Saturday, September 03, 2005

New Orleans 2005

Under normal circumstances, I would use this space to talk about the upcoming Long Beach Jazz Festival. These, however, are far from normal circumstances. As I write this our country is in a state of shock as one its great historical landmark cities, the birthplace of Jazz, is underwater - ravaged by one of the worst natural disasters in our history. Thousands have died. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced. Countless numbers still remain trapped in weakened structures with no electricity, running water, and with little or no food and water.

Nearly a full week since the first request to evacuate was made by the mayor of New Orleans, people are still waiting in squalid conditions at the Superdome or the Convention Center, for busses to bring them to another temporary holding area. As we watched on CNN, looting and lawlessness bred from neglect and frustration, spread throughout the "Crescent City."

As the politicians point fingers at each other and "spin" themselves silly trying to explain how this could happen in our country, the ravaged area will begin to rebuild. It will take an incredible effort, an enormous amount of money, and a very, very long time. Hopefully, the historical legacy that was so much a part of New Orleans' charm will not be lost forever.

A cautionary note - If you chose to donate to a relief fund, please try to verify that you are donating to a legitamate organization. You can find a list of charities and relief agencies as well as lots of other information about Katrina at the Middletown Thrall Library website:

Let us all hope and pray for a quick and smooth recovery effort.


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