Posts Tagged ‘Hurricane Katrina’

Random Friday Thoughts — June 30, 2017

The first half of the year is over now!  It’s incredible how fast time flies.

I hope you’ve enjoyed part one of 2017 and are looking forward to more of the same for the part two if it’s been a good one.  If it hasn’t been all that spectacular or if there’s room for improvement, here’s to a better summer, fall, and the kick-off to winter!

I appreciate you checking out my random thoughts and feel free to share yours, too.  If you disagree, do it diplomatically!

4 MORE YEARS, ANTHONY KENNEDY, PLEASE!

Rumors are swirling that Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) Anthony Kennedy, almost 81-years-old, might be ready to announce his retirement.

Anthony Kennedy

The Reagan-nominee has been a Justice for more than 29 years.

The court is currently split.  Ruth Bader Ginsburg, now 84, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer lean Democratic and Neil Gorsuch, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito side Republican.

Kennedy is sometimes a tiebreaker or a swing voter.

My hope is that he holds out until 2021 before he retires since President Obama didn’t get to appoint a successor to conservative judge Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016.

TWO YEARS AND THE WORLD IS STILL HERE

It was two years ago this week (June 26, 2015) that Justice Kennedy authored SCOTUS’ decision making marriage equality the law of the land.

He concluded by saying, “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

That night, the White House showed its true colors!

white_house_rainbow

Since that day, despite people like Kentucky’s “Wicked Witch” Kim Davis, the LGBT community learned more about what the expression “all men are created equal” means.

And, to this day, the Earth is still rotating on its axis, the sun still rises in the east, and settles in the west!  And, that won’t change with #45 either!

#Resistance

VERSACE LIVES AGAIN

Summer just started last week and I’m already looking forward to fall and winter.  And, now, early 2018 can’t get here soon enough. 🙂

The long awaited follow-up to the spectacular and award winning FX series “The People v O.J. Simpson:  American Crime Story” was announced.

Originally, it was going to about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, but that’ll now be the third installment.

Katrina2005

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” is now being filmed at Casa Casuarina, Versace’s former Miami Beach home, and an early look at the series graced the cover of “Entertainment Weekly”.

EW verace

It stars Edgar Ramirez as Versace, Oscar winner Penelope Cruz as Versace’s sister, Donatella, Darren Criss (“Glee”) as Andrew Cunanan, the man suspected of killing Versace, and Ricky Martin, as Versace’s boyfriend, Antonio D’Amico.

ANDREW CUNANAN

I had my own small brush with Cunanan notoriety working as the weekend news anchor in Lubbock, Texas, in 1997.

The search for Cunanan was one of the biggest stories that summer.  Without thinking about it, the newscast was produced with me reading the story of Miami’s search for the suspected spree killer since I had a phone interview with a friend that lived in that city.

We used an “OTS” (over the shoulder) of Cunanan and then we started getting phone calls about the eerie similarities. 🙂  See for yourself!

Cunanan

You can read my full blog on this story here.  Just click on this link and it’ll open in a new window so you won’t lose your place in today’s “Random Friday Thoughts”.

It also gives you the back history of the story.  It’s crazy to believe that it’s been twenty years already!

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/cunanan-then-peeps-now-nicknames/

RYAN MURPHY ON TRUMP

Murphy’s new Versace series focuses not only on the designer’s murder, it also drives home how homophobia let Cunanan’s killing spree go one for so long and how that led to Versace’s death.

Fox's 62nd Annual Emmy Award Nominees Celebration

Murphy tells “Entertainment Weekly” that after the 2016 presidential election, there couldn’t be a better time for this series to air.

Murphy:  “I think it’s the perfect timing based on this president we have.  I felt there was so much progress in terms of gay rights and rights for any marginalized groups of people [under Obama] .  Suddenly it felt like Trump is inaugurated and the door closed and there’s fear again and they’re trying to take away everything we fought for.  This a bracing cold slap against the policies that the current government has.”

#Resistance

“GET OUT”

Racism is front and center of this psychological drama about a young, white woman taking her black boyfriend home to her little small New England town.

It’s the directorial debut from comedian Jordan Peele (“Key & Peele” and “MADtv”) and he masters it beautifully.  Peele knows the subject very well since he’s the son of an interracial couple.

As the movie is moving toward its climax, you might have to suspend disbelief, but the point is perfectly driven home.

