Guess who got a his own FEMA trailer! [Sam Portera]

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Sportera, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    ....and it only took, what, eight months.

    I may gripe and groan but I am damn glad to have it finally. The air condition, hot water heater and toilet all work and I couldn't be happier! Came complete with pots and pans, silverware, plates and blankets. Even a mop and a broom!

    I know its not much but its a small place that I can call my own (until they take it back). No more living out of a bag and not knowing where I'll sleep next month. I have been staying in some one elses trailer for the last month and renting one prior to that, while I'm away from NOLA working.

    Seriously though, there are a lot of awfully good people who want to do good but are tied up in mountains of "home land security" paper work. Fema is now under home land security and everything takes an amazingly long time to do. I'm very sorry to say that I have lost faith in my governments ability to save us in a disaster. Far too many cheifs and too little Indians.

    Sorry for the rant, I actually am happy just perplexed at how complicated everything has become.


    Just wanted to share my joy with the group.
     
  2. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    For whatever reason, FEMA has never been the efficient organization that is needed to respond to our nation's disasters. It may have never been adequately staffed; I know that they depend heavily on part time help for disaster response and may lack enough trained professionals to help it achieve its mission. But there is no doubt that it has gotten worse since Homeland Security was created. All of its energy and resources were sucked into the terrorism response effort at the expense of the natural disaster response. And, having a leader appointed by the spoils system sure didn't help. Hopefully the new director, someone who has managed emergencies his whole career, can set things right, but the agency is such a mess that I don't think he has much of a chance. Anyway, I'm glad you have a home to call your own.
     
  3. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Con gratulations
    How big is the darkroom :smile:
    Cheers, Søren
     
  4. wfe

    wfe Member

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    Good news Sam and keep up the great photography that you have been producing.
     
  5. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Congratulations Sam...actually time seems about right, why? have a friend who just got back from Iraq...he and his guys slept in tents the entire time, they just moved in and made ready the container quarters when the guys had about a month to go....no one wanted to move in for a month.
     
  6. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    Glad to hear you have something. Sorry to hear that it took so long.

    FEMA was alwas a poor stepchild in the Federal Government. Now its part of the larger cabinet level behemoth Homeland Security...

    The biggest problem, many times, with the larger bureaucratic departments is that they are administered by polictical wonks who know next to nothing about the agency that they were appointed to. For them its all about how THEY get ahead, what their next next move will be, not how to do the job right.

    It's just a thought, but wouldn't it be an interesting idea to have people with disaster relief experience running a disaster relief agency? Kind of like having a Police Chief with some policing experience or a Fire Chief thats been inside a burning building once or twice....

    NAH! Stupid idea! What WAS I thinking?!?!?!?!
     
  7. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Apart from slow government, how is things progressing (?) in the area ?
    Cheers, Søren
     
  8. Digidurst

    Digidurst Subscriber

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    A mop and a broom? I'll bet you never thought you'd be so thankful to have such items in your possesion again, huh? I'm just amazed that despite all of this, you are still producing such incredible work. You are an inspiration, Sam, truly! Best of luck to you :smile:
     
  9. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Yesterday was the 100th anniversery of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. PBS had a special on it Monday night. It was startling to see that the people of the city started cleaning up almost immediately. Probably because (unlike NO) nobody told them they couldn't. Also, within days of the disaster, Army units began arriving with food and supplies. Although it was not mentioned, I would guess that the initiative was from base commanders all up and down the west coast, rather than from Washington.

    People just did things 100 years ago, and now we have FEMA. :rolleyes:

    Good luck Sam. We're with you!
     
  10. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Wow...for trailor trash you sure make purdy pik-tyures :wink:

    Murray
     
  11. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    That's great, Sam.

    Considering it's your joy you are sharing, I'll refrain from any political jokes about the quagmire between local, state and federal governments.
     
  12. darr

    darr Member

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    I do not know you Sam, but I am very happy for you and your family. We took hits from Katrina and Wilma, but our house did not get totally damaged. Living without power, water, telephone for 6 weeks was nothing compared to what you have been through. God bless!
     
