Rebuilding New Orleans Makes N.O. Sense: Highest and Best Use?
House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) surprised some people Thursday when he suggested that it isn’t sensible to rebuild flood-ravaged New Orleans. "It doesn't make sense to me," Hastert told Chicago's Daily Herald as told in The Times-Picayune published Thursday. "And it's a question that certainly we should ask."
Hastert questioned the wisdom of rebuilding a city below sea level that will continue to be in the path of powerful hurricanes. Americans' hearts go the people in Katrina's path, but if the people insist on living in harm's way, they ought to accept responsibility for what happens to them and their property.
Later, Gov. Kathleen Blanco, D-La., demanded an apology of Speaker Hastert.
“That’s like saying we should shut down Los Angeles because it’s built in an earthquake zone,” former Sen. John Breaux, D-La., said. “Or like saying that after the Great Chicago fire of 1871, the U.S. government should have just abandoned the city.”
Really? Not only has recurrence of Chicago's Great Fire been prevented there, but National Fire codes have prevented similar tragedies across the country. Earthquakes can happen anywhere, almost anytime. Sen. Breaux is wrong. The emergency bailout is afterall, supported by Hastert.
Hastert raised questions about a long-term rebuilding effort. "But I think federal insurance and everything that goes along with it... we ought to take a second look at that." Hastert is bravely saying what needs to be said.
Rather than occupied homes, condos and other dwellings, what would be the highest and best use of the N.O. bowl?
What use makes more sense? A theme park, hunting preserve, solar energy farm, agricultural use (too polluted), a Venetian-like city, lake for recreation and mariculture, health spa, prison encampment for illegal imigrants, some combination of the above, or other?
Would you buy property or build in New Orleans?
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