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I have been in Bogalusa, LA for the past three days and today I lost it...emotionally.  The pain and suffering, the bullshit by every fucking government agency from the locals to the FEDS.

I have managed to bully my way into the main command center and become friendly enough with the 'important' people, that I have been invited into crucial meetings that are affectionally called "OPEC" meetings because they are about draining/screwing Americans.

Yesterday I was with the "crisis manager" of Bogalusa, Tom Anderson...he's actually a detective in the sheriff's department and while he surely was nice, he's a lying SOB when it concerns what is TRULY happening in Bogalusa. More on the FLIP...PLEASE CONTINUE TO READ THIS AND RECOMMEND

I talked to FEMA reps, RC reps, State Health reps and the hospital folks and received the same "we don't need doctors or nurses to run clinics" (I've been placing medical teams)

Today at the Red Cross shelter, the doctor I traveled with...Dr. Ken Levine, was STILL seeing patients that 'didn't need him' when I left at 7 p.m.

There is NO MEDIA HERE...PLEASE KOSSACKS, GET ME MEDIA...THE NATIONAL KIND NOW.

I went to check on my little 80 year old ladies today and stopped at another house with TWO TREES still through it and the couple living there...14 days AFTER the hurricane hit, they put a sign out on their lawn that said "this is how the government treats you"...FEMA went there the next day, gave them a $2k check and wished them good luck.  

These people sent their kids to Texas and want to go there...it's a town south of Houston, the name escapes me now.  These people have NOT seen the RC and scavange for food/water. She drove for an hour and waited in line for 9 hours to fill out the paperwork for getting RED CROSS vouchers and then was given a NUMBER and told to come back on MONDAY.  Now you might think, well they must be in the middle of no where...WRONG, these people are on the ROAD THAT ALL THE GOVERNMENT agencies take to the main control center at least 10 times daily.  FEMA never even got people to remove the trees off their roof, they had FRIENDS show up finally.

At my little 80 year old ladies home, I find out they haven't seen the RED CROSS for 2 days and they were out of food and water and needed medical attention and meds.  I got them all of that.

While there, their young neighbor talked with the photo journalists who requested I talk to him and I find out that the RED CROSS REFUSED to talk to him, much less help him.  This is a 36 year old man who has a wife with POLIO and they are living in a church with NOTHING.  FEMA won't talk to them, they have no phone, etc.

So KOSSACKS, here is the low down from here and what I am praying you will do.

  1.  Contact the press and get them to come here and use me as their 'point' person so I can show them the 'real' shit.
  2.  Contact the RED CROSS and ask them where the fuck the $700 million is going, cuz they sure aren't helping the folks much here.  Sure, they have shelters and soup kitchens, but that is that.  The shelters may or may not have food or sundry items.  I actually took a load of things to the one here today because they didn't have stuff.
  3.  Start a ruckus, make all of these entities accountable.
  4.  Texas KOSSACKS, get me a house for this one couple, they are poor, but they are wonderful.
  5.  Help me get a home in Bogalusa for the man (Lucky) with the wife with polio.
  6.  Mediate/pray that I will have the strength to continue.

I will be able to use this computer and the dial up connection each evening for the next few days.  I PRAY YOU WILL RECOMMEND THESE DIARIES.  

The situation is horrible here, 85% of the powerlines are down, thousands of homes are destroyed.  Animals have died, more are displaced or abandoned...I am horrified.

CALL ME if you need to.  The church where I am staying at night has good cell coverage...during the day in Bogalusa, it's hit/miss.

619.213.2762

If you can't or don't want to contact the press CALL ME WITH DIRECT NUMBERS PLEASE.

THank you.

In Peace and horrified.
Barbara SUNDAY A.M. It is 6:30 a.m. and I'm going to head to Slidell for a few hours and then get back here and may go up to Bogalusa to check on 'my' folks and bring them some things. Jim and Linda Creel, 1002 West Tenth, Bogalusa, LA are the couple who said they would go to Splendora Texas. Lucky Pope and his wife (with polio) are the other couple Miss Rosie and her sister are my '80 year olds'. URGENT: Missing woman. Ashley N. Dones, DOB 11/6/86, black, 250 pounds. Mother is Lisa Lewis. She was taken on a separate bus out of SLIDELL (by the RED CROSS apparently) and no one has heard from her or knows where she is. The Red Cross hasn't a clue with her bus went, they THINK it went to the DAYTON OHIO area. I know there are message boards for missing people. FEMA supposedly has begun 'community sweep teams' with the purpose of going DOOR-TO-DOOR to 'assess' the needs of people and get them registered with FEMA. Interestingly they have ONLY 24 teams and a pretty large parish. They won't be out until this week. Am trying to get names/numbers of the FEMA 'leaders' for that. Supposedly these are paying positions folks. I have heard that a 'BOBCAT' is worth $1000/day paid by FEMA (us), flatbed trucks something like $500/day. Then it seems the contractors try to collect additional money from homeowners, many poor. It just gets better. Please continue to pressure politicians in this area. This is Distric 12...I have the State Senator (not US) business card somewhere...Ben Neevers comes to mind...start CALLING HIM, let him know that Barbara from Oceanside needs to talk to him and give him my number. I met him at the "OPEC" meeting, I LIKE the guy...he told me to CALL HIM if I saw things that the others claimed were 'fine'.... The congressional guy (probably state) is Mr. Richey...he didn't have a card with him...he was okay, but not much of go getter. Well, I am off. I will attempt to beg for this computer later. THANK YOU.

Originally posted to Barbara on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 07:37 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You'll be in my thoughts. (4.00)
     You're right, there are so many smaller gulf coast communities that are suffering terribly with no one to see. Good luck.
    •  this town is about 40 mi north (4.00)
      of Lake Ponchartrain.  Damage this severe got that far north...that's pretty amazing!  And gives a notion about serious the situation is in areas that have been ignored by the media, the government, and the NGOs.

      Be a patriot...Buy a hybrid vehicle!

      by billlaurelMD on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 07:46:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  40 miles is spitting distance (4.00)
        for a huricane that was hundreds of miles wide. Hell, the eye itself was about 20 miles wide. The inland areas were only spared the surge, not the winds.

        A vast area of the south was devastated and all we see through the tunnel vision of the MSM is New Orleans.

        For every complex problem there is a simple solution that is completely wrong.

        by MarkInSanFran on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 10:59:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Damage (4.00)
          400 miles wide apparently I was told.  You have the swath of the hurricane that tore trees and poles OUT of the ground, then the tornados SNAPPED trees and power lines, etc.
          •  UPDATE Just got off the phone with Barbara (4.00)
            She was driving the Slidel while were were talking.  There is so much but here are some topline points she made:

            1. Her Grandparents were from New Orleans.  She used to spend her childhood there and used to camp in Slidel.
            2. She is very qualified to speak to issues of government response.  She has long experience in victims rights.
            3. She has been in Bogalusa as you know, but also Baton Rouge and today Slidel.
            4. Essentially she is going from place to place to see if people who need help are getting connected with help that is on the ground.
            5. She is finding that FEMA officials are essentially ineffective and basically not administering help outside the confines of Red Cross shelters.
            6. The above means that like the 80 year-old Sisters she describes there a lot of elderly people who don't drive and have no resources who are essentially being left in their homes with no assistance.
            7. She is trying to coordinate services to anyone who seems to have been left out of the loop, but is encountering push-back from all Federal officials.  She is no wall-flower.  I can only imagine what it must be like to be a victim of this storm and to have to fight for help in the wake of it.
            8. Barbara has been travelling with two photojournalists who will be posting images including pictures of the sisters.  She is also getting her 35mm film developed and hopes to have those pictures up within the next three days.
            9. She arrived in Slidel at the end of our hour-long conversation and while we were still on the phone she met a group of people who said they still had not seen any official assistance.  In Slidel!!!!

            ACTION ITEMS:

            I have passed along the WWL radio phone number to her. I have no contacts there, but she is going to try to get on that station.  I will be working on a couple of other media contacts I do have today.

            Anyone who has media contacts please pass them along to her or me if you can't get her.  

            She has been to numerous areas and has a lot of information and anecdotal stories from the people she has met.  

            The recurring theme of her first-hand experience on the journey seems to be that the Federal assistance is very limited or simply non-existent.  Again the weak and the poor are being ignored and left behind.

            There is a troll who called her and left a threatening message just so everyone knows.  Disgusting in light of her heroism really.  Really disgusting.

            Also call your Congress critters tomorrow and ask that they work to protect the most vulnerable in our society.  They are still getting left behind!

            She is a Cali constituent so Cali people have an angle with your Senators and Reps here.

            Finally, I have to say that she is one hell of a human being and I was incredibly impressed with her courage and dedication in trying to help the victims of this storm.  Let's help her to make even more of a difference.

            Thanks to all.

            •  Anything WE can do in TEXAS? (4.00)
              if you let us know specific steps, being in Houston me & the local Texas KOS guys may be able to do something for them here.

              not speaking in terms of media but perhaps local housing, directions, shelter info, etc...

              thanks for all your work...

              •  She mentioned an elderly couple in her Diary (4.00)
                who want to get to their family.  Any ideas or rides or whatever for that probably would be good.  They want to get to somewhere near Houston!  You may just be able to help out :)

                Barbara says she'll be back at the church later this afternoon.  Call her.

                Also your local media in TEXAS could be very helpful in starting the ball rolling for the overall issue of the many people who are being left behind.  AGAIN!!!

                FYI a lot of the people in LA who have seen no media are under the impression that it is the state and locals that are to blame.  They don't understand what they were supposed to have gotten.  Houston media would be helpful in clarifying the responsibilities of the Feds and exposing the utter failings.

                Thanks.

      •  The Red Cross is NOT IN LOUISIANA (4.00)
        I'm in Louisiana and you CANNOT get Red Cross disaster relief monies in Louisiana. You can go to just about any city in the country and get aid from the Red Cross EXCEPT in Louisiana.

        The Red Cross in Louisiana says they are "not set up to handle disbursing of funds." This poster is right. You have to call a telephone number, which is always busy, and apply and then hope money comes.

        However, my friend refugeed to Ft. Lauderdale and simply walked up to a the Red Cross and got aid there.

        I told the Red Cross in Lafayette and Baton Rouge this and they said people have to go to Houston or any other major city because they are not set up to handle this.

        People from all over the world are giving money to the American Red Cross to help Louisiana people and the Red Cross is NOT disbursing money IN Louisiana unless you call and register on a telephone number which cannot be accessed... it stays busy.

        This is an outrage and the local media is covering this but NOTHING from the National Media.

        Re-Defeat Bush in 2004

        by Bidabunch on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 12:49:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Part of the problem-- (4.00)
          And I'm getting this from a fire fighter friend of mine who just returned from New Orleans, is that many of these small towns in Louisiana were remote to begin with and after the storm, a lot of the roads are simply impassable.  The Red Cross is setting up in big cities but can't get to the small towns.  You can't compare Ft. Lauderdale with some of these little, out-of-the-way Louisiana towns.  

          At a time like this coordination between the National Guard, state officials, military and Red Cross would be helpful.  It's a damn shame that after three weeks, they can't seem to get their act together to bring help to folks that need it.

          For all of us observing this, these are the things to keep in mind next time officials give you notice to evacuate.  And those of us in any sort of planning capacity must now be more fully aware that the folks who will be left behind in a disaster are ones who have big needs to begin wtih.

          •  Roads... (4.00)
            Impassable roads were no doubt an issue the first 10 days, they are now driveable for the most part everywhere as the electric guys are having to clear everything to put more poles and string wires.

            Talk about amazing humans...there are electrical teams from all over and they are kick ass...

            •  You are the Barbara of the diary? (none)
              Anyway, I wrote an email to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! a few hours ago. She has one of her investigative journalists/producers in NO/LA, Jeremy Scahill. He has been taken around St Bernard Parrish, I think, by a local activist, Malik ... And she has been there and has had other crew members there doing many nonMSM takes on the story. She is staying on the story and digging deep for exactly the sorts of injustices and screw ups described in the diary as can be seen from her recent shows' archives.

              CONTACT DEMOCRACY NOW!

              Comments or story idea? mail@democracynow.org

              Send mail: Democracy Now!
              PO Box 693, New York, NY 10013

              Call us: (212) 431-9090

              Fax us: (212) 431-8858

              Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

              by NYCee on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:32:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Oh yes, of course you are that Barbara ... Uh huh! (none)
              I just clicked your name, and, of course, typing is just the same. Dont mind me, in a rush here to go out.

              Anyway, if anyone will show the extreme and critical nature of the dilemma that is making you "crazy' with frustration right now, DN will. You are probably well aware of the show. It isnt MSM, but it is shown all over, more and more, and Amy gets congress critters on her show ... and lots of other people IN THE NEWS (and news business) ... Might be worth a try.

              Good luck. You are really doing a great thing, and it seems you love helping, although surely not against such stupidity and bungling.

              Keep on keepin on, and thank you! Tell your folks there we are thinking of them and trying to help ... and to keep on keepin on, too. :-)

              Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

              by NYCee on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:43:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  And of course... (none)
      ....according to Haley Barbour, everything is just peachy.
    •  Do you have a camera or cameraphone? (none)
      If so, take and post photos!

      Oh when the frogs. . Come marching in. . Oh when the FROGS COME MARCH-ING IN!

      by pontificator on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 05:09:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Recommended. (4.00)
    Your diary highlights what i love most about this site... In addition to debate, it gives us all an opportunity to act on our concerns.

    I am calling the red cross first thing monday!

    "Oh, how I miss the days of Monica Lewinsky..."

    by LawSkoolPunk on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 07:43:31 PM PDT

    •  Red Cross Data: (4.00)
      Red Cross Site

      Bogalusa LA,
      Red Cross Chapter

      Southeast Louisiana Chapter
      Address: American Red Cross
      Southeast Louisiana Chapter
      2640 Canal Street
      New Orleans, LA 70119
      E-mail: lroberson@arcno.org
      Phone: 504-620-3105
      Fax: 504-827-2135
      Web site: http://www.arcno.org

      Your Blood Services Region
      The zip code that you entered is not serviced by an American Red Cross Blood Services Region. Please call 1-800-GIVELIFE (1-800-448-3543). If you are still unable to locate an American Red Cross Blood Services Region, please contact America's Blood Centers at 888-USBLOOD (888-872-5663) or your local American Red Cross chapter to find other locations to donate blood.

