Sunday, September 03, 2006

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to watch Orleans rebuild.

Nation: Well praise the lord, now we are getting going to rebuilding New Orleans, Brad Pitt and wife will make sure of it!

"NEW ORLEANS — As residents work to rebuild their lives and homes a year after Hurricane Katrina, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will be frequent visitors to the city observing the progress. They were in New Orleans on Thursday, though only Pitt appeared at an afternoon news conference to announce the winner of the design competition he started in April to rebuild hurricane-ravaged neighborhoods using environmentally friendly designs and construction. "We're going to be spending a lot of time down here," Pitt said. Preproduction for his next movie is scheduled to begin in November, and Pitt said he would be in New Orleans for much of January and February for filming. Around that time, he also hoped to break ground on the first phase of the neighborhood redevelopment project slated for a section of the devastated Ninth Ward, he said. .....Pitt headed the jury of architects, city residents and others who decided on the top designs that use energy-saving materials such as metal roofing and recycled textiles. More than 100 individuals and architect firms submitted designs for the competition. Six finalists were announced in July, when Pitt got his first up-close look at the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina. Pitt said Thursday he's still appalled — embarrassed even — that people in many New Orleans neighborhoods cannot return because of the lack of basic services like hospitals and schools. "This is a social justice issue," he said. "In a catastrophe, you help the most vulnerable first, and we failed to do that."
When I read/hear the term social justice, I just tune out. Its like someone trying to fix you up with a date and they say she has a nice personality. Its a warning. But since Mr. Jolie is going to head up the recovery maybe he can jumpstart the stalled planning by the local and state government. Mississippi's recovery effort seems to be leaving Louisiana's behind. Why? MS vs LA reconstruction
DOUG BRINKLEY, AUTHOR, "THE GREAT DELUGE": Well, I noticed it when I was writing my book. I was looking at mayors, for starters. And you know, a year ago, all of the mayors of virtually every Mississippi coast town, whether it's Waveland or Bay St. Louis, Ocean Springs, Biloxi, Gulfport—they were all first responders themselves. You can see their leadership in the crisis when people were trapped in houses, they were out there helping them, and they did an extraordinary job. There was no FEMA, as you know, Joe. They were waiting for help. But as the governor just said, there wasn't a lot of complaining. People picked themselves up from the bootstraps. That's a big thing, that attitude that Governor Barbour mentioned, but also the casino industries helped a great deal, too. And then the New Orleans situation is just bizarre. I mean, you have these breached levees. You have a major metropolitan area that was—already had a murder rate 10 times the national average. You had schools that were barely functioning. We were—already had an infrastructure collapsing. So that water hitting 80 percent of the city of New Orleans, it's just been really hard to get a city back on track that wasn't really on track on the eve of Katrina.

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