While it’s a drama, the comedy provided by Chicago actor and comedian Lil Rel Howery is so funny.  He plays the main character’s best friend.

When he explained to his friend why he needed to “Get Out” of there, I’m glad I wasn’t taking a drink of something when he started talking about Jeffrey Dahmer, lobotomies, and penises!  It was so flipping hilarious!

GRADE:  A-

WARNING — CHRISTMAS TALK AHEAD!

I know it’s still about six months away, but I’m thinking about my first Christmas party — Florida-style.

While it won’t be as large as the ones Ray and I hosted back in the Quad Cities, I’m sure it’ll be festive.

Liquor is more expensive down here and as I’ve already vented in an earlier blog, boxed wine only comes in 3-liter boxes!  Instead of “I Want My MTV”, I want my 5-liter boxed wine!

Wine Ripe off

Well, thanks to returning my two Redbox movies and wanting to get salsa at WalMart last Sunday, I walked out with a gigantic start toward the Christmas party with a cart of discontinued, discount liquor with rebates!

All of this for just $4 to $12 a bottle!

Christmas Cheer

CHRISTMAS PARTY PUNCH????

I just came across the most interesting sounding cocktail that I’m considering making as a punch for my Christmas party.

It’s a staple at Latitude 29 in New Orleans called a “Paniolo”.

It’s a combination of fresh cranberry syrup, lime juice, bourbon, and a macadamia nut liqueur!

paniolo

Sounds tasty and festive!

The last really incredibly tasty and holiday-festive drink I had was on a Holland America cruise a few years back.

It was a Strawberry Basil Bellissimo (vodka, strawberries, basil infusion, and fresh basil)!

SBB

“BAD SANTA 2”

I didn’t see the original and I only wanted to give this one a try because of Kathy Bates.

She was very naughty and was the highlight of the movie.

“Bad Santa 2” is so crude.  I don’t think there’s a group that this movie didn’t set out to offend. 🙂  Yes, I did laugh at some of the absurd humor.

Warning:  contains adult language!  (You can check out the “red band trailer”, which is about four minutes long.  It’s really raunchy, so I didn’t share it, but it’ll save you 90 minutes of your life and a couple of bucks from not renting this movie at Redbox!)

GRADE:  C-

“3 GENERATIONS”

Naomi Watts, Susan Sarandon, and Elle Fanning headline this little seen summer movie about a trans teenage boy, Ray, played by Fanning wanting to transition from female to male.

Watts is stellar and Sarandon was very funny and likable as Watts’ mother and Fanning’s grandmother, who just happens to be a lesbian.

The subject matter is very relevant with today’s higher visibility of trans men and women and the fight for transgender equality, but this isn’t the movie to further the cause.

It’s just a step away from an after-school special or a Lifetime movie.  But, don’t take that the wrong way.  I’ve watched some Lifetime movies, especially at Christmas.

GRADE:  C

MORE OF MY PRIDE CLASSICS

LGBT Pride month is winding down, but I’m still sharing some of my favorite classics from my club days.  Actually, I had three different eras of club days.

In the 1980s, in Paducah, Kentucky, when I first started going out.  Then, in Chicago, from 1994-1996, and, again, from 2002-2004.

So, I’ll featured a couple more of my favorites!

OH L’AMOUR — ERASURE

This is still one of my favorite songs of all time.

I got to see Andy Bell and Vince Clark in concert in Chicago a couple of years ago and it was incredible.

Their new album, “World Be Gone”, their 17th, came out this May.

Dance diva Sylvester, who died from complications from AIDS in 1988, scored three Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the late 1970s.

However, he had 18 hits on the Billboard Dance charts.  Three of them topped that chart.

“You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”, from 1979, was one of those number one hits and it also was played on mainstream pop radio.

ANOTHER PARTING VERSACE SERIES NOTE

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” is being written by Tom Rob Smith.

Smith, who created and wrote the incredible 2015 BBC Two five-part miniseries, “London Spy”, featuring my future fantasy husband Ben Whishaw.

Ben-Whishaw

If you haven’t seen, find it.  Not only is Whishaw captivating, it also stars a stellar Charlotte Rampling.

