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It wasn't the federal government that responded first. It wasn't even FEMA. It was the City of Houston, and our city deserves mad credit for trying to turn a negative situation into a positive. As a dude watching this from Asia, I can tell you that the international community agrees!

EVERY news station here comments positively about Houston every night. Even though so many things went wrong with Katrina and it's responses, we seemed to be the first ones to do something right, and in a big way. We never have cared about the costs, either financial or labor wise. I truly believe that the main reason why New Orleans citizens or the ones leaving New Orleans have any chance at a future is because a city like ours stepped up to the plate.

News coverage here sees you (Houston) as heroes. They ALL know what FEMA did, what Bush was doing during the storm (playing a guitar at a Crawford hoedown), heard Mayor Nagin's radio interview, saw N.O.P.D.'s response, everything. Reported it live as it happened. London's nightly news to this day reports Hurricane Katrina 20 minutes out of their 30 minute newscast. They all are completely baffled by what occured, or why it would take a week for the federal government to push for door-to-door rescue.

Still, the entire world is proud and hopeful because a city like ours was willing to step up to the plate the second we heard something may be wrong.

Keep up the good work, and we will get through this.

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I can't help but think of that other thread on this board, where we all lamented the perceptions and stereotypes that others have of our fair city. We all said that what we loved about Houston was its friendliness and willingness to help out.

Who would have thought that the greatest quality of Houston...its people...would suddenly be flashed around the world for all to see. Who would have thought that, for a week or two at least, people worldwide would think of Houston when they think of what is RIGHT with the United States.

It boggles the mind to think of it, yet living it doesn't feel like we're doing anything special. Isn't this what we always do? We help out when it is needed.

Never again will I be concerned with what others may think of Houston. Talk about a city of big shoulders. Talk about a city of brotherly love. We're not the city that hosted 2 Super Bowls...we're the city that rescued New Orleans.

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The various reports of FEMA turning away water and gasoline, and cutting communications to Parrish emergency offices, suggests that you are correct, at least for some of the problems. I don't advocate planning on the fly, but in Houston, what wasn't needed immediately was stored for later, including volunteers. And, while we certainly have our strong leaders, neither Judge Eckels, nor Mayor White were posing as 'heroes'.

And these two are not in the same political party.

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All along on this board we've had numerous conversations about what makes Houston a great city. We are often derided as having no center or soul, no Broadway or French Quarter. Instead we talked about Houston's "Can do" attitude and how we have this innate ability to make things happen. But it all seemed so hollow, so much lip service until now.

The way that State, City and the private sector come together here in a cohesive manner is so unique in this country, or anywhere else for that matter. The problem was that up until now it only applied to Super Bowls and building new stadiums, which, strangely enough, is the reason we were so well prepared to deal with the influx of refugees.

But this fact also frustrates me when I think of the obvious problems that we have in this city, because now I know that if we put our minds to it, we really could solve them. So from now on there's no more excuses - clean up our air, raise child immunization rates, better urban planning. After this we should never hear the words "We can't" when it comes to this city. Everyone knows better.

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After watching oprah and what you people are saying you people are going to make me cry!

Seriously! LOL! :) its so happy to hear this!

I guess I'm feeling emotional today or overtired.

nmainguy agrees with BCG...a day I had...Oy!!! Lets you and me go have a drink and bask in the goodwill that eminates from our city! [i'm buyin'!!!}

B)

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Have a sandwich.  You'll feel better.  ;)

I'm going to have nightmares about those little sandwiches!

After a long day at work I was watching Fox News at Nine and they had a refugee open up one of those little buggers! LOL! I was like NOOOOOOOOOoooooooo!!!!!

Yesterday I left early (from work) but I heard they did 6,500 sandwiches. I think we're taking a break from it today. BUT they want to come up on Sat. and do 10,000. OMG! No Mas!!! No Mas POR FAVOR!!!

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I'm going to have nightmares about those little sandwiches!

After a long day at work I was watching Fox News at Nine and they had a refugee  open up one of those little buggers! LOL! I was like NOOOOOOOOOoooooooo!!!!!

Yesterday I left early (from work) but I heard they did 6,500 sandwiches. I think we're taking a break from it today. BUT  they want to come up on Sat. and do 10,000. OMG! No Mas!!! No Mas POR FAVOR!!!

BayouCityGirl, thanks for all you have done. We see ya. You rule!! OYE OYE OYE!!!

I started this thread to help remind ourselves of how far we have come since this disaster started. It's been real tough for us all, and I hope we're able to improve our city even more with the experiences that we've experienced, and we can see what we've done right and wrong.

Thanks to Editor for all you've done with HAIF as well.

And MAD thanx to Urbanerd for that Beautiful picture of Houston. Send more!!

I love Houston, and to RedScare, not only are we the city that rescued New Orleans, we're the ones that will help lead it back to glory.

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At my apartment they are taking donations for Katrina and well I gave them an extra post-chewed (my cat couldn't stop chewing on the fringes so I threw it in the closet for the time being. I Can't use it b/c of that reason)...nothing wrong with the blanket and it is comfy! :)

I also gave a pillow, some toys (Beanie Babies mostly) and a little backpack on wheels. OH and some food I don't eat (non-pershiable).

This is after 3,200 sandwiches yesterday! LOL! Don't ask how tired I am! ;)

(Sorry I'm a little tired) the person who lives above me DOES NOT sleep! Two nights ago he ran his washer/dryer at 3 AM...last night he had company over (loudly) -no music just talking- at midnight and yet he's still awake by the time I get home.

I am seeing an increase of people at my apartment as well of people from Louisiana. (They are taking the good parking) :(

But at least they are finding a home. I also realized with the Dome being half empty do yall think its b/c of the curfew (as being part of it?)

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