gulf watch

Katrina: Facing South flashback

By R. Neal
August 29, 2006 - One year ago today, Chris Kromm had asked me to guest blog for a week at Facing South while he was away on vacation. August 29th was my first day. I had several topics lined up to discuss, but the news of Katrina quickly took over. Here is a flashback to Facing South's day-by-day chronicle of the events as they unfolded... Mon. Aug. 29: Katrina and New Orleans Those of us who have lived in Southern coastal states are all too familiar with hurricanes, but we haven’t seen anything like Katrina in over a decade. The last Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the U.S.

Fables of the Reconstruction

October 7, 2005 - The issue of Gulf reconstruction is staying red-hot -- as it should be, given what's at stake for the people in the region and for the national political and economic landscape. Some recent developments: 1. The good news is FEMA's announcement yesterday that, after blistering criticism of crony contracting that saw 80% of jobs go in no-bid contracts and 90% go to companies outside the region, it will re-open bids for $1.5 billion worth of Katrina work deals. It's a good start, but not enough.

Reconstruction for the People

September 21, 2005 - Community Labor United -- an excellent group of grassroots activists in Louisiana and Mississippi and their allies -- have released a new dispatch about their work to ensure Gulf reconstruction serves ordinary people, not the developers, contractors and other powerful interests seeking to impose their agenda on the region.

Welcome to Cancer Alley

September 10, 2005 - One of the reasons the post-hurricane flooding in Louisiana is so dangerous is because of Cancer Alley -- the string of petrochemical operations that line the Mississippi River in largely poor and black communities from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. They've turned the lower gulf into one of the most polluted and blighted parts of the country, which many believe is to blame for the rash of deadly illnesses plauging residents in the area.