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'Guests' to have beds, movies, school

By AMANDA LEHMERT, Cape Cod Times



BOURNE -- Some call them refugees. Evacuees. Homeless.

Massachusetts officials call the up to 2,500 Katrina survivors expected here "guests."

"The people who are coming up from the Gulf Coast should be treated with respect and dignity," said Lt. Col. Paul Smith, spokesman for the Massachusetts National Guard. "They are our guests. That's how they are going to be treated."

As soon as today, the eight dormitory-style barracks at Camp Edwards could be home to hurricane evacuees, likely from Texas.

Yesterday, state officials and Gov. Mitt Romney toured the base as they planned to turn the facility into a fifth town on the Upper Cape.

Col. Lee Fife, head of the training facility, said he was warned by state officials to prepare for hurricane evacuees to be at Camp Edwards until March.

"This is really an opportunity for us to show our compassion in a way that is real and tangible to the lives of those who are coming here," Romney said in a press conference.

Camp Edwards is a training site for thousands of soldiers from around New England every year.

As recently as yesterday, the campus-like Massachusetts Regional Training Facility housed some of the 500 infantrymen and military police who assembled at Camp Edwards while waiting to deploy to Louisiana to help the relief effort in New Orleans.

The new home of Massachusetts' guests has it all. There is a little movie theater (currently showing, "Bad News Bears" and "Wedding Crashers"). There's an elementary school within walking distance.

Two mess halls can serve up breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But perhaps most importantly, there are beds.

Each room has four beds -- with 288 beds in every three-story red brick building. There are eight buildings in total.

In one second-story room, olive green curtains fluttered in the breeze. Smith said they are trying to add curtains to all the rooms for more privacy.

The room wasn't much to look at -- white cement walls, devoid of furniture except two small, metal bunks.

Buildings elsewhere on the base could be opened up if they run out of space at the barracks.

The beds will need to be made. There were no hangers in the built-in wardrobes to hang what little clothing the evacuees may be bringing.

But there was a sense among those at the base that something great is about to happen.

"It's going to be wonderful, isn't it?" said Mark Harding, a Mashpee resident and a base watcher who toured the barracks yesterday.

The National Guard is providing the facility, Smith said. It wasn't clear as of yesterday afternoon who would be cooking meals, cleaning the bathrooms, or providing a slew of other services their guests would need.

Romney said the state will need volunteers and donations of televisions, toys and other things to entertain the new base residents.



This story appeared on Page A2 of The Standard-Times on September 6, 2005.


Cape Codders coordinate for Katrina support efforts

By SEAN GONSALVES, Cape Cod Times



A Buzzards Bay woman would open her home to Camp Edwards-bound Hurricane Katrina survivors.

A quilt guild in Dennis has collected $1,400 in donations and offered to stitch special quilts for the Cape's incoming "guests," as Massachusetts officials call them..

The Catania Hospitality Group, owners of the Dan'l Webster Inn and Hearth 'n Kettle restaurants, has pledged to donate 10 percent of every guest's check collected on Sept. 13 to the Red Cross.

With so many people looking for ways to help, coordinating the tidal wave of donations and volunteers is a daunting task for local officials and charity organizations -- especially since they don't know how many are coming, or when, or any demographic details.

Lt. Nicole Ivers, a public affairs officer with the 102nd Fighter Wing at Otis Air National Guard Base, said she has been inundated with phone calls from people offering help in any way they can.

"Every time I answer the phone, there are two or three other calls I'm getting that I can't even take," Ivers said, adding that she's received calls as varied as teachers offering to take on temporary assignments and a dairy company offering supplies.

Yesterday morning, a group of community leaders convened a meeting at the Cape Cod Times' offices in Hyannis to establish a Capewide network to take an informal inventory of local resources and help channel them in conjunction with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Dubbed "Operation Helping Hand," the state's relief effort will be coordinated through MEMA, under the authority of Gov. Mitt Romney's office.

A joint task force has been formed to oversee the evacuee intake process. The team includes cabinet-level coordinators to manage services such as health care, housing, education, transportation, security, employment and religious and mental health support.

Though Romney called for volunteer help yesterday, Cape Codders have been offering time and money for the past week.

The meeting at the Times yesterday focused on ways to organize the flood of donations and an army of local volunteers.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the Barnstable County Sheriff's Department, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, Cape Cod Healthcare, United Way of Cape Cod, the Housing Assistance Corp., the County Commissioner's office, the Cape Cod Council of Churches, and Glenn Beasley, executive director of the Red Cross' Cape Cod Chapter, who will oversee the shelter operations at Camp Edwards in partnership with the Boston-based Massachusetts Bay Red Cross chapter.

