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da po' blog

Po', like a po-boy.

Updated: 2017-06-02T16:37:20.038-05:00


See You There!


At Rising Tide 2.

But I won't see you here at da po' blog. I am not posting here anymore. I am posting under my name on another blog, which shouldn't be too hard to find.

Thanks for reading. Later, da po' boy.

111 Human Beings


As of August 1, 2007, there have been 111 murders in New Orleans this year. With 212 days in the year completed, that comes to an average of one murder every 1.909 days – basically, a murder every other day. If that average stays the same all year, we will end 2007 with 191 murders. In a city of 300,000 people, that comes to a murder rate of 63 murders per 100,000 residents.If nothing changes, 80 more human beings will die a violent death on the streets of New Orleans this year. And most of those who die will be African-American men, often young, and almost always they will be shot.The Times-Picayune has a blog with a map of all the murders and information about all 111 deaths, including victim names and details about the status of the murder investigations. This is the way it should be done.Along with, we are well served on the mapping front.St. Anna's Episcopal Church is recording the murders of 2007 on a board outside of the church. From the T-P article:The Rev. Bill Terry, the pony-tailed pastor at St. Anna's Episcopal Church, updates The List each Monday afternoon with a black permanent marker: date, name, age, gender, manner of death (shot/beaten/stabbed). ***He and Elaine Clemments, a deacon in training, sought to both funnel their outrage and honor victims. When a victim becomes a statistic, people have a tendency to look at the victim and make a value judgment: He's a criminal, he probably deserved it. To Terry, it makes no difference. "It's a human being someone loved," he said, sitting in the rectory hall, clutching a cup of coffee.Human beings someone loved.January – 17 human beings someone loved murderedFebruary – 13 human beings someone loved murderedMarch – 18 human beings someone loved murderedApril – 14 human beings someone loved murderedMay – 15 human beings someone loved murderedJune – 19 human beings someone loved murderedJuly – 14 human beings someone loved murdered07/01/07 – 2 murders98) A 26-year-old man was gunned down in the 1500 block of North Johnson Street early Sunday and a man was arrested in connection with the slaying later that same morning.***According to investigators, First District Officers responding to a call found the victim lying in the driver's seat of a vehicle, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.99) The most recent crime related death took place just around 9 p.m. in Orleans Parish in the 1800 block of St. Roch. Police said they found the body of a 65-year-old man in the side alley of an abandoned warehouse. He had a gunshot wound to the head.07/05/07 – 1 murder100) An autopsy determined Jerome Banks, 27, of New Orleans was killed by a shotgun blast to the chest, said chief cororner's investigator John Gagliano, who released his identity. About 6:55 a.m., police responded to a call found Banks lying in high grass in the driveway of a vacant house in the 6000 block of Beechcraft Street, said Garry Flot, a public information officer for the New Orleans police. He said police found evidence that Banks was shot nearby in the 4500 block of Skyview.07/13/07 – 1 murder101) One man was killed and two others wounded, but a baby narrowly escaped injury Friday evening, when gunshots from a passing vehicle were fired at a parked van in Central City, New Orleans police said. None of the victims was identified by police. One died at a local hospital, where he was taken shortly after the shooting. He had been with at least three other people in a parked van, the apparent target of a drive-by shooting at about 8:35 p.m., police said.07/14/07 – 1 murder102) An 18-year-old man who was shot and killed in Central City on Saturday has been identified as Keith Paige of New Orleans, the Orleans Parish coroner's office said. Paige was shot Saturday about 5 p.m. at Freret and Third streets, New Orleans police said. He died the same day at 7:55 p.m. at University Hospital. An autopsy showed he died of multiple gunshot wounds…07/18/07 – 2 murders103) A 33-year-old man was sho[...]

What's Matt at Fix the Pumps Going to Do Now?


He said good bye on his blog. I have a suggestion for his next challenge:
Vacancy Announcement Number: SWGY07068166D

Changes to the Job Announcement: Must Possess a Professional Engineering Registration
Opening Date: June 29, 2007 Closing Date: July 13, 2007
Position: Supervisory General Engineer, YF-0801-2
Salary: $56,301 - $107,991 Annual
Place of Work: Hurricane Protection Office, Executive Support Division, Technical Support Branch, New Orleans, LA
Position Status: Temporary Position Not to Exceed: 3 YRS -- Full Time
Number of Vacancy: 1
Just kidding.

I nominate Fix the Pumps as the first inductee into the NOLA Bloggers Hall of Fame.

Thanks, Matt.

You Attack Jesus. You Attack America.


