Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Junior's Letter

This message was posted on Nola.com fourms last night by Ray Garofalo:

6412.2. From Junior by
CdrRiker, 8/29/05 23:12 ET

I relayed this message to the President and the CC list about 2 hours ago:

Henry “Junior” RodriguezPresidentSt. Bernard Parish, Louisiana(504) 278-4200

Dear President Bush:

My name is Henry “Junior” Rodriguez and I am President of St. Bernard Parish Louisiana.

My parish is completely flooded from the recent passage of hurricane Katrina. The eye of the hurricane passed directly over my parish and has caused mass destruction and complete flooding.

Of our community of 67,000 citizens, many are surrounded by water and have no place to go. We have NO food, NO water, NO sanitation, NO power, and NO communication.
We have no way to rescue or recover our citizens.

Absolutely no attempt has been made to communicate with me regarding the catastrophe that has occurred to the citizens that I represent.

I cannot believe that in a country as sophisticated as the United States of America that the leadership in the White House cannot somehow communicate NOW with me and the local government that I represent.

This disaster is a direct outgrowth of the neglect of the Federal Government to address the costal erosion problem of southern Louisiana.

I implore you to please contact me directly or have the appropriate federal agency respond IMMEDIATELY to this disaster. I am in danger of having many citizens die if they are not rescued now.

On behalf of the citizens of St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, I am begging for your help.
Sincerely,

Henry “Junior” RodriguezPresident, St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana

cc: CNN WWL WDSU WVUE WGNO Times Picayune

57 Comments:

Blogger tinamarie said...

Thank you, Mr. Rodriguez. The tone of this letter accurately reflects the frustration that I and many others have felt during the past 48 hours. The news media has virtually ignored the people of St. Bernard Parish. Even our local television stations, broadcasting via the internet, seem more concerned with covering Mississippi and Alabama than they do with the people of St. Bernard. Finding information is ridiculously difficult. Thank you to the person responsible for this blog. It is one of the few sources of information. The people of St. Bernard at least have each other to rely upon.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good work, father-in law,
hope you and mrs.evelyn are ok.
i would like to come home and help with anything i can do. we are in memphis at sisters house 901-475-0948 please contact me asap
ERROL

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank god for this letter hope it gets a response. I live on Jacob Drive in Chalmette. I have been watching news coverage for the last three days and have heard little on St. Bernard Parish and everything on New Orleans. My Husband and I and his family are in Pensacola, Florida. How are we suppose to to know if we have anything to come back to if the media completely ignores our Parish.

Joy

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you junior. i am from da parish and have lived there all my life. i evacuated sunday morning and got here in houston last night. all the news will say is about alabama and mississipppi. i know they were hit and thats real sad but we're bein ignored. hopefully now our voices will be heard. i hope they will send help and may god save us from this tragedy. good luck to all who remain in the parish.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also find it strange that all the videos are careful to show the rescues in the ninth ward facing the city and none show the view toward the parish.
Are they scared to show the state of the oil refinerys?
I know they have flown over the parish why dont they show some video.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, Lynn Dean has to be one p'd off man, I sent this letter to every email address i could find for national media...as well as letters begging for coverage of st.bernard...nasa...six flags...battlefield...hoping that would spark interest in us little people, it's sad they tell you to leave, you leave and while your away your almost better off being there with your family, at least you won't die from stress, worrying, and panic

8:59 PM  
Blogger Roy J said...

Very good letter! Well said Mr. Rodriguez. I grew up in St. Bernard and my family still live there (they did until Sunday anyway). I watched the news reports as the eye of the storm swept right over the parish. For all purposes St. Bernard IS ground zero in one of the greatest, if not THE greatest natural disaster in US history and I can hardly get information or images or even barely a word about what's happening there. The President himself could and should come down personally for a visit to survey the damage at ground zero. He'd find out soon enough there is no dry land on which to stand.
It may be a small town, but take a look at what sits at each end of Chalmette... Exxon Mobile and Murphy oil refineries.
I just heard the mayor of NO mention that southern Louisiana is responsible for 25% of the oil for the nation. And how much of that has been processed right there in St. Bernard? The people of that fair parish have contributed a great deal and the country should step up and take notice.
Where's the love now?

4:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is for Junior and his letter to President Bush- first i am sorry for the tragedy in your area-
but it is not the Taxpayers responsibility to rebuild your coastline- you choose to live in these dangerous places- you were warned to leave- many of you stayed- now you are complaining about President Bush-HOW DARE YOU!- He moved Quicker than any other President in US history- The people of this country have much compassion for your tragedy- There are many people risking their lives to save yours- I understand the frustration but it isn't the governments Fault- you choose to live in a dangerous area- maybe you as an area official should look at the man in the mirror- maybe your community could have planned better- A good example would be-Spend your OWN taxpayer money on fixing your OWN coastline instead of on your cajun festivals-
maybe your taxpayers that live in this so called paradise should pay for there OWN protection- not the rest of the country-Boy you can tell you are of French decent-
It is all about YOU!!!

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whut a Dumbass. This guy doesn't even realize that we are CREOLE, not Cajun. We're Islenos not Nova Scotian.

Don't let ignorant people like this even bother you. It is COMPLETELY true that WE are being COMPLETELY ignored.

And by the way, the letter worked, because the President is coming to ground zero. Let's see if he just stops by New Orleans, or if he actually visits WHERE THE HURRICANE HIT!!!!!!!

6:34 AM  
Blogger Bianca Sammons said...

How dare you say such things...maybe what your stupid ass doesn't realize is that most of us from St. Bernard are to poor to move elsewhere. And it is the damn governments fault, we have been begging for help with this for years. We even sacrifice our lives there so the oil refineries can produce oil and gas, our paper has people dying left and right everyday from cancer. How dare u be so vindictive and cruel you jerk. We have children and parents and grandparents missing, and we can't even get coverage to at least let our hearts know they are gone forever. On behalf of me and the rest of the area, GO SCREW YOURSELF...don't forget KARMA'S A Mf'er.

AND FOR YOUR INFO, OUR TOURISM AND "CAJUN FESTIVALS" is a big part of our governments funding. Our city doesn't pay for Mardi Gras, the people who ride in the organizations do.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Roy J said...

That's right, Mr. Anymous (or is it any-mouse), kick the good people when they're down. The working people of Chalmette and the rest of St. Bernard could never in their dreams raise the taxes to "fix their OWN coastline". And they don't wake up one day and "choose" to live in a dangerous area... they're born there, they love their land and they die there.
That coast and it's resources belong not to these people, but to the petroleum companies. And what responsibility have they shown as the resources are sucked out (to their great profit) and the coastline is carved up (for their great convenience), destroying the wetlands that once absorbed the storm surges...??
And the rest of the country greatly benefits from the efforts of these people who work at the refineries and chemical plants, who fly out to the rigs, who do the dirty jobs.
And I can't believe you would dare venture a comment on the culture or on people of French origins... not in devistated south Louisiana...
Hey, my man, just go crawl back under your rock... and wait for boy wonder to come for his photo op.

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Sharon Strahan said...

Two things:

First to the ignorant person too afraid to even post their name here - "you choose to live near the coast". What a stupid comment. People choose to live in California and they have earthquakes. They choose to live in New York or London and get bombed. They choose to live in Iceland in bitterly cold weather. And they choose to live in the deserts in terrible conditions too. Should the entire human race move some where safe and cosy just to make you feel better? Grow up.

Also "He moved Quicker than any other President in US history" - you are really quite stupid aren't you - to what are you referring? That he moved more quickly than whom, for what??? The point being that I'm sure any other person who would happen to be president at this time would act as quickly and there is no possibity to compare. It is a moot point. Go back to school and learn how to express yourself properly.

And shame on you for trivialising people's suffering. You reap what you sow. (look it up)

Second thing - Good job Jr. I too have been emailing various media stations as to why we've had no detailed information about the area. I've seen a couple of photos of Chalmette but nothing else. We're pretty sure my brother's house is gone (He lived in Violet). We're not sure about my father's house between Toca and Kenilworth. I have heard rumours (and I underline rumours) that it is a no fly zone because there are so many bodies.

Best wishes to everyone and hang on... this too shall pass

Sharon Strahan

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Bill Clinton said...

Well Now I guess we get to the bottom of it. You blame everyone else for your problems. And with some very bad language I might add. I have a right to my opinion since it is you that said "the federal government is to blame and should pay for all of this"-
including the poor planning of your leaders. -This is my Tax money too! I notice most of the responses talk about the petroleum companies and their responsibility. When do the good people of this area accept their responsibility. Did they profit from the petroleum companies? It sounds like many of you hide behind the phrase "poor people" please forgive me in saying this- but this is not an excuse.If you wish to survive this and get help from the rest of us-which you need- you had better humble yourselves a bit- and quit whinning!
By the way you might follow the example of the good people of Mississippi and Alabama. They aren't blaming anyone- they are staying positive-They believe and trust in God and their government.
And THE ELECTED OFFICIALS RUNNING IT!

