View Full Version : Disappointed in Cornett: We need to do more



soonerguru
09-04-2005, 08:49 AM
He offered up our Cox Center and Ford Center -- then said something like, "but that wouldn't be ideal."

Why?

Oklahoma City people are generous and willing to provide a helping hand to people suffering. Our mayor certainly understands this about who we are.

I'm disappointed that he did not follow the leads of Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. I'm also saddened that many of the victims coming to Oklahoma are being sent to Camp Gruber -- that is almost like putting people in a concentration camp.

Suffice to say I'm most disappointed, saddened and appalled by the incompetence of our federal government and the Bush Admin to provide any results for those people for five days. It's hard to believe we're living in America.

Are we to believe our country is prepared for when a terrorist attack occurs?

mranderson
09-04-2005, 09:03 AM
He offered up our Cox Center and Ford Center -- then said something like, "but that wouldn't be ideal."

Why?

Oklahoma City people are generous and willing to provide a helping hand to people suffering. Our mayor certainly understands this about who we are.

I'm disappointed that he did not follow the leads of Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. I'm also saddened that many of the victims coming to Oklahoma are being sent to Camp Gruber -- that is almost like putting people in a concentration camp.

Suffice to say I'm most disappointed, saddened and appalled by the incompetence of our federal government and the Bush Admin to provide any results for those people for five days. It's hard to believe we're living in America.

Are we to believe our country is prepared for when a terrorist attack occurs?

For what purpose was this offer made? To house the Hornets? Please be more detailed.

Intrepid
09-04-2005, 09:33 AM
For what purpose was this offer made? To house the Hornets? Please be more detailed.

Based on his post, I believe that he is referring to offering the Cox Arena and Ford Center as possible locations to house refugees from the Hurricane.

Karried
09-04-2005, 11:56 AM
I believe the Cox Convention center has been booked and scheduled for numerous sporting events and concerts where as the Dome in Houston wasn't being utilized. I might be wrong but that is what I thought I read this week.

Cox is so close to downtown. The refugees need places to work and to send their kids to school. I don't know if downtown would be the best place due to lack of retail. Not to mention, they won't have transportation.

I think Oklahomans want to help but aren't sure, other than to send money, how to best assist these victims.

soonerguru
09-04-2005, 11:59 AM
There are a million people now homeless because of this disaster. They have nothing. Most of the ones we see were poor to begin with. They need food and shelter and comfort.

Houston, Dallas and San Antonio all offered to take in tens of thousands of them. Why can't Oklahoma City offer an unqualified helping hand? We have plenty of facilities that could be utilized.

Cornett's commentary indicated that we don't want to "mess up" our convention centers. Fine. Can we find other facilities?

Hell, we have one of the highest real estate vacancy rates in the country.

Come on, Mick. You represent us. Remember that we care about these people and want to help out in a time of need.

jbrown84
09-04-2005, 03:55 PM
Falls Creek is ideal because for the most part it's not being used this time of the year, and it has a bunch of air-conditioned cabins with bunk-style dorms and kitchens, as well as recreational facilities.

I don't know how I feel about not opening up the Ford and the Cox, but this will help a lot.

brianinok
09-04-2005, 05:31 PM
This morning at church they were telling us they were looking for cooks to go down to Falls Creek to cook the food in the cabins. That place holds 7-8,000 each week during the summer, so it could hold quite a few if need be. I'm sure glad the BGCO is opening it up-- Oklahoma was really starting to look bad (no real relief effort in OKC or Tulsa), especially considering our proximity to Louisiana.

I wonder if this is a state/govenor problem?? Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the one heading the effort in all Texas cities (Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, etc.). Where has Henry's leadership been??

jbrown84
09-04-2005, 05:40 PM
Where has Henry's leadership been??

Nowhere of course. He got his lottery passed. He's probably vacationing somewhere.

Jay
09-04-2005, 06:15 PM
I am tired of everyone under the sun armchair quarterbacking this situation. This is the first diasters of this type during modern times. No one is to blame for what is happening now.

Mother nature threw us a curve ball that we have never seen before. The best thing for everyone to do is to pray and provide whatever assistance they can.

Let's help those that need it, clean up the mess and then study the events that took place from evacuation to recovery. We need to learn from this experience and create a new diaster plan.

The plan should include:

A clear concise method of communication that includes what to do when technology fails . (IE: ham radio operators, REACT like we have here in Oklahoma County, messengers)

A method of support for refugees that includes a plan and back up plans for food, shelter, clothing, toiletries, evacuation sites, medical care and an accurate information source.

