Friday, September 29, 2006

BonaResponds Blog: BonaResponds delivers locally - News

Two introductions here! First let me introduce to you the new BonaResponds blog! It will be used in conjunction with our new (not even online yet) website.

The second introduction is that the Bonaventure student paper the BV is now online!

Here is what they had to say about BonaResponds this week:

BonaResponds Blog: BonaResponds delivers locally - News
"We don't want to limit ourselves to hurricane relief. We want to focus on anything that can make the community better."
Read more of it either here or here.

Thursday, September 28, 2006 - Local / Regional News: Volunteers help hurricane victims and themselves - Local / Regional News: Volunteers help hurricane victims and themselves:
"When you see a person’s home literally destroyed, it somehow makes that fight with your neighbor over whether a soda can is on his property or yours seem silly.

That’s what a local resident told Bethany Assembly of God Pastor Phil McCutchen yesterday, as a group from the Mendon church helped rebuild homes in Bay St. Louis, Miss.

'I have got to tell you -- one of the most important reasons to come down here and work is because of how it changes those who come,' McCutchen said."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

RedOrbit - Science - BILOXI-OCEAN SPRINGS BRIDGE UPDATE Setting the Stage

RedOrbit - Science - BILOXI-OCEAN SPRINGS BRIDGE UPDATE Setting the Stage:
"Sep. 26--BILOXI -- Construction of the new U.S. 90 bridge over Biloxi Bay is in its early stages"
and later:
"Once they get through dredging the channel, they'll come back and start demolishing the old bridge," said MDOT Project Engineer Kelly Castleberry.

The material already recovered has been taken south of Deer Island to the site of a new reef that will be created from the old bridge."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pet protection bill sent to Bush - Yahoo! News

Pet protection bill sent to Bush - Yahoo! News:
"'It became evident during Hurricane Katrina, when asked to choose between abandoning their pets (and) their own personal safety, many pet owners chose to risk their lives and remain with their pets, and some of them perished,' said Rep. Christopher Shays R-Conn.

The bill calls for state and local emergency preparedness plans to make provisions for families with pets and individuals with service animals."
It is about time!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

handsonusaalumni : Message: HOUSA's ripple effect

Here is an excerpt of a letter I wrote to HandsonUSA alumni:

handsonusaalumni : Message: HOUSA's ripple effect:
"One of my favorite parts of any day in Biloxi is the nightly meeting. Indeed I have written regularly about the meetings
(for instance: here , or here , or even here That said, two HOUSA 'meeting themes' that I think back regularly are Darius' ripple effect (how our actions multiply and go on and effect others that then effect others) and how a volunteer in January (I can picture you, I think you are from TN but I do not remember your name, sorry!) commented on how he was a better person while at Handson and he challenged us all to take that attitude back home and reminded us that their were Humane Societies, soup kitchens, and poor people who needed help everywhere.

Well, you will be glad to know that we have put the two ideas together. The result? A local version of Handson! This semester we have already had two local service days where we recreate a HOUSA day. For instance, this past Saturday we had over 100 volunteers at a central location and then went out to nine sites (SPCA, Community Theater, hospital, State Park, trail building project, local HS, etc) and volunteered for the day"

Monday, September 18, 2006

More pictures from Biloxi

originally uploaded by handsongulfcoast.
Handson uploaded some more pictures. He is part of the mural squad. Looks great. :)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

St. Bonaventure University: BonaResponds plans countywide service day

St. Bonaventure University: BonaResponds plans countywide service day:
"ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., Sept. 11, 2006 — The BonaResponds team has scheduled an Allegany-Olean service day for Saturday, Sept. 16. This will be the group’s second local workday this month.

BonaResponds volunteers will be broken into small groups, along with other local service groups, and assigned throughout Cattaraugus County. Some sites include the village of Allegany, Allegheny River Valley Trail, the Cattaraugus County SPCA, St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, Olean Historical Society, Olean General Hospital, the St. Bonaventure University (SBU) campus and Mt. Irenaeus."
If you can come out to help or if you want to donate, just let me know! :)

Ferry Time!

The Ferry for BSL is coming soon!
From WLOX:

"Tuesday morning, the Mississippi Department of Transportation awarded a contract to Warren Paving of Gulfport for work to prepare access sites in Bay St Louis and Pass Christian. The company will dredge two locations - one at the Washington Street Pier in Bay St Louis, the other just south of Third Street in Pass Christian....

Work is set to get underway Wednesday morning, with a completion date around the 20th of October.

MDOT officials say they will begin reviewing proposals for a ferry service provider on September 18th. The free ferry service is expected to begin November first."

Sunday, September 10, 2006

If you can volunteer!

originally uploaded by Spirits Mom.
Way too many people think things are back to normal, our help is deperately needed!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Awards_Winners - Boston College

Congratulations Bill!!!!!! You DEFINITELY earned it!