  13. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Sam,

    What a relief this must be for you. I really can not imagine the difficulty that this must present for those in New Orleans at this time. The federal response has been a travesty.




     
  14. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    Thank you all for the comments.

    In reference to the progess in NOLA, what progress are you referring to. The progress of those in power to line their pockets with money meant for us? Simple answer there is none. Just in the news yesterday the cities deal to remove all those washed out cars fell through becuase some body in the gov didn't feel they got enough in the deal, so we still have these cars everywhere.

    In my parish the Sheriff and Parish president is under investigation. The Sheriff was caught on camera looting jewlery in a Jewelery stor after the storm, his defense, he was taking it to a safer place. The parish president can't account for millions of dollars that the feds gave him.

    The mayor of NOLA declares NOLA will be Chocolate again but now had billboards all over the city claiming the Ray Nagin is uniting the city as one people. He is also the one who said "How do we stop from being over runned by mexicans!"

    Its no wonder no one is in a rush to get back here!
    Im not blaiming the FEDS only, its local,state,federal and the Governor who has let us down. Not to mention the N.O. police looting force.

    Again thanks for the comments, and no there is no darkroom in the FEMA trailer........yet.
     
  15. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    .....and to clarify I have not received a dime from fema since October. A $2000 check two weeks after the storm, I used to pay bills that were due, (another story) and $2300 a month later I gave to the family that was housing and feeding us, all 37 of us. Some are taking as much as they can, I can't thats stealing because I am able to work.

    I know of many still on unemployemnt, still living in FEMA payed apartments. People who have trailers in the yard of a perfectly sound yard because they thought they were going to something for nothing. Its these leeches that have taken from those that need the money.
     
  16. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Congrats Sam.

    Your NOLA photo gallery postings are outstanding by the by..
     
  17. david b

    david b Member

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    I've met Sam in person and he a terrific guy. The best. And he's become a good friend. He called me the other night when he finally got the trailer. It's ridiculous that it took this long.

    And for the rest of you, keep an eye on www.nola.com
     
  18. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    Thanks David, you are truly a good friend.
     
  19. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    National Geographic, Newsweek, Time, and the others can send all the photographers they want, but they won't have what you have...intimate, personal involvement which comes through in your images. Keep it up and enjoy your quiet nights - it must have been CRAZY where you were living!

    Murray
     
  20. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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  21. agGNOME

    agGNOME Member

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    Another issue, for those that do want to get back, is the greatly inflated cost of renting or real estate. I know it's a free market, but it almost feels like price gouging; where once the cost was quite reasonable to live in this awesome city. I hope it's just temporary, as I fear it could drain the city's soul. As to the bureaucracy, corruption, and cover-ups...it's sickening and there is so much the general public will never know.

    Congratulations seem like a funny word to use, so best wishes with the Fema Cottage and moving forward thereafter. Any luck with the local publishers?
     
  22. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    Still working on it Cameron. I am making a "proof" book or whatever you call it to show. Will let you know if the project goes any further

    Real estate is robbery in NOLA and its surrounding area. House are selling for double what they were worth last year. Some banks refuse to lend money on these inflated homes, not worth the investment. People are asking the bank for 350k for a home appraised at 250k.
     
  23. david b

    david b Member

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    Sam...you need to do a blog.
     
  24. agGNOME

    agGNOME Member

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    Yeah, it's ridiculous. If more people are to come back, and thus speed up the city's recovery, housing needs to be reasonable and commensurate with the jobs available.

    I know your working hard on the project...can't wait to see the end results. I'm sure there will be positive rewards in one form or another. take care, cameron
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2006
  25. Sanjay Sen

    Sanjay Sen Member

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    Sam, glad to know that the trailer finally arrived. My best wishes to you and your family, and good luck with the book project. Like many here, I have seen your images and they are absolutely beautiful!


    Regards,