Tuesday, October 31, 2006

U2/Green Day Video - Focus on New Orleans!!

So... a new video from the forces of U2 and Green Day - combining their skills in covering a song by The Skids, "The Saints Are Coming." Of course MS was left out of the scenery of Katrina's havoc, but I guess that had something to do with the NO SAINTS and not the heroic Saints of Heaven in the disguise of American soldiers. I don't know... it baffles me and irritates the crap out of me that MS continues to be the forgotten land even though Kat wiped communities off the frikin' MAP!!!


:: :: Aerial views of our MS coast :: :: ::

If you haven't been to the coast, check out the aerial panoramas that Ed Fink shot right after Katrina. Fink is a VR photographer who shoots full spherical (180 x 360) panoramas from a helicopter. These are a little dizzying to look at if you move your mouse too fast, but they offer a truly awesome perspective of what Katrina has done to our coastal communities. He included 18 areas in MS along with just a few from LA.


Another source for incredible aerials was created by Duke University. Their aerials are some of the best I've seen because they are flying fairly low to the ground.

Be sure to "visit" Waveland - the epicenter of Kat and their neighbor Bay St. Louis. This is a powerful record of what Kat did and part of the reason why the coast is still in limbo about "rebuilding."

How do you rectify total devastation?
How do you resurrect whole communities when you've lost most of your tax base?
How do you do this without selling off the land to Big Corps. that will build LUX Condos and Casinos so that visitors and the part-time residents in those LUX abodes have "something to entertain" themselves with which in return produces those coveted AND NEEDED TAXES???

People Tired of Hearing About Katrina

I've read and heard that people in general are tired of hearing about Katrina. I guess it's easy to get tired of certain issues when you have no personal ties to said issues and/or you are the kind of person who, in general, just doesn't give a flying rat's ass about anything that affects other people.

Either way, I'm going to keep on writin' about Kat until the cows come home because right now, if most of the people on the coast were cows, they would NOT have a home (a real home) to come home to!

Pearlington, for example, is a small isolated community that was basically in the epicenter of Katrina along with Waveland. Pearlington is on the Pearl River across from the LA border about 12.5 mi. east of Slidell and 15 mi. west of Waveland. It's in the middle of nowhere and not many people know that the town no longer exists as far as having any place to shop, to go to school, or to go to the library.

The biggest relief group there is Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. However, they had NO volunteers for the month of August.

Since Pearlington is a small community and not a municipality, it was not included in Barbour's exaltation of “Recover, rebuild, renew” thus, no plan was created for Pearlington from Barbour's Charrette.

Although I disagree with most of the ideology behind the Charette's resulting plans which extole the values of Smart Code and New Urbanism, I find it very disheartening that small communities were entirely forgotten and left to fend for themselves. Even though Pearlington does not need Smart Code and New Urbanism, there are people still in tents and trailers
who deserve to be recognized and helped by the state and by Bush!

:: :: :: Links :: :: ::

http://operationeden.blogspot.com/ -- this is an incredible site, read Clayton Cubitt's update about his Mom getting a Katrina cottage -Tuesday, August 29, 2006 - " One Year Holding On " and check out his beautiful photography - click - Katrina: A gallery of images.

Please help Pearlington however you can. It's not too late to help. -- http://www.pearlingtonrelief.blogspot.com/

PEARLINGTON || My visit - Aug. 30, 2006

Devastation still all too apparent. At least, when compared to Waveland, Pearlington hadtrees and things looked very green in general.

Houses destroyed.
People still in FEMA trailers and tents.

No place to shop. No place to bank. St. Joseph's Catholic Church - completely destroyed. Schools destroyed.

To see some pictures from my visit, go to: http://www.mississippijournal.net/Pearlington.html

:: :: :: Pearlington needs HELP :: :: ::


KARTRINA || Disbelief || Destruction || Heartbreak

My Post-Katrina Return to Ocean Springs, MS / 11-2005

Driving down the Live Oak arbored Washington Ave. before Katrina. Thankfully, the trees in this part of the old town were mostly intact and spared from being totally stripped

Katrina. Destruction beyond belief. If you haven't been to the coast after Katrina, then you surely cannot begin to comprehend.
Even if you have been there and actually walked among the ruins, it is still beyond belief. The eyes see, but the mind is dumfounded and numbed to a degree just as a protective reflex. You are even in awe of the power of Nature as you snap pictures to record what words alone cannot.