Awards_Winners - Boston College:

"The Boston College Alumni Association is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2006 Alumni Awards of Excellence"

"Young Alumni Award of Excellence
William J. Driscoll, Jr. '05

Bill Driscoll Jr. founded Persevere Disaster Relief in February 2006, only days after Hands On USA—the organization with which he had been volunteering since September—concluded its Katrina recovery effort.

Following graduation, he began work as a production assistant on several independent films. When Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005, the images of devastation in the media moved him to head south to help. Driscoll joined Hands On USA in mid-September and spent the next four and a half months with the organization in Biloxi, Mississippi. In addition to participating with the rebuilding efforts, Driscoll returned to his alma mater to educate students and organize service trips, an initiative that now continues on with Persevere Disaster Relief.

In November 2005, the Boston Celtics honored Driscoll with their "Heroes Among Us" award. In January, First Lady Laura Bush presented him with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for his work with Hands On USA along the Mississippi Gulf Coast .
Driscoll also started "The Next Great Pass" a service initiative in conjunction with the Boston College Appalachia Volunteers to bring groups to the gulf coast to aid in Katrina relief."

BonaResponds Spring Break 2006 Video

Over spring break 2006, nearly 300 (286) BonaRespond members (from all walks of life and all areas of the campus, the community, and the country) went to Mississippi and Louisiana to help in hurricane recovery efforts.

Meghan Backus, one of the leaders who had also been there in early October, made the following video for the University.

(As before, do everyone a favor and buy the music from the video. This is from U2. They own the copyright and deserve increased sales for allowing us to use their music!!!!)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

BonaResponds Videos

We've had several requests for the BonaResponds videos, so here you go From our fall trip last year. Meghan made this one. All copyrights belong to their owners, but I would highly encourgae you to buy the music. It is good!

AP Wire | 09/06/2006 | Lawmakers to study modular homes for hurricane recovery

AP Wire | 09/06/2006 | Lawmakers to study modular homes for hurricane recovery:
"Modular houses are made in factories then shipped to home sites and erected on slabs. Because modulars are made to meet local building codes, they're often allowed to be put in places where mobile homes are excluded from permanent placement.

Manufacturers said modulars can go up in a matter of days if local building crews are available.

Gov. Haley Barbour says boosting sales of modulars could help speed the coast's recovery from Katrina, which destroyed tens of thousands of homes when it struck on Aug. 29, 2005.

Barbour wants lawmakers to cut the sales tax rate on modulars from 7 percent to 3 percent. Barbour said the change would shave $4,000 to $6,000 off the purchase price"

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

RedOrbit - Science - A Hopeful Investment: A Year After Katrina, Volunteers Help Rebuild Lives

RedOrbit - Science - A Hopeful Investment: A Year After Katrina, Volunteers Help Rebuild Lives:
"Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway, sweating profusely under the afternoon sun, was walked back to his SUV by neighbors surrounding John Henry Beck Park.

Holloway was there to help dedicate a beautiful playground and other park improvements, work completed in less than a day, and sponsored by KaBoom!, The Home Depot, Playworld Systems and the Hands On Network."

St. Bernard Parish Plans To Demolish Homes Not Repaired Since Katrina - Yahoo! News

St. Bernard Parish Plans To Demolish Homes Not Repaired Since Katrina - Yahoo! News:
"In St. Bernard, the parish wants to demolish abandoned homes that have not been repaired since Hurricane Katrina."

"The list will include homes where nothing has been done since the storm. From there, the buildings will appear on a demolition list."

The changing work in the Gulf

originally uploaded by handsongulfcoast.
The work going on in the Gulf has been changing. For instance here Armando puts in new windows. This changing work is one big reason why more skilled workers are needed.

So if you have skills (any skills) it's time to volunteer!

Living on Earth: Rebuilding Levees, Rebuilding Neighborhoods

NPR's Living on Earth: Rebuilding Levees, Rebuilding Neighborhoods:
"It's been a year since Hurricane Katrina drowned New Orleans. Now returning residents wonder if the levees that failed in that storm will protect them. Living on Earth's Jeff Young reports on the levee repairs."
And later:
"For Mississippi and Alabama, Katrina was a historic natural disaster—a massive Category 5 hurricane that obliterated the coast. But for New Orleans it was a man-made catastrophe. By the time the storm reached here the winds and surge had weakened to within the design criteria of the levees meant to protect the city. Yet those levees failed on August 29th in the largest civil engineering disaster in American history."

BonaResponds local service pics

Partial Group Photo
Partial Group Photo,
originally uploaded by FinanceProfessor.
This is one of 35 pictures we uploaded from our Local service day at Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean NY.

There were actually more volunteers than are shown (over 50), but getting them all together proved impossible.

