THIS is the American spirit, not the finger pointing, hand wringing, and government inertia that we’ve seen way too much of in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill . In Alabama, they say: “Get ‘er done.” The NY Times tells the refreshing story of one small-town fire chief who is doing just that. The intro:
MAGNOLIA SPRINGS, Ala. — James Hinton looked over a barge jutting into the mouth of a 6,000-acre estuary last weekend and said, “If we can make this work, if the oil don’t get in here, 1,275 miles of bay and river coastline will be protected.”A day later, Mr. Hinton said: “I could go to jail for going against unified command. Now, I don’t mind going to jail, I just need to make sure it’s for doing the right thing.”
In a month in which Gulf Coast officials have railed about not being able to protect their shorelines from oil and not getting support from BP or the unified command structure set up to handle the cleanup efforts, Mr. Hinton, a volunteer fire chief in Magnolia Springs, a small town of fewer than 1,000, has emerged as a man with a plan.
“What he’s doing is really admirable,” said Bethany Kraft, executive director of the Alabama Coastal Foundation, a nonprofit environmental group. “He’s taking things into his own hands instead of waiting for other people to do something about it.”