news, suggestions, & opinions
There is a lot of activity in the neighborhood. After the debris was cleared recently by the Corps, yesterday I noticed that probably 60% of all homes had a fresh pile of debris including demolition and massive amounts of dead vegetation.
I have found it somewhat bizarre and aggravating that despite the street being relatively unparked, people are parking directly in my driveway several times per week. It's as if some people do not have a clue what a driveway is. I noticed a nonresident photographing some homes the other day, and I took his picture which resulted in him questioning ME as to whether I needed anything from him. I replied that a photograph was enough.
I would encourage anyone who is back to keep your digital cameras ready and near your door and to photograph any suspicious activity.
Additionally some rude dog owners have returned allowing their canine to poop on my driveway. I guess Katrina can clear the city out, but it cannot cure rude, careless people. Sorry to be so negative, but the whole situation is so frustrating sometimes and then to have new literal crap added on top can be aggravating.
Anyway, I have been very busy keeping the site up and even adding a new "How To Prepare and Respond to Disaster Situations" section including online document storage and mold remediation:
There are a LOT of new press clippings:
Krewe de Vieux was a lot of fun last night although it was very cold and windy. I'll post some pictures in the future. Their theme was "C'est Levee" and floats such as "Home is Where the Tarp Is" were hilarious. "Chirac Please Buy Us Back" was another good one:
Also Canal Place re-opened last week. The cinema and several restaurants and stores have reopened with Saks and others to follow slowly.
On a personal note, my job is guaranteed until June only. After that, I may be cast adrift. So I am preparing for the worst and keeping my ear to the ground.
It will probably be another couple of weeks before you hear from me again. Take care.
Mold Remediation: Fact vs Fiction
Mold remediation can consist merely of
spraying a weak solution of chlorine bleach plus or minus a surfactant
onto mold-infected surfaces.
Emergency Preparedness: Online
The neighborhood is bright and sunny today so I'm feeling a bit upbeat.
Personally I'm leaving my basement unfinished until I find out about the situation with the levees this hurricane system. I'm going to go with a bare industrial look - only enclosing the basement bathroom in industrial plastic and replacing a few doors. I'll also touch up my paint job later this year. The yard was pruned of all the dead boxwood and lagustrums leaving my home (4146 Vendome) more exposed than in the past 15-20 years. Surprisingly it doesn't look half bad. I'll also be updating my kitchen just a tad.
I'm pleased to report that quite a bit of reconstruction work is going on especially on the 4000 and 4100 block with work seeming to taper off toward the far end of the 4200 block. There are 4-6 or more FEMA trailers on the street now. There are probably 6-8 homes occupied on at least the upper floors also. Electrification is continuing to progress as one can assess by driving down the street at night. It gets pretty dark at the far end of the 4200 block.
Cox, Bellsouth, gas, electricity, water, sewage are all available in case you don't already know that. Garbage collection took place on Thursday and left a thin layer of styrofoam peanuts all over the vicinity. That's always nice.
The street was cleaned up by the Corps of Engineers recently and it looks semi-respectable. Of course, more debris has been stacked up since that time.
I'm not aware of any security issues except that someone was shooting fireworks last week on Groundhog Day. Someone on Vincennes was shooting fireworks on New Years Eve; I went over to ask them not to do so and got a very negative reaction as well as some low level threats. They claimed that they were not aiming the rockets over homes although quite clearly some rockets had been launched toward my home and those nearby. The recent fires at the theatre on Thalia and in the Marigny underscore the risk with anything incendiary. However, there is no way to control the situation without a show of force which unfortunately is not available. My understanding is that the NOPD will not assist with these issues.
The NOPD's new tact that I have observed is to park their cars near intersections with their lights flashing while they talk on cell phones.
When the weather is beautiful like today, I feel upbeat. When the neighborhood is strewn with debris and the weather is wintery, I feel somewhat less so.
There are new pictures at
They provide a quick photo tour of our street. Some are not very well exposed due to the morning backlighting from the sun.
Please take the time to do the following:
1. provide me with contact information for any contractors, electricians, roofers, plumbers, demolition people, floor people, etc., that you have had a good experience with
2. provide me with any information that may be useful to our neighborhood
3. check out the petitions that are linked from my website regarding the levees and the levee boards and PLEASE forward these links to all of your friends and family http://www.vendomeplace.org/links.html
4. send me any email addresses that you would like me to add to these updates
5. send me any press clippings that you would like to have included on the site
6. consider putting up a bird feeder at your home. The poor birds are having a hard time with the absence of vegetation and insects. I've put out about 200 pounds of seed this Winter so far.
