Friday, January 27, 2012

Three people in Texas at a High Roller, Inc. fracking facility were injured.

“A Railroad Commission inspector (click here) responded around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, to a storage tank fire at a saltwater disposal facility operated by High Roller Well, LLC, south of Pearsall on State Highway 581, south of Pearsall. Preliminary information provided to the inspector indicates that while a truck was unloading saltwater with a skim of condensate (liquid hydrocarbons) into a collection tank, welders were working nearby and sparks from the welding may have ignited vapors around the storage tank, causing the explosion. A firewall around the storage tank site contained spilled fluids, which were picked up with by a vacuum truck.
No violations of RRC rules were found, and the High Roller Well LLC lease is in compliance with Commission rules. As injuries were reported in this incident, the lead investigating agency for this incident would be the federal agency, OSHA, which needs to be contacted for further information.”

The responding fire department was a volunteer unit that had just left their regular jobs at 5:30 PM.  At least that was the way it was explained by them.  They reported putting the fire out in an hour and a half, but, the report at the link above stated the fire burned for hours until 9 PM.  There are inconsistencies in reporting and OSHA has yet to investigate.

The article below is from the news in "Fire Engineering."

Three Injured in TX Fracking Well Explosion, Fire (click title to entry - thank you)

Three people were injured during an explosion and fire at an oil well in Pearsall, Texas. Hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. "fracking") occurs at the site.
The fire burned for several hours and was extinguished by firefighters. PearsallVolunteer Fire Department Chief Placido Aguilar told StateImpact Texas ( an oil tank exploded, causing the fire. Firefighters took about an hour and a half to get the fire under control.
Aguilar also said the fire department has not received any additional funds or personnel during the fracking boom in the area, nor does he expect any to be forthcoming. He noted the fortuitous timing of the incident, which occurred just asvolunteer firefighters were getting out of their day jobs, thereby providing good staffing levels for the response.

It is perfectly obvious the practices reported in both sources the Petroleum Industry continue to be sloppy and dangerous.


There is a wonderfully qualified lady is running for office in Saginaw County.

Democrat Judith Lincoln announces her candidacy for 94th District State Representative at Saginaw County Democratic Party Headquarters in Saginaw 122 N. Michigan in Saginaw. 

It would be wonderful if she received the support she deserves.  We need wonderful ladies in the Michigan State Legislature and quite frankly she has the right idea when it comes to this wayward Governor.

...Lincoln (click title to entry - thank you) is the first Democrat to enter the race....

...“We have witnessed what happens when those in control have as a priority benefiting the wealthiest and most influential people, industries and corporations,” said Lincoln to more than 20 supporters at the Saginaw County Democratic Headquarters, 122 N. Michigan in Saginaw. “We have seen many sacrifices from senior retirees, children (and) working families... but there has been no shared sacrifice.”

Lincoln, an attorney and 12-year former member of the Saginaw Township School Board, said Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republican policies have “raided” $700 million from school funding and transferred it to the general fund.

“How many years has higher education taken hit after hit after hit,” said Lincoln, reiterating her theme pointing to the lack of “shared sacrifice.”...

Now is her time and she has the best message for Michigan and Saginaw County!

There are some real problems with the use of Lake Michigan shoreline in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

    Klock deeded a half mile of 
    Lake Michigan frontage to the City 
    of Benton Harbor Michigan in 
    memory of their deceased daughter 
    Jean. Their gift consisted of 
    90 acres of globally rare natural 
    resources that included Great Lakes Dunes, a Great Lakes Marsand interdunal 
    wetlands. The donated land was named Jean Klock Park and was dedicated 

The proposed project called "Harbor Shores" has a less than dignified history.

...Billed by the state government as a public-spirited, (click here) grassroots plan for community redevelopment, the project was blocked by the National Park Service (NPS) late last year for failing to involve the local community in decision-making and offering inadequate parcels in trade for the waterfront.

Developers resubmitted the plan, and the NPS-mandated public hearing and comment period, which concluded last month, revealed deep concerns about the plan and its purported benefits to the town. Over 300 written comments were submitted to the city.

Jean Klock Park is the only Lake Michigan waterfront owned by an African-American community and the proposed golf development has emerged as a national environmental justice story with pieces in The Washington Post, and Chicago Tribune. Last month, Michigan Messenger revealed that two top backers of the project, Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) and Whirlpool CEO Jeff Fettig, live just down the street from the planned course....

To say the community doesn't want to give it up is an understatement.  I don't know why there are conservation organizations involved and more verbose about this.  I realize CEOs believe they can covet any project as nothing short of genius, but, to remove pristine use of this area when an entire community objects to it is more than worrisome.  Perhaps the only sin the Benton Harbor Community committed was to ask the National Park Service to charge admission to those outside the community in order to benefit the community in a small way.  It is lake shore and summer bathing can be a premium.

In all honesty, the exploitation of the lake shore area could be happening about a few city blocks or so from the park where motels and concessions could be an attraction.

