Friday, May 21, 2010

Mallory Heights New Neighborhood Association

The following link gives Mallory Heights residents an opportunity to join their new Neighborhood Association. The campaign includes speed awareness, beautification and community building through better communication. Mallory Heights is a beautiful neighborhood off of Scenic Highway with approx. 150 residential homes.

Best of luck to everyone working so hard to make their neighborhood a wonderful and safe place to live.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Scenic Highway Foundation Lecture Series: Pensacola's Maritime Brick Industry

Beginning in January 2010 the Scenic Highway Foundation in partnership with IHMC began hosting a series of evening lectures about Pensacola History specific to the Pensacola Scenic Bluffs area. The lectures are held at IHMC located at 40 S. Alcaniz Street beginning at 5:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served beginning at 5:00 p.m.

The next lecture is Tuesday, May 18th

Guest Speaker: Dean Nones,Graduate Student,
Division of Anthropology and Archaeology,
University of West Florida.

Topic: “Pensacola's Maritime Brick Industry: 1750-1900”

The presentation is divided into three parts. The first part is a history of Pensacola's brick industry, the second part provides a brief overview of the brick making process and how it evolved over time, and the third part deals with Mr. Nones research on a shipwreck in Pensacola/Escambia Bay, known as the Brick Wreck, that is associated with the historic brick industry. This section will include the discovery and test excavations of the wreck and a description of the artifacts that were recovered and conserved.

An RSVP is not required.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Understanding Oil Dispersants

I have had many questions both about the content of the dispersant being used in the Gulf and the longterm impact of it's use to limit exposure to birds, fish and marshlands. The following is from Nalco the supplier of the Corexit dispersant being used on the Gulf of Mexico Oil spill:

Oil Spill Dispersants
Response to an oil spill at any stage has one important primary goal - to minimize the impact of the spill on the environment. Complete recovery of oil is rarely possible due to weather conditions or the size of the spill. The challenge then becomes one of preventing oil from reaching the shoreline where damage to natural and commercial resources can be considerable.

All of Nalco’s oil spill dispersants have to pass stringent third-party performance evaluations before being accepted for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Furthermore, extensive environmental testing has to be performed on all oil spill dispersants to ensure that their impact on the aquatic environmental is minimal. For this reason, only those components that are known to have favorable environmental properties are used in oil spill dispersant products. Many of these components are readily used to stabilize food products, cosmetics or in pharmaceuticals.

How Dispersants Work
Dispersants contain both surface-active agents (surfactants) and solvent systems. Each surfactant molecule has both a water-soluble ‘head’ group and an oil-soluble ‘tail’. After contacting an oil slick on water, these molecules diffuse through the oil to the oil/water interface under the slick.

The surfactant acts to lower the oil/water interfacial tension, which means it lowers the energy needed to mix the oil into the water. This makes it easy for the oil to disperse into the water phase as discrete droplets. Each droplet has a molecular layer of surfactant molecules around it which helps to prevent the droplets from recombining and keeps them dispersed in the water phase. Through wind and wave action, the droplets are dispersed throughout the water column and removed from the surface spill location, thereby minimizing the adherence to fish, birds, boats and the shoreline. The tiny oil droplets are then consumed by natural microorganisms in the water column removing the oil from the ecosystem.

BP Gulf of Mexico May 10th Update


BP today provided an update on developments in the response to the MC252 oil well incident in the Gulf of Mexico.

Subsea Source Control and Containment

Subsea efforts continue to focus on two fronts: first, reducing the flow of oil spilled by physical containment and second, further work on stopping the flow using a “top kill” option.

The containment dome that was deployed last week has been parked away from the spill area on the sea bed. Efforts to place it over the main leak point were suspended at the weekend as a build up of hydrates prevented a successful placement of the dome over the spill area.

A second, smaller containment dome is being readied to lower over the main leak point. The small dome will be connected by drill pipe and riser lines to a drill ship on the surface to collect and treat oil. It is designed to mitigate the formation of large hydrate volumes. This operation has never been done before in 5,000 feet of water.

In addition, further work on the blow out preventer has positioned us to attempt a “top kill” option aimed at stopping the flow of oil from the well. This option will be pursued in parallel with the smaller containment dome over the next two weeks.

All of the techniques being attempted or evaluated to contain the flow of oil on the seabed involve significant uncertainties because they have not been tested in these conditions before.

