La. Parish Longs To Get Its Levee

I first mentioned the The TFA Forum (Time For Action) here, three days before the Forum happened. Martin Folse, the owner of HTV 10 KFOL/KJUN, our local Tri-Parish station, became the voice of our people, and pushed to get the forum together. Invitations were extended to local, state and federal officials. Mr. Folse also invited members of the National Media to come and help with a national link to allow the nation to see it and get the message out. Yesterday, I found a story, that finally got out into the MSM, in WaPo. You can read the full story here.

As everyone can imagine, The President, avoided coming to one of the parishes that he chose to ignore for three days after Rita passed. There were no photo ops it seems with angry people. Also absent, was the beloved FEMA. Red Cross sent someone to the forum, and he was available for questions and answers. Also on hand, was our very own Governer, Kathleen Blanco, who rescheduled her meetings, to go out of her way, to come and meet and talk to her people.

Here’s some quips from the WaPo story:

Louisiana’s boot has a hole. This footwear-shaped state’s southeastern coast is ringed by hurricane levees, except here in Terrebonne Parish, where Houma, the largest city in the region outside metropolitan New Orleans, is an important center of Cajun culture

NOTE: After Rita, most of the southern half of Terrebonne(The Good Earth) was underwater, and waited for three days after the storm for Bush to declare the parish a federal disaster area. This is after the Parish Pres. and the Gov. of LA. submitted the paperwork, as in Katrina, before the storm.

During the scramble for post-hurricane money, no place in Louisiana is making a more impassioned plea for help than Terrebonne, which is trying to get its own levee constructed. While others in Louisiana are relying on big-name politicians — and are now smarting at the caustic reaction in Washington to the $250 billion aid package proposed by the state’s congressional delegation — Terrebonne is pulsing with a popular uprising, complete with a showman’s flourishes

Can this be the potential uprising I spoke of?

There was the rally that drew 3,800 angry, chanting demonstrators from flooded bayou towns to the convention center in this town, a one-hour drive southwest of New Orleans. There were the quickie lyrics and the even quicker recording of an anthem: “There’s a movement on the bayou tonight/Down in Point aux Chenes and Island Road to the right/It’s time for action/On the bayou tonight.” Next comes the bus convoy to Capitol Hill and, perhaps, a jambalaya cookout and rally at the entrance to President Bush’s Crawford, Tex., ranch

OK, now I can imagine this. Conservative Compassion meets “Southern Comfort” outside his ranch, and the fools trying to make this go away! I don’t think it will work with my people, but I’m sure they would try.

If we don’t seize the opportunity now, we may never ever get the chance again,” Folse said. “It’s time for the feds to quit treating us like a bunch of uneducated stepchildren

Folse’s obsession — everyone’s obsession here, it seems — is the Morganza to the Gulf of Mexico project, a levee that would loop over 72 miles of lower Terrebonne Parish. The levee is supposed to avert a catastrophe that has yet to happen. Katrina swung east of Houma and Rita swung west of it. Rita still devastated the little Terrebonne Parish bayou towns south of Houma — places such as Chauvin, Bayou Dularge and Dulac — but the glancing blow spared Houma, where local emergency officials estimate a direct hit could kill thousands

This is the one point I don’t agree with WaPo on, Half of the second largest parish in the state being underwater, is not in my opinion, being spared. But the fact that they are kind enough to give recognition to us, is a good reason to applaud them. Hats off to WaPo.

At Folse’s rally, Cajun shrimp boat captains and housewives sat for hours on camping chairs in dusky humidity outside Houma’s civic center, listening to one another scream. They waved signs Folse had printed that read “TFA,” short for Time for Action, an activist group he invented on the fly while anchoring the newscast on KJUN the day after Rita. Folse turned into a crusader — and threw off any pretense of journalistic objectivity — when one of his producers showed him footage of a man wading through waist-high water. It was the same man Folse’s station had filmed doing the same thing during a tropical storm two years earlier

We’re to a point where it’s life and death,” Alford said. “But it seems to fall on deaf ears

Does this sound like it is just made up now?

The Domangues have lived in Chauvin, down the bayou from Houma, for generations. They were shrimpers and oilmen. Dane Domangue has been both, dumping his oil job when the market collapsed, later dumping his shrimp business when costly laws aimed at protecting turtles were enacted, then jumping back into oil

Oil, Gas, Tourism and Seafood are the biggest sources of income here, and are a life source. Terrebonne might not seem important to Bushco, but it might take on another tone, if people down here get mad enough to close the pipelines leading out of the state. That has been mentioned a lot lately. And if the Bush minded think that the oil companies won’t close their pipelines, then imagine if there is no one to work the platforms or receiving points. Bush might wanna rethink his feelings about Louisiana. With the Port of Orleans, and most of oil production here being shut down, after Katrina, the price of gas went up. Get the point George?

So stop plucking the feathers out the wings of the American Eagle, and let him fly once again.

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3 Responses to La. Parish Longs To Get Its Levee

  1. Marjorie G says:

    Donnie, we ask that you keep as involved as you can, since the media seems to be going on to the next big story. We want to know there is improvement and caring. Many in my own neighborhood of Brooklyn want to come down, and can’t seem to find the way this month, but still plan to, because the problems aren’t going away.

    My pet friendly friend went on two rescues with her husband and a rented van to NO because the pets have become a reason many can’t go home, and reasons many wouldn’t leave. Dogs are roaming, often dangerously, and many can be saved and brought back. She was with 17 cats last week.

    I’m hoping to post with my advisory all the different ways with and beyond money. If you have local initiatives, I’d like to share them.

    The stories have become guideposts about how much the administration is and isn’t doing about what’s needed, but I don’t know how much the media is invested beyond trying to make those political points.

    Take care and well wishes to all of you.

  2. Donnie

    Thanks for posting this! As our official spokesperson on the ground in LA, it’s always great to have your input.

    Oh and by the way… I’m a little partical to Levee’s (my name is pronounced the same) so I hope that Terrebonne gets theirs soon. 😉

  3. Not exactly what the Bush photo ops are showing in the MSM is it?