      NATIONAL REQUESTS ONLY
      CALL: Disaster Public Affairs
      Phone: 202-303-5551

      snip
      American Red Cross National Headquarters
      2025 E Street, NW
      Washington, DC 20006
      Phone: (202) 303-4498

      snip
      MEDIA REQUESTS ONLY.
      Public (private citizen, business, or student) requests, send email to info@usa.redcross.org
      The American Red Cross is in virtually every community in the United States and in many around the world. For broadcasters, this means tremendous opportunities to localize your news. Many of the more than 1,000 Red Cross chapters, Blood Services regions and stations have personnel immediately available to help meet your media needs. You can find your local Red Cross at www.redcross.org or by checking the white pages of your local phone directory.
      If you are a member of the national media, please call 202-303-5551.

      Snip

      [page re Hurricane survivors]
      The toll-free call center will provide financial resources and referrals to services for hurricane survivors across the nation. Families in need can access this program by calling 1-800-975-7585<> beginning at 9:00 a.m. EST Sunday. To apply for aid, victims calling in must be ready to provide their name, pre-storm address, ZIP code and home telephone number to call center agents. Callers must be prepared to write down a client identification number which they will take to a financial institution in their new community to receive the support.

      I really pray something above is of worth

      What an excellent day for an Excorcism... SCI

      by DianeL on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:36:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  With all due respect (4.00)
        I have a friend locally who was in a hurricane, bad, in the south when in college. She says do NOT rely on the Red Cross. Do NOT send donations to them, do NOT expect them to help.

        She says, find a local person you trust, and send money/things directly to them to distribute.

        I would tell you the rest of her story but rather long. Involves Red Cross storing a bunch of donations in a warehouse, and saying that they weren't going to distribute them for DAYS until they "organized" them.  Someone got a key to the room, and they gave the stuff to people who had NOTHING but their clothes, were hungry, and had lost homes and family members.

        I have heard the same from others in the area.

        So -- I'd try Michael Moore's site:
        http://www.michaelmoore.com/
        He and others are at "Camp Casey Covington"

        and MoveOn's site
        http://www.hurricanehousing.org

        And/or send $$ to this diarist directly.

        The antidote to "all the bad news that's fit to print": HeroicStories.com, free subscriptions.

        by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 10:04:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Red Cross Numbers (4.00)
          Are there because Barbara asked that people call and ask what the problem is.

          If forced by pressure to respond they have far more resources than smaller organizations.

          What an excellent day for an Excorcism... SCI

          by DianeL on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 10:25:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Salvation Army (none)
          actually does things for the victims.  The Red Cross is a money collecting, administrative machine.

          http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/

          Survivors Needing Assistance:

          > Please call 1-888-363-2769.

          Additionally, the website has a lot of links to other sources of help.

          •  In Wise County, Texas (4.00)
            The Salvation Army will refuse to help unmarried couples no matter how desparate they are.  I have witnessed this with my own eyes!

            The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

            by TXsharon on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:12:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And in my area, (none)
              The Salvation Army will refuse to help unmarried couples

               homeless women in their shelters.  

              "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

              by colleen on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 05:54:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  no...different focus (none)
            the Salvation Army actually collects items for distribution.  The Red Cross doesn't--they deal with "mass care", caring for people at shelters.

            From their website:

            Why won't the Red Cross accept small, individual donations or collections of items such as clothing, food or cleaning supplies-doesn't every little bit help?

            The Red Cross does not accept individual donations of material items (called "in-kind" donations) because receipt of such items can actually hamper relief efforts. The financial and personnel cost of receiving, sorting, transporting goods and ensuring the quality and cleanliness of items donated by individual households is very high. It does not allow for individuals and families to receive what they uniquely need in their own size and shape.

            The traditional method of providing Red Cross assistance is with a voucher, redeemable at local stores and paid for with donation dollars, that enables victims to purchase what they need in the correct sizes and in accordance with their own taste. Making even these small decisions helps individuals begin to take control of their lives and their recovery. In addition, this process helps channel money into the local economy and thus aids the community in recovery from disaster. The Red Cross does accept large corporate donations of food, bottled water and other items needed by the disaster-affected communities.

            Allison--which Red Cross chapter accepted items, and then spent limited resources to store them in a warehouse?  Generally the storage space they have is used to house people, not donated goods.  I'd like to look into this further if you can tell me where this happened.  

            •  Here in the Florida Panhandle (none)
              We have a few shelters set up by the Red Cross in churches and VFW halls. The Red Cross had ads on the local radio stations and articles in the local paper requesting donations of goods for these shelters, such as new blankets, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, and shampoo.

              They've been storing the surplus donated items in semi trailers in the parking lots. The largest shelter in my town, in which the Red Cross is caring for about 400 evacuees, now has three semis filled with goods in its parking lot. Recently, they asked that people please stop donating goods, as they're running out of room to store it.

              I was surprised that the Red Cross asked for this stuff, wondering what they're doing with all the money I and others have donated if they're not providing these kinds of things.

            •  Vouchers (none)
              Meant to comment on this too. I recently took a bag of clothing to the local Goodwill, where the lady told me to take it over to the larger Red Cross shelter instead. She said they're giving people vouchers for clothing at Goodwill, but they're only allowing them two items of clothing--just two items!--per person. She was concerned that these people had only the clothes on their backs and now were only being provided with basically one change of clothing (shirt and pants, or whatever, constitutes two items). So she told me that if I took the clothes directly there, the people could take more of them.

              At the church, the Red Cross people running the shelter said they didn't have much room to store or manpower to sort used clothes, but they did have several bags of them up on the stage of the auditorium housing the people. And since I mostly had shorts and summer tops, she told me to go ahead and leave them, and the evacuees could browse through them.

              Seems like this voucher system isn't doing people a heck of a lot of good, if they're only allowing two items of clothing per person.

              •  actually in training they distingush between (none)
                the immediate items provided (in the first day or so)--which would include an initial change of clothing, hygiene items, etc. and longer term relief.

                For long term, the last I heard, it was going to be a debit card with a certain amount of cash per family member.  It can be used to buy clothing and other needed supplies.  At the time the evacuee is able to move out of the shelter into an apartment or house, he may be given more to buy household items like sheets and towels.  

                It sounds like from what you say that each shelter may have different procedures and needs...I suppose if the storage space is available at the local site then they'll (hopefully) make good use of it.

                Just found out that I won't actually be at a shelter in Montgomery, but moved around as new shelters are opened and closed in MS and LA.  If I get the chance to get online I'll comment more about what is actually provided.    

          •  Where does the money go? (none)

            Can anyone quote a Red Cross official who has given a straight answer to the question:  Does all the money go to disaster victims?"  I have seen them interviewed and concluded they are master dissemblers.
            •  numbers as of yesterday... (none)
              can be found here:

              September 17, 2005 - The American Red Cross is responding to an unprecedented natural catastrophe and devoting every resource to this humanitarian relief effort. The American people can be confident the Red Cross will spare no effort to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of Hurricane Katrina survivors.

              Situation Updates: This disaster relief operation is constantly changing. All numbers are approximate.  Please note the date of last update when using facts or numbers in news stories.

              Sheltering Operations-
              Since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the Red Cross has provided more than 2.2 million overnight stays in 902 shelters across 26 states and the District of Columbia. On Friday night, the Red Cross housed more than 49,000 Hurricane Katrina survivors in 250 shelters.

              Relief Workers-More than 129,000 Red Cross workers from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have responded to Katrina. During this effort, the Red Cross has trained an additional 74,000 people in specialized disaster relief skills.

              Feeding Operations-The Red Cross, in coordination with the Southern Baptist Convention, has served nearly 9.8 million hot meals and more than 7.5 million snacks to survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

              Financial Assistance-The American Red Cross is expanding the variety of its efforts to provide financial assistance to upwards of three quarters of a million Hurricane Katrina victims who are dispersed across the nation. Assistance is provided in a variety of ways, including client assistance cards, vouchers, checks and cash. This program has reached more than 255,000 families to date.

              Survivors can register for emergency financial assistance, 24 hours a day, by calling toll-free 1-800-975-7585. Due to the large number of survivors, phone lines may be overwhelmed.

              Reuniting Families-Persons looking for loved ones can call 1-877-LOVED 1S (1-877-568-3317),
              or go to www.redcross.org and click on "Family Links Registry" to:

              Register yourself
              Register a loved one, or
              View the existing list of registrants

              Family Links Registrants-More than 201,000 have been registered online.

              Health & Preventative Care-Visit www.redcross.org or www.cdc.gov for information about health strategies and preventative measures for those in affected areas.

              Disaster Mental Health-To date, almost 238,000 people have received Red Cross Disaster Mental Health services.

              •  Meta site for Missing/Found Persons (none)

                The problem is that there are dozens of sites for listing people affected by Katrina. If the person you are looking for registered on site A and you search on site B, you won't find them. A bunch of programmers puts together a site that combines information from many of the databases (as well as hand entered non-structured information posted on forums) It is found a http://www.katrinalist.net/ ; however, another entry point with a much better summary is http://www.dosima.org/katrina/ (this page also has shelterfinder). The have over half a million people listed. Apparently the data from katrina safe isn't exported to this project but katrinasafe will be importing data from this project.

        •  Camp Casey (4.00)
          I stayed there one night, won't go into it.  Michael is promoting it, but they are getting kicked out of their second encampment....

          I go every day and Moore is not here that I've seen.

          I can get you lists of where/who to assist directly, or Kossacks can 'adopt' a family.

          •  Get us the lists! (none)
            Get us bank accounts, routing numbers, people we can trust. If it's yours fine, walk around with bills like our soldiers in Iraq and hand them out to people in need.

            Or tell us where to ship stuff, if you think that will work. Tell us which system to use -- FedEx? UPS? Who's working the area.

            One thing that's bothering me is all of the offers of help on HurricaneHousing.org -- and seemingly so few people know it's there. Being herded into some huge camps, versus staying with families that'd give love and personal assistance.

            In troubling times, it's good to read true stories about real people doing good things. HeroicStories, free

            by AllisonInSeattle on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 12:11:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I have to tell you this: (none)
          I have lived through more hurricane seasons than I'd admit to, and have managed shelter operations for more years than I'd care to count.

          I wouldn't give the Red Cross a pair of cast-off flip flops.

          And I cut the Salvation Army off a while back because of their open discrimination against gays in their personnel practices.

          I support the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a mission of the Catholic church. I know this may seem incongruous given my statements above, but I do trust the Catholic church to care for the poor and the disenfranchised.

          Tarheel born, tarheel bred! And when I die, I'll be tarheel dead.

          by NCYellowDog on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 11:43:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Same here (none)
            I highly recommend St. Vincent de Paul!  I am not Catholic but I have heard and seen good results from their charities from clients of mine over the years.

            Tom Coburn: There is No crying in Baseball or SCOTUS Hearings. Your brain has been recalled.

            by wishingwell on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 11:46:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Barbara, (4.00)
        I know you're getting some much needed rest now, but when you can give me the name of the church you're at.  I called the following Red Cross number from above:

        NATIONAL REQUESTS ONLY
        CALL: Disaster Public Affairs
        Phone: 202-303-5551

        and selected 1 for media calls, apologized for not being the media, and gave the young woman your name, number, and pertinent data.  She said she'd notify the Baton Rouge office and asked me to find out what Church are you staying at.  She sounded ready and willing to help, so I pray whovever she contacts is of the same ilk.

        What an excellent day for an Excorcism... SCI

        by DianeL on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 10:21:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bet the donations lines are open (4.00)
      all weekend.

      When will the taxpayers get tired of paying for Bushco mistakes? Accountability is NOT a Game. Gore/Clark 2008

      by mattes on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:37:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I recommended your diary (4.00)
    You might want to have something in the title that indicates how dire the situation is there.  For those who don't know, I used Mapquest and see that this town is in Washington Parish, about 60 mi as the crow flies north-northeast of NOLA near the MS border.

    Be a patriot...Buy a hybrid vehicle!

    by billlaurelMD on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 07:44:33 PM PDT

  •  Such a tragedy (4.00)
    And I'll gladly "recommend".  All along I thought that we would see our biggest problems in these outlying areas.  I'm afraid we're going to see worse.

    What numbers would be helpful to you?  I'll gladly look them up.

  •  I read in Frank Rich's op-ed that CNN and CBS (4.00)
    are setting up offices in New Orleans. Anderson Cooper and others should be commended for the humnaitarian effort of getting at least some honest news out to the public. I'll drop a line to CNN if aothers want to follow. Power in numbers!

    "We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane." K. Vonnegut

    by wardeo on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 07:49:05 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for the idea (4.00)
      I just sent this to Anderson Cooper 360.
      •  Kenner (4.00)
        I think he said he's going to be in Kenner next week.  I'm assuming that's in LA, but I could be wrong.  Anybody know if it's near Bogalusa?
        •  Kenner (4.00)
          Isn't that below NO?  

          We are fucking ignored here, NO national media has EVER been here...we need them now.

          I don't have the capability to upload fotos cuz of dialup...

          •  Kenner (none)
            is a suburb of N.O. It's where the airport is located.
          •  Barbara, (none)
            I don't know about the logistics for you, but if you can get me the pics by mail, this might be impossible for you right now but, I will be glad to upload and host some for you, maybe for a follow up diary.  

            Thank you for being there for people.  I will email CNN and MSNBC...the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  

            There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by otis704 on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:22:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Unfortunately not (none)
          Just did a Map check and looks like Kenner is just South of NOLA, and Bogalusa is about 70 miles North.
          •  Yeah (none)
            I just looked too.  He was in Baton Rouge before and now off to Kenner from NO.  Cooper would be best, but if we bug them maybe we can get somebody else out there.
            •  Hell (4.00)
              I'll go get them
              •  map (none)
                Barb- From New Orleans, take I-10W to Baton Rouge, get off at the Airport exit, head to the airport, most likely where Anderson will be. From Kenner to Bogalusa: go back to I-10, take it East back towards New Orleans, about three miles or so, take the Causeway exit to Covington (North), back over I10- the second off ramp, I think. Take the Causeway bridge over Lake Ponchartrain to Covington (maybe a toll), if they have booth operators on duty. Once in Covington, Bogalusa is West, so follow signs to it.