A clear effective chain of command that is required by law to be followed. (This was clearly a problem in Louisiana. It seemed as if there were too many leaders and not enough followers.)

Every city should pay attention to the problems that Katrina caused. Disaster plans must be revised so that this never happens again.

TStheThird
09-04-2005, 07:33 PM
Who on the board has donated time, money, or food to this disaster? I hope those who are pissed off about the way our state and national governments are handling this disaster have at least given ten bucks to the Red Cross. I definantly think that things could be handled better, but I can at least give food and money to help.

bandnerd
09-04-2005, 07:42 PM
I've donated--so therefore I can complain/praise if I want to ;)

Actually, almost every school in this area is most likely collecting donations. I think Edmond Memorial High School raised $7,000 alone. I learned this while talking to a teacher who works there who is very close to me.

My own little charter school took donations in the way of blankets, sheets, air mattresses, and even some toys were given--and these are some low income people donating their necessities to help out those even more less fortunate than they are right now.

As for opening up downtown...I have mixed feelings. It's not an ideal location for these people. There are NO grocery stores, resteraunts are too expensive for what they need/could afford, no regular retail, and while transportation is available through buses and trolleys, it isn't the best. There also aren't any decent schools nearby and with gas prices on the rise, teachers aren't going to be able to afford to commute to tutor them. The refugees are better off in a location where they can be housed in a more "normal" fashion, like at Falls Creek or the Victory House (at 36th and MLK...saw them opening and taking donations Thursday night).

Yes, we should be helping. But we need to help them in a way that is feasible for us, as well. Those of us who have been hit by this tragedy (in the form of increased gas prices and what will be increases in other areas of home insurance, etc.) and don't have much to begin with can only give so much. I gave what I could, and have been considering donating clothes as well, but I'm a teacher...there just isn't much money to go around right now.

PUGalicious
09-05-2005, 07:36 AM
http://www.okctalk.com/images/Smailies%2001-28-08/congrats.gif
Heartfelt thanks and kudos to Keith and all that he's doing to help in the relief effort, including soliciting donations from friends right here on OKCTalk.com. If you have no other way to help, this is a most worthwhile cause to participate in. Kudos as well to Keith's church and the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma for taking a leadership role here in Oklahoma.

For those who are disappointed with how our city's leadership has responded, a group has begun a email campaign to encourage our city to do more. You can email the mayor at mayor@okc.gov to encourage him to lead our city into doing more.

Jay
09-05-2005, 11:54 AM
I do not like the idea of warehousing people and that is what is happening. We should not just move these people from large shelters to small shelters. Every city and state needs to step up and offer housing and employment services at every shelter location.

Each hurricane victim could be offered a free bus ticket or plane ticket to the location they desired. When they get there they would get housing and job assitance.

Give these people a way to escape the chaos so thier lives can get back to normal to start the healing process.

PUGalicious
09-05-2005, 11:57 AM
I do not like the idea of warehousing people and that is what is happening. We should not just move these people from large shelters to small shelters. Every city and state needs to step up and offer housing and employment services at every shelter location.

Each hurricane victim could be offered a free bus ticket or plane ticket to the location they desired. When they get there they would get housing and job assitance.

Give these people a way to escape the chaos so thier lives can get back to normal to start the healing process.

The Myriad would be an interim solution to give them immediate shelter while communities and charitable organizations are able to facilitate ideas like yours and allow the evacuees enough time to decide what they want to do.

I don't think it's an either/or scenario. It's one step in many steps getting these people's lives rebuilt.

Karried
09-05-2005, 12:50 PM
Governor, first lady tour Camp Gruber, welcome evacuees

By Ryan McNeill
The Oklahoman

BRAGGS - Gov. Brad Henry visited here Sunday, telling victims of the deadly Hurricane Katrina that Oklahomans wanted them to feel welcome and the state would do "whatever it takes" to help.

"We have toured the site, and let me just say that I could not be more proud of the Oklahomans that have come to the aid of Hurricane Katrina (victims)," Henry said in a news conference.

The governor arrived about 3:30 p.m. He said visiting Camp Gruber was critical for him to gain a firsthand account of what's being done to help what could become a 2,000-person temporary city.

Also, as many as 3,000 people are expected to start arriving at Falls Creek Baptist campground early Monday, Henry said.

The governor and his wife, Kim, viewed buildings set up as a medical clinic and communications center and talked with victims relocated to Oklahoma following Hurricane Katrina's thrashing of the Gulf Coast.

Just outside the communications center, where victims were trying to contact relatives, he stopped to visit with Ventrus Daggs Sr., who can't find his son or two grandkids.