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Jim Zachary 4146 Vendome Pl
All - We had a GREAT Meeting last night. Thanks to those of you that attended. We are really excited about our next big project - a HUGE neighborhood clean-up on Feb. 11.
The New Orleans Revolution is working hard, but we still need your help! Please help by promoting this great event. Attached is a flyer to pass out to EVERYONE you know!!
We also need volunteers on Feb. 11 to help us CLEAN the neighborhood, and also to help with our post clean-up party (we'll have jambalaya and refreshments). Please let us know if you can help us out. You can contact us here or by calling 504-231-8214.
The New Orleans Revolution
Become a Part of the Revolution
27 jan 2006
The New Orleans Revolution will be holding a
general membership meeting on Thursday February 2. Please make plans to
attend! The meeting will be at 6 PM at the home of Harry Fuselier (5518
Coliseum St.). We’ll discuss our next big clean-up to take place
on February 11 in the Broadmoor / Fontainebleau area. Also - we will
have a guest speaker.
Mayor Nagin’s Bring New Orleans Back (BNOB) Commission: Economic
Development Committee Final Report Friday, January 27, 2006 at 1:00
PM; Sheraton Hotel, 500 Canal Street, Room TBD
25 jan 2006
On Saturday, January 28th Broadmoor residents will meet on the neutral ground on Napoleon Avenue. Our mission is to place a flyer on every property in Broadmoor inviting ALL Broadmoor residents to attend their first Sub-Group Planning Meeting (A, B, and C) the week of January 30th -February 4th. Broadmoor has had great attendance at the rally and meeting. Now it's time to take take the future our great neighborhood into our own hands.
Please join us as we hit the streets running Saturday morning. Residents will meet on Napoleon Avenue at 9:30 am. Walk and distribute from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Music and Pot Luck lunch at end of the flyer distribution back at the original Napoleon Avenue meeting spot.
Residents from each Broadmoor Neighborhood Subgroup are responsible
for placing flyers within their own neighborhood subgroup. You can view
and download the map of Broadmoor subgroups at
Click HERE for City Garbage Collection map indicating day of the week that garbage will be collected.
There will be a Broadmoor Improvement Association (BIA) Meeting as follows:
Time: Wednesday January 18 at 6:30 PM
Location: 3504 Napoleon Avenue (home of Irwin Isaacson)
Issues: rebuilding Broadmoor (and surrounding), 2006 elections of officers, city permits, commission's plan
There was a nice rally of interested Broadmoor, Marlyville, Fontainebleau residents on the median of Napoleon Ave at 4:00 PM today. The informal rally was well attended with 300 or so nice folks and a small brass band.
| 24 dec 2005
I posted over 200 new pictures of Vendome Place, Octavia, Vincennes, and Dart.
I took as many pictures as I could without having the National Guard pick me up; please pardon me if they are a little invasive.
I'm going to post contractor signage separately.
12 dec 2005
I'm pleased to report that Cox cable TV and internet began functioning yesterday. We noticed that the displayed time on the digital cable box had updated itself from "5:00" ever since the storm to the correct time at approximately 7:00 PM last night. A quick check of the TV and status revealed both were "good to go."
Bellsouth is apparently laying fiberoptic cables to replace their ruined copper wire network. Their estimated date to repair is still unknown but it could be several months. As I have mentioned before, ADSL via Bellsouth is still functioning despite no dialtone.
However, I have been pleasantly surprised by things up to this point (except for the general state of the city.)
Sad news: My good neighbor Mike Gannon has decided to move to (literally) greener pastures in Tennessee.
| 28 nov 2005
I took the opportunity this morning to explore the neighborhood a bit more than I ever had. I took some of the usual shots of facades but in some cases I went a little deeper. I hope you guys don't mind the "intrusion."
The demoliton phase seems to be nearing completion and disinfection was going on at a number of residences.
Dr. Andy Mayer and the Vega family seem to be leading the edge of the reconstruction phase.
There are about 3 residences for sale on Vendome.
Overall, it's a bit ghostly and surreal and, of course, sad. However, in my case, it's nice to be in my home after 10 weeks. My job with LSU is on shakey ground so I may have to end up leaving town sometime in mid-2006.
