The Democratic platform is LABOR AND JUSTICE----left social progressive liberal public interest policies. When our labor and justice organizations were stolen to far-right wing Clinton neo-liberalism all that public interest went out the window ----and suddenly we had banana republic THROW A FEW MILLION TO 5% FOR SMALL BUSINESSES while global 1% looted trillions from our FEDERAL agencies.
We have talked often of that move by US labor unions to partner with Clinton in overseas expansion of corporations leading to our losing our free market economy----leading to these few decades of economic stagnation---AND these 5% international labor leaders used our labor unions as WALL STREET BANKS----and the source of higher education scholarships/health insurance all while Clinton neo-liberals were dismantling all those Federal agencies that allowed 99% of US citizens equal opportunity when qualified. They did that to recruit new members----KNOW WHAT? If that money doled out for Wall Street credit cards, education grants, and health care plans was used to support LABOR UNION MEMBERS' PENSIONS AND HEALTH BENEFITS PUSHED INTO BANKRUPTCY STATUS-----these international labor unions would have actually been SERVING THEIR MEMBERS rather than throwing them under the bus.
Unite Here is simply one----all of our unions went international whether individually or consolidated under AFL-CIO.
BELOW WE SEE THAT 5% TO THE 1% GREEK ORGANIZATION doing the same-----partnering with global Wall Street allowing a strongest in world history public health system be DISMANTLED just so these GREEKS could PRETEND to be helping the community.
'UNITE HERE, one of the earliest supporters of President Barack Obama, wants an exemption.
The problem with ObamaCare as UNITE HERE sees it is the refusal of the Obama administration to qualify its health insurance plans for subsidies. Making subsidies available to union members is the only way for the union’s preferred plans to compete on price since ObamaCare undeniably raises the cost of coverage'.
This outsourcing of what used to be a consolidated PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM is what broke down oversight and accountability ---equal protection----regulated medical systems and this is why we watch on FOX NEWS as our senior nursing homes leave their seniors to harm.
Jennifer Hudson Visits the Zeta Center for Healthy & Active AgingZeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging along with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and representatives of ‘B’More for Healthy Babies’ to announce the expansion of ‘B’More Fit. Alpha Zeta is honored that the City of Baltimore selected the Zeta Center for this occasion.
Alpha Zeta Sorors in attendance included: Sorors Sherl B. Woodland, President, Dr. Freeda Thompson, Chair of the Myrtle Tyler Faithful Fund (MTFF) and Betsy D. Simon, Founder and Director of Zeta Healthy Aging Partnership (Z-HAP).
The American 99% of citizens sit and watch these few decades as one disaster after another results in FAR MORE DESTRUCTION THAN NEEDED. Yes, Irma was a big hurricane but the infrastructure destruction and losses of homes and lives were often MAN-MADE. We don't know the details of who owned this senior care center or how it was staffed----but we did hear a representative saying they were depending on PARAMEDICS====COUNTY TRANSPORT TEAMS which of course are too busy to cover all emergency situations. The account noted there was a hospital as safe place right across the street----the problem was likely not enough staff---not the right kind of staff.
We constantly hear 99% of citizens blaming a President for these disasters. Our local and state pols decide to IGNORE ALL REGULATIONS----IGNORE ALL FEDERAL GUIDELINES----AND IGNORE ALL INFRASTRUCTURE BUILDING AND MAINTENANCE CODES. What did Obama do once in office? He became that far-right wing global Wall Street Clinton neo-liberal and appointed Federal agency leaders who DID NO OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY and whose job was to see the right people were able to FLEECE THE FEDERAL AGENCIES tasked with protecting public interest. Obama and Affordable Care Act these several years created such an OUTSOURCED network of both global hedge fund nursing homes and 5% PATRONAGE FOR TEMPORARY SMALL BUSINESSES for those 5% players MOST OF WHICH USE OUR SENIOR CARE TO FLEECE PROFITS.
It takes very little local public revenue to build oversight and accountability ----those public employees that should be in our DLLR ----Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulations working with our state and city officials----THAT IS WHAT IS MISSING---THAT IS WHY OUR DISASTERS HAVE BECOME LARGER.
Eight Dead From Sweltering Nursing Home as Florida Struggles After Irma
By NEIL REISNER, SHERI FINK and VIVIAN YEESEPT. 13, 2017
Emergency workers at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., on Wednesday, where residents of a sweltering nursing home were taken. Credit Jason Henry for The New York Times
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — The first patient was rushed into the emergency room of Memorial Regional Hospital around 3 a.m. on Wednesday, escaping a nursing home that had lost air-conditioning in the muggy days after Hurricane Irma splintered power lines across the state.
Another arrived at 4 a.m. After a third rescue call, around 5 a.m., the hospital’s staff was concerned enough to walk down the street to check the building themselves.
What they found was an oven.
The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills needed to be evacuated immediately. Rescue units were hurrying its more than 100 residents out. Dozens of hospital workers established a command center outside, giving red wristbands to patients with critical, life-threatening conditions and yellow and green ones to those in better shape.
Checking the nursing home room by room, the hospital staff found three people who were already dead and nearly 40 others who needed red wristbands, many of whom had trouble breathing. The workers rushed them to Memorial’s emergency room, where they were given oxygen. The rest went to other hospitals nearby.
Four were so ill that they died soon after arriving. In the afternoon, the authorities learned that another had died early in the morning, and was initially uncounted because the person had been taken directly to a funeral home.
In all, eight were dead.
“We had no idea the extent of what was going on until we literally sent people room to room to check on people,” said Dr. Randy Katz, the hospital’s chairman of emergency medicine.
Three days after the hurricane had howled through South Florida, some of the most vulnerable people in the state were dying, not of wind, not of floods, but of what seemed to be an electrical failure.