As everyone knows, Benton Harbor is the first city in the USA to be remanded to a Financial Manager.  Governor Snyder washes his hands of any knowledge of what is transpiring with his Financial Managers.  Unbelievable, that a Governor of any state would actively seek to destroy the democratic processes of elections and simply look the other way, but, hey who wants to be burdened by such things when they go wrong in elections.

The Financial Manager of Benton Harbor has been exceptionally aggressive in destroying the ability of the Mayor and Council to conduct their duties.  The Financial Manager is Joseph L. Harris.  He must have made a New Year's Resolution because he is discharging elected officials and assigning his own people in their place.

"Benton Harbor - Port of Opportunities" (click here)

Order 12.1 and 12.2 destroys the Benton Harbor Planning Commission.  But, Order 12.3 is very curious.  See, Mr. Harris has taken the power away from the elected Mayor and Council so there really isn't anything they can do to spend more monies nor resolve the city's debt.  But, what is so curious is that a completely disarmed Mayor Pro Tem is being replaced.

WHEREAS,  the Emergency Manager (click here) has determined  that it is in the best interest of the
City to rernove  Marcus Mutrammad from position as Mayor Pro Tem and to appoint Sharon
Henderson  as Mayor Pro Tem.
1.  That Marcus Mutrammad is hereby removed from the position of Mayor Pro Tem.
2.  That Sharon Henderson  is hereby appointed to the position of Mayor Pro Tem.
3.  This Order shall become  effective immediately. 
SO ORDERED this this 10th day of January,2Ol2.

LIke, ahh?  What the heck is this already!  Perhaps understanding what Mr. Mutrammad has to say may bring light to the query.  Yes, indeed.

At first blush, (click title to entry - thank you) you might think Mr. Harris was moving autocratically to sideline one of his critics. The now-former mayor pro tem, Marcus Muhammad, has called for an investigation into the relationship between Mr. Harris and the powerful nonprofit that's building the Habor Shores golf result stock-imaged above. That nonprofit is backed by Whirlpool, which has its corporate headquarters in Benton Harbor and is the biggest economic player in the sad, busted-up town.

So it would make sense that Mr. Harris would want to quiet Mr. Muhammad. But it turns out that Mr. Harris says he made the move at the request of the new mayor, who wanted to appoint his own mayor pro tem. The new mayor can't do that, because in an order last year (pdf) Mr. Harris stripped Benton Harbor's elected officials of all powers except the ability to call a meeting to order, approve the minutes, and adjourn the meeting. Now the unelected manager is carrying out, autocratically, the normal duties of the democracy he gutted.

Which is weird.

Weird it is.  No doubt in my mind.  It would seem Mr. Harris is abusing power and seeks to remove his critics from office.  Why?  I have no clue, because, if Mr. Harris actually believes that will quite Mr. Mutrammad he forgot that doesn't mean he will NOT become mute.  No insult to the handicapped intended.

Someone want to explain how Snyder is actually getting away with this mess?  The unemployment in Michigan is improving and there is absolutely no need to sell every city's assets to the highest bidder.  

I am worried.  The citizens of Benton Harbor thought their wishes were honored years ago, but, evidently their rights to have their own will in regard to their city's lands is being trampled again.  Perhaps the CEOs can get in their newly built electric cars and travel a short distance to places other than the beautiful shoreline of Lake Michigan as valued by Benton Harbor!

TV: I Vote 4 Energy

Reality check on 'the moon colony' Gingrick has proposed.

Not that I am encouraging Gingrick for President.  That is not what this is about. There is a reality about the Moon rarely discussed and quite possibly rarely conceptualized JUST YET.

There is a robotics loop from Honda if one clicks at the title to this entry.

A few facts about what is occurring in regard to the USA focus 'of the future.'

There is currently a Moon Mission the USA has engaged in that maps the surface and quite possibly the subsurface of the Moon.  The purpose is to discern the relationship the Moon has to Earth in their development a long time ago.  It is important, but, there is also a lot of analysis that will turn up what exactly the Moon is composed of and it is not Green Cheese.

There is also the issue of 'Rare Earth Minerals' ongoing with Afghanistan.  China is known to have a bit of a monopoly on that topic.  If the analysis of the Moon comes back with a potential to mining of these minerals, there will be colonies on the Moon in the future.  They won't be human colonies, but, they will be colonies of robots controlled in offices operated by companies on Earth.

I am sure everyone has seen the Exxonmobile commercial of their sponsorship of projects on robotics in USA High Schools.

We forget all too quickly whom the heroes of the Gulf Oil Spill were over one mile deep.

Robots of the Gulf Spill: Fishlike Subs, Smart Torpedoes (click here)

Meet the 'bots that illuminated deep, dark threats of the BP spill.

Joel K. Bourne for National Geographic News

Published October 26, 2010
Deciphering the unseen, underwater effects of the Gulf oil spill.
This summer, as the world cringed at live video feeds of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from a broken BP wellhead, one message was all too clear: Technology had gone horribly wrong.
What viewers might have missed, however, was that the images were brought to them by a technology that went remarkably right—deep-sea robotics....