Slidell Mayor Ben Morris, with my emphasis:"Our money has God's name on it. The Pledge of Allegiance has God's name on it. Congress opens up with a prayer. And they run around like chickens with their heads cut off, that this is fostering religion. I don't think it fosters anything. I don't think that's what the Founding Fathers had in mind," Mayor Ben Morris said. [LINK]Slidell Mayor Ben Morris says the city will fight the ACLU. " Guess again boys, You're in for a fight. As diverse we are, Slidell is an All American city. We will not cut and run. File you damn lawsuit.' said Morris. [LINK]"I fight daily with FEMA for the recovery of our city, and now we must fight these tyrants, this American Taliban, who seek to destroy our culture and our heritage," Morris said. [LINK]Because Ben Morris, the Mayor of Slidell, the executive of the city, equates Christian heritage with American heritage and the heritage of Slidell, and says so publicly and vociferously, one may conclude that to attack Jesus is to attack the City of Slidell, an “All American City.” Extending the analogy, one may conclude that the mayor of Slidell is saying to attack Jesus is to attack America.If this is not the establishment of a religion by government, or at least the preference of one religion, I don’t know what is.City Court Judge Jim Lamz knows better. His statements, and those of representatives from his court, minimize the role religion plays in the their desire to keep Slidell Jesus up:"Due to the display's historical place in the courthouse, I explored options to obtain a definitive ruling on the constitutionality of the display without an adversarial court battle," he said. "I could find none." [LINK]"It's more than just a picture of Jesus," [court spokeswoman Ann] Barks said. "It might have more to do with the business of the court than purely religious reasons." [LINK]"The ideas expressed in this painting aren't specific to any one faith, and they certainly don't establish a single state religion," he [Mike Johnson, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund] said. "The reason Americans enjoy equal justice is because we are all created equal, endowed by (our) Creator with certain unalienable rights. This painting is a clear reflection of the ideas in the Declaration of Independence." [LINK]What we have here are two contradictory reasons for Slidell Jesus to stay up: It should stay up because it is not religious; it should stay up because it is religious.The “not religious” reason is held by those tasked with defending Slidell Jesus in court. If Slidell Jesus is not religious, but historical, then it does not violate the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment and may remain exhibited in the lobby of the Slidell City Court.The “religious” reason is held by Mayor Ben Morris, speaking for Joe and Jane Slidell. He equates (or conflates) his Christian heritage with Slidell’s heritage, even extending it to represent America’s heritage. To him, putting up a picture of Jesus is like putting up an American flag – not in a historical sense, but in a truly patriotic sense. He is saying that America’s history *is* religious, specifically Christian, and that’s why Slidell Jesus should stay up.Joe and Jane Slidell are the crux of this decision. We know what the politicians and the ACLU think. We’ve seen the press conferences. But, what does the average person think when they walk into Slidell City Court and look up at Slidell Jesus?It is safe to assume that the people who want the picture to come down look up and see a religious image. That’s why they want it to come down.And, after reading about the protest rally last week, I think it is safe to assume that the people who want the picture to stay also look up and see a religious image:"You know, (the ACLU) is picking on a small community," said Randy Lee, 60, of Slidell. A self-described Christian fundamentalist, he gripped a hand-lettered sign that read "In God We Trust.""Christians [...]

There Was No Downtick


Part of the reason I started keeping track of media reports of murders in New Orleans was because I saw varying numbers of how many people were murdered. And, when the numbers didn’t vary, the explanations for them did. So, I wanted my own information to make my own conclusions.I have posted my numbers throughout the year on this blog. It appears I missed two, possibly three murders.The T-P says this murder was the number 100. I had it as 97. I went back and found a murder I missed, as well as a hit and run fatality that I did not include, though I should have because that is a murder. New Orleans Citizen Crime Watch had both. I can not find a third murder that I missed. It is probably out there, or the T-P may be including a murder that the coroner concluded happened in 2006, but the victim was found in 2007. I count it in the 2006 stats. The NOPD has counted it both ways, as a 2007 murder and a 2006 murder.Either way, whether a third uncounted murder exists or not, my numbers in this post for the 2nd quarter of 2007 are wrong. At least 2 should be added to the total.This means, unfortunately, there was no downtick:Jul-Aug-Sep 2006 – 53 murdersOct-Nov-Dec 2006 – 52 murdersJan-Feb-Mar 2007 – 48 murdersApr-May-Jun 2007 – 49 murders (possibly one more)I would also like to highlight some great keeping-it-in-perspective comments made by MAD in the previous post:With the metropolitan population now at 91% of the pre-K level, use of the 260,000 Orleans Parish population estimates to calculate Orleans murder rates creates a statistical anomaly. While any murder is one too many, of course, we are not really a far more violent city than we were before the storm, as the raw data otherwise suggests. The high murder rate in N.O. murder is in part a function of the artificial setting of narrow parish boundaries, a constraint that many other cities do not share. Draw the parish boundaries for Orleans around Central City, and you will see rates that rival Baghdad, while the rest of Orleans magically becomes "safer".I agree. I responded by saying the point of my post is not to judge the relative safety of any given person in New Orleans, but rather to point out that “statistic anomaly” and use it to judge the effectiveness of the New Orleans criminal justice system. They know where the “Baghdads” of New Orleans are, yet are either powerless, incompetent, or uncaring enough to stop the murders there.MAD made another good point to keep in mind while comparing New Orleans to other cities:The problem is with publications like the TP boldly declaring to the country that we are once again the "murder capital". We all know what that does to our ability to successfuly rebuild. I am not at all suggesting that we gloss over our problems with violent crime, but if per capita comparative analyses is the standard for informing public perception as to which cities are safe and which are not, then let's compare apples and apples. If 100,000 or so Orleans Parish residents still reside in the area and continue to interact with the city for job and other purposes, but now live just outside of the parish boundaries, then let's factor that into the determination as to the city's per capita murder rate. Utilization of per capita measurements is valid only if all cities are measured by the same or comparable objective standards, but random and arbitrary political boundary determinations make that difficult and wholly unreliable. A better approach would be to compare murder rates among the nation's SMSAs.I would still say that the murder rate for New Orleans lets us judge the effectiveness of the New Orleans criminal justice system. For murder rates, the parish boundaries are in no way artificial. Something is going on in New Orleans that is not happening in Jefferson, which is right next door and for a long time had two times the population after the storm. But the local murder rate does not give an accurate assessment[...]

