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I just got this in my e-mail in-box. Door County is in northeast Wisconsin which is nearly 1,000 miles away from New Orleans.  

It's Labor Day weekend, and these people put together an effort from 1,000 miles away and got inside the city of NEW ORLEANS in 24 hours, while our federal government - the world's most powerful and wealthy nation - seemed paralyzed for 5 days.  Are you KIDDING me ???

Housing accomodations needed for Katrina refugees coming to Door County

Last updated: 5:44 PM September 4, 2005
by Steve Kastner
Door County Compass

STURGEON BAY, WI - Early on Friday morning Christie Weber watched the Mayor of New Orleans screaming on CNN, "We need buses to get these people out of here. Get off your ass and get down here."

MORE ON THE FLIP

She picked up the phone and started calling local charter bus companies. By 6 AM she discovered that there was an abundance of vehicles ready and waiting to be deployed - if and when they were called upon. But, until now no one had called. All of the charter bus companies that Weber called had already signed up with FEMA several days earlier and were just waiting for a call back regarding financial reimbursement, a destination and an approved route. Each bus costs $8,000 to make the round trip and requires 6 drivers to run non-stop.

"I called 4 bus lines," says Weber. "Kobussen Buses was the only line that said he would ask his drivers if they could deal with all that - after they got back. They all said 'Lets go' if we can get a route." Weber explains, "Even the owner's Dad and uncle volunteered to return to service to help drive the buses."

Next she decided to call the Governor's office in Louisiana instead of FEMA. They responded immediately with, "Please, God Bless You, YES!" and provided her with a route and a letter to Wisconsin Emergency Management requesting their assistance in staffing the buses with law enforcement officers. The State of Wisconsin responded requiring that each bus have bathroom facilities, 2 law officers and one medical assistant on board before they would approve of the mission.

Weber put a call out to local Door County law enforcement with no luck due to the demands of a busy Labor Day weekend. She started contacting other nearby communities and the results were amazing. Within an hour she had enough volunteers to staff 4 buses from the Fox Valley - each with two law officers and a medic on the finest coaches Kobussen had. All of this was accomplished in less than 24 hours, from the first phone call to the buses loading and leaving on Saturday morning, carrying a flat of drinking water donated by the local Wal-Mart and a collection of medical supplies and other contributions.

At 8:30 AM today the 4 charter busses that left Green Bay on Saturday morning were passing through Hammond, Louisiana - about 50 miles away from New Orleans.

"We had to make a choice of whether to go to Houston, to the Astrodome or to send the buses directly to New Orleans," says Weber. "There was no way to contact anyone at the Astrodome and when we finally reached the Governor's office in Louisiana they said 'Send them here,' so we did."

At noon on Sunday the four Wisconsin buses were dispatched to the New Orleans Superdome to pick up their passengers. The first two buses will bring approximately 80 NOLA refugees to Sturgeon Bay where they will be initially housed at Hope United Church of Christ and at the United Methodist Church. The two remaining buses will split, taking an additional 80 passengers to Madison and Milwaukee. . . . < snip >

NEW UPDATE: < snip > The letter that we asked the Louisiana Governor's office to write for Wisconsin was used as a draft and they immediately sent it to all of the other states. Many of them responded, and hundreds of empty buses started to arrive at the same time in New Orleans." < snip > < updated > LINK WITH NEW DETAILS ADDED TO STORY

Originally posted to RobertInWisconsin on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 04:54 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  great story, recommended (4.00)
    probably a lot of people thought about that but decided it wouldn't be possible...glad somebody did it. Long ways from Door County.

    Be a Carville, not a Colmes

    by seesdifferent on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 04:56:15 PM PDT

    •  National Response Plan (none)
      Counter all the bullshit and read this diary:

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/5/63720/67555

      I include links to the full text of the National Response Plan.

      Memorize Page 43-44 like your life depends on it.

      Basic gist:

      In times of catastrophe when local and state resources are overwhelmed - the feds are to step in immediately.

      First order of business: save lives and protect infrastructure.

      The protocol of coordinating with state and local governments should not delay the deployment of federal resources.

      This the Katrina August 6th PDB.  Learn this, memorize this and spread it around PRONTO!

  •  Feds/FEMA AWOL (4.00)
    By 6 AM she discovered that there was an abundance of vehicles ready and waiting to be deployed - if and when they were called upon. But, until now no one had called. All of the charter bus companies that Weber called had already signed up with FEMA several days earlier and were just waiting for a call back

    Thoughts from Connecticut -

    by ctsteve on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 04:59:37 PM PDT

    •  Well , Brown was on duty at the TV studios (4.00)

      Yes Brown did show up at the TV studios to say everything is just fine and the FEMA troops are coming. Except he forget to tell his people.

