Jose Boix, who is head honcho of the local community advisory committee, likes to think of me as the official reporter of everything the committee does. Most of the time he is right, and he always indicates his appreciation and I always ask him not to extend his bountiful thanks.
He is a good man, he does many, many good things and we all love him.
But when I see on the agenda for an approaching program that some organization is going to tell everything about itself, I think José is going to be disappointed, because I don’t want to write a self-congratutary brag.
In the news business, we called them “puff pieces.” And on many occasions, “advertorials.”
When somebody bought an ad, one of us poor reporters had to write a story about them. Not a good assignment. We all had to do it. Nobody liked it. Not even the people we were writing about, because they always seemed to think we never got anything right.
So an industrial puff piece is anathema.
Except, given a few facts, it isn’t.
For instance, Tom Hearn, who is project manager at Marathon, was describing an upcoming turnaround at the plant, set to begin soon.
Marathon, having combined the facilities at the older plant with all the facilities that came with the acquisition of BP, is now the second largest refinery in the United States.
There will be around 8,000 people working on this turnaround, and the plant has to make arrangements for all that traffic, in addition to all that work.
But the most intriguing thing he said was in describing what a turnaround involved.
He said they take everything apart, check it out and make sure it is working and then they put it all back together.
Then came his kicker. “We hope we don’t have anything left over that we don’t know where it goes.”
He was kidding, I am sure, but I think that amusing statement hit home, probably, with everybody in the room.
Marathon is big and productive. It is also involved with 21 Certified Wildlife Habitats.
When all the people come here to turn things around, there will be benefits to the local hotel and restaurant businesses, which will probably trickle down to everybody else. So I guess we need to be patient with the traffic and try to avoid the getting to work and getting off times.
The CAC meets every couple of months. There are usually interesting programs, but I think some folks come for the free food, which is usually pretty good.
Upcoming programs will include a discussion of the “coastal spine,” which I think the higher-ups are now calling what we all referred to as the Ike Dike.
Their new name won’t stick. Who wants to talk about a spine?