Thursday, December 16, 2010

Miss. harbor master 'fesses up to shooting pigeons

LONG BEACH, Miss. -- The harbor master in Long Beach, Miss., is resigning after admitting that he shot pigeons with darts and then lied about it to the mayor.

Harbor Master Michael White tells The Sun Herald he was listening to a radio show last week about the Christmas season and how people react when they make mistakes.

He says he called Police Chief Wayne McDowell and admitted shooting pigeons with darts from a blowgun.

Less than a month ago, White had told Mayor Bill Skellie he hadn't shot any pigeons and would look for anybody who had.

Residents complained after seeing pigeons at the harbor with darts sticking out of their feathers.

The mayor says he's disappointed White lied to him several times.

Information from: The Sun Herald,

Here is the original story dated November 19th, 2010: What I find so disturbing is that they had found at least one Heron shot as well. Heron's are endangered and that is a FEDERAL offense. I am trying to get information on the charges brought against Mike White (the now "former" harbor master) if any have been brought against him. Stay tuned! ~ Denise

PETA seeks Long Beach pigeon shooter

Posted: Nov 19, 2010 10:14 PM CSTUpdated: Nov 19, 2010 10:14 PM CST

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to find out who has been shooting birds at the Long Beach Harbor.

Several photos sent to WLOX News Friday show two pigeons living with darts in their bodies. At least one blue heron has also been shot.

The darts in their bodies apparently came from a blow gun. PETA officials tell us although the birds are still alive right now, they will eventually die from such an injury.

Cruelty to pigeons is a state violation, while the cruelty to the blue heron is considered a federal offense with much stiffer penalties.

PETA is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to a conviction. If you have any information, contact PETA at (757) 622-PETA.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Feinberg announces "quick pay" BP settlement option

Updated: Dec 13, 2010 12:16 PM CST

By Steve Phillips – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The administrator of the $20 billion BP compensation fund has announced a new "quick pay" option for claimants who'd like to settle their losses from the oil spill and receive extra money for agreeing not to file a lawsuit.

Kenneth Feinberg said Monday under the new "quick pay" option, anyone who received any emergency loss payments through the claims program will be eligible for an added $5,000. Businesses can receive $25,000 under the "quick pay" alternative.

Feinberg said no one has to accept this settlement, and circumstances will vary among those who claimed losses.

The extra compensation is being offered to help reduce the number of claims; but the claimant who accepts the bonus money must sign a release, ending all future claims and agreeing not to sue BP or any other party.

Feinberg also announced he'll be hiring additional staff at the gulf coast claims offices, and those hires will be local people.

During his telephone news conference, the BP claims administrator also said claimants will now be given access to free legal assistance. Lawyers will help guide claimants through the process and offer advice and assistance.

Talking about the "quick claim" option, Feinberg said, "This is simply a way to close the file in their own particular circumstances and move on."

The lawyer also answered a question from WLOX News about the protests from casino workers, who claim they've been unfairly treated in the compensation process.

Feinberg said he does not believe casino workers have been treated any differently. He reiterated his earlier advice that casino employees "re-file" their claims if they were denied earlier.

He said lack of documentation remains a big issue and is one of the main reasons that claimants are denied in their effort to recover damages.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Conspiracy Theory with Gov. Jesse Ventura - Gulf Coast OIL SPILL

On this week’s episode of ‘Jesse Ventura Conspiracy Theory’, questions were raised about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Dots are connected showing possible motives for the ‘accident’. Jesse Ventura and his team of investigators unravel a trail of innuendo leading to profit motives, a relocation program by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to depopulate the Gulf region, and even a wild claim that Barack Obama has been a CIA ‘asset’ since the 1980s! Let the games begin!

Ventura meets up with Sherri Kane and Dr. Leonard Horowitz first. They inform Jesse that there was a considerable amount of stock trading happening just prior to the April 20th explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. BP CEO Tony Hayward, the poster-boy for foot-in-mouth disease, had sold about a third of his own BP stock about five weeks before the ‘accident’. Transocean, which owned the oil rig BP was renting, oddly had a special ‘Put Option’ the morning before. Not convinced that something was up? Halliburton, who also had a hand in the Deepwater Horizon rig project, purchased the clean-up company Coots and Boots just eleven days before the ‘accident’. Kane and Horowitz tell Ventura that this was a classic example of ‘Crisis Capitalism’. Create a problem then profit from the solution.

