Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Baton Rouge in Critical State

Since Katrina, the entire Baton Rouge metro area has been bulging at the seams. I don't know if they've ever gotten any real census numbers since the number is constantly in flux. The current Mayor of BR is Kip Holden and I didn't vote for the guy, I didn't really like him, but since Katrina I've come really respected him because he's been very firm in what BR will take and what it won't. His criticism of Michael Chertoff was pretty amusing.

"I hope Mr. Chertoff doesn't have to go see the Wizard of Oz and get a heart and a brain," quipped Mayor Holden, "because the situation here is very critical."

Check out the stats at the bottom of the page to get an idea of what things are like here. The schools are so packed that in Ascension Parish they had to hire an additional 35 teachers on the spot on the first day of school and that's still not enough. In East Baton Rouge Parish, an extra 1,700 unexpected students showed up on the first day of school. They are so short on bus drivers that they're looking to hire at least 24 before the end of the week. And nearly every day the news leads off with someone getting murdered. I wondered to James why that's even leading news anymore. Supposedly, technically, the only violent crime that's up is armed robbery and that's "only" by 15%, but I seriously have to doubt that.

And Lord please help me make it through the next week and a half of Katrina memorials. I'm ready to throttle Spike Lee, and I'm tired of hearing about his blamefest finger pointing movie, excuse me, Requiem (in four parts no less). Perhaps they should have a regional blackout of Katrina memorials. They can show the rest of the country, but hello, we have to hear it every day, we don't need it plastered wall to wall until the anniversary. Which, unfortunately, is Annmarie's birthday right?


Terri said...

{{{{Autumn and BR}}}} I don't want to see any of the memorials either! I'm also tired of the ones for New York. I'm a terrible person and God will probably strike me down for saying that, but we really do need to get on with our lives and quit living in the past. Having said that though, I do think 1 year of memorials for Louisiana is called for.

I loved the article and the stats are rather frightening.

Sarah said...

Wow, that must be really hard to deal with. Thanks for posting the link and the information. We don't hear a lot of that kind of news here in the Detroit area.


Erin said...

I don't want to see them either, and I don't even have to live with it like you do! {{{hugs}}}

Annmarie said...

Yeah, that is my birthday, and in case you forgot, it is Michael Jackson's birthday too.