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The people of St. Bernard are fine hard working people and don't deserve anything but praise. I know this firsthand. (In the 70s I lived on Marietta Street and attended Chalmette High.) I hope you're starting to get some assistance.

Best Regards,
Mark Newsome
Corvallis, Oregon

9:55 AM  
Blogger Marlene Steele said...

We are trying to find our son Jason Steele, if anyone knows if he is OK please leave us a message.
He lives on Bayou Road. My e-mail is Steeleh3@yahoo.com

1:04 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

You really are disgracing the name Bill Clinton, "Did they profit from the petroleum companies? "
Have you been to St. Bernard Parish? Worked with the people at these refineries? We aren't in poverty, we're middle class Americans. However, we aren't exactly profiting big bucks from Murphy and Mobil. You're a jackass at the heart of it, because you need to know a place before you judge it. We know exactly what we need to do to restore our community. We won't be begging for hand outs. Right now all I care about is receiving word from people who remained behind. The news media and Pres. Bush have refused to show what is really wrong. New orleans is a puddle compared to Chalmette. and they refuse to even show simple photos of Violet. Mr. Clinton go somewhere where you can feel important. Leave us to ourselves.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My best friends' family home is in Chalmette; thankfully her folks (and other family members) made it out safely; however, it definitely appears they have lost their home, including such cherished possessions as their family photos.

They are Louisiana natives; old families that go back numerous generations. They are good people who deserve help. They (along with all others) don't deserve the rantings of ignorant citizens like the anonymous lady or gentleman who chastised Mr. Rodriquez for requesting help.

How sad that any citizen would consider it the responsibility of a small community to rebuild themselves without taxpayers' help.

No matter where one might live in the U.S., there are dangers everywhere (lightening strikes, flooding, blizzards, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, wild fires, mud slides, avalanches, droughts, famine, etc.). No one asks for a hurricane or conjures it up, nor for any disaster for that matter. It's a fact of life; it's our citizently duty to pitch in and help the folks out as we may and pay our part to the government, which is sending in the supplies and rescuers.

One day I might need the same help; God forbid; and if it should be, may I have good "neighbors" whom I've never met and may never meet but who will reach out and give a helping hand so that I may get back on my feet.

Shame on those who sit smuggly by and judge individuals for living where they live. New Orleans is a very old city; the people living there today and in Chalmette are by no means the first residences to make this place home, nor shall they be the last.

A California and Colorado resident myself, Lousiana has a haunting charm all to itself and a rich, beatiful history.

Regards,

Tammy M.
Colorado

2:34 PM  
Blogger Miriam said...

Finally I have found something substantial about the conditions in St Bernard! Thank Junior for your hearfelt plea to our president for help.I made the statement myself about the media coverage that to them StBernard and Plaquemines doesn't even exist. I have been trying to get some information about my daddy's house on Farmsite Rd. Benny Treadaway's my dad. He is ok in Picayune, MS at my brother's house. Know this St Bernard there are alot of people in Broken Arrow and Tulsa OK that are praying for you! I may not live there but it is my home and my people. Love you all and am praying. St Bernard will rise again!! MTreadaway

3:40 PM  
Anonymous troxclair said...

What really distrubs me is that there or some individuals who think that money is everything. My family has been in Chalmette for generations. We don't stay there because of lack of funds or because it is a danger zone it is because we love or heritage and to anonymous were is a safe place to live without dealing with hurricanes tsunames, earthquakes, floodings, tornadoes, extreme coldness you can't so go back to the happy very thing is rainbows and sun shine because you have more issues than the people who know what reality is and or homeless. do not judge something you obviously no nothing about

4:05 PM  
Blogger Bianca Sammons said...

If you mr clinton want to learn a little bit about why we love St bernard so much...Look up the Word ISLENOS...or Canary Islands...

The tax payers shouldn't help us, but the tax payers should help the world, Tsunami victims, Aids around the world, poverty around the world, etc... Your tone and complete lack of Human dignity and respect is appalling..may God bless your evil soul..I pity you truly, and I hope you wake up to sound how simply idiotic you make yourself appear.

I'm only 26 years old and it seems I have more morals and decency than a grown man...that is a problem with the world today, it's simply unfair for you to attack us, and for the record the good people of Biloxi and Mississippi didn't have a category 4 storm hit them directly.. They are homeless and in as dire pain as we are I'm sure, but our families are still on rooftops with water to the roof, while the mobil and murphy oil refineries are surely polluting that very water. My 7 year old neice is one of the ones who was on a rooftop...I guess she asked for this and is at fault. And I assure you the St. Bernard residents don't profit from those refineries, unless it's money for employment.

