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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Depressed New Orleans news photographer tries suicide-by-cop
Lesley Ann Miller, Photographer, Photo Editor
Irvine | CA | US | Posted: 12:27 PM on 08.09.06
->> http://www.nola.com/search/index.ssf?/base/library-108/1155103719153800.xml...

Times-Picayune photographer John McCusker was depressed because he didn't have enough insurance money to rebuild his home.

Does anyone down there know this guy and can reach out to him? He's currently in jail, being held under psychiatric observation.
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Jason Palmer, Photographer
Wichita Falls | TX | USA | Posted: 12:52 PM on 08.09.06
->> Good lord that's a sad story.

Is this how it is after going through...and covering one of the largest disasters to ever to hit this country?

Are there other journalists (writers, TV, whatever) that are in this kind of psychological distress?
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Curtis Bosarge, Jr, Photographer
Des Allemands | LA | USA | Posted: 1:37 PM on 08.09.06
->> ďIs this how it is after going through...and covering one of the largest disasters to ever to hit this country?Ē

This has to do with losing everything youíve worked for in your life; your home, your familyís future, washed away in an instant by a terrible disaster. It is then further exacerbated by the bloated, non-caring insurance companies spending eleven months telling the very people who provide them with their salaries, life and futures that they will not cover the damages because they were caused by rising water, not wind. Making matters worse is the position of some members of congress stating that rebuilding our (yes, I live here, too) area is throwing good money after bad, considering we are destined to have this happen again. {to a lesser degree it has happened twice before in the 20th century)

How the hell do you think people here are supposed to feel?

Depression is rampant and medical professionals are scarce, having left for greener pastures (my doctor included). This is a horrible situation that wonít be corrected any time soon simply because the people in the places that can do something, wonít. And they donít give a shit because it didnít happen in their back yard.

Sorry if I have offended anyone, but, this is our reality. If you are not here you canít understand. While many journalists came here and made some great images (and money) during the height of the tragedy, where are they now? The problem is still here and on the Gulf Coast, as well. And it's not going away any time soon.
Peace
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William Jurasz, Photographer, Assistant
Cedar Park | TX | USA | Posted: 1:45 PM on 08.09.06
->> Curtis, I'm not there and so yes I can't understand. However, do not blame this all on the insurance companies. It is (or should be) common knowledge that insurance policies do not cover floods. People have the choice to buy flood insurance or not. And if you don't, and it floods, and your house is destroyed, is that the fault of the insurance company whose coverage you chose not to take?

Not to offend anyone or belittle the situation, but I do not know how one can expect to collect on coverage one did not purchase.
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Jason Palmer, Photographer
Wichita Falls | TX | USA | Posted: 1:50 PM on 08.09.06
->> Curtis...

By no means whatsoever did I mean or imply belittlement in my post. I hope to God that you didn't feel that way.

What I'm saying is...is it tougher on journalists who have to not only deal with it in their own lives, but also cover all those people who are also living with it as well.
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Curtis Bosarge, Jr, Photographer
Des Allemands | LA | USA | Posted: 1:59 PM on 08.09.06
->> William,

I agree in that if you live at or below sea level and do not buy flood insurance, then that's bad on you. However, what you may not be aware of are the elevation tables that hadn't been updated in forever (currently under revision) and are used to determine who needs to buy flood insurance are not always fully communicated to a prospective property buyer. In the past the banks have made recommendations, but not all required purchase of the flood insurance, while a few have and do. In my case, my lot elevation was +1 foot before building. I am in Des Allemands with nothing between me and the Gulf of Mexico but ~100 miles of marsh and a little hard ground. Flood insurance was not required, nor recommended. Did I buy it? Hell yes!

As for your comment "It is (or should be) common knowledge that insurance policies do not cover floods.", please explain that to the thousands of folks along the Gulf Coast who were sold Hurricane Protection policies by unscruulous insurance sales-persons who are left with a worthless piece of paper, no home and no help.