                Can't remember what parish Bogalusa is (Tangipahoa?), but go find the sheriff / deputies, and talk to them. Get the names of poeple you wan to help. That area is close, and it will make thigns work faster with if you say that John & Mary Walker need food, rather than just generic.

                Also, got check Ponchatoula, west of Bogalusa My ex's family, the McLendons's, live there, and that area also get ignored.

        •  outlying New Orleans (none)
          Kenner is part of the greater New Orleans area; home of the New Orleans International airport. This is in Jefferson Parish where the canal floodwall broke and flooded the neighborhoods, sadly trapping those left in nursing homes.
          Kenner is 68% Anglo, compared to New Orleans which is 69% Black. There are also a lot of Vietnemese families and businesses in Kenner.  

          Kenner, LA at wikpedia

          Thank you, Barbara, for your hard work. Best wishes.  

      •  Link? (none)

        The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

        by TXsharon on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:39:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  NBC is also setting up a bureau in NOLA (4.00)

      Cheney died a natural death - on the phone with Halliburton.

      by annefrank on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:07:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NBC (4.00)
      has opened an office in New orleans.  Brian Williams and David Gregory have shown real "spine" in covering this story.  

      Winning without Delay.

      by ljm on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:55:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Off the Bogalusa topic (4.00)
        but ABC, including our local affiliate, has been licking up the Bush "apology" as if it was real. They're been running the headline "Bush takes responsibility" ignoring the fact that he blaimed it on "all levels" of government, limited his own culpability to "the extent to which federal gov't didn't do it's job" and never addressed the two biggest disaster factors aside from the Hurricane itself.

        1. Bush cut funding for levee maintenance.

        2. He gutted FEMA and staffed it, like all his other appointments, with people whose only qualification is loyalty to the Republican party over and above loyalty to the American people and our Constitution.

        Okay, all of you know that. But ABC is just making me sick. Good Morning America is insidious propaganda. Covering just enough news so as not to lose it's soothing "everything is good in America" tone.

        Ted Koppel might be an exception. I think I heard him asking some tough questions.

        •  ABC network news... (none)
          Since Peter Jennings died, ABC is becoming Fox News Network Lite, at least as far as its network news goes. It has been my prediction for a while that George Stephanopoulos will be fired soon, as will John Stossel. Stephanopolos is, of course, a Clinton Democrat; and John Stossel is the wrong kind of conservative (a real one, not a NeoCon) for the New Order at ABC.

          Expect Bob Novak to take over This Week when Stephanopolos gets the Golden Shove. I hear he's suddenly "at liberty" after the incident at CNN.

          Spread the memes: USA is a Failed State. We have no President.

          by MamasGun on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 10:04:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  NBC is setting up a NOLA office. Brian Williams (4.00)
      and others have been doing a great job along with Anderson Cooper.
      •  send it to him, too. (none)
        Anyone send this info to Brian Williams? Does he allow feedback on his blog? MSNBC crashes my browsers all the time. I honestly think this should be sent to Shep Smith on Fox, too. Fox crashed my computer too. Maybe it couldn't stand being up at the same time as DKOS.
      •  Yeah but... (none)
        The MSM Big Daddy's aren't too happy about all the tender loving care some reporters have displayed and are reining them in now.  The Bushie's don't like all the warm fuzzies the Cooper's, Gregory's and William's are producing.  Read this:

        http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0917-29.htm

        •  Rove's longknives were out this morning on CSPAN (4.00)
          Washington Journal during the first hour call-in segment, excoriating  the BBC and CNN's  and some of the other 'mutinous" US broadcast media for their recent surprizingly frank tell-it-like-it-is dead-bodies-and-missing-chidren  coverage of the Katrina disaster.

          Not good for Bush's image. There will be hell to pay once the Bushies get a clamp on all these uppity traitorous news people.

  •  Barbara, will spend the next 24 hours (4.00)
    trying to secure interest in your plight.

    Kossacks, go to

    http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/media/

    any contact you'll ever need you can find on this web site.

    Emails, phone calls, faxes, newspapers, etc. all the numbers are to be found on this site above.

    Let's get her some attention and help.

    •  Hello, Kossacks! (4.00)
      If any of you are sending emails, faxes, etc. don't forget to send the URL for this diary.

      It is,

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/17/223753/006#36

      That way whoever has an interest can copy/paste or click through for her story.

    •  I sent it to ... (none)
      ... both Maryland Senators (Mikulski and Sarbanes) and Countdown w/Keith O.  Will find other ways I can contribute to getting the word out today.

      Barbara, my thoughts and prayers are with you as is my gratitude for doing this.  (I will email you offlist with more comments).

      Bow down before the one you serve. You're going to get what you deserve.

      by Bexley Lane on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 04:51:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Red Cross messed up in San Diego (none)
      Thanks for the link. I sent an email to the Los Angeles Times AND to local San Diego papers. Several years ago there was a big fire in San Diego. A lot of people gave money to the Red Cross  and specified that it was for the "Alpine fire" victims, but the victims didn't get it. At the same time, the local Red Cross CEO, Dodie Rotherham, got a hefty bonus, which was based on how much money poured into the San Diego Red Cross that year. After a public outcry, Dodie was fired and the Red Cross  seemed to shake up their organization.  Thinking that the Red Cross cleaned up their act, I have recommended that people contribute to the Red Cross rather than some unknown internet entity. Maybe that is not such a good idea.
      I have also read reports that Red Cross workers are being intimidated and that some people are coming to aid stations and taking all the stuff.  The National Guard was supposed to be there 24/7, but showed up for only one day and left. Any truth to that?
  •  Yes, Ma'am I'm praying (4.00)
    While I lament the break in I-10 that keeps our effort on the east from getting to you, I'll add specifics to my prayers for you to include those on the other side of the lake who can get help to you.

    Are you taking your CIPRO?  (that will make you feel worse, but you know you need it).  Hydrating?  Potassium?  You know the drill.  You can't help anyone if you aren't in as good shape as you possibly can be.  Bless you--

    "Never think you've seen the last of anything." --Eudora Welty

    by gazingoffsouthward on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 07:50:27 PM PDT

  •  I will see what I can do with some of my well (4.00)
    placed neighbors with your story, but will call first tomorrow.  

    I wonder if the Vetrans for Peace in Covington can send some help/media your way.  I'll think about that too.  Will call.  Hang in there.

  •  Prayers to you, and (4.00)
    Do you have an address where funds can be sent?   If so, you should post it.

    What an excellent day for an Excorcism... SCI

    by DianeL on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 07:54:45 PM PDT

    •  Remember when... (4.00)
      I was writing about going to Covington and beggin for donations?  I'm taking everything now out of my pocket and not working...

      Donations are a good thing...call me and I'll give you the relief account number, but have to find it....more important things have taken my life over right now.

      haven't seen the news since tuesday...haven't a clue on what is happening.

    •  Barbara Went There.......... (4.00)
      When the Call went out Asking for Help after the Veterans For Peace bus Arrived in Covington, with Water, Food, a Generator, a Satellite Connection for Communication via the Net [bus Upgraded in Crawford and the Only Communications Around] and Other Supplies Left From Crawford Camp Casey!!

      In Short Order things Started to get Orginized there in Covington and Through Online Connections with Message Boards Set Up, Sites Updated, A Local Vet and Family [Baton Rouge using their Home as Shipping Point and Warehouse as well as Way Station for some Volunteers who Like Barbara Dropped Everything and Rushed There beating the Organized{?} Civilian/Government Relief Agencies] and the Loyal Help from Hundreds around the Country, Canada and Overseas!!

      These are All just Regular Folks with Hearts of Gold, using their Expertise or Lack There Of but REAL Compassion for their Fellow Man/Woman/Children and Are What This Country TRUELY Represents!!

      Once Established in Covington they've Moved to Other Area's, many being Reported that Other Help had not been there, or quickly came in gave a Nod and Left!!

      To Make Contact and/or find out what's going on, what is needed/requested, how you can help, etc. etc. etc. Visit These Sites:

      VFP Hurricane Katrina Relief-Covington LA
      http://www.vfproadtrips.org/home.htm
      Plenty International
      http://plenty.org/
      Michael Moore
      http://michaelmoore.com/
      Message Board
      http://www.vfproadtrips.org/katrina/
      Veterans For Peace - Homesite
      http://www.veteransforpeace.org

      Especially the Message Board!

      This Is Purely GrassRoots and Not as Organized as the Agencies We Would Expect To Be but Aren't, but it is Organized enough To Give Much Needed Aid and Give Those Like Barbara a Starting Point To Build On!!

      As She Writes, Contact The Media, Pass On any and All Information To As Many As Possible, Slam The Politicals [You Pay Them], Get This Shit Together and Working For Those Who Really Need It Not The 'Profitteers'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      James Starowicz
      Member: Veterans For Peace

  •  Pictures. Pictures. (4.00)
    Get digital pictures and send these to the media and to us. It will get the attention a long description may not.
    •  I know (4.00)
      NO CONNECTIONS to upload/download....will continue to try.
      •  Do you have postal service there? n/t (none)

        To write in plain vigorous language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one cannot be politically orthodox. George Orwell, 1946

        by deepintheheartoftx on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:19:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Cell phone? (4.00)
        Got one with a camera? Need one? Got a signal?
        •  yes (4.00)
          have a cell phone with a camera, haven't a clue how to send, don't have the emailing/text service and guess I could get it.  

          Am going to see if these Photo Journalists with me are sending photos...also have a 35mm...will get things are disks.

          •  Tell us what kind of phone you have. (4.00)
            And I'll bet someone here either has it or can download instructions for you.
              •  Barbara - let's get you set up with a photo blog (4.00)
                I see that you have a Motorola phone.  Please post the model number (V60p, V65p, V276, E815, etc.) when you have a moment.

                Using Flickr, which is part of Yahoo!, you can set up a free photo blog.  This will enable you to send your cameraphone pictures to a special Flickr email address, and they will automatically be posted to Flickr.  These pictures can then be accessed by anyone and easily included in dKos Diaries.  All of the pictures in my recent Diary series are hosted by Flickr.

                As an example, here's my Flickr photoblog.  Let's get you set up so you can publish pictures directly from the field:

                Step 1: Looks like you already have a Yahoo! account.  Activate Flickr account using your Yahoo! username by clicking here.

                Step 2: Set up your Flickr account to receive photos via email.  Click here for help with this.

                Step 3: Put the email address Flickr generates for you in Step 2 into your phone's address book.  This makes it a million times easier to send a picture to Flickr.  Email or post if you need help with this step.

                Step 4: If you take a picture you want to upload to Flickr, click 'Send in message' like Kagro said.  Instead of typing that special Flickr email address in every time, use the menu to insert it from the address book.

                Email if you want help or want me to walk you through this on the phone tonight or tomorrow.

                -AG

                You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

                by AlphaGeek on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 11:02:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Motorola phones... (4.00)
            As soon as you snap your pix, you get an option to store it. Choose that, and the first menu option you get is "send in message." You can send it to any email address.

            If you choose "send in message," you get a "To:" screen. Hit the # button twice to switch your keypad from numbers to letters, then type in the address. Hit a number key once to get the first letter it represents, twice to get the second, etc. Slight pause between presses will get you to the next space, so you can fill in the next letter. "1" key is both "@" and "."

            You got someone to send 'em to? Send 'em to me if you have to. My username, no space, gmail.

  •  I can't decide whether this catastrophe is (4.00)
    making me long for the big, benevolent and maternalistic government of the 1970s or anarchy.
  •  Barbara (4.00)
    Also can you please either post here or send me an email with a brief profile of Bogalusa - the town, people, general resources and a brief summary of how you ended up there - your short story.  Any other details about the number of FEMA or ARC officials would also be interesting.  Just need some framing for the people you have told us about.  These are components of a media kit that people will need in order to generate the interest.  Thanks.
  •  Barbara (4.00)
    Good to see you have the majority of what you need there.  A commenter upthread said something about a digital camera.  I know you were trying to secure one - I would ask one of the residents whom you are trying to help.  Indicate to them that perhaps you have a conduit to some national attention.  I think you'll come by it faster that way.

    Best..
    Rena

    HEY - Why haven't you visited my blog?

    by RenaRF on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:07:35 PM PDT

  •  Bogalusa (none)
    Well.. I had heard of the place, due to it's history with the Civil Rights Movement

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:15:45 PM PDT

  •  Emailing Keith O. and Miles O'b at CNN (4.00)
    right now. Stay calm, prayers are with you.
  •  Where in Texas do they want to be? (4.00)
    I can probably find them somewhere to be in Austin, but I'm not sure if that'd be too far away from their kids?

    Do they need travel money/arrangements as well?

    Either post or email me at caiteclare@yahoo.com

    I'll do what I can!

    To write in plain vigorous language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one cannot be politically orthodox. George Orwell, 1946

    by deepintheheartoftx on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:18:03 PM PDT

  •  Texas (4.00)
    SPLENDORA, TEXAS
    •  Hmmm, that's a little under 200 miles (4.00)
      from Austin -- Houston folks? You out there?

      To write in plain vigorous language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one cannot be politically orthodox. George Orwell, 1946

      by deepintheheartoftx on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:47:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Google says745 people there in 1990 (4.00)
      Now to find a zip and see if it's listed on http://www.HurricaneHOusing.org.

      77372

      OK, two people in Splendora offered  housing, one for 3 people, one for 6 people!

      Go to HurricaneHousing.org,
      then click on Houston, TX,
      then modify to use the zip 77372,
      and modify to 10 miles,
      then click search.

      Good grief -- there are 16 offers of housing within 10 miles of Splendora. Humanity is amazing, simply amazingly generous. I tear up every time I go to that site.

      Hope this helps.

      The antidote to "all the bad news that's fit to print": HeroicStories.com, free subscriptions.

      by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 10:49:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  will check this out tonight (4.00)
        if I get the computer and make calls.  thanks.
        •  Private offers are probably better (none)
          Such as those in the comment above yours, but I also saw the following in a Yahoo news item this morning (guess HUD is the place to contact; I couldn't find any more info on it by googling):

          A pilot program announced Saturday by the     Department of Housing and Urban Development could offer some help, providing 100 rent-free homes for refugees in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas.