      Thoughts from Connecticut -

      by ctsteve on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:13:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mr. Brown (4.00)
        has blood on his hands.  Three infants died in the dome because there was no food or water.  Many aged and infirmed died as well.  Why no water or food? Because sending food and water to the dome might make those people want to stay in NOLA, and not go to Houston. Oh, yeah, I'm gonna stay in this putrid, filthy place because I got a MRE.

        There are, of course, other stories about FEMA.  But this one made me so mad...

        Now watch - Watt (former Director of FEMA under Clinton) suddenly appears - actually, that's the best decision anyone made.  You can be sure that Brown will hang on (if you fire him, you are admitting you made a mistake) but Watt will be running things for here on in.  Honore is in to control the military.

        I'm sure they  watch CNN and MSNBC, and everyday this week must have been a "oh, shit" day.

        But there is one thing I am curious about:  The Bush family curse relating to hurricanes.  After all, Daddy screwed up relief for Hurricane Andrew,
        his son does exactly the same thing for Hurricane Katrina.  It's like Groundhog day.

        We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

        by Mary Julia on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 07:02:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I though Louisiana had snagged Witt (4.00)
          I think Gov Blanco signed him on to help Louisiana.

          Hell, I don't think FEMA would have called him -- that would mean they would have to admit they needed management and leadership help. And that, they would never do.

          Incompetent people fear competence, just as competent people despise incompetence. And that, in a nutshell, is the problem with the US Government as run by the Bush Administration.

          •  I bet FEMA... (none)
            It's not a bad thing for Louisiana to hire Witt -- and if I guess right, FEMA is kicking themselves for not snagging him first.  No, they're not going to admit that they need his crisis mgmt skills -- they would have just hired him and put him in a low-impact, high visibility role.  The governing principle?  Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.  

            Witt is the potential spike in their miserable hearts -- a competent, professional crisis manager, and the clearest evidence that BushCo is incompetent.  I hope Blanco uses him well in her fight against the Repugs.

            (Aside: I was going to say that Blanco and Nagin are about to get swift-boated, but that struck me as an absurdly ironic turn of phrase!)

            If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else. Yogi Berra

            by Twin Planets on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:44:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  This should go into the timelines of (4.00)
    dKos, Wikipedia, and others.  It's pretty important.

    The rhetoric of the right wing is being fixed around the policy of disinformation.

    by MoronMike on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:04:04 PM PDT

  •  Amazing and Wonderful (4.00)
    Taking care of people.  The best diary I have read all day.

    Thank you robertinwisconsin...

  •  I am proud of (4.00)
    my fellow Badger staters. If I had known that we citizens were supposed to step in and do the job of the federal government, I would've driven down there two days ago myself !

    No one told me that we are all FEMA staff on-call. I wish I had known.

    There are people coming to my city here in WI, and I'm going to see what I can do now.

    But while I hope people get involved however they can, one way to 'help' is to put ferocious pressure on Washington DC to have a massive accounting for this complete breakdown and failure.

    •  This diary (4.00)
      like so many others has reduced me to tears, but this time the sentiment behind those tears isn't outrage or disgust.

      Purposeful ineptitude is a mark of certain passive aggressive behavior in individuals, who'd a thunk it would be a mark of an entire Administration??

      Kudos to everyone involved in that convoy, and sheer brillance on the part of the organizer to call the governor's office directly.

      In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

      by a gilas girl on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:16:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Go Badgers! (4.00)
      Best news all day, since the attendance at the local fundraiser.  I just sent letters to Senator Byrd, Senator Rockefeller and Congressman Rahall.  I asked for an investigation and an end to the vote on the estate tax.

      "Let the city of New Orleans Rise Again"

      by murrayewv on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:17:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I live outside of Madison (none)
      and please let me know if I can help in anyway. My e-mail address is in my profile.

      I have clothes, bedding, ect. and an extra car.  
      We have extra family living with us now so taking people in long term might be too snug to be ideal but we could if needed.

      Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

      by strengthof10kmen on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:27:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've emailed you about (none)
        the Mt Zion Baptist Church ( Madison ) effort to bring survivors - 40 families ! ! - all the way up here.

        Any other south-central WI readers not aware of this, e-mail me and I'll send you the info I have.

        They need $ for apts. that have been rented, they need clothes, food, and housewares.

        •  I recently researched Mt. Zion Baptist (none)
          for reasons not necessary here -- and it's quite a story, the first African-American congregation in that area.  The main founder was an amazing man, an African American college graduate from Atlanta pre-1910! who came to the UW for law school then.  He didn't finish, but he made his mark in Wisconsin in amazing ways. . . .

          Anyway, it is an incredible congregation to this day of great people.  This will go well -- but also consider emailing a group like Wisconsin Women's Network, based in Madison but with a wide list, statewide, wired into women's clubs across the state . . . and when clubwomen get behind something, the rest is easy.

