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AEG E-Newsletter: 9.10.2010: Memorable Months-Hurricane Katrina and 9-11 Anniversaries | FlashPoint | De Haps | Lots More


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Dearest On-Line Family and Friends:  Greetings To All Of You!!!

 

August has come and gone so quickly, and now we are approaching the 2nd week in September.  Wow, what a short summer it was!  Don’t you agree? 

Nonetheless, as I reflect and compose my thoughts on these 2 months; not only am I thinking about how rapidly the days have flown by, but how incredibly memorable they are.  Of course in my world August has been memorable and historical due the celebrations of self-governance and freedom [Independence] in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Jamaica.  However, my heart simply breaks all over again as I reflect on what both August and September epitomizes; specifically in the history of America.  Yes friends, I am referring to (in my opinion) 2 of the most devastating and destructive incidents that occurred in American history during these months.  And...Oh, how I wish these awful memories concerning these events would JUST GO AWAY!!!

Yup, as you may have guessed, indeed I am referring to (1) America’s greatest natural disaster: The horrifying and destructive 3rd category storm “HURRICANE Katrina” that took place on August 29, 2005; and (2) the worst act of terrorism on American soil [all related and occurred on the same day – September 11, 2001] ~~~ The destruction of the World Trade Center Towers in New York City by 2 hijacked United Airlines planes that slammed into the buildings, the Pentagon in Washington DC being crashed into by a hijacked United Airlines plane, and the crashing of a 4th hijacked United Airlines plane in a field near Shanksville, PA.  Unfortunately, I find myself always tearing up when the anniversary of these horrifying incidents come around.

 

HurricaneKathrinaEye.JPG (19980 bytes)Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast 5 years ago on August 29th, and due to its storm surges hours after it made landfall the levees around the city of New Orleans, Louisianahurricane_katrina-1.JPG (48323 bytes) were breached causing massive flooding throughout the city of New Orleans (approximately 80%) and many surrounding cities, including many coastal cities in Mississippi. 

This was the most destructive disaster in U.S. History and many lives were lost; many families  were separated; and many homes were completed destroyed.  Actually, New Orleans lost 1/3 of its population [approximately 1836+ deaths], plus more than 800,000 citizens were displaced; and due to the flooding the city was completely destroyed and wrought approximately $110 billion in damages, making it the costliest hurricane in US history.  [Seven states and more than 15 million people were affected.] 

The most upsetting, sickening, and disgraceful thing for me and for most of America about this storm; was the slow response for help from the US Government to the grief stricken and frustrated victims and citizens of New Orleans and surrounding areas.  I certainly will never forget the images I saw on the news/media, which was overwhelming and which I never thought I would see happen on American soil.  The hauling of people into the Superdome as if they were not human beings, but were cattle; the dead that was laying in the streets, and the tears of grief stricken children, mothers, sons, fathers, daughters and entire families begging for help.

Even though it has been 5 years, the struggle to rebuild the city has been extremely disheartening.  For years many have truly been suffering: they have been homeless, and those who did received emergency housing by the Government were living in formaldehyde contaminated trailers; there were very little government aid (major failure of Federal funding;) cities services were low and not of good quality; high rate of mental health problems; no jobs; and a lot more other disgusting problems.

Now, 5 years later I see things in New Orleans are slowly improving for the (Katrina) survivors.  I have read that many areas in New Orleans are still in ruins, and many citizens are still living in trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).   I also read a report where "Amnesty International" stated that the U.S. Government and the Gulf Coast States have violated the human rights of hurricane victims.  CLICK HERE TO READ [Courtesy of the Associated Press-written by: Cain Burdeau, and reported/printed by The Grio.]  On a more positive note, I read that U.S. Government officials announced more than $25 million in aid for newly approved Gulf Coast rebuilding projects, and President Obama has “recommitted the nation” to the Gulf region and to all those still working to rebuild lives and communities.  Additionally, the Corps of Engineers has committed $14 billion to provide 100-year flood protection to southern Louisiana by: constructing higher and stronger floodwalls, re-designed levees and new pump stations.  I understand the State of Louisiana is winding down the largest housing program in U.S. history having disbursed $10.4 billion to 127,000 homeowners and thousands more to renters and small landlords.  FEMA has also confirmed that the city will receive a $1.8 billion lump-sum settlement to rebuild the schools destroyed by Katrina.  

