Very soon I will be traveling the Gulf of Mexico along the Texas/Louisiana shores to document oil spill recovery efforts and progress. I hope to meet a few wonderful families that have been deeply effected in hopes of helping them improve their quality of life.

The Helping Hands Charity Network forms relationships with the best humanitarians around the world and focuses on providing services and goods to causes most in need that are being buried in the shadows.

This trip should uncover some wonderful inside looks behind the BP and FED EPA scenes. Contributions to help cover the costs of this trip need to be transferred to: tfrentz@hotmail.com as soon as possible. Efforts are severely hampered by our limited budget.

We also have a donation page at:

http://www.iclick2help.com/cause.asp?id=102

A quick review of our YouTube.com/TFrentz Channel videos will show footage from our previous projects.

Daily updates will be posted here. Add the feed for this blog and join us on an adventure to see what is really going on.  ~TF

APRIL update:

Currently reviewing event dates and locations for the National Wildlife Foundation volunteer groups. I am also testing the new water pump and seals on the van to decide if I should take it south. I am also rebuilding the carbureter on the motorcycle and replacing the battery so it will be a transport option.

http://www.nwf.org/Oil-Spill/Effects-on-Wildlife/Species-Status.aspx

MARCH

3/5 Weather delay today! Packing to leave East Texas in the morning of 3/6.

For those reading this, please comment and share your questions regarding the oil spill recovery. I want to directly search for the answers our readers most desire.

3/6

PACKED and loaded. Departing east Texas noon. Final thoughts going through my mind…. At what level of interest do my “fans” and friends and family even care about the damage caused to our southern states? No one has contributed to my self funded expenses for the cause of documenting the oil Spill recovery this year and I question my ability to really make a difference.

All I can do is take my credit cards, pack a bag, jump on the back of my iron horse and ride into the sunset hoping someone reading my stories will eventually assist our Helping Hands Foundation make a BIG impact!

Until that day arrives, what you read here, is the best I can do with the little I have left to offer. ALL I NEED IS my two feet, health and intelligence to create change and today as I depart, that is about all I have.

IF something happens to me and I vanish from existence on this venture, I just want all my 1000+ readers to know how honored I feel for the kind words and facebook chats and so on, that you have contributed.

AND WITH THAT……. OFF I go!!!

6pm:

I am bummed that my bike is not running right. I only made it to Nacogdoches and then when I switched to reserve tank it started sputterng which has never happened.

My best guess was that a piece of the tank lining broke free and clogged my fuel filter. I barely made it to a service station.

My options were to fill up the tank and hope that the clog would break free and push on
OR
remove the tank and then the filter to inspect it.

I decided to push on. I only made it 10 miles to the south side and it cut out again. This time I was on a freeway and 300 feet downhill from a Burger King lot. It was a pain in the ass push but I made it to the lot and went inside to relax and eat dinner. While eating I searched for the closest repair shop so I could get a new filter screen. Luckily it was only a half mile away on the same highway.

I went back out after eating and the bike fired up. I rode it around in circles and then parked it and let it idle for 5 minutes until it started sputtering out again. It now made sense that fuel was seeping into the carb slower then the engine was vaporizing it causing it to sputter out when the carb became drained.

It was then getting dark and temps were dropping into the 50s so I made the difficult decision to pay $68 for a hotel and wait until morning to start removing the tank. I was so bummed that I would not be able to make the coast as planned that I just plopped into bed and ignored the world for the rest of the night.

It is interesting how fate works for me. I am now watching the weather and discovered that there were massive tornadoes that leveled towns in my path through Louisiana so there’s my silver lining.

Expenses:

$15 fuel

$68 HOTEL

$15 FOOD

3/7/11

Woke up with a nervous stomach. The uncertainty of my motorcycles solution has me questioning the future of this trip. Will I end up leaving the bike here and have to hitch to get my trailer and van and then come back and get it?

I spent until 10:30 this morning taking advantage of every second and resource of my $68 hotel expense but now it is time to face the music. Out I go to work on the bike….  stay tuned!

Side thought: IF YOU hear of a gas strike week or timeline event being scheduled by a big environmental group, please let me know. There should be one formed by now that we can help promote increased awareness of our excessive gasoline consumption.

