Vigil held for Gulf of Mexico victims


Click on pictures to enlarge.

By Dave Boyce

Almanac Staff Writer

Danna Breen, a resident of Portola Valley, joined people across the nation on Tuesday, June 8, in using to organize some 200 evening vigils for the victims of the oil well disaster going on in the Gulf of Mexico.

About 25 people from Portola Valley and nearby communities showed up at Triangle Park in Portola Valley, some with signs, and chatted awhile before forming a standing circle and taking turns sharing their concerns. Votive candles were passed out.

"If we could just live a little more prudently and responsibly," Ms. Breen said, and recommended that people do more to conserve energy personally, including drying their clothes on a clothes line.

Ms. Breen's daughter Tenley, read off statistics about the leaking oil, including a report of 238 dead sea turtles as of June 4 and a grave threat to nesting brown pelicans and their annual production of 100,000 chicks. The brown pelican is the Louisiana state bird.

Tenley Breen also noted a serious threat to sperm whales in the Gulf.

According to a recent National Geographic story, the Gulf's sperm whale community of 1,400 to 1,600 animals is in jeopardy. Among the threats: the whales, which are air-breathing mammals, may surface under an oil slick and suck the oil into their lungs. They can also inhale fumes from the oil, lose consciousness and drown, or ingest prey spoiled by oil and put healthy pregnancies at risk, the story said.

Sharing the spotlight of concern for the animals was anger toward the oil industry and the politicians, those associated with that industry and in general.

"From dogcatcher on up, everybody's bought and sold. It's ridiculous," said Elizabeth Feinler of Menlo Park. "I think that (issue) should be job one. If we get something to happen there, it trickles down to everywhere."

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Like this comment
Posted by R.Gordon
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2010 at 10:47 am

Just what do you do at these organized vigils from so far away?
Are you in touch with the groups like the RED CROSS and a dozen other sites related to Katrina to see what is NEEDED besides gathering with votive lights and talking about the an Atheist, I also would eliminate prayer as an immediate aid.
At this point, MONEY is the main thing the unemployed need, and any person who excels in veteranary abilities or have been to the Exxon spill, would be invaluable.
An exhibition of anger is of no value whatsoever. Get on websites or Ipods and Iphones and talk to people and ask how you can help.
Don't buy Cadbury chocolates, Turnbull & Asser, or Burberry's things.Save the candles for the earthquake.

Like this comment
Posted by Marshall K
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jun 11, 2010 at 7:48 pm

We can all agree that the spill is a disaster. I am not sure what 25 people holding hands in a park thousands of miles away from the spill accomplishes. Did you raise money to help the victims? Did you discuss ways to prevent such an event from occurring again? I am so tired of people who complain but do nothing to solve the problem. The people of the gulf region need money not vigils.

Like this comment
Posted by Go deeper, people
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 11, 2010 at 9:33 pm

R Gordon and Marshall K, I wasn't at the vigil, but I know at least 2 of the people who were there. I can assure you that they are not the type of people who merely hold hands and chant/pray/weep/think wishfully when they are concerned about a problem. They are real "doers" in so many other areas of life, and they put their money, and their energy, where their mouths are. Because of that, I would bet a lot of money that they and probably others attending the vigil did much more than come together for that somber, symbolic event.

Being skeptical of others' "do good" intentions is not necessarily a bad idea. But your cynicism is quite another matter. Your cynicism -- your ridicule and apparent conviction that these people are merely silly feel-gooders -- is sad, and says more about you than it does about them. Our society would be a lot more effective, dynamic and compassionate if cynicism didn't have so much sway.

Like this comment
Posted by R.GORDON
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2010 at 5:02 pm

R.GORDON is a registered user.

Go Deeper....... [Portion removed; attacks on other posters violate terms of use.]
IF you wish to accomplish something USEFUL, go to YOUTUBE and look up the documentary on how the oil spill CAN be taken care of by research done in 1989 with a form of algae which devours the oil and recycles it into clean water and the sea life thrives on it.
Get off your imperious attitudes and do some research, then mail it to all your friends and ask why the government has not done something about it.
If you whine and say you don't know how, then I blame you for being lazy.
Cynicism often make the guilty rise to the occasion.
Those people ARE silly do gooders.
Before you get all uppity, I DID spend one month in New Orleans after Katrina and helped dozens of people move out of muck.

Like this comment
Posted by Go deeper, people
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 12, 2010 at 9:54 pm

R. Gordon, it seems that you don't really pay attention to what others are saying. You are so eager to assume that the vigil attenders are "silly do-gooders" that you completely ignored my testimony that at least two of the people who attended the vigil (the only two people I know who were there)have done FAR more than attend meetings and hold hands with one another. They HAVE done the research, and volunteered their time and energy to help others, and organized politically, and donated funds, and lobbied their elected representatives. Why is it so important to you to ridicule others -- or are you just trying to make sport of us? Couldn't possibly be that, could it?

And at the risk of sounding "uppity," I fundamentally disagree that cynicism plays a positive role in public discourse and activism toward the public good. It's cheap, cheesy, and easy. It's also an avoidance of any deep thinking and commitment to trying to make positive difference.

Like this comment
Posted by R.GORDON
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2010 at 2:30 pm

R.GORDON is a registered user.

"Public discourse and activism".......THE EDITOR DOESN'T HAVE THE GALL TO REMOVE YOUR QUOTE....I take that back.
I would lay odds that you did not take my hint and look up the report which I have sent to dozens who, in turn, have sent more to be investigated....If you can handle watching the following: If you have trouble,
Amazing you would rather criticize me and defend your indefensible spot.PLEASE tell a REAL working group what you have found out?

Like this comment
Posted by R.GORDON
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm

R.GORDON is a registered user.


Pass it on to the move.on ladies please.
Frankly, when THEY see it, YOU will come out smelling like a rose for the work you did in passing it on. INVALUABLE.

Like this comment
Posted by DThomas
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Gordon...........I DID go to the YouTube site and it was amazing..or rather, it IS amazing.
Also amazing, that by my count, not ONE person was added to the meter which gauges how many people viewed the site after me.
They must dislike hearing important information from you....or just you.
What a terrible shame, when there is something they could actually do after watching it.

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