A Downtick of Upticks


[EDIT # 2 - 07/03/07] The T-P says this murder was number 100. My count put it at 97. I found one murder I missed, and maybe they are counting this hit and run, which would be a murder. Possibly, there is one other murder I missed, or they are including a murder which the coroner says happened in 2006, but the victim was found in 2007. I count that murder in the 2006 stats. The NOPD has counted it both ways. The beating I missed and the hit and run add two to all my numbers in the 2nd quarter of 2007. This means, unfortunately, that there was no downtick.[EDIT] So, overnight there were two more murders yesterday and one early this morning. That changes all the numbers I had when I wrote this at 1 a.m. The edits are in brackets.As of July 1, 2007, there have been 93 [95] murders in New Orleans this year (by my count). With 181 days in the year completed, that comes to an average of one murder every 1.94 [1.90] days – basically, a murder every other day. If that average stays the same all year, we will end 2007 with 187 [191] murders. In a city of 262,000 people, that comes to a murder rate of 71 [72.9] murders per 100,000 residents.If nothing changes, 94 [96] more human beings will die a violent death on the streets of New Orleans this year. And most of those who die will be African-American men, often young, and almost always they will be shot.From July 1, 2006, to July 1, 2007, there have been 198 [200] murders in New Orleans. Using an average of the population estimates over that time period (223,000 in July 2006; 262,000 in May 2007; the average is 242,500), New Orleans has a murder rate of 81.6 [82.4] murders per 100,000 residents over the past 365-day period.As a point of reference, the next highest murder rate in the country in 2006 was Gary, IN, (pop. 97,715) with a murder rate of 48.3 murders per 100,000 residents. And the next highest city with a similar population was Birmingham, AL, (pop. 229,424) in fifth place with a murder rate of 44.5. I am not sure what their murder rates are over the last year.However, there has been a “downtick” (as Mayor Nagin might say) in this last quarter (April, May, and June) with 45 [47] murders:Jul-Aug-Sep 2006 – 53 murdersOct-Nov-Dec 2006 – 52 murdersJan-Feb-Mar 2007 – 48 murdersApr-May-Jun 2007 – 45 [47] murdersIn fact, each quarter has seen fewer murders than the one before it. Let's hope that's a trend, not a blip.Of course, though I throw out all these numbers, it is not the numbers who die. It is not the numbers we mourn. Family and friends don’t lose numbers.We lose people.17 people in January.13 people in February.18 people in March.14 people in April.15 people in May.16 [18] people in June.06/02/07 – 1 murder78) The woman, Tammie Johnson, 36, of New Orleans, died of a shotgun blast to the chest, chief coroner's investigator John Gagliano said. On Saturday shortly before 8:30 p.m., police were called to a house in the 4800 block of Rosalia Drive and found Johnson on the floor.06/03/07 – 1 murder79) Larry Hawkins, 26, of New Orleans, was found shot dead shortly after 7 a.m. in an alley in the 1300 block of Bartholomew Street. He suffered two gunshot wounds to the face, Gagliano said.06/04/07 – 2 murders80) Earlier Monday, Terrell Ceazer, 25, of New Orleans, was fatally shot in Treme. ***He died Monday shortly after 4 a.m. at University Hospital, said chief coroner's investigator John Gagliano, who released his identity. An autopsy showed he died of multiple gunshot wounds. 81) Police said a man was shot to death by his wife Monday evening in the Central City neighborhood, the fourth slaying in New Orleans in three days and the second Monday, police said. The Orleans Parish coroner's office identified the dead man as George Hammond, 45, of New Orleans. Police said his wife, Janet Hammond, was a suspect. Police responded to a call about gunshots in the 1800 block of Second Street shortly before 7:30 p.m.[...]

