Unclean! Unclean!

Many of you have been following the ongoing effort to get rid of derelict buildings in New Orleans. Since Katrina, the number of blighted structures has absolutely mushroomed — only adding to the number of buildings that were abandoned and in poor shape BEFORE the storm hit. It’s been obvious in recent months that Something was going to be done — since not only our overpromising mayor but the entire City Council as a unit has decided it’s time to press ahead and either get these joints cleaned up or get them into the hands of those who will. Or to simply get them torn down, and the list of targeted properties is a long one. Our own Laureen Lentz has been heavily involved in this process, as she has documented.

Welp — it’s working. It was only a couple of months ago that Councilwoman Stacy Head participated in a news conference just a few doors down from our house — in front of a longstanding hellhole that everyone agreed had to come down. The place was bad when we moved here — disintegrating only moreso since Katrina. But it’s being cleaned up — at least outwardly — and all of us in the neighborhood are grateful.

But the even bigger news is that the junkyard (owned by the same person) next to our house has been the object of a massive cleanup effort over the past several days. Gone are the old cars, the overfull dumpster, the assorted appliances, the rotting bags of beer cans and bottles, the six-foot weeds and virtually every (outward) sign of decay. It looks like you could land a small plane in there (well, not really — but y’know).

Something Actually Worked. We appreciate it.

…though our cats are wondering where all their buddies have gone.

1 Comment so far

  1. Laureen Lentz (no_laureen) on June 14th, 2008 @ 11:27 pm

    Wow, Craig, we need a photo! I am happy to hear this property got cleaned up. I think the reason I got nominated the NCDC is that I know what we have been living with for years and while the process of demolition needs local monitors on the ground, I know that we have a unique opportunity to put federal funds to good use in making our neighborhoods cleaner and safer. It’s the hardest thing I do, to say yes to a ‘free demo’ for slumlords, but I know how bad it is to live next to them and the reality of the money it really takes to refurbish them. I am glad this one got cleaned up. I am swamped in the committee work this week. Maybe I can get to a post about my personal hell tomorrow. I am giving it 110% right now, while I can. Monday is our meeting. So I have been chucking through packets and photos from Karen online. It’s got to level off. We are backlogged. Trying to get caught up but not, you know, sucked in. I’ll come by tomorrow and see for myself.



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