The USA will not be undone.  It just won't. The focus of the President is correct. Putting a focus on a new launch vehicle, the sincere future of the space program and securing the nation from a limited Earth Element resource may prove to be one of the most valuable changes to the space program.  That is profoundly the future.  Whether Mr. Gingrick is correct in believing it will see Moon Colonies by 2020 is another question, but, the Republicans pride themselves on private industry ambitions and that is what will follow after NASA finishes their analysis.  The only thing Mr. Gingrick is guilty of is providing a 'vision' of the future.  The reality is, the potential is already in place.  

The President asked states to reduce the drop out rate by staying in school to 18 years old.

There are currently 20 states that already have 18 years old as an age for drop out of high school. They would probably prevent it from happening at all if the age of majority was 21 years old.

Some of the states are resistant to that change for a couple of reasons; overcrowding and funding.  

..."I think (click here) legalizing the age to 18 before a student can drop out sends a strong message," said Assistant Superintendent of Palm Beach County Schools Keith Oswald.

However if the drop out age increased to 18 in Florida, it poses two big questions, over-crowding and how to pay for it....

Those two reasons raise questions about the willingness of states to take on the challenge of educating their children.  The funding would be there if a young person stayed in school to graduation so that is a bit of an odd reason.  If the state believes it takes additional resources for young people challenged to stay in school there is the question as to what services a high school provides for mentoring and tutoring.  If tutoring was completed in classroom, like an old one room school house, the cost would be very minimal.

The second issue, overcrowding, clearly illustrates the real problem facing schools in the USA.  The state of California is among the states with highest overcrowding rates.

…Students in overcrowded schools (click title to entry - thank you) pay less attention, achieve less, and experience more violence. Overcrowded schools are more likely to have inadequate or substandard electrical and lighting systems, safety features, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, floors and foundations….

In the illustration above a growing number of California school are taking on the 'calender' of year round school.  There are problems in achieving the best outcomes of children in year round schools.  This particular website attempts to take on the problems facing California schools to provide better educational opportunities.

The President in his American Jobs Act offered his own solutions to attempt to stem the inadequate facilities and teacher-student ratio.  He proposed supporting the number of teachers in the classroom and reconstruction and renovation of schools currently under standard.  Yet, those initiatives were obstructed by Republicans in passing The American Jobs Act.  

The problem in educating our children WELL and in anticipation of the future and the current global competition requires investment, both, in returning teachers back to work and improving the very structures they are educated.  So, the President had the best ideas to improve problems with overcrowding, but, once again obstructionists saw the reason of improving the lives of our students as a meaningless pursuit to improve and grow out economy.

Quite frankly, I admire the President's focus to take on the problem of children dropping out of school, but, there is unwillingness within our government to take the opportunity in a 'paid for' American Jobs Act to carry out some of the most important problems facing our educators and children.

1,000,000 students in multi-track, year-round schools

- Remain in large, overcrowded schools

- Can’t take courses that are offered only on particular tracks, including electives and advanced courses

- Have ill-timed vacations that make it hard for students to get ready for state tests and prepare their college applications

- Miss out on extracurricular activities, remedial and enrichment 

- Nearly 350,000 California students in 240 Concept 6 multi-track, year-round schools with fewer (but extended) school days 

- Lose the equivalent of a full year of school days and nights for homework (over their 12 years in school)

- Are far more likely to have a teacher without a full credential

- Learn less

Why do I get the idea school districts are starved for monies to improve the circumstances of their students. The other reason there is such a down turn in the quality of the education of out children is due to the 2008 economic implosion.  There are more homes in foreclosure, reducing the tax base of cities and counties causing drastic action in some districts to survive the ECONOMIC CRISIS, yet alone the education crisis.

There is nothing wrong with the learning capacity our children, but, there is a lot "W"rong with the esteem we hold the importance their teachers and classrooms.

The one way states can immediately prevent children from leaving school is to close the allowance of emancipation of minors.  That is a small number of children, but, currently children as young as 14 can require a court to grant emancipation of their status.  That is ridiculous.  There needs to be a financial component required by all states before any minor should be emancipated.  

In some states, (click here) certain forms need to be completed and filed with the court. Minimally, a minor must show he or she:
(1) is at least 14 years of age; 
(2) willingly wants to live away from home with the consent or acquiescence of his or her parents; 
(3) can manage his or her own finances; and 
(4) has a legitimate source of income. 
The court must also be convinced that emancipation would not be contrary to the minor's "best interests."

Such a status is likely to be viewed as an option for children that want to leave school. Don't think for one minute children don't entertain these ideas, because, they do.

The President has opened discussion about requirements to maintain 18 year olds to graduation for specific reasons.  Those reasons are best addressed when overcrowding of our schools and the removal of public employees from their jobs are scrutinized under a microscope.