          Or if you have a summary to send to me to send to them and some other women's networks around the state, feel free: creamcity@gmail.com.  Bless you, RobertinWisconsin, for tipping us to this!

          "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

          by Cream City on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:34:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I live outside of Madison too (none)
          RobertInWisconsin,

          Thank you so much for this diary.  It is at once inspiring and utterly maddening.

          I live outside of Madison too and would like to help.  I guess I'm not very good at finding my way around dailykos, 'cause I tried to find your email address and couldn't.  If you could help me locate your email address, or post more info about how we Wisconsin locals can help, I would greatly appreciate it!

          Thanks again.

  •  That's fantastic (4.00)
    How can we get stories like this out to the media?  

    I've never posted a diary.  Does it make sense to create a diary to the effect of "People/agencies/companies/countries that offered assistance and were turned away or simply said Fuck FEMA and showed up anyway" ?

    So we can collect all of these stories in one thread and link other blogs to it, link Olbermann to it, etc.

    Or start a website to collect this stuff like the one set up to accept voting "irregularity" complaints?

    So there is one clearing house?

    I'm willing to help with it - let me know what to do.

    I can start researching/collecting stories.  

    I know there's a thread on Smirkingchimp to this effect, but it's not comprehensive.

    •  This came from the media (none)
      but if you mean how to get a story in a local paper to the national media, try sending it yourself -- or message Associated Press to pick it up from the Door County Compass to the state wire and then national wire.  The state Associated Press office in Wisconsin is in Milwaukee.

      "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

      by Cream City on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:12:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lut'rans in southeast Wisconsin also (4.00)
    bringing a group to Wales (in Waukesha County -- one of the most red counties in the country, btw).

    To quote them in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

    The church planned initially to send truckloads of food and supplies, then, based on news reports, encouraged members to donate to relief organizations instead.  Still, there was a gnawing sense that money was not enough. "We just thought there had to be something else we could do. . . ."

    So thought we all, but some are doing it, bless 'em!  So now we are hitting holiday discount sales, clearing out closets, etc. here. . . .

    Btw, the transportation assistance is coming from a local bus company and "a rough-sounding truck driver named Ernie who was preparing to make his third bus trip from Houston to New Orleans to pick up refugees. . . .  Ernie said he'd come across the church's flier, though [the minister] hadn't printed one and knows of no one who had. "He broke down when he told me about the dead bodies and the hopelessness on the faces of the people on his bus.  He told me, through his tears, 'You gotta know this is exactly what the people need.' "

    For all the Ernies . . . thanks.

    p.s. Now other congregations from suburbs from Milwaukee to Madison are joining in, too.  Btw, they are getting it done NOT through the feds or the Red Cross, both of which have only put obstacles in the way, but through the Salvation Army.

    "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

    by Cream City on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:11:14 PM PDT

    •  I'm from Delafield (none)
      and can attest to not only how red Waukesha county is but also how caring folks are - I'm not surprised to hear that this would happen there.

      Which church is it, btw?  

      "It's not like I never want to bite people...I just know it's wrong." Satchel Pooch

      by Mrs Pastor on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 08:16:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you really? I lived in Genesee (none)
        for eons; my church was Jerusalem in Wales -- and I bet (I'm still in touch with many there, including elders) that it will be part of this effort . . . so I'm already cleaning out closets, etc., in Milwaukee.

        And I agree, yes, re Delafield, Genesee, etc. -- it is, for one thing, a different sort of community and still so based in the longtime families and the way they built that community . . . than what the eastern part of the county has become in the 20 years or so since I was there.  

        I point out to people who don't understand that the change has been recent the difference, for example, in the vote for the first Hispanic judge in this state from there, decades ago . . . and the vote tally recently, when he ran again and lost.

        But I think the biggest change may be in your town -- that is NOT the sleepy Delafield I knew!  

        Anyway, not to compromise your anonymity, but any more clues?  Are you Lut'ran, UCC, whatever?

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:28:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Delafield is certainly not the same (none)
          My parents moved there in '83 and stayed until a couple of years ago (they now live in Oconomowoc), their move was mostly the result of it not being the community they had lived in.

          I graduated from Kettle Moraine in 90 - then went on to live in Madison til the mid-90's, then Colorado and now in Penna with my husband, who is also a Badger.  Our church affiliation is St Anthony on the Lake in Pewaukee, however, spouse is a UCC pastor (known here on kos as pastordan) so I mostly attend with him now.  

          I am proud of my hometown - and really I think of most of the KM area as hometown - and am so glad that they will be part of the efforts.  

          Whereabouts in Milwaukee are you now?  That is where my family started out (near St Joe's hospital) and I still have ties and good memories of the area

          "It's not like I never want to bite people...I just know it's wrong." Satchel Pooch

          by Mrs Pastor on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 10:11:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This country is certainly not the same (none)
            . . . but my corner of it is still in the '60s in some ways -- Milwaukee's East Side, a block from UWM is where I live now.  I grew up in Bay View and then Tosa, so it's similar in many ways -- mainly, after years of exurban life in Waukesha, Genesee, and Wales, it's great to be back in a "walking city."  

