winds blow us off course.
Are you as nervous as I am
about what Miss Rita is blowing up for us this weekend?
||We have not had a
chance to regroup into normalcy since New Orleans was changed forever by her
evil twin Katrina.
This time next week, Miss Rita will have come and gone and hopefully
Galveston and Houston will still be standing or at least recognizable.
I do not want to think what will be the Texas scene come
Friday. This storm would emulate a category 6 if there was that. Third
worst on the low pressure. Potentially could wipe out or seriously damage
6-10 refineries. Could be worse than the 1901
My God, what will happen?
OH, I KNOW- Bush will be blamed for the
hurricane. Just wait. He was blamed for the
What about Dallas? Are we ever going to be the same?
We now have a whole bunch of
new people living among us, and an alarming number of them are not nice people.
Last week when Our Mayor lost her cool and popped off to that
Dallas Managed News
reporter she was trying to find housing for the last of our New Orleans guests.
Unfortunately, the last couple of hundred guests have some serious skeletons in
the closets they left behind.
We are talking about people with criminal histories, several of whom are sex
offenders. Isn't that nice?
We have been the crime capital of the country for several years. Now,
we have hundreds more problematic people, that we know about. Have to
be at least that many more that we don't know about. Really bad time
for the council and DPD to be dickering with changing how the police respond
to burglar alarms.
Mayor's response to Katrina
evacuees was a textbook example of a politician's knee jerk reaction:
blame game, then try to re-spin the
situation into photo ops. All within a
matter of days.
Ending in a photo with Mayor Nagin -
the black overseer of New Orleans Plantation.
And how professional managers -
whether at the Coast Guard, Red Cross or Dallas Public Works, get things
Katrina was a lesson in civil
engineering - an ounce of prevention
is currently worth several tons of cure.
I have to tell you that there
are many folks from New Orleans who are going to make great Dallasites.
They hit the ground looking for a job. They have shown gratitude toward
the assistance they have received here and are ready to get on with their new
Unfortunately, there's a lot among our guests who are most ungrateful for our
hospitality. You can be sure they were on the dole in the Ninth Ward and
now expect to be wards of the city of Dallas. With all the work Mary Suhm
and Mary Miller were doing to get them two months of free housing, it was
particularly galling when that bunch of ingrates and ACORN blasted the Mayor and
City Manager and Dallas for not guaranteeing long-term leases for them.
Has anyone offered to pay your rent or mortgage for 6 months or more?
Dallas accused of blocking evacuee aid;
City cites cash-flow problem
in refusing to sign any more leases
September 20, 2005 b
Hurricane Katrina evacuees and
community activists lashed out Monday at Mayor Laura Miller, accusing her of
blocking millions of dollars in federal assistance by refusing to have the
city sign leases for displaced families.
The Mayor's Disaster Relief Fund ? a
private effort by Ms. Miller and local churches and corporations to aid
storm victims after a painfully slow federal response ? has helped clear out
downtown shelters by subsidizing apartments and utilities for hundreds of
But critics say "Project Exodus" has
done nothing for the thousands of people living in area hotels and
relatives' homes whose wallets are getting perilously thin.
... Houston, with a pledge of reimbursement from
the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has approved a $10 million
emergency appropriation and signed leases for about 25,000 displaced
persons, said Frank Michel, spokesman for Houston Mayor Bill White.
But Dallas officials say they've
advanced FEMA millions of dollars and don't want to put any more taxpayer
dollars at risk. The federal government needs to come up with a better
option, they said.
... Ms. Miller said. "It is a huge liability we
will not take on."
... "We've already advanced [FEMA] $2.5 million to
$3 million, and we haven't got a check yet," Ms. Suhm said. "I'm
looking for the most effective and efficient way to do this without causing
jeopardy to the citizens who live here and pay taxes."
Signing leases for all of the city's
evacuated families would cost the city up to $5 million a month, Ms. Miller
said after a Monday morning budget briefing. Even with the reimbursement,
she said, cash flow would be a problem.
... Ms. Miller said. "The city of Dallas'
taxpayers should not be signing apartment leases for all these people."
If FEMA thinks this program is the
way to go, Ms. Suhm said, officials should set up a housing office in Dallas
and pour federal money directly into it ? instead of funneling it through
the state and the city. She's mentioned this to federal officials, she said,
and they're considering it.
representatives don't think a cash-flow problem is a reason not to sign
leases. What part of "federal reimbursement" do top officials not
understand, they ask?