Florida was still staggering to its feet on Wednesday, and millions of people across the Southeast were facing days or weeks without power in temperatures that, in the Fort Lauderdale area, climbed to as high as 92 degrees in recent days. The nursing home appeared to have electricity, but the hurricane had knocked out power in a critical spot: A tree had apparently hit the transformer that powered the cooling system, intensifying the subtropical heat from oppressive to fatal.
State officials, utility executives and the Rehabilitation Center spent Wednesday trading blame over why and how its patients were left to endure such conditions, even though state and federal regulations require nursing home residents to be evacuated if it gets too hot inside.
The Hollywood Police Department opened a criminal investigation into the deaths of the eight residents, who ranged in age from 71 to 99, and investigators from the state attorney general’s office were also involved. Gov. Rick Scott ordered a moratorium on admissions at the nursing home.
By day’s end, the unanswered questions were still outstanding, even as the deaths magnified scrutiny on other facilities for the old and disabled.
More than three million customers in Florida still lacked power Wednesday, including roughly 160 nursing homes, according to the state’s tracking system. After generators fizzled at the Krystal Bay Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, in North Miami Beach, 79 people were evacuated as a precaution.
“I am going to aggressively demand answers on how this tragic event took place,” Mr. Scott said in a statement. “Although the details of these reported deaths are still under investigation, this situation is unfathomable. Every facility that is charged with caring for patients must take every action and precaution to keep their patients safe — especially patients that are in poor health.”
Dr. Katz said Memorial’s emergency room had been busy for days treating chronically ill patients who were not coping well with the loss of electricity; some were having trouble breathing in the heat, while others needed access to dialysis. At least one came in from the Rehabilitation Center on Tuesday.
The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which was evacuated on Wednesday. Eight of its residents died. Credit Jason Henry for The New York Times
But not until Wednesday morning was there any hint that others there might be in trouble.
“I don’t know how many more I’m going to get,” said Craig T. Mallak, the chief medical examiner for Broward County, referring to the rising death toll, in an interview. “These are really sick people.”
The home’s administrator, Jorge Carballo, said in a statement that the transformer connected to the air-conditioning system had experienced a “prolonged power failure,” prompting the staff to contact Florida Power & Light. While waiting for a fix, he said, they set up mobile cooling units and fans and tried to make sure residents were hydrated and comfortable.
“We are devastated by these losses,” he said. “We are fully cooperating with all authorities and regulators to assess what went wrong.”
He did not say whether the home had considered evacuating its residents sooner.
Mr. Scott said that the Rehabilitation Center was responsible for the safety of its patients, and that state health officials had told the home’s administrators to call 911 if they believed patients’ health was at risk.
One relative who visited on Tuesday afternoon said she had been so alarmed by the conditions inside that she herself called Florida Power & Light four times. The relative, Eli Pina, said the power company told her that help was on the way. But none came.
“It felt like 110 degrees,” said Ms. Pina, whose 96-year-old mother, Mirelle Pina, was evacuated from the nursing home on Wednesday. “I think it’s the fault of FPL,” she added. “They said they were going to come but they didn’t.”
In an interview with the local ABC station, Dave Long, who worked for an air-conditioning company that serviced the nursing home, said he had been asking Florida Power & Light since Monday to fix a fuse in the system that had “popped” out because of damage from the hurricane.
“We’ve been calling and calling,” Mr. Long said. “I can’t do anything until we get that fuse popped back in.”
Rob Gould, a spokesman for the power company, said at a news conference Wednesday that the company met in March with Broward County officials to discuss hurricane preparations, but that the officials had not flagged the nursing home as “top-tier” critical infrastructure that would need power first. Memorial Regional Hospital, where many residents were taken, was in the top tier.
Broward County officials, though, said in a statement that they had relied on a Florida Power & Light document saying that nursing homes were “non-critical, but play a decisive role in community recovery,” suggesting they were considered a high priority for restoration but not the highest. On Tuesday morning, after the nursing home reported that the air-conditioning was out, county officials asked the utility to make it, along with other nursing homes, a higher priority, the officials said.
The utility “said there were too many to escalate all of them,” Barbara Sharief, the Broward County mayor, said in an interview.
Kristen Knapp, a spokeswoman for the Florida Health Care Association, an advocate for nursing homes, said she was encouraging other facilities to “go ahead and think about moving” residents if they did not think they could keep them safe from the heat.
Florida requires nursing homes to ensure emergency power in a disaster as well as food, water, staffing and 72 hours of supplies. A new federal rule, which takes effect in November, adds that the alternative source of energy must be capable of maintaining safe temperatures.
In general, nursing homes are required to keep temperatures between 71 and 81 degrees, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. That rule applies to nursing homes certified for the first time after October 1990. However, facilities certified before that time “still must maintain safe and comfortable temperature levels,” the agency’s guidance says.
The causes of death had not been determined Wednesday. Medical professionals said there could be other reasons besides intense heat. Portable generators, as well as other appliances, can cause fatal carbon monoxide poisoning if used indoors.
“It is reasonable to suspect,” said Dr. Beau Briese, an emergency physician at Houston Methodist Hospital who has treated many cases of carbon monoxide poisoning.
One of those who died on Wednesday, Carolyn Jo Eatherly, 78, was living at Rehabilitation Center because of Alzheimer’s she developed many years ago, a close friend, Linda Carol Horton, 65, said Wednesday.
“She couldn’t be by herself, no way,” especially under extreme circumstances, Ms. Horton said. “She would die.”
PhotoCarolyn Jo Eatherly, left, with her friend Linda Horton in a photo provided by Ms. Horton. Ms. Eatherly, a resident of the Hollywood nursing home, died Wednesday.
