Building Bridges in Mississippi

Took the journey to Amsterdam Noord today, to say hello to a visitor from Long Beach Mississippi. Yup, one half of the wonderful couple that I stayed with on the gulf coast, is here in Amsterdam for a few weeks.

As we sat down and started to run down all the updates about people, places, and anything under the sun, she mentioned that the famous bridge between Bay St. Louis and Pass Christian was just re-opened. (if you’ve never seen images of the bridge in ruins like fallen dominoes, it is pretty amazing)

I was pretty excited to hear the news. While so much of what I saw in Louisiana and Mississippi, seemed so hopeless, and so completely frozen in time when it comes to rebuilding… it is great to hear that such a vital bridge has been reopened.

not my photo, but a good one

As I drove from New Orleans to Long Beach, I of course, couldn’t take that bridge as it was still being rebuilt. I didn’t even get near enough to look at the construction work. But when I eventually make my return to the Gulf Coast, I have definitely made myself a promise to not only go see what rebuilding is taking place in Bay St. Louis, but also, I intend to drive along the bridge and hopefully feel some sense of excitement that rebuilding can and is taking place somewhere.

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bm203 Door to Door in New Orleans

In an effort to shed more light on the situation that people are living in New Orleans today, this program focuses on the survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. By going door to door in some of New Orleans hardest hit parishes, they found out what issues and problems are the most troubling for people. If you don’t take the time to read the survey (which I recommend) this podcast will hopefully give you an overview.

Audio, text, and charts all available at KFF.org
Excerpt from Free Speech Radio News

Issues Covered include:
-The survey process
-door to door versus phone
-reception by residents
-Healthcare access
-Employment
-Housing
-Finances
-The Future
-Statements by PRes and Vice Pres of KFF
-The return to normal?

 

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bm197 Pumps, Funds, and NOLA Bloggers

While I may have spent alot of time and energy going to New Orleans and getting into contact with organizations and volunteers to better understand the situation there, some of the best resources are right here on the internets. I’m speaking of the New Orleans bloggers, those keen observers and investigative reporters for the laundry list of concerns in their city. This program features two excellent bloggers from that community, The Gentilly Girl and Ray in New Orleans. Listen in as we discuss:

-Where is the money?
-What has been rebuilt/not rebuilt and why
-Jobs
-Housing
-Mismanagement of funds
-The Pumps scandal
-Israeli military personnel
-Police
-Abandoned homes and laws
-What needs to be done immediately

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bm194 Insurance Companies Versus Gulf Coast Residents

During the road trip through the gulf coast, I spent some time with a lovely couple who live in Long Beach, Mississippi. Hurricane Katrina not only destroyed their home, it also erased their entire neighborhood, devastating their community. However after the storm they faced another reckless force.. the insurance companies. This is their story.

We Discuss:
– The day after the storm
– First observations, steps
– What kind of help was available
– The effects on the community
– Finding a place to stay
– Hurricane coverage and the fine print
– Strategy of insurance companies
– FEMA and their trailers
– The case
– The future for the community
– rebuilding or not rebuilding

An article about the case

Coming Back

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