Week In Review


by Sam Winston

So LSU stumbles, the Saints win and Ben Affleck admits New Orleans is more important than J-lo. What the heck is going on?

Tourism in the city had a good news week for a change, with the USA Today reporting that the city anticipates 60 percent more tourists with the return of several corporate conventions, and a number one ranking by Travel and Leisure's recent city survey.

But the good news ended there as it was revealed that

Ed Blakely's long awaited and highly praised comprehensive New Orleans rebuilding plan came up $884 million short in the first stage of the plan.

"The blueprint being released Friday by city Recovery Director Ed Blakely is far more modest than the one he issued in March." Reported the Associated Press.

Perhaps the only thing more troubling than the news itself was how little commotion it generated. With such an abysmal shortfall in funds, where's the outrage? Click here for a recent Gambit interview of Blakely to see his thoughts on how things were going before the most recent news. Click here for the initial press release and here for maps of the plan.

The article continued...

Blakely, who began work in January, more than 16 months after Katrina, had hoped to have $1.1 billion in federal grants, private investment and hurricane bond proceeds for the rebuilding. But the money has been slow in coming through, particularly the private investment New Orleans needs so badly.

So Blakely said he will move ahead with $216 million, consisting almost entirely of federal grants, and hope more money will follow.

Hope more money will follow? That doesn't sound like much of a plan.

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