholes, 'ignant' politicians, or doomsday predictions can pry your death grip from her. come hell and high water you stay-or return...i think she's a cult."
-Deborah Cotton.
that is a great quote! i want to meet this woman, hell i think i'm in love.