Search This Blog

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Oil Spill & Environmental Education

Please watch this C-Span video interview.

I think it best represents how people from south Louisiana feel about what is going on with the BP Oil Spill and the Federal Response.

Garland Robinette has spent decades educating himself and others on the importance of our wetlands.

I also highly recommend that you listen to Garland's open letter to the President after the presidential visit on May May 27th.

This is website offers a great overview of the technical details.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

NOPD COMSTAT - (change in location of meetings)

NOPD COMSTAT - (change in location of meetings) May 26 10:12AM -0700

May 26, 2010
Media Advisory

New Orleans, LA. - Superintendent of Police Ronal W. Serpas announced
that effective June 11, 2010, the COMSTAT meetings that are open to
the public, have been changed to Fridays at 8:30 A.M., and will be
held at the Municipal Training Academy located at 401 City Park
Avenue. The media and the public are encouraged to attend.

Major Bruce Little
Commander Second District
New Orleans Police Department

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Armed Robbery in the 8200 Block of Earhart

Topic: Armed Robbery in the 8200 Block of Earhart May 24 10:36AM -0700

Zone T subzone 1

On Friday, May 21, 2010 at approximately 3:25 pm two black males
entered a business located in the 8200 block of Earhart. One of the
black males produced a silver handgun, grabbed the manager and
demanded money. The manager thought it was someone playing a joke on
him advised the suspect he did not have any. The suspect became angry
and struck the manger in the head with the weapon. The cashier who
observed what was happening opened the stores register and gave the
suspect the stores money. The second suspect relocated to the rear of
the store and held the mechanic at gunpoint ensuring he would not
leave. After obtaining the money from the business both suspect fled
out the rear door then unknown.

Suspect #1 is described as a dark skinned black male, 5’6”, slim
build, wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans, with a white bandana
around his face. He was armed with a silver hand gun.

Suspect #2 is described as a black male, wearing blue jeans, with a
white bandana over his face. He was armed with a black handgun.

Remember to report any suspicious persons or activities
you see in your neighborhood by calling 821-2222. In an emergency,
call 911 immediately.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Buy Local - help save jobs & the environment

One Light Bulb at a Time

A physics teacher in high school, once told the students that while one grasshopper on the railroad tracks wouldn't slow a train very much, a billion of them would.

With that thought in mind, read the following, obviously written by someone who understands the GREEN value of being a LOCAVORE.

"Check this out . . . I can verify this because I was in Lowes the other day for some reason and just for the heck of it I was looking at the hose attachments . They were all made in China .

The next day I was in Ace Hardware and just for the heck of it I checked the hose attachments there. They were made in USA . Start looking!

In our current economic and environmental situation, every little thing we buy or do affects someone or something else.

My grandson likes Hershey's candy. I noticed, though, that it is marked made in Mexico now. I do not buy it any more.
My favorite toothpaste Colgate is made in Mexico ... now I have switched to Crest. You have to read the labels on everything . . .

This past weekend I was at Kroger... I needed 60 W light bulbs and Bounce dryer sheets. I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next to the GE brand I normally buy was an off-brand labeled, "Everyday Value." I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats - they were the same except for the price . . .

The GE bulbs were more money than the Everyday Value brand but the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO and the Everyday Value brand was made in - get ready for this - the USA in a company in Cleveland , Ohio .

So throw out the myth that you cannot find products you use every day that are made right here . . .

So on to another aisle - Bounce Dryer Sheets. . . yep, you guessed it, Bounce cost more money and is made in Canada . The Everyday Value brand was less money and MADE IN THE USA !

I did laundry yesterday and the dryer sheets performed just like the Bounce Free I have been using for years and at almost half the price!

My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in the USA - the job you save may be your own or your neighbors" AND the shorter the distance a product has to travel the better it is on the environment. Additionally worker and environmental protections tend to be better in the US.

One Light Bulb at at time, or Grapes from California or Texas instead of Chile...