If I seem emotional, there's a good reason. I was born and raised here and see a city that is broke-bad and nearly forgotten. It is hard to fathom that it will ever be rebuilt, in my life time, at least. And "life time" is a moving target here. The story of John McKusker is tragic, but not uncommon, other than the sensational way he chose. Most just do it themselves instead of ruining some poor cop's life, as well.

Have a nice day.
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Curtis Bosarge, Jr, Photographer
Des Allemands | LA | USA | Posted: 2:10 PM on 08.09.06
->> Jason,

No concern / no offense. As for myself, I shot thousnads of photos when we returned after watching our home town be destroyed, played out on FOX, CNN, etc, while sitting in a hotel room in Houston. We didn't know if we had homes, jobs, anything. The only comfort was that our entire family was together, at least for the first couple of weeks. My little sister lost her home on Belaire in Lakeview, about three blocks south of the levee break. I shot a family group photo standing on that damned levee on Father's Day earlier that same year. As for my Dad and my eldest son, we had no idea the condition of their homes, nor our own just outside of the city for several days. Talk about mental anguish.

As for my personal images, some I have posted, most I never looked at again. All I have to do is drive 30 minutes to New Orleans. For the most part, it still looks like it did when we returned home last September. That's the problem. Why the hell is it we (US) can spend billions of dollars all over the world in the name of the promotion of democracy, but, let a city and entire region of the country lay decimated and not do something about it? Why? The cost of the Iraq war alone could rebuild the region and not cost lives, too boot.

Peace
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Hal Smith, Photographer
Emporia | KS | USA | Posted: 2:12 PM on 08.09.06
->> This is real shame; John McCusker was one the photographers that documented the devastation that followed the hurricane. I hope the Times-Picayune tries to help him through his rough times. McCusker's images were some of the of the most iconic and heartfelt photos that came out of those horrible days.
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William Luther, Photographer
San Antonio | TX | USA | Posted: 2:38 PM on 08.09.06
->> Hi all,

Let's try to keep this civil.

I don't think this is the specific thread to debate who should have or shouldn't have bought what kind of insurance.

I think there is enough blame to go around TWICE for EVERYONE -- officials, individuals, rescuers, journalists. There were problems all over the place.

What is very important right now is that, as people have already pointed out, everyone in the affected area is still dealing with this. And journalists have to deal with their own problems and then go to work and deal with everyone else's problems.

I don't know John, but from the story it sounds like he was trying to do everything right and still couldn't keep up with things. He was seeking help, taking time off, getting counseling, etc.

NPPA for the last few years has been promoting counseling for photojournalists that cover traumatic things. I think this is great and should be talked about more often.

I spent the days right before, during, and just after the hurricane in the French Quarter. In just a few days, I realized I needed to get out. It was a very difficult decision for me, and one that caused strain for me at work. With almost twelve years in the business covering everything from Olympics to Sept. 11, New Orleans got to me. And that really surprized me.

I hope that other journalists that covered Katrina, or are still covering Katrina, or are covering car wrecks in their home town will recognize that covering these things take a toll in one way or another. Don't be affraid to do what it takes to take care of yourself.

Let's talk about who should have bought insurance some other time.

OK, I'm off my soapbox now. :-)

William
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Ron Erdrich, Photographer
Abilene | TX | USA | Posted: 3:03 PM on 08.09.06
->> This is yet another wake-up call to journalists everywhere that the story of Katrina is far from over. It's going to take persistence and dedication, but there is so much that still needs to be told about the Gulf Coast and New Orleans as well.

I would encourage you to read Jim Gabour's "Letters from New Orleans" feature in the Digital Journalist if you haven't. Last month's entry was very chilling, and this month's is equally powerful.

Here's the link to last month's,

http://digitaljournalist.org/issue0607/from-new-orleans.html

Insurance companies aren't in the business of giving money, they are in the business of taking money, as my dad always said. But regardless, they cannot be expected to pay for everything Katrina-related because their pockets aren't that deep. That's not to say they shouldn't be held accountable, but ultimately it's the government that needs to step up and provide real relief, that's why we pay taxes and that's why we have a government.