"We're trying to find our loved ones," a crying Daggs told the governor.

Victims told the governor stories of being separated from their families.

Henry said some evacuees had requests -- all of them reasonable, such as locks to keep secure what possessions they have left.

The evacuees' arrival grew out of an agreement between Oklahoma, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Texas, he said.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry called Henry and said the Lone Star State was overwhelmed and needed help.

As of Sunday night, Henry said relief workers were trying to gather bleachers so the evacuees can be assembled and told of the situation in Louisiana and their short-term future. No one has yet given the victims reliable information, the governor said. "They all said, 'We have been treated far better in Oklahoma than we have anywhere else,'" Henry said. "And that makes me proud."

Karried
09-05-2005, 12:53 PM
'Best people in the world'
The situation changed the moment the evacuees got off the bus at Camp Gruber. They got something to eat and spent the night in barracks with beds and showers.

"I've never been treated like this before," Nickerson said. "It's like being home with family."

A 58-year-old woman, whose name was not released, died at a local hospital of a pre-existing medical condition after arriving at Camp Gruber.

Red Cross spokeswoman Nellie Kelly said 37 of the evacuees were taken to area hospitals after arriving. Most were treated for sicknesses, not injuries, she said. Hundreds more were treated for minor injuries and illnesses at a clinic on the base.

Evacuees said Sunday they were happy with their temporary homes.

"This is luxurious compared to the Superdome," said Ventrus Daggs Sr. of New Orleans.

The sick and infirm in wheelchairs were pushed along streets, weaving through barracks built with cinder blocks and painted a fading white.

The screams of young boys playing a makeshift football game weren't far away. Stuffed animals were distributed Sunday to children, many of whom had seen a tragedy they didn't fully understand.

"The odor was so bad. There was trash everywhere," said Daynelle Barquet of New Orleans, describing the scene her 2-year-old grandson Brandon saw at the Superdome.

"I just started crying. I said, 'We cannot do it. We cannot stay here with this baby like this.'"

The cafeteria, where workers served sandwiches, chips, cookies, punch and cold water, still was busy as the clock passed 2 p.m. State troopers patrolled the streets on foot and in vehicles, giving Gruber the feeling of a small, dense city.

"Since I made it to Oklahoma, I'm not going to lie, they are the best people in the world," Brisco said. "This has been the most beautiful group of people I have ever met in my life."

Most of the evacuees don't know where they will go from here. Some want to leave Camp Gruber when things settle down to stay with family in other parts of the country.

Others said they would consider rebuilding their lives here.

"A lot of us are still going through the psychological effect of what happened," Roberts said. "The flood is over, and now we are here. We have to deal with reality in Oklahoma. The reality in Oklahoma is we've got a better chance, a better life, a new start."

Officials said the evacuees are free to leave at any time. But for now, they are being asked to stay at the base where they can receive care and shelter. "These people are not prisoners," Kelly said. "They are our guests."

Karried
09-05-2005, 01:08 PM
If you have housing to offer this is a good place - out of the thousands offered in other states, OK only has six so far. They have it on Excel in alphabetical order:


http://www.danielsimage.com/katrina/Katrina_Housing1.pdf

There are many more sites out there that will allow you to offer up your home or a room.

bandnerd
09-05-2005, 02:01 PM
Karried--

Thank you for posting that article. Kind of proves my point--these people don't need to be holed up into convention centers and stadiums; they need a place to stretch their legs in FRESH air where they can feel like people, not refugees. It is also nice to know that Oklahoma is helping in its own special way--not to just house these people in their time of need, but to give them a feeling of home and love when they need it the most.

Where did you find that article? I'd love to take it to my newspaper class tomorrow to share with my students. I think my editors would appreciate all the information they can get on how Oklahoma is helping in this crisis but I would need specifics on where it was found. Thanks!

Karried
09-05-2005, 02:55 PM
I searched Google for Katrina Hurricane Housing - there are a lot of sites to wade through but here are a few:

http://www.myfamilycanhelp.com/index.php

http://neworleans.craigslist.org/hhh/

http://www.hurricanehousing.org/?TM



This is from Fox News:

States Struggling With Katrina Refugees
Monday, September 05, 2005

http://www.foxnews.com/images/service_ap_36.gif

HOUSTON With a shattered New Orleans (search (http://javascript<b></b>:siteSearch('New%20Orleans');)) all but emptied out, an unprecedented refugee crisis unfolded across the country Sunday, as governors and emergency officials rushed to feed, clothe and shelter more than a half-million people dispossessed by Hurricane Katrina (search (http://javascript<b></b>:siteSearch('Hurricane%20Katrina');)).

