We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Subject: Houston's response to the evacuees of Katrina
I thought you might like to know what yesterday was like for me: Andrea White(the mayor's wife and good friend) called me and asked if I'd like to join her to tour the Astrodome, Reliant Center and the George R. Brown.Of course I ran with the opportunity.(Now I know what it's like to be a political dignitary----all guarded doors just miraculously open!!!) What this city has done is absolutely amazing.The Astrodome has over 15,000 people there, Reliant Center about 5K, and the George R. Brown about 4K. There are many other shelters throughout the city and it is estimated that we have about 125K evacuees housed in Houston-Harris county.The volunteers that have shown uphave organized chaos into a semblance of order, whichis nothing but miraculous.There is all the food anyone could eat.Some still hoarding for fear they will loose their food, etc.Over 8K have already been re-located into housing.SBC set up free phones so that people couldtry to connect with families.CPS relocated 50 children with their parents.As of yesterday we still had 3 children in emergency foster care----don't know the count today---but I did see Rusty Joiner at the Astrodome yesterday.The clothing, shoes, etc., are being distributed. Showers are hot and the water plentiful.A laundry is donating their services to get the towels and personal items of evacuees done.All towels were donated, I haven't a clue where they came from.
The George R. Brown has a true library set upAn indoor playground has been set up for the small children, and an indoor basketball court etc. for the older kids and adults.Teachers are donating their time---so are volunteer readers for the children's story hours, etc.Walgreen’s brought in a "double sided" trailer" that when opened is a fully stocked pharmacy.Full medical facilities are set up, diabetes testing stations, psychiatric units, ob-gyn facilities, immunization stations, church chaplains are available---nurses, doctors and other medical personnel are donating their time and many of the restaurants are donating food.Hermann hospital has sent over an X-Ray unit, and the paramedics are present 24/7 in the event ambulances are needed.More than 100 evacueessimply took off when their buses arrived and no one knows where they've gone, so that has the residents a bit uneasy.Of course there are the "unstable" mixed with the "stable"----but I don't think this will show up for a while.The docs are holding their breaths for the various diseases to manifest themselves and of course "post traumatic stress " disorders will eventually present themselves in some of the evacuees. HISD has enrolled over 550 students, the universities are taking some students from Tulane, etc., and medical schools are trying to accommodate the Tulane medical students.The three law schools are also working with the Tulane law school.There are many students who are being accepted by the private schools.I am anticipating that APS and CPS will eventually feel the aftermath of Katrina.The HBA is organizing the attorneys and we should begin our volunteer work sometime this week.One problem is that Louisiana law is the Napoleonic Code and not Common law---so I hope we'll have some LA attorneys to give us some necessary information.Many have been given "office space" in some Houston firms while they wait to find out if they even have offices to go home to.TheFederal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is operating out of Houston instead of New Orleans, the NO court is closed and at the moment impassable.Many who have direct deposit wage checks or social security checks cannot get them since the lines to the banks are down, also making accessing private bank accounts a problem. Amegy Bank is setting up "debit" cards for the evacuees so that when they leave the shelters to more permanent housing they will not leave without some operating funds.Social Security is setting up some emergency responses here.
I could go on-----but this city is truly amazing in how quickly we have responded.Bill White has done an outstanding job as Mayor and Robert Echols has been remarkable as he carries on his job as the Judge of the
Be well.Yesterday was quite a day for me.I hope you are all well.I am convinced that people are more resilient than we could ever have imagined.We are, by and large, survivors.