To all the St. Bernardians, I pray our loved ones are found safe and sound, I pray we will be able to return and continue our ancestors legacies...All we can do is pray. God bless you all.

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right about the media, the people of ST.BERNARD are always last! in 65 they blew the levees to save NEW ORLEANS and here we are in 2005 and what ever happened to the levees it was to save NEW ORLEANS again!!! when are they going to save ST.BERNARD?????????
and who is Larry????????

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problems of St Bernard and low lying parishes was caused by oil companys and shiping industries cutting canals through our rich marshes. So don`t praise president Bush he is an oil man he is part of the problem. He found time to go to his brother's state.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Todd said...

My prayers are with you. All of you. Whether you live in St. Bernard, New Orleans, or Biloxi. The people who suffer from the hurricane all deserve prayer. I lived in Violet for many months in 2004. It is such a loving community. The people are openly welcome to anyone. I hope that the water recedes soon. I pray for all the people who do not have water, food, shelter, or loved ones. I hope that this doesn't stop all of you from being the loving community that I remember. Keep with you the good memories you all have. May god be with you all.

Praying for you,

Todd

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband's entire family live(d) in Chalmette and Arabi. They headed the warnings and left town.
Their lives will never be the same, but they are not sitting around waiting for the government to come in and help.
Why is one town more important than another? Why should you get priority over someone else? This disaster is huge, and help cannot get through in 5 minutes. Maybe you could get off your computers, quit complaining, and go do something. Go buy some water and food and deliver it somewhere clseby.
The letter from the president of St. Bernard was ridiculous when he said that no one had tried to contact him. How does he know? We spend 30-45 minutes at a time trying to get through on the phone lines into Louisiana.
Then the rescuers are faced with people shooting at them, and people being angry because it took them so long to arrive.
The people that chose not to evacuate made a terrible choice, and they not must be patient and wait for others to come in and help. When that help arrives, they should be grateful, not angry.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the good people of St Bernard parish. Please don't waste your time or energy responding to the ignorance of others. I know that it fustrates you to know that people think you are blaming others for where you reside, when in fact, I am very proud of where I am from (Poydras) as I know the rest of you are. We need to ban together to save what is left of our community and forget that stupidity seems to reign supreme in some peoples lives. God bless each and every one of our St Bernard residents. We are a proud community.

11:04 AM  
Blogger mandi_70032 said...

Junior,

I am a family member of the Moldhauner's. Ann and Darwin are my aunt and uncle and Jason is my cousin. We have been very worried about them. Please contact me at mandi@mrmsco.com or you can contact me via my cell (615) 485-3577. Night or Day please call. NO MATTER TIME.

Thank you
Mandi

God Bless you all.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It really seems that tragedy brings out both the best and worst in people. My family lived in Chalmette for a very long time. We have many good friends who still live there. Right now, we are very worried, because we have not heard from many of our friends and family members. We don't know if they are alive or dead. It is sickening to hear saying that the people of St Bernard Parish have noone to blame but themselves. This was a natural disaster. Admittedly some damage could have been prevented through government foresight. It is too late for that now. Now is the time for us as a nation to join together and help our brothers and sisters rebuild their lives. So many people are now homeless and jobless. In addition to this many have lost friends and family who will never even recieve a decent burial. Many people don't realize the numbers of people who could not evacuate, the sick, the elderly, those without cars, those without family elsewhere or even the funds to stay at a hotel. Some of these people will be lucky enough to survive long enough to be rescued, but many others will die. It is important to alert the government and the media to the problems faced by St. Bernard Parish. It is not only New Orleans and Mississippi that need help. The re are many outlying parishes that are underwater.
Right now it is a race against time to rescue survivors. We need to all join together and pray for a successful rescue effort, as well as contribute what we can afford to tbe recovery effort. As Americans we take for granted all that we have. Now is a time to be thankful for what we have been given, and to help those who are not so fortunate.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Stacy said...

Why are the news crew (including the Weather Channel and CNN) only focusing on New Orleans and Gulfport? Don't they realize that people do exist in other towns such as St. Bernard (which received a direct hit - and doesn't have people shooting at rescue crews as in New Orleans). If someone can help me get this message across to the media that they need to also address other areas, I would appreciate it. Evidently one voice is not heard.