Another major component of last night’s episode revolves around the chemical dispersant Corexit which was used by BP during the spill. Many people involved in the clean-up process have been getting sick. On top of that, we learn that the amount of oil that was ‘cleaned-up’ on the surface is nothing. About one hundred times more oil still remains in the Gulf of Mexico below the waves. We have heard about this from other sources and reports. Of giant layers of oil that extend for miles below the surface of the Gulf. Dispersants like Corexit cause the oil to coagulate and drop to the bottom.

Shocked and surprised, Jesse Ventura gets an invite from BP officials for a boat tour of the region! While the officials, like Gary Shute, tell Jesse all is well, Ventura keeps asking pointed questions. But, Shute “has no knowledge” of any health issues involving Corexit. Nor does he have any knowledge of a connection between BP and the makers of Corexit, Nalco, which is run by former BP execs. Shute argues with Jesse that the EPA approved the use of Corexit, despite it being loaded with fun poisons like mercury, cadmium and cyanide. Shute “has no knowledge” that Corexit is still being sprayed at night despite the EPA demanding that BP cease using it.

Now, it just wouldn’t be ‘Conspiracy Theory’ if Alex Jones doesn’t pop in to tell Jesse some hot tip! Jones says the real conspiracy is the clean-up. He tells Ventura that nearly all of those who worked on cleaning up the Exxon Valdez mess are now dead. Their average lifespan was cut down to 51due to the chemicals used. Jones says that depopulating the Gulf region is the goal, which would allow the oil companies to turn the whole area into one giant refinery.

The depopulation angle has two other sources. One is activist-lawyer Alfred Weber, who explains to Ventura how Katrina was just a dry-run for the Gulf oil spill. He tells Jesse that already, 150,000 people have been relocated from the region by the government. He also alleges that Barack Obama was recruited as a CIA asset by none other than Mika’s dad, Zbigniew Brzezinski. As a major player in global strategy, Ziggy hand-picked Obama as a potential president himself. Weber also tells Ventura that Obama’s point-man on the Gulf disaster, Dr Steven Chu, secretary of the Energy Department, had once received a $500 million dollar grant from BP. And, that Chu picked for his #2, Dr. Steven Koonin, who, coincidentally, was once BP’s top scientist. Nice!

But the final segment was the best! Here, Jesse Ventura meets with Dr. S. I. Rees, and an unnamed associate, from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Jesse confronts Dr. Rees on the Department of Defense plan to relocate the population from the Gulf region. She confirms that there is a plan, costing $1.2 billion dollars, to do ‘voluntary buyouts’ of some 17,000 residences. She also slipped in confirming to Ventura that they don’t have the full $40 Billion “yet” for the wider program which would include much of the Gulf coast region.

Now, needless to say, the Army Corps of Engineers is trying to improve the ability to resist flooding and hurricane damage in the area since Katrina. Whole communities were wiped out and many of the residents have no desire to return and rebuild. But, as we know, there has not been a new oil refinery built for many years in the United States. The ‘Not-In-My-Backyard’ syndrome has prevented such. How convenient if there is nobody left to object? The program was started long before the BP oil spill. Another well done episode of ‘Jesse Ventura Conspiracy Theory’ as he tackles the BP Gulf oil spill disaster.

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Part 3 of 3

Friday, December 3, 2010

Those filing oil claims now have another option

Updated: Dec 02, 2010 7:52 PM CST

By A.J. Giardina – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Bennie Casper's shrimp boat has been sitting idle on Biloxi's Back Bay for months. A docked boat doesn't make any money.

"We can't afford to fill the boat back up to even attempt go try to go back to work," Casper said.

He filed an oil spill claim on August 23, the day Ken Feinberg took over the claims process. Since then, Casper said it's been one road block after another in his attempts to get paid. Weeks later, he learned the Gulf Coast Claims Facility lost his documents.

"October the 13th is when I finally realized they lost my paperwork," Casper said. "And it took me, myself, to find out myself that it was lost. A gentlemen that told me that all the documents were lost."

Michael Tillman has a similar story of frustration with the claims office. He and his wife invested all their retirement money in a charter boat business in Pass Christian that sank this summer.

After receiving money from BP for two months, he said he was told to re-file his claim.

"It's been three months and two weeks since I filed," Tillman stated. "I've been in review for six weeks and I've been told the same thing over and over, that it's in review. There's nothing I can do about it. And the bad part about it the 800 number that they give you to call has no information whatsoever."

