Gimmea U! Gimmea N! Gimmea O! Gimmea P!

I took about 15 hours and read through the UNOP online and tried to summarize it to save you all the trouble of having to read it. Actually, I didn’t quite make it through in the 15 hours I alloted myself. I mean, I know this stuff is important and felt obligated to read it but I have to confess it isn’t an exciting read (I suppose it would be if you are one of those people who’s life now revolves around meetings about the recovery since this is the fruit of your labor). I didn’t see anything profound or that made me feel more optimistic. It’s just a pretty dry, sober, prosaic look at how shit is and how it’s probably going to be between now and 2017. Quite an undertaking if nothing else.

I am concerned that the plan seems to have been compromised before it even began by political rhetoric. The phrase: “that every citizen, regardless of current residence, has the right to return to New Orleans” is almost ever present. First of all, I don’t understand the literal meaning of that statement and how it is significant. I mean, I can live where ever I want. There are no artificial restrictions or laws keeping me from living anywhere. That isn’t to say there aren’t real and natural restrictions and even social morays. I’d like to live in Monterey, California but I can’t afford it. I wouldn’t mind living in the south of France near Lyons but I don’t know French so it seems like an impractical choice. Hell, when you get right down to it, I’d just like to have a nicer house in a better part of town than what I’ve got but what I have was the right choice for me right now. I guess what I’m saying is that the aforementioned quote either has a meaning that completely escapes me, or (and this seems more likely) it is bullshit and means nothing at all. Maybe they’re just words haphazardly thrown together as a political slogan with no intended meaning. But if that’s the case, shouldn’t it be an acronym – like FEMA?

If anyone wants to help me understand what the quote means, that would be great. Otherwise, please feel free to comment to your hearts’ content about this important, though painfully dull document.

My summary notes are after the jump so keep reading.

Highlights from the UNOP according to Jack

(Section 1 – Recovery Assessment)

Parish Overview (before the storm):

Lots of hospitality workers.
Some oil and gas and health care workers.
Lots of people have been leaving the city over the last 40 years.
12.5% of the housing in the parish was vacant or abandoned.
Compared to the national average we had:
almost half the median household income.
two and a half times the families in poverty.
about two-thirds the homeownership rate

Then there’s a bunch of uninteresting stuff for a few pages until the chart for the planning districts.

More dull reading that describes what the storm did. It is interesting that they estimate 80% of people evacuated.

Then they talk about population and the need for small businesses. They do acknowledge that some “big box” stores aren’t coming back. I think that’s the first time I’ve seen someone recognize that in a public forum.

mostly though, it is mostly a description of the past year and the current state of things for page after page. They get props for getting pretty close. I think if you take emotion out of it, the description they give is an honest one.

They spend several pages talking about the structure and goal of the UNOP itself – I found this boring because I’ve heard it a bunch of times but if you’re unclear of the process, this is about the best explanation you’re going to get.

Then they talk about the LRA a little – good info.

And they end with a bunch of maps that may or may not have anything to do with anything.

(Section 2 – Citywide Framework)

Even the most generous forecasts don’t estimate the population of New Orleans to be back to its pre-katrina level by 2017. At the same time, population concentrations will be varied.

The final report for a plan for category 5 protection isn’t due until December ’07. But there should be some improvement in protecting the city’s core by 2010 – this is already planned and funded. Currently though, “a 9-inch rain in six hours could cause 3 to 4 feet of flooding in the lowest-lying parts…”(of the city). But we should be at 67% of pre-storm capacity by June of this year.

They come up with three scenarios of how the city might look by 2017. They preface this with the idea that all scenarios are based on this political rhetoric: “that every citizen, regardless of current residence, has the right to return to New Orleans”

The scenarios range from describing the last year to a pie-in-the-sky-philosopher-kings run utopia.

The community feedback on the scenarios is as follows (my quick summary):

We don’t want the city to flood again.
We don’t want anyone to tell us what to do in our neighborhoods – we’ll do what we want.
We want cheap housing.
We want nice schools and health care.
We want nice schools and 24/7 community centers.

Recovery Goals can be summarized as follows:

Do a bunch of shit to see if we can keep the city from flooding again.
Try and make people resettle in less damaged areas so we can focus our shit.
Try and get more shit, nicer shit, and keep our shit safe…(i.e. improve quality of life).
“…(1) basic equity among residents of the City, and (2) economic equilibrium and growth.” Otherwise known as communist bullshit.
Try and fix shit like roads without spending too much money doing it.
Try and rebuild all that community shit, like playgrounds and community centers where they won’t get flooded next time.
Try and protect old shit. (historical preservation)

Proposed Recovery planning areas:

Area: Shit’s messed up and will be again but no one lives there.
plan: circle the wagons and drink up.

Area: Shit’s kinda messed up and probably will be again and some people live there.
plan: pass out addaboys and try and figure out how to protect these peoples’ shit.

Area: Shit really didn’t get that messed up and most people live there.
plan: Act like nothing happened but make sure there are poor people around.

More maps.

(Section 3 – Summary of Recovery Projects)

Ya know what? At this point I was just tired of reading their long winded bullshit. Sure there’s some good information in there I suppose. My advice to anyone who wants to read this is to figure out what section you’re in and just skim though until you find the shit you’re interested in. Good luck, and feel free to summarize other areas of the document in the comments section – if nothing else, so I won’t have to read the whole thing. C’mon, I gave you two sections….gimme a hand.

5 Comments so far

  1. Craig (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 4:31 pm

    So, in other words, those of us who have shit wanna keep our shit and improve our shit without interference from those who don’t have shit and never had shit and want to give us shit. But sometimes their shit is someplace else and they want to move their shit back here but that’s gonna create more shit for all of us to deal with.

    …and folks who have been elected to be in charge of this shit won’t say shit for fear of stepping in someone else’s shit. If someone wants to move back to this shit, they better bring good shit or the rest of us don’t give a shit about their shit or the shit they give us. Unless it’s Serious Shit, and that can (and already has) caused some Serious Shit to happen in some parts of town.

    So shit — this is good shit Jack. Thanks for going through all this shit and telling us what the shit is going on. I was just afraid it was a bunch of shit, but it’s the usual shit. Some of us have shit to do and, well, we’ll try to work in some of the good shit if we can.

    I’m looking forward to all the Mardi Gras shit. Maybe we can get past some of the real shit if we focus on the fun shit. For a while at least.

  2. Jack Ware (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 4:42 pm

    Exactly. Sssshhhhiiiiiiit.

  3. Karen (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

    UNOP+ a pile of shit=a lot of shit

  4. MW (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 10:23 am

    holy shit! sounds like a lot of work jack! thanks so much! i would summarize another section but i honestly don’t give a shit about yet another shitty plan that won’t be developed. all this equates to a big pile of bullshit.

  5. mike-smiley (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2007 @ 8:12 am

    Crime maps are back.
    A little off topic but it came up in one of your earlier posts.

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