Thursday, October 13, 2005

Nagin tries to gather his flock, Louisiana losing hope as the fed pays $11m daily for hotel rooms.

Mayor Nagin is going to shelters trying to get people to go back to New Orleans.

Apparently business people can't find workers.

Heavens! Whatever will they do?

After years of assuring Americans that only capital matters, now they say they need workers. Washington Post

I'd be sceptical too, though. While Nagin is promising trailers etc. , the AP report I read today said that mobile homes will not be available unless electricity has been restored to a property. Pretty stupid rule. Seems like first comes a functional house and then comes the electricity.

What is FEMA playing at?

Still apparently, minimum wage is a thing of the past for a while in New Orleans, but apparently illegal immigrants are getting most of the jobs. (Must be willing to work without necessary safety equipement and get sick, sleep in lots and fields if necessary says one report.

Excerpt from report linked immediately above:
the Department of Homeland Security temporarily suspended rules mandating employers to prove that workers they hire are citizens or have a legal right to work in the United States.

In addition, President Bush suspended application in the Katrina-affected region of the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act, under which employers must pay prevailing wage rates on federally financed construction projects -- in order, Bush said, to "permit the employment of thousands of additional individuals."


This is adding to the unhappiness of local contractors trying to re-establish their own businesses and hire local workers, after being evacuated or otherwise losing their ability to operate for weeks.

"The local people can't participate in their own recovery," said Jack Donahue, whose Mandeville, La.-based firm Donahue Favret Contractors Inc. specializes in such construction tasks as sheetrock and flooring removal and mold remediation.

Part of the problem, Donahue said, is that local construction workers scattered during the evacuation and are just beginning to come back. Many are returning to destroyed or severely damaged homes and have discovered that the hotels in the region are full of out-of-state workers, including migrants.

"There's no room for local people in the hotels," Donahue said.

Lopez, originally from the Mexican state of Chiapas, sleeps on the floor of a dank motel room with four other migrants in Gretna, La., just across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. The motel, which lost its sign, was flooded in the storm, forcing the removal of all of the furniture, including beds. But it is packed with migrant workers.

Jose Morillo, a Honduran who came west from Arkansas, is one of the motel's residents. His first job involved removing foul-smelling refrigerators full of rotting food in Slidell, La., two weeks after the hurricane hit. "Roofing is much better than cleaning," he said. "It's also much better to be in a hotel instead of the outdoor camps where we were getting bit by mosquitoes."

Losing Hope in Louisiana shows how terribly the federal govt. is blowing the post hurricane response to Katrina and Rita and how it is destoying the culture of the area.

Meanwhile, the New York Times finds an assumed Bush administration ally cruising for a trip to the woodshed:
Even conservative housing experts have criticized the Bush administration's handling of the temporary housing response. "I am baffled," said Ronald D. Utt, a former senior official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Reagan administration aide who is now a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, the conservative research organization. "This is not incompetence. This is willful. That is the only way I can explain it."

The quote above is from a report showing that the federal government is spending $11 million dollars a day on hotel rooms for those who lost homes in the Southeast.

I hope the mayor's successful. I hope he builds his gamblers paradise and gets that city yanked back from the federal plans building on it. The Bush administration wants to raze the city and rebuild a Disneyized Nawlin's, and gambling may be the only forced powerful enough to stop them.


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