          The "Welcome Home Project" places families in empty HUD-owned homes rent-free for 18 months, HUD spokeswoman Dustee Tucker said. Appliances are being provided, and a private anonymous donor is furnishing the homes at no cost.

          For Patricia Livas of New Orleans, her new single-story, three-bedroom home in southern Dallas promises some stability as she tries to care for two sons and look for a new job in the technology field.

          "It's just totally awesome. I slept here last night, every bit of my three to four hours of sleep was peaceful. It was like home," said Livas, who has gone from living with a sister in Jackson, Miss., to hopping from one Dallas-area hotel to another in the weeks after Katrina struck. "It takes the stress off of trying to find a job with very limited resources."

          The program has placed 10 families so far. Homeowners are still responsible for utilities such as water and electricity, Tucker said. Families can apply for the program with HUD, but FEMA and the Interfaith Housing Coalition, a local nonprofit, are placing the families.

  •  Here's a few email addresses (4.00)
    you might need. First I've picked two out from MSNBC as they are both good. Joe is in Miss. and bitching pretty good about the lack of FEMA, help, etc.  I'll try him and Keith first and send out a thousand or so tonight.

    countdown@msnbc.com, KOlbermann@msnbc.com, joe@msnbc.com,

    CJ@MSNBC.com,
    JTrippi@MSNBC.com, hardball@msnbc.com, abramsreport@msnbc.com,
    dshuster@msnbc.com, dennis.sullivan@msnbc.com, norville@msnbc.com,
    msnbcinvestigates@msnbc.com, feedback@msnbc.com, rreagan@msnbc.com,
    viewerservices@msnbc.com, brian.williams@msnbc.com, imus@msnbc.com,
    chris.matthews@msnbc.com, msnbcreports@msnbc.com, today@nbc.com, info@cnbc.com,
    dateline@nbc.com, nightly@nbc.com, MTP@nbc.com, tom.lea@nbc.com,
    steve.majors@nbc.com, susan.dutcher@nbc.com, rod.prince@nbc.com,
    jonathan.wald@nbc.com, lisa.hsia@nbc.com, betsy.fischer@nbc.com, mtp@nbc.com,
    NETAUDR@abc.com, 2020@abc.com, nightline@abcnews.com, wnn@abcnews.com,
    support@abcnews.go.com, niteline@abc.com, abc.news.magazines@abc.com,
    phil.boyce@abc.com, thisweek@abc.com, mimi.gurbst@abc.com, mark.nelson@abc.com,
    virginia.moseley@abc.com, penny.britell@abc.com, muriel.pearson@abc.com,
    sharon.newman@abc.com, meredith.white@abc.com, gil.pimentel@abc.com,
    stu.schutzman@abc.com, evening@cbsnews.com, earlyshow@cbs.com, 48hours@cbsnews.com,
    ftn@cbsnews.com, 60m@cbsnews.com, thismorning@cbsnews.com, bpc@cbsnews.com,
    dij@cbsnews.com, efm@cbsnews.com, mkx@cbsnews.com, pma@cbsnews.com,

    Some more,

    rbc@cbsnews.com, sundays@cbsnews.com, grain@cbsnews.com, realitycheck@cbsnews.com,
    pls@cbsnews.com, pjh@cbsnews.com, wolf@cnn.com, 360@cnn.com,
    aaron.brown@turner.com, Paula.Zahn2@cnn.com, crossfire@cnn.com, daybreak@cnn.com,
    jeff.greenfield@cnn.com, livefrom@cnn.com, loudobbs@cnn.com, newsnight@cnn.com,
    tom.hannon@cnn.com, wam@cnn.com, livetoday@cnn.com, am@cnn.com,
    andrea.koppel@turner.com, bill.schneider@turner.com, bruce.morton@turner.com,
    carol.lin@turner.com, daryn.kagan@turner.com, david.ensor@turner.com,
    jeanne.meserve@turner.com, jim.walton@turner.com, deirdre.walsh@turner.com,
    kelly.wallace@turner.com, kyra.phillips@turner.com, lou.dobbs@turner.com,
    miles.obrien@turner.com, paula.zahn@turner.com, candy.crowley@turner.com

    Some more,

    Misc. National media including Newswires Radio Magazines and Internet
    feedback@ap.org, jloven@ap.org, lmargasak@ap.org, msilverman@ap.org, npickler@ap.org,
    rfournier@ap.org, sjohnson@ap.org, pr@ap.org, thunt@ap.org, traum@ap.org, info@ap.org,
    pr@ap.org, cochs@ap.org, pressreleases@upi.com, tips@upi.com,
    investigations_desk@upi.com, politics_desk@upi.com, info@ap.org, editor@reuters.com,
    patricia.wilson.reuters.com@reuters.net, todd.eastham@reuters.com,
    stella.dawson@reuters.com, arshad.mohammed@reuters.com, randall.mikkelsen@reuters.com,
    steve.holland@reuters.com, john.whitesides@reuters.com, news@capitolhillbureau.org,
    sheberer@pbs.org, charlierose@pbs.org, newshour@pbs.org, danschiedel@kozk.pbs.org,
    theworld@pri.org, newshour@pbs.org, ombudsman@npr.org, atc@npr.org, morning@npr.org,
    totn@npr.org, morning@npr.org, rsiegel@npr.org, ombudsman@npr.org, sstamberg@npr.org,
    totn@npr.org, freshair@whyy.org, watc@npr.org, wesat@npr.org, wesun@npr.org,
    npronsirius@npr.org, worldwide@npr.org, wesat@npr.org, atc@npr.org, ataylor@npr.org,
    bwilson@npr.org, bnaylor@npr.org, ombudsman@npr.org, cflintoff@npr.org,
    emcdonnell@npr.org, corrections@npr.org, cwindham@npr.org, dschorr@npr.org,
    dardalan@npr.org, dgonyea@npr.org, jlyden@npr.org, jcochran@npr.org, jwilliams@npr.org,
    krudin@npr.org, lhansen@npr.org, ombudsman@npr.org, mliasson@npr.org, lusa@npr.org,
    mblock@npr.org, atc@npr.org, morning@npr.org, nconan@npr.org, ntotenberg@npr.org,

    Didn't send our national/local papers and a bunch of others but I'll send email to all of them.

    Want phone numbers?  

  •  ePluribusMedia? (4.00)
    Interested?
  •  Some of (4.00)
    the members may be able to get some heat on this Barbara, but if I were you I'd hook up with someone who has a camera and starting snapping pics, video even better. You are the media or you can become them anyway.

    Pics/video light a fire under people's asses more than words. You get some images of this stuff, of old folks suffering or families that are desperate, any evidence of GA incompetence or dawdling, and there's a chance the media will be calling you instead of you calling them. Good luck and good work.

    Read UTI, your free thought forum

    by DarkSyde on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:34:43 PM PDT

    •  Am going to (4.00)
      send 35 mm to Cat and she will develop and spread...who wants the tapes out of the digital camcorder?  All I ask is that you make copies and send them back to me....

      Will talk to the Photo Journalists tomorrow a.m. about where they will post on the web as they have a business website and will be posting immediately so we can use that as the link.

      Give me 24-36 hours to get all of this stuff organized....

  •  Reading this (4.00)
    I can't believe that more medical relief workers aren't being sent down to the gulf region. I volunteered through the hospital where I work and I know that a lot of other people did too. But so far only 14 people from here have been sent--all nurses, no docs. Why in the world are these govt agencies saying that we are not needed?
    •  Local officials seem part of the problem too (4.00)
      I'm in the Florida panhandle, and our area sent out a rescue team to some of these smaller towns. An article in last weekend's paper interviewed the team members, and they said when they got to the area, local officials and police said, "We don't need outsiders' help" and told them to go back where they came from.

      According to the article, the crew responded, "But we're from Florida" (in other words, pointing out that they're fellow Gulf Coasters so not really outsiders). The officials then kind of mumbled amongst themselves and finally said, "OK, you can help out." But then they made them just hang out and do nothing for almost a whole day.

      Finally they sent them to one of the devastated small towns north of N.O., where they were greeted ecstatically by the residents, who said this was the first help they'd received. They thought they'd been totally abandoned and were mostly out of water and food, and they couldn't get out because their roads were blocked by fallen trees and they had little to no fuel. And they may never have gotten help if the local officials had succeeded in turning back our rescue team. What if that rescue team hadn't argued with them and just listened to them and gone back home, like I've read that so many did?

      •  Thank God for stubborn people (none)
        Some of the great, experienced help or the supplies turned away anywhere, by any agency or group is baffling.

        Pride or red tape has no role when there are people waiting, needing help, feeling abandoned.

      •  Seems (none)
        like a lot of officials are too worried about lawsuits etc. I would think that the Good Samaritan laws would apply if you are volunteering in a disaster response. Does anyone know for sure? If so, then the argument about lawsuits has no merit.
  •  Wow, Barbara (4.00)
    You will be in my prayers.  I hope CNN/MSNBC gets sick of seeing your e-mail address.
  •  Recommended (4.00)
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and the people of Bogalusa. Will contact my family in SW Louisiana to see if any of them can provide assistance.
  •  AP contact (4.00)
        
    AP Louisiana:

    Baton Rouge
    P.O. Box 44395
    Baton Rouge LA 70804-4395
    (225) 343-1325
    342-7277
    342-8549 Fax

  •  I don't know if this will help but (4.00)
    1.) we got a mass mailing today here in Houston from a real estate agent who says she is "committed to helping the survivors and refugees from our neighboring gulf states get through this terrible loss.  If you know anyone who is looking for temporary or long-term housing, please contact her directly, day or night, at 281-830-6325"  Her name is Sarah Goodner.  Who knows her motives, but she went to the trouble of printing these up and mailing them out and may be amenable to trying to help on this end by looking for a deal or have some connections to donors, etc. and might even know an agent in Splendora who could be able to help.

    2.) My husband and I want to use the frequent flyer miles we have to help someone who needs to relocate.  If these would be helpful to the people you've described, email me at benignneglect at hotmail dot com.

    "Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths . . . I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" - B. Bush

    by The New Politeness on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:56:03 PM PDT

    •  Free flights (4.00)
      The offer of our airmiles is still open, but I have also found out about "angel flights" here, which is reportedly flying people in the Southeast stranded by Katrina, free of charge.

      "Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths . . . I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" - B. Bush

      by The New Politeness on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:22:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One more thing (4.00)
      Can you give more info on what kind of living situation they need? Do they have family in Splendora? Are their children in a shelter there? Do they want to relocate there specifically or just get there to get to their children and then return to LA, or go to Houston, or live anywhere they can, etc.?

      "Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths . . . I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" - B. Bush

      by The New Politeness on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:29:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They said... (4.00)
        their kids are in Splendora and they'd like to be with them...remember this is a very poor couple who are in shock and when you see the photos of their home (rental) you will be appalled that ANYONE could live there.  One child had to be cut from under the tree and another was trapped in a cupboard...it doesn't get worse then this really.

        I will meet with them on Monday a.m. again as I'm bringing them garbage backs, food, water, clothing, blankets, pillows, and boxes for packing.  They will have a better idea.

        They do have a truck they can/will drive...I also have air transportation available on a charter if necessary although I don't think it is.

        Just call me a bitch...off to bed, almost 1 a.m. and up at 5 a.m. to run another clinic and wantin' to go to Slidell tomorrow....

        •  ok, keep me posted (4.00)
          when you have more information about what they want/need to do re: staying in Splendora or not, longterm vs. short term and I'll see what I can find out from here.

          Any other Houston Kossacks with ideas or connections?

          "Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths . . . I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" - B. Bush

          by The New Politeness on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:43:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re-post: links to help in Splendora (4.00)
            Google says745 people there in 1990

            Now to find a zip and see if it's listed on http://www.HurricaneHOusing.org.

            77372

            OK, two people in Splendora offered  housing, one for 3 people, one for 6 people!

            Go to HurricaneHousing.org,
            then click on Houston, TX,
            then modify to use the zip 77372,
            and modify to 10 miles,
            then click search.

            Good grief -- there are 16 offers of housing within 10 miles of Splendora. Humanity is amazing, simply amazingly generous. I tear up every time I go to that site.

            Hope this helps.

            The antidote to "all the bad news that's fit to print": HeroicStories.com, free subscriptions.

            by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 10:53:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'll agitate via e-mail, fax (4.00)
    but given the conditions where you are, wouldn't an immediate evacuation be best?

    As an experiment, if anybody has good media contacts how about suggesting this is a brilliant opportunity for a success story, great photo op.....maybe they'll come faster for happy talk than for more evidence of failure.

    Then again, gunshots fired, riots....also "attractive."

    And if you need to stop a FEMA or other truck on the road, if they aren't going too fast, set a "pop up" figure in the middle of the road and raise it way ahead enough that they can safely stop.

    Another way to get cars and trucks to stop on the road is to put up big signs that say:  HELP! NEED BEER!! (one of the tabloids tried it and people stopped, got out of their cars and crossed the highways to give just such a beggar many dollars more than when the sign asked for food)

    Back to work....

  •  dropped a line to a Newhouse reporter I know (4.00)
    She's not on this beat but maybe she can get it to whoever is.
  •  Polio Networks (4.00)
    (fyi, post polio support group network in Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas from Googling post polio foundation)

    LOUISIANA

    GONZALES

    Baton Rouge Polio Support Group/Michael LeBlanc

    225-644-3283

    Quarterly

    LAKE CHARLES

    Lake Charles Post-Polio Support Group/Donnella Patricia Judice

    337-494-1759, 337-437-4125 fax

    Third Saturday AM, Sept-May

    MONROE

    Northeast Louisiana Polio Support Group/Frances B. Bullington

    318-387-2991

    Quarterly meetings, Saturday AM, dates vary

    NEW ORLEANS

    Easter Seals Louisiana Polio Support Network/Janet D. Pepperman

    504-523-7325, 504-523-3465 fax, Janpepper@aol.com  
    TEXAS

    AMARILLO

    Top of Texas Post-Polio Support Group (TTPPSG)/Aldine B. Manning

    806-373-7582

    Third Saturday, Apr, June, Sept, Nov

    ARLINGTON (Hurst area)

    TPSA/Fort Worth Area Polio Survivors Support Group/Rita Pittmon

    817-477-1331, NeonGranma@aol.com

    Michael Johnson:  713-660-6590 fax, www.texaspolio.org  

    Second Saturday PM

    CALDWELL

    Post-Polio Survivors of Bryan College Station/Cassandra A. Roegner

    979-272-1745, cassandra.roegner@verizon.net  

    DONNA

    Post-Polio Partners (PPP)/Paul E. Thompson, Jr.