Think about it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Superintendent Serpas OPENING COMMENTS

"" May 12 07:32AM -0700 ^


Mister Mayor, members of the Council, members of the search committee,
distinguished guests, friends, family and the men and women of the New
Orleans Police Department… in the words of Satchmo, “I KNOW WHAT IT

Thank you for this opportunity, and this challenge, to come home and
serve again. Nine years ago we were called away – today we have been
called home.

As I reflected upon the words of Mayor Landrieu’s inaugural speech,
his vision and understanding of the challenges and opportunities that
lie ahead is clear.
His words should lift us all, both the Community and those of us in
the New Orleans Police Department who serve with pride and dignity.

“There is nothing broken that cannot be fixed. No problem here that
cannot be solved.”

Today I call upon each member of the New Orleans Police Department to
reflect upon why you chose to serve in the most noble profession on
the planet. Today I call upon each of you to lift up your spirit, to
renew your dedication and to reconnect with the emotions that ran deep
in your heart and soul when you chose to join…when you chose to
serve. Make no mistake - we are here to serve and I look forward to
our service together.

Today we rededicate the New Orleans Police Department and all of its
members to the call to serve our community. Today we remind ourselves
that it is community first. Today we reaffirm our commitment to one
another to pursue valor and determination – professionalism and

Today we call upon all the neighborhoods and communities of New
Orleans to help us to serve. We, the police, have always been and
always will be an extension of you, the community we serve. In our
earliest days we stood as watchman together for one another. Over
time and history we created police departments to stand watch for us
all. It is time to reconnect the two: as we stand watch for you, we
will together watch over one another.

Today we know that there are many challenges that face us, but also
know that we can build upon our successes, one step at a time. We
must remember that each time we are called to assist, each time we
confront crime and the horrible hold it has upon our friends,
families, businesses and guests, that we have the opportunity to make
a difference.

Making a difference every day is what policing is all about. Being
there when a motorist is stranded, working hand in hand with our
communities every day to take back our streets so that children,
parents and grandparents can enjoy their front yards.

Or, as my grandparents would say, play on the “neutral ground,” or to
walk along the “banquette,” never forgetting to stop at the “curbin”
before crossing the street.
As any New Orleanian knows, it is not North, South, East and West…it
is Uptown, Downtown, River and Lake. We must and we will win back
every neighborhood, one street at a time from all four points on the
New Orleans compass.

Our recipe will be simple and straightforward; we will use the
Community Policing Philosophy as implemented through Decentralized
District based commands to fully implement our Crime Fighting and
Quality of Life initiatives

Our first priority, every day, will be to relentlessly, legally and
professionally pursue those who would do violence. Beginning
tomorrow, I will convene a conference call of District Commanders as
well as the Homicide and Sex Crimes Commanders get a full briefing on
the prior 24 hours of any violent crime in our city. The briefing by
these Commanders will focus not on what crime happened - it will focus
on what do we know, what have we done and what will we do about those

To those who choose violence in our City, let there be no mistake
about this: we will not rest, we will not waver, we will not lose
focus, and we will not blink.

Community Policing provides for INDIVIDUALIZED police service
throughout the diverse communities of New Orleans.

All neighborhoods are not the same; each Neighborhood deserves a
police response tailored to its needs – that is what Community
Policing is.

Community Policing provides the framework for PRIORITIZED PROBLEM
SOLVING with our neighborhoods, as well as a DIRECT ACCOUNTABILITY
LINK between the New Orleans Police Department and the community

Community Policing ties this all together. The outcomes of our
partnership and problem solving must be relentlessly followed up by
the leadership of our police department to ensure the entire New
Orleans Police Department is focused.

Building communities is perfectly matched to Community Policing

When people are safe they enjoy their neighborhood AND become MORE

When people are SAFE, they use our schools.

When people are SAFE, they boost our economy.

To accomplish our goals, we will instill three basic principles in our
daily service to this great city. Accountability, Transparency and
Collaboration. It is my expectation and my promise that the
application of these three principles will allow us to fix what is
broken, to restore public confidence in the New Orleans Police
Department and make this city SAFE.


My expectation of service by our team is also as simple and
straightforward: Truthfulness and Ethical Behavior – there will be NO
tolerance for deviation.