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

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Two Friends in New Orleans Reflect on Hurricane Katrina’s Anniversary As Isaac Makes Landfall

Hurricane Isaac made its second landfall around 4 a.m. this morning near Port Fourchon, Louisiana with winds sustained at 80 mile-per-hour.  It first made landfall Tuesday evening near Plaquemine Parish, Louisiana, about 95 miles from New Orleans.

While there is flooding and damage, this tropical system pales in comparison to Hurricane Katrina that made landfall on this date back in 2005.  More than 1,800 people lost their lives and many more left New Orleans and never came back making their new home elsewhere in the United States.

I visited New Orleans in the spring of 2010 and even after almost five years, there was still much work to be done and many of the damaged and abandoned homes in the Ninth Ward remained standing.

A friend of mine from Murray State University, Crystal Craddock-Posey and her husband, Anthony, live in New Orleans.  At the bottom of this blog, check out some of Ants’ incredible photos of the aftermath of Katrina and how much still needed to be done more than a year later.

PREPARING FOR “ISAAC”

I talked with Crystal back in 2008 on the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and I blogged about it then.  You can find that at the bottom of this blog, too.  However, I sent Crystal a few questions earlier this week as Isaac was still churning its way through the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm.

Q: What is the feeling now that a “state of emergency” has been issued and the storm could move closer to New Orleans?

The concensus in the city is that Isaac won’t be too bad. It’s not a strong system. The city (and its residents) are much better organized and prepared to deal with Isaac. Local area officials are working together and with the State in a much more efficient way than they did during Katrina. Even if Isaac turns out to be not so bad, it dredges up Katrina stress in differing degrees for people here.

Q: In the seven years since Katrina (and four since we did the previous blog), what changes have you noticed?

The city has improved by leaps and bounds, since the devastation of Katrina. There are so many new shops and restaurants post-Katrina. The city just “runs” better. There is still room for improvement, though.

Q: How is the “new” (current) NOLA different than the old NOLA?

So many people moved to New Orleans after Katrina, that it’s taken on a “newer” feel in some ways. E.g., new tech-centered businesses, younger entrepreneurs. The old-world charm is still very much present here, however.

Q: Since the Gulf has been relatively quiet for years, are you afraid that this could the season of big hurricanes?

One never knows, but I don’t think this will be a season for big hurricanes. We had a three-year lull between 2005’s Katrina and 2008’s Gustav. Now, four years later, we have Isaac approaching.

Here is the blog that I posted on August 28, 2008, on the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and it also features some background information (current at the time):

New Orleans: Three years after Katrina

Friday, August 29th, 2008

HURRICANE GUSTAV MAKES LANDFALL:   Gustav made landfall early Monday morning, September 1st, near Cocodrie, Louisiana, which is about 70 miles southwest of New Orleans or 100 miles southeast of Lafayette, Louisiana.  Winds were at 110 miles-per-hour at landfall making Gustav a Category Two storm.  (Top winds peaked at 150 miles-per-hour Saturday.

UPDATE:  Saturday, August 30th, noon.  My friends, Crystal and Anthony, have decided to evacuate New Orleans in advance of Gustav.  (You’ll read Crystal’s interview below.)

ORIGINAL POST:  Friday, August 29, 2 p.m.

Friday, August 29th, marks the three-year anniversary when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana causing levees to breach and submerging 80 percent of New Orleans.

Now, residents are becoming uneasy and are closely watching the Caribbean Sea as Hurricane Gustav gains strength and threatens with a possible landfall early Tuesday morning somewhere near the Crescent City.

Once the storm makes it into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, forecasters will be able to pinpoint more accurately and precisely the intensity and where Gustav will make landfall.

KATRINA HISTORY

Hurricane Katrina now stands as the sixth strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded (this is based on the central barometric pressure, not winds).  However, its peak winds hit 175 miles-per-hour.

Although Katrina’s winds had dropped to 125 miles-per-hour (still a very strong Category Three storm) when it made landfall near Buras, Louisiana, it was what happened after the storm began to move away from New Orleans that we will always remember.

The winds, rain, and the storm surge (estimated to be at least fourteen feet), caused 53 different levees to breach.

This allowed additional water pushed into Lake Pontchartrain from the Gulf during the hurricane to flood New Orleans.

For months, the rest of the nation and the world watched the horrific watery images from the city so rich in history and culture and wondered if it would ever return to its glory.