As Ms. Eatherly’s dementia progressed, Ms. Horton took her in for as long as she could. But about 10 years ago, Ms. Eatherly had to go into nursing care. Ms. Horton took care of her friend’s four cats until they died.
She hated thinking of Ms. Eatherly helpless in the overwhelming heat.
“I’m really saddened at what happened,” she said.
The 152-bed nursing home was acquired in 2015 by Larkin Community Hospital, a growing Miami-area network that includes hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Florida officials had cited a deficiency related to the building’s generator as recently as February 2016. An inspection called for backup power systems to be “installed, tested and maintained” by March 2016, records show.
While praising the nursing home for above-average staffing, Medicare assigned it an overall “below average” rating, with two of five stars. A health inspection report dated from March raises issues with housekeeping, food service and resident cleanliness, but not with the heating or cooling system.
Dr. Jack Michel, the health-care network’s current chairman, did not respond to requests for comment. Dr. Michel and Larkin Community were among defendants who paid $15.4 million in 2006 to settle federal and state civil claims that the hospital paid kickbacks to doctors in exchange for patient admissions.
Elsewhere in Florida, the grim work of clearing debris and identifying people who had died during the storm was continuing. President Trump planned to visit the Naples area on Thursday.
Besides the nursing home deaths, at least 14 deaths in Florida have been tied to the storm and its aftermath, with six more in South Carolina and Georgia. Across the Caribbean, 38 had died.
At least eight died in the Florida Keys, and authorities feared that many more had drowned as they tried to ride out the storm in their boats. One man died of a stroke while emergency services were unavailable and the hospital was closed.
Among the dead from the Hollywood center was Gail Nova, 71, who had worked as an X-ray and mammography technician before her own health declined.
Her son, Jeffrey Nova, 48, said they had chosen the Rehabilitation Center for its round-the-clock skilled nursing care and proximity to the hospital.
“People died under circumstances where it could have been prevented,” he said. “I want accountability. I think that’s something everyone will want.”
We knew back in 1980s that our US Eastern Coastline was to be taken to industrial wasteland.....that was the MASTER PLAN during Reagan./Clinton-----bringing US Foreign Economic Zones beyond tax havens for US citizens wanting import-export businesses to bringing global 1% MONSTER ASIAN FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE INDUSTRIALIZATION back to US.
We saw a ROYAL FARMS multi-pump gas station go up on a rural RT 13. People in that small community wondered why would we need what are INTERSTATE gas stations on our NOT SO USED RT 13. Here we see the public policy decided in 1990s and 99% of citizens are only protesting NOW waiting until they actually SEE THE BUILDING of structures. We are not going to stop these very, very, very bad PUBLIC HEALTH HAZARDS by allowing ourselves to be REACTIVE RATHER THAN PROACTIVE. So, all that off-shore development during Obama was MOVING FORWARD EAST COAST DRILLING FOR OIL AND NATURAL GAS bringing all that infrastructure of refineries, export terminals, pipelines, cargo rail cars to transport to and from our coastline real estate.
We feel as well the HIGH-SPEED RAIL where eminent domain is being used to claim real estate follows these oil and gas pipelines. People supported the off-shore 'GREEN ENERGY' that simply disguised all this PETRO INDUSTRY----people supported high-speed rail which allows the EMINENT DOMAIN capture of East Coast rural land in families for centuries. THERE GOES OUR FAMILY BEACHES.
HOW DO WE STOP MOVING FORWARD WHEN WE WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE BUILDING THESE STRUCTURES TO PROTEST LEAVING CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA GLOBAL WALL STREET POLS AND 5% PLAYER IN OUR PEOPLE'S GOVERNMENT?
This is how we KNOW our environmental groups have FAKE ALT LEFT 5% leaders -----these were environmental issues 30 years ago....and yes these national environmental groups know as much as we do.
North Carolina delays decision on Atlantic Coast Pipeline
Written By Elizabeth Ouzts3 hours ago
Elizabeth Ouzts / Southeast Energy News
Faced with a Monday deadline and a lopsided number of public comments opposing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration has delayed until mid-December its decision on whether to permit the controversial project.
Without fanfare or press release late yesterday, the state issued a four-page “request for additional information,” part of its duty under the federal Clean Water Act to ensure the natural gas pipeline won’t harm the over 320 rivers and streams and hundreds of acres of wetlands in its path.
Pipeline foes hailed the action, which appeared to vindicate a critique they’ve been leveling for months against the project, slated to hug the state’s I-95 corridor and pass through eight eastern North Carolina counties.
“The current application leaves out critical information,” said Geoff Gisler, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. “There are literally hundreds of streams and wetlands that the company has asked to dig through with hardly any analysis.”
The delay followed a series of rowdy hearings and meetings last month that were packed with pipeline opponents, and the receipt of over 9,000 written public comments – 85 percent urging rejection.
“That’s an incredible number,” said Gisler. “That’s something you’d expect to see in a federal rule making that covers the whole country.”
The vast majority of comments, both for and against the project, were short form letters. But the most extensive remarks from opponents highlighted a dearth of detail from the pipeline company – a joint venture of primarily Duke Energy and Virginia-based Dominion Resources.
“Atlantic’s application fails to provide necessary information to ensure that pipeline construction will not cause adverse impacts to wetlands and waters of the state,” wrote the Haliwa-Saponi, one of many Native American tribes along the pipeline’s route.
Natural gas has low solubility in water, making the chance of gas leaks that would harm creeks and rivers remote. But advocates say the pipeline fails to show it will mitigate the much bigger risks it poses to waterways during its construction.
Trenching through rivers and streams can stir up dirt and other pollutants, threatening the dozens of rare and endangered mussels, salamanders, and crayfish that live in eastern North Carolina’s creeks and streams.