            Weeks go by when I never use a car.  On campus a block away, I've got everything from a nine-acre library to fourteen restaurants in the Union to a post office, movie theater, even a bowling alley and a hairdresser (not that I need the latter two:-).  And a bookstore there as well as another half a block from me and more within a few blocks plus another movie theater, many restaurants, etc. -- plus one of the city's most historic and beautiful churches, Plymouth, across the street from an orthodox synagogue that has given us great neighbors, since they must walk to services, too.

            But mostly, after years in the exurb anti-sidewalk areas, it's just wonderful to walk in any direction in a National Register of Historic Places district and feast my eyes on more than 1000 buildings that take the mind back to a far different time. . . .

            Btw, my son graduated from KM in '96 -- and it has changed a lot since your time and even his, too . . . and especially since we moved to Genesee in '76, ahead of the boom.  It's still so beautiful in the Welsh hills (we had a few acres carved out of a farm that was part of the first Welsh settler's farm), but it hurts to see that the old working farm next door is a fancy golf course now -- sort of the rural equivalent of what happened to sleepy old Delafield.  I agree with your parents that Oconomowoc has not lost its charm -- I was just out that way for a baptism the other day, in nearly untouched Stone Bank. . . .

            "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

            by Cream City on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 10:55:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, the world just keeps shrinking (none)
              My sister graduated from KM in 95 - she likely crossed paths with your son.

              My brother came along later yet - my parents sent him to Catholic Memorial, as they were not happy with the changes at KM.

              I envy you the walking community and am glad that you are enjoying all that Milwaukee has to offer.

              "It's not like I never want to bite people...I just know it's wrong." Satchel Pooch

              by Mrs Pastor on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:41:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I just hope your sister's/parents' house (none)
                was not one of the ones teepeed by my son and his friends in a bit of a reign of terror there.  (So uncharacteristic of his shy self, thank heavens, as it was the end of his career as a juvenile delinquent once his mother in Milwaukee heard about it. . . .)

                And, yes, I could see changes coming when he graduated -- and then saw them surface afterward in some appalling behavior by students and parents there.

                Your parents sure sound like wise and good people!

                "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

                by Cream City on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 03:48:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  By the way (4.00)
    Here's another story, from we clueless liberals in Los Angeles, you know, the ones Rove says don't get it?

    LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Friday announced that he will send up to 1,000 city employees to help in rescue and recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

    Villaraigosa signed an executive directive Friday allowing municipal employees to be paid with city funds while working with the American Red Cross along the Gulf Coast.

    Villaraigosa also directed the managers of various city departments to devise a plan this weekend that would relocate hurricane victims to Los Angeles.

    "The city of Los Angeles stands ready to do everything it can with civic leaders and community leaders, as Angelenos, to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina," Villaraigosa said during a news conference held in his office Friday afternoon.

    In immediate response to the hurricane, the Los Angeles Fire Department sent a 70-member Urban Search and Rescue Task Force for a nine-day operation, Villaraigosa said. Another such task force is on standby to head into the Gulf Coast.

    The city has also sent a 14-member Swift Water Rescue Team and 10 support staff to the Gulf Coast. Los Angeles firefighters have rescued 400 people in the hurricane-ravaged region.

    The Los Angeles Police Department's Special Operations Bureau also has a 30-member Tactical Support Team on standby in case they are called up to assist with security efforts in the region.

    Villaraigosa said he is assessing the city's capabilities to see how many more resources can be sent to the Gulf Coast if the Federal Emergency Management Agency requests assistance.

    Villaraigosa also said he met with Los Angeles clergy members to come up with ideas on how to reunite Los Angeles residents with friends and family living along the Gulf Coast.

    Bishop Thomas Hoyt, who oversees the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Louisiana and Mississippi, was visiting Los Angeles when the hurricane hit. Friday, he thanked Villaraigosa for expediting the rescue and relocation of hurricane victims.

    "We don't only need the resources, we need the prayers," Hoyt said.

    NYC Firefighters are there too.  These fucking clueless liberals . . . [/snark]

    •  This is great (none)
      and perhaps there is hope for our country, as well as for the evacuees.

      (But if you're new to this, fyi, you can't reprint more than four paragraphs without putting the owner of the site at risk of a suit for copyright violation.  Seriously.  It has happened.)

      "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

      by Cream City on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:14:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ditto, Robert (none)
        my fellow Badger . . . but glad I got to read both in their entirety here without having to link!

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:15:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ahem (none)
        Then why are there 10 paragraphs of the Wisconsin story in the diary?
        •  Oh, and (none)
          11 in the one I put there.
        •  Because it's not (none)
          the LA Times or NY Times or a large national news service.