Whether they can actually handle that responsibility is another matter.

-Ron-
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Curtis Bosarge, Jr, Photographer
Des Allemands | LA | USA | Posted: 3:10 PM on 08.09.06
->> Thank you, Mr. Luther. You're 100% correct. I apologize for getting off what is important and that is the fact that someone's life has been adversly affected by one of the greatest tragedies this country has known and it has led them to a very dark place. A place, that, hopefully, he will recover from some day. On the local news this morning they said he was under suicide watch in Parish prison. I hope John McCusker survives this ordeal and moves on.

To any and all that I may have offended, I truly apologize.

Peace,

Curtis
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Curtis Bosarge, Jr, Photographer
Des Allemands | LA | USA | Posted: 3:18 PM on 08.09.06
->> OK, one last comment on the whole "who-should-pay-for-what issue, spawned by this comment referring to the US government:

"Whether they can actually handle that responsibility is another matter."

I think it's more a question of whether they WANT to handle the responsibility of rebuilding the region. Having the means is a non-issue, considering the amount of money distributed world wide in the self-promotion of democracy.

Curtis
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 3:34 PM on 08.09.06
->> There is a great organization trying to help journalists who cover trauma and are affected by it.

http://www.DartCenter.org

They even have a Dart Fellow program where journalists apply to be a fellow and if accepted they bring you in to a conference and train you--all on their dime.

We need to get this training as standard in all the j-schools.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 3:57 PM on 08.09.06
->> Understand when I say this it is not being flippant. I thought I had a bad day yesterday and was feeling sorry for myself.......then my boss sent out that story via email to all of us a couple of hours ago.....man did I feel like a jackass for thinking I had a bad day compared to that poor soul.
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John Tucker, Photographer, Photo Editor
Cordova | TN | USA | Posted: 4:39 PM on 08.09.06
->> Now the guys family (if he has any) is even more burdened by his act. Trying to find a permanent solution to a temporary problem (even though his problems mounted up) is no way to solve anything. It's selfish and it's cowardly. I just wonder how many other poor souls have taken this route (by their own hands)??? Those are the ones we'll never read about.
That stuff builds up. Why didn't someone the Times-Picayune notice anything? Thanks to Stanley and William for the info on the "trauma counseling"........maybe some of us will have enough sense to bookmark those sights and take time to notice co-workers, friends, family that might need some help.
It's sad that it has gotten to that point in New Orleans, but no matter who let the people down, suicide is NOT an answer. I hope this guy finds help, but even moreso, I hope we realize that Katrina's devastation needs to be addressed.
BTW, I have to agree with Curtis, our money would be better spent on Katrina than forcing democracy on people that don't even want it.
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Peter Cooke, Photographer
Shrewsbury | MA | USA | Posted: 5:49 PM on 08.09.06
->> Maybe the SS gods could set up an account of some sort that we all could donate to and help this guy out. Charity begins at home...
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Al Santos, Photographer
Silver Spring | MD | USA | Posted: 8:19 PM on 08.09.06
->> Good idea, Peter! I am willing to pitch in to help out a fellow shooter in need. Many here would do the same, I'm sure.

I could only imagine what John is going through but suicide is definitely not the answer, especially if he has family.
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
St. Petersburg | FL | USA | Posted: 8:52 PM on 08.09.06
->> What's going on in N.O. and the Gulf Coast has to be the biggest under-reported story of our life times and it's disgusting. I was in N.O. just 3 months ago and it looked damn near the way it did in Sept of '05. I took a week's vacation and produced a small body of work hoping I could entice the publication I work for to send me back to produce a larger story on their dime. As far as I know my proposal is sitting at the bottom of a pile on someone's desk. No one seems interested anymore.

It's times like these that make me wonder if journalism as many of us knew it is dead and gone never to return. Comfort the comfortable and [profanity] the afflicted.

