Topic: December 2005
RE: SOUTHERN REVIVAL, our fundraising effort for library restoration in the hurricane ravaged South:
K Alsbrooks recently wrote to thank us for our efforts to help the hurricane victims of both Rita and Katrina, but wanted to put out the reminder that there are many whose lives were also destroyed by Wilma (in Florida) and they need our help, too.
I was under the impression that the charity we selected, First Book, would be serving the needs of all hurricane victims, but it seems as if they are set up to serve Katrina and Rita victims exclusively. I'll drop Theresa Harnisch at First Book a "hey there" and find out if their reach has since been expanded to Florida's Wilma victims. [Note: We chose First Book as our fundraising beneficiary before Wilma had yet existed.] Stay tuned.
To revisit First Book's pledge: their Book Relief campaign is preparing to distribute at least five million books to displaced hurricane victims, organizations, schools and libraries. Some interesting stats from their website:
? In New Orleans, 118 of 126 schools sustained damage
? In Mississippi, 300 schools were damaged, 24 of them severely damaged or destroyed
? Nearly 190,000 Louisiana students were displaced
? Evacuated students are now attending schools in 47 states, with the largest numbers in other parts of Louisiana (41,000), in Texas (48,000), and in Georgia (8,000)
To support Alsbrooks's point about Hurricane Wilma, check out this report in yesterday's Daytona Beach News-Journal:
? "National attention focused this year on the hurricanes that devastated Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, but storms also ravaged Florida. Dennis hit the Panhandle area hard at the start of the season. Katrina hit Florida before heading toward New Orleans, doing an estimated $2 billion in damages and killing six. Less than a month later, Rita swept across the Florida Keys. In October, Hurricane Wilma left thousands homeless, and took out power for much of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties."
Specifically regarding libraries in Florida devastated by Wilma, Library Journal had this to report on November 28:
? "[T]wo [library] branches have sustained significant damage. The Northeast Branch, in the midst of an extensive renovation, was closed indefinitely because of severe damage to the roof. Within a few days of the storm, a bookmobile was permanently stationed in front of the facility. The library's S.M.A.R.T. tutoring program was reinstated at a nearby community center. The Hispanic Branch Library, a leased facility, also suffered roof damage but was expected to reopen soon."
A TERRIFIC MULTIMEDIA EVENT SLATED: Stephen Siciliano writes: "The date is drawing near. [I] will read from Vedette to the accompaniment of guitarist Omar Torrez on Thursday December 15, 8pm at 33-1/3 Books & Gallery Collective (1200 N. Alvarado St. at Sunset), Los Angeles." How fun! If you're in LA, please go to this performance and tell me how it went! I wish I could be there, Torrez (of Seattle) is dubbed the Latin Hendrix by some.
ANOTHER WORTHY EVENT! In association with the Music Theater Collaborative, composer Hector Armienta will present a staged reading of the classic Mexican folktale, La Llorona, on Dec 11 and Dec 18 at Counterpulse on 1310 Mission Street in San Francisco. Set in late 19th-century Mexico, La Llorona is the story of a young woman who is betrayed by the one man she loves and the gods she once worshiped. This work is part of the opera trilogy, River of Women/Rio de Mujeres. For more information, locals can call: (415) 820-1414.