Best of Squandered Heritage Vintage

No Transparency, No Recovery

All the usual suspects

These last few days have really proven that our Recovery is guided by a person who refuses to accept that the city is owned not by those who wrangle contracts out of City Hall, or those who believe the public is a body to be mocked, scorned and ignored, but rather the Citizens who have worked tirelessly and for no compensation but for the love of a City.

While I was unable to attend today’s meeting I was able to keep stay in direct contact with people attending. The fact that folks came in to jeer at Council members who are trying to uncover this mess leads me to believe those who jeer loudest stand to lose the most. There is no honest and reasonable Citizen in this City who would behave in such a fashion unless they had 1. something to hide/gain 2. were protecting those who have something to hide/gain.

And if anyone of you are reading this I would like you all to look at a photo of this woman.

2827 Conti

This photo was taken almost one year ago today, Sarah Lewis and I visited this woman in her trailer. She was trying to sort through her belongings on a hot summer day with no help from anyone but her friends on Conti Street. They had dubbed themselves the 3 Musketeers.

Sarah did her best to get the fetid debris removed from the front of her home, we didn’t tell Miss Dolores the reason we were there was because her house was on a demolition list.

2827 Conti

This woman was a perfect candidate for the NOAH program. But of course that program was not created for Miss Dolores, because in order to deal with her NOAH would have had to do actual work.

She died a few months after we visited with her, she had told us she was waiting for help.


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About Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led to guilty pleas in federal court. Her work attracted some of journalism's highest honors, including a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a gold medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. She can be reached at (504) 606-6013.

  • FeedUpWithFoolishness

    This blog entry is totally ill-responsible. How can you blame NOAH for this lady not getting help. If she would have called in to get help, I’m sure she would have gotten it. There were many organizations giving out help. Why didn’t you roll up your sleeves and help her? Why didn’t you help her fill out the paperwork and get her help. Did you tell NOAH she needed help? I don’t think you did. What are you trying to accomplish? Don’t go around finding poor black people you claim you are helping them. You are exploiting this woman’s life and I’m offend!!! God rest her soul and you leave this woman in peace.

  • We did call NOAH. Our calls were not returned.

    If you look at the body of work you will see that there are many people we did try and help and were able to save their homes from being demolished by the City.

    I am offended as well.

  • FeedUpWithFoolishness

    I watched the city council meeting yesterday and I heard the old director say they received some 200 voicemails a day. how did you expect them to respond to all those inquiries with a couple people working? why place the blame on them? I am offended that folks like you believe that the government is the answer to all your problems. when i got back to this city and renovated my house, i had to gut it myself. i didn’t use any program. my neighbors who needed help i helped them. i didn’t blame the city. i took care of what i could. why do you feel these people didn’t do the best they could? why drag down this group and make this city look bad? if you are out for nagin, go after him. i’m just feed up with vigilantes on fixated on destroying people. if the problem was so bad you should have started a gutting program and remediated homes and stacy head could fund your organization andwe can blame you for all the people who weren’t served. how bout that Karen?

  • I am not out for anyone. I too gutted my home and the homes of my friends, I was fortunate enough to be able to do that.

    The elderly often are not.

    Why are you so angry with me?

  • “how did you expect them to respond to all those inquiries with a couple people working?”

    Why did they only have a couple of people working? They could have hired a lot of full time workers with money Nagin spent on new garbage cans (that replaced perfectly good ones) or with the pay raises that he gave to people already made more than a $100,000. That’s blaming Nagin.

    Why do people not trust the agency? Changing stories and excuses like lost keys. If people who spend public money won’t give straight answers, it’s foolishness to trust them.

  • FeedUpWithFoolishness

    Not angry, frustrated with this foolishness.

    I speak for those who don’t go online and read these blogs. I’m in the barber shops and groceries. The relentless pursuit to accuse black people of wrongdoing needs to stop. It is dividing our city and making it difficult for me to believe that you and your counterparts are out for making a positive difference.