Thought I fixed my problem by rewiring the ground but then the battery still did not charge and the bike cut out again. I ended up leaving the bike in a retirement home lot and got a ride back to home in Tyler.

$15 supplies (Sea Foam and misc.)

$20 Hitching Fuel Donation

5/8

Went and got the trailer and then picked up the bike and got it back home. Not how I wanted to spend Mardi Gras.

$45 FUEL for Truck and Trailer

3/9

Fixing the water pump on the Van.

4/28

Finally think the Van is safe to drive. So many issues kept making it over heat. Test driving 25 miles passed the cooling test. Now going further this week. Fixing the Carb in the motorcycle this week also. Still need more contributions to fund this trip.

RELATED LINKS:

http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/gulf-coast-fisherwoman-breaches-the-peace-at-bp-shareholder-meeting/

VICTIM’s STORIES:

K.C. Chiang

When K.C. Chiang came to the United States from Singapore at the age of 23, he settled in Mobile, Alabama, became a U.S. citizen, and began his pursuit of the American Dream. He worked his way through the service industry from the bottom up, eventually entering the real estate market as a property manager. In April of last year, he, along with his wife and business partner Terri, was set to close on the real estate deal that he believed would be his legacy: the Wyndham & Winfield Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Orange Beach, Alabama.

Chiang, 54, told the Lookout that the project would have brought 1,700 jobs to the area. “You know, as you get older,” he said, “you start thinking about how when you leave this earth you want someone to say, ‘I remember this man.'”

The property (a rendering of it is above), dubbed the “Pearl of the Gulf,” was set to be one of Alabama’s largest and most impressive hotels: 500 rooms and suites; a convention center to accommodate 1,200; a wedding chapel; a dinner theater; a 20-lane bowling alley; a 6,000 square-foot spa; and a video game arcade.

But then, on April 20, just ten days before the Chiangs were to sign papers to close on the development, the Deepwater Horizon exploded–wiping out the savings he and his wife had poured into the $165 million project.

Chiang told us that his lenders, immediately spooked, postponed the closing. “They were hoping that BP would be able to cap the oil and minimize the damage to the Gulf Coast, but it took them too long to do it,” he said. Last December, the lenders finally, officially called the deal off.

And while Orange Beach (shown at left) is clean once again, and the water washing up on its shores is back to its familiar blue, lenders will likely wait years before approving funding for beachfront projects.

“There’s absolutely no bank financing for any developer. You can forget about that,” Terri Chiang told us. “The credit has just dried up.”

The couple, like thousands of other Gulf Coast residents crippled financially by the spill, has spent months trying to obtain redress through the Ken Feinberg-run Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF). But their efforts have thus far been largely fruitless, and, sadly, their complaints sound all-too-familiar to anyone who’s followed the saga in the Gulf over the past few months.

“We’ve been calling and calling and calling and they don’t even answer our calls anymore. It’s a bunch of BS that we’ve went through,” Chiang said, noting that though he and his wife consider themselves strong Christians, their faith has been tested by the ordeal.

They’ve spent thousands to hire forensic accountants to assist in filing their claims, he said. More often than not, the GCCF has come back asking for even more documentation. Ken Feinberg said that he’d personally look into the couple’s claim, according to Chiang. Now, sick of dealing with Feinberg and the GCCF, Chiang said, with more than a hint of exasperation in his voice, that they’re planning to join the thousands who are suing BP.

“We’re going to have to sue them in order for BP to recognize that the GGCF is really not helping people and is crippling the economy of this area.”

In the meantime, the oil spill has wiped away much of what the couple had built for themselves in this country.

“We’re on the verge of filing for bankruptcy here,” Terri Chiang told us. “I’ve stood in line at the GCCF with everyone else–waitresses, shrimpers, you name it–who’s been in there asking for money they’re owed. We all need help. We now have to scramble to find a different direction to survive.”

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Comments
  1. Hi
    I hope your project is going well. I wrote a song about the BP oil spill called “Five Thousand Feet Down” You can hear it at http://www.myspace.com/553823972/music/songs/Five-Thousand-Feet-Down-mp3-77147455

    You might be able to use it in your documentary.
    Thanks, James Louis Reeves
    jim_reeves@yahoo.com

    the song is copyright ©2010 James Louis Reeves all rights reserved.

  2. unusual says:

    Amazingg skills! Keep it up man, you rock!

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