Sunday, June 18, 2006

Great Day in the Morning…

Does it seem to you that there has been a streak of good news for the New Orleans area lately? Sure, a lot of it is tentative, and some of it represents simply the possibility of some good news down the line, but the sense of a recovery under way is beginning to take hold.

Now don’t get me wrong; the daily hardships are still around. We endure crushing traffic jams, stores that we need are closed or so understaffed that service takes excruciatingly long. The hurricane season just begun casts an overlay of fear over the area.

We are hosting a visitor from Michigan this week, on his first trip to N.O. Sure we showed him the destruction, and then we thought we would offset the gloom with a visit to Jackson Square. New Orleans’ “showroom” was effectively closed; one lonely Tarot card reader was braving the drizzly weather.

So where’s the good news? Certainly the billions of dollars released to Louisiana by the Feds this week will spark a lot of positive activity going forward. The billions for our flood protection system likewise create a sense of optimism about our safety.

Other developments are raising my spirits. Here you may think I have taken leave of my senses, but I am seeing some positive signs that our state may be taking its stewardship of these funds very seriously. We certainly have to do a better job than FEMA did.

The legislature has passed some good government bills, particularly relating to the political structure of the City of New Orleans. Enactment of these measures requires that they be approved by the voters, however, and there are signs that those at the trough won’t go willingly.

The Feds are doing their share with an intensive investigation of our U.S. representative, “Dollar Bill” Jefferson. His keeping alive the national perception of Louisiana’s tolerance for political corruption will soon be over.

Let me know what you see as signs of recovery, good or bad …


jbv's Competitive Edge 


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