I think I'll go drink a beer now.
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
St. Petersburg | FL | USA | Posted: 9:02 PM on 08.09.06
->> Here's an interview that John recently gave to the Brown University radio station. It gives you a good idea about his state of mind. I feel terrible for the guy.

http://tinyurl.com/guthy
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 9:37 PM on 08.09.06
->> I am with Peter and Al..can we do something to help out our own? A dollar from every SS member is probably more than enough to get him out and show him that PEOPLE DO CARE.
I am so pissed at what is going on in N.O. I have never been there but have good friends who lost everything. Why can we-this country, give money everywhere else but when it comes to helping our own we seem to turn our backs? just DISGUSTING.
And John, I disagree with your comment "It's selfish and it's cowardly." I have known people who were in so much pain that they felt the only thing better was to end it. Count your lucky stars that you have never been THAT low when you feel there is no other option. We have not walked in Mr. McCusker's shoes so we DON'T know his dispair. I can only cry for him and the others who feel that no one cares, that they are all alone. Look at how many have turned their backs.

DLR
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Joe Cavaretta, Photographer
Ft Lauderdale | FL | USA | Posted: 9:57 PM on 08.09.06
->> How about someone at the Times-Pic post his mailing address and then just let nature take its course.
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William Luther, Photographer
San Antonio | TX | USA | Posted: 10:11 PM on 08.09.06
->> I think NPPA was also collecting money to help journalists affected by the hurricanes. I don't know if they are still collecting money or not. This obviously could not be specifically ear marked for John, but it is a way to help someone before they get to John's stage of need.

Also, along Joe's theme, here's the address for the Times-Picayune:

The Times-Picayune
3800 Howard Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70125-1429

I'm sure they can forward anything to John that they think is appropriate.

William
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John David Mercer, Photographer, Photo Editor
Mobile | AL | USA | Posted: 10:41 PM on 08.09.06
->> I can't stay away from this thread.

John is a very talented photographer.

The Katrina story has taken another toll on us. Day to day people are still hurting from this storm and it is nearly a year since it hit the Gulf Coast. Many people are trying to find out if they will even be able to continue living on what they have and if it is worth sticking around.

Some are just getting their partial insurance checks and of course it is here yet again in the middle of hurricane season.

Try working an 8 hour shift seeing everyday the distruction Katrina has left New Orleans. Then try to imagine going home to relax and rest from just work alone. Then try to imagine recovering your own losses.

I'm sure collegues are in the works to set up a fund to defray the cost of John's defense.

John McCusker
c/o
Doug Parker Photo Editor
The Times-Picayune
3800 Howard Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70125-1429

dparker@timespicayune.com

Please note on your check - and stick a post-it to the check or add a note for
good measure -- noting that it is for John.

If you are giving online thru the web site (
http://www.friendsofthetimespicayune.com)
via Paypal, please make a note in the message box that it is for John.
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Chris Graythen, Photographer, Photo Editor
New Orleans | LA | USA | Posted: 11:15 PM on 08.09.06
->> Everyone, please, John is one of us. He's a well respected photographer, and an extremely good friend of mine. I've known John since I was a kid.

Without getting too much into John's personal life, I can give you some general history. I've been trying to tell people about how we've lost everything. John is the prime example - lost everything - no house, no personal possessions, except for what he left which on Aug 28th, , family at the end of it's rope, no help from any turn (insurance/governmental, not friends) and on top of that - his job is to go out every day and document the continuing horror of this storm. There is simply no escape for photojournalists down here.

I don't think I can explain myself very clearly now, the entire New Orleans/Gulf South photographic community is shaken by this. For those of you that met John, he's a world class guy. And I'm a bit upset that someone would insult/scold John without knowing his situation, shame on you. (Not looking to start a war here. Just asking for a little respect. This isn't some bumb, it's a staff photographer at a respected paper.)


Please read the below excerpt, and see my comments at the end.

This is from a story at
http://www.ajr.org/article_printable.asp?id=4163
I've paraphrased it a bit.