It seems quite a bit of progress has been made by this 5th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and it is pleasing.  However though, there are lots more that must be done before this city is " back in full swing."  To read more about the progresses that have been made to rebuild this city and the lives of the citizens of this city PLEASE CLICK HERE [Courtesy of Commondreams.org)!  And for More CLICK HERE!  (Courtesy of Catholic-sf.org]

One thing though, that “hits home” for us and pleases us greatly regarding the rebuilding efforts of New Orleans is the construction of a community called “ Musicians’ Village.  The construction of this community by New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (NOAHH) is the “brainchild” of New Orleans natives and famous Jazz musicians Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis.  Musicians' Village are homes provided/built for musicians and several generations of musicians, as well as other families.  As I learned more about Musicians' Village, it seems Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis are very pleased with the progress of this project and is extremely proud.  [Currently, all 72 homes and 5 elder-friendly duplexes have been completed, and construction has begun on the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, which will be the heart of the Village.]  These musicians are still asking for your help with donations, so if you can please support their "Musicians' Village" by CLICKING HERE!  To learn more about this exciting project log on to their site: http://www.nolamusiciansvillage.org

["Musicians' Village is providing local musicians and other qualifying partner families the opportunity to own a home in a thriving community of committed individuals and families.  Conceived by Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis, the Musicians' Village consists of 72 single-family, Habitat-constructed homes and 10 rental units for the older "music masters" of New Orleans.  Its centerpiece will be the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, dedicated to the music education and development of homeowners and others who will live nearby.

The Center will be the heart of the Village. This 17,000 square foot community facility will provide residents and their neighbors with a place to gather and to study, to perform and to record music. It will include classrooms and practice rooms for the after-school music program and a 150-seat performance space with state-of-the-art lighting and sound. It will house a library of music and music related materials. Additionally, the Center will provide career development resources for established musicians and facilities for the Mardi Gras Indians.

In addition to the homes in the Musicians' Village core site, NOAHH has built and is building on over 90 lots in the surrounding Upper 9th Ward neighborhood."]  CLICK HERE to Support Musicians' Village and Donate Today!]  

As I close out my thoughts on New Orleans, I must say CONGRATULATIONS to the New Orleans Saints -  the 2009 (reigning) Super Bowl champions on their win [14-9] Thursday, September 9th, 2010 (The first game of the season) against the Minnesota Vikings ~~~ Hooray Saints!!!


 

Saturday, September 11th [9-11], marks the 9th Anniversary of the devastating terrorist attacks on the United States of American.  Therefore, it is time to memorialize, pay tribute and nationally mourn the thousands who died, as well as the thousands who were severely injured and is still suffering from the September 11, 2001, attacks.  On This terrifying and sorrowful day America was paralyzed due to the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings in New York (The Twin Towers); parts of the Pentagon in Washington DC, and a plane full of passengers plunging into the ground in Pennsylvania (a rural area near Shanksville in Somerset County).

To be quite honest I believe these attacks were the worst in the nation’s history!!!!  On that painful day many lives were lost (approximately 3,000), but by the grace of God many survived.  Many of these survivors were badly injured and/or burned severely (40% of the survivors were burned). 

Obviously, after 9 years, you can't help but wonder how are things going for the victim’s families, and the survivors?  Evidently, the survivors (even though they have suffered and may still be suffering physically and mentally) are thankful to be alive.  However, there is no doubt the thought of that horrendous September morning (the 11th) will forever be lodged in their minds, as well as the victim’s families minds, and even yours and mine. 