Professional treatment of our citizens in every encounter, be it a
call for service, a warrant to be served, an arrest to be made or a
vehicle stop to be conducted, throughout this community. This same
courteous and professional behavior will be equally expected with our
partners in the District Attorney’s Office, throughout the Criminal
Justice system, and with one another. This is our BASIC DUTY and it

We will expect no less than a full day’s effort each and every day.

One Superintendent cannot do it alone, we will require and expect
supervisors to supervise, which ensures our team is accountable for
its actions or inactions.

Our Public Integrity Bureau and department will reflect and respect
the joint efforts of the City's Inspector General and the Independent
Police Monitor.

We will build and strengthen our partnerships with the FBI and U.S.
Attorney to seek out and prosecute corrupt officers.


It is true that we cannot have enough sunlight and candor.

I unequivocally support the call by Mayor Landrieu to the Department
of Justice and look forward to working hand in hand with Federal

Our weekly Comstat meetings will be OPEN to the public beginning next

Likewise, District Commanders are also instructed to open their weekly
Comstat meetings to the public and other partners in their crime
fighting and community building efforts.

It is just plain right to include any and all who want to witness the
tremendous effort, dedication and focus of our leadership teams and
the officers and staff they represent as they work to make our City
We want to document an accurate crime rate as our first priority.

Nationwide 50% of crime is unreported – in Nashville we achieved
through our efforts the public reporting approximately 80% of crime.
We will build and strengthen our partnerships with the FBI and U.S.
Attorney to seek out and prosecute corrupt officers. We must restore
our citizens' trust and confidence to report crime.

Our measure of success is day to day, month to month, and year to year
and we must work every day to achieve that success.

I will call for an immediate audit of our crime reporting mechanisms
by state and federal authorities.

I will call for an immediate partnership with educational institutions
to evaluate our computer systems that capture and report our crime

We will immediately reevaluate the training of officers and
supervisors in preparing police investigative reports and the proper
classifying of those crime reports.

We will immediately being crafting and implementing monthly audit

We will open for public inspection and regular review our crime
reporting systems and data by external parties.


Collaborating and cooperating with the people of New Orleans is
everyone’s responsibility and IT STARTS with me.

Collaborating and cooperating with the Criminal Justice System at the
local, state and federal levels is everyone’s responsibility and IT
STARTS with me.

Collaborating and cooperating with the political systems, local, state
and federal is everyone’s responsibility and IT STARTS with me.

Collaborating and cooperating with the media is everyone’s
responsibility and IT STARTS with me.

As we look to the future, I know that many challenges remain. But,
working hand and hand with all of our communities and neighborhoods,
we can make a difference.

As we look to the future, I know that there are countless dedicated
professional men and women of the New Orleans Police Department, and
working hand in hand we will make a difference.

Mr. Mayor: My family and I have returned…we have come home to New
Orleans because we believe its best days are ahead and we want to be
part of that future! Thank you, and this city, for the opportunities
our home provides.

Superintendent Ronal W. Serpas

This message intended for "NOPD 2nd District Email Blast" subscribers.

Anyone may join this public mailing list, but only authorized NOPD personnel are permitted to post notices/blasts to this group.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

If BP was capping well, surely flow was known: A letter to the editor

May 5th Letter to Editor

Re: "Leaking crude 'has the potential to be a major spill'," Page 1, April 23.

Reported in The Times-Picayune: "'Immediately before the fire, the rig's crew was cementing a cap on an 18,000-foot-deep well that was to be abandoned and later tied into production facilities,' said Adrian Rose, Transocean vice president."

If this is true, BP should have hard estimates as to what the test flow rates were before the capping began. BP should also know what the anticipated flow rates on the production well would have been and how long they could expect to produce from the reservoir. Drilling an 18,000-foot well in 5,000 feet of water means that BP had lots of detail on what to expect.

BP should also have samples of oil from the reservoir that could provide detail on the type of oil in the spill. Why aren't these numbers and data on oil samples from well test reports out in the public and being used to inform recovery activities?