We are doing another larger service project on September 16th. Come join us! We will be recreating a day in the Gulf with many local projects from painting a covered bridge, to working at a local hospital, to finishing up our work at Walsh, cutting new trails on state forest land, and much more. Something for everyone. So come join us!

Louisiana Weekly - Your Community. Your Newspaper.

This is great if the homeowner can afford it, but many cannot. Then what?

Louisiana Weekly - Your Community. Your Newspaper.:
"A year after Hurricane Katrina ripped through here the damage is everywhere evident, and to drive along U.S. Highway 90 is to witness almost unrelieved devastation. While most of the major casinos along the beachfront are once again functioning, only the battered frames or the foundations remain of the majority of nearby homes.

But, remarkably, there are a few determined, enterprising homeowners who have not waited on insurance payments or federal allocations to rebuild their homes. 'I used all of my own money to rebuild my house,' said Minnie Miller, whose small house was virtually inundated by 17 feet of flood water. 'I spent more than $50,000 to do it, and I didn't get a dime from insurance companies or the federal government."

Sunday, September 03, 2006

BonaResponds update

I just wanted to give everyone a quick recap of the First BonaResponds
local service project.

Although it was the first Friday back to school and the beginning of a
long Labor Day weekend for most local residents, we had just over 50
volunteers who painted, cleaned, and landscaped around Archbishop
Walsh High School.

1. Several classrooms were completely painted as was the main entrance
area to the school.
2. The majority of the hall ways were repainted including the trim
around each door.
3. Ceilings in the cha pel, and walls in several class rooms, the
scaristy, and the hall way were plastered and were left to dry prior
to painting.
4. The stairway to the second floor was cleaned and repainted.
5. The main entrance was repainted, benches cleaned and painted, and mulch was set down near the front sign.

All in all it made a great difference at the school which willundoubtedly improve the learning environment for the high school students and make the City look better.

However, there is much work to be done at the school so we will be returning: we will make this one of our work sites for the September 16th Service Day. Additional work sites on September 16th include Allegany State Park, a trail building project on State Forest Lands west of Allegany,
The Olean Historical Society, the Olean Hospital, the SPCA, St. Elizabeth's Motherhouse, the St. Bonaventure campus, and the Village of Allegany.

All are encouraged to volunteer on the 16th and bring family, friends etc. We will meet at the old Fitness Center (near Valu hardware) at 8:15 AM. After a brief meeting, we will split up and go to the various work sites. Lunch will be provided.

As an added incentive to encourage student participation, we hope to make sponsorship for future Gulf Coast trips a function of work on these local service projects. (for instance, while the Gulf trips will be open to everyone, full sponsorships will be available only for those who have volunteered and trained locally).

Thanks for all of the help at Walsh and I look forward to working with you all on the 16th.


BTW IF you can not make it but want to help, we will accept donations--make checks payable to St. Bonaventure University (memo should be BonaResponds). Mail to Jim Mahar BOX BY St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure NY 14778

further question? Email Jim Mahar.

A Bank Survives Katrina. Now, the Hard Part. - New York Times

A Bank Survives Katrina. Now, the Hard Part. - New York Times:
"Alden J. McDonald Jr., the chief executive of this institution, which was the country’s third-largest black-owned bank until Hurricane Katrina and floodwaters roared through New Orleans one year ago.

Mr. McDonald and his staff count themselves among the fortunate, despite the general state of disrepair inside and outside their building. While their neighborhood wants for many basic amenities, including mail delivery and phone service, their company is one of the few enterprises back in business in the vast northeastern quadrant of New Orleans. And in a city where an estimated two in three businesses remain shuttered, Liberty is not only open but also turning a profit."

Friday, September 01, 2006

BonaResponds News Coverage

From the Olean Times Herald:
"BonaResponds, a group from St. Bonaventure University formed to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, is planning several local service projects in preparation for return visits to Louisiana and Mississippi.

....BonaResponds will lead an effort to clean up Archbishop Walsh High School Friday...Work will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Archbishop Walsh and continue until 7 p.m. Community members are welcome to help with the effort. Volunteers can call (716)372-8122 to offer donations or learn more about the cleanup....

Dr. Mahar said BonaResponds will be painting, landscaping, putting in new ceiling tiles, and doing other odd jobs around the Walsh campus.

BonaResponds also plans a Sept. 16 service day in Allegany and Olean. Volunteers will help at sites in the village, the St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, along the Allegheny River Valley Trail and at the Bartlett House in Olean. Work will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will continue until early afternoon. Again, community volunteers are welcome to join BonaResponds.

“It will be much like a day in the Gulf,” Dr. Mahar said."
and of course we are going back! In early January and over spring break in March. Want to come? It will be GREAT!

Nice article! Two small problems--I am an assistant professor not associate (unless I got a promotion and no one told me ;) ) and I want to take more people in January than the article suggests but otherwise :)