How could anyone ever forget the sight of the hijacked planes as the hijackers plunged them into the World Trade center buildings…the 1st in the North Tower and some minutes later the 2nd in the South Tower?  Moreover, the sight of the 3rd hijacked plane as it was driven into the Pentagon, and the 4th that crashed in a field in PA.  These attacks were horrifying for all of us, and the devastation in New York at the World Trade Center site "Ground Zero" made all of us sick and terrified.  One of the most heart-wrenching things I observed which will forever stay in my mind, was seeing the bird like figures falling from the windows of the World Trade Center and knowing in my heart that they were people – human beings.  I was in disbelief as I watched those towers in flames tumbled down, while praying and hoping that many were able to make it to safety before they collapsed.   That was very difficult to deal with, as well as the panicked and distressed faces I saw full of sorrow and eyes full of tears as they ran to safety.  The aftermath was just as humbling and completely overwhelming - the fire fighters, police, military officials, families, and just about everyone diligently and tirelessly searching for survivors.  Those images will forever stay in my mind.

I remember some years ago some monetary compensations were made to the victim's families and survivors..  The Federal Government distributed about $7 billion through The 9/11 Compensation fund - $6 billion went to the families of those killed at the World Trade center, the Pentagon and PA; and $1 billion has been distributed to the injured.  Keep in mind there were several other funds; however, the figures I  listed here are specifically what the Federal Government distributed [which was an Act created and passed by Congress, and which was signed and made into a law by President Bush a few days after the attacks.]  Basically to persuade victims and  their families to abstain from filling lawsuits against the airlines, the World Trade Center’s owners and other potential defendants.  

Unfortunately, the reconstruction project is still not complete, and has been mired and delayed for many years  by political in-fighting; crazy passions; as well as never-ending negotiations. But I understand from a recently held conference that agreements have been reached and progress will continue. I am not certain about the actual progress of the Museum building that was supposed to be constructed at the World Trade Center’s site; I do however know it is being worked on and will open 1 year later than expected (2012).  Actually, Tower One is now under construction, with thirty-six floors completed out of 106; and Tower Four is also starting to rise, and the transit hub [designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava is finally underway.]

Nevertheless, the 2 surviving giant steel "tridents" from the North Tower (90 feet high - seven-story) were lowered down to the site of the 9/11 Memorial Museum at Ground Zero on September 7th and currently symbolizes progress in rebuilding the World Trade Center site.  These tridents will be incorporated in the Atrium of this Museum building.  The presence of these tridents is to bring strength fortitude, resilience, survival and hope. The Memorial is set to open on the tenth anniversary of the attacks, September 11, 2011. 

[From the reconstruction plans that was revealed some years ago, it was stated a pavilion will be build and will serve as the entrance to the subterranean exhibition galleries of the National September 11th Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center, which is set to be opened a year after the building is completed in 2012.  This pavilion will range in height from 57 to 72 feet (about a 6 story office building) and it will contain 47,499 square feet of floor area; 34,834 square feet donated to public programs and Museum functions.  Per the New York Times “...The ground floor will have ticket windows, a large security area in which visitors will undergo airport-style screening and a staircase, escalators and elevators down which they will begin a trip that will lead them nearly 70 feet below street level, ending near an exposed part of the slurry wall.  The 2nd floor will be a 180 seat auditorium, a private room in which relatives of 9/11 victims may gather, an overlook from which visitors can take in a sweeping view of the memorial and a small café.  The 4th Floor will be given over entirely to equipment and ventilation...” ]

What is certain though, is that the survivors and the families of the victims have received some substantial monetary compensation.  On the other hand, progress has been very slow with the rebuilding of “Ground Zero”, which has been acknowledged by the following recent statement from Governor David Paterson: "although we have had delays and unfortunately, we've had conflicts of opinion, we are now -- we believe-- on the road to a very great success."  Further, Mayor Michael Bloomberg pointed out that "while nothing happens in democracy as quickly as we would like, the truth of the matter is democracy does get you to the right place."

On this 9th year I ask you to remember the victims and the survivors of his tragic day – September 11th, 2001, I ask that you keep the survivors and the many families and friends of all the victims in your thoughts and prayers, they will forever mourn the lost of their loved ones.  We must always keep this tragic incident in our minds and in our hearts, because this was a day most of us in America felt powerless, and the incident itself was unfathomable and left us grief stricken. 

