Friday, March 09, 2007

3/10/2007 Community Gumbo

audio Democracy Now (3/05/07)
Robert Fisk on Osama bin Laden at 50, Iraqi Death Squads and Why the Middle East is More Dangerous Now Than in Past 30 Years

audio Unified New Orleans Plan Public Hearing (3/07/07)
audio Harvey Stern
audio H.V. Nagendra
audio Janet Howard
audio Jean Nathan
audio Nathan Shroyer
audio Paul Ikemire
Citizens were given another opportunity to express their views on the citywide rebuilding plan this past Wednesday. Many expressed their support for what they viewed as an inclusive, democratic process, and encouraged members of the City Planning Commission to incorporate a process of ongoing citizen participation in the implementation phase of the rebuilding process. Other citizens, however, were critical of the plan’s failure to produce a detailed roadmap with legal and financial mechanisms to guide appropriately prioritized projects.

Janet Howard, from the Bureau of Governmental Research, is calling for the entire citywide document to be revamped. The BGR this week published a review of the plan titled “Not Ready for Prime Time,” which praised its good intentions, but called for a complete bottom up revision, criticizing the nearly 600-page Unified New Orleans Plan for failing “to deliver a cohesive, workable road map for recovery. Instead, it proposes a sweeping list of 91 projects without placing them in a realistic financial context. As for recovery strategy, it offers a continuation of the indecisive and confusing approach that has characterized New Orleans' recovery for a year and a half."

The public hearing this week was the second of two on the Unified New Orleans Plan. Many citizens expressed confusion about the review process itself. There is no reliable schedule for citizens to know when the UNOP plan might be approved or revised, and the rules for the process seem to change all the time.

The City Planning Commission and UNOP planners respond that the citywide plan is still a work in progress subject to review and revision.

Today on Community Gumbo, selected remarks by citizens at this week’s public hearing on the citywide plan.

Moderating the hearing was City Planning Commission Chair, Timothy Jackson. Answering questions was UNOP consultant Troy Henry.


Music Played
Allen Touissant, "Me and Tipitina," Our New Orleans, Nonesuch 2005.

Irma Thomas, "Back Water Blues," Our New Orleans, Nonesuch 2005.

Panorama Jazz Band, Live Recording from the Jazz Funeral for Helen Hill, 2/24/07.


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