    956-464-2106, 956-969-4887, pauljr@hiline.net  

    Fourth Saturday PM, Sept-May

    HOUSTON

    Texas Polio Survivors’ Association, Inc.

    713-690-0695, 713-690-0696 fax, tpsa@flash.net, www.texaspolio.org

    11 groups and 4 phone link groups in Texas

    LUBBOCK

    South Plains Post-Polio Support Network/Carol J. Thompson

    806-832-5049 tel & fax, lorac1@airmail.net  

    Meeting on demand; email and telephone support among members

    SAN ANTONIO

    San Antonio Polio Survivors Association/Ethel E. Killgore Taylor

    210-696-1710, blueangel7131@sbcglobal.net  

    Ruth & Tom Moon:  210-523-6216, moonfamily3@sbcglobal.net

    Michael Beard:  210-490-3190 Michael78247@yahoo.com

    WICHITA FALLS

    Wichita Falls Post-Polio Support Group/Cheryl Jackson

    940-691-1753, Txrangersfan53@aol.com  

    Resource only

     ARKANSAS

    QUITMAN (Conway area)

    Central Arkansas Polio Survivors (CAPS)/Betty S. Schmidt

    501-589-3555, bschmidtmt@alltel.net  

    Third Saturday AM

  •  Animal Rescue numbers (4.00)
    Animal Rescue: LSU School of Veterinary Medicine Hotline (225) 578-9900 or (888) 568-5557 Residents who left pets in their homes may call to leave information about the animals and their location.

    AKC Companion Animal Recovery/Canine Support and Relief Fund   Phone 1-800-252-7894.
    American Kennel Club providing crates, water food, and other animal supplies at staging areas in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas.

  •  So are they going to elect (none)
    yet another republican president?

    OF COURSE!

  •  Housing = http://www.hurricanehousing.org (none)
    Again: http://www.hurricanehousing.org

    I'll bet there are people offering near where you need that family.

    The antidote to "all the bad news that's fit to print": HeroicStories.com, free subscriptions.

    by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:49:46 PM PDT

  •  Get some sleep! (4.00)
    You'll need it tomorrow!

    I have a feeling help and media
    won't be long in coming.  I'm sending
    this to everyone on Ohio's FANTASTIC
    list, and beyond!

    Now try and rest. Update your diary in the
    morning.  (And recharge your phone!)

    You are not alone!

  •  Sent your note to someone that helped in Crawford (none)
    Hang in there, I am sure there is something that can be done...we are praying for you.

    Michelle and Dave

    If you are not completely pissed off, you haven't been paying attention!

    by DFJtoo on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:56:16 PM PDT

  •  "Beer" Sign (none)
    might rouse more direct empathy.

    From noodling around the Web I'm finding numerous stories of red tape, confusion all over the hurricane area.....problems for survivors, volunteers, etc.

    Back to work.

  •  Time for a blockade, with cameras rolling (4.00)
    Now you might think, well they must be in the middle of no where...WRONG, these people are on the ROAD THAT ALL THE GOVERNMENT agencies take to the main control center at least 10 times daily.

    Get them literally ON the road. A blockade of dehydrated grannies will beat the government every time--but only if the TV cameras are there.

  •  God Bless You Barbara. (none)
    Anderson Cooper has become the champion of the disadvantaged in the N.O. area and CNN , MSNBC are setting up a permanent base in N.O.  Ill send your post to Anderson Cooper, Joe Scarbourgh and Rita Cosby.  Good luck and thanks for all that you are doing.  

    Please keep us posted on your outcome.

  •  To state the obvious (4.00)
    There are lots of Bogalusas down there, I would think.  The news I've picked up has been 98% N. O., 2% Mississippi, 0% Alabama.  Maybe someone knows of a way to network among all the unrecognized towns?  Website, whatever?  An organized effort to drag the media around to 2,000 little towns?  Or to stream in 1,000,000 pictures?

    It would be nice if we could rely on a huge entity with billions of dollars worth of resources to help America, but this is Bushworld.

    "Figs! In the name of The Prophet, figs!" E.A. Poe

    by moltar on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 10:20:38 PM PDT

    •  Lots of Boglusas (none)
      You're right.  There must be dozens if not hundreds of towns that are in the exact same situation.  Besides places like Waveland, the media is just now even getting into Mississippi.  We need to stay on this because I think Joe America is getting the impression that everything is on the road to recovery.
  •  Hope help is on the way... (none)
    I just sent four letters to senators and said to get help to you....hope it gets there.  You are doing such a great job in just being there...Wish I could join you, but I am in MA and can't leave due to ill family here...Our prayers are with you.

    Moesie

  •  Canadian doctors tried to help (4.00)
    Canadian TV reported that a number of MDs  went down to the Gulf but were not allowed to help because they were not licensed in the USA. A number of them have returned home.Bureaucracy is a huge issue.
  •  I emailed a WaPo staff writer (4.00)
    with your phone number and the link to this diary.

    His name is Peter Whoriskey.

    His email addy is whoriskeyp@washpost.com

    I emailed him because he wrote an item in today's Washington Post on the devastation in Chalmette, LA.

    Perhaps, if he's still down there, he can speak with you.

    Maybe if you contact him directly via email he will write you back.

  •  I spoke to Houston Chronicle (none)
    at 1:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Gave him your name and phone number. The man seemed "ho hum" and skeptical about "people dying" so I asked, "Are you getting hundreds of this type of call?" He said sort of yes but also lots and lots of great news, success stories, reunions. . . . So I told him to check out this Bogalusa story because he might have BOTH.

    P.S.
    This was the contact I used, from their website:
    News tip?
    Tell an editor
    E-mail:
    citydesk@chron.com
    Phone:
    713-220-7491

  •  Republican contacts (4.00)
    Maybe they want to send their squads out to do remediation before the truth gets uglier and more publicized?

    Republican Party of Arkansas
    1201 West 6th Street
    Little Rock, AR 72201-3019
    Fax: 501-372-1656
    Phone: 501-372-7301

    The Republican Party of Louisiana
    7916 Wrenwood Blvd.
    Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    Fax: 225-928-2969
    Phone: 225-928-2998

    Mississippi Republican Party
    415 Yazoo Street
    Jackson, MS 39201
    Fax: 601/354-0972
    Phone: 601/-948-5191

  •  I just got through with training to be... (4.00)
    ... a Red Cross volunteer.

    After a few abbreviated(sp) "classes", we filled out the paperwork, emailed our availablity, and now have been waiting over a week. A WEEK, for them to call us up.

    So far, me, and another friend of mine (who interestingly enough isn't even a CITIZEN of the US) have heard exactly...

    squat.

    My guess here is that since neither of us has health insurance, we're a liability problem. Though that's just a guess.

    Now if only I could afford to get to Camp Covington...

    •  Just come down here (4.00)
      You can always walk into any RED CROSS shelter and then say here I am and they will give you ID's immediately....call me.
      •  If I can get vacation time, (none)
        I can come help.  However I would have to bring my 10 year old son with me and I wouldn't have much money.  Would that be alright?  Is there something we could do?

        I would think that having a child to help with the other children would be good--distract them and play with them.  It would be a good learning experience for my son.

        The Christian Right is neither Witness Every Day

        by TXsharon on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:57:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Barbara! (none)
        Is it you?!!

        Have you heard anything at all today?

        My GF said she heard something about help coming your way on Faux Nooz.

      •  I would desperately love to... (none)
        ... but I'm as unemployed as most folks down there already.

        The job situation was looking good, up until Katrina, but now my agency has been ignoring me since then.

        I've got a month of unemployment ins. left, and the savings are already halved.

        Everything's come down so hard lately, I'm waking up in the middle of the night naseous and with cold sweats.

        If I'm not employed within the month, I'm effectively homeless, or have to retreat back to the 'rents in the middle of nowhere MI, where I'd be lucky to find a minimum wage job.

        but still, all I want to do is get down there and help...

    •  background checks (4.00)
      they have to do criminal background checks for every volunteer.  Due to the influx of volunteers, and the resources being used to train them, and the fact that their experienced pool is out in the field, the paperwork process for things like background checks are stretched.  

      For those of you who cannot go to affected areas because of jobs or family obligations, there is also a great need for people to do things like data entry and other office work at your local Red Cross chapters.  Call them and see if they need help--my local chapter was begging for it.

      I went through the disaster relief training a week and a half ago and just was called Friday night; was told to be ready to go on Tuesday or Wednesday.  I'll find out exactly where I'm being sent on Monday.  Coordinating where to send 40,000 people is, obviously, also a logistical nightmare...especially since the population at the centers changes every day.

      If I end up anywhere near you, Barbara, I'll be in touch to see what (if anything) I can do to get your message heard by the shelter managers, and the teams that go out for home visits.

      •  Blessings on your work (4.00)
        I volunteered the day Katrina hit, but have never been called, despite several years' experience with DSHR. But we've got 8000 Katrina heroes (NOT victims, NOT refugees) in town, and I've been doing casework for them. After you get to LA, please tell us why the LA RC cannot handle disbursements. That has actually been one of the problems here, but we kept improvising. One day we'd hand out DOs (vouchers), one day checks, one day debit cards, several days of "Your check/card will be here tomorrow." I'm ready to settle for suitcases full of small, unmarked bills. It seems the banks weren't ready for, "We need 200,000 debit cards. When? Right now."
        •  sounds like I'm going to Montgomery (none)
          AL, on Tuesday or Wednesday.  I should get info on travel arrangements tomorrow.

          I will ask if debit cards are an issue and what the reason for that is.  We were told in training that disbursements would be via debit cards...  

          >> Blessings on your work

          Back atcha.  :)

    •  oops...not 40,000 (none)
      129,000.  See here.
  •  How does one contact (none)
     John Edwards and Al Gore? 2 great southerner's on a mission.

    If the Republicans will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. --Adlai Stevenson

    by arkdem on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 05:26:03 AM PDT

    •  Edwards (4.00)
      Some help on contacting Edwards:

      John Edwards is the director of the Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity, a non-partisan initiative with the mission of bringing together UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and other national public policy experts to examine innovative and practical ideas for moving more Americans out of poverty and into the middle class.

      General Poverty Center inquiries may be emailed to PovertyCenter@unc.edu.

      Poverty Center Phone Number:  (919) 843-8796

  •  Contact their congressman as well (none)
    Just wrote to him, and will send emails to CNN and MSNBC.

    http://www.house.gov/formjindal/issue.htm

  •  SOS (4.00)
    The letter below written by a physician is contained in Cindy Sheehan's diary of 9/16/05. It corroborates how the militia is denying medical personnel access to areas desperately needing help. This is a serious violation of human rights. The Bush administration's grandstanding about massive rebuilding initiatives is obscuring the reality on the ground. Perhaps we need to call or write en masse to organizations such as Human Rights International, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, the Center for Disease Control, Amnesty International and others to bring matters to attention and pressure to bear. If these organizations are denied access, it can be clearly articulated to the media, more so than case-by-case reports. What do you think?

    Dear Cindy,
    My name is Stuart Leeds - I'm the family practice MD that you met at the storage facility shortly before we all caravanned to Algiers today.
    It was a great honor and delight to meet you! I'm also pleased and somewhat relieved to have the opportunity to give you a brief report on the state of affairs visa vi the medical relief effort in the afflicted areas.
    In short strokes: people are not getting the help they need, because our government, through the agency of FEMA, has totally politicized the relief effort. I'm sure you've already gotten wind of the reports that the Bush Administration is handing out huge contracts to favored vendors, much as they have done in Iraq. But what is not widely known is -- and I can verify this personally -- that FEMA is preventing certain groups and individuals from participating in the relief efforts. Here's a quick synopsis of the experience I and my companions (my wife, and two respiratory therapists) had today, in our attempts to offer our services to the Red Cross operation in Covington, LA.
    1. We got a call from an official at the Red Cross that the Vets for Peace were being invited to send doctors to Abita Springs, a nearby community.
    2. When we got there around 9 AM, some of director Dr. Rachel Murphy's assistants welcomed us, and started making lists of materials we would need
    3. Suddenly, a man wearing a Homeland Security shirt came over and rudely asked us to leave. He brought a local cop with him, and their body language was pretty threatening. We explained that we were coming at the request of both Dr. Murphy and the mayor of Covington, Candace Watkins. He (whose name was Rodney Hart) would hear none of it from us; he forced us to leave immediately.
    4. We went to Mayor Watkins, who called Dr. Murphy and arranged for us to be allowed into the Red Cross center. We decided that only my wife and I would go - realizing that the other gentlemen, who were wearing VFP T-shirts, would be less than welcome at the center.
    5. We met Dr. Murphy a little after noon, and she was very friendly. She told us she would find a place for us to work - I as a physician, and my wife as an organizational specialist. However, midway through our tour of the facility, she stepped into the office of Mr. Hart, the Homeland security rep, and there were some tense words exchanged between them. She repeatedly exclaimed that we were not representing VFP, and finally there was a long period of silence. Mr. Hart apparently made some gestures we couldn't see. She sighed, and turned to us, and abruptly suggested we get some lunch in the basement. As we ate, she started talking about how the Red Cross was pulling out of her parish within a week, how there were already an excess of docs, and that our services wouldn't be needed.
    6. She also explained that the reason that VFP was not welcome with the Red Cross (or indeed, within the entire parish) was because of a series of allegations that we had already heard from others in the center. We had heard several conflicting versions of these stories: that someone with VFP had stolen $15,000 worth of medical supplies, and that he turned out to be a child molester; that the Vets for Peace had come to one center and were taking over, and bringing cameras into clinics; that VFP was illegally collecting Red Cross donations on the Internet.
    We could not substantiate any of these rumors, and indeed, I think it's unlikely that there was truth to any of them.
    Clearly, FEMA and/or Homeland Security is trying to keep "political undesirables" from lending a hand during this catastrophe. Perhaps they are marching to orders from Bush's political hacks to preventing peace groups from upstaging the administration in the relief effort - which would hardly be difficult to do, on anything like a level playing field.
    It is so sad to think that the Bush machine would put politics in front of the safety and security of human beings, even in a the wake of a natural disaster of Katrina's magnitude. But in the eyes of this physician, I believe that is exactly what is happening. And it will continue, as long as the responsible government agencies can get away with it..
    We must hold them accountable. But more importantly, we must let people know this is happening, and thus bring such pressure to bear on these obstructionist agencies that they can no longer keep VFP, or indeed any group of caring citizens from pitching in.
    Thanks, Cindy. And keep up the great work.
    F.Stuart (Skip) Leeds, MS, MD
    I am ready to keep fighting for humanity. I thank you all for joining me in the struggle: the fight of our lives.