God Bless America!  God Bless all the men and women who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and Bless their families and friends as they struggle to move on after enduring such pain, and suffering.  God Bless the survivors who will forever be suffering physically and mentally, their healing will indeed take a lifetime and their memories will be vivid for years to come!!!   

     

You will find below that author, poet, extraordinaire "Hollis 'Flash' Lashley" continues remembering 9-11 through his FlashPoint.  Scroll below to read his tribute.  

 



 

Well...Well...Well On-line family, it was very interesting to get quite a few responses regarding my commentary from some weeks ago regarding the Prime Minister "PM" of Trinidad and Tobago Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar's hiring of a new Commissioner of Police "CoP" - Mr. Dwayne Gibbs, “CoP”; and Deputy Commissioner of Police  Mr. Jack Ewartski (both from Canada;) and paying them 3 times the amount of wages [compared to the wage of the CoP that held the position previously.]  First off, thanks to the many of you that took the time to respond, clearly you are very concerned about this important issue; but a lot of you also stated that these newly hired officers should be given a chance.  Alright...then we will patiently wait to see how they do, and how they treat the people of T & T.

Quite a few of you also talked about the Prime Minister's recent visit to New York and was disgusted that she snubbed the local Caribbean Media. In my opinion, that was not a good thing to do!!!  Obviously, in a Prime Minister's position, [and a newly elected Prime Minister at that] "one must always reach out, address, greet, and talk [etc.] to the people of their country;" be it that they reside abroad or live in the country.  In Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar's case, I feel it was truly important for her to do so, especially since she is new on the job, and is seeking to gain the love, trust, respect and support from all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.  The local Caribbean media is one important vehicle for use in reaching the people, and I don't understand why she did it, and honestly I am baffled!  

Anyway, I understand the Trinidad and Tobago Independence celebrations were fantastic.  However, many of you shared your thoughts on the problems regarding T and T's [disgruntle] police officers salary increase, which is still a major issue. The T&T Police Officers had threatened to strike days prior to Independence day, but the Police Officers [who were represented by the President of Police Service Social Welfare Association (TTPSSWA) Sergeant Anand Ramesar] had talks with the PM and requested that they receive a 40% salary increase, "or else".  PM Persad-Bissessar promised she would get back with TTPSSWA with her decision and/or a counter offer/proposal.  A figure was announced a few days ago at the presentation of the T&T $49 billion budget, and it was stated the Police Officers would only receive "a TT $1,000.00 increase in their take-home pay (via tax-free duty allowance)."  Hum, NO WHERE CLOSE TO a 40% INCREASE.  

My thoughts are if the Police Officers do not accept, then outside forces would be brought in to the country to police the country; which in turn would be the beginning of the public takeover.  Who knows...maybe it's the plan!!!! Or maybe the Police will accept the offer, and problem solved!  It will certainly be interesting to see how this problem "plays itself out." 

The final piece of information many of you shared with me; which to be quite honest, I was already aware of: is the fact that the Minister of Works and Transport Mr. Jack Warner stated that the death penalty by hanging should be resumed, and should be resumed in a public setting.  It was later reported (actually some days ago) that PM Persad-Bissessar stated: "It is the law of the land...We will act according to the rule of law"  She further stated "Should we resume hangings? Should we not resume hangings?  It is the law of the land.  For the time being, that is the law of the land, as far as we can we will abide by the rule of law and implement the law of Trinidad and Tobago."  Personally to me, this is extremely primitive and inhumane.

Again, thank you all for your bits and pieces of information.  It is remarkable that you are so concerned about this/your country affairs.  Feel free to always send me information, I appreciate it very much; and most importantly I appreciate your comments!!

 



 

BioRefugee.JPG (68185 bytes)refugeeFront[1].JPG (143895 bytes)Tonight you can't miss the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars as they perform in Washington DC.  CLICK THE PICTURE TO THE LEFT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT.  Click the Flyer on the right for additional details.

