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Outspoken Hurricane Expert Sues Over Dismissal
New York Times ^ | February 11, 2010 | John Schwartz

Posted on 02/11/2010 7:07:28 AM PST by La Lydia

Last April, Ivor van Heerden, an internationally known hurricane expert, was told he was losing his job at Louisiana State University. He and other experts said it was because of his outspoken criticism of the federal government’s flood protection of New Orleans; the university would not comment. Now van Heerden, the former deputy director of the L.S.U. Hurricane Center, is suing to get his job back...

...van Heerden, who was born in South Africa, joined L.S.U. in 1992 and rose to prominence as an expert on storms and the region, becoming a research professor and director of the Center for the Study of Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes. In the years before Hurricane Katrina he sounded alarms about the potentially devastating impact of a major storm on New Orleans despite 40 years of hurricane protection efforts.

After the storm, he vehemently criticized the Army Corps of Engineers...arguing that engineering mistakes had caused breaches in the hurricane protection system that led to most of the death and destruction in New Orleans.

State officials named him to lead Team Louisiana, an investigation into the causes of the damage from the storm. At the university, however, Dr. van Heerden’s growing profile as an antigovernment gadfly was seen as a problem. ...

He said he was told by administrators that his verbal barbs against the federal government would lead to cuts in aid for L.S.U., and the university criticized him for speaking about levees without having engineering training. Last April, he was told that his contract, ending in May 2010, would not be renewed.

In his court filing...he said L.S.U. had “placed the bureaucratic interests of university officials above the health and safety of the millions of people who live in the path of the hurricanes that threaten the Gulf Coast every year.”...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Government; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: academia; lsu
This is what you get for speaking out.
1 posted on 02/11/2010 7:07:28 AM PST by La Lydia
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To: La Lydia

Everyone knows that Bush scuba dived alongside the levies and planted bombs.

Seriously tho, it seems to me anyone bashing the federal government for the levy failures would have been promoted.


2 posted on 02/11/2010 7:09:12 AM PST by Carley (Are you better off now than one year ago? HELL NO!!!!!)
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To: La Lydia; rrstar96; rintense

Ping the list.

For more information about the issue check out

http://levees.org/

http://www.facebook.com/leveesorg


3 posted on 02/11/2010 7:22:40 AM PST by CajunConservative (Shut Up Mary!)
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To: La Lydia
van Heerden, who was born in South Africa

Is he gonna play the "African-American" angle?

4 posted on 02/11/2010 7:22:43 AM PST by Cletus.D.Yokel (Freepmail me to get on the Bourbon ping list.)
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To: Cletus.D.Yokel

His picture makes it pretty clear he is a Boer. But yeah, he might throw that card out anyway.


5 posted on 02/11/2010 7:26:14 AM PST by La Lydia
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To: Carley

That’s because you don’t understand how the money flows.


6 posted on 02/11/2010 7:26:31 AM PST by Romulus (The Traditional Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: Cletus.D.Yokel

He’d have to be black to do that.


7 posted on 02/11/2010 7:29:17 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: CajunConservative

Follow the paper trail... as strong as my feelings are about Katrina, this is all kinds of wrong.


8 posted on 02/11/2010 7:29:55 AM PST by rintense (Only dead fish go with the flow, which explains why Congress stinks.)
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To: La Lydia
He said he was told by administrators that his verbal barbs against the federal government would lead to cuts in aid for L.S.U., and the university criticized him for speaking about levees without having engineering training.

Don Corleone: I have a sentimental weakness for my children and I spoil them, as you can see. They talk when they should listen... Santino, come here. What's the matter with you? Never tell anyone outside the Family what you are thinking again. Go on.

9 posted on 02/11/2010 7:33:31 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: La Lydia

It’s Bush’s fault! (FIRST! I Win!)


10 posted on 02/11/2010 7:33:34 AM PST by RavenATB
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To: La Lydia

They’ll claim he’s a Global Warming Denier and get a pass.............


11 posted on 02/11/2010 7:45:19 AM PST by Red Badger (Education makes people easy to lead, difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.)
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To: rintense

This is the main point I have been trying to get across because this is not just about New Orleans. Other cities are being “protected” by actively failing levees and the Corp isn’t doing much to fix things. There are a lot of people’s lives at risk.

This is an infrastructure issue that needs to be dealt with but instead of using tax dollars on upgrading our crumbling infrastructures the duds in office blow it on stupid crap like doorbells, golf courses, bridges to nowhere, etc.


12 posted on 02/11/2010 7:52:00 AM PST by CajunConservative (Shut Up Mary!)
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In his court filing...he said L.S.U. had “placed the bureaucratic interests of university officials above the health and safety of the millions of people who live in the path of the hurricanes that threaten the Gulf Coast every year.”

How’s that again?

“Millions of people who live in the path of the hurricanes that threaten the Gulf Coast every year” ?

Millions? live in the path? every year?

Odd.