In Texas, where nearly a quarter-million refugees have filled the state's relief centers, Gov. Rick Perry (search (http://javascript<b></b>:siteSearch('Gov.%20Rick%20Perry');)) ordered emergency officials to airlift some evacuees to other states willing to take them. Among the states that have offered help are West Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Michigan, Iowa, New York and Pennsylvania.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is from NewsOK.com:


Hurricane survivors express thanks to state

By Bryan Dean and Ryan McNeill
The Oklahoman

BRAGGS - Hurricane Katrina evacuees thanked Oklahomans on Sunday for treating them with respect and dignity as they arrived at Camp Gruber.

The 1,434 evacuees started arriving late Saturday in a convoy of 37 buses.

Many had lived in squalor at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans for five days or more before boarding buses to come to the camp in eastern Oklahoma, the site of an Oklahoma National Guard base.

Survivors described walking over dead bodies and holding pieces of cloth over their mouths and noses to lessen the stink of human waste filling the Superdome.

They boarded buses Friday and arrived in Oklahoma after more than 24 hours on the road.

Evacuees said after being treated like animals in New Orleans, they were pleased to be given a comfortable bed, a bath and a hot meal when they reached the base.

'Like a war zone'
Sisters Maia Brisco and Anysia Nickerson of New Orleans said the Superdome's conditions were horrific.

"It was a total hell hole," Brisco said, her voice trembling with anger. "They treated us like refugees, like slaves. They did not take care of people at all. They had a lot of people that died in the Superdome. People had passed out. They were just walking over the bodies."

Electricity and water to the Superdome were cut during the storm. Bathrooms were useless. Human waste piled up.

"It was unsanitary," said Austin Roberts of New Orleans. "It was full of ... I don't want to even say what it was full of. It was full of everything. You couldn't breathe."

A lack of information deepened the frustration of the thousands stranded there. Evacuees said they heard gunshots and had no idea if or when they would be moved.

"It was like a war zone," said Kevin Fisher of New Orleans. "They had explosions, a chemical plant, I guess. It was scary -- frightening, man."

Then came the bus ride some thought might never end. The buses went through parts of Louisiana and Texas, stopping once in Dallas. Many said they didn't know what state they were in as the buses made their way north along U.S. 69 into Oklahoma.

"On our way here, I thought we were coming to the end of the world," said Akria Cheneau of New Orleans.

'Best people in the world'
The situation changed the moment the evacuees got off the bus at Camp Gruber. They got something to eat and spent the night in barracks with beds and showers.

"I've never been treated like this before," Nickerson said. "It's like being home with family."

A 58-year-old woman, whose name was not released, died at a local hospital of a pre-existing medical condition after arriving at Camp Gruber.

Red Cross spokeswoman Nellie Kelly said 37 of the evacuees were taken to area hospitals after arriving. Most were treated for sicknesses, not injuries, she said. Hundreds more were treated for minor injuries and illnesses at a clinic on the base.

Evacuees said Sunday they were happy with their temporary homes.

"This is luxurious compared to the Superdome," said Ventrus Daggs Sr. of New Orleans.

The sick and infirm in wheelchairs were pushed along streets, weaving through barracks built with cinder blocks and painted a fading white.

The screams of young boys playing a makeshift football game weren't far away. Stuffed animals were distributed Sunday to children, many of whom had seen a tragedy they didn't fully understand.

"The odor was so bad. There was trash everywhere," said Daynelle Barquet of New Orleans, describing the scene her 2-year-old grandson Brandon saw at the Superdome.

"I just started crying. I said, 'We cannot do it. We cannot stay here with this baby like this.'"

The cafeteria, where workers served sandwiches, chips, cookies, punch and cold water, still was busy as the clock passed 2 p.m. State troopers patrolled the streets on foot and in vehicles, giving Gruber the feeling of a small, dense city.

"Since I made it to Oklahoma, I'm not going to lie, they are the best people in the world," Brisco said. "This has been the most beautiful group of people I have ever met in my life."

Most of the evacuees don't know where they will go from here. Some want to leave Camp Gruber when things settle down to stay with family in other parts of the country.

Others said they would consider rebuilding their lives here.

"A lot of us are still going through the psychological effect of what happened," Roberts said. "The flood is over, and now we are here. We have to deal with reality in Oklahoma. The reality in Oklahoma is we've got a better chance, a better life, a new start."

