Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Housing shortage also hindering recovery, it says
Times-Picayune, April 25, 2007, By Bill Barrow
BATON ROUGE -- A failure of local leadership and a lack of affordable housing are primary reasons that New Orleans trails many other Gulf Coast communities in storm and flood recovery, according to a new report.
The report, issued jointly by the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana and the Rockefeller Institute of Government, is the second in an ongoing analysis of 22 locales that were affected -- in some cases positively -- by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Overall, the report describes regionwide recovery as "uneven," with the progress of each local area dependent on how effective leaders have been in making decisions; how badly its business and economic infrastructure was damaged; and how quickly it has been able to get state and federal aid.
See entire article.
Updated: 2007-04-25 16:43
Five thousand people have been evacuated after a chlorine leak in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, officials with the local government said on Wednesday.See article here.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
The future competitiveness of the infrastructure system presents an engineering leadership challenge
In this context, there are two readily-apparent ways for engineers to effect change. First, engineers need to position themselves better by seeking public office, which would provide them with proximity and access to the legislative process. Second, in order to help Congress to better understand technology transfers and complex scientific principles before implementing new policies, the engineering discipline should actively recruit and pitch its professionals for placement on lawmaker and committee staffs. This second tactic is likely to require a cultural shift in the engineering profession. Talented engineers will not readily pursue alternative but important career paths if they think that their work will be dismissed or devalued by the profession, including its societies and licensing boards. Likewise, lawmakers and committees are unlikely to understand the benefits of having engineers on their staffs and deferring to their judgment on important social issues without a significant public relations campaign. The stakes are high enough, however, that extreme measures are necessary.
This report was prepared under the authority of the Comptroller General to examine (1) challenges port authorities have experienced as a result of recent natural disasters, (2) efforts under way to address these challenges, and (3) the manner in which port authorities plan for natural disasters. GAO reviewed documents and interviewed various port stakeholders from 17 major U.S. ports.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Monday, April 2, 2007
States' Right To Adopt Strong Chemical Security Laws Like NJ's Protected
On Thursday, March 29, 2007, the Senate passed the FY 2007 Supplemental Appropriations Bill with a provision authored by Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) to block the Bush Administration's plan to preempt state chemical security laws.
The "Lautenberg language" overcame a vigorous campaign from chemical industry lobbyists who fought the ability of states to enact stronger laws than the federal government.
Sunday, April 1, 2007
"If a state measure to regulate security at high-risk facilities does not conflict with, interfere with, hinder, or frustrate the purpose of DHS's regulations, it would not be pre-empted," Chertoff wrote. Lumpkin writes that Lautenberg was not mollified. "Rather than let New Jersey and other states move forward defending our communities from attacks on our chemical facilities, the Bush administration is trying to freeze us in our tracks," said Scott Mulhauser, a spokesman for Lautenberg.
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