Today in BP Oil Disaster: Day 51



  • Members of the New Orleans Saints visited Plaquemines Parish yesterday, and Alex BrownReggie BushJermon BushrodBobby McCray, Jason McKieLance Moore and Usama Young tweeted a few photos of oiled birds and cleanup efforts.
  • "BP PLC's 582-page regional spill plan for the Gulf, and its 52-page, site-specific plan for the Deepwater Horizon rig are riddled with omissions and glaring errors."
  • Atlanta's WAGA-TV reporter George Franco was arrested in Pensacola yesterday morning and charged with battery after getting into it with a BP cleanup crewmember when asked to leave.
  • Ol' Matt Lauer, making presidents say no-no words.
  • The LA Times' Sachi Cunningham filmed a fascinating portrait of Cambodian fishermen-turned-cleanup workers from Buras, La.:
  • In Buras, Cunningham met Neng Pum, who lives on a boat with her boyfriend. Neng introduced her to Rithy Om, another a Cambodian refugee, whose son and daughter-in-law had moved to Buras from San Diego with their two young sons in order to shrimp this season. Instead, like their neighbor Phan, they are out in the gulf cleaning up BP's oil.

    "I wanted to share all of their stories but focused on Phan since he was a leader in the Cambodian community and was among the first to get out to sea," Cunningham says. "After 11 days of work, the six bags of partially oil-soaked booms that you see in the video are all that Phan and his boat collected."

  • Maybe "We Are the World" after all. Ryan Reynolds, Jennifer Coolidge, John Goodman, Mario Cantone, Eugene Pack and Dayle Reyfel will perform Celebrity Autobiography at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, with proceeds benefiting the Greater New Orleans Foundation's Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund. The show features the stars reading from other celebrities' autobiographies — Tommy Lee, Elizabeth Taylor, Vanna White, and others. It runs for only two shows on July 11, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets $69, premium seating $99. (A post-performance party with the cast is an additional $60.)
  • This Friday, a group is staging a protest to allow children under 18 — unable to participate in cleanup efforts — to voice their frustration with the BP disaster. Participants are encouraged to speak up, dress in costume, and sing-along to "Oil Busters" (to the tune of Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters"). The event is from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 270 Empire Bridge Road in Empire, La. From the release: "Let their ideas be heard, let the leaders of today see how the leaders of the future would handle this complex situation of 50 days of gushing oil spoiling their playground, their home but most of all their cultural heritage."
  • The net revenue from MC252 is going into a wildlife fund. So... thanks? Break a piggy bank to get pennies, put the pennies somewhere else, and the broken piggy bank gets its own piggy relief fund. That's something the kids can get behind.
  • Rachel Maddow continues great coverage of the disaster, this time investigating booms. Really, the big problem here is knowing the difference between "deployed" and "actually putting the boom on the water and against the shores" — it's great to have millions of feet of boom at our disposal, but they'll just be sitting on the docks unless there are people to move them. And the Daily Kos explains, again, how boom operations are supposed to look.

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