Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Site to Keep an Eye On


As some observers have noted, and as the entire LSU/VA Hospitals experience has shown me, it's truly difficult for the average citizen to get a handle of what his or her government is doing.  It's even more difficult to stop the various government entities from doing what you don't want them to do.

Throw enough money, bureaucracies, levels of government, expropriation petitions, and shifting, euphemistic acronyms at a historic neighborhood, and you will ultimately get your way.  That seems to be the lesson.

You'll even get the rather ironic and gung ho support of the Downtown Development District as you abandon downtown New Orleans, leave the massive Charity Hospital complex and the existing VA Hospital complex vacant, and push out beyond the CBD to build sprawling suburban-style medical facilities where they do not belong.

The sad thing in all of this is that I really don't have a problem with the overarching purpose of many of the development organizations involved.  I do have a problem with the wanton way in which they have decided that some people in the community and some parts of the city itself simply don't matter.  If medical and biomedical development was targeted intelligently, as it should be, at the many, many existing vacancies in the CBD, there would be far less opposition.


Anonymous said...

--New Orleans CityBusiness May 30, 2009

Brad V said...


If you're implying that I'm late in posting this, I make no claim that this is a new site that has suddenly appeared - it's just one that's good to watch for updates if you're concerned about Charity/Lower Mid-City issues.

If you're implying that there's sufficient openness in the process, I'll note that while it's always clear for those whose jobs revolve around this project, it's not so clear or so easy for those who are being subjected to the project or who live in elsewhere in the city, even if there is a website. I've seen that there's a real disconnect.

And if you're implying something else, please spell it out a bit more clearly.

Anonymous said...

The nolamedzone website, although largely concerned with the City's role in razing the Tulane-Rocheblave-Galvez-Canal footprint and displacing people within it, is not the official website the VA has used in its scoping meetings (valsumedcenters). Neither has it been the official site for public comment about the LSU portion of the hospital replacement project or FEMA review of the VA or LSU hospital replacement projects. Is nolamedzone a Mayor's Office website, an ORDA website, a Regional Planning Commission website or a website for the biosciences initiative and GNOBEDD?

There most certainly is a tremendous information disconnect among the city, the state, the biomedical project stakeholders and the general public. Even when members of the public successfully identify the proper contractors and websites to seek information or submit comments about the varied components of the hospital project, they may submit comments only via project contractors. Public comments about the LSU portion of the project initially went to USRisk's website then the official site became lsuamc. Sometimes, comments were to be directed to FEMA. The entire public component of the biomed project has been treated as one immense shell game.