Thanks and God bless everyone

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my deepest thoughts and prayers go out to all of you that have lost family and or a home. im not from st bernard but have lived there for around a year, stationed in belle chasse its not a far drive to work. plus its safer and the ppl are friendlier. now moving on to the pieces of shit in new orleans thing think its cool to shoot at rescue workers. you are worse than the terrorists in afghanistan. how dare you bite the hand that feeds you. if your sole purpose for staying behind was to loot through other ppls houses and businesses....hell would even be too good for you. all i can wish is that you cant some deadly disease from the shitty water you swam through to steal those new sneakers. you better hope when i have to start my humanitarian duty tuesday i dont see you. ONE SHOT ONE KILL.---pissed off marine

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Sylvia Nancy Campagna of Bayou Rd St Bernard, are you safe? Are you uninjured? Have tried to reach you in vain. How are the others? Very, very worried. If you see this message, please contact me at secure@logic.bm and tell me how I can help you and your family. Do you need a place to stay for five to ten years while St. Bernard rebuilds? How can I help you? Ask anything. Please, contact me. All my Love.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And to think, all of us as taxpayers paid for "Mr. Clinton" to attend school. What a waste of tax payers money, as it was no benefit to him obviously.

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Junior. I am so glad that you are ok. This is Dawn Martinez Ricouard and I am frantically concerned for my dad, John Martinez. He decided to stay at his house in Kenilworth and we have not heard anything from him. I have been working at Ochsner for the duration of this tragedy and feel completely helpless in finding dad. If you hear anything about his whereabouts please contact me by phone at 842-3650 or by e-mail at dricouard@ochsner.org. If he is alive I would like to get him here at Ochsner but know that is probably impossible. Any word from you would be greatly appreciated. Take care of yourself and thanks for expressing so well to the president the frustration that all of the residents in St Bernard are feeling.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh btw everyone the person posting as "Bill Clinton" is not the real Bill Clinton. It is an anonymous individual disgracing the name of a respectable man.

George Bush Sr. and former president Bill Clinton are heading both the national and international relief effort for all the victims of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, just as they did previously for the Tsunami victims. Now is not the time for partisan politics. All people must join together to help those who are suffering and in need.

7:06 PM  
Blogger down-da-road said...

15288. "Ain't There No More"
9/2/05 0:23 ET
Sittin' at home watching T.V., Wondering what's going to happen to me.
Looking at that big swirl in the sky, Wondering if we're going to die.
Never to drink at Kats again, Can't order tamales or pizza from Ben's.
Can't run to Rocky's to order Veal P., Water, Water as far as we could see.
Wondering what we're livin' for, Whatever it was, it ain't there no more.

The man said we had to leave town, We had to run for higher ground.
Evacuation, is what they said, Wondering where we'd lay our head.
Separation is what we knew, Wondering what our friends would do.
Goin' home, we're yearning for, But why do that, it ain't there no more.

Phoned and roamed to our fingers bled, But 504, the lines were dead.
Worrying and worrying, we had no choice, All we got was that recording voice.
It said our lines couldn't get through, It reminded us of what water could do.
Red beans, poorboys, their what we live for, We watch T.V., and it ain't there no more.

We hope and pray that what we see, Won't make us live the life of a refugee.
Possessions we lost, faded from our minds, Its the friends and places we left behind.
Those are the things that will not fade, Our memories and friendships we'll fight to save.
We will come back stronger than before, Don't tell me it ain't there no more.

By Mike, Mike, Brent, and Framin

5:00 AM  
Blogger down-da-road said...

I just got off the phone with Orleans Emergency Management Agency. They confirmed that they have spoken to Junior Rodriguez and the National Guard just reached the Exxon Mobile building!!!

We are going to get saved tonight. I gave them Junior's phone number and they got in touch with him. I have been calling governor blancos office and the national guard and the Orleans Emergency Managment Agency, giving them phone numbers to people stuck in the parish to try to open up communication.

We opened the lines of communication and it worked. THANKS SHAWN AND ALL THE PEOPLE THAT GAVE ME PHONE NUMBERS OF STRANDED PARISH PEOPLE.

dat's hawt,
Robert Gonzales
606-780-4087
robinmath@alltel.net

9:30 AM  
Blogger CadillacPat said...

