Friday, September 09, 2005

"I did not see the utility": New Orleans squashes Astrodome help effort

Are we surprised?

Volunteers tried to set up a low power radio broadcasting system so that refugees in the Astrodome could get timely and useful information. A few bureaucrats took the classic approach to that:
Rita Obey, a local official from Harris County Public Health Services, gave them a laundry list of prerequisites. The most notable of these was the command to procure 10,000 personal, battery-powered radios -- and batteries.

"She said she was afraid of 'people fighting over the radios,'" said Liz Surley, a KAMP volunteer....
So, they got the radios.
RW Royall Jr., the incident commander of the Joint Information Center -- the group temporarily governing the operations of the Astrodome campus -- told KAMP they could not install their equipment...

Obey, speaking to Wired News, explained that the JIC couldn't see a use for the radio station when they had the ability to communicate via the loudspeaker system and newsletters.

"I did not see the utility," said Obey.
No wonder the NO cops are being told to disarm the people.

Joel Johnson has the story in Wired. Thanks to ArtsJournal for the tip.

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