People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

Hurricane Helen Helinka

Posted by schroeder915 on January 6, 2007

I don’t wish to sensationalize Helen Hill’s tragedy by using her name in this post’s title. Unfortunately, she will inevitably receive more attention in death than in life. I wish I had the opportunity to glorify her name before she was so brazenly cut down. Instead, her name will now forever be embedded in the history of New Orleans. I say, let it be remembered. Let her name live on, though gently, nobly, to inspire the pursuit of a dream for the city she and her husband Paul wanted for their son.

We can’t bring her back. But we can remember.

I’ll have much, much more to say in another post. For now, I’d just like to comment on the irony of a remark by Asst. Superintendent of Police, Steven Nicholas (HT: Loki):

“They have no fear of repercussions,” Assistant Superintendent Steven Nicholas said.

Was Nicholas talking about the criminals, or NOPD police chief Warren Riley and Mayor Unseen Ray Nagin?

It’s time to test City Hall’s defenses against the hurricane of citizens now churning in New Orleans. Is Ray Nagin up to the task? It’s time to test his fortitude.



2 Responses to “Hurricane Helen Helinka”

  1. Sophmom said

    “Was Nicholas talking about the criminals, or NOPD police chief Warren Riley and Mayor Unseen Ray Nagin?” Excellent question. This has been a terrible week for you guys. I’m so sorry, but I have to hope that citizen action will make a difference. You guys are some of the smartest citizen activists I’ve ever seen. The solution will not come from the top, down. *sigh*

  2. F P said

    I am not sure how I feel about a curfew. People don’t get attacked becuase the streets are crowded. They get attacked because they are alone on the street with only the criminals Around. The Crime wave is the biggest reason that the road Home program should have already gotten home owners back into the community. I hope everyone can see this and use it a leverage to get the Road Home Program up to speed. The lack of people back in their communities is the biggest reason for this crime wave.

    check this out:

    “Once you get more folks living here and doing business here — what we call ‘eyes on the street’ — the people who are up to no good will realize that someone is always watching, and crime will drop,”

    That position draws support from Marcus Felson, a professor at Rutgers University’s School of Criminal Justice in Newark and an international crime-prevention expert.

    “The price of real estate is the driving force behind urban renewal because empty buildings in destitute areas can’t make money,” said Felson, 57. “Redevelopment affects crime, not the other way around.”

    Larry Fishman, chief operating officer of Asbury Partners, which is the master development agent for the city waterfront, said that although “it’s not a secret that Asbury Park has a crime problem,” many newcomers to the city possess a “pioneer mentality” that allows them to look past the problems and see the potential in the city.

    “Investors and home buyers know they are getting in on the ground floor (in Asbury Park), and there are some rough edges to be ironed out,” Fishman said. “Crime is one of those rough edges.”
    Jane Jacobs’s Genius – Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
    On the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design website is a tribute to author and urban activist Jane Jacobs who died on April 25, nine days before her 90th birthday. Central to this organization’s international workshops on creating policeable places is the concept of “eyes on the street,” a term coined by Jacobs in the first of her nine books, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961). In the clear, accessible language that is one of Jacobs’s trademarks, “eyes on the street” illustrates how the safest streets have a multiplicity of uses–as many as possible–that draws many people for different purposes all day and evening. “Eyes”–observing the organic processes of our lives within complex systems–were the lenses through which her passionate care for people and place were magnified by her genius.

    The application of “eyes on the street” in police training sessions is just one extraordinary example of the breadth and depth of Jacobs’s influence around the world. The same of course can be said for the real estate developers who use the term “mixed-use,” another of Jacobs’s contributions to our vocabulary and understanding of placemaking.

    So ingrained in the culture have these concepts now become, one can assume that few police or others who use these terms so freely have knowledge of where the ideas came from.

    So remember “eyes on the street”, put communities back together, and get the road home program moving!

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