          It's a local independent news outlet in a small county in NE Wisconsin, and the editor/reporter sent the full text of the article by e-mail to a progressive group in my area.

          I immediately told him that I had felt the urgent need to post it as a diary here, and that I would pull the full text off immediately at a moment's notice from him.  I haven't heard back from him, so until I hear otherwise I have to assume this is okay since HE e-mailed it the full text to me in the first place.

          •  Neither is this from some large outlet. (none)
            It's from the local NBC affiliate:

            http://www.nbc4.tv/news/4931921/detail.html

            I get the feeling if the local NBC affiliate's story was about Wisconsin, though, I would't have gotten the comment.

            Sorry for thinking good news from more the one state might be a good idea for a thread.

            •  I edited the diary, okay ? (none)
              Snipped some paragraphs and added a brief quote from the newly updated source article, as well as a direct link.

              This guy isn't even a local TV station.  I hope his local independent news site is prepared for the deluge of hits.

              Plus, as I said above, HE E-MAILED THE STORY TO ME in the first place.

              •  Thought so, Robert, as I know you (none)
                have been around for eons, I think well before me, and always work on your contributions (I can tell).  So I figured that you had permission . . . but also figured that, after the other warning, to be fair I ought to ditto you.  And then you could explain the difference.  Thanks, and please keep up the great work for all of us Badgers.

                "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

                by Cream City on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:40:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry, I should have said (none)
              that Kos has asked us all to help police this -- and asked in very strong terms since the Free Republic suit.  

              Me, I could care less, but I'm not the one who would get sued.  Neither are you.  It's his site, he sets the rules -- and gets to ask us to act like a community in following them, rather than force him to ban abusers.  (Also not my warning, just passing it along.  Take it or leave it, you're on your own now.)

              "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

              by Cream City on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:38:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  How Very American (none)
        bureaucracy and litigation in the midst of disaster.

        THat's the way to run a nation

        Keep up the good work.

        •  The litigation would be against Kos (none)
          and unless you're willing to pay his legal fees, put it where the sun . . . well, put it this way:  The rules drive me nuts, too, but it's the least we can do to keep this site from banning abusers, shutting down in the face of litigation, etc.

          You don't want to act like a member of a community, you're on your own, too.

          "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

          by Cream City on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 10:42:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you so much (4.00)
    RobertInWisconsin.  I've been sitting here crying all day from the horrific reports and now I'm crying at the beauty of this story.  

    While for the first time wondering if something sinister was behind FEMA and the administration's failure, because if a regular citizen from somewhere as far away as WISCONSIN could accomplish this in 24 hours and bring comfort to 80 individuals, why couldn't the govt?

  •  Proud to be an ex-Wisconsinite! (4.00)
    We have an uncanny ability to cut through BS, bureuacracy, and get stuff done. Here in NC the silence on the part of our esteemed Senator, Liddy Dole,former head of the Red Cross, is deafening.  (I don't know, maybe she was shoe-shopping with Condi.)  Although many church groups, etc. are responding quickly and generously to this emergency.  (300 are expected in Greensboro tomorrow).

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant

    by historys mysteries on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:21:46 PM PDT

  •  On my local San Diego NBC news now (4.00)
    Private citizen, David Perez, CEO, Surge Global Energy, chartered a Miami Air airplane for $85,000.00 loaded it up with supplies, flew to Baton Rouge, LA. and went to deliver the supplies. He went to churches, rec centers, and shelters asking for people interested in locating to San Diego on a temporary basis. 92 people accepted. They just landed and are being taken to Kearny Mesa High School to be processed and matched up with families or shelters. Mr. Perez has spent over $100,000.00 since Friday in an effort to make a difference.

    What a site to see. People who are dragging their meger possessions with them as they deplane. Some waving, some crying, some clearly in shock. Most never have been to California before.

    Amazing story!
       

    Most Americans are a lot dumber than we give them credit for- George Carlin 2004

    by maggiemae on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:25:20 PM PDT

    •  Only $100,000? (4.00)
      Surely you jest.

      Kellogg, Brown, and Root would have charged the government $4 million to do those same tasks.

      And it would have taken them 3 months to do it.

      Inquiry that does not achieve coordination of behaviour is not inquiry but simply wordplay - Richard Rorty

      by BuckMulligan on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:34:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Badgers Rock (4.00)
    I am also an ex-Cheesehead, living im Florida...seeing the towns in the diary made me proud of my roots...

    AEHS '76

  •  Incompetence (4.00)
    Bush is not stupid, but he is totally incompetent.  He has appointed mostly incompetent people around him.  They can speak great platitudes and stay on their talking points, but they can't do anything!