Officials said the evacuees are free to leave at any time. But for now, they are being asked to stay at the base where they can receive care and shelter. "These people are not prisoners," Kelly said. "They are our guests."

fromdust
09-05-2005, 03:45 PM
Katrina evacuees arrive in City

(September 2, 2005) Louisiana residents fleeing the devastation of Hurricane Katrina began reaching the City Thursday, traveling the I-35 corridor from Houston and on through Dallas.

About 200 evacuees have sought help from the Oklahoma City chapter of the American Red Cross, and more are expected in coming days.

"It's in the hundreds," Mayor Mick Cornett said. "We're not using the word 'thousands,' but we're prepared if it gets to that."

Mayor Cornett said the City had been in communication with officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency about providing housing. "We don't have what FEMA is looking for... empty military facilities, vacant hospitals." Cornett said.

Cornett said opening the Ford Center and Cox Convention Center to evacuees had been discussed only because it's happened in other places. "We feel like we have better options available than sports arenas. Sports arenas are a very emergency level point for housing people," he said. "But if the need should arise, I'm sure we'll take whatever steps are necessary."
from okc.gov

karlanee
09-05-2005, 04:59 PM
Today (probably tomorrow by the time they arrive) a small group of people are arriving in OKC on their way to Kansas City. They are coming from Houston (victims of the Hurricane who were sent to TX). My daughter and I went to donate clothes because that's what our church was to do. Anyway, we got to the designated hotel that is putting them up and the hotel had been donated so much food and clothing that they had no where else to put it. Needless to say, the folks from our church weren't the only ones donating. Since we were turned away, we are storing the extra donated clothing in our church until it is needed in the coming weeks.

I'm so impressed with the California businessman who rented the 737 and went down to fly people to California to get them out of New Orleans.

Our church is talking about adopting a family to bring here and care for them, giving them a rented apartment, furnishing it, giving them a car, helping them find jobs, schools, food, etc. I hope we follow through. Our pastor said yesterday, if we can help one, we can help more. And what difference will that make in the magnitude? It will make a difference in that one family.

I'm praying earnestly that we as a state, and nation, will think practically and long-term when it comes to giving and helping.

Patrick
09-06-2005, 11:01 AM
I think the mayor was wanting to make the offer without it sounding like we were taking advantage of their unfortunate condition. Just coming out and saying we want their NBA team probably wouldn't be the best thing to do right now. I think he was just stating the obvious...it's ideal to keep the Hornets near their fans, but if the owners of the Hornets can't do that, we're available. I don't think it had anything to do with the fear of messing up our facilities.

Patrick
09-06-2005, 11:04 AM
Here's a positive article:

" Mick the Mayor makes subtle play for Hornets



Mr. Monday: Move not such a long shot
Can't help but wonder if Mick the Mayor is going to be able to pull off this whole New Orleans Hornets-to-The Ford deal.

Mick looked gracious instead of greedy on Friday, offering to bring the team to town with open arms, but it sounds like he'd been an operator for a while -- working the phones with the league in order to make OKC a big-league town at some point. So when Mick rang the league, he wasn't a stranger.

At this point, it looks like a long shot to get the team, but odds get better by the day. Why? Because the alternatives are slim.

Baton Rouge: You gotta wonder if, in the midst of the continuing post-Hurricane chaos, folks at LSU are ready to take on the team. Realistically, with New Orleans abandoned, who will fill the house at the Pete Maravich Center once the season starts?

Kansas City: Our pals to the north like to talk the talk of a big-league city, but Kemper Arena is a dump. If KC's new spangled arena was done, it would be a slam dunk, but it's not, so the city will just have to keep suffering through another Royals season.

St. Louis: The former owners of the ABA's St. Louis Spirit made a great deal with the NBA after the red-white-and-blue league folded. The result: They still get paid millions in league revenue and the city is prevented from bringing the NBA to town.

Nashville: The offer is on the table to host 12 Hornets games. Nice, but a tepid offer. If I were the Hornets, I'd want the whole deal. That's 41 home games.

The addition of the Ford Center has been a big coup for downtown OKC. The building is highly regarded, forcing other towns (like KC, Omaha and Des Moines) to step up and build downtown venues.

Obviously, we're eager to break into the big league big time. This time, it appears preparedness has met opportunity. "

soonerguru
09-06-2005, 08:03 PM
I wasn't talking about Cornett's play for the Hornets. I was talking about his lukewarm invitations to the suffering Americans from NO.

I feel like our city is welcoming and our people are generous and Mayor Cornett seems more interested in getting an NBA team here than offering help to these people in need.

Not a very impressive performance. Clearly we can afford to take in a few thousand of these people, but it's apparently not a priority for our mayor.