August 31, 2005
Katrina fundraiser

Before I get into today's Katrina links, I want to pass this along to my fellow Houstonians.

The Rod Ryan Show and The Buzz present the Hurricane Katrina Request-athon!

Starting at 6 a.m. Wednesday, we'll be taking song requests for cash to help residents of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. We're dusting off ALL our records, 'cause anything goes!

Here's the price list:
$30 - Buzz Songs
$60 - Non-Buzz Songs
$80 - Way off The Buzz Path (example: Barry Manilow)
$200 - Local Bands

You say it ... and pay it ... we'll play it!! Call 713-212-KTBZ to place your request.

That's 94.5 on the FM dial here. Ted emailed me a heads-up about this earlier today (they have since changed the request line phone number to what I've displayed here). I tuned in on my way to work and heard them say that the money is going to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, so consider that your plea for the day to help out. And as an extra added inducement, anyone who gives $100 or more can get a free custom-burned CD from Ted.

The top story in the Chronicle is that the refugees currently being housed in the Superdome will be coming to Houston.

As Army engineers struggled without success to plug New Orleans' breached levees with sandbags and water continued to rise, Texas officials have worked out a plan to bring more than 23,000 refugees from the Superdome to Houston's Astrodome.

The Houston Chronicle has learned refugees trapped in the Superdome will be bused to the Astrodome in Houston under plans being put together by state and local officials, a spokeswoman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry said today.

Kathy Walt said Texas still hasn't received a formal request from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who also could be seeking alternatives to the Astrodome. But, Walt added, the Louisiana secretary of state requested Texas's help in a phone call late last night or early this morning.

Walt said arrangements were being made for more than 400 buses to transport the refugees, who have been without power or adequate sanitary facilities since the hurricane struck New Orleans on Monday.

Officials from both states and Harris County were discussing logistics in a conference call early this morning, Walt said. She said that the governor's office has been told the Astrodome's events schedule has been cleared through December.

Texas officials also have been talking with Jefferson County officials about using the Ford Center in Beaumont for longterm shelter for refugees, Walt said.

I've cracked my share of jokes about what should become of the Astrodome, but whatever its future may bring, I can't think of a better purpose for it right now. Kudos to Governor Perry, Mayor White, and the Harris County Commissioners Court for making this happen. More details at blogHouston, which notes that Banjo had suggested this before the news was made public.

Complete Katrina coverage from the Chron is here, along with an RSS feed. The Chron's SciGuy blog has also been a great resource.

Two items in closing: One, I agree wholeheartedly with this NYT editorial (via Atrios):

Those of us in New York watch the dire pictures from Louisiana with keen memories of the time after Sept. 11, when the rest of the nation made it clear that our city was their city, and that everyone was part of the battle to restore it. New Orleans, too, is one of the places that belongs to every American's heart - even for people who have never been there.

Right now it looks as if rescuing New Orleans will be a task much more daunting than any city has faced since the San Francisco fire of 1906. It must be a mission for all of us.

And two, sooner or later we're going to need to confront the questions about whether or not what has happened this week could have been ameliorated (links via MyDD).

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 31, 2005 to Hurricane Katrina | TrackBack

This is a truly historic disaster. I cannot leave the city to help those in Louisiana (and I doubt I would be let in). But I hope I can help some of those who will become temporary Houstonians. If there are ways we can help at the Astrodome or otherwise, I hope you blog it here.

Posted by: Kurt on August 31, 2005 11:04 AM

Chuck, the minute I heard about the plan to house some storm refugees in the Astrodome, I immediately thought of you: "Finally, a use for the dome that CK can get behind." And I agree, it is a noble purpose for this landmark.

Posted by: Ellen on August 31, 2005 11:33 AM

This is a truly historic disaster. I cannot leave the city to help those in Louisiana (and I doubt I would be let in). But I hope I can help some of those who will become temporary Houstonians. If there are ways we can help at the Astrodome or otherwise, I hope you blog it here.

Good thoughts. Also, the Chronicle has a listing of special offers and free or discounted activities for refugees from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Maybe some of this can be at lease a little welcome diversion for people caught in this terrible circumstance.

Remember the slogan that the mayor was getting behind for the Super Bowl here? Well, now here's another time for Houston to rise to the occasion of hosting a large number of visitors, only this time the stakes are far more serious and somber.

Posted by: Tim on August 31, 2005 12:37 PM

Everyone's number one job must be to reverse global warming.

The effort to silence, to ruin science is not because of Darwin and evolution; it is because of global warming. Everyone's number one job has to be to reverse global warming in order to stop the methane release in Alaska and Siberia or hurricanes specifically will get ever larger and deadlier. So to save ourselves, our loved ones and life on our planet, we should and must criticize strongly the lack of attention and problems solving needed to prevent our own extinction.

Posted by: Support Science to Reverse Global Warming on September 1, 2005 1:33 AM

Working on global warming solutions with climate science experts is the biggest, most important long term job for us to do, even if some among the experts think that a tipping point, saturation point makes it possibly too late to change the harsh course of global warming-a mass extinction event. We must try to do the right thing.

The biggest short term job is to get the Hurricane survivors CLEAN WATER and RESCURING today and tomorrow as the following days or so may be too late for many to survive.

Again, we must try to do the right thing.

Posted by: Clean Water Today and Tomorrow on September 1, 2005 5:11 PM