March 2011

Secret industry study cites “significant risks” of cancer for people who regularly eat fish from Gulf waters.  By Stuart Smith and Mary Lee Orr. More details at: http://oilspillaction.com/

More bad news for Gulf Coast residents: A “confidential study” by the American Petroleum Institute concludes that radium in drilling wastewater dumped off the coast of Louisiana poses “potentially significant risks” of cancer for people who regularly eat fish from those waters.

Photo update: pictures of the oil slick are now coming in.

The Coast Guard is investigating reports of a potentially large oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico not far from the Deepwater Horizon site. According to a knowledgeable source, the slick was sighted by a helicopter pilot on Friday and is about 100 miles long. A fishing boat captain said he went through the slick yesterday and it was strong enough to make his eyes burn.

Fresh Louisiana crude washed into the beaches and dock areas near Grand Isle over the weekend, creating a sickening sight for the residents of this oil battered region. The reddish brown crude and oily sheen lapped onto the sandy and rocky shores, while some people flocked to Grand Isle’s famous white beaches for spring break unaware of the oily assault nearby.

Well, the walk is well under way and I have been wanting to write to you all and tell you the wonderful things that have been happening, as well as the discouraging things I have learned. Until now I just have been too pooped to pop.
 
First thing is that I have seen some wonderous and amazing things. We have a beautiful country.
 

The Black mayor of Waterproof, Louisiana has spent nearly a year behind bars without bail. A legal dispute in the rural Louisiana town of Waterproof has attracted the attention of national civil rights organizations and activists. Color Of Change, an online activist group that helped garner national attention for the Jena Six Case, recently rallied their members in support of Waterproof mayor Bobby Higginbotham, who has been held without bail since May of 2010.

By Jacqui Patterson, On The Issues Magazine. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Drilling Disaster of April 20, 2010 (the “BP Oil Spill”) is, as the news sometimes tells us, causing grave damage to the waterways and shores, marshlands and bayous of the Gulf of Mexico. Far more hidden is the devastation wrought on the women in scores of coastal communities.

Thirty years ago, I was living in lush, beautiful Marin County, on the other side of the Golden Gate from San Francisco.  At that time it was one of the most expensive places in America to live.  Well, as faith would have it, my mom got sick, and I moved home to New Orleans.

“Homeless” equals “hungry,” so people think.  So that is the way society addresses homelessness; the Homeless are fed in soup kitchens, but have no place to store their food.  Homeless people are often also assumed to be unemployed and on the streets.  But there are new, unexpected faces of homelessness on our blocks.

Just this past week I decided to leave my job as a food server at a casino in Hancock County, Mississippi.  I’ve worked in tourism for 15 years. I just could not continue to serve Gulf seafood to unsuspecting tourists and locals after the BP disaster.  There were other reasons for my leaving as well, but risking people’s health and pretending things are normal is totally against what I believe in. 

By Shannon Dosemagen, Louisiana Bucket Brigade.  On Monday, February 28th, the National Institute for Environmental Health Services began sending letters to clean-up workers from the BP oil disaster, in anticipation of enrolling people in a multi-year study to examine the effects of exposure on health.

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