You walk around, you see a lost red teddy bear, a broken plate, an unbroken plate, a glass chandelier entangled in a piece of decorative iron work, a broken mirror reflecting a blue sky and barren Live Oak branches, a pedastal sink in what was once the location of a gracious front porch, a bit of green yarn and crimson French ribbon tangled in a small limb, and sand .. the sand is everywhere and it covers the Saint Augustine grass which is burnt and browned from the salt bath it underwent.
Then you see the among all of the misplaced pieces of countless lives, bright lime green hosta leaves, or tiny yellow flowers growing up through debris fields of strips of wood, or a sunflower in full bloom in front of a destroyed, broken home. These hints of life..s ability to renew itself, even within what appears to be a hopeless environment, causes you to smile.
You head back to the place you are staying and walk inside to the cool clean rooms of an extremely fortunate place named Oak Shade Bed and Breakfast which is about a block from Front Beach, where homes used to be. The neighbor..s home across the street filled with sewage during Katrina..s onslaught. The homes two doors down are lean precariously, either washed through or split into from surging water.
With Oak Shade, you have witnessed a miracle and relieved and happy, but alsofilled with overpowering feelings of grief for so many who have suffered so much and for the entire Gulf Coast of Mississippi which has lost so much of its historical treasures, charms, and character.

The coast has been scraped, raped, and violated to a certain point of no return. You cannot rebuild historical structures. You cannot rebuild the original character and charm. They now reside only in memory and photos. The losses are all-consuming. You break down and cry until you cannot breathe.

To see some photos go to - http://www.mississippijournal.net/blog-Nov2005.html

Waveland - My trip there - Aug. 28, 2006

Waveland - My trip there - Aug. 28, 2006

My visit to Waveland on Monday, Aug. 28, 2006 was at the same time, awe-inspiring and deeply saddening, joyous and heartbreaking. The awe was provided by Mother Nature. I've never seen anything like what I saw in Waveland. Pictures just can't do the damage justice. You have to be there. You have to walk along the beach, feel the breeze, look around as you stand and stare at what Katrina has done to Mississippi's Emerald Coast. You have to breathe the air, see the beautiful thick cumulus clouds against the clear rich blue of the sky, witness that there are hundreds of dragonflies clustered together in front of you and then realize that there are only a handfull of seabirds, if any, flying about. As for other signs of animal life, there just really isn't any.

The joy came in meeting some wonderful people. We took supplies to the city of Waveland's offices which are now in trailers. I had worked for a month before this trip to garner support and donations from friends and family for the city as well as for the animal shelter there. I also went through my many art books and filled a large box to donate to the Margaret Sherry Memorial Library in Biloxi. Betty Robinson was our contact at the city offices and it was a real joy to meet her and deliver some much needed items to them.

Joy also found me when we drove up Oak Blvd. and happened upon a wonderful lady sitting by the side of the road weeding some flowers in front of a FEMA trailer. I just had to stop. As it ended, we met her and her lovely mother who invited us in out of the heat and humidity and offered us some lemonaid. We discovered true hospitality, beauty, and graciousness alive and well amid all of Katrina's destruction and devastated landscape! It seems we have added to our list of friends that Katrina has brought us. Something good always manifests itself from something bad. Friends are one of life's greatest gifts.

Heading to the beach down Coleman Ave. – the one street I had read so much about online in those early Katrina days. Message boards were the way to keep up with what people out in the devastation were saying and who they were looking for. I posted my own "looking for" messages. Those were trying days indeed. I checked my email constantly. Those message boards also brought me a very dear friend.

One thing I noticed was that there were a number of places, home sites, which had fragments of their former being and on those fragments would be the spray-painted phrase, "Do Not Destroy." Roll over to see a closer view.

These are but a handfull of pictures. During our Katrina anniversary week on the coast, I shot appoximately 450 photos.
That still won't show you the reality of Katrina.

You just have to go there and see it and experience it.

I am on a new imac using Safari which is not totally compatible w/this site. To see the photos (with comments) I took that go with this article please go to: http://www.mississippijournal.net and http://www.myspace.com/gara_gara

:: :: :: Links to visit :: :: ::