BP continues to do everything it can, in conjunction with governmental authorities and other industry experts, to find a solution to stem the flow of oil on the seabed.

Work on the first relief well, which began on Sunday May 2, continues. It is expected to take some three months to complete.

Surface Spill Response and Containment

Work continues to collect and disperse oil that has reached the surface of the sea. More than 275 vessels are being used, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels.

The volume of dispersant applied to the spill on the surface amounts to over 315,000 gallons since the spill response began.

Intensive operations to skim oil from the surface of the water also continued. Some 90,000 barrels of oily liquid has now been recovered.

The total length of deployed boom is now more than 1 million feet as part of the efforts to stop oil reaching the coast.

The cost to date of the response amounts to about $350 million, including the cost of spill response, containment, relief well drilling, commitments to the Gulf Coast States, settlements and federal costs.

BP Press Office London +44 20 7496 4076
BP Press office, US: +1 281 366 0265
Unified Command Joint Information Center +1 985-902-5231

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Final Answer

The Deepwater Horizon disaster is now in it's 17th day and our community as well as the rest of the Gulf Coast is facing the worst environmental disaster in it's history. The helplessness that citizen's feel has turned to anger then blame. Our very way of life, our coast's natural beauty and the livelihood of our lifelong residents is being obliterated. When did we have a say in the decisions being made about our Gulf waters?

The Federal Government gave it's "rubber stamp" of approval last year without an environmental impact study. BP made a calculated risk based on a potential spill being less than 4600 barrels and projections that it would not reach the coast. They also left off the most expensive safety measures due to potential costs for re drilling the well. Their decision was a financial one with no concern for the far reaching impact of their actions. Gulf oil production is but a mere spec on the map of international drilling and in hind sight is it necessary? The Gulf of Mexico has some of the richest supplies of natural gas deposits in the world with an almost endless supply, this should be our contribution to the nation's energy supply. More natural gas escapes on a daily basis than we could pump out of wells for our use, a gas spill or well failure can be shut off in 30 seconds.

I have watched my 3 children closely as they process the news of the oil spill and make their judgements on what must be done. My children are 11yrs, 9yrs and 5yrs old and each has come to different conclusions. This disaster has transformed their lives and changed their sense of what is needed in their daily lives. The oldest says NO MORE OIL...simply find a different source to fuel our vehicles and stop the insanity. The 9 year old is worried and sad about sea life that has died as a result of our needs, he keeps asking why we would make such a poor decision and take oil from the Gulf if this kind of thing can happen. My youngest whispers to me every time he sees the news about the oil spill... "What about all the sea animals they have hurt?? The Final Answer he gives...God is not proud of those people...

Sadly, we are ALL...those people...we put ourselves and our needs ahead of the most precious resources we've been entrusted to take care of. This should shake us awake and make us redirect our energies, focus and most importantly our priorities. If we stop demanding so much oil and find other sources this problem will slowly take care of itself. We have some decisions to make...what do you say???

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

President Obama to speak in Kalamazoo

"I have promised to speak at a high school commencement every year to highlight schools that are encouraging excellence and preparing their students for college and careers," Obama said today, before adding a shout out to Kalamazoo Central's mascot: "Go Giants!"
President Obama

Here is the link to ABC News.

Kalamazoo Promise has been in place since 2006 and the community has been transformed in every area yet the most important part of their success in "Raising the Bar" is that each student now EXPECTS to go to college...The Promise has changed their lives and the future of Kalamazoo.

Pensacola's Promise can do this too...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Oil Spill May 3rd update

03 May 10 (1000 EDT)


Sub-sea dispersant started Sunday 2 May at 1000 for 24 hr test. As of 0800 03May2010 dispersant test continues until 1000 at which time the test will be completed. Dispersant is being pushed until test conclusion at 1000. DASH-8 (7sorties) conducted afternoon of 02May, imagery is at NOAA for analysis. DAH-8 Flight conducted to film area around well head to evaluate effectiveness of Sub-Sea dispersant efforts. DASH-8 sorties today with a CG observer onboard; first sortie was launched at first light. Bottom conditions were rough at BOP. At 1800 02 May, pressure was relieved for approx 2 mins. On 03 May focus will be on the lower annular and the capping of drill pipe will proceed in prep for the pollution dome. ROV’s could possibly take a look at “Choke and Kill” points along the pipe today in effort to crush piping and reduce flow. D8 will advise on progress of this effort. Seas were reported at 7 to 10 feet yesterday with an anticipated reduction in seas to approx 4 feet. If seas are less than or equal to 4 ft then skimmers could possibly be deployed this date. MOBILE has produced its first IAP. Finalized Volunteer plan remains unsigned. Senior leadership is aware and D8 is progressing to achieve a signed version of the VOLPLAN as soon as possible.