 

And this Sunday, September 12, 2010, it's all about AndyWithOasisBand-s1.JPG (57097 bytes) "Andy's Sunday Lime" celebrating Andy's Day."  Andy cordially invite you to celebrate his day with him at Crossroads Entertainment Complex Outdoor Patio, as they present their "Cool out Sundays" Series.  This event begins at 4:00pm, and will feature exciting performances by the popular "Oasis Band;" and most importantly it is Free ~~~ Free ~~~ Free!  Please note there will be 2 for 1 drink specials until 8:00 pm.  Andy is looking forward to seeing all of you in the place, and so are we.  CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS or scroll down to the "Featured Events" section to learn all about this event!!!

Also check out the important events below!!!

 



 

Be inspired and Motivated to increase your Spiritual Energy

Presented by Mr. Hollis “Flash” Lashley.  Read Mr. Lashley's inspiring and motivating "Flashpoint".  To purchase a copy of Mr. Hollis Lashley motivating book of poetry entitled "Gifts From The Heart" log on to: http://www.xlibris.com or http://www.holislashley.com

Hello Arious Family, here is my tribute to 9-11.  I think it's appropriate, though not mine.

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'MEET ME IN THE STAIRWELL'

You say you will never forget where you were when
you heard the news On September 11, 2001.
Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room
with a man who called his wife to say 'Good-Bye.' I
held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the
peace to say, 'Honey, I am not going to make it, but it
is OK..I am ready to go.'

I was with his wife when he called as she fed
breakfast to their children. I held her up as she
tried to understand his words and as she realized
he wasn't coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a
woman cried out to Me for help. 'I have been
knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!' I said.
'Of course I will show you the way home - only
believe in Me now.'

I was at the base of the building with the Priest
ministering to the injured and devastated souls.
I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He
heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat,
with every prayer. I was with the crew as they
were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the
believers there, comforting and assuring them that their
faith has saved them.

I was in Texas , Virginia , California , Michigan , Afghanistan .
I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news.
Did you sense Me?

I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew
every name - though not all know Me. Some met Me
for the first time on the 86th floor.

Some sought Me with their last breath.
Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the
smoke and flames; 'Come to Me... this way... take
my hand.' Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me.
But, I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day. You
may not know why, but I do.. However, if you were
there in that explosive moment in time, would you have
reached for Me?

Sept. 11, 2001, was not the end of the journey
for you . But someday your journey will end. And I
will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may
be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are
'ready to go.'

I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.
God

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Kindly check out the events we have spotlighted below under our "Featured Events" section .  Actually, check out all the events including all the upcoming events by logging on to our "Events" Page HERE!  

Have an enjoyable and fantastic weekend, and we will certainly vibe some more with you next week.

We welcome your input, so if you have any comment or feedback on the commentary or events - please feel free to send an e-mail to me Susan Mangatal at my e-mail address: susan@ariousentertainment.us or you can also reach me at ariousentertainment@earthlink.net.

 

 



 

Featured Events: For all our events, please visit our "Events" Page.

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September 10, 2010

Washington, DC

Sunday, September 12, 2010 

Bladensburg, Maryland

Andy's Sunday Lime

Cool Out Sunday's

Featuring the Cool island sounds of:

The Oasis Band

Join the fun and exciting celebration of "Andy's Day" at his "Special Sunday Lime"

Taking Place at Crossroads Entertainment Complex Outdoor Patio from 4pm

4103 Baltimore Avenue, Bladensburg, Maryland

Free Admission      *     2 for 1 drink specials from 4-8pm      *     For Additional Details call Andy @ 240-441-2600

 

YOUR

 

AD

 

HERE

 

$35.00

 

For Details Contact: ads@ariousentertainment.us

YOUR

 

AD

 

HERE

 

$35.00

 

For Details Contact: ads@ariousentertainment.us

There are a lot more exciting events that you must check out.  Therefore we invite you to visit our "Events" Page.


 


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