Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tuscaloosa Tornado Relief Efforts

UPDATE, 5/16/2011: We are no longer updating the site regularly, as other resources have had a chance to collect comprehensive information. Visit the headers at the top of this blog for additional resources, but please contact the site to ensure they are up to date before visiting or donating. If you would like to donate in the Hudson Valley or Albany, NY areas, please contact me. Thank you so much for all of your support.

Some people have asked how they can help us keep the blog going. We're happy to do it and can keep going without contributions; please direct your donations to other organizations in the area. Our preferred choice are the two UA SLIS donation sites, which will go directly to the faculty, staff and students in our program; any extra will be distributed to other relief efforts on the ground in Tuscaloosa. They can be found under the "Financial Support" heading.

Update (5/1, 5:05 p.m. EST): Please look at Supply Donations which has been revamped and updated and Financial Support which presents double the number of charitable organizations that are providing aid to Alabama and those states damaged by the tornado. Give goods or give money, you are sure to find an organization that addresses your personal philosophy.

Update (4/30, 8:30 a.m. EST):
Last night we moved most of the information onto subpages, which you can access from the links at the top of this page, or by scrolling down. This should make it easier for people to find exactly what information they're looking for quickly. Some new content has been added, such as the Insurance section under Information Resources/Lost and Found.

Those donation drop points which had Friday deadlines have been struck through but not yet deleted.

As relief efforts get organized on the ground, so they
do online. There is so much more available information than there was 24 hours ago. We look forward to gathering it for you here at Legislative Barbie. Don't forget to comment with updates to the lists! We are trying to include all the information we come across, but we can get your event or site listed much faster if you come to us instead of waiting for us to find you. Thank you!

*If you need CLEAR/SUCCINCT info, visit our mirror at This page provides less detail, but the information is organized much better.*

*If you need CURRENT/COMPREHENSIVE info, continue to read this page, which provides more detail and is updated more frequently.*

We've collected some information on ways that DE students and/or alumni can help. While we aren't experiencing the immediate effects of the tornado in Tuscaloosa, but the feeling of helplessness and frustration can also be overwhelming. Hopefully one of these resources or ideas will be feasible for you as we join together in support of our friends, professors and colleagues in the Tuscaloosa area.

We will send updated information to SLIS-L as it becomes available. If anyone is aware of additional information, please feel free to email Turner.Brittany AT gmail DOT com, call 916-384-6735 or comment on this post. We will include your relief suggestions in the list. This blog post will be updated any time new information becomes available.

The most needed resource is financial support, as money can be used to facilitate any combination of recovery efforts when they are needed most. This includes clean up, food, shelter, and other emergency services. If you are unable to offer financial support, there are a number of other options available to help. Also, remember that this will be a long-term effort. While there may be many donations now, additional support will be needed in the coming months and your generosity may be spread across an extended period of time to sustain efforts in Tuscaloosa.

Please use the links at the top of the window to get more information on:
  • Financial Support
  • Supply Donations (All States)
  • Life Support
  • Shelters and Food Pantries
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Information Resources/Lost and Found
Other Ways to Help
  1. Host a fundraiser in your own community.
  2. Ask friends, neighbors, and local stores for donations of needed supplies.
  3. If you are nearby, consider volunteering for cleanup and service work. Many organizations, such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army, train people and facilitate volunteer efforts in communities experiencing natural disaster. Contact your local center for additional information.
  4. Organize a community-wide relief day in your town. Ask that local businesses dedicate a percentage of proceeds from the day to tornado relief in Tuscaloosa.
Compiled by:
Brittany Turner, Student Advisory Council, DE Representatives, Sixth Sense/Trickeration Nation Online Cohort
Lamont Pearson, Student Advisory Council, DE Representatives, Sixth Sense/Trickeration Nation Online Cohort
Morgan Haley
V Dozier,
Sixth Sense/Trickeration Nation Online Cohort
Leah Allison, Sixth Sense/Trickeration Nation Online Cohort

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

VoNP and Other Things

There's an election coming in the Village of New Paltz. May 3. Crazy, right? If you know who's running, you know why I've (tried) to be quiet on this. I've done a good job and I'm glad I did keep my big mouth (fingers?) shut (off the keyboard?) because I *will* be attempting a little mini-project that will (hopefully) lead to some impartial coverage over here at Barbie Blog. Of course, all of this depends on whether the candidates respond or not, so fingers crossed for freedom of information and open access to government (or, in this case, pre-governmental candidates).

In the meantime, if you want to check out the debates, either buy a TV and subscribe to local cable (channel 23 has a nearly round-the-clock rotation of political and quasi-political programming from candidates, including various incarnations of the past few debates and government meetings) and check out the debate schedule over at the Gadfly. The SUNY New Paltz Oracle, specifically Maxim Alter, is doing a fantastic job of covering not only the candidates, but also the issues, and is making good use of embedded video from past debates. New Paltz Times also has some here-and-there coverage, but we know you're most interested in the letters. After this week, we'll have only 1 more paper of pre-election debauchery, so shell out the buck and enjoy.

Keep in mind that with THIRTEEN candidates in this election, nearly EVERYONE has some sort of stake or alliance in things. I'm openly supporting the One Community Party, and Gadfly's KT is on the Jason West/Ariana Basco team-that-isn't-technically-a-team. Same goes for the debates (Woodland Ponds excepted) - from what I hear, /root's Justin Holmes is supporting at least one individual candidate, and Town/Gown Connect's Brian Wallace is partners and partners with another. None of this makes anyone inherently good or bad (it's good to have opinions in an election!); just keep this in mind when you're reviewing coverage, whether here, on channel 23, or elsewhere in this wide, wide web of worldness.

I suspect I'm *really* late to the game on this one, but the Watershed Post is a phenomenal local blog/web media/environmental advocacy/etc. site that I am embarrassed to admit I missed and am presently addicted to. Just this week alone we have horses, turkeys, ramps, bears, stabbings, and fracking. JUST THIS WEEK, people!!! They describe themselves as, "a news and information hub for the Catskills, the source of New York City's water" broken into "local news," "searchable and updateable business directory," and "events calendar." I just call them, "awesome." Jam a needle of this one into your arm, lie back, and enjoy the bliss...