Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

Katrina links

I think I'm going to stop posting AP articles--I have about 29 pages' worth in a Word document, but I'm just too tired to do anything with them. For some reason I came home from class today and crawled into bed an hour later.

Which reminds me--hi to Casey (sp?), if you're reading this. She's going to be with the American Renaissance class this semester from--the University of New Orleans, I think she said? (Sorry about hitting you with the Melville first thing, Casey.)


hannasus: "I've spent the last two days volunteering at Reliant Park and have posted a description of my experiences over in my livejournal, if anyone would like to hear about it."


I work for the Army Corps of Engineers, and I've received several emails over the last several days detailing events. You've touched on most, but just FYI within the organization there's a massive buildup of volunteers, many who have come out of retirement to provide any aid they can, who will likely be shipping out soon - myself included. As to what my job description will be (I'm a Park Ranger) I don't know; it may be grunt work or passing out MREs - I likely won't know until I get there. But we look to be shipping out en masse starting within the week.

It's also been officially confirmed (at least via my email): the Corps of Engineers runs a number of campgrounds, and many of those sites will be accepting refugees to abide there for free. They're still trying to figure out how to regulate it (who knows, I may be sent to help patrol) but they've confirmed that refugees will be allowed (or it may have already gone into affect) free camping on non-reservable sites within Corps camps. I don't know if this information has been made public yet, but anyone who's interested may want to contact the campsites in the area, or go to the USACE website. Obviously camps decimated by the hurricane are out, but we have several along the Mississippi and any Corps-run lakes.

Thanks again for all that you're doing though, I'll try to keep you updated with any info that I can pass on.

stefficus: "linda v. from community animal rescue & adoption is no longer taking phone calls for fostering pets displaced by katrina... instead, we're being directed to their website, to apply to shelter pets. anyone still interested should go there. oh. this post from sharon pritchard of CARA puts things in a whole different light:
There has been a BIG misunderstanding regarding the need for foster homes at CARA. We have a few pets that were owner give-ups due to their home situations. The mention of 240 dogs & 100 cats is incorrect. These are the numbers of CARA's shelter animals, not the evacuees. We would love for people to adopt them as well as the evacuee pets. We are expecting more pets to come to the shelter, so please keep checking back with us. As for the delivering of these foster pets, there are only a few women & men that run the shelter. We don't have enough people nor vehicles for transporting. We are sorry for the confusion and hope this will help clear some of it up.
if that's not an option, this page has info from many different sources regarding rescued pets."


From an anonymous poster: "bdbdb has a special offer for 'Angel' fans who donate money. Coinstar (you know the automatic coin-sorting machines) has an option where all the change you dump in can be donated to the American Red Cross or other charities. Donate Music is a site to gather CD/casettes/ipods/discmen/etc. for teenaged survivors."

Click on a city and find or offer hurricane housing.

Kingdom of Loathing: "In other news, KMD's radio telethon was a tremendous success. Something like $6,700 was raised, which Asymmetric Publications is going to match, for a grand total of... um... something like $13,400. Thanks to everyone for their eXtreme generosity." (one of my favorite jewelry makers): "At 1928 we join with the rest of America who is feeling the urgent need and want to aid the victims that have been left in the devastating path of Katrina. The storm has left thousands of people homeless and caused an estimated $25 billion in damage. You can help too by ordering now as for each order over $20 we are going to donate on your behalf, $5.00 dollars to the American Red Cross. This is good for any product on including 1928, 2028, Antiquities and The Vatican Library Collection brands. This will be a direct donation to the American Red Cross who is on the scene comforting and helping millions of people put their lives back together. We are pledging to continue to donate on all purchases over $20.00 until September 15th."

From the Publisher's Lunch newsletter:

Katrina Updates

Random House also announced that they will make a $500,000 donation to the American Red Cross's Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, along with matching employee contributions to "qualified relief aid organizations." Additionally, Random House Children's Books is donating 250,000 copies of their titles to First Book, "the great organization which is distributing reading to kids in the hardest-hit areas."

