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Bill

Read your piece when I got up this morning, then picked up my NY Times and was faced with the cover story about Fed disaster loans rejecting a higher than usual number of applicants from the Gulf Coast, and how the majority of rejections are people of low income (want to make sure you see it, figure you have). Seeing a map detailing loan distribution demographically, mainly to the relatively weathly, does nothing to overcome fears that New Orleans is being rebuilt for anyone but the refugees.

Your articles keep introducing us to folks determined to survive and stay, however difficult it is to rebuild and find work. It's impossible to imagine that serving the needs of these very people--the folks who want to live and work in the city they love, and who'll be the backbone of any reconstruction effort--isn't top priority to those with the power to help. For every business owner you've introduced us to (who can probably qualify for reconstruction loans and insurance), we've also met the fractured infrastructure of growers, customers, contractors and staff the business relies on for support. Don't agency admistrators live somewhere in the real world?

Keep up the good work. If they do succeed in Disney-fying New Orleans we can only hope they include a Space Mountain-style "Disaster Relief Rollercoaster" to help train future agency officials so this kind of thing doesn't happen again. Why not, every day I open the paper I think Goofy is in charge of the country. Well, without Goofy's charming sense of humor, of course.

Isabella Maja

Just to let you know, The Farmer's Market IS open in Gretna, about 6 miles from Downtown.

Click the link for my report with all the details. Quite frankly, I feel it is even better than the Uptown Tuesday Market.

http://www.network54.com/Forum/258202/message/1134692574/

Isabella

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New York writer Betsy Andrews volunteers in some of New Orleans' best restaurant kitchens as they struggle to bounce back after Hurricane Katrina. Here, she reports on the daily successes and setbacks and shares her own experiences.

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