I went to one of the claims offices here in South Mississippi to ask about the fisherman's complaints. No one there would comment about delays in the payment process.

Now fishermen have learned that the U.S. Coast Guard could be coming to their rescue through the National Pollution Funds Center.

"They will take and put the pressure on BP to hurry up and pay you," Tillman said. "But if they don't, then they'll pay you and they'll collect the money."

I spoke with Bob Warren in the National Pollution Funds Center claims office in Arlington, Virginia. He confirmed that the Coast Guard will assist those denied claims and those still waiting to hear from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.

Fishermen will have to do more paperwork for the Coast Guard. But once that's done, the Pollution Funds Center will investigate the claim.

More fishermen are learning about this option.

"I talked to National Pollution today and they said that they had to take and double their office because of the amount of calls they have from people that filed with GCCF," Tillman explained.

Warren said to begin the process with the National Pollution Funds Center, you must call the Center for Claims Office at (202) 493-1201.

Warren admitted that the Coast Guard claims office has been expanded because of so many phone calls from the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

WLOX TV Editorial: Casino workers claims should not be denied

Updated: Dec 02, 2010 6:04 AM CST

We hope Kenneth Feinberg who is administering some $20 billion in BP oil claims will take a hard look at the casino workers in South Mississippi. The casino workers are a big part of our tourist industry. There are thousands of them working in the coast's 11 casinos. Many of them work as dealers or work in one of the many casino restaurants.

So when the oil spill news made national headlines and coast tourism took a big drop last summer, the paychecks of many of these workers dropped as well. A lot of casino employees depend on tips to help round out their income. If there are fewer tourists coming to the coast, it would stand to reason that the tips would decrease as well.

Claims should not be systemically denied just because someone works at a casino. If a casino employee can show their income has dropped this year, then we believe they should be considered for some payment.

This is not about greed or trying to get something for nothing. These are legitimate claims being made by thousands of Gulf Coast families that are trying to pay the mortgage and put food on the table. Everyone who has been impacted by the oil spill should be eligible to receive some compensation. To leave an entire group out of the process is just not right.

That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts, or post your comments below.

David Vincent
WLOX-TV General Manager

©2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Shrimper drowns off Horn Island's west end

Updated: Dec 02, 2010 4:53 PM CST

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – A shrimp boat captain died Thursday after going overboard and getting tangled in his own nets. It happened off the west end of Horn Island.

The Department of Marine Resources said the man went overboard to cut the trawl from the wheel of the vessel, "Rising Angel" when he disappeared.

The Coast Guard, DMR's Marine Patrol and the Jackson County dive team were all called in to help search for the missing man. The dive team discovered his body tangled in the net. He was brought back to shore and taken to the Jackson County coroner.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Although attention seems to have slowly drifted away from the BP oil spill and its effect on the Gulf Coast, musician Dr. John (also known as Mac Rebennack Jr.) is spearheading a coalition of artists hoping to redirect Washington's interest back to the region (89 bands, including R.E.M., Ozzy Osbourne, OK Go, My Morning Jacket and Bonnie are on board).

"Everybody thinks that everything is fine here," Rebennack told POLITICO. "I am outraged. ... This is probably the biggest disaster that's happened." Rebennack and the other artists have sent a letter to the White House outlining five key demands, including that a portion of BP's penalties to be steered toward Gulf coast recovery.

"I just pray that the president might listen to us and actually make a concerted effort towards giving us our wetlands back, our barrier islands back." But Rebennack says he's not hopeful.

"I’m not optimistic at all, I am a realist." And he thinks President Obama could stand to benefit from taking a closer look at the fallout from the Gulf oil spill.

"If he came and would actually see the amount of oil that's floating in the Gulf and not be hidden from his eyes, he'd be amazed."

The issue is particularly personal for Rebennack, who's a New Orleans native.

"We gave the world jazz, the blues came out of here," said Rebennack. "And given everything else we gave this country and the rest of the world, if they don't care about it, let the people here know so we can try to do something else."

For Rebennack, much of his frustration has to do with the influence of special interests in Washington.

"It's ridiculous the amount of pressure oil companies are putting on Washington," said Rebennack. "It's like having the criminals in charge of the crime site. ... When you have enough money you can do that, but that makes it OK? I'm upset with that."