After taking a leave of absence for a month, Times-Picayune photographer John McCusker went back to work on June 20. McCusker spent much of the leave sleeping off exhaustion and attending therapy sessions three times a week. As a colleague told him, it was easier getting into the foxhole than getting out.

McCusker says he had essentially become nonfunctional, a joker who had become humorless, a man who had given up cigarettes 20 years ago who was smoking two packs a day. On the day the Pulitzer Prizes were announced, McCusker's wife, Johanna Schindler, told her husband that she had gotten a new job, as director of public relations for the University of New Orleans. McCusker rejoiced and then spent the next day at home curled up in a ball, weeping. It was time, he says, to get help. "It's very simple. You have to see if you can get your head turned around, to look away from the past, look to the future and go on," he says.

McCusker's ancestry reaches back to the New Orleans of colonial Spain. For 20 years all he ever wanted to do was shoot pictures for the Times-Picayune. When the call came to send staff back into New Orleans at the height of the flooding, his wife and one of his three children moved to the paper's temporary headquarters in Baton Rouge. His family would stay with Schindler's relatives in Alabama for the next four months while McCusker roamed the city shooting.

"You have to understand the depth of the horror that the city was," McCusker says. "Tens of thousands of people on the freeways stranded. The children begging for food and water. The looting at the Wal-Mart. It was of biblical proportions." Without coming to terms with his own sadness, McCusker says, he was incapable of helping his wife and children, who are now back in New Orleans. Therapy helped McCusker return to work. His first assignment after his return was to photograph National Guardsmen ordered into the city after the Central City slayings.

"I feel completely different than the last day before my leave. I was just completely spent. I wanted to come back. I'm not going to leave here. This is who I am. This is why it hurts so much."

--------------------------------------------------------------

After reading that, tell me you don't sympathise with him?


John took therapy. John took time off. John did the right thing, followed all the steps, and the system let him down. John is an extremely good friend of mine. I've learned a lot about photography from John, and his wife (a former TP writer) and their children are all friends of mine. I've been absolutely crushed the last 2 days about this. Wanna know why?

Because I was there. Because it could be me. Because I cried for a long time last night thinking about John, his family, the city, and our (lack of) future.

Pulitzer nominated Times-Picaune writer, Chris Rose (
http://www.nola.com/rose) penned a column with the title of 'The storm that Keeps Killing' - I'm just glad that NOPD recognized what was going on, and didn't shoot him.

NOPD deserves a lot of credit in this situation. But just to give you an idea of how bad Katrina has screwed us - NOPD couldn't take john to the local public mental ward - it's been closed for over 11 months. Which means he was just locked up - there was no other choice.


I'm going to ask, as a professional favor, that we please keep the discussion on this matter to how we can help. Say what you will, you're entitled to your opinion, but unless you've been down here, seen what we deal with every day, all I'm asking for is a little respect, common courtesy. Feel free to ask me any questions. We're photographers. We take care of our own.




Please refer to JD Mercer's post for info on helping/donating.

Sincerely,

Chris Graythen
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Michael Granse, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 11:19 PM on 08.09.06
->> Thank you, Mr. Mercer! I just finished making a small donation, and MAN was this quick and easy. Friends of The Times-Picayune Trust Fund has made this process very simple and fast.

I wish Mr. McCusker the best of luck.
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Matthew Sharpe, Student/Intern, Photographer
Oxford | MS | | Posted: 11:33 PM on 08.09.06
->> First of all, John McCusker is just one example of what's really going on down here. His talent is evident in his work, and I have great respect for him simply for staying down here during the storm. I have confidence the TP will stick behind him through this ordeal.

William:

Where I lived, 80% of the 60,000+ residents lacked flood insurance. Know why? Because the insurance companies failed to make sure people had flood insurance. They suggested that flood insurance was not necessary. They said homeowners insurance was all they needed. And we're well below sea-level. Check out the current court case going on down on the Miss. Gulf Coast. A prominent lawyer is representing families for the exact above case; and to me, the case is golden and insurance companies will have to pay.