I met a couple of neighbors including Mike Keifer (Walmsley & Vendome) and Tony Digeorge (Grape & Octavia) who were working today.
Hang in there!
|15 nov 2005
Bellsouth telephone landline continues to be nonfunctional with no date to resolution. However, Bellsouth contractors blitzed the neighborhood last week and replaced all the junction boxes on all customer residences. That is encouraging.
I accidentally plugged in my ADSL modem and found that my high speed internet via Bellsouth does work without a dialtone. I had heard of this phenomena but never thought that such good luck would apply to my case. I rely on the internet for literature searches for my job as well as news that I relay to you on on the reconstruction process. If I had to choose between a dial tone and ADSL, I would choose the latter.
I have ordered an EVDO card for Verizon wireless internet on my notebook computer. I will try this out and let you know how things go in case you relied on Cox for internet and need a temporary (pricey) alternative. The couple who live next door have two of these computer cards and are somewhat satisfied. This card will be useful at work where the Ethernet LAN is slow as molasses on a cold day.
I called 1-800-ENTERGY and requested natural gas service to be restored. I had to hold for 20 minutes, but I was given a November 30 date for restoration. Apparently no certified inspection is necessary as I once thought. This may be due to our newly reworked street and infrastructure. As painful as the street replacement process was, perhaps it was worth it.
I called the Cox Cable repair number and requested repair. The gentleman on the line stated "there's not much going on there, is there?" and said they had no way to even send a truck out. The estimated date of repair is unknown and may be a month or longer. He suggested calling back periodically. This may be another situation where if enough people call and express interest, then Cox will take notice. I envy those of you with DirectTV. Scott connected an amplified antenna to our cable system in the house, and now we can get 4 or 5 channels on all the TVs in the house.
I hope you find this information helpful. I will be photographing the neighborhood again this week to capture the progress.
...until next time...
10 nov 2005
Bellsouth contractors are going through the neighborhood replacing all the outdoor junction boxes on each home.
We were informed yesterday that further repair would be required to actually connect the new junction box on the outside of one's home to the internal phone wiring. If you have a wire maintenance contract, then it would be covered. If you do not have such a contract and are already paying a monthly fee, the repairs would be at some additonal cost to the customer.
I am not sure how to get the next phase completed, but I will submit another request to Bellsouth, and I will update you when I learn more.
9 nov 2005
Following today's successfull electrical inspection at my home, power was finally restored thanks to Ponchatrain Electric LLC and the City of New Orleans.
The electrical repairs will continue over the next few days to get everything working, and my outside A/C unit will be replaced tomorrow.
The elements lacking when we move back in shortly will be
1. landline (phone)
3. cable tv
4 natural gas for the furnace
I've already subscribed to a form of wireless broadband internet called EVDO which is available via Verizon for notebook computers. It's a bit pricey but better than nothing. You can find out more about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki
I plan on using electric space heaters if it cools down (which seems unlikely) until natural gas is available.
In case you were wondering, street lights are now on Vendome Place on all the blocks.
7 nov 2005
Electricity is available to all or most homes on Vendome Place. Power is switched-off at the meters and requires a certified electrical inspection following removal of all wiring that was submerged.
Sadly Bellsouth phone service is down for the entire neighborhood as I mentioned. This situation is likely not to be corrected in the near future, but I would suggest submitting a repair request for each of your homes to speed the process. The more requests the better...
...And the resident in the red brick home at the corner of Grape and Vendome moved back into his home last Friday!!!! He is the first Vendome Place resident back in, and his home looks super with new grass and a freshly painted fence. I saw his lights on last evening.
I hope to be back in my home in the next week or so after the electrical inspection which is scheduled for tomorrow. I still have to replace my outside A/C unit but only after power is returned.
You can call my electrician which is listed in the recommended workmen section of the website if you need some electrical help.
Scott ended up reading up on and subsequently installing all the major appliances we lost due to the inability to find someone to help on a timely basis. I switched to all electric appliances due the absence of natural gas until mid to late November as per Entergy. The Bywater which did not have flooding is still waiting on gas service in many areas.
| 6 nov 2005
I put in a request for Bellsouth to repair my telephone landline and DSL via the Bellsouth website.
A representative called and came out the next day!
Unfortunately the junction box on the side of my house took water, but the really sad news is that the neighborhood junction box also took water and therefore the estimated date of repair is unknown but likely in the range of several months.