  •  For those of you (4.00)
    who like me are on hotmail, here's Ohio's list of media contacts from downthread organised into in 50 address chunks (and the remainder):

    countdown@msnbc.com,KOlbermann@msnbc.com,joe@msnbc.com,CJ@MSNBC.com,
    JTrippi@MSNBC.com,hardball@msnbc.com,abramsreport@msnbc.com,dshuster@msnbc.com,
    dennis.sullivan@msnbc.com,norville@msnbc.com,msnbcinvestigates@msnbc.com,
    feedback@msnbc.com,rreagan@msnbc.com,viewerservices@msnbc.com,
    brian.williams@msnbc.com,imus@msnbc.com,chris.matthews@msnbc.com,
    msnbcreports@msnbc.com,today@nbc.com,info@cnbc.com,dateline@nbc.com,
    nightly@nbc.com,MTP@nbc.com,tom.lea@nbc.com,steve.majors@nbc.com,
    susan.dutcher@nbc.com,rod.prince@nbc.com,jonathan.wald@nbc.com,lisa.hsia@nbc.com,
    betsy.fischer@nbc.com,mtp@nbc.com,NETAUDR@abc.com,2020@abc.com,
    nightline@abcnews.com,wnn@abcnews.com,support@abcnews.go.com,niteline@abc.com,
    abc.news.magazines@abc.com,phil.boyce@abc.com,thisweek@abc.com,mimi.gurbst@abc.com,
    mark.nelson@abc.com,virginia.moseley@abc.com,penny.britell@abc.com,
    muriel.pearson@abc.com,sharon.newman@abc.com,gil.pimentel@abc.com,
    stu.schutzman@abc.com,evening@cbsnews.com,earlyshow@cbs.com

    48hours@cbsnews.com,ftn@cbsnews.com,60m@cbsnews.com,bpc@cbsnews.com,
    dij@cbsnews.com,efm@cbsnews.com,mkx@cbsnews.com,pma@cbsnews.com,
    rbc@cbsnews.com,sundays@cbsnews.com,grain@cbsnews.com,pjh@cbsnews.com,
    wolf@cnn.com,360@cnn.com,aaron.brown@turner.com,Paula.Zahn2@cnn.com,
    crossfire@cnn.com,daybreak@cnn.com,jeff.greenfield@cnn.com,livefrom@cnn.com,
    loudobbs@cnn.com,newsnight@cnn.com,tom.hannon@cnn.com,wam@cnn.com,
    livetoday@cnn.com,am@cnn.com,andrea.koppel@turner.com,bill.schneider@turner.com,
    bruce.morton@turner.com,carol.lin@turner.com,daryn.kagan@turner.com,
    david.ensor@turner.com,jeanne.meserve@turner.com,jim.walton@turner.com,
    deirdre.walsh@turner.com,kelly.wallace@turner.com,kyra.phillips@turner.com,
    lou.dobbs@turner.com,miles.obrien@turner.com,paula.zahn@turner.com,
    candy.crowley@turner.com,feedback@ap.org,jloven@ap.org,lmargasak@ap.org,
    msilverman@ap.org,npickler@ap.org,rfournier@ap.org,sjohnson@ap.org,pr@ap.org,
    thunt@ap.org

    traum@ap.org,info@ap.org,pr@ap.org,cochs@ap.org,pressreleases@upi.com,tips@upi.com,
    investigations_desk@upi.com,politics_desk@upi.com,info@ap.org,editor@reuters.com,
    patricia.wilson.reuters.com@reuters.net,todd.eastham@reuters.com,
    stella.dawson@reuters.com,arshad.mohammed@reuters.com,randall.mikkelsen@reuters.com,
    steve.holland@reuters.com,john.whitesides@reuters.com,news@capitolhillbureau.org,
    sheberer@pbs.org,charlierose@pbs.org,newshour@pbs.org,theworld@pri.org,
    newshour@pbs.org,ombudsman@npr.org,atc@npr.org,morning@npr.org,totn@npr.org,
    morning@npr.org,rsiegel@npr.org,ombudsman@npr.org,sstamberg@npr.org,totn@npr.org,
    freshair@whyy.org,watc@npr.org,wesat@npr.org,wesun@npr.org,npronsirius@npr.org,
    worldwide@npr.org,wesat@npr.org,atc@npr.org,ataylor@npr.org,bwilson@npr.org,
    bnaylor@npr.org,ombudsman@npr.org,cflintoff@npr.org,emcdonnell@npr.org,
    corrections@npr.org,cwindham@npr.org,dschorr@npr.org,dardalan@npr.org

    dgonyea@npr.org,jlyden@npr.org,jcochran@npr.org,jwilliams@npr.org,krudin@npr.org,
    lhansen@npr.org,ombudsman@npr.org,mliasson@npr.org,lusa@npr.org,mblock@npr.org,
    atc@npr.org,morning@npr.org,nconan@npr.org,ntotenberg@npr.org,

    Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. - Edmund Burke

    by ukrich on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:01:59 AM PDT

  •  In Bogalusa (4.00)
    I was in Bogalusa last spring.  It is as desperately poor as any place I have visited in the United States, and that was before Katrina.  It is--was--a paper mill town, surrounded by swamps and pine forests.  If there's any town in America that needs help, it's Bogalusa.  

    We will keep marching toward that one America, and we're not going to stop until we get there.

    by tlee61 on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:36:59 AM PDT

  •  Bless you Barb... (4.00)
    Other than making a ruckus, can we organize to send you supplies and/or money?  If so, is there a place you can get to to receive shipments?  Not being there it's hard to know if services are such that it's even possible, but if it is, please let us know what you need and where to send.  Say the word and I'll get right on it, and I'm sure others would too.  Bless you for what you are doing...hang in there.

    Decisions are made by those who show up.

    by poe on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:41:34 AM PDT

  •  Bogalusa in recent news items (4.00)
    A search on Google News
     http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=&q=bogalusa&ie=UTF-8&scoring=d

    turns up at least some recent reporting from the town. In particular, last Friday's NY Times story,

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/17/national/nationalspecial/17fema.html

    quotes the mayor:

    James McGehee, the mayor of Bogalusa, a small Louisiana city near the Mississippi border, could barely contain his rage in an interview on Thursday. "Today is 18 days past the storm, and FEMA has not even put a location for people who are displaced," he said. "They are walking around the damn streets. The system's broke."

  •  Thank you Barbara! (none)
    Recommended this and have contacted Media, and Red Cross in D.C.  Hope your Diary will begin to have tangible, positive results today.

    Eye opening comments about the Red Cross, I will have to rethink next month's contribution.  

    Take care of yourself.  Keep us updated, and God Bless!

    When the middle class is gone, who will support the Republicans in the manner to which they have grown accustomed?

    by keepinon on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 07:38:46 AM PDT

  •  I have to admit... (4.00)
    I was sorely tempted last night to contrast Barbara's visit to the Gult Coast to Bob Brigham's.

    I think it would have led to some unnecessary and counterproductive snark ("What? I thought Bob Brigham fixed Louisiana already!"), but this is worth thinking about.

    I want to concentrate just for a moment on the optics of the situation, largely because Bob has become the blogosphere's premier citizen-turned-political consultant. So I think this is an area where perhaps we could use some reflection on the effectiveness of that political consulting.

    What are the optics of these two visits? As important as it was to get some first-hand, blog-based documentation of what was going on in the region, Bob's visit ended up being copiously documented and photo illustrated, including this not altogether sensitive shot of the white, middle class bloggers standing on a corner or evacuated Bourbon Street. While in town, the gang put out a few press releases for local politicos -- granted, in an admirable effort to organize evacuees in serious need of a voice, passed themselves off as Red Cross officials, and then ended up leaving New Orleans drunk. An inauspicious end to a foray that apparently began with him wangling a ride into the city with the 82nd Airborne and Governor Blanco.

    Again, to be fair, Bob's visit accomplished much, at least in terms of creating awareness of the need to organize those displaced by the storm.

    But contrast that with Barbara's work, noting that she has done everything she's done without a thought of documenting herself in heroic photos.

    Now ask yourself who has been more sensitive to the politics of this situation, our netroots political consultant, or the plain old netroots?

    Maybe this isn't the right place for this, and maybe it's more of a Bob bash than it ought to be, but if there's ever anything written up about liberal blogosphere intervention in this crisis, I should hope it focuses on the rather more paltry record Barbara has left behind, as opposed to the splashier but easier to follow record of Bob's visit.

    I'm sorry it had to be like this. But the lesson here is that great things happen when you set out to do great things, as opposed to document them.

    We all want Bob to succeed in his work, and there are times he does us proud in his role as citizen-turned-consultant. Continuing to grow in that role, however, will likely require some concessions to political reality that include a heightened awareness of the perception of what we're doing, as opposed to it's intent, which, as bloggers, we used to be satisfied with knowing among ourselves was pure.

    Taking this thing to the next level is going to require -- yes -- concessions to "politics."

    •  One of the problems... (none)
      ...is that we're really, really thin when it comes to human infrastructure.  When Bob Brigham displays both the nobility and character flaws of a typical guy, it's magnified because he's not just one of a bunch of high-profile Dem netroots consultant/activists -- he's the only one in our collective field of view.

      For what it's worth, he also appears to need quite a bit more practice at presenting a consistent public image.

      -AG

      You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

      by AlphaGeek on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 09:51:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That may well be it for Mr. Brigham (none)
      He has provided an effective example of what not to do re: that smiling photo. Just how much would you pay him for advice? Is this the Son of Shrum budding?

      Of course, one of our weaknesses over here on the left is we're too closely wedded to the truth, and happily consume our own.

      But this Brigham guy appears to just be an attention-whoring hack in the worst sense of the word.

      The dark at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming age.

      by peeder on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 12:56:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I wouldn't go that far. (none)
        Though it's easy to do so. But the truth is that to this point, there's no harm done.

        To the extent that Brigham is interested in representing the best that we have to offer in terms of "netroots activism," he has plenty of time to temper his performance.

        But that timetable grows shorter with each higher profile appearance.

  •  85% of powerlines down (4.00)
    Your car can be turned into a power generator with a simple $40 inverter available on e-bay.

    Solar battery chargers can power small electrical devices and even a laptop. Also available at e-bay.

    We at Kos could buy some and send to deliver at Bogalusa. Would that help ?

    Here are some examples on auction now at e-bay

    - 7999682831 TWO (2) Solar Panel Battery Charger OEM VW, Audi $21.22
    -5999033181 12v Solar Panel Battery Charger/Maintainer $16.15

    • 4405037706 - 2 x 24LEDs White Bulb Spot Lamp 130V/220V SOLAR PANEL $6.50
    • 6801844841 NEW- CAR POWER INVERTER DC/AC W/FAN FOR LAPTOP NOTEBOOK    $29.99
    • 5808808051 Mobile Gear 750 Watt DC to AC Power Inverter 2 Outlets $15.50
    • 7999685743 12v AC DC POWER INVERTER WITH CASE 500/1000 WATT / CARS $38.99
    • 5809508838 100W Car Mobile DC to AC Power Inverter Laptop/DVD/PDA $4.99

    "No one thought" will be the epitaph of Bush's reign on America

    by lawnorder on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 08:33:11 AM PDT

  •  Missing Ashley (none)
    Barb,
    I live in Dayton and work with someone whose husband is with the Dayton Chapter of the Red Cross. We have already exchanged e mails and her husband is checking the avenues he has for Ashley. The one thing that we do know is according to her husband, no busses from NO or the surrounding area had scheduled Dayton as a specific destination. However, there have been other groups arriving here through churches, etc. independent of the Red Cross, so that may be another possibility.
    I will call you once I hear anything.

    Leslie

    Formerly known as LesforKE

    by cerulean on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 08:33:29 AM PDT

  •  Someone Needs To Explain How ................ (none)
    VFP and Others Are Able To Give Aid But Expected Agencies Aren't!!!!!

    KATRINA'S AFTERMATH
    FEMA's Woes Were Merely the Beginning

    The trouble at federal agencies extends beyond emergency response. Aid is abundant, but prompt and accurate delivery is a problem.

    By Nicole Gaouette, Alan Miller and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
    Times Staff Writers

    September 18, 2005

    WASHINGTON -- The federal government's efforts to help victims of Hurricane Katrina have been hobbled by inadequate planning and coordination, troubled computer systems and confusion over who will pay the costs.

    Interviews with federal officials indicate that recovery difficulties have gone beyond the Federal Emergency Management Agency and span key agencies in Washington, where top officials are trying to respond to a huge reconstruction problem for which they had no policies or plans. Large contracts are pouring out of agencies, but the task ahead involves issues Washington hasn't thought seriously about since the 1960s.
    SNIP Rest Of Article Click Above Subject


    In Top Red Bar It's 'Hurricane Relief Effort'

    James Starowicz
    Member: Veterans For Peace

    VFP Hurricane Katrina Relief-Covington LA
    http://www.vfproadtrips.org/home.htm
    Plenty International
    http://plenty.org/
    Michael Moore
    http://michaelmoore.com/
    Message Board
    http://www.vfproadtrips.org/katrina/
    Veterans For Peace - Homesite

    http://www.veteransforpeace.org

  •  Cross Posted Over At Democratic Underground (none)
    If anyone can get the word out, it is these people.  

    Man this is disgusting!  