Bob:

You are correct, sir. What's going on down here is the most under-reported story of the year. I've heard from people around the United States who see the French Quarter on TV and think "Oh, guess that place was put back together quick." Wrong.

The truth is that things haven't changed all that much. It's been nearly a year now and the damage is evident everywhere. My home town, which was completely inundated with water, is hanging on by a thread. Crime is worse than ever. Neighborhoods are practically empty is some areas. But the national media (save for Anderson Cooper) ignores that fact. Hell, there's a 45-foot shrimp boat a block from my house. It's been a year.

Sorry, but people need to know. People need to know why depression is so rampant around here. I've watched my parents go through it. I've seen their friends with it. Can you blame them?

God bless this area.
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Lesley Ann Miller, Photographer, Photo Editor
Irvine | CA | US | Posted: 12:09 AM on 08.10.06
->> Posted right on the front page of http://www.friendsofthetimespicayune.com/:

August 9, 2006

As New Orleans nears the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the tragedy continues to unfold.

Our love and warmest wishes go out to our friend and Times-Picayune photographer John McCusker.

If you would like to help John and his family, please note that you would like your donation earmarked for John. You can do this in the message box on Paypal contributions online (see below) or in a note sent with your check by mail to Sterling Bank (address below).

To give a donation in honor of a friend or loved one, please include their email address in the "Message to Seller" box on the second page of the Paypal form and we will send them an acknowledgment of your thoughtful gift.

PayPal:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr

You can send money by check to:
"Friends of the Times-Picayune"

Mail to:
Sterling Bank
Bayou Bend Office
Friends Fund
5757 Memorial Drive
Houston, Texas 77007-8000

Sterling Bank in Houston has graciously offered their services free of charge.
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William Maner, Photographer
Biloxi | MS | USA | Posted: 1:10 AM on 08.10.06
->> Allow me to chime in...

I don't know John McCusker, but I have a pretty good idea of what he's had to deal with. I live in Biloxi, MS. We took quite a beating from Katrina. Compared to most of the folks near the beach we were lucky..We had most of the shingles blown off our roof...We had about 20 trees blown over or snapped off. Our metal storage shed was smashed to pieces.. We live less than a mile from the beach.

It's been nearly a year since Katrina hit..Biloxi was hit hard, but not quite as hard as places to the west--Gulfport, Long Beach, Pass Christian, Bay St. Louis and Waveland. Bay St. Louis and Waveland took the biggest hits.

Everyone reacts differently to a disaster the magnitude of Katrina. Katrina was truly a "once every 500 years" type hurricane. Our 26 miles of coastline is still pretty much battered.. It's been cleaned up for the most part, but it can be depressing to see the damaged structures along Highway 90. One of the constant questions asked on the west side of Gulfport is "when will the stench be gone?" There's a large sea port in Gulfport..The port ships a lot of chickens and pork bellies to foreign countries..

Well, when Katrina hit, warehouses full of frozen chickens and pork bellies ended up in the neighborhoods of West Gulfport. You can still smell the stench in places. Part of the reason such foul odors remain is the wrangling in the legal system. It seems that an even greater odor is coming out of the legal wrangling over the insurance companies' handling of hurricane damage claims. This legal wrangling between the property owners and the insurance companies will likely be drawn out for years. People who were told they didn't need flood insurance trusted their insurance reps. It seems that in every case of "wind or water?" water won out because of "anti-concurrent causation" clauses in policies.. If your house was damaged significantly by wind, it didn't matter..Water finished off the building in the minds of insurance adjusters. If the two events occured, insurance companies were not obligated to pay for wind damage. You have people who have $500,000 in insurance policies getting checks for less than $2,000 if anything at all. It has been a very upsetting period.

I stayed at home during Katrina...Stayed here after the storm passed. It's really hard to grasp what such a setting does to you unless you live here. Some cousins of mine came over about two weeks after the hurricane to check on us.. we had no lights, water, phone service, cable, gas, etc for at least 8-10 days after the storm. No one knew if we were still alive or if we'd been hurt.. My cousins were just shocked at the damage. I remember one of them saying it looks bad on TV, but when you walk around and smell the air--air filled with rotting. moldy stuff, bodies decaying in rubble, dead animals, unknown chemicals floating around, raw sewage oozing all over the place, it affects you.