The Cape and Mass. Bay chapters will handle the intake process at Camp Edwards and determine what evacuees need. They will then turn to the community for additional help.

"The way I see the community coming together is outstanding," Beasley said yesterday. "We're going to take care of the people first and then the community can rally around them."

In the meantime, the ad hoc group of local Cape leaders who met yesterday have already begun to organize a coordinated campaign for the Cape Cod area.

Wendy Northcross, chief executive officer of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, will spearhead a welcome committee.

"We are asking people to donate items for a welcome package," Northcross said. The chamber suggests hats, sunglasses, flip-flops, sunscreen, maps, reading materials, toys, pens, stationary, and stamps and also will be collecting nonperishable food items. Donations may be dropped off at the tent in front of Mocean, a store on Steeple Street in Mashpee Commons. The chamber also needs volunteers to help assemble the kits.

A Red Cross volunteer sign-up sheet will be available there as well.

The chamber is also sending out an e-mail to its 1,300 members, asking for help and will create a banner to welcome Katrina survivors when they arrive at Camp Edwards.

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The Cape Cod Council of Churches is taking inventory of the various local churches, synagogues and religious organizations who want to contribute.

Cape Cod Community College President Kathleen Schatzburg is assessing space availability at the college and compiling a list of staffers willing to volunteer.

"We have many people with skills in clerical tasks that will be needed, health-care, child-care and human services. We also have translators, if needed," she said.

The college is also planning to set up a relief fund "toll-booth" on campus next week.

"We're also ready to host a blood drive, if that's needed," Schatzburg said. "And I've already had people who have come forward with counseling and nursing skills."



This story appeared on Page A2 of The Standard-Times on September 6, 2005.
 

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Why donate TV's, just use the ones they looted.

Iam real cynical right now about this whole thing. Northeast regional EMS put together a "emergency" task force sunday. They had every one under the impression these people would be arriveing sunday night at Logan so I was pulled away from a family BBQ. I stayed over night till about 3 pm yesterday. I can tell you that between the conferance calls and watching the news this "plan" if it can even be called that has changed 6 TIMES!!!!!!!

Nobody knows what the hell is going on!!!!!!!:x :x Hey here is a freakin idea.......lets make a plan, stick with it........and then tell people!!!!!!!!!!:DP:
 

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"QUOTE""Why donate TV's, just use the ones they looted."



That wasn't every one,,,,just a few of shitbags,,, there are good decent pepole there too.
 

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Yeah STM, that was cold brother.
There are a lot of good people there, folks with kids, toddlers, and babies.
They werent the good-for-nothing shytbags doing the looting and shooting.
These folks had little before the "perfect storm", maybe just an existence, but they have absolute nothing now... I'm glad Camp Edwards is open to them. God Bless em.
 

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"They are our guests. That's how they are going to be treated"


That brought a lump to my throat....
God bless all those affected by this tragedy.
 
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kwflatbed said:
'Guests' to have beds, movies, school

The National Guard is providing the facility, Smith said. It wasn't clear as of yesterday afternoon who would be cooking meals, cleaning the bathrooms, or providing a slew of other services their guests would need.

Romney said the state will need volunteers and donations of televisions, toys and other things to entertain the new base residents.
Hey Gov,
How about putting some of our tax money to good use (for once) and ask for National Guard soldiers who are cooks, etc in their units to volunteer for temporary active duty. Or hire the unemployed. FEMA, LA, NO, dropped the ball last week. MA should pick the ball up and go 110%.
 

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stm4710 said:
Why donate TV's, just use the ones they looted.

Iam real cynical right now about this whole thing. Northeast regional EMS put together a "emergency" task force sunday. They had every one under the impression these people would be arriveing sunday night at Logan so I was pulled away from a family BBQ. I stayed over night till about 3 pm yesterday. I can tell you that between the conferance calls and watching the news this "plan" if it can even be called that has changed 6 TIMES!!!!!!!

Nobody knows what the hell is going on!!!!!!!:x :x Hey here is a freakin idea.......lets make a plan, stick with it........and then tell people!!!!!!!!!!:DP:
Hmmm...sounds like the U.S. Military, hurry up and wait, thats the motto around here. We have had guys on 24hr. stand-by for the last 4 days. Luckily, I am not a part of that unit as we are preparing to go somewhere else where we have bigger fish to fry.
 
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