Thursday, September 01, 2005

Official Memphis Response

"We're in it for the long haul."

Regular readers know that I think little of Memphis' mayor, Dr. Willie Herenton, but he's nailed it on the head with his statement -- at this afternoon's press conference -- pointing out how the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe will affect Memphis for years to come. The Southern landscape was literally reshaped by Katrina and we are only now grasping the magnitude of the changes. A year from now, we'll be surprised by the differences in Memphis due to Katrina. I'm glad our Mayor understands this today.

On the other hand, what the hell was Convention and Visitor's Bureau President Kevin Kane doing giving official answers to how Memphis' government will handle the refugees? The tourism czar? If that's not a pure glimpse into how this city runs and who runs it, I can't imagine anything clearer. Jeez....

And on the gripping hand, it's heartening to see Memphis and Shelby County government organise and respond so quickly. The quality of the response is not yet known, but that city leaders are already working on the refugee problem is welcome news. We only saw the true horror of the devastation beginning on Tuesday, so to have machinery in motion by Thursday is great to see.

Herenton, I think it was, mentioned that the Memphis City Schools would be donating the four recently closed schools as aid centers for the crisis. And we were worried about them sitting empty.

All to the good. I'm actually kinda proud of my city right now.

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