Pacific petroleum prices perturb perspicacious politico (it's alliteration Friday.) Sen. Maria Cantwell, peeved by inordinately high gas prices in the West, is birddogging the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the role of Big Oil. Was a disabling fire at BP's Cherry Point Refinery to blame for goosing prices, or is the narrative more conspiracy-laden? (Imagine Enron writ large.) For their part, oil execs are aping Casablanca's Captain Louie Renault. They are shocked, shocked to be accused of collusion.
"Citing a report by energy consultant McCullough Research — a group that helped topple energy-trading giant Enron — Cantwell questioned why May gasoline prices in Washington state soared to within cents of the local record of $4.35 a gallon set in July 2008. At the same time, gasoline prices nationwide in May fell 17 cents a gallon and oil tumbled more than $14 a barrel," McClatchy's Kevin G. Hall writes. "The McCullough Research report, published Tuesday by the group based in Portland, Ore., questioned whether the historically low gasoline inventories on the West Coast were really a result of the Feb. 17 fire that idled BP's Cherry Point refinery for about three months."
KIRO cam canard? So it seems, and the Washington News Council is investigating. As the Seattle Weekly's Nina Shapiro reports, KIRO TV broadcast a video of a Leschi Elementary School janitor allegedly grabbing and bullying a child. The video snippet was incomplete and out of context (the janitor was intervening in a fight.) Moreover, the child's mom purportedly explained the circumstances to KIRO TV prior to its broadcast. So what gives?
"In all, the News Council says it received more complaints about the KIRO piece — 15 — than it has about any stories it has looked into in its 14-year history. That may say as much about the News Council as it does about the piece," Shapiro writes.
Blameless Brian Banks befriends ball barons. Imagine a Capra-esque tale of a just-vindicated football player and the former USC coach who tried to recruit him before false charges sidelined his personal and professional life. Enter Seahawks coach Pete Carroll who is giving Brian Banks a second, very well deserved chance.
As Sportspress Northwest's Art Thiel writes, "After five years in prison and five years of probation as a sex offender convicted for a crime he did not commit, Banks is entitled to a boxcar-load of bitterness, contempt, surliness, self-pity, victimization and resentment. He chose none of the above."
Egan eyes Edenic edifices. The New York Times' Tim Egan offers a paen to the Golden Gate Bridge and the Seattle Space Needle, both celebrating milestone birthdays this year. It's an inspired tribute, despite Egan's disregard for the "Mossback" moniker when describing historian and veteran Crosscut scribe Knute Berger (a forgivable sin of omission.)
"Imagine San Francisco and Seattle without their icons and you have some idea of what it’s like when cities stop dreaming of gravity defiance on a grand scale," Egan writes. "Both were scoffed at in the design phase, and both were instant hits as soon as the last rivet was in place. Masterpieces in steel, the bridge and the needle are proof that sometimes the best things in the built world are products of whimsy under deadline."
Lastly, fearsome flotsam fouling fauna and flora? The Japan tsunami debris washing ashore in Washington, Oregon and Alaska could be freighted with invasive species. As EarthFix reports, "Oregon State University scientists have confirmed the presence of environmental risks posed by a large floating dock that washed ashore from Japan. The threat comes from invasive species — not the radiation and chemical contamination first feared when a 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed a nuclear power complex and sent debris floating across the Pacific Ocean toward the West Coast of North America." You can read the whole story here.
Seattle Times, "Cantwell, analyst target refinery production cuts"
Sportspress Northwest, "Story alone is worth Seahawks roster spot"