    The 9/11 mess was just the first example.  It has happened all along the way in every major policy position of this administration.  It is all about elections and neoconservtive agenda.  When you think government is the problem, then you make sure the government is full of incompetent people who won't cause any problems.

    Tell me one Bush aid who has been good at his or her job!

    •  You are so right... (none)
      and this horror has made it so obvious.  Loyalty reigns supreme over competence in the Bush administration--"out of touch" has never been so obvious.  This was a natural disaster accompanied by a catastrophic failure of leadership.  Thanks to Christie and folks for doing the right thing...we have contributed money here, but your actions go way beyond that...nobody telling you what to do...you just did it!!!  We need to get back to government of the people, by the people for the people...period.    
    •  Incompetence (none)
      I have been so frustrated and upset listening to the excuses of our government that I went searching for definitions of Incomptence.

      It was fascinating to me to find that a symptom of incompentence is the inability to perceive that you are failing.

      I posted a diary on it.  NOLA and Incompetence

      Unfortunately, it does not bode well for our future.

    •  This IS part of the Neo Con agenda, (none)
       and I am wondering when (if) any of the media is going to start attaching the incompetence to the intentional drawdown of federal money to programs like FEMA.  As wonderful as this story is, Grover Norquist can only be grinning about it because it is further proof (in HIS mind) that the federal gov't should be drowned in that bathtub....I cheer this Wisconsin relief effort, make no mistake, but it will be cited as an example of why we don't need federal relief programs.

      Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official... ~Theodore Roosevelt

      by caseynm on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 07:55:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Door county, great place, nice people! (4.00)

    Our president does not seem to believe in science or scientific studies... A Leader has VISION, which Bush does not, we are leaderless....! Gore/Clark 2008

    by mattes on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 05:38:59 PM PDT

  •  People like Christie Weber (4.00)
    are just so impressive. Not wringing her hands and moaning like my husband and me, checking the news and writing checks, but taking fast competent action. Wow.

    Nell

  •  FEMA & Homeland Security Got BILLIONS (4.00)
    And Christie pulls it off for $8,000 a Bus.

    Big difference.

    Kinda Like where's the the 9 Billion $ unaccounted for in IRAQ?

    I guess "Brownie" will get 'The Medal Of Freedom' too.

    GOD PLEASE take the Kook-Aid away from the right wing.

    Let them SEE.  

    REALITY.

    Please LORD let there be some ACCOUNTABILITY ...

    Somewhere ... Sometime/

    PLEASE.

  •  Meanwhile, In DC (4.00)
    A caravan of buses was supposed to go to New Orleans to pick up 400 evacuees.  The local television stations here in Washington, DC report that the caravan was told not to come as there is no one to evacuate.
    •  Not that that fatfuck Barbour will admit it, (none)
      but there are plenty of folks in MS left to evacuate.  

      "I said no deal; you can't sell this stuff to me" - Townes Van Zandt

      by btrflisoul on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 06:09:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Lost Caravan (none)
        The news report made it sound like the buses were in New Orleans roaming around looking for evacuees.  They were trying to figure out where they might find some evacuees.  Having driven all that way, they now have to decide whether to go to Houston or elsewhere.  Meanwhile, they realize they need to get out of New Orleans to find a place to stay overnight themselves.
  •  FEMA burns money it doesn't have (4.00)
    The incompetence can be discovered by checking with trucking companies.

    When Katrina was heading toward Florida FEMA ordered 400 truck loads of ice and water. 260 of the trucks were ice.

    Oops, over estimate. So what do you do with 260 trucks of ice that need to be refrigderated? If you're FEMA you have them sit at $25 per hour every hour of every day until someone somewhere decides to send the ice back.

    $25 X 24 = $600 each day plus the fuel to keep the reefer going.

    Pssst! Don't tell anyone but there's a rumor going around,.....supposedly Chief Justice Rehnquist died on Monday but it took all week for Bush to find him.....

  •  What About Kansas (4.00)
    Does anyone remember the stories that have been running for the last year or so about how towns in the Midwest are "dying" because young people are leaving?  I've seen several stories -- in print and on tv -- complete with tumbleweeds occasionally blowing down a deserted street, etc.  In some of the stories I saw, towns were offering free or reduced cost HOUSES to folks who would agree to come live there.

    Today it occurred to me: why not relocate some of the NO people to these places?  I assume there's housing, some schools, grocery stores, etc.  If the displaced folks are receiving government support [we can hope], they wouldn't be a financial drain on their new communities, and could even revitalize some of those locales by spending their dollars there.

    And, wouldn't it be good for these lily-white "Christian" folks to have the opportunity to live their WWJD values and help "the least among us"?

    Just a thought.