“The application is lacking sufficient information…for reviewers and commenters to evaluate the impacts the project will have on water resources and aquatic species,” wrote Sound Rivers, the watchdog for the Neuse and Tar Rivers, both waters in the pipeline’s path.
Drilling underneath waterways is considered less intrusive, but poses a separate hazard: leaks of drilling mud used to lubricate the drill bit. Those problems have caused regulators to halt construction of pipelines in Ohio and Pennsylvania in recent months.
“It has never been clearer that a robust analysis of the [Atlantic Coast Pipeline] is necessary to protect the health of our communities as well as our waters and our wetlands,” wrote the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Sierra Club in their 45-page comments, pointing out these instances.
The state’s September 14 letter to the pipeline company appeared to echo some of the project’s critics.
“The [state] has determined the following additional information is necessary to continue to process your application,” the memo reads.
It goes on to request, among other details, more “site-specific” information, a “restoration plan for all stream crossings,” and an analysis of “cumulative impacts” of the pipeline’s 180-mile route through the state.
Developers have 30 days to respond; the state will then have another 60 days to grant or deny the certification, according to Brian Wrenn, a chief permitting official.
But as of now, the state’s letter says to Atlantic, “please be aware that you have no authorization under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act…for this activity.”
While a three-month delay is short of outright rejection, environmental advocates draw hope from the fact that three states have rebuffed pipelines because of their potential impact on water quality, two in the past year and a half.
Last month, a federal appeals court dealt the latest blow to one of these, the Constitution Pipeline, a 121-mile pipeline proposed from Pennsylvania to New York. Their main reasoning was a lack of information.
FOLKS, PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THESE COURT RULINGS AS KILLING THESE PIPELINE DEVELOPMENT----GLOBAL WALL STREET 1% SIMPLY KEEP MOVING FORWARD THESE PLANS WHILE THE COURTS SHIFT STANCES.
“We conclude that the denial of the § 401 certification after Constitution refused to provide relevant information, despite repeated [New York State Department of Environmental Conservation] requests, was not arbitrary or capricious,” the justices wrote.
As a baby boomer having lived through several decades of storms we are hearing our national media hype MONSTER STORM---CATASTROPHIC FLOODING-----END-TIME FIRES. There is a reason for this----MOVING FORWARD ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE bringing third world societal structures comes with a media and 2% FAR-RIGHT WING authoritarian government that needs 99% of citizens in chaos----fearful------feeling they have no power to STOP MOVING FORWARD.
What America has faced these few decades ===CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA are the consequences of several decades of ARMY CORP OF ENGINEERING global market/BIG DEVELOPMENT infrastructure building. All the floods along our rivers----all the burning forests in CA, OR, and WA ----all the US cities like Houston having entire communities engulfed in high waters-----are all a result of CIVIL ENGINEERING. FDR and future Presidents built the dams----tapped our fresh water aquifers to grow our small farms to US BIG AG to global BIG AG so irrigation drained the aquifers---industrialized farming killed our soil biome moving forward DUST BOWL and drought---add CLIMATE CHANGE with higher temps and disappearing glaciers-----and we have WILD FIRES TAKING MUCH OF CA, OR, AND WA. What was ARID LAND before ARMY OF ENGINEERING DAMS AND IRRIGATION is now simply returning to ARID LAND.
We remember the next incident with New Orleans and the failing SEA WALL. Yes, that hurricane was an example of CLIMATE CHANGE storms----air, water currents meeting higher water and air temperatures are fueling the intensity of hurricanes and tornadoes. We KNOW from several decades of hurricane seasons that our seasons are not much different. There are often several storms a few high category so what has changed is the EFFECTS ON OUR INFRASTRUCTURE. CIVIL ENGINEERING in these US Foreign Economic Zones as is HOUSTON and NEW ORLEANS has become THIRD WORLD in quality and intentions.
We are seeing to a GREAT EXTENT the failure of drain runoff ====the building of communities in flood plains-----all of which never happened before as development followed PUBLIC INTEREST---you don't build a house where you know flooding will occur.
Aug 27 2017, 8:01 pm ET
Houston Hit by ‘Catastrophic Flooding’ From Hurricane Harvey, Hundreds Rescued
by Phil McCausland, Daniella Silva and Saphora Smith
HOUSTON -- Rescuers answered thousands of calls from people trapped in Houston on Sunday as torrential rain from deadly Hurricane Harvey caused "catastrophic flooding" in the city and across southeast Texas, officials said.
"This event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced," the National Weather Service said Sunday morning.
Heavy rain continued to pour over Houston early Sunday afternoon, with some downtown areas knee-deep in water, and shut down portions of highways flooded with as much as 10 feet of water.
Historic Floods Hit Houston as Hundreds Rescued from Water 3:15At least one person has died in flooding in Houston, officials said. The storm is blamed in at least two deaths overall.
- Hurricane Harvey, currently a tropical storm, has caused "catastrophic and life-threatening flooding" in southeast Texas, according to the National Weather Service (NWS)
- At least two deaths have been blamed on the storm.
- Houston officials said rescuers have fielded more than 2,000 calls for help
- Harvey is expected to bring 15 to 25 inches of additional rainfall to the middle and upper Texas coast through Friday, according to the NWS.
Houston police said Sunday afternoon that more than 1,200 people had been rescued, with more to come. The weather service warned that flooding victims should go to their rooftops and not their attics to avoid being trapped by the rushing waters. Police in the city of Dickinson, southeast of Houston, made an online plea for people with boats to help in rescues.
"This is a life-threatening situation," said Michael Palmer, lead meteorologist at The Weather Channel.