I'm sure BP is telling the truth in a "letter of the law" fashion when their spokespersons say they don't know how much oil is spilling out of the well. But if they were in the stage The Times-Picayune reported, then there is the opportunity to be more specific about the volume and potential risks.

Not sharing this kind of information tells me there is the chance that BP is more concerned about proprietary information on the reservoir then they are about recovery and cleanup efforts.

Jenel Hazlett
New Orleans

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Oil Spill evaulation

From JB,

During my youth I was a drilling engineer and thought the comments below may interest you and future news will judge its validity. Please note I am the dinosaur in the new era of mammals with regard cutting edge technology. However, as you clearly practice, logical first principles should remain relevant.

I have based my conjecture on this article:

Points of interest:
“Production string” – suggests it was the 7” or 5” casing that was cemented.

Halliburton had completed the cementing of the final production casing string in accordance with the well design approximately 20 hours prior to the incident” – they are implying they pressure tests to determine zonal isolation to “industry” standards were done satisfactorily AND 20 hours was enough time to assume the cement set properly. Plus the BP drilling engineer approved the design and program then signed off. Halliburton is preparing their legal liability defense.

Please note Halliburton was also responsible for the cementing of the last year's huge West Australia spill. Root cause of this spill was determined (and reported on MARCH 15, 2010) to be .... wait for it..... Failure to test a cement casing .... hmmmm.

“At the time of the incident, well operations had not yet reached the point requiring the placement of the final cement plug…” – the fly in the ointment detrimental to Halliburton.

Halliburton cementation engineers on the Montara Well Blowout in Western Australia was inept in calculating volume and the Oil Company’s drilling program planning bad because the rig had no properly sized blowout preventers (BOP) on board when the accident occurred.
It’s obvious the BOP on the Deepwater Horizon failed because it could not control the “gas kick”.

All oil rigs, when they begin, have this explosive blow out potential because the gases are trapped for many eons and will escape very suddenly if there is any break in the salt overlays that often seal off offshore oil and gas fields. Most of these carbon deposits are ancient dead sea life and so, are often sealed by water evaporating during various warming cycles of our planet and then covered with mud layers when the oceans rise during cooling phases. And yes, our planet sees many such cycles, it doesn’t have any theoretical ‘stable point’ but rather, is a pendulum that swings back and forth.

My speculation:
The cement slurry design may have been ok for the job when argued against data for other wells drilled in the area – but not conclusively proven. What is real the gas got thru. I assume the well was drilled underbalanced drilling system because deep wells in deep water have complicated parameters.

The sequence of events suggests human error.

It is possible the cleaning of the formation surface was inadequate (therefore nuisance gas channel flows occurred to compromise zonal isolation);
Perhaps the wiper plug did not work well enough to clear the “mud” thereby compromising zonal integrity.
I am inclined to argue the slurry design was not good enough and this raises the question on what down-hole measurements and logs were used to analyse the formation to be cemented?
Why did the BOP fail? Was incorrect sizing, lack of equipment maintenance, bad design?

Some Technical background:
Deep water drilling generally creates unique problems because of the following:
. The subsurface and deepwater depth (with its greater number of geological formations and the hydrostatic weight of the sea column) of the intended well may force the driller to set large diameter casing in poorly consolidated formations or zones. These types of formations generally have a narrow pore-fracture pressure window with a high potential for shallow-flow water or gas hazard (formation fluid or gas easily flows out of the formation into the annulus.

· The low temperature at the sea bottom and the first several thousand meters below the surface or mudline.

· Then there are the mechanical complications because the subsea wellhead (resting on the seafloor) makes launching cement wiper plugs (plug to wipe mud off internal inner diameter of casing + push the cement downhole because the wiper plug is pushed downhole by mud with cement below the wiper) etc difficult. Plus the subsea well head makes any remedial work more difficult.

· Abnormally pressured sands, with high probability shallow-surface water/gas flows is typical problem. Uncontrolled shallow flows in the cementing affect the integrity of the well. Such uncontrolled shallow flows are:- subsidence, compromised seafloor stability, loss of well support and buckling of structural casing, compromised well bore integrity etc.