The death toll in the United States from Katrina is at least 1,836 (1,577 from Louisiana alone).  There are still 705 people considered missing from the storm.

Three years later, many people still consider the slow reaction time to the disaster from local, state, and federal levels of the government, a complete failure.

While it is still too early to tell where Gustav will make landfall, many people in New Orleans are getting ready– just in case.

NEW ORLEANS– THREE YEARS LATER  (From my 2008 blog on Katrina’s anniversary)

Thursday night, I emailed a friend and former classmate of mine, Crystal Craddock-Posey, who has lived in New Orleans since 1992 with her husband, Anthony, and I want to share her responses with you.

Q:  With a projected landfall still days away and a possible track that could include New Orleans, what is the mood at this point?

“People are on edge here.   Local stations have begun broadcasting at 4:30 a.m. and extended regular noon and evening broadcasts to an hour to cover the issue of the approaching storm.

Some folks in areas which did not flood are saying that they are going to stay for Gustav unless it gains more strength before landfall.  Some who were here for Katrina are staying again; most are not, and have begun leaving already.  

People in our area are already boarding up windows and filling up their tanks.  At this point, people don’t know whether to go buy a bunch of hurricane food and supplies, or just pack up and leave.  

It brings to mind something my grandmother used to say, ‘Nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs!’   I think Saturday will be the point when most make the decision to stay or go.”
Q:  Are people taking this storm seriously there knowing it could quickly develop into a major hurricane in the Gulf?

“I think this storm is being taken seriously by most.    No one wants another Katrina.   My mailman received eight feet of water in his home after the levees failed following Katrina.   He is back in his repaired home now, and is seriously worried about a repeat performance.”

Q:  When Katrina submerged 80% of the city with water, how much damage did you encounter and where are you in relation to the ninth ward, one of the hardest hit areas?

“We were fortunate to have lived in the 20 % of New Orleans which did not flood.  We are higher up near the rim of the “bowl-shaped” city, so the water didn’t reach us.  We had water damage from above, though.  The high winds and tornadoes took off sections of roof and boards from our rear dormer, so we had water damage in the form of fallen ceilings, damaged floors, and mold everywhere, etc.   

We are a few miles from the ninth ward.  The ninth ward is behind the Central Business District, the French Quarter and Bywater areas of the city, going toward Chalmette/St. Bernard Parish, where the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, aka “Mister Go” failed.”

Q:  Describe the feel of New Orleans now with the three-year anniversary Friday.  Progress is being made slowly, but what is the ”new” New Orleans like compared to the “old”.

“There were supposed to be certain ceremonies held to honor those who perished in Hurricane Katrina.    One local cemetery has planted small white flags, one for every person who died during Katrina, with a name on each flag.  (By the way, a client of mine lost her dad, her stepmother, her aunt and her 12-year-old brother; they drowned in their home.  She also lost everything she owned that she hadn’t taken with her during the evacuation.)   

That was supposed to last through Labor Day Weekend.    The anniversary is today, and it seems to be adding fuel to the fire of distress.   

“New” New Orleans in the French Quarter, Garden District and Uptown areas, the 20% that didn’t flood, is much like it was before the storm– at least from the street level.  

Other flooded areas are rebuilding and coming back.   The hardest hit areas still are mostly desolate patches where homes used to be.   

Financially, the effects of Katrina have been hard on everyone.   People who came back after the storm have been struggling for three years with $10,000 per year homeowner’s premiums and $5,000 per year flood premiums, an increase in property taxes in Orleans Parish, increased labor and material expenses for repairs, shady contractors who take money and never show, etc.”      

Q:  Where do you see New Orleans in the next few years, barring no more hurricanes or disasters?

“With the right leadership and funding, it’s possible to make New Orleans a great example of how to rebuild after a disaster, e.g. green projects, solar panels, etc.  It just hasn’t happened thus far.” 

Crystal works now as an attorney in New Orleans.  However, back in the 1980s, she was in the radio and television program with me at Murray State University in Kentucky.  She then went to law school in New Orleans when she moved there in the summer of 1992.

PHOTOS BY ANTHONY POSEY FROM 2005-2006

New Orleans, my thoughts go out to you and I’m glad Hurricane Isaac was only a category one storm.  I hope that’s all of the excitement you see this year and that the only hurricanes you experience are ones like these shared by Ray, Crystal, Ants, and myself in April 2010.

Anthony