    Like it our not, Mayor Clarence Ray Nagin is the mayor of this great city. Kicking Nagin around isn’t going to achieve anything. He’s here until the last day of his term. You can magnify all his flaws but you aren’t accomplishing anything. You can feed the media exaggerated stories and they will run with it, but that means less gets done and all the energy is spent deflecting attacks. If you shine your bright light on Councilwoman Head or Midura I’m sure you will see improprieties in their offices too. I have heard of quite a lot of misdeeds, but that’s not the point. The point is this city is falling apart because the have-nots outweigh the haves.

    I read the Gambit blog earlier and they had they featured a different point of view. The blogger didn’t necessarily care for nagin, but they didn’t reduce him to a criminal or a thug. why are you and your group hunting the mayor’s staff and treating them like they are criminals. these are servants to this city and the citizen. i recognize they aren’t perfect nor was moon landrieu’s, shiro, or any of the other mayor’s staffs.

    Another reason why I’m ticked is you expect perfection from these people and they are understaffed. Our city government is a fraction of what it was. Who is supposed to answer all your requests all day long. You and your counterparts have started a frenzy of requests. reported that the city has received hundreds when they only used to receive a few. The administration can’t say it, but it’s abusive to overload the offices with hundreds of requests in an attempt to “catch” someone.

    i’m tired of the foolishness. it needs to stop.

  • FeedUpWithFoolishness


    My point proved again. No matter what is done you and others like you will never be satisfied. The woman who was in charge took the blame for releasing the wrong list. She sent the right one and still u folks accuse. Don’t you make mistakes? And the bottom line is money was spent on houses that were done.

    I want you to send me your criticisms of the white elected officials. I breezed through your blog and I don’t see any thing. You just trashed Keva, another black public servant now that she is judge elect. Now you are going to find all you can to trash this woman who has worked hard to help reform our DA’s office. It’s just tragic.

    To me it seems like you folks would have been happy if Katrina would have flooded out all the black folks in the city. Opps I’m sorry, you want to keep a few of us around to “help” and cook your red beans and rice.

    Sweating at the stove,
    Feed Up With (bayoustjohndavid) Foolishness

  • I don’t think there is anything I can say to convince you that this is not racially motivated.

    I am sorry that this is your perception.

  • Carmen

    That would be “FedUp” and “irresponsible”. But I see your grammar and spelling improved dramatically by post three. Just like someone I know of who does this sort of thing often.

    You are not reading for comprehension, but I guess you don’t want to. You’re making presumptions to deflect from actual issues of governmental corruption. The point with NOAH is that there is a coverup going on; it is part of a series of coverups in which City Hall stonewalls – smokes out, by their own admission – persons who inquire. Hatfield was on WWL tonight claiming she can’t get admissions records from Tulane on Anthony Jones… in the age of email. Pony Express would be faster. Are you with Imagine or with the people who threatened someone at that Council meeting, FeedUp? Because there ought be a public record that this person was intimidated at City Hall. That is part of a pattern, too, to which I can personally attest. I hope you have this person’s IP address, Karen.

    You don’t know anything about what Karen does or who she’s helped. You don’t care to know. You’re not asking real questions. If you cared, it would disturb you that “old director(s)” and ten year old agencies are being misused, that young women are taking the fall, that multiple list keeping is going on, that your government dollars are being misused and that any time an issue of corruption is addressed, racism is charged. It’s not Moon Landrieu or Harry Connick Sr. or anything last century that matters. It’s not pre-Internet civic life that matters. It’s not comparison to pre-Katrina life that matters. It is a New New Orleans, and people are watching all leaders, black or white. Greg Meffert was white: do a Google search on him.

  • FeedUpWithFoolishness

    You don’t need to be sorry. You need to stop the foolishness.

    I know it makes you feel good that you consider yourself “Saint Karen” and helping the poor elderly black people. but they are better served if you work along with the administration that’s in place instead of calling OUR mayor a crook and his staffers criminals and thugs.

  • Carmen

    FYI, saints never feel good about their work. They know they’re missing out on all the fun.

    This administration needs to work with its citizens, not the other way around. Stonewalling and smoking out inquiries can never be excused. Multiple inquiries of the sort you decry would be eliminating if the administration had a policy of addressing the first inquiry promptly, no?