Just Felt Like I Needed to Link to This


From The Elements of Style:
Omit needless words.

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
Thank you, Mr. McGannon.

A is for Audrey


The 1957 Atlantic hurricane season didn't have to wait until the letter "K" to be a disaster:
Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of hurricane Audrey, a storm that tore apart Cameron parish. Up until hurricane Katrina, it was Louisiana's most notorious hurricane. Survivors of that storm will gather at the Cameron parish courthouse for a memorial Wednesday. We caught up with a Cameron parish man who was the only member of his family to survive.

"They had weathered hurricanes prior to '57, and what they did not understand was the surge. You see the surge is what killed the 500 plus or whatever people."
It just takes one hurricane. And it could be the first one.

A Picture I Would Like to See in the Slidell City Court


(image) Actually, though I am a non-believer, religious iconography fascinates me. I struggled to find the exact image of the Slidell Jesus online - the position of his hand was different in the Slidell picture than any others I saw, or the book was closed, or there was no book. Finally, I found the icon for sale on this site, which has a description:
Christ is blessing with His right hand, His fingers formed into the shape of the Greek letters "IC XC", the Greek abbreviation for "Jesus Christ". His blessing hand is turned inward as if to remind us that He is the Great Blessing, granting us an opportunity to repent and inherit eternal life. He is holding a Book of the Gospels in His left arm. It is opened to the passages reading "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge with righteous judgement. (John 7:24) For with what judgement you judge, you shall be judged." (Matthew 7:2)

Christ is traditionally shown with a short beard and long dark hair parted in the middle. His expression is serious, but not without mercy. Christ's outer robe is blue, to symbolize His humanity which he put on in His Incarnation, and His inner robe is red, to represent His divinity that He always was in eternity.

Christ Our God is the Saviour of all men who would be saved and who acknowledge their sinfulness, their need to be saved in truth by their own cooperation, and thus truly repent "for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!"
I hear there is a rally tonight on the the Slidell City Court steps. If you are a high school student in attendence, be careful what you say.



The T-P profiled the Guardian Angels in today’s paper. But that’s not the scary part.

This is:
"Criminals are cowards. They strike where it is easy," Landry said. "Criminals are going to move on if they see the Guardian Angels."

That conviction, however, is not universal. The Rev. Tony Talavera, proprietor of the French Quarter Wedding Chapel, called the Angels earlier this year, asking them to set up shop in the French Quarter. But after meeting them, Talavera changed his mind.

"They won't be effective," he said. "They are wasting their resources here. They aren't even armed. The criminals here are going to laugh at them, then rob them."

Talavera is trying to garner attention and support for a new initiative. He wants Blackhawk Protection Service, a Metairie company that employs lethally armed guards, some recently returned from stints in Iraq, to patrol the Quarter.
I missed this WDSU report, and the excellent point made at the end, which was filed in April:
The company, Talavera said, would be Blackhawk Protection Service. Its employees carry guns and are authorized to hold crime suspects until police arrive.

Blackhawk's plan involves a dozen two-man teams patrolling 24 hours a day.

Talavera said the added protection would combat graffiti, car break-ins, robberies and muggings.

Although Blackhawk said 38 businesses and 15 residents have already signed up, Marianne Lewis said she hasn't joined -- and that no one in the French Quarter should have to foot the bill for added safety.

"We've been paying taxes, and part of that is police protection. To put an additional financial burden on small business owners that they have to come up with any fee per month to keep our employees safe and visitors safe -- that's ridiculous," Lewis said.
These guys aren’t police. Their mission is “to provide physical and tactical security services to our clients with integrity, confidentiality and professionalism.” To their *clients.* Not the people.

Local law enforcement, particularly JPSO, is already starting to look like a paramilitary force. The last thing we need is an actual paramilitary force patrolling the streets.

I am sorry that some French Quarter residents feel the police aren't effective. But, they need to focus on *making* the police effective. If neighborhoods resort to buying their safety, then only the neighborhoods that could afford it would have it.

Also, as a point of reference, there has not been a murder this year in the French Quarter as of today. In fact, the French Quarter has been a murder-free island surrounded by a sea of death. I know this doesn't mean that the French Quarter has been free of all crime. But it has been free of the most violent kind.