Situation Bullets:

• Drill pipe capping operation update,
• Plan: The intent is to cut off the end of the drill pipe and install a valve on the end to secure leak #3. This will eliminate one of the three identified leaks. The effect that this will have on the other two leaks is not specifically known, though a reduction to 2 breaches in the pipe will simplify mitigation efforts somewhat. Execution: The end of the drill pipe was successfully cut off, producing a clean cut. The RoV with the valve was unable to be splashed/deployed due to weather. Next steps: Weather permitting, the valve will be sent down on an RoV to be installed on the cut end of the pipe. Once the valve is installed on the pipe, the valve will be closed, effectively 'capping' it.
• Sensitive Area- MSU/SECTOR NOLA AOR: 13 identified, 10 protected (77% protected), SECTOR MOBILE AOR: 37 identified, 21 protected (57% protected).
• Skimming could proceed if seas lay down to 4 feet or less.
• DASH-8 launched at first light with CG observer onboard.
• Finalized Volunteer plan remains unsigned. Senior leadership is aware and D8 is progressing to achieve a signed version of the VOLPLAN as soon as possible.
• Still no confirmed reports of land fall have been received by IC.
• Temporary Flight Restriction (FDC 0/7326) centered over the incident site, surface to 4000' MSL, 35-nm radius. It was issued 27APR and is in effect until further notice. Concerns for air traffic safety is being addressed, solution forthcoming, Air Traffic management planning is under review.

Booming Info:
Deployed Boom to date: 274,260 ft

Total Boom (staged / available)
• Houma- 217,210 ft
• Mobile-480,981 ft
• Total= 564,511 ft

Total Sorbent Boom (staged / available)
• Houma- 34,590 ft
• Mobile-96,864 ft
• Total= 83,670 ft

Total Sorbent pads (staged / available)
• Houma- 180
• Mobile-2940
• Total= 3120

*Future Booming operations:
• ICS-209 Period 13 from Sector Mobile and ICS-209 Period 13 from LA applies
• Weather is impacting the effectiveness of boom by reducing its capacity to contain or act as a barrier to the passage of oil and may result in changes to the planned orientation of boom by exceeding the allowable safety parameters for the work groups setting the boom. Weather is improving.
Current Operations:

Coast Guard Non Coast Guard
Surface: CGC HARRIET LANE u/w for SAR.

CGC OAK On Scene Pensacola, FL

CGC HARRY CLAIBORNE u/w 3 May en-route Gulfport, MS Surface: Task Force MSRC 1, 2 and AMPOL will be working with the HOSS barge near the source location.

Task Force MSRC 3 (OSRV FLORIA RESPONDER) working the eastern finger of the oil slick.

Air: NTR Air: NTR
COMMS Enhanced Mobile Incident Command Post (EMICP) & Communications Vehicle (MCV) arrived Slidell, LA

Future Operations/Assets:
• Relief well to spud down.
• Evaluate success of subsea dispersant application.
• Pollution control dome complete working on the piping system that brings the oil to the surface for collection. Expected to be complete in next 7-10 days.
• SLG – Monday 03 May, 1730 EDT.
• NRT – Monday 03 May, 1800 EDT.
• Congressional Overflights to be provided by USCG aircraft :
03 May Flight scheduled :
 Rep Miller
 Senator LeMieux and (1) staff
 Senator Sessions and (2) staff
 Senator Shelby (possible)

• 54 NSF Personnel on Scene
• 24 GST / 15 AST / 12 PST / 1 NSFCC/ 2 PIAT
• 541 USCG (99), MMS, Transocean, BP, NOAA, LA & FL personnel at Unified Area Command in Robert, LA.
• 492 USCG(89), Transocean, BP & NOAA personnel at Unified Incident Command in Houma, LA.
• 428 USCG(8), BP, Transocean & others at Housto