I'm Patrick Parker. Graduated Chalmette 1969, now living in Houston.. We haven't seen one frame of film on St. Bernard or Chalmette in the entire coverage of this disaster. We get the same camera view of the Dome and the overpass full of people. In '65 during Betsy, Lyndell drive where I lived was one of only a few streets not covered by water.
Just wondering where everybody excaped to. Possibly the baseball stands and football stands at Chalmette. Maybe even the top rows in the Basketball Gym.
Did the Kaiser Smokestack remain standing?
I can only imagine that the residents of St. Bernard are rescuing each other.
Is the top of the levee visible?
Is the big bridge on Paris Road over the Industrial Canal intact?
Anyone with any info please contact CadillacPat@houston.rr.com

6:54 PM  
Blogger 3D said...

My name is Dolores and I am the mother of Wilfred Aisola's children. I am available for housing to any of the many relatives of my children including Wilfred Aisola who are missing. I can't even begin to name the hundreds of family members that are missing. Barry and Inez weathers, Geanette and Bea, all Aisola's basically alot of Violet people. Please contact me at deep_dreamer3@hotmail.com if you are found and I will gather whatever assistance I can to get you help.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with what bill clinton said
I just looked up your sex offender list you have many. also I don't want these people in my city, and since many of you over 50% in new orleans, are on some type of government payment, weather it be welfare ,food stamps, section eight housing etc.. I believe I pay enough to these dead beats, you won't get one cent from me. let new orleans burn to the ground!

5:46 AM  
Blogger irvan said...

I am very proud of our parish president and knew when I voted I was voting for the right MAN for the job...Can we get some picture's up of the St.Claude Heights area? Will we be able to retrieve items if any from our homes...I'm hearing rumours that the parish may be bulldozed? Is this even close to being true?
Irvan from Arabi..

2:50 PM  
Blogger irvan said...

US Representative Charlie Melancon has announced that 100 people at the Chalmette Slip had died due to a lack of essentials sent to the embarkation site in St. Bernard Parish.

Coupled with the loss of thirty physically handicapped, elderly people at a St. Bernard nursing facility, this is by far the most troubling week of news ever for this Chalmette native.

People in the lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish are dead right now, murdered by politicians driven by self-interest in terms of protecting the financially generous shipping industry and a lack of utter concern for the well-being of a parish that apparently does not vote the right way.



St. Bernard Parish received no aid whatsoever from the state in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In fact, when boats were sent to the area to assist in the rescue, they were kept within New Orleans to work operations there. I can understand the logic of reserving the lion's share of rescue resources for New Orleans, but to totally cut off St. Bernard and Plaquemines, the latter being assisted by Iberia Parish more so than the state, is unconscienable.

St. Bernard was totally leveled by the storm; there is virtually no land visible from the air. Unlike parts of New Orleans, such as the French Quarter, downtown, and uptown areas that were spared, not a single acre of St. Bernard was above water, not counting the levees.

The fishing communities of Hopedale, Shell Beach, and Ysclosky are no more as the waters of Lake Borgne have overtaken everything outside the levee protection system.

Why was food and water not distributed in a safe area like the Chalmette Slip? All of those assembled at the St. Bernard Port were people removed from rooftops waiting to be transfered. These were not looters but scared, dehydrated, and hungry people.

You hear the media reporting the "killing fields" of a few homeless people outside of the Convention Center downtown, yet what of the mortuary we have on the side of the Mississippi River in St. Bernard?

St. Bernard Parish has yet to receive urgent medicines for diabetics and anbtibiotics. Why is the state dragging its feet? Why should there even be a rescue if the state is going to starve its people like a bunch of Nazis running a death camp.

And what of the cause of this? Hurricane Katrina cannot be totally blamed. The wind damage in St. Bernard was relatively light. The killer was the storm surge that came up the expressway for hurricanes known as the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, a mostly obselete shipping channel that is used mostly by politically favored companies. Less than 2 ships per day use the canal and it costs the US Army Corps of Engineers over 10 million a year to maintain this deadly shipping pathway.

The MRGO has been the source of salt-water intrusion that has eradicated St. Bernard's once lush swampland and destroyed trapping in the parish, once an industry so valuable that rival trapper groups literally fought a war over it. Not long ago I was at Shell Beach in eastern St. Bernard and saw porpoises playing...a lovely sight, yet also terrifying in that the presence of marine mamals that close to land indicates the salinity of the water.

While shipping a handful of shipping executives have profited immensely off this tax-payer boondoggle and enviromental disaster, the parish of St. Bernard has suffered, hearing perpetual excuses such as the necessity of widening locks and the need for additional studies by Congress. When it comes time to do a study, I'll fax over to the committee the pages of obituaries from this hurricane.