    Meanwhile according to Amy Goodman, the KBRs and Halliburtons are already slopping at the trough. The military is there in such numbers to back the elite up, that there is actually a place dubbed "Little Baghdad".  The local rich are openly saying they are going to do all they can to make sure only "their kind" return to NO. Meaning they want to make sure it becomes a rich, white, Republican mecca for themselves ~ and they are assuming our tax dollars is going to fund this! Oh and the NO mayor is fully behind them, according to Democracy Now....

    God I hate these people!    

    Cat In Seattle

  •  Some thoughts - random advice (none)
    In todays world, with the internet and the advanced and portable tech we have available to us it is possible for us all to be the media.

    If you have a digital camera and access to the internet once in a while you can take pictures and then post them to Flickr. Once there they can be referenced by others. It is possible to take photos with a camera phone and post them to flickr right from the phone.

    Many mp3 players can also record audio. An interview of those folks still living in their storm wrecked home would be invaluable. Then it could be posted to a blog. If you have a blackberry or a treo or simular you can post blog entries from that.

    You could set up a relationship with someone from here, or a friend you know, they could handle the internet side while you feed them media, audio, video and text, from "the field."

    We are the media. The internet is our publisher. In the long run, what we today call "the media" will become a relic.

    Reality is that which, once you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -- Philip K. Dick

    by brenda on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 09:13:46 AM PDT

  •  KOS Rocks! (none)
    I just sat down and read Barbara's post, experiencing the all-too-familiar feeling of outrage and helplessness.  Then I started reading the replies, and I am so impressed with this community and its ability to spring into action.  Every comment is renewing my faith in humanity.  Every action is giving me the hope and the energy to act as well.  
  •  TAKE PICTURES!!! (none)
    Document everything, Barbara.

    I haven't read the entire thread of messages yet, so someone has probably said this... but document everything. With pictures, statements.

    Give us something to GIVE to media to get them there.

    I know you're busy... with life saving activities.

    Wonder if there is some way that we can start a fund to send a brigade of kossacks down to key communities?  I mean.. the authorities are on lockdown on documenting this. The media are on lockdown. The people down there aren't able to.  

    I know needs are about 'today' but if there were ever a way to contrast bush's 9/11 bullhorn moment to this disaster, documenting it in pictures and commentaries would be the way to do it. We will never forget, but America sure the hell will.  Unless we do something about it.

    LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

    by letsfight on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 10:05:37 AM PDT

  •  I passed on your info... (none)
    To some friends in high places. Thank you for all you are doing, you are amazing and we are all behind you!!!

    "Part of the facts is understanding we have a problem, and part of the facts is what you're going to do about it."-- G.W. Bush, April 15, 2005

    by flashlass on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 10:26:13 AM PDT

  •  Well here's something... (none)
    Looks like Fox's Bill Hemmer was in Bogalusa earlier today and will be doing reports on it this afternoon.

    We'll have to see what kind of an angle he gives it.

    My best to you Barbara, and bless you for all of your efforts!

    ...whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it...

    by megs on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 10:29:48 AM PDT

  •  Barbara (none)
    This is a Inspirational, action packed thread.  I need some sleep now, (worked last night), but when I'm up again & chipper, I'll do Something to help you in your quest.

    Thank you for your courage and honesty.

    I want to send you a  contribution to help you to help the people who are in need.  I will come back later, when I'm more alert, & determine what I can do.

    Thank you again.  You are a Shero!  & thanks to your crew, as well.

    Thanks to all you thread denizens for making me proud to be a part of the kos kommunity.  Y'all are just awesome.

    Later.

    The concept of war is outdated. Dalai Lama

    by x on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 10:47:02 AM PDT

  •  They drove for an hour to the Red Cross (none)
    and they can't drive to Houston, even though they want to join their kids there?

    It's FEMA's job to remove every tree that hit everybody's house?

    I applaud your heroic efforts, Barbara, and I agree with you that the situation there is undoubtedly horrible.

    But it sounds like the enormity of the crisis is getting the better of you at the moment. I'm glad you say you're taking a break for a few hours - it will help.

    I don't see any indication from your post to back up your headline that "people are f**king dying" there in Bogalusa. And to me, it doesn't seem fair to dismiss the "shelters and soup kitchens" as evidence that Red Cross workers "sure aren't helping the folks much." I worked quite a bit with the Red Cross during the Floods of '93 and they absolutely blew me away.

    I was also blown away by the number of people who refused help of any kind even when their homes were in danger of literally being washed away. It sounds to me like the couple you speak of probably fall into that category.

    Lots of things have gone wrong with the response to Katrina, particularly with FEMA's response. I am outraged and sickened by the suffering of the people on the GUlf Coast. But disasters are, well, disastrous, even when the response is flawless. People suffer. Homes are destroyed. Families are separated.

    Again, I applaud and admire your relief work. I agree that we need to maintain pressure on our political leaders to sustain and improve the government's effort. Let's not forget, though, that there are lots of good-hearted, dedicated people at FEMA, and more at the Red Cross. The suffering and destruction you're seeing is not their fault.

    "A politician will do anything to keep his job -- even become a patriot." -William Randolph Hearst

    by kapoleon on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 10:49:31 AM PDT

    •  Karl Rove (none)
      Is in charge of the Katrina PR  relief effort.  No accident.  Fema & ARC under GWB cannot be trusted to do anything but push feelgood stories about how good things are getting  & whitewash the massive  devastation on the ground.

      People who can afford to dig out & chainsaw the downed trees are doing much better than 80 year olds & other poor people.  Bogulusa is a POOR place.  Who is FEMA & ARC digging out & feeding?

      I lost respect for ARC when they threw out most of the blood people donated post 9/11. Why didn't they ship the blood to blood banks that needed it?  It's not the selfless volunteers, it's the administration, the management.

      ARC have stated that they will hold excess donations for future needs. They are using this as a fundraising drive to pad their coffers.  

      I will only contribute to Community orgs now.  I want my money to get to people who need it,  preferably  for people of color & esp Black people.  On the ground.

      Such as this

      Doctors Without Borders/Medicins Sans Frontiers gets a guaranteed  monthly contribution from me.  They are on the ground everywhere, helping the helpless.

      FEMA & ARC are political cronies.

      The concept of war is outdated. Dalai Lama

      by x on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 11:26:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  MSF's Exploratory Mission to Louisiana (none)
        I was just looking the their website. There was an exploratory mission on 9/2 and a decision not to play a role in providing assistance. I don't know if things have changed since then. Here is the link to the article:

        Doctors Without Borders

        •  Red Tape? (none)
          It wouldn't look too good for MSF to be operating in the USA, I suspect.

          Anyways, I also suspect that the USA level of poverty looks fairly wealthy compared to the extremes they're used to.  The US has been shamed into some action.  I'd just as soon see MSF spend their resources in needier places.  Let the Rethugs in the USA spend some of their ill-gotten gains on our own people for a change.

          The concept of war is outdated. Dalai Lama

          by x on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:30:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  CNN heading to Gulf Coast areas, (none)
    starting Algiers on Monday

    The above was just posted up at: Veterans For Peace Hurricane Relief Message Board

    Wolfie just announced that CNN is going to be cover other Gulf coast areas by ZIP CODE!

    Tomorrow they'll be in Algiers.

    Volunteers on the ground, if you see CNN, please corner them and give them a earful! Please encourage them to break from this silly zip code itinerary and get to the places that need the most help.

    Thanks,
    shireen
    _______
    Shireen Gonzaga
    Baltimore, MD

  •  Barbara is fantastic. But are we actually helping (none)
    her and those in need?  Have you Texas Kossacks gotten these two ladies to the town near Houston?  I've read the threads and saw some comments, but it would be great to document some results--some actual help to the real people needing it.

    I hope all of those above who are criticizing organizations that are there on the ground working 24 hours a day, read posts such as willowby's that document ARC successes.  I see lots of comment on the flubs, and very few on the successes.

    Are you giving money to other good organizations if not the ARC?  Are you actually helping by going down there if you have the time.  (and yes I'm giving, no I can't go down there).  It just frustrates me that so many people are doing such good,,,,and we spend so much time talking about getting media down there, and giving no positive feedback to organizations that are doing good work.

    •  not to mention (none)
      the people criticising the Red Cross for slow response time in the affected areas can actually help speed that up by volunteering locally--spreadsheet entry of volunteer information, background checks, etc.  You don't need to donate cash if you think it would be more effectively used by another group, but giving up a few hours a week means more local volunteers can head south.  Call your local chapter and ask if they need this time of help--mine needed it desperately, as of last Wednesday.

      I think the problem is that "mass care" mission of the Red Cross isn't understood...I didn't get it myself until I went through their training.  Door to door rescue and relief simply isn't the focus of their mission...they have to reach as many people as possible, and for the most part that means shelter services.  

      Which isn't to diminish the need of the elderly and disabled still in their homes; they are clearly the most vulnerable.  If the Red Cross can't effectively help them then we should be screaming that from the rooftops until FEMA or another organization steps up.  

      •  You Two........ (none)
        Need to Look at the Structure of those agencies from the Top Down!!!

        Who's Running the Show, How Much Compensation, and the Fact That Volunteering With Them Means Just That, expences paid but you do so While the Top Level Rakes in the Dough and Runs a Shoddy Ship!!!!

        [Visit the message board link below to see just one Small Operation and the Help being Extended and the Results]


        In Top Red Bar It's 'Hurricane Relief Effort'

        James Starowicz
        Member: Veterans For Peace

        VFP Hurricane Katrina Relief-Covington LA
        http://www.vfproadtrips.org/home.htm
        Plenty International
        http://plenty.org/
        Michael Moore
        http://michaelmoore.com/
        Message Board
        http://www.vfproadtrips.org/katrina/
        Veterans For Peace - Homesite
        http://www.veteransforpeace.org

        •  help being extended and results (none)
          I'm not an accountant, or an expert in disaster relief...this is simply what I've taken from the ARC website:

          Funds Received-As of Sept. 17, 2005, the Red Cross has received $762.5 million in gifts and pledges for the hurricane relief effort, of which an estimated $336 million has been received online.

          The Red Cross has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator for its effective use of donations. At least 91 cents of every dollar donated to the American Red Cross goes directly to assist disaster victims.

          Do you have facts or some other basis to counter their claim?

          September 17, 2005 - The American Red Cross is responding to an unprecedented natural catastrophe and devoting every resource to this humanitarian relief effort. The American people can be confident the Red Cross will spare no effort to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of Hurricane Katrina survivors.

          Situation Updates: This disaster relief operation is constantly changing. All numbers are approximate.  Please note the date of last update when using facts or numbers in news stories.

          Sheltering Operations-
          Since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the Red Cross has provided more than 2.2 million overnight stays in 902 shelters across 26 states and the District of Columbia. On Friday night, the Red Cross housed more than 49,000 Hurricane Katrina survivors in 250 shelters.

          Relief Workers-More than 129,000 Red Cross workers from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have responded to Katrina. During this effort, the Red Cross has trained an additional 74,000 people in specialized disaster relief skills.

          Feeding Operations-The Red Cross, in coordination with the Southern Baptist Convention, has served nearly 9.8 million hot meals and more than 7.5 million snacks to survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

          Financial Assistance-The American Red Cross is expanding the variety of its efforts to provide financial assistance to upwards of three quarters of a million Hurricane Katrina victims who are dispersed across the nation. Assistance is provided in a variety of ways, including client assistance cards, vouchers, checks and cash. This program has reached more than 255,000 families to date.

          Survivors can register for emergency financial assistance, 24 hours a day, by calling toll-free 1-800-975-7585. Due to the large number of survivors, phone lines may be overwhelmed.

          Reuniting Families-Persons looking for loved ones can call 1-877-LOVED 1S (1-877-568-3317),
          or go to www.redcross.org and click on "Family Links Registry" to:

          Register yourself
          Register a loved one, or
          View the existing list of registrants

          Family Links Registrants-More than 201,000 have been registered online.

          Health & Preventative Care-Visit www.redcross.org or www.cdc.gov for information about health strategies and preventative measures for those in affected areas.

          Disaster Mental Health-To date, almost 238,000 people have received Red Cross Disaster Mental Health services.

          And gratitude from someone who knows here...

          •  I'm Not........ (none)
            Saying the Red Cross Doesn't Function, but Observe Just How!!

            Like I said Look from the Top on Down, Not at the Dedicated 'Free' Volunteers!!

            I give a few bucks to them, but the 90% or whatever only a Fool would believe that figure!

            Plus Many Years of Experiance with 'Dedicated' NGO's and 'Over Exective Staffed' Organizations, guess who's Contributions Actually Get To Those In Need, FAST!!!!!!

            •  could the grassroots have provided (none)
              9.8 million hot meals and more than 7.5 million snacks to Katrina survivors the last two weeks 1/2 weeks?

              Did the grassroots send 129,000 workers, and train an additional 74,000 people in this short a time frame?  

              For a disaster of this magnitude, only a top-down organization will reach the masses in the immediate aftermath.  This is exactly why FEMA is supposed to assume the lead over local and state governments in a catastrophic disaster.  Am I saying the Red Cross is perfect?  Of course not.  Are there things they're doing poorly?  I imagine there are plenty.  As Barbara's diary makes clear, the elderly and handicapped are not getting nearly enough assistance.

              Can the grassroots fill the gaps that a "mass care" focused giant can't?  Of course...there are countless ways that smaller groups can play a role, and be more effective.

              There's absolutely nothing wrong with raising questions about any group's performace, particulary one that brings in as much money as the Red Cross.  Thing is that I've seen a bajillion questions raised, but very few fact-based assertions.  Do the people at the top of Red Cross make too much money?  I don't know...show me your facts.  Are their audited financial documents fraudulent?  Tell me the basis of your claim, and I'm more than willing to consider it.  

              No offense, but as a member of a fact based community I need more than you just saying I'm a "fool" if I believe the numbers on their financial statements.

              •  All you are posting... (none)
                May or May not be the True Case!!

                I'm not there but doing what I can from here.

                But 'All' the Reports we are getting are saying that in Far Too Many Places FEMA Hasn't or Did Arrive and gave Empty Promises, Same with the Red Cross and I Might Add the National Guard! Most of these area's are Poor, not only Black but White and Hispanic!