The truth is that you never completely recover..You do get back to some sense of normalcy, but there's always that little spot of fear that stays in the back of your mind.

Do what you can to assist John. I can understand what he's had to deal with. It's a very tough environment in which to live. I know because I live here also.
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Curtis Bosarge, Jr, Photographer
Des Allemands | LA | USA | Posted: 6:59 AM on 08.10.06
->> Thank you, William.

My Dad grew up in Biloxi and I spent my summers there with my Grandma. My Dad returned to Biloxi a few months prior to Katrina to photograph the area; the houses of his upbringing and those memorable palces, even grave sites of his family members. These have to be his most cherished photos. Personally, I have yet to visit the Gulf Coast, No disrespect, I've just seen all of the destruction I can handle for a while living here in the New Orleans area.

Take care.

Curtis
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Michelle Posey, Photographer
Little Rock | AR | United States | Posted: 5:43 PM on 08.10.06
->> Chris, William, John and any staff of the Biloxi Sun-Herald that may be reading this:

You guys are my heroes. You are the best of all of us. You have sacrificed yourselves and your well-being so people can be informed. Not only that, you have turned your attention away from your own all-consuming problems to document the problems of others.

I was in Biloxi for Katrina, and I have family there; still, I can only imagine dealing with this day after day, for nearly a year now. I saw the destruction and it affected me. I was shell-shocked for weeks after coming home. I don't know what seeing this would have done to me if I had to see it every day for a year, instead of a week.

I will be donating tonight.

No Pulitzer Prizes have ever been so well-deserved.

Michelle
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Eric Isaacs, Photographer
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 4:36 AM on 08.12.06
->> I have spent the past 2 months (and will spend the next month) providing disaster relief here in New Orleans. I am also documenting the slow, intermittent progress. Some estimates place the recovery phase around ten years.

While I don't know Mr. McCusker's specific needs, If anyone knows of individuals in the Orleans, St. Bernard or St. Tammany parishes that need assistance with gutting their homes or with free medical services I have some ability to facilitate such help.

I am currently deployment manager for a non-profit organization gutting homes for free, and am partnered with another organization that provides a multitude of free services including a free medical clinic (with free medications, though a limited formulary)

Please feel free to pass my contact info on to anyone in need and I will do what I can to help. You can also contact the organizations directly at:

http://www.nechama.org and
http://www.ob.org

I can be reached at: 805-886-3765


I wish the best to John McCusker, his family and all the others here and around the country affected by Katrina/Rita and struggling towards normalcy.

Eric
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Oscar Sosa, Photographer
Jacksonville | FL | USA | Posted: 9:52 PM on 08.17.06
->> Update on John McCusker:

http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/newswire/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=10...
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Sean D. Elliot, Photographer
Norwich | CT | USA | Posted: 9:56 PM on 08.17.06
->> http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/news/2006/08/mccukser02.html
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Al Santos, Photographer
Silver Spring | MD | USA | Posted: 1:43 PM on 08.18.06
->> Thank you for the update on John McCusker. Great to hear that he is doing much better.

I would like to give a heartfelt thanks to the members who donated money on his behalf. This is truly a wonderful community and I am proud to be a member.
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Sue Jarrett, Photographer
Beaufort | SC | USA | Posted: 1:12 PM on 08.21.06
->> And today Aug 21 Pres. Bush wants Congress to give million$--billion$ to rebuild the infrastructure of Lebanon.

Hey, George and Congress, What about New Orleans or Waveland or Bay St Louis or Long Beach or Gulfport or Biloxi or etc etc etc???
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Oscar Sosa, Photographer
Jacksonville | FL | USA | Posted: 7:17 PM on 08.31.06
->> Latest update on John McCusker:

http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/newswire/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=10...
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