In parts of south Houston, there were multiple abandoned cars and manhole covers spewed rushing water. As the rain slowed Sunday afternoon, one car blocked a roadway where it had stalled when the flood waters were high.
Drone Shows Devastating Flood in Houston Neighborhood 0:57Some parts of Houston and just west of the city could receive a Texas record of 50 inches of rain as the tropical storm continues to stall over the area, NWS meteorologist Patrick Burke told the Associated Press.
The NWS said local rainfall of 50 inches "would exceed any previous Texas rainfall record."
"The breadth and intensity of this rainfall are beyond anything experienced before," the agency's Weather Prediction Center said in a tweet.
Earlier Sunday, the National Weather Service said that the Houston and Galveston area had received 24.10 inches of rain in the last 24 hours.
The average rain fall within the Harris County emergency management network had already exceeded that of Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 in almost half the time, the Weather Prediction Center said.
The National Hurricane Center said that Allison caused 41 deaths, with 23 in the state of Texas alone, and an estimated $5 billion in damages.
President Donald Trump will be traveling to Texas on Tuesday after coordinating with state and local officials, said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
"We continue to keep all of those affected in our thoughts and prayers," she said.
Houston Mayor Defends Decision to Not Issue Mandatory Evacuation Orders 1:34Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Sunday afternoon that 3,000 national and state Guard personnel have been activated in the state.
"One thing that we are dealing with here is basically a triangle of ongoing rain that stretches one tip of which would be the Corpus Christi area, up to Travis county, over to Chamber's county and then back to Corpus Christi," he said during a news conference. "Parts of those regions will continue to receive incredibly heavy rain that will lead to even more flooding and more danger for Texans."
Abbott stressed "the importance of staying off the road" during the heavy rains and urged people to avoid going outside if possible.
"If you drive in the water, you're taking your life in your own hands," he said.
"This is worse than I thought it was going to be," said Taravella
"This is the first time I’m seeing it and it’s pretty bad," said Ford.
Ford said university officials said some fraternity and sorority buildings had to be evacuated. Some students had to leave behind cars that were stuck in water several feet deep and as high as their engines. In several low-lying areas on campus, multiple vehicles were engulfed in water.
There was a heavy police presence in the city on Sunday as officials continued to rescue people from the heavy flooding. At the university, campus police continuously patrolled the area, encouraging curious students to head back inland.
As responders rushed to save people from flooded homes and stranded cars, Houston city officials said emergency services were "at capacity" and warned residents to "shelter in place" and not to call 911 unless they were in "imminent danger."
Houston officials have received more than 2,000 calls for rescue since the storm made landfall, Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a press conference Sunday.
"We have had an unprecedented amount of water," Turner said. "I don’t think I need to tell anyone at this point that this is a very, very serious and unprecedented storm," he said.
Houston had opened up a city convention center as a shelter for people impacted by severe flooding, he added, but encouraged people to stay home if they could.
"The safest place is for you to be in your home," he said.
The south side of the city was being deluged by up to six inches of rain every hour overnight, the Office of Emergency Management said.
The U.S. Coast Guard said it was conducting urban search and rescue operations in the greater Houston area and that its local command center had received more than 300 requests.
"Currently there are five MH-65 Dolphin Helicopters conducting rescues," the statement said.
The flooding came as emergency services along the Gulf Coast scrambled to reach those in need of assistance, and many in the path of the storm began to assess the devastation.
Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said on NBC News' "Meet The Press" Sunday morning that the recovery effort would take "years."
Long told host Chuck Todd that President Donald Trump was "extremely concerned" about the situation on the ground.
'We Have Lives on the Line,' Texas Governor Tells Lester Holt 1:23"He’s given me all the authorities to amass the resources from the federal government down through our state and local partners," he said adding, "right now we have nearly 5,000 staff that we have coordinated across the federal government within the states of Texas and Louisiana."
At least two people have died since Harvey made landfall late Friday as a Category 4 hurricane. One was found dead in a vehicle in Houston on Saturday night in a possible drowning amid flooding in the city, a Houston fire department spokesperson said. Another died in a house fire in Aransas County that rescuers could not reach because of flooding.
The storm was about 15 miles northeast of Victoria as of 8 p.m. ET Sunday with 40-mph winds, and it is causing "unprecedented flooding," the National Hurricane Center said.
"When you get rates of over six inches of rainfall an hour it overflows the drainage systems and homes and businesses will be flooded, which is what we're seeing now in Houston," Palmer said.
He warned that the storm was likely to stay in the same area for the next few days meaning rainfall would continue to fall over southeast Texas. "The flooding is only going to get worse as we go forward," he said.
Current forecasts see total rainfall between Sunday and Thursday reaching 40-50 inches, which "would be one of the worst floods in U.S. history," Palmer said.
More than 80,000 people were without power in the Houston area, CenterPoint Energy said. City officials warned residents to stay at home as rescue operations were carried out.
"There are a number of people on our streets calling 911 exhausting needed resources. You can help by staying off the streets," said Turner, Houston's mayor.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo posted a warning on Twitter, saying: "Cannot emphasize enough how much flooding there is on roadways you are endangering yourself and our first responders by being out stay put ... do not think it's safe to be driving anywhere in the city."
Empty city buses line up on Interstate 59 near Houston on Saturday in case their bus shelters flood. Mark Mulligan / AP
He added: "Have reports of people getting into attic to escape floodwater do not to do so unless you have an axe or means to break through onto your roof."
Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport and Houston Bush Airport said all commercial flights are canceled until further notice.
Trump signed a disaster declaration late Friday, allowing federal funding to help stricken areas.
Trump said on Twitter Sunday: "Many people are now saying that this is the worst storm/hurricane they have ever seen. Good news is we have great talent on the ground."