St. Bernard would have had little water had the MRGO not been there as conduit for a killer storm surge that contributed to the breaking of the levee that was the primary source of the waters that wiped out a nursing home in seconds, taking with it 30 fragile lives. It is a sad irony that the same thing that allows certain shipping magnates to live in a nice mansion is the very source that I, and 72,000 plus people now have nowhere to live.

When the mass funerals are said, I hope the Port of New Orleans, the staunch advocate of the MRGO, sends flowers and that Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin send donuts for the mourners to make up for their failure to get food, water, and help to the forsaken parishes of St. Bernard and Plaquemines.

Thanks to greed and the politics of self-interest, I am sure many people I called friend during my life and who were constituents when I served as their councilman are now dead.

9:21 PM  
Blogger down-da-road said...

PREVIEW This is how your message will appear.

*****FINAL CALL*****

Chief Acosta with the national guard just called me. He is on the levee in St. Bernard RIGHT NOW 11:50 am Monday.

HE NEEDS NEW ADDRESSES. IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE IN NEED OF RESCUE IN ST BERNARD PARISH, I NEED THE STREET ADDRESS AND CITY RIGHT NOW!!!
E-MAIL mathrobin@alltel.net
606-780-4087
Robert Gonzales

9:02 AM  
Blogger DUKE said...

I HEAR YA!!!! WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IGNORES TAX PAYING, LAW ABIDING CITIZENS IT IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE!!! THANK GOD FOR GOOD PEOPLE (NOT OUR GOVERNMENT)

GIVE THEM HELL JUNIOR.

DUKE
ARABI,LA

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read this letter and my heart is broken all over again. I am greatful that I was able to be in the position to receive a phone call at a Texas call center from a person in Texas who's aunts had been rescued from St. Bernard Parish on Saturday September 3. They told of unbelievable things going on in their town and the fact that there was not help coming in, they felt as if nobody knew they were there. To know that this letter was sent five days earlier is very disturbing. The most horiffic stories of survival and the level headed leadership that Sheriff Jack Stevens provided have been permenantly imprinted on my heart. The way people of Chalmette banded together to help each other survive is nothing but inspiring.
Of the many calls I took on my post at the call centers this one touched me the most and I feel the need to let the people of Chalmette know that there were citizens out there doing all we could to get assistance to you. I was on the phone with Lisa for about an hour and we vented and cried and laughed together before the call came to an end. She After my call I started to document what was talked about on the phone because I wanted to ensure help could get to the area. My supervisor walked by and noticed I was shook up and when I started to tell her why she took me back to the command center to make a call to someone that could help.
This is what I had documented at 10:35 PM, Sept. 3:
"I just got off the phone with a lady whose family was in Chalmette, St. Benard LA. She had 8 people caught in huricane katrina. She has found and rescued 4 of them and is still searching for 4 more. She has been in contact with Sheriff Jack Stevens in Chalmette that has 6000 people stranded that are still alive but have no food or water or assistance. There has been no outside help to come in. He has blocked the road into their city to keep the people from new orleans from coming in to loot and will let the military or police in if they show up before everyone dies. The school they are in is flooded and they are on the second floor of the school. They had a couple of divers available and they organized a party and dove down to the kitchen to break in and bring back any canned foods they could find."
I provided as many details as I could and was told they would send a national guard helicoptor out to the schools in Chalmette and attempt to contact anyone that may be trapped in the school. I then began scouring the internet for info and finally found on Sunday that help had begun to arrive for Chalemette. I so wish there was more I could have done.
I offer my sympathy to all of you and pray for a healing for your souls and for your city.

Luann Chilson
l_chilson@hotmail.com

2:06 PM  
Blogger irvan said...

I wonder how Rocky's doing, I wonder if he stayed and guarded his register like he does when we go to eat there...I hope that oil didn't get in the resturant, although the whop salad has a protective coating that cant be penetrated so that'll be OK..
Good luck Mr. Rocky and hope to get that Baked Macaronni and fried veal cutlet with the brown gravy soon....

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Junior,

In searching the internet to find a rescued dog's owners, I have found that the woman is missing on your site. She is Ellen Lemoine of 3948 Norwood Drive in Chalmette.

