KATRINA AND INFRASTRUCTURE IN SAN FRANCISCO
It has always fascinated me how many State and City officials fail to understand the fundamentals of infrastructure that which makes any City function. In New Orleans most of levees were never meant to stand a Category Four Hurricane. In years past the levees had stood their ground and taken the brunt of many Category Three Hurricanes.
All over the United States we have vast areas that lack good infrastructure. We lack proper infrastructure here in Northern California and more here in San Francisco. The City and County of San Francisco has learnt nothing much from the 1906 Earthquake and when the Big One visits us most of the so called experts will say that we really did not learn much from past experience and that history repeats itself. We will tend to go with the flow but the thousands of deaths will haunt us forever.
In the mean time thousands will die and many thousands more will suffer for years. Much the same as we will learn from New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Here in San Francisco our San Francisco Planning Commission and San Francisco Planning Department has no clue about the real state of our infrastructure. Thousands of units are built and the old infrastructure simply is over tasked.
Else where in Northern California we too have levees some taken care of by the Corps of Engineers and others by local counties. Each year we see more the breaking of levees costing us millions of dollars. In the mean time no one really cares to put in place on a war footing the repair, maintenance and upgrade of our levees and infrastructure just waiting for a major catastrophe to happen.
Closer to home our San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is in shambles. Two years ago we should have had a Blue Print and many of our projects in place to revamp the Hetch Hetchy system so that more or less to bring in on track. We have an inept, ignorant, and very arrogant person in Susan Leal who has surround herself with like minded cronies. These folks have no engineering expertise and the Hetch Hetchy system will fail if we do not do something really fast to address the poor maintenance and the many apparent deficiencies of a very old system.
The Calaveras Dam is a time bombing waiting to explode. Susan Leal and her cronies do not have a clue that when this dam breaks all of Fremont and beyond will be flooded. Elsewhere if we are hard hit by a major earthquake for months may be 6 months we all will not have clean drinking water. 80% or more of the clean drinking pipes and sewer pipes will fail. We have 900 miles of sewer pipes and over 1500 miles of clean drinking water pipes. Other related infrastructures linked to these pipes are so old and those that do the deferred maintenance are at a loss for words as to the state of affairs.
Added to all this if the bridges fail there will be lack of transportation and the failure of good logistics. There is only so much one can do by using air support. It is very expensive and very dangerous if there is no proper ground support.
A glaring example that we saw in New Orleans was that people of color had to fend for themselves. It is a known fact that in areas where you have poor people with no transportation, poor living condition, no sound health and safety facilities such areas and the people living near such areas are mostly left to defend themselves.
Our Nation calls itself a Super Power but we do have a lot of poor people and they do not enjoy the benefits of the filthy rich. We have it here in San Francisco and Oakland. Huge areas where people of color live are prone to liquefaction. No solid assessment has been made of these areas using the information of the United States Geological Agency. So called Emergency Planners and even our Home Land Security Gurus have failed us before did poor with Katrina and have no clue how to handle the Big One. In the case of Katrina and the surrounding areas these buffoons were exposed for what they really are.
San Francisco does not have a plan that works. Some months ago a simple Tsunami warning could not be communicated in time. We have state of the art satellite facilities but today right now it is not in place in San Francisco. Today the major health and safety agencies cannot talk to one another right now they talk over one another. San Francisco has not learned much from 9/11. New Orleans did not learn much. The White House has been fumbling for words. The President George Bush Jr. should be ashamed of himself for not treating Americans living in Louisiana and Mississippi as American Citizens. I could have said more but it will do no good.
America should stop invading other countries and wasting billions of dollars. Our troops should be at home doing what it takes to care for our people. It is not fair that infants, children, our elderly died when they could have been taken care of and left to live. The White House should learn to walk the walk and less talk the talk.
We have Human Rights written within Our Constitution. We have Human Rights spelt out by the United Nations. Anyone with some education and knowing the right from wrong will fully be cognizant of the fact that much wrong and a crime of a huge magnitude was committed in Mississippi, Louisiana, and beyond by officials without a conscience.
Compounded when you have Condi Rice shopping for pricy shoes in New York and the other officials pretending that everything would be under control speaks volumes. For too long the constituents of this Nation have permitted stupid government officials to run our Nation with impunity.
In this case the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) failed. The Home Land Security and his head really had his head in the sand. Our President chose to fly over the affected areas making comments that were pathetic. Our troops that could have been deployed were fighting wars in other countries and really have no purpose being there.
We cannot react after the fact and more so when contemporary communications, the internet, other forms of media have exposed those that did not do their duty. Today 6 days after Katrina hit the area people are still waiting for help. We now know that over 12,000 have died. Some say more but many lives could have been saved. We have to learn from 9/11 and more so from New Orleans and Katrina. Here is San Francisco we some dubious characters trying and pretending that all is well in San Francisco. Wait till the Big One hits and do not say that some one did not warn the buffoons.
Mayor Gavin Newsom is vacationing and of course Fiona Ma really knows something about nothing as the Acting-Mayor. We are in good hands so we think. Right now we the constituents want a Blue Print and the plans and logistics to be in place. We do not want to hear to excuses.
If the Big One strikes 90% of the homes in the Avenues sitting on sand will collapse. All those many areas built on land fill and much of downtown will suffer. The Fire Department, the Police Department, and some trained folks can do so much.
Our hospitals are not ready to accept thousands of patients and our Emergency Plans head by some fools are inept at best. One has just to review the communication system and see how poor it is. Most of our roads will collapse right now San Francisco has a $300 million back log and soon more to follow.
Mayor Gavin Newsom loves Spin and the Media. He can make a big noise when one small transformer blast does some little damage but wait for the Big One he will not be around for that one hopefully. Nor will his side kick Bevan Dufty and his head for Emergency Relief who messed things at Treasure Island.
SF's repair after '06 offers hope for New Orleans
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