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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Whether the Storm? Are we responsible?


As our world changes, there is so much focus on disaster... it seems to be everywhere. But in a culture dominated by the focus on human tradgedy, some great stories of human resiliance, compassion, reason, and growth emerge. We can learn what to do to prevent disaster, or when it is not preventable, how we can weather the storm.

Little Chapel on the River eBook edition
by Bounds, Gwendolyn

Forced from her downtown Manhattan apartment by the terrorist attack of September 11, journalist Wendy Bounds was delivered to Guinan's doorstep -- a legendary Irish drinking hole and country store nestled along the banks of the Hudson River in the small town of Garrison, New York -- by a friend.

Captivated by the bar's charismatic but ailing owner and his charming, motley clientele, Bounds uprooted herself permanently and moved to tiny Garrison, the picturesque river town they all call home. There she became one of the rare female regulars at the old pub and was quickly swept up into its rhythm, heartbeat, and grand history -- as related by Jim Guinan himself, the stubborn high priest of this little chapel. Surrounded by a crew of endearing, delightfully colorful characters who were now her neighbors and friends, she slowly finds her own way home.

Beautifully written, deeply personal, and brilliantly insightful, Little Chapel on the River is a love story about a place -- and the people who bring it to life.

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The Storm: What Went Wrong and Why During Hurricane Katrina--the Inside Story from One Louisiana Scientist eBook edition
by van Heerden, Ivor
The ultimate inside story: how bureaucracy, politics, and a disregard of science combined to cripple--perhaps forever--a great American city As deputy director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center, Ivor van Heerden had for years been warning state and local officials about New Orleans's vulnerability to flooding. But like Cassandra's, his predictions were ignored--until Hurricane Katrina hit on August 29, 2005. Suddenly, van Heerden found himself at the center of a media maelstrom. Stepping forward to challenge the official version of events, he revealed the truth about the city's shoddy levee construction. Now, in The Storm, van Heerden shares up-to-the-minute reporting from his investigations and connects the dots among the Army Corps of Engineers, the bureaucrats, the politicians, and the chain of events--both natural and human--that culminated in catastrophe. An epic of cutting- edge science and systemic bureaucratic failure, The Storm is the first book from a major player in the Katrina disaster and a riveting narrative that brings expertise, passion, and a human viewpoint to America's greatest natural disaster.
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