Wish Sam Kinison were here to explain it to these millions:

“You know, we’ve been coming here giving you food for about 35 years now and we were driving through the desert, and we realized there wouldn’t BE world hunger if you people would live where the FOOD IS! YOU LIVE IN A DESERT!! UNDERSTAND THAT? YOU LIVE IN A ... DESERT!! NOTHING GROWS HERE! NOTHING’S GONNA GROW HERE! Come here, you see this? This is sand. You know what it’s gonna be 100 years from now? IT’S GONNA BE SAND!! YOU LIVE IN A ... DESERT! We have deserts in America, we just don’t live in them!”

But we do have, according to van Heerden, fairly predictable hurricane trajectories, threatened annually, yet inhabited by millions. Odd.


13 posted on 02/11/2010 7:55:02 AM PST by flowerplough ( Pennsylvania today - New New Jersey meets North West Virginia.)
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To: flowerplough

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Wo0mzehkE


14 posted on 02/11/2010 8:09:08 AM PST by CajunConservative (Shut Up Mary!)
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To: flowerplough
But we do have, according to van Heerden, fairly predictable hurricane trajectories, threatened annually, yet inhabited by millions. Odd.

Well. Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, blizzards, wildfires... there's not room enough for all of us to live in Santa Fe. Which probably has problems of its own.

15 posted on 02/11/2010 8:23:09 AM PST by Grut
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To: La Lydia
[T]he university criticized him for speaking about levees without having engineering training.

A silly thing like that never stopped Algore from becoming a Nobel laureate.

16 posted on 02/11/2010 8:32:10 AM PST by Nevermore (...just a typical cracker, clinging to my Constitutional rights...)
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To: flowerplough
YOU LIVE IN A ... DESERT!

Hmmmm...my memory is playing tricks with me...
I don't seem to remember Sam pausing in the middle of a comment like that.

17 posted on 02/11/2010 8:37:15 AM PST by Nevermore (...just a typical cracker, clinging to my Constitutional rights...)
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To: lsucat; Roux; Pikachu_Dad; WFTR; chemicalman; abb; Liberty911; CajunConservative; LSUfan; ...

Pelicsn State ping


18 posted on 02/11/2010 8:41:06 AM PST by rrstar96 (Strength and Honor!)
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To: La Lydia
"Last April, he was told that his contract, ending in May 2010, would not be renewed."

Okay, maybe I'm just dense this morning or there's something about contract law that I don't understand, but, if his contract was expiring in 2010, why would they be forced to renew his contract. He's not being fired .. at least, it doesn't appear so to me; his contract is not being renewed.

Is that a dismissal/firing?

19 posted on 02/11/2010 8:51:17 AM PST by BlueLancer (I'm getting a fine tootsy-frootsying right here...)
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To: La Lydia
Sheesh! If he is all that then he should be much in demand elsewhere. Stop being pig-headed, it is over. Get a job and move on.
20 posted on 02/11/2010 8:54:09 AM PST by Darlin' (Stay well or the government will try to kill you.)
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To: Carley
Everyone knows that Bush scuba dived alongside the levies and planted bombs.

Jeez, that's not funny. Not as a joke. Not as sarcasm, or what ever you think you are doing!

Everyone knows it was Karl Rove who planted the bombs and Cheney who set them off. ;)

21 posted on 02/11/2010 8:59:58 AM PST by TankerKC (No government employees were harmed in the slashing of this budget.)
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To: Grut

Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, blizzards, wildfires...

And don’t forget all those who moved into the tornado areas.
People are just stupid who live in areas where all this is going on.


22 posted on 02/11/2010 9:11:49 AM PST by Bitsy
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To: TankerKC

Do you know that Congressman Shays held hearings with regard to the failed levies and had a black engineer insist that he had other black engineers who could prove that the levies were intentionally blown up. I watched that hearing on CSPIN and couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

Best part of that obscene hearing is that Shays was defeated and is no longer in congress. What a disgrace.

It’s no wonder people began to hate the repubs as much as the dems.

Luckily for us, most of those morons in our party are gone. And the dems now have to deal with Specter and his ilk.


23 posted on 02/11/2010 9:15:10 AM PST by Carley (Are you better off now than one year ago? HELL NO!!!!!)
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To: Nevermore

T]he university criticized him for speaking about levees without having engineering training.
A silly thing like that never stopped Algore from becoming a Nobel laureate.
Since he is an expert, maybe Algore will hire him.


24 posted on 02/11/2010 9:18:43 AM PST by Bitsy
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To: Nevermore

He was more like the spokesman for the team that included engineers that was tasked to provide an independent investigation on what happened with the levees.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqGkWNw6zxI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzaU2fMgN3g

The Katrina Video Congress Didn’t Want You To See

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epwpnMztkM0


25 posted on 02/11/2010 9:46:37 AM PST by CajunConservative (Shut Up Mary!)
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To: La Lydia

Maybe he misspoke and said the Army Corpse of Engineers?


26 posted on 02/11/2010 9:50:16 AM PST by crusty old prospector
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