Saturday, December 18, 2010

Team Blogger: John Rodriguez

Day two began at around 9:30 in the morning, when the Roosevelters arrived, notepad and pen at the ready, at ACP Real Estate, Inc. The Roosevelters chatted with the president of the rental company, Mr. Kelby Linn, who gave an insider’s look into the after-effects of the oil spill. Mr. Linn admitted that the company was performing outstandingly prior to the oil spill, namely the first quarter, which showed a 45-50% to the previous year’s revenue. By the second week of the oil spill, however, the situation was grim, and due in part to the media coverage of the spill, cancellations of reservations were prominent – at an alarming rate of 90%. At around the same time, he began the claims process, which did not garner him any compensation until October, when the company finally received a substantial payment. Mr. Linn claims that media coverage of the spill had a detrimental effect on the psyche on American people, because the beaches of Dauphin Island have a natural protection due to the outflow of Mobile Bay. According to him, the sensationalism took a harsh toll on tourism in the region. There is hope. Since the well has been capped, there has been a continual increase in sales, and Mr. Linn is optimistic that the business will survive.

After the interview with Mr. Linn, the Roosevelters visited to the local golf course, where the mayor of Dauphin Island is manager. There is no better individual from whom to have acquired an accurate representation of the effects of the oil spill, for Mayor Jeff Collier was born, raised, and has lived all his life on Dauphin Island. According to Mr. Collier, one of the biggest policy mistakes of the oil spill recovery process was that Mr. Obama placed most of the responsibility on BP. He agrees that the company should be held financially responsible, but not physically responsible – that is, for the actual clean up. He made the point that the party that really cares about the condition of an area is that population that lives there, not the corporation itself. Mr. Collier recommends that in future disasters there needs to be a better communication structure and that there is a governmental organization designated to handle the claims process. Mr. Collier does not know when or where the situation is going to end up, and he has come to the realization that the oil spill has been and will be more disastrous than any hurricane in the island's history.

Following the interview with Mr. Collier, the Roosevelters experienced a rather unorthodox interview with the owner of Skinner’s Seafood. It was quick, easy, to the point, and lasted less than fifteen minutes. Mr. Skinner claimed that his biggest concern is whether or not the brown shrimp (which is a big portion of his business) will come back next season. However, BP has responded well to his claims, and although it has lost his paperwork four times, they have compensated him for losses, which were up to 90%.

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