“We’re Not Going to Take It Down Until We Get a Legal Opinion”


Judge Jim Lamz, Slidell City Court, on why the court isn’t removing a picture of Jesus with the sentence underneath it “TO KNOW PEACE, OBEY THESE LAWS” from the courtroom lobby, as heard on ABC26 news.

Judge Lamz also said in the report, “I don’t know who it is. I personally thought it might be Moses or some Russian or Greek figure. I wasn’t sure.”

Fair enough. Here’s the pic from ABC26’s website:

Here’s some pics from Google Images:

Russian Jesus.

Greek Jesus.


And, something I came across, Christ the Teacher.

I don’t know. The hand looks a little different. But who am I to judge?

Ever Seen an Old Thug?


April 8, 2005:Members of the New Orleans Police Department have issued an arrest warrant for 19-year-old Jerrell Jackson, wanted in connection with yesterday’s shooting that occurred at the intersection of Lasalle Street and Washington Avenue. The victims were a 19-year-old male and a 20-year-old male whose names are not being released as a security measure. According to investigators, three males traveled inside of a vehicle at the above mentioned location when a light colored Jeep Cherokee pulled next to their vehicle. The driver of the Jeep Cherokee produced a handgun and fired several gunshots into the vehicle. The driver suffered an apparent gunshot wound to the back and the front seat passenger suffered an apparent gunshot wound to the face and hand. They were transported to a local hospital for treatment and their conditions are unknown. The third occupant, a 19-year-old male, did not report any injuries.Sixth District Detective Lawrence Dupree conducted an investigation and obtained an arrest warrant for 19-year-old Jerrell Jackson of 3032 South Saratoga Street, relative to three (3) counts of attempted second degree murder, aggravated criminal damage to property and illegal use of a weapon.July 17, 2005:This evening, members of the New Orleans Police Department are investigating a series of shootings that results in seven (7) confirmed people wounded in a central city neighborhood. Their ages are from 16 to 61 years of age and their names are not being released as a security measure. The offense occurred shortly after 8:00 p.m., in the intersection of Freret and First Streets.According to investigators, individuals approached the intersection and began firing multiple gunshots into an area where several persons were standing.***Detectives believe tonight’s shooting was in retaliation for last evening’s murder of a 21-year-old male w ho was shot shortly before 10:30 p.m., inside an SUV at the corner of Phillip and LaSalle Street (one block away).Two of today’s victims, the 19-year-old male with a gunshot wound to the left torso and the 17-year-old male listed in critical condition had Second Degree Murder Warrants for their arrests and are believed to have been the targets of tonight’s shooting.July 18, 2005:New Orleans Police have arrested 19-year-old Darrell Davis, one of the persons believed is responsible for last night’s shooting of seven (7) individuals. The offense occurred July 17, 2005, shortly after 8:00 p.m., in the intersection of Freret and First Streets. As a result, the following persons were wounded from gunfire; a 16-year-old male wounded in the left arm and in good condition; 19-year-old Jerrell Jackson, was wounded in chest and was treated and released into police custody; 19-year-old Darrell Davis, wounded in the right ankle and in good condition; 18-year-old Tony Simmons, wounded in the thigh and listed as critical; a 22-year-old male wounded in the left arm and in good condition, a 61-year-old female wounded in the right thigh and listed in good condition, an unidentified adult male wounded in the head and listed in critical condition, and possibly an unidentified adult male who received an apparent gunshot wound to the leg and did not seek medical treatment who fled after driving other victims to the Medical Center of Louisiana. His whereabouts are unknown.Detectives believe that a Ford F-150 approached the intersection when Davis and another male got out and opened fire. Detectives also, at this point, conclude that there was an exchange of gunfire between Davis, his unidentified accomplice and unknown persons. Seven persons reported being shot, including Davis. Investigators are in the process of building cases against Davis’ accomplice and others who were involved in the [...]

Rated R for Murder


Dammit. New Orleans' violent crime caused me to go ahead and get tagged with an R rating:


Why, oh why?
This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
* dead (7x) * murder (5x) * bitch (1x)
Bitch? I don't remember... ohhh. My blogroll.

Via Suspect Device, VatulBlog.