"By doing this, Mayor Miller has said
'no' to millions of dollars in federal funding that would help stabilize
Katrina survivors and get them on their feet," said ACORN chair Bobbie
McGee. "It makes no sense to refuse to partner with FEMA. It makes no sense
to refuse funding that would house people in desperate need."
... Ms. Suhm said she understands the concerns of
those living in hotels and relatives' homes, trying to
get by on their $2,000 debit cards from FEMA. She said that the Red
Cross is still supporting these people and that the mayor's fund would focus
on them as soon as city shelters are empty. That could be as early as this
... Houston has relocated close to 25,000
hurricane evacuees ? most of them from city shelters ? by signing leases and
letters of intent on apartments.
But its challenge is hardly
over. Houston still has about 54,000 people staying in hotel and motel
rooms, Mr. Michel said.
Houston isn't concerned about cash
flow, he said. FEMA still owes the city $3 million in
reimbursements from Tropical Storm Allison in 2001,
Sorry folks, Mayor Miller and
City Manager Suhm are right as rain on this one. What a novel idea of not
jeopardizing "the citizens who live here and pay taxes"! We don't
have "$5 million a month" to give free apartments for folks from New Orleans
when we are desperately short of police officers because we can't compete with
the salaries paid by Dallas County suburbs.
Two months free rent is plenty of time for people to get on their feet.
I sincerely wish Our Mayor were a little more careful in her outbursts around
reporters, but I've been known to speak before thinking myself. There's at
least one DMN
reporter who probably should expect a one-on-one with Laura Miller again in this
The Dallas Managed News
Editorial Board had some misstatements themselves
this week, rather colossal misstatements regarding the Trinity Project.
Katrina doesn't have to sink us in debt
04:36 AM CDT on Tuesday, September 20, 2005
President Bush's plans for rebuilding
the Gulf Coast have sent Republicans and Democrats into a tizzy ? for good
reason. An estimated $200 billion in Katrina costs on top of the $330
billion deficit is a bit like tossing a sandbag over a struggling swimmer's
But instead of screaming in panic
about an even bigger deficit, Congress can set priorities and finance this
recovery without adding debt.
... The best place to start is to reopen the
transportation bill Congress passed this summer. This page supported that
legislation, but that was before Hurricane Katrina.
GOP Sen. Jon Kyl proposes lopping 25
percent off the $286 billion, five-year measure. While it's not likely that
Congress will go that far, cutting or delaying 10 percent of the projects
seems reasonable. Several that are dear to Dallas'
heart, such as funds for signature bridges across the Trinity River, should
be included. This would be one more way Dallas can extend the right hand of
fellowship to its neighbors. ...
Finally, something I can agree
with the Editorial Board -- cut out those String Thing Bridges as a "way Dallas
can extend the right hand of fellowship". Unfortunately, the Editorial
Board and that Phoenix Flower Child must have run out of the funny cigarettes
they were smoking and came back to Belo reality. Here's what they said the
Katrina's Costs: Trinity River project is vital to
04:38 AM CDT on Wednesday, September 21, 2005
One of the points in
an editorial on this page yesterday has been widely misunderstood.
For that we accept responsibility and set about here to clarify our message.
Our editorial supported President
Bush's call for communities around the nation to identify nonessential
spending that could be cut or postponed to help cover the $200 billion cost
of Katrina recovery without raising taxes. We cited
projects in the transportation bill approved by Congress last summer as a
good place to start, and thought we would lead by example in suggesting that
funding be delayed for a year or two for the second and third Calatrava
bridges in our beloved Trinity River project.
It is now apparent to us that
this was a poor example to cite. They and the Trinity Project will be a huge
economic engine for the revitalization of downtown, which supplies the
oxygen for much of the rest of North Texas. They are critical to resolving
this area's transportation challenges and to enhancing our most important
waterway. There are other ways Congress can find the money to pay for the
catastrophe wrought by Katrina without deepening the federal debt or raising
We return to the other suggestions in
our editorial yesterday as alternatives for Congress to explore. We propose
reopening the energy bill to trim subsidies to oil and gas companies,
delaying the end of the estate tax and temporarily suspending laws that
require contractors to pay prevailing wage rates on rebuilding efforts.
Wasn't that fun?
If The Dallas Managed News
can make such an
outrageous about face, I guess the Mayor gets to spend 3 or 4 days fixing the
problem she caused for herself last week.
We all very likely to get seriously wet this weekend. We are just as
likely to get a lot of new friends come into town TEMPORARILY from Houston and
Galveston, thanks to Miss Rita. Unfortunately, there's not much left to
offer fellow Texans. That makes the ingratitude of a handful of Katrina
evacuees doubly hard to swallow.