Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Something is busting out all over

June is here and that means camping with Boy Scouts and other summer activities, especially plays and musical offerings. June can often be the hottest month in New Orleans, which is strange when one considers that July and August should have that distinction. Last year I recall that July and August were much less severe than the onslaught provided by June's heat. But there is more to June than heat and high humidity. It is the natural consequence of school letting out and vacation time beckoning millions to travel to far away, exotic locales or to investigate and examine local sites with ever more inquisitive eyes. The trend to stay close to one's own environs might be prompted by the high cost of gasoline and the still sluggish economy, but I believe Americans will still take the time to enjoy themselves with their families and friends - both near and far - while the summer sky beckons. This is a great time of year for my friends from Cleveland as the gray skies of winter part for what seems like an all-too-brief, but busy time to enjoy the outdoors. Wine connoisseurs should check out some of the small bed and breakfasts that border along the wine country near Lake Erie. Ah, for a glass of a palatable sauvignon blanc as the sun sets on the lake. It is a magnificent way to spend a summer evening. While the media's attention has been on the spewing oil emanating from the Gulf of Mexico's floor, I have tried to take my mind off the protests and calls for action. I agree that something needs to be done, but I have learned a bit about what would probably occur were the government to take over the cleanup from British Petroleum's engineers at this juncture. Can you spell D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R ? First of all, I distrust government to do any sort of action better than can be had from private industry. The response of the federal government to the cries for help from victims of Hurricane Katrina and the lack thereof should be enough of an answer to the sharpest critics that we should let the feds take over the operation only when all other options have been exhausted. Second, like it or not, the most intelligent people acquainted with the equipment that has failed are from BP. To bring others on board and try to educate them as to the whys and wherefores doesn't instill in me any degree of confidence. Third, like it or not, BP literally needs to clean up its image. Their stock value has plummeted while this storm of controversy has raged. It would not be unreasonble for me to expect some of the top leaders to resign or be sacked after the crisis has disipated. They derive no benefit from dragging their heels. So, while I will be cheering the protestors on, I will also be praying that BP's people have some luck with their latest project, which is to slice the pipe below the blowout preventer (BOP) and try to make a permanent seal at the 5,000-foot level. Frankly, the likelihood that it, too, could fail and that there could be more oil rushing forth as a result scares the heck out of me. But they have to try it. The relief well operations won't be finalized until August in a best case scenario and if a hurricane or two get in the way, the target date will extend even further back. I prefer to think about the better aspects of summer: sun, fun and the outdoors. And there is yet another June that makes me smile on this first day of the month whose name she bears. I will deliberately be somewhat mysterious as I endeavor to protect her confidence, but I remember this June from some of my earliest childhood memories and I am happy to know we are connected. So, I will enjoy June for all of its charms and for its namesake. I hope you will do likewise.

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