Can’t Blame the Youth


From the written testimony, submitted before the actual testimony, of Chief Judge David L. Bell, Orleans Parish Juvenile Court for the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing "Rising Violent Crime in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina" on June 20, 2007:OPJC presently has six hundred eighty-nine (689) open delinquency cases. From January 1, 2007 through today, the New Orleans Police Department arrested approximately eight-hundred (800) juveniles and the New Orleans District Attorneys Office Juvenile Division filed two hundred and eighty four (284) new delinquency petitions. Based on the new petitions we are seeing significant drug use, which we believe is a result of unaddressed trauma and mental health needs, a direct result of Katrina. For example, 28% of the cases that come before the court are for possession of narcotics.1 Most of the youth appearing before the court, eighty-two percent (82%), are fifteen to seventeen years old (15-17) who have unaddressed educational needs and lack the skills to obtain gainful employment.2 We are seeing an increase in disproportionate minority contact even though the population of New Orleans has changed since Katrina3; ninety-three percent (93%) of delinquency petitions filed are young people of color.4[footnotes]1 25% burglary/theft/trespass; 15% abuse/assault/battery; 11% robbery; and 9% weapons. 2 0.5% are 8 yrs old; 2% are 11 yrs old; 3.9% are 13 yrs old; 12% are 14 yrs old; 18% are 15 yrs old; 26% are 16 yrs old; 38% are 17 yrs old, 0.5% are 18 yrs old. 3 47% African American; 43% White 4 79% African American male; 14 % African American female; 2.8% White male .08% White female. The judge is seeing “significant drug use,” “unaddressed trauma and mental health needs,” and “unaddressed educational needs” in the juveniles that show up in court and they “lack the skills to obtain gainful employment.” And 93 percent of the delinquency petitions filed are for African American youths.The judge probably doesn’t have statistics for the racial breakdown of the NOPD’s juvenile arrests. But, would anyone be surprised if 93 percent of them were also black?We are damning a generation of African Americans by neglect.We are neglecting education in African American neighborhoods. What schools have been closed the longest? How many schools are selective or cap enrollment?We are neglecting infrastructure in African American neighborhoods. Drive through any of them.We are neglecting security in African American neighborhoods. The clusters of murders are all in black neighborhoods.We are neglecting jobs in African American neighborhoods. Nothing new there.We are neglecting healthcare in African American neighborhoods. Charity? And what about preventive healthcare?“But, wait,” one might say. “It’s the poor we are neglecting.” Race and poverty dance together in New Orleans.Why do the numbers keep coming out this way? Look at the faces of the murdered. Overwhelmingly black. Look at the faces of the incarcerated. Overwhelmingly black. Look at the faces of the public housing residents living in substandard housing. Overwhelmingly black. Look at the faces of the public school students in a public school system that was failing before the storm. Overwhelmingly black. Look at the faces of the youths in the juvenile court. Overwhelmingly black.Look at the faces in New Orleans. They are not overwhelmingly black. New Orleans’ population is no longer 66 percent African American. They are the ones who have not returned, or can not return.Racial injustice. Neglect. They dance together, too.[...]

Now I Know Why We Hired Him


Recovery director Ed Blakely:
"Rebuilding a city requires people who are very talented in the rebuilding process," Blakely said during a press briefing at City Hall.

More and Less


More of this:
“I’ll sleep next to my hammer drill if I have to,” he said. “There’s a story in this house, and whether it happened over a hundred years ago, or it’s happening now, it has to keep being told. It’s New Orleans culture and I’m just a page in the book.”
Less of this:
As for Tidewater’s future in New Orleans, Taylor said the company is evaluating its options.

“Our plans are to do what’s best for our shareholders,” he said. “Sometimes one wonders ... whether it’s best for our headquarters to remain in Louisiana. From my vantage point, our customer base is in Houston. Houston really is the energy capital of the world. If we’re going to be responsive to our customers ... we need to be close to our customers. So that’s a disadvantage that New Orleans confronts.

“For the time being, we have not made a decision to leave New Orleans.”
These stories are not really related. I just happened to read them one after the other in my inbox.

Finding Better Ways to Blow Up Levees?


Or testing temporary pumps?
Army alerts residents to potential louder than normal explosion

FORT POLK - Residents in the vicinity of the main post of Fort Polk may notice a louder than normal explosion during the week of June 18-22.

The potential noise will be the result of a large detonation that is part of activities conducted here by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Each One Had a Father


Three murders on Father's Day. Thirteen murders in June only seventeen days into the month. Ninety murders in the city of New Orleans in 2007.
88) A man was shot to death around 4 a.m. today, the New Orleans Police Department reported.

The unidentified man was found lying in the street at Gordon and Urquhart Streets by Fifth District officers responding to a report of shots being fired in the area.
He had a gunshot wound to the head. Emergency medical technicians pronounced the man dead on the scene.
89) The first shooting [of the evening], in Central City, occurred about 6:30 p.m. in the 2200 block of Josephine Street, between Simon Bolivar Avenue and South Liberty Street. A man died later Sunday in a hospital, police said.
90) About two hours later Sunday, another fatal shooting occurred in the 1900 block of Esplanade Avenue, between North Prieur and North Johnson streets, at the border between the 7th Ward and the 6th Ward.

