Pres. Barack Obama made a mad dash through the New Orleans area last week. It was a four-hour visit, as if anyone can appreciate this area in such a brief period of time.
He visited a school and had a town hall meeting. And then he flew away.
But fear not. He left some of his people behind who will make the main decisions on how to help our hurricane-prone area survive future storms. After all, it is the secretaries under the President who decide how to tackle problems and solve them.
We had hoped he would at least fly over the wetlands and see how we are losing a football-field of coast-saving wetlands every 10 or 15 minutes. Maybe he would have gotten the message that this is part of the U. S. coast as well as the Louisiana coast.
We’re sure, however, that he must have learned that already. He said before his visit that we need to restore the barrier islands offshore. In fact, he used our exact words - - “they are our first line of defense.”
Our President is a very likeable fellow. He seems to be with us even though our state voted against him.
When our Republican governor got booed by the Democrats at the town hall meeting, Obama jokingly whispered to him that he gets that all the time. He has a sense of humor that keeps him above the intensity of partisan politics.
He may not get all he wants in health reform but he will get some of it. Our main problem is that when the federal government gets involved in something, it suddenly gets more expensive and inefficient.
But hopefully our Congress will step up and make sure their solution will be affordable and effective. That should be the role it plays in our democracy.
Obama does not seem hell-bent on getting his way. He is depending on others to help lead the way.
And that is the way our government should work.
Wetlands Park getting started
At last, plans are moving ahead on the Wetland Watchers Park in an area of the Labranche Wetlands set aside for it five years ago by the parish. When completed, the 28-acre area will be a one-stop spot for education and recreation that will include fishing piers, an outdoor classroom and a canoe launch.
Such a development is certainly appropriate in St. Charles Parish where 85 percent of the land is wetlands. It will help us visualize what the unpopulated areas of our parish is like.
It will give first-hand experience in learning about issues faced throughout coastal Louisiana. And that will be important in keeping our fragile coast intact.