Sim City#039; touted, Sept. 20, 2005 By Andy Prutsok 06/03/2006 Interesting editorial in the Daily Press this morning, particularly after last week#039;s Suffolk City Council Retreat. On the first day

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

Interesting editorial in the Daily Press this morning, particularly after last week's Suffolk City Council Retreat.

On the first day of the retreat, Economic Development Director Tom O'Grady attempted to persuade city council to invest in marketing the Virginia Modeling and Simulation Center, nicknamed "Sim City," in north Suffolk.

The economic development potential of this Public-private-academic partnership is huge with the quality, high-tech jobs is huge and O'Grady and others realize it. I hope council can find the money.

Anyway, the Daily Press notes today that in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and general disaster awareness n or lack thereof in the case of FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security n that Sim City is poised to fill that void." It is the kind of planning that could, should the now-imaginable occur, determine whether people [In a disaster situation] live or die, whether contamination spreads, whether losses are manageable or catastrophic…"

"The Suffolk facility, run by Old Dominion University with industry, academic and government partners, uses advanced technology to simulate situations, events, conditions, so that planners can try out different ways of handling them to see what the outcomes are. The military is the biggest user, drawn by the ability to simulate battlefield conditions and civilian applications abound: transportation, medicine, manufacturing and education."

The editorial says federal funding is in order, that it would be far better spent than on haz-mat suits for every first responder in Wyoming and other pork-laden boondoggles that have come out of Homeleand Security funds.

While the editorial is right in every aspect n that so much can be learned from simulated hurricanes or terrorist strikes that thousands of lives could be saved n it neglects one important point: That those responsible for dealing with evacuations and aftermaths of catastrophes, regardless of how well-informed they are, still have to get off their butts and act, which didn't happen during Katrina.

I overheard at breakfast this morning that Art's Kitchen that the restaurant is attempting to organize others downtown eateries to have a day where they donate a portion of all proceeds and tips to the Red Cross for Katrina relief. Be watching the News-Herald for the date.