'Virtually every senior Iraqi said the decade-long U.S. occupation was beset by huge misspending and waste, and had accomplished little'.
What has been allowed to take hold in US during CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA can be reflected in the international media surrounding war zone and developing nation development. There was only a desire to SPEND MONEY ON DEVELOPMENT-----Federal funds heading to US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES like Houston, New Orleans, Florida mirrored the kinds of development overseas under the guise of NATION-BUILDING. The typical massive frauds of moving money to what became global DEVELOPMENT NGOs -----with Clinton/Bush/Obama throwing a few millions at those 5% for small business frauds----created infrastructure that SIMPLY FELL DOWN in few years. It was never meant to stand----the goal was SPENDING THE MONEY.
This is what has happened in our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones-----the earliest in Texas, Louisiana, Florida---were built by engineering and civil planners tied to 5% to the 1% global Wall Street players. We have 30 years of development having NO PUBLIC INTEREST====building communities where they should not be----building cities with SUBPRIME engineering and civil planning-----JUST TO SPEND THE MONEY.
This is why our national media working for that global 1% must now use words like MONSTER, CATASTROPHIC, END-TIME disasters.
We have allocated week's discussion on public policy to WEATHER WEAPONRY technology-----we agree there has been and still is intent by the global 1% to use weather to harm regions of people---groups of people. We are very sure global 1% are NOT THERE WITH THAT TECHNOLOGY. They may be using it for LOCAL WEATHER MANIPULATIONS----please focus on the REAL ISSUES of storm damage----and that is failure of infrastructure development----failure of oversight and accountability ---and failure to use what local and state governments had to maintain roads, bridges if not for allowing BILLIONS OF STATE AND LOCAL REVENUE TO BE LOST TO FRAUD AND MISAPPROPRIATION.
CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA were simply throwing those few millions in these overseas nation-building to the same 5% as patronage temporary small businesses which was lost to fraud and corruption---same as in all US cities these few decades.
All of these images of war, flood, and disaster are EYE-CANDY for far-right wing extreme wealth extreme poverty CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA ----THEY ARE SOCIOPATHS after all.
The Failed Reconstruction of Iraq
- R. Jeffrey Smith
- Mar 15, 2013
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It was supposed to become a thriving, Western-style economy. What happened?
Staff from the South Oil Company (SOC) demonstrate to demand higher salaries and better benefits, in Basra, 260 miles southeast of Baghdad, on February 19, 2013. (Atef Hassan/Reuters)
After U.S. and allied warplanes destroyed a key bridge carrying 15 oil and gas pipelines in northern Iraq during the 2003 conflict there, officials in Washington and Baghdad made its postwar reconstruction a top priority. But instead of spending two months to rebuild the span over the Tigris River at an estimated cost of $5 million, they decided for security reasons to bury the pipelines beneath it, at an estimated cost more than five times greater.
What ultimately happened there tells the story -- in a microcosm -- of a substantial chunk of the massive nine-year U.S. effort to reconstruct Iraq, the second-largest such endeavor in history (only the U.S. investment in Afghanistan has been larger).
Virtually every senior Iraqi said the decade-long U.S. occupation was beset by huge misspending and waste, and had accomplished little.
Studies conducted before the digging of the new pipelines started showed that the soil was too sandy, but neither the Army Corps of Engineers overseeing the effort nor the main contractor at the site, Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), heeded the warning. As a result, "tens of millions of dollars [were] wasted on churning sand" without making any headway, as Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart W. Bowen Jr., described it in his recently published final report on the U.S. occupation.
By the time the digging effort was halted, and the old bridge and piping repaired -- more than three years later -- the bill had reached more than $100 million. "Because of the nature of the original contract, the government was unable to recover any of the money wasted on this project," Bowen said. More than $1.5 billion in oil revenues may have been lost as a result of the delays. KBR did not respond to a request for comment.
The episode is, in short, emblematic of the contracting abuses and mismanagement that wasted at least $8 billion of the $60 billion spent by Washington on Iraq's post-war recovery, under the guidance of what Bowen describes in his report as "adhocracy" largely controlled by the U.S. military -- a structure that never "coalesced into a coherent whole" and often failed to achieve its aims.
With the U.S. military now gone from Iraq and the 10th anniversary of the invasion only days away, Bowen's retrospective summary of his audits offers useful insights into how well the U.S. government managed its occupation and the legacy it left behind. The mostly downbeat tone is set early, when the report summarizes final interviews Bowen conducted with 44 top U.S. and Iraq officials, who addressed the simple question of whether the decade-long project left Iraq in better shape.
Most of the Americans he spoke to were rueful, noting multiple miscalculations, poor planning, disorganization in Washington, and inadequate consultation with Iraqis. James Jeffrey, the U.S. ambassador in Iraq from 2010 to 2012, told Bowen that "the U.S. reconstruction money used to build up Iraq was not effective ... We didn't get much in return."
Only retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, who commanded U.S. forces in Iraq before shifting to Afghanistan and then briefly directing the CIA, was ebullient, claiming the effort had brought "colossal benefits to Iraq."
Virtually every senior Iraqi, in sharp contrast, said the decade-long U.S. occupation was beset by huge misspending and waste and had accomplished little. The biggest footprint Americans left behind, most of these Iraqi officials said, was more corruption and widespread money-laundering. Such a huge investment "could have brought great change in Iraq," Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said, but the gains were often "lost."
***The bill for Iraq is hard to divide into neat categories, but in rough terms: Washington spent more than $15 billion to try and improve Iraq's power and water supply, revive its schools, and repair its roads and housing; it spent another $9 billion on health care, law enforcement, and humanitarian assistance; it spent $20 billion training and re-equipping Iraqi security forces; it spent roughly $8 billion to enhance the rule of law and battle narcotics; and it spent $5 billion helping to prop up the economy.