  •  Daley offered Chicago aid, turned down (none)
    "Daley said the city offered 36 members of the firefighters' technical rescue teams, eight emergency medical technicians, search-and-rescue equipment, more than 100 police officers as well as police vehicles and two boats, 29 clinical and 117 non-clinical health workers, a mobile clinic and eight trained personnel, 140 Streets and Sanitation workers and 29 trucks, plus other supplies. City personnel are willing to operate self-sufficiently and would not depend on local authorities for food, water, shelter and other supplies, he said."link

    Be a Carville, not a Colmes

    by seesdifferent on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 06:31:49 PM PDT

  •  I called charter bus companies too (none)
    But was told it was impossible to charter a bus for this. I guess it depended on which company and who you talked to. I'm glad to hear that some people got through.
    •  Just reread it (none)
      She called around a lot before she found one that would do it. Just goes to show that persistence pays off. :)
    •  What are the real roadblocks? (none)
      Does anyone know if it is getting easier to go to New Orleans where so many people are still stuck.?  Are more gas stations open along the way now? Does the Police have the roads blocked off? I see a lot of reporters in the area and there are now busses coming in from the surrounding area. But is it logistically possible for ordinary citizens to come in and help out as well?
      •  Not yet (none)
        From what I understand, Jefferson Parish is only open to residents with ID and only in daylight. Orleans Parish is still closed, period. So I've heard. Others may have heard differently. There are plenty of other affected parishes that need help, though.
  •  We'd have been better off if the entire relief (4.00)
    and rescue effort had been conducted by private citizens in conjunction with medical and armed forces personnel.

    All FEMA did was get in the fucking way. I have read countless stories of how they blocked rescue workers from coming in (as other posters have cited here) or would not authorize military pilots who were standing by, ready to fly in according to dKosers from Okla and Cali.

    Brett Favre and Harry Connick, Jr. had no trouble getting down there. Wisconsin got there. The fellow from San Diego got there.

    Even the Humane Society, for Christ's sake, was better prepared. They had animal response teams mobilized and ready to go for days before those jackasses at FEMA would let them into AL and MS.

    Katrina blew. Bush sucked.

    by epluribus on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 06:45:52 PM PDT

    •  Put EBay in charge of massive relief efforts (none)
      Just let them set up a special relief job auction, break the relief effort into chunks, and assign each job to the party that agrees to do the job for the lowest cost. Maybe require all parties participating in the job auction to come with certain designated types of relief equipment, such as walky talkies capable of transmitting on particular frequencies, or to get that equipment from FEMA.

      (On the other hand . . .  Lush reported here in another diary about FBI people on WWL TV talking about carjackers who apparently threatened to steal something that could "wipe out the entire Southeastern United States." In other words, some kind of deadly biological, radioactive or chemical agent. So it could be that the delays had to do with some kind of hair-raising effort to capture drug dealers equipped with weapons-grade anthrax and not insane lack of regard for human life. But, even if what held up the leg was drug dealers with cans of anthrax stolen from Tulane, that probably is a sign of other problems with federal disaster planning efforts.)

    •  Didn't I hear that (none)
      according to the Red Cross,they were told by FEMA not to go down to NO because "It would only encourage people not to evacuate."

      The whole damned city isn't flooded. From what I can tell, given electricity and drinking water, some parts, especially in the French Quarter (Bienville did pick the highest ground around to start building), might be livable. So why not encourage those people to stay, give them protection if they need it, and get a head start on rebuilding?

      Unless, of course, the unstated subtext is just to let NO die. Which would make the sanctimonious hypocrites like Robertson happy.

      " 'Vox populi, vox Dei' translates as 'How the hell did we get into this mess!?' "---Robert Heinlein (accuracy of quote not guaranteed)

      by mirrim on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 07:42:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't you see (none)
      that's exactly what they want! They want these things to be privatized, albeit not by ordinary citizens, but by the likes of Haliburton. Perhaps that is the real agenda behind this display of utter incompetence by the federal government.
  •  I'm going to fax this to my Senator... (none)
    Russ Feingold!

    If you can't laugh at yourself, I sure as hell will - me

    by blueyedace2 on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 06:58:37 PM PDT

  •  Great story and great update (none)
    Thanks!
  •  why? (none)
    Why is anyone listening or speaking with FEMA at all anymore? If they continue to try turning citizens and aid groups away once they get there these people should camp out right on the side of the freeway enterance Cindy Sheehan style until they are allowed to do the job they traveled there to do.

    FEMA has been lying about the need for assistance and supplies since day one for whatever reason. They are no longer credible or relevent as far as the American public is concerned...they need to either stand back and let us help or get out of the way. We've seen enough people die as we've waited for them to lead. We aren't just going to sit back and continue to allow them to kill people through sheer neglect any longer. If Bush won't fire Brown or Chertoff the American people will just have to go ahead and do that by ourselves as well.

  •  Proud To Be A Badger (none)
    The Green Bay Press Gazette sent a reporter with the caravan.  Here's the link to the story:
    http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/news/archive/local_22455722.shtml

    They promise to post daily updates from their reporter until the caravan returns.

