Battles won and lost
Peter Eichenberger brings up many important issues about post-Katrina rebuilding ("The Second Battle of New Orleans," Jan. 11), except two: Should we rebuild at all? And, who should pay?
The volunteers of the Common Ground Collective can feel good about what they are attempting; David and Goliath stories always inspire even if the battle is not the one that should be fought.
The people of Louisiana and New Orleans have finally had their comeuppance after decades of environmental degradation, no building codes, no zoning restrictions and widespread political corruption. As is the American way, cost transference is the means to wealth.
But why should we be sending resources to rebuild New Orleans for their wrong policies any more than we should be using public resources to rebuild the beaches of Topsail Island? The only difference to Mr. Eichenberger seems to be income level.
Hurricane rebuilding has become a growth industry along our coasts. The building industry makes millions building structures in the wrong places and to codes that they control through the political process. They then make more millions in rebuilding. FEMA has become the local redevelopment financier and insurer of last resort.
As long as communities can tap into outside government money to cover for bad policy, they will never take steps to undertake the correct policies.
I spent 17 days in Mississippi helping to look after pets (there were thousands) that suffered the aftermath of Katrina. I don't want to do it again. I also don't think the people of the New Orleans Ninth Ward want to do it all over again either.
We have got to accept, no matter how painful it might be, that some places just need to be bulldozed and left as a buffer to prevent future tragedies.
In last week's article "Inside The Herald-Sun," the quote on page 20 ("None of these are barnburner stories") was made by Editor Bob Ashley. Managing Editor Bill Stagg declined to comment for the article.
The article also incorrectly reported the month that writer Cynthia Greenlee left the newspaper. She left in September.