Bowen's interviews with influential Iraqis reveal, however, that they don't seem to have noticed all this investment or don't seem grateful. One reason might be that households -- as recently as 2011 -- still got an average of only 7.6 hours of electricity a day, and a sixth of Iraq's citizens lacked access to potable drinking water for more than two hours a day.
Both U.S. and Iraqi officials complained to Bowen that not enough was done during the occupation to stem corruption. An Iraqi government watchdog agency, the Board of Supreme Audit, noted last year that $800 million in profits from illicit activities was being transferred out of Iraq each week, effectively stripping $40 billion annually from the economy, according to Bowen's report.
There are exceptions to the tales of fraud and waste. A State Department-funded childhood vaccination program helped cut the national infant-mortality rate by nearly three-quarters. The Baghdad rail station was repaired on time and under budget. And telecommunications repairs have enabled mobile phone use to climb from 80,000 to 23 million subscribers.
But U.S. dreams of fostering a thriving, Western-style economy in the Middle East have not been realized. Almost all of Iraq's gains have come from oil production, which is now roughly a third greater than it was in 2003. The oil industry is not a big employer, however, and "Iraq is still far from having a vibrant, market-based private sector," Bowen reports.
Moreover, its military still "lacks critical capabilities in logistics, intelligence," and repair, Bowen's report states. It cannot defend its airspace or its coastline, and is weak in counterterrorism.
***Bowen's report indirectly assigns blame for mismanaging the endeavor to the Bush White House, which had the authority to force U.S. government agencies to coordinate their work but failed to exercise it. Instead, he points out, no single office was assigned to lead the effort, making stovepiping -- a myriad of narrowly focused efforts -- "the apt descriptor," the report said.
But the largest responsibility for the screw-up lies generally at the Pentagon and particularly in the Army, according to the report. The Defense Department "held decisive sway over $45 billion (87 percent) of the roughly $52 billion allocated to the major rebuilding funds that supported Iraq's reconstruction."
The agencies formally charged with dispensing foreign aid -- the State Department and the Agency for International Development -- played only a minor role in these accounting shortfalls, because they spent less than a fifth of the reconstruction funds. "State's role in managing the reconstruction ... ebbed and flowed in cycles driven by the personalities involved, with State frequently on the losing end of arguments," Bowen reports.
It was the Pentagon that failed to plan "for a lengthy occupation or a large relief and reconstruction program," Bowen noted, under the tutelage of a Defense Secretary -- Donald Rumsfeld -- who famously said, "If you think we're going to spend a billion dollars of our money over there, you are sadly mistaken."
Defense officials have acknowledged that a substantial chunk of the Pentagon's spending in Iraq went to repair the looting and other damage done by Iraqis in the immediate period after the war ended, when U.S. troops were not tasked with keeping order. They also have confirmed that billions of dollars were diverted from civil reconstruction to security efforts after the military abuses at Abu Ghraib helped stoke widespread hostility to the U.S. occupation.
It was the Pentagon that opened a contracting office in Baghdad that Bowen said was chronically understaffed -- despite Defense's peak presence in Iraq of more than 170,000 personnel. The office nonetheless shoveled money out the door at such a high rate and with so little accountability that by 2005, the U.S. embassy there was incapable of matching "projects with the contracts that funded them," according to Bowen's report.
Average U.S. expenditures for Iraqi reconstruction in 2005, for example, were more than $25 million a day. When Bowen's auditors went looking for documents supporting billions of dollars of fund transfers to the Iraqi government in that period, they discovered the paperwork was "largely missing."
Pentagon-funded fuel purchases were particularly problematic: When Bowen's office asked to see a log book documenting $1.3 billion in fuel purchases by the Coalition Provisional Authority, "the log book could not be found." Defense officials also could not produce documents supporting their expenditure of over $100 million in cash found in a vault at the Republican Palace, the gilded Saddam Hussein parlor that became a headquarters of the occupation.
In the crisis atmosphere pervading the reconstruction effort for most of the decade, Pentagon contracts were often open-ended, with vague demands and no precise deadlines. Although the contracts had provisions allowing their conversion to fixed-price awards after some of the work was completed, "the government failed to exercise these options," Bowen's report said.
A special system of urgent payments by military commanders -- created to tamp down the Iraqi insurgency and known as the Commander's Emergency Response Program -- dispensed $4 billion without any formal oversight. Military officials say it worked well, at least at the outset, but no Defense Department office assembled a comprehensive picture of how the money was spent. As a result, Bowen calls the claims of success "suspect."
***Weak oversight predictably led to rampant overcharging. A firm based in Dubai managed to keep around $4 billion in Pentagon construction contracts, for example, despite routinely marking up the price of switches and plumbing parts between 3,000 and 12,000 percent, according to an audit Bowen conducted in 2011. Kellogg Brown and Root was among a handful of large contractors that kept winning U.S. funds, despite repeated claims by the Pentagon and others of overcharging by the firm and its subcontractors. The firm has said it conducted its work with "integrity, transparency, accountability, and discipline."
Some military officers and civilian defense officials participated in the looting. A probe by Bowen's office of the American official overseeing early reconstruction in Hilla, for example, yielded evidence of widespread bribes, bid-rigging, money laundering, kickbacks and illegal gifts in a scheme that included four colonels, who all got prison terms. An Army major who was the main contracting official at a base in Kuwait oversaw fraud in the purchase of bottled water and warehouse construction that involved 21 others.
Perhaps Bowen's most depressing conclusion is that the U.S. government is no better prepared for reconstruction work in other countries than it was in 2002. No single government office has responsibility for such operations, he notes, and no tracking system has been established to help oversee related contracting.