                Apparently the Red Cross people who did show up in Covington did so without Communications Equipment nor Generators thus having to use what 4 Vets in an Old Bus Had, Communications Via Satellite Internet and Generator for their Power Source as well, than using Computers, Generators etc. that were Donated to the 4 Vets in an Old Bus!

                I 'Hope' you Do Very Well with your Heartfelt efforts, for it is the Volunteers that Make an Organization like the Red Cross Function despite the Leadership which went Political awhile back!! The Volunteers, as you might already know, Are A-Political!!

                Your Help Will Be Greatly Appreciated!!
                Take Care!!

                •  Communications Equipment...a sore subject (none)
                  In my old chapter, one of the duties before going out on a fire call was to go through the box of ancient walkie-talkies and try to find at least 2 that worked. They were as big and heavy as bricks, but bricks get better reception.

                  As for generators, we'd have contracts with, say, Acme Equipment to supply a generator when needed for the town of Boro. Problem was, Acme had also promised the one generator to Northboro, Southboro, Eastboro, and Westboro, which generally had the same disaster conditions as Boro.

                  RC has very little of its own equipment; storage would be a problem, and the public doesn't like its money spent on useless stuff like that, as was made plain with the ill-advised Liberty Fund. I wish some communications company would donate spiffy systems to all the chapters, because that's the only way we'll get any.

                  Red Cross maintains an open-door policy; anyone is welcome to look at its books. I'd suggest waiting until the skeleton staff they maintain isn't working 24-7 so as not to further impede aid.

                  •  Not exactly (none)
                    "RC has very little of its own equipment; storage would be a problem, and the public doesn't like its money spent on useless stuff like that, as was made plain with the ill-advised Liberty Fund."

                    Donors objected to the Liberty Fund because they weren't told that is where their money was going -- all the ads were to donate to help the victims of 9/11, not 'future disasters.'

              •  I want the Red Cross to set up 200 phone lines (none)
                in Louisiana and start to take phone calls from people who CAN'T EVACUATE to Ft. Lauderdale or Houston.

                Not doing so seems wrong to me, in the same way that having no means of communication for X number of days after Katrina hit is wrong.

                Surely people in charge of communications within the Red Cross and FEMA could see this very problem coming.  If not, then fire the lot of them.

              •  no the grassroots could not have supplied that (none)
                That is why we have the President, we have the Cabinet, we have the Department of Homeland Security, we have FEMA,(and by extension we have the Red Cross which was incorporated by our federal government).

                They work for us. When we need help they are paid to help us. We, the people. Its in their employment contract.

                It is time to fire these incompentents. What the hell is our Congress waiting for? If they don't fire them then we can replace our Congress at their next performance review with people who will. Personally, I can't wait.

                What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.-Ralph Waldo Emerson I hate quotations. Tell me what you know. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                by coconutjones on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:09:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  btw (none)
                  Could Rove please make a flow chart to streamline this shit? I thought he was supposed to be smart.

                  What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.-Ralph Waldo Emerson I hate quotations. Tell me what you know. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                  by coconutjones on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 06:14:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  and by the way (none)
              the efforts by your group are outstanding.  Didn't mean to sound dismissive in any way at all...

              When I finish my first assignment with the RC (just found out I'm headed to Montgomery, AL), if I do find the efforts wasteful I'll look for another way to volunteer.

            •  I'm pleased to see your group is active (none)
              in the catastrophe.  Could you post a URL where we could see how much of our donations get to the people that need them?  so we could compare that to the red cross and other organizations?  Like many others, I'm just looking for the most direct way for my funds to get to people in need.
      •  willowby, my thanks for you standing up to (none)
        this barrage of criticism.  I noticed your point that we could help the Red Cross by volunteering locally, thus allowing others to go the New Orleans.  Unfortunately I can't do that.  (Instead I have stretched on giving financially.)  But I'm so sorry that others on this site totally blew that off.  And I've not seen yet any direct action responses to Barbara's need for the couple wanting to move to Houston.
        I don't think the Red Cross is perfect.  But I know personally how committed they are, and that they are delviering real results on the ground.
        thanks for your personal efforts.
  •   Sherwood helps in flood relief (none)
    Here's a decent article which describes the damage and part of the freakin bureaucracy....

    http://www.newage-examiner.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15166961&BRD=2310&PAG=461&dept_id=48 0505&rfi=6

  •  Doesn't anyone get it? (none)
    There is a war going on in the gulf states. It's occupied territory. Read the article We posted last week at this link.
     http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/9/8/6505/26501

    Anyone who is there and not in the media spotlight is not going to see any help from any agency. It's all about finding reasons not to do anything and when something does get done it will be the absolute minimun which the media can then "USE" to proclaim that the job is getting done.

    "We drew the line in the sand, and like the fools they are, they stepped into the abyss." HMSJO

    by hmsjo on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 11:11:57 AM PDT

  •  Better Get Prepared for RITA (none)
    She might be heading your way....

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 11:24:08 AM PDT

  •  The Face Of Those..... (4.00)
    In the Devestated Area that are Seeking the 'Compassion' and 'Help' from the Rest Of Us!!

    ==

    The Residents of New Orleans will Judge their Mayor, the Residents
    of Loiusiana will Judge their Governor. But the 'Executive Branch'
    of the Federal Government Is Judged By The 'People Of This Nation',
    they are Our Employees and thus Are Too Be Held
    Accountible!!
    As will the Rest of the Devestated Gulf Coast Area's!!

    ===


    In Top Red Bar It's 'Hurricane Relief Effort'

    ====

    VFP Hurricane Katrina Relief-Covington LA
    http://www.vfproadtrips.org/home.htm
    Plenty International
    http://plenty.org/
    Michael Moore
    http://michaelmoore.com/
    Message Board
    http://www.vfproadtrips.org/katrina/
    Veterans For Peace - Homesite
    http://www.veteransforpeace.org

  •  Send the Media (none)
    Send them in NOW.  Media listen:  if you go there so will aid...look at N.O.  GO NOW!
  •  Jesus, this hits close to home ... (none)
    as one of my grandmothers was from there!  A different turn in her life, and I might have been from there, too ... and who knows?  Maybe today I'd be the subject of a Kos story, not the reader/author of one.  

    This is truly disgusting, tragic, bewildering ... my heart goes out to the folks in Bogalusa, and to the writer of this blog entry, of course, as well.

    The Bush-Cheney era is OVER, ladies and germs.

  •  Fox just mentioned Bogalusa (none)
    like it was not that big a deal. Showed photos of trees on top of houses and said electrical lines down all around for miles, but the community is pulling together and all is going pretty well. Or words to that effect. What can one expect, I suppose...

    Let's get some Democracy for America

    by murphy on Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 04:44:38 PM PDT

  •  So, Why can't we Kossacks (none)
    form our own group and meet up and go do something.  I have the time.  I am sure that we could not only help with cleanup, but I am a photojournalist (with press credentials so just try throwing me out) and I can take photos, etc.  Is there a tech person out there who wants to go?  How about a nurse, doctor, or EMT.  A psychologist?

    Why can't we go together -- meet up with Barb and give her a hand.  I think if we pool resources, a lot could get done.  I'm ready.  Let's go.  Kos, let's get something of our own together and give those in need help, and those who stand in our way -- hell.

    Any ideas?  If we leave this to the "powers that be" than nothing will get done.

    Shirl

  •  What if we tell the red cross we kossacks are not (none)
    buying into their squibbs - perhaps if we and the move on folks, code pink folks, green folks say "put up or shut up"  would it help?  What alternate agencies could we support?

    I have to confess I haven't given anything to the red cross as yet.  Mainly I didn't because they backed off when FEMA told them to stay out of LA.  I gave some to the humane society.  Since Lizzy had her hands on the red cross, I doubt it is the same.

    •  Hopefully you found more info on giving (none)
      elsewhere in this thread.

      Here's one. I cannot remember who to make the check out to -- so I'll say "Disaster Relief Fund".
      DeRidder VFW
      3115 Hiway 27
      DeRidder, LA 70634

      My friend is from there, getting aid to her friends who're on the ground locally. They're over by TX. My friend is from there, and says:
      "5,000 people from the NO area have come to Vernon and Beauregard Parishes [Counties]. The citizens of these parishes are supporting these 5,000 people.

      Here's another one, in New Iberia, LA. Their "Federal Bank" has established a Katrina Disaster Relief Fund to collect money for evacuees. The account numer is 5552221 and the routing number is 265270222. URL for more info about this, from the New Iberia paper is: http://tinyurl.com/b6mpq

      One lady from that town housed 24 people in her house in the first days after people fled NOLA.

      Here's a map of it: http://tinyurl.com/byp3z You can zoom in or out.

      Here's what my friend Dale said: "Because of my personal experience in a devastating hurricane when I lived in Louisiana, I'm not comfortable giving money to large relief organizations. My experience was that the relief was disorganized and unavailable to the people who needed it immediately."

      I have another friend, Pat, with friends and family in the area. She says the same thing about the big relief agencies. Both of them say, IF you can get money to a person you know and trust, on the ground, do it. Trust them to do right with it.

      Email me directly for more info, if need be.

      In troubling times, it's good to read true stories about real people doing good things. HeroicStories, free

      by AllisonInSeattle on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 12:05:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  oh great! so how have you helped this catastrophe (none)
      the red cross is not the only agency that has a track record.  there's the salvation army, there are others!!  I don't think Koz and you putting togehter a program now is going to do sh....!!  maybe building for the next natural disaster, koz putting together a program, investing, infrastructure, does he want to do it.  

      Ugh, your comment is so frustrating to me!!  criticizing those giving their time and their money to try to help, while you do,,,,,???

  •  Okay, I Sent the link to a reporter (none)
    A cousin of mine who works for the KC Star.
  •  Bogalusa (4.00)
    I am a resident of New Orleans.  I was living near the Notre Dame Seminary in the 70118 zip code.

    I evacuated Sunday morning before the hurricane and joined my parents in Rio which is 7 miles south of Bogalusa.  They live in a brick house with basement on a hill.  However they live at the end of a single road about a 1/2 mile from the main road.  The area is heavily wooded.  

    The storm was bad.  I would say 85-90 percent of the trees surrounding my parents area were knocked down. Every one to two minutes, you would hear a crack and a tree would go down.  The only trees that wheathered the storm well were oaks.  (I filmed a lot of storm with a movie camera.)  My parents lost two sheds and one car but the house was fine. Power and communications were also lost.  They had a generator which was vital for water and some power. They did not have nearly enough gas for the generator.  There generator uses about 5 gallons of gas for 15 hours of operation.  My elderly father only had about 7 gallons on hand.

    It took 4 days to clear the road from our side.  Other people worked on the far end for two days and we had a bulldozer on the last day.  So on day 4, we could drive out to the main road. It was like hacking through a jungle.  And to make it more pleasant, the heat and humidity was a killer.  We worked from 7:30 to 11:30 and an hour in the evening simply because of the killer heat.  Sleeping was next to impossible due to the heat.  The heat was the worst aspect of the storm in my opinion.

    We ran very short of gas and lost all food in freezers.  Gas was originally available with very long car lines.  However the Washington Parish president halted sale of gas for two days which really upset a lot of people.  Without gas, there is no water from water pumps, no electric cooking and food spoils.  People weren't happy with Toye Taylor, Washington Parish president.

    I drove out of the area on Friday(?) to buy gas because of the halt in gas sales.  I had no difficulty in driving out of the Parish because main roads were cleared very early. I couldn't understand why gas wasn't in the stricken areas considering the cleared state of the roads. I also couldn't understand why gas sales were halted.

    By the middle of the second week, 7 Sept, stores were opening, gas was readily available with  lines and you could withdraw money from banks.  Hospitals had power as well.  Many relief organizations were in the area passing out MRE's, water, ice, etc. We had local phone communications on 7 September.  We could call long distance on 8 September.  From my perspective, Bogalusa turned around on 7 September.

    I left for Nashville on Friday, 9 September.  I took my pets out and some goods. I contacted work and friends when I reached Nashville.

    I returned to volunteer in New Orleans on 14 September.  I went back to do animal rescue. I couldn't locate the group I intended to assist in the NE part of New Orleans.  I did see a Pasado animal rescue group working near
    Earheart and Carrollton.  I attempted to join them but the leader was only interested in directions since I knew the local area.  So after giving directions, I left them and looked at my house and neigborhood.  I was a bit disappointed because I had 4 days available to help in animal rescue and the one group I found, didn't want my help.  

    My area had around 4 feet of flooding,  However my house was off the ground and only about an inch or two of water entered the house.  It smelled to high heaven.  The neighborhood was completely and eerily empty.  

    I had driven out earlier east on I-10 pass the 610/I-10 split to try to locate the first animal rescue group.  So I had a chance to see the overall condition of the city.  It looks like a war zone.  Scattered cars and boats everywhere.  Many dead animals left out.  Again the whole city smells. Lots of national guard troops and police everywhere. Checkpoints were very common off the interstate.  They only asked for my driver's license.  I had a cooler load of cold cokes and Barqs which I passed out to everyone.  I talked with a number of New Jersey state troopers and some New Orleans DEA agents in my neigborhood.  I was very impressed by their friendliness and helpfulness.

    IMO, I think Bogalusa is stable now.  Although those people in remote areas, such as my parents, still lack power.  Most people have power now.  

    I doubt if New Orleans is ready for people to return. It looked a lot worse than I expected.

    It was a hell of an experience.  

  •  FWIW (none)
    A woman in my department (& her husband) are from around Pascagoula, MS and her family is volunteering in and around Louisiana. She's organizing shipments (along with many other people) from up here in Amherst to get supplies DIRECTLY down there. I'm collecting at my job and passing on whatever I can get. I've forwarded your story to her so her people are aware of the situation where you are and will hopefully try to help if they can.

    I also forwarded this story to a close friend who works at Forbes, and it will probably go to the Drudge Report. I haven't seen those two outlets mentioned yet, so maybe it will help...

  •  Leading from the front (none)
    You're the best!
    Cavalry on horses is what brought the taliban to its knees first time through.
    Our tribal leaders are mounting the cavalry.
    Let's go.

    Pay attention. Help each other. Now! Unplug the TV ! Invest in America not in foreign wars.

    by haridas on Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 07:51:00 AM PDT

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