Our friend Andy at KnoxViews has a post about the tragic and senseless murder of Helen Hill in New Orleans last week:
I've long been a supporter of the reconstruction effort, but I don't know that I'd put my life on the line to see that city rebuilt. What Ms. Hill and Dr. Gailiunas did was not an intellectual exercise. I've paid nothing (other than what I've donated and what I've written) in material terms. Not only did this couple lose the city that they loved and 90% of their earthly possessions in the flood, Helen Hill lost her life, Paul Gailiunas lost his wife, and their child lost her mother upon coming back. By any meaningful calculation, that is too high of a price to pay for any human being.
If Dr. Gailiunas returns to New Orleans after all of this, he's a far more evolved being than me.
He also links to a friend's tribute. Other friends have setup a website.
Local tourism officials worry about the effect on the tourism and convention industry and community activists fear that evacuees will be afraid to return to their homes or that those already there working to rebuild will give up hope and leave. Experts say this is another long-term effect of Katrina:
To some extent Hurricane Katrina is to blame for the recent spike in killings, said Dr. Howard Osofsky, chairman of psychiatry at the LSU Health Sciences Center.
"The normal support structures for many parts of the community are gone," Osofsky said. "The churches, the community centers, the families and people in neighborhoods that all have a governing affect on residents are gone in many cases."
In turn, the killings affect the recovery from the storm, he said.
"People are already dealing with the slowness of recovery, the destruction of their lives, the loss of so much," he said. "When you add such a huge measure of violence to all of that, people will wonder if it's worth it to try to come back."