Bowen recommends that the Obama administration create a new U.S. office for "contingency operations," and even includes draft legislation on it in his report. But in an austere fiscal climate, and with Obama's team set against future military occupations, hopes for reform appear scant.
Clearly a number of lawmakers "have signed on to this solution," said Bowen's deputy Glenn D. Furbish, a top auditor in SIGIR for the past eight years. "Hopefully, we will not get into these things again ... [and] I hope people pay attention to what he has to say ... But it is questionable whether these [reforms] are going to go forward. Given the current political environment, I am not particularly optimistic."
We have talked about the progression of MOVING FORWARD ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES by stating the first phase of these MASTER PLANS are making TOURISM the major industry ---bringing in HOTELS, RESTAURANTS, RESORTS just as Baltimore development has these few decades.....this is all preparation for bringing FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE global corporate campuses and global factories. This has been the totality of Baltimore's development outside of GLOBAL JOHNS HOPKINS expanding to take the entire city center----now we have UNDERARMOUR and COVE POINT being that GLOBAL CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS---FOOTPRINT.
We have watched this for several decades overseas in Foreign Economic Zones in Asia, Middle-East, and Latin America----and of course right close to home OUR CARIBBEAN ISLANDS. The Caribbean Island development has always been small peasant-palm leaf et al easy to replace buildings because they experience these constant annual storms. The population of these islands was also low----it was the GLOBAL TOURISM AND FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE structures that brought higher population with buildings more effected by storm on islands that should not be developed because of CLIMATE CHANGE.
We already see the same disregard to CLIMATE CHANGE in civil engineering and planning here in BALTIMORE. IT IS THE BAD INFRASTRUCTURE DESIGN THAT WILL LITERALLY KILL WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% ----
We shout here in Baltimore----why are you building right to the water's edge with these high-rise buildings in Inner Harbor, Harbor East, now Harbor West when we KNOW sea level rise will have them under water----the answer is-----global 1% and this US Foreign Economic Zone will only exist for about 50 years----then the global 1% will be off to SIBERIA while 99% of WE THE PEOPLE will have major infrastructure drowning in CLIMATE CHANGE just like Houston.
But that 5% to the 1% are MOVING FORWARD ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE development as fast as they can---the 99% allowing RIGGED ELECTIONS placing these players in office AND those FAKE ALT RIGHT ALT LEFT 5% will be out protesting and shaking their fists 50 YEARS FROM NOW mad as heck our US city infrastructure is UNDERWATER.
For Caribbean residents, Irma could last months
by Jill Disis @jdisis September 7, 2017: 10:54 AM ET
Wrath of Hurricane Irma on the Caribbean
The 28 island nations that make up the Caribbean are accustomed to hurricane season, but the Category 5 storm that has been pummeling these popular vacation spots has plenty of residents worried.Travel and tourism contributed $56 billion to the total gross domestic product in the Caribbean last year -- about 15% of the region's total GDP, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.
"This is a very important economic activity for the region," said Gloria Guevara, the president and CEO of the tourism council. "Something like a hurricane, of course, can have a very significant impact."
Related: Puerto Rico nervously awaits Hurricane Irma after storm rips Caribbean islands
Emergency authorities say people on some of the most at-risk islands left the area by plane before the storm hit, while others have been riding it out inside hotels or other shelters built to withstand storms.
The storm left at least nine people dead as it tore through St. Martin, St. Barthélemy, Barbuda and other islands. Barbuda is barely inhabitable with nearly all its buildings damaged, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda said.
Puerto Rico was spared a direct hit, but it still got lashed by strong winds and torrential rains. Hundreds of thousands lost power because of the storm, officials said.
Anguilla also saw significant damage, including to facilities that house the elderly and sick, according to Ronald Jackson, the executive director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, who spoke to CNNMoney Wednesday morning.
Jackson said at the time that it will be a couple weeks before officials can tally preliminary estimates of Irma's destruction.
But some fear that Irma could leave its mark for months to come, if not longer. Tourism season in the Caribbean doesn't get into full swing until December, and Irma's effects could still be felt once holiday travelers descend.
Related: Hurricane Irma isn't what Puerto Rico needs right now
"The Bahamas is taking this very, very seriously," said Joy Jibrilu, director general of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. Irma could hit some of the southern islands of the Caribbean archipelago.
Jibrilu said that could be potentially devastating for the commonwealth, which just last year fell in the path of Hurricane Matthew.
"The areas that were directly hit by Hurricane Matthew -- they are still in recovery mode," she said. "Homes are still being repaired, or not repaired. People are still trying to get their lives back to normal."
Estimates for the destruction wrought by Matthew in the Bahamas range from $60 to $600 million, Jibrilu said. Two hotels on Grand Bahama are still closed, she said, leaving many residents there without work.
Hugh Riley, the secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, said cleanup after the storm will need to happen quickly and effectively.
And he stressed that prospective visitors need to understand that damage to one part of the region does not render every island uninhabitable.
"No one ever wants to minimize the importance of what happens in one particular part of the Caribbean versus another," Riley said. "But it really doesn't mean that we're closed for business."
But even after the storm clears the Caribbean, Jibrilu said she's worried about where it may go next.
Related: Hurricane Irma takes aim at Florida businesses
About three-quarters of American tourists to the Bahamas come from Florida, she said, where Irma could hit as soon as Sunday.
"The focus of Floridians will be on their repair," she said. "That will have a devastating impact on our tourism economy."
Jibrilu said her commonwealth is doing as much preparation for the storm as it possibly can. All that's left to do afterward, she said, is pray.
"We don't want it to hit any of our neighbors," Jibrilu said. "The prayer is that the hurricane goes out to sea."