Bob Marley Sunday



"Oh oh oh Caution, the road is wet
Black soul is black as jet
Do you hear me
Caution the road is hot
You got to do better than that"

Behind the Headlines


The headline on with Road Home applications available at churchesTranslation: If you haven't applied yet, start praying.Okay, that's not really what the church article is about. It's about churches helping residents get through the paperwork to apply for the Road Home Program. But, if you are of the religious lot and have not applied yet, a novena might be in order:Based on most conservative estimates of the shortfall, the aid program is on schedule to run out of money with 41,000 eligible applicants left out in the cold.***There are now more than 145,000 Road Home applicants of which the state expects at least 132,000 to be found eligible for aid from the program. That compares to the original FEMA estimate of 123,000 total properties with major or severe damage. The state also budgeted for an average Road Home grant of $60,000, while the current auditor's estimate is that the average will end up being close to $79,000.If you read this blog, you know I like numbers. They tell all kinds of stories. Let’s see what stories these numbers tell.The state has $6.2 billion in community development block grants to use for homeowners in the Road Home Program plus $1.14 billion in hazard mitigation grants from FEMA – $7.34 billion in all. The $1.14 billion from FEMA is being withheld right now, but it must have been included at the beginning to calculate how much money the Road Home Program would have to give to homeowners:$7.34 billion (estimated money available) divided by 123,000 (estimated households eligible) = $59,674 (average grant per household – rounded up to $60,000)That equation corresponds to the Times-Picayune’s numbers.The actual numbers as of June 11, 2007:Important numbers:* 145,252 homeowners have applied* 87,100 benefits have been calculated at an average of $74,214 each, which promises $6.46 billion to homeowners$6.46 billion is less than the $7.34 billion, which includes the $1.14 billion in hazard mitigation grants, but more than the $6.2 billion in CDBGs. If the state really has $7.34 billion to work with, then there is $940,000,000 left to give out. With the average of $74,214 per household, that means 12,666 more homeowners can have their grants calculated from the original $7.34 billion which the state thought it had at the beginning of the program.87,100 + 12,666 = 99,766. At this rate, if the state and/or federal governments do not put more money into the Road Home Program, only 99,766 households will receive Road Home grants. That’s 23,234 less than 123,000 households, which was the number used at the beginning of the program to estimate how many homeowners would be eligible. It’s 45,486 less than the 145,252 homeowners who had applied as of last Monday. And the deadline to apply isn’t until July 31, so more are coming.This isn’t news, but the current allocation of federal money is no where near enough to fully fund the Road Home Program.Whose fault is this?The state says the program was underfunded because of inadequate storm damage estimates by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The funding pool was based on those estimates.But Don Powell, President Bush's Gulf Coast recovery chief, told a congressional committee the state is handing out payments for damage that is excluded under federal guidelines.Hmmm... You know what? Both the state and Don Powell are right.The state’s position is that Louisiana got far less money for its program than it needed and far less in comparison to other states, particularly Mississippi. I have commented on this before:For[...]

New York Has a Website


Called the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder.

New Yorkers can type in their address "to determine if they live in a hurricane flood zone."

Let's try 11 Wall Street.

Oh, dear. It looks like that address is in Zone C:
Residents in Zone C may experience storm surge flooding from a MAJOR (Category 3 & 4) hurricane making landfall just south of New York City. A major hurricane is unlikely in New York City, but not impossible.
That's okay. The New York Stock Exchange isn't that important. Plus, "A major hurricane is unlikely in New York City." Wall Street knows a thing or two about risk.

What risk?
A Category 3 hurricane in New York would behave like a Category 4 in the South. A Northern hurricane typically travels at 34 mph, about triple the speed of a Southern storm.

A major hurricane would produce a storm surge of up to 30 feet, with flooding in all five boroughs, airport and highway closings, and massive traffic jams. The lower Manhattan flood zone for a hurricane making landfall just south of the city includes the World Trade Center site, Wall Street and police headquarters. City Hall - which sits on higher ground and is located toward the middle of Manhattan - might turn into a small island as the East and Hudson rivers converge to its south. If that sounds implausible, remember that it has happened before: A September 1821 hurricane raised tides by 13 feet in an hour and flooded Manhattan from its southern tip to Canal Street.

Today, that would knock out most of Wall Street and many subway lines, and flood tourist spots like South Street Seaport.
Why would anyone build the largest securities market in the country in a flood zone?

NOLA Murder Clusters


Of New Orleans' 87 murders (as of 6/12/07), 75 murders occurred inside the shaded area of the map below. That's 86% of the murders. (NOTE: These are my numbers. If you see any errors, please let me know.)

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The twelve murders that did not occur in the shaded area are marked with blue placemarks. Two of those are west of the Industrial Canal. Ten are in N.O. East, including a cluster of five murders in the Little Woods area only blocks away from each other.

