our nation's resources to help these poor souls, for too many of them
it will be a very long road back to anything resembling normality.
And at the same time, I'd like to not forget the fate of our own
disaster victims here within our community of Laguna Beach. Like the
victims of Hurricane Katrina, they have been victimized by the random
hand of fate and the results of natural events, namely last season's
rainfall. Sadly, in this day and age, "out of sight, out of mind" is
often the rule.
It's also true that even all the damage across California caused
by last winter's storms does not come close to the devastation caused
by Katrina. But for the families directly affected by these events,
there really is no difference. If you've lost your home (and your
land) in Laguna Beach, it's no different than if you've lost your
home in Biloxi -- you've still got a mortgage payment due on a house
that no longer exists.
Well, actually, it is a little different. The sheer size of the
devastation in the South means that the plight of the folks there
will not be easily forgotten. They will also get the benefit of full
support from both the federal and state governments. For example,
FEMA was setting up support centers before the storm even hit.
But as we have all heard and read, FEMA and the state government
have quietly turned their backs on our neighbors here in Laguna.
There will be no government help for them.
Thankfully, the good citizens of Laguna and our City Council have
risen to the occasion. Together with city-negotiated contributions
from the displaced families, there is now every expectation that the
hillside supporting Flamingo Road will be rebuilt in a permanently
But, like the citizens of New Orleans, our neighbors still face a
depressingly long road back. And for some of the older residents, the
financial burden of rebuilding a home with no government loans will
simply not be a practical option. So please give generously to one or
more of the appeals to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. But the
next time you see a collection box or hear about a fundraiser for the
Flamingo Road victims, please remember them as well.
o7Marcus Noble lives in Bluebird Canyon.