It was not an Olympic finish. In fact, getting to the finish line at the airport took a nerve-rackingly long time. During the event in which Dr. Snarky Sparks almost missed her flight, she wondered how many people felt more secure today. At least she got to her destination, unlike some plutonium from PG&E?s Humboldt Bay nuclear plant. It seems PG&E will need far more than a few hours playing hide and seek with missing, highly radioactive waste. In fact, the utility estimates it will take up to five years to locate the fuel segments. Yes, that?s until 2009. Not reassuring, is it? PG&E laid out possible places the rod segments could be in a four-page press release. ?Based on all the information we have collected so far, we believe the only possible locations for these fuel segments are the used fuel storage pool at Humboldt Bay or one of the few licensed . . . facilities to which we previously shipped radioactive materials two or three decades ago,? said Greg Rueger, senior VP. While this may not be related, Dr. Snarky remembers a mysterious cancer cluster in Fortuna, across the way from the nuclear plant, about a decade after the fuel disappeared. No one could figure that one out, either. This may come as no surprise, but more than rods are said to be missing these days at PG&E, though hefty consultant fees and executive bonuses are not. Dr. Snarky got quite an earful recently about how the utility lacks direction and leadership. Some shareholders are not happy. It seems some PG&E widow and orphan investors are hoping that Gordon Smith will not go away mad but just go away. According to rumors on the shareholder message board, some stockholders are keeping their fingers crossed that he?ll follow Bob Glynn, who may soon choose to spend more time with his family and his investment consultants. PG&E spokesperson Ron Low said, ?As you know, we do not speculate on rumors.? He added, ?Gordon has no plans to retire, and will continue to serve as president and chief executive officer.? Also in the running with PG&E for the Homer Simpson memorial long-distance doughnut eating and power plant security breach high jump is the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power. According to a confidential report the Los Angeles Times got its hands on, the department hires just about anyone with a pulse to protect its property. Security guards interviewed in the report said that post-9\/11, ?almost anyone can get a job as a security officer within LADWP and that these individuals have automatic access to all facilities and security procedures.? That includes handing out keys to plants and other facilities. The interim general manager, Henry Martinez, and the L.A. mayor were none too happy about the report and want the matter looked into. While Dr. Snarky gets everything from the Journal of the American Medical Association to Rough & Tumble in her mailbox, she?s not been able to get on LADWP?s list for notices of committee meetings in order to keep track of one of her most important patients. As a fastidious record-keeper who worries about a patient?s history as well as any current maladies, the doctor?s also been trying to peruse records from past LADWP committee meetings, but as in Catch-22, she discovered that unless you know the dates, you can?t get the records. Since there is no calendar of meetings or file of meeting notices showing the dates of the meetings, you can?t find out the dates. Then, if you are able to identify the date of a meeting, you could theoretically get a tape of the meeting. Still with me? It just so happens that the tape recorder used to record the committee meetings hasn?t been working. And guess what, the tapes are inaudible. Nobody knows how long the tape recorder has been out of whack because few have been able to successfully request a tape of a committee meeting. Meanwhile, you?d have to be lucky to pay $17.50 to get a blank tape because DWP staff are sick of fulfilling requests for information from the media and the numerous auditors and attorneys who are investigating the department. Nobody in power there seems too insistent that they provide the information. Perhaps CalPERS, which has had some luck with influencing for the better the unhealthy behavior of some health insurers, can turn its sights on the huge muni. Meanwhile, the governor came across loud and clear on every microphone. Shortly after releasing the draft report to consolidate energy agency functions and slash the state bureaucracy in a Sacramento warehouse, Governor Schwarzenegger turned up in Las Vegas?at a fashion show on the Strip. No, it wasn?t to tout the stripped-down government proposed by the California Performance Review report. He chose the spot to promote ?doing business in the Golden State.? In a move that the California Manufacturers & Technology Association may or may not approve, Governor Arnie is advertising the state?s business potential via a billboard that shows him, according to his own press release, ?posing in a California flag T-shirt with the tagline: ?Arnold Says: California Wants Your Business.?? (Actually, he says ?Kah-li-forn-ya.?) Dr. Sparks?s diagnosis is that the governor?s press staff is in desperate need of a vacation. But before saying bon voyage, it looks like the administration will appoint two members of the California Independent System Operator board?as soon as the end of the month. One name that keeps popping up is that of Stanford economist Jim Sweeney. He says he hasn?t heard for sure?yet. And a couple more things before Dr. Snarky completes her exam, one being the usually modest MD noting that the <i>San Francisco Chronicle<\/i> reported, well after Snarky had, on troubling conflict-of-interest issues raised by Energy Commission member Jim Boyd?s marriage. Boyd is married to Catherine Reheis Boyd, the Western States Petroleum Association?s chief of staff, who has been lobbying the CEC staff to back a bill that would streamline oil permits. And finally, back to the limelight?well sort of. It was lights out, camera, action to celebrate last August 14?s massive East Coast blackout. Armed with lots of flashlights, a select group of filmmakers made mini flicks about the blackout experience, and their oeuvres were on display last Saturday at the Blackout Film Festival in Brooklyn, New York. The festival was launched on a shoestring, involving a Web site (<i>www.blackoutfilmfest.com<\/i>) and a P.O. box, according to the <i>New York Times<\/i>. The overriding theme of the short videos?not surprisingly ?was headlamps and booze. One of the successful entrants into the film fest said that he ?noticed during times of crisis there?s often a lot of confusion and a lot of excitement, but very little actually happening. A lot like a keg party.? Kind of sounds like the state?s energy policy, minus the keg. And like the lines at airports, the policy is far from the finish line.