Friday, September 09, 2005


To say there need to be fewer poor people. The motive is political as well as economic. Although the wealthy whites, mostly untouched by Katrina and living comfortably uptown, cultivate and encourage the black mayor, Ray Nagin, and black business leaders, they now charge them with preventing large numbers of blacks from returning to the city in order to eliminate the African-American voting majority power which is overwhelmingly Democratic. New Orleans business representatives will be meeting with Mayor Nagin in Dallas to begin mapping out a future for the city, the Star Journal reports.

MR. ASHTON O'DWYER, WHITE NEW ORLEANS POWER PLAYER, ENJOYS HIGHBALLS WITH ICE. On a sultry morning earlier this week, Ashton stepped out of his home on the city`s grandest street and made a beeline to his neighbor`s pool. Wearing nothing but a pair of blue swim shorts and carrying two jugs, he drew enough water from the swimming pool to flush the toilet at home.

The mostly African-American neighborhoods of New Orleans are underwater, and the people who lived there have scattered across the country. But in many of the predominatly white and more affluent areas the streets are dry and passable. Gracious homes are mostly intact and powered by generators. Yesterday officials reiterated that all residents must leave New Orleans, but it`s still unclear how far they will go to enforce this order. The green expanse of Audubon Park in the city's uptown area has doubled in recent days as a heliport for the city`s rich--and a terminus for the small armies of private security guards who have been dispatched to keep the homes there safe and habitable.

Mr O`DWYER has cellphone service, and ice cubes to cool off his highballs in the evening. By yesterday the city service sprang to life, making the daily trips to his neighbor`s pool unnecessary. A pair of oil-company engineers, dispathed by his son-in law, delivered four cases of water, a box of delicacies including mustard sauce and 15 gallons of generator gasoline. Despite the disaster that has overwhelmed New Orleans, the city white elite is hanging on and maneuvering to play a key role in the recovery when the flood waters of Katrina are gone. New Orleans is ready to be rebuilt. Let`s start right here says Mr O`DWYER standing in his expensive kitchen next to a counter covered with a jumble of weapons and electric wires.

More than a few people in uptown, the fashionable district surrurounding St. Charles Ave., have ancestors who arrived here in the 1700s. High society is dominated by these old-line families, represented today by prominent figures such as former New Orleans board of trade President Thomas Westfeldt, Richard Freeman, cion of the family that long owned the city`s Coca-Cola bottling plant, and William Boatner Reily, owner of a Louisiana coffee company. Their social pecking order is dictated by the mysterious hierarchy of krewes, groups with hereditary membership that participate in the annual carnival leading up to the Mardi Gras. In the recent years, the city's most powerful business circles have expanded to include some newcomers and non-whites, such as the Mayor Ray Nagin, the former Cox Communiciations executive, who was elected Mayor in 2002.

The power elite of New Orleans has moved temporarily to enclaves such as Destin, Fla. They promise that the remade city will not be restored to the old order where African-Americans had power and leadership positions.