At Simon & Schuster, Adam Rothberg indicates they are "planning on making a substantial donation of books for the benefit of individuals and institutions affected by the Hurricane and flood."

First Book currently indicates on their web site that they are "providing books to children affected by Hurricane Katrina. Every $5 donated to First Book will be matched with 1 book that will go to children in the devastated areas."

Organization head Kyle Zimmer has been speaking to major publishers about taking a lead role in organzing a national book drive, with the goal of collecting 5 million books. Their plan is to distribute books widely to people currently in shelters, school systems taking in displaced children, and the schools and libraries that will need to rebuild their collections. First Book expects to have promotional support from the Library of Congress and is hoping to formally announce the drive later this month.
First Book

Borders is seeking information on 11 employees still missing after Hurricane Katrina, and has signs posted in company stores throughout the Gulf coast area. They've closed six stores in Mississippi and Louisiana, and "will continue to pay employees who can't work because their stores are gone and is offering help through an employee assistance foundation," according to the Detroit News.
Detroit News

Most other book-related donation information we have received so far is more local in scope. One reader tells us from RWA discussion loops that Toni Causey in Baton Rouge is coordinating efforts to distribute books to shelters in the area, including the Baton Rouge River Center, said to be housing 45,000 people. Write toni.causey at for shipping details. The Louisiana Library Association can also direct you to multiple shelters in the Baton Rouge area that have asked for book donations [office at].

Additionally, the LLA has set up a Disaster Relief Fund, soliciting cash donations to "assist school, public, and academic library restoration efforts in southeastern Louisiana." The address is listed on their web site.

Agent Joanna Pulcini and client Jennifer Weiner report that Beverly Laughlin of the LLA at and Susan Cassagne of the Mississippi Library Association at scassagne at are compiling databases of companies interested in helping the libraries rebuild collections with book donations and discounts once affected locations are able to reopen.

With refugees fanning out across the country, support efforts are underway all over. Two women in Houston have arranged for local Borders and Waldenbooks locations to serve as collection points for book donations for the tens of thousands of people currently housed in the Astrodome, hoping to deliver fresh books to the center every Saturday. Contact/delivery info:

Operation Books for Refugees from Katrina
c/o Borders Books
3025 Kirby
Houston, TX 77098

The Publishers Association of the West has notified us of two local book drives. Primer Publishers is trying to compile a library for displaced people being housed at Arizona's Veteran's Coliseum. Contact bill at

In Colorado, the Child Rescue Foundation is collecting children's books and educational materials only. Contact childrescue97984 at


elvensapphire: "Did you see this? It's intense as far as language goes, and in its dark humour, it is so very true. Sad, but true." Synopsis: Foamy the Squirrel reports live via payphone: "GET OFF YOUR ASS, STOP REPORTING, AND HELP SOMEONE!"

The Onion: "God Outdoes Terrorists Yet Again; Government Relief Workers Mosey In To Help."

molliewollie: Major Disasters of the Bush Administration from A to Z. From the Daily Show. Apparently "Locusts" are next on the list. I dread the rodents of unusual size most, though.

Quick news links

terriem: "I'm not sure if you've seen it, but the BBC have a great in depth section on their website.  It's got good analysis and reportage and lots of space for reader comment, discussion and eyewitness reports."

theendofallthat: "Hey--I don't know if you saw this article. it reads like more hyperbole, but for some reason it doesn't strike me as being that unlikely, given everything else that's gone on." Synopsis: rescuework goes Mardi Gras. And not in a good way.

junebug139: "In Massachusetts We'd Call This Yankee Ingenuity."

cattikins: "Here's one I found at CNN about acts of human kindness during the disaster."

"Celebrities exploit a tragedy for their own benefit."

New Orleans mayor orders forced evacuations.

Bush struggles to find the right tone on disaster.

MSNBC: Blogging from the Gulf Coast.

Katrina Victims to Get $2K Debit Cards.

Victims face bewildering options.

Police Step Up Evacuation of New Orleans.

Bush Seeks 51.8B More for Katrina Effort. ETA: For some reason, when the link appeared on my email front page, the "51" didn't come through, and I just now saw it somewhere else. So... uh... 51.8 is actually a much bigger number than .8.

