Texas oil spill meeting disappoints residents

PORT O’CONNOR – Commercial fishermen and women, oyster harvesters and shrimpers – people who make their living along the Gulf Coast – wanted answers Thursday night from government officials, but many walked away from a meeting disappointed, some even angry.

The residents packed the gymnasium bleachers at Port O’Connor Elementary School. They wanted to know about the oil that drifted south from a 168,000-gallon spill in the Houston Ship Channel. But officials had no professional translator to speak to about half of them in their native Spanish.

Even fishermen and women who speak English left the gym early, feeling as if their questions were unanswered.

Many began filing out the door before the meeting ended. One shouted “I’d rather be watching TV” as he walked out the door.

“All they care about is the wildlife, the birds. They don’t care about the fishermen,” Sandy Taylor, a commercial oysterwoman, said.

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