Back in March, a barge in Galveston Bay struck a ship and sprung a leak. Nearly 170,000 gallons of oil spilled into the bay. The carrier was being guided by an experienced pilot, Mike Pizzitola. But according to federal court documents and other records obtained by the Houston Chronicle, Pizzitola has been involved in two other Ship Channel accidents.
On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk with Chronicle investigative reporter Lise Olsen about such incidents at the Port of Houston, why they’re rarely investigated, and why pilots are almost never disciplined.
Also this hour: a man near Austin was recently diagnosed with the state’s first case of a mosquito-borne illness called chikungunya. We learn more about the illness, as Houston Public Media health and science reporter Carrie Feibel talks with Scott Weaver, Director of the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He’s been studying chikungunya for the last 15 years.
Plus: We learn about programs and efforts in Houston designed to curb the activities of the some 300 different gangs – and roughly 20,000 gang members – the Houston Police Department has
And: We talk with Houston area film critic Joe Leydon about the 1987 film The Princess Bride, and why it and films like it (if there are any) are so darned quotable. There’s a free outdoor screening of the film at Market Square Park this Friday night at 8:30, and it will also be shown, in “quote-along” form, at the Alamo Drafthouse at Vintage Park on July 19 and 22.