Also, there are neighborhoods where murders happen in clusters (more than two close together). This map displays those in the shaded areas, as well as the non-cluster murders as blue placemarks.

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The neighborhood clusters:
Mid-City/Treme/7th Ward – 25 murders
Central City – 16 murders
Marigny/Bywater/9th Ward – 12 murders
Algiers/Behrman – 8 murders
Hollygrove/Leonidas – 6 murders
Little Woods – 5 murders
Notice there are five areas outside of the clusters where two murders happened within blocks of each other.

A few conclusions can be made from these maps. I am still working on some. In the meantime, I offer the maps up to the gods of the internets.

Google Map Embed Test


2007 New Orleans Murders

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ADDED: This is just a test. As pointed out by Schroeder in the comments, go to for the real thing plus much, much more.

ADDED II: Oh, look. The Times-Pic has a map, too, with more info.

Clarity of Mind


I can’t blame Nagin for trying to find some:
After the group’s founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, visited New Orleans in April, Nagin developed a working partnership with IAHV.

“We will begin to work closely with his holiness (Shankar) and his organizations to identify the specific set of needs for the New Orleans communities,” Nagin said. “For the past 19 months, our adults and youth have endured stress and overwhelming challenges associated with the rebuilding our great city and we are open to review the proposals of his holiness Shankar’s for the achievement of harmony, stress management and clarity of mind.”
First Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Day and now the Mayor planning “to work closely with his holiness.”

My ignorance still prevents me from knowing what to make of this.

Every Blip Hurts


As of June 1, 2007, there have been 77 murders in New Orleans this year. With 151 days in the year completed, that comes to an average of one murder every 1.96 days – basically, a murder every other day. If that average stays the same all year, we will end 2007 with 186 murders. In a city of 255,000 people, that comes to a murder rate of 73 murders per 100,000 residents.If nothing changes, 109 more human beings will die a violent death on the streets of New Orleans this year. And most of those who die will be African-American men, often young, and almost always they will be shot.It seems every month is a “blip” or an “uptick.”January – 17 murdersFebruary – 13 murdersMarch – 18 murdersApril – 14 murdersMay – 15 murders:05/05/07 – 1 murder63) Troy Dent, 22, of New Orleans, was shot Saturday about 11 p.m. at South Claiborne and Louisiana Avenue, John Gagliano, chief coroner's investigator said. Dent, who was shot in a car, died Sunday at 5:15 a.m. at Tulane University Hospital, Gagliano said.05/07/05 – 1 murder64) An unidentified man wearing a house arrest monitoring device on his ankle was shot to death in a fusillade of bullets which also wounded a 17-year-old boy Monday night in the Lower 9th Ward. Monday's shooting came after a bloody Sunday during which at least six people were wounded in New Orleans in several unrelated shootings, according to police. 05/08/07 – 1 murder65) Officers already in the Pigeon Town area heard shots about 7:50 p.m. and found a man lying on the corner of Hickory and Leonidas streets. He was Michael Combs, 39, of New Orleans, chief coroner's investigator John Gagliano said. Medics tried to revive Combs, but were unsuccessful, according to police spokeswoman Officer Sabrina Richardson. Combs died at the scene on a sidewalk in front of a bar. Richardson did not know if the bar was open. Numerous bullet casings were found on the sidewalk and street near Combs' body. 5/9/07 – 1 murder66) A 29-year-old man was shot to death Wednesday afternoon in the 7th Ward and another man with whom he was feuding was taken in for questioning in the incident, police said. Jay Landers, of New Orleans, died of multiple gunshot wounds. 5/11/07 – 1 murder67) A 23-year-old New Orleans man was shot and killed in the Iberville public housing complex Friday night, police said. Police received a call at 7:18 p.m. of a man shot, and found Mark Oneal lying in front of a building in the 1400 block of Conti Street, police spokeswoman Officer Jonette Williams said. 05/14/07 - 2 murders68) Police found the unidentified man dead Monday morning in eastern New Orleans with gunshot wounds to the head. Officers responding to a call to the intersection of Venice Boulevard and Wales Street about 4 a.m. found the man on the ground, officer Jonette Williams said. ***Corey Coleman, 21, of New Orleans, was found dead Monday about 6:30 a.m. at Venice and Wales streets. He died sometime early Monday, the coroner's office estimated.69) And Emanuel Gardner, 17, of New Orleans, was shot in Central City. ***In an unrelated incident, Gardner was shot in the chest Monday afternoon in Central City. The shooting occurred shortly before 4 p.m. near the intersection of 7th and Freret streets, police said. The victim was taken to University Hospital, where he died at 9:32 p.m., Gagliano said. An autopsy will be performed today. 05/16/07 – 1 murder70) A 42-year-old Terrytown ma[...]