I would suggest increasing your cell phone minutes if you have not already done so.
I do not know the status of Cox telephone service, cable, or internet in our neighborhood but I will get some information here in the next 1-2 weeks.
|21 oct 2005
Karen O'brien reported to me today that her place was looted for some costume jewelry and other items last night. Apparently the looters got in the patio door after trying at several other attempted entrance ways.
Also the house on the corner of Walmsley and Vendome closest to Karen was looted. This is the house with the swimming pool that is now exposed.
The police came but can do little as there is no crime lab for fingerprinting or other evidence. The police said they would step up patrols and Karen was doing to ask the remaining National Guard to do the same.
There is nothing to do except the following:
1. Secure your remaining belongings especially valuable as best you can. I am evacuating mine to my temporary residence today.
2. Get into your house as soon as possible.
My electrical repairs are 98% completed and they may be finished today; I will be able to move back in to 4146 when the city turns the electricity on at my meter. This may take some time at the rate the city is currently doing it.
IF ANYONE CAN PULL SOME STRINGS AND/OR PAY OFF SOMEONE TO GET MY ELECTRICITY ON SOONER, SCOTT AND I WILL START A REGULAR PATROL OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD WITH FLASHLIGHTS SEVERAL TIMES PER EVENING FOR THE WHOLE STREET!!!!
PLEASE CALL ME (JIM ZACHARY) 803-474-0484 OR SCOTT AT 504-908-3676 IF YOU CAN HELP US TO GET OUR ELECTRICITY ON EXPEDITIOUSLY.
Questions? Let me know.
|18 oct 2005
I'm in the neighborhood every 2-3 days. There is demolition going on in almost every residence. The Red Cross was serving food 2 houses down from us from a van on Sunday; unfortunately it was nearly inedible.
Thanks to Blake Heymann and John Delamatre our basement was demolished in 72 hours. It dried for another few days and then I disinfected it with a solution of Jo-Max, bleach, and water (the recipe is on the Jo-Max) container. Jo-Max is a surfactant that helps to kill microrganisms and to penetrate surfaces a bit. Apparently the mask I wore was inadequate and I suffered moderately severe hypochlorite (chlorine) respiratory toxicity for about 18 hours afterwards; I essentially burned my nose, throat, bronchial tree, and lungs.
Brad, an electrician recommended by Blake, is now rewiring my basement. We just noticed that as soon as the electrical repairs are completed, we will get an electrical inspection and can be hooked back onto a functional electrical grid. Our outside power meter shows that power is available to our house! Hopefully that can be done in the next week or so. Unfortunately all our major appliances including a brand new a/c unit were destroyed. However, that will soon be remedied also. I will be replacing my gas dryer and hotwater heater with electrical ones so that I do not have to wait for the return of natural gas AND electricity in the future.
|18 oct 2005
Here is the link to the official city site with situation updates:
The zipcode 70125 info is as follows:70125
|5 oct 2005
Here is the link to the Mid-City forum on Nola.com:
The forums can be informative and entertaining at times.
|4 oct 2005
Here is an 10/4 assessment of the restoration of electricity and natural gas to the New Orleans area:
It appears pretty grim for Vendome Place. I hope it is incorrect or I am interpreting it incorrectly.
|3 oct 2005
Here is a long disheartening article on Nola.com about returning potable water to the East Bank of New Orleans:
|2 oct 2005
Here is a long interesting article on the complexities involved with rebuilding after the flooding in New Orleans:
Its by some staff writers at the Times-Picayune on Nola.com. Just click on the link above.
|28 sept 2005
Jonathan Red writes: They put up a new telephone pole and transformers at my house this week. Connection should occur within a week or two. Most homes will have to be certified by an electrical contractor prior to getting electricity. I will be down there this weekend to clean up some more. I'll try and get more info.
http://www.nola.com/cityofno/ for more info on other zipcodes.
|26 sept 2005
This website was set up to aid the reconstruction of Vendome Place and surrounding areas. Jim Zachary will also maintain a contact database which will be made available only to residents. After the Katrina issues have been resolved, this website can serve as a community resource related to security and communications.
Please email Jim at vendomeplace(at)gmail.com [substitute @ for (at)] with your current contact information in this format:
This information will not be publically available. It will be made available to only verified neighborhood residents or other people that you specify.
Anyone that would like to contribute to the costs incurred (about $100) with this website can donate via PayPal to me via the Donate button below:
email me with any neighborhood news