This is so tragic! But maybe it will help for these people to get their dog back. Her name is Missy, she is a silver Schnauzer and she has been found by the Iberia Humane Society. She can be seen at
www.iberiahumane.com/rescued%20dogs.htm
I wish this family and all of the families affected by this tragidy peace and sympathy.
Could you please send this information to them.
Please let me know if I have been a help.
Thank you!
Phyllis sndchoice@aol.com

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a website with the Missing Persons listed in St. Bernard? Or is there a death website. I have many friends and family in St. Bernard that I cannot locate. Any help would be appreciated. Also, I have already been to the red cross site, the Katrina safelist site, etc. I lived in St. Bernard Parish all my life. I've just recently moved away a few years ago. If I were still in my house down the road, I would've probably stayed too! I would've never thought that the flooding could've really happened the way it did. A few of my friends in different families (who survived Katrina) who lived from Chalmette, Meraux, to lower St. Bernard told me some really similiar horrible horror stories. They said that Hurricane Katrina was fine, trees down, wind blowing rapidly, etc, then BOOM! The water came up like crazy, and the next thing they knew it was over thier roof. 4-ft at first, then 12ft-16ft high in minutes. It was the scariest thing for them to live through so I can only imagine how it was for the people who died in the flood. Does anyone know anything about the 22 people from lower St. Bernard who were found tied together? I am so sorry and have been and are still praying for everyone who lost their homes & loved ones. God Bless ~Ashley~

PS: If you have any websites you would like to share with me,
My email address is: heavenlyscentmaids@yahoo.com

7:47 PM  
Blogger Janine said...

Missing:
Al Grillot
411 East St. Avide
Chalmette
reported to red cross

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to know why people are still homeless
my sister has been to Chalmette on numerous occassions to get a FEMA TRAILER
YOU WOULD THINK AFTER ALMOST 5 MONTHS THE PEOPLE THAT WANT TO RETURN WOULD BE ABLE TO GET HOUSING
THE POLITICIANS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, STATE LEVEL AND FEDERAL LEVEL NEED TO GET OFF THEIR.....AND DO WHAT IS NEEDED FOR THE PEOPLE OF ST BERNARD PARISH
cut some of the red tape and let people get on with their lives
st bernard will die without the citizens of the parsih
we will not need politicians if they do not return
everyone is very discouraged
the only positive if see in st bernard is the church volunteers and people from out of state that are donating their time to help
WHERE ARE THE PARISH OFFICIALS UNDER A ROCK@@@
HIDING IN THEIR COMFORTABLE COMPOUNDS

8:59 AM  
Blogger J. Shaw said...

You know people always find it easy to lay blame on ohers for what should have been done, or what wasn't done, or what wasn't done in time, or who waited too long to do what....... Now's NOT the time to place blame or ridicule those for opting to live in a place in which you would not live!!! Now is the time to say WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP, HOW CAN I GIVE ASSISTANCE IN ANY WAY, just say Let me do something, I want to help, and then stand by what you say. And THAT's the rest of the story.

To the man or woman hiding behind Bill clinton's name, I will take some words from Sir WInston Churchill, " LEAD, FOLLOW OR GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY" so my people can have a new beginning!!
Joycelyn Shaw

10:14 AM  
Blogger roxanne melerine said...

I have family members that lived in St Bernard at the time Katrina hit
& months later they are still waiting on help
My son lived in Arabi Louisiana in a duplex next to my mother. He is not getting help from, FENMA or anyone else
MY sister is still living in a private camper in my driveway
My uncle is a retired st bernard parish police officer , he lost his home and his wife since Katrina and is still trying to get a fema trailer( which I think just recently he has been contacted
I think the local , state and federal government has failed all the citizens in our state affected by Katrina
Also the insurance industry has also failed our citizens
I do not see any politicians without housing
If someone can tell me where has all the donations and federal money gone that is supposed to be helping st bernard parish residents????
I can give you a number of examples of people that I know personally that are still displaced and struggling
I beleive that st bernard parsih officals are more concerned about their own interest than helping its citizens

roxanne melerine

10:11 AM  
Blogger roxanne melerine said...

I have family members that lived in St Bernard at the time Katrina hit
& months later they are still waiting on help
My son lived in Arabi Louisiana in a duplex next to my mother. He is not getting help from, FENMA or anyone else
MY sister is still living in a private camper in my driveway
My uncle is a retired st bernard parish police officer , he lost his home and his wife since Katrina and is still trying to get a fema trailer( which I think just recently he has been contacted
I think the local , state and federal government has failed all the citizens in our state affected by Katrina
Also the insurance industry has also failed our citizens
I do not see any politicians without housing
If someone can tell me where has all the donations and federal money gone that is supposed to be helping st bernard parish residents????
I can give you a number of examples of people that I know personally that are still displaced and struggling
I beleive that st bernard parsih officals are more concerned about their own interest than helping its citizens

roxanne melerine

10:12 AM  
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