  • Carmen

    That would be “eliminated”, not “eliminating”. 😉

  • I did not trash Keva; read the report and then read my blog entry. All I called for is more information.

    If you shine your bright light on Councilwoman Head or Midura I’m sure you will see improprieties in their offices too

    When I hear anything I’ll blog about it. I’m making at $6,000 a year less than I would be if I had kept my city job. I certainly don’t blame the mayor for the layoffs, but the layoffs did prompt me to look at how the mayor does spend money. It’s hard to like what you see.

    Yes the council approves the budget, but the mayor consistently refuses to provide the information for the council to find alternatives or even know what it’s voting on — look at the sanitation contracts, for example.

    Mine is primarily a New Orleans blog, not a Greater New Orleans blog, if I teamed up and a made it a joint effort with somebody who lived in Jefferson, you’d see plenty of criticism of white officials.

  • Like it our not, Mayor Clarence Ray Nagin is the mayor of this great city. Kicking Nagin around isn’t going to achieve anything. He’s here until the last day of his term. You can magnify all his flaws but you aren’t accomplishing anything.

    Would you say the same thing about Bush? Nagin hasn’t started any wars, but your logic seems to be that there’s no point in criticizing somebody once he’s re-elected.

  • Civitch

    FedUpWithFoolishness is a troll who is posting for one reason only: to divert attention away from the oh-so-obvious misuse of federal recovery funds. Now why, why, why would someone do that? Could it be that this troll stood or stands to benefit?

    I’m also curious as to whether said troll has ever posted to this blog before. It certainly doesn’t look like it. My bet is that the troll was put up to it, just like the jeering crowds in council chambers during the hearing.

    Guess what troll et al? The days of race-baiting, public corruption, and associated civic ills are NUMBERED. Go get yourselves some new (legit) gigs.

  • mdh

    FedUp – I suggest that you brought a lot into this conversation that had nothing to do with the work our host has been doing.

    I appreciate that you want the foolishness to stop, do your part too.

  • No one person is being implicated here, and no one person has EVER been implicated on Karen’s blog. All this is is an attempt to find out where this money is going, because by God, if the recovery is hurting the poor and the elderly, no matter what color they are, then all of us have a responsibility to find out how it is happening and to fix it. Because the next person it will be hurting will be someone a little higher up the socioeconomic ladder who thinks they are immune, and so on and so on until it comes right to your doorstep.


  • e

    FUWF, I think if you look around, you’ll see plenty of criticism of Stacy Head’s policies on many of our blogs, certainly mine.

  • I think that trying to reduce this to simply a racial question does all sides of the conversation ill. I personally do not believe that just because someone is in office we should let them just do their thing. Would that have been a good approach for Nixon?

    If someone is bilking people or the city of funds, in any fashion, they need to be subjected to the harshest scrutiny. Corruption withers under a glare. We have been in need of glaring light on NOLA corruption for many years.

    If you really have strong feelings about this issue then look at and responded to the documentation presented.

    I am easily found and open about my own position and contact info. You on the other hand speak from behind a shield of anonymity. Just noticing…

  • All these attempts to throup a racial smokescreen do is generate more smoke to show the corruption smoldering underneath.

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  • CJ Scott

    Morning. For what it’s worth, the internet accumalates a population of creatures called “trolls” like no ones business, mostly because of the safety afforded them by being able to talk and not have to do or be confronted about what they say. A common trait is some schmuck getting on a blog, or any other public forumn, and putting up straw man arguments and other attacks, just to get a rise out of the people on that forumn.

    Despite the occasional desire of most right thinking people to stake these humans over an ant hill, *ahem* historically, ignoring them and pulling their priviledge to respond if it’s available to do so has been the most useful response. That being said, I’m not try to stifle a valid disagreement between two people. But that’s the thing..trolls aren’t doing that, and would pick a fight with Mother Teresa just to get the attention.

    anywho. My .02

    Heard about you down here (up here?) in Atlanta. Keep up the good work. The world could use more folks like you.

    It’s disgusting and saddening enough to be overseas and see the rampant corrutption crippling the efforts to rebuild a place that desperately deserves and needs it. Even more so to see it here.

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