    Sigh.  I went to the Appleton Post Crescent's website, and they have nothing at all about the story -- even though Kobussen is a Fox Cities company.  

    Here's the link to Kobussen's website (in case someone wants to thank them for their efforts)
    http://www.kobussen.com/

  •  What do you want to bet that ... (none)
    this:

    "All of the charter bus companies that Weber called had already signed up with FEMA several days earlier and were just waiting for a call back regarding financial reimbursement, a destination and an approved route. Each bus costs $8,000 to make the round trip and requires 6 drivers to run non-stop."

    is the real reason behind the delayed, shoddy rescue efforts.

    Always follow the money.

    "Some got lost in the flood, some made it out alright, six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline. Louisiana ..." - Randy Newman

  •  Wisconsin... ? (4.00)
    ...how about Canadian Mounties... showing up before Bushco...?


    Sheriff Stephens, interviewed on the Cajun Queen, also said federal assistance had been minimal. "I have Royal Canadian Mounties who have gotten here faster than the federal government," he said. "I have made more life-and-death decisions in the last four or five days than I have in 22 years."

    The Canadians were actually members of a 47-member search-and-rescue team sent from the municipal government in Vancouver, British Columbia.

    Its members have gone from house to house, extracting survivors who have weathered the storm and its bitter aftermath. At least 200 were identified yesterday, said Terry Nikolai, a member of the Canadian team.


  •  FEMA Delenda Est. (none)
    Seriously. In its current incarnation, FEMA has done far more harm than good. We all would have done better without their bullshit red tape halting urgent and legitimate aid, without their meddling destroying critical infrastructure.

    Sure, we need to have a FEMA. Not this FEMA. FEMA must be destroyed. And then a competent Federal Emergency Management Agency must be established. But we honestly would have been better off without this one.

    I would say something snarky like "FEMA fiddled while Rome burned". But the fact of the matter is, they didn't. They were on the job--turning away aid. It's just inconceivable to me how wrong that is. I cannot see how they would not be at the least guilty of thousands of cases of manslaughter by gross and willful criminal negligence.

  •  Make Door County's Christie Weber (none)
    the new head of FEMA.

    Fast!

    We need someone who won't take no for an answer.

    "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

    by Cream City on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:00:28 AM PDT

  •  If you're thinking of hosting evacuees (none)
    I just had a flashback to a childhood memory -- weird that it didn't come to me before -- of a refugee family (a widow and three children) displaced during WWII whom my parents sponsored in the early '50s.  So I was very young -- I was, I really was very young once -- but I remember well the time we doubled up to make room for them . . . and then, after my folks and their church found them a home and jobs, the many times over the years we got together for every major event in their family and ours.

    It had a significant impact on me in many ways -- from gaining self-esteem by teaching English to teenagers much older than me to learning another language (well, some; I've lost a lot) from them, from realizing that there was a big wide world well beyond my childhood imagination to realizing that we were more alike than different . . . and so much more, not worth space here. . . .

    But the bottom line is that it went so well, so much better than might have been expected -- and with a happy ending for all children involved in many ways.  Re the refugee children, they all are now in their '60s and gave back much to my city as well as to me.

    "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

    by Cream City on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 12:24:27 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for sharing this story (none)
    It should be on the national wires. The American people are truly caring, inventive and persistent. They deserve better than this government.

    By the way, you know what killed Rehnquist? The incompetence surrounding Katrina and the fact he was directly responsible for putting these incompetent thugs in power in the first place.

    It's time for George Bush to put his head between his legs and kiss Iraq goodbye!

    by makemefree on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 06:49:13 AM PDT

  •  We went (none)
    to Pensacola Beach yesterday for the annual 'Anything that Floats' event-had to get away from the news and the tears and the fears and the anger and the frustration and the desire to actually hunt down Brown, Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Chertoff and actually do physical harm to each and every one of them.  

    We ate at Hooters, and our waitress was from Biloxi, MS.  She had evauated on Sunday and one week later was working for Hooters and staying with 11 friends at a condo on the beach.  But the story she told was so heartbreaking.  She said the news did not even come close to what was the actual truth of Biloxi.  People are dying everywhere from starvation and dehydration, FEMA is a no show and she is so fearful for family members left behind, she is single with two children and had to leave them but her guilt was there on her face as she talked.  

    We let her talk as much as she wanted and offered our help in any way we could, and she said she felt better just talking about it with people outside of her little group because they were in it with her.

    This is the heartbreak of a lifetime, for the people there, and for those of us who can only watch and send our money and our prayers.

    We will never be able to get away from this, there is not one place where any of us can go and not think about this because we are all the victims of Katrina in one way or another.

    Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    by panicbean on Mon Sep 05, 2005 at 08:53:47 AM PDT

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