Chron's Lise Olsen shows up New York Times

As I read this Captain Ed post yesterday, a little something he wrote caught my eye:

So why can't the New York Times do some research at least equal to that of the Houston Chronicle[...]?

That's not something we read everyday! But in my humble opinion, some of the Chron's reporting, especially the metro reporting, has improved quite a bit. (I am NOT talking about the DC bureau.)

The story that Captain Ed is referring to is this fine piece by Lise Olsen about how New Orleans didn't follow its own evacuation plan:

It was not the evacuation plan authorities had envisioned for its sick, its elderly and its poor. As the floodwaters recede, serious questions remain about whether New Orleans and Louisiana officials followed their own plans for evacuating people with no other way out.

The mayor's mandatory evacuation order was issued 20 hours before the storm struck the Louisiana coast, less than half the time researchers determined would be needed to get everyone out.

City officials had 550 municipal buses and hundreds of additional school buses at their disposal but made no plans to use them to get people out of New Orleans before the storm, said Chester Wilmot, a civil engineering professor at Louisiana State University and an expert in transportation planning, who helped the city put together its evacuation plan.

Instead, local buses were used to ferry people from 12 pickup points to poorly supplied "shelters of last resort" in the city. An estimated 50,000 New Orleans households have no access to cars, Wilmot said.

State and local plans both called for extra help to be provided in advance to residents with "special needs," though no specific timetable was prepared. But phone lines for people who needed specialized shelters opened at noon Saturday � barely 30 hours before Katrina came ashore in Louisiana.

Congratulations Lise Olsen -- you showed up four of the vaunted New York Times' reporters!

UPDATE: I should have added Laurence Simon's "go-local" admonition.

Posted by Anne Linehan @ 09/11/05 08:08 AM | Print |

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