Government issues

"As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters - his own are exhausted after working around the clock for a week - a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta. Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers. Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA. But as specific orders began arriving to the firefighters in Atlanta, a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew's first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas."

</strong></a></strong></font></a>txvoodoo: "Thought you'd be interested in this: FEMA relief catch 22."

 </a></font></a>sualocin: "I don't know if you've already seen, and I don't really know if your political affiliation, but I find this whole response an impeachible offence. But the site does mainly talk about the war and not the hurricane."

From Tabby: "Miss Alli [of Television Without Pity] has a rant on This is Not Over that expresses something I've been stewing about for days, which is that W just doesn't seem to get it." An excerpt from "Here's What Gets Me" forthwith:

My problem with Bush -- and here, I do indeed address Bush individually, as a guy -- is that during the time that the crisis was developing, from Monday to Friday, he never seemed to experience any actual sense of urgency as a result of the simple fact that people were, minute by minute and hour by hour, dying.

Let's give him the benefit of the doubt that he was being prevented from acting by bureaucracy and the sheer magnitude of the situation. Where are the stories of how he was in his office freaking the fuck out because there were tens of thousands of Americans trapped without food and water? Where's the story of how he ripped a strip off of somebody, demanding to know what the holy hell the holdup is getting water and food to those people?

I want to hear about how he was demanding that extraordinary steps be taken. I want to hear about how he sent his lawyers into a room -- he had four days, you know -- and demanded that they come back in an hour with a plan for him to send the Marines into New Orleans with 100 trucks of food and water, posse comitatus or not. I want to hear that he was panicked. Because I was panicked. Everyone I know was panicked. Everyone I know was gnashing their teeth with helpless rage because they couldn't get in a car, drive down there, and drive a load of homeless Louisiana residents back home with them for soup and a goddamn hot bath. I want to hear that he acted at some point out of genuine despondency about the fact that citizens of the country he is supposed to be running were being starved and dehydrated in a hellish, fetid prison. We are dancing around now about whether it is his failure or not his failure. Where is the decency that would tell him that he is the president, and FEMA is part of his administration, and this failure is his to own and apologize for, whether other people also were wrong or not?

</a></font></b></a>promise19: "I read a great op/ed piece by Thomas L. Friedman (one of my favorites) in the NYT this morning. I think Mr. Friedman does a great job of comparing Bush's handling of 9/11 to how his administration (that he built) has dealt with Katrina. Here, he gives a tongue lashing to Grover Norquist, the President of the coalition group Americans for Tax Reform. Also: From Interdictor's LJ: 'Sometime around midnight, a squad of 82nd Airborne guys accompanied by a US Marshall busted into our Data Center with their M4-A1s to investigate the lights and movement....'"


From </a></font></b></a>skyblade: Sean Penn's rescue bid sinks. "Penn had planned to rescue children waylaid by Katrina's flood waters, but apparently forgot to plug a hole in the bottom of the vessel, which began taking water within seconds of its launch. The actor, known for his political activism, was seen wearing what appeared to be a white flak jacket and frantically bailing water out of the sinking vessel with a red plastic cup. With the boat loaded with members of Penn's entourage, including a personal photographer, one bystander taunted the actor: 'How are you going to get any people in that thing?'" I'm hearing a second report now that the boat didn't spring a leak--it just started taking on water because of the number of people he brought with him. Which, again: a point to the bystander.

</a></font></b></a>cordeliadelayne: "Hey Cleo. Don't know if you've come across this yet but someone has started up </a></font></b></a>poor_planning. Looks like they're doing the same as you, gathering info, but in their user info it does state their aim is to "to put together the case that the poor of New Orleans were left to drown." May be a good resource for news and they do intend to try and get the Black Caucus involved."

On that note: I think I'm going to continue collecting news--just at a reduced rate. Again: no mountains of AP articles. I want to stop, but... I just don't feel like I can.

ETA: AUGH. There is a rogue bold tag and I CAN. NOT. FIND IT. I give up.



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Tags: hurricanes, katrina, new orleans

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