AUGUST 16, 2017


Businesses appeal to Bonamici to spare development fund from cuts

Edward Stratton, August 9, 2017, The Daily Astorian

On a visit to the North Coast Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici ate lunch in the upstairs dining room of the Bridgewater Bistro, a restaurant aided financially by Craft3 inside a building the nonprofit lender helped restore.

Surrounding her were other business owners gathered to share their stories of how Craft3 helped them. They asked for the congresswoman’s help to protect the funding Craft3 and similar community financiers depend on from cuts in Congress.

Craft3, which often takes on higher-risk financing projects than commercial banks, has since 1998 secured more than $11 million in competitive grants from the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. The fund was established in 1994 to support economic revitalization and development among underserved communities.

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Senate’s failure to pass a capital budget leaves local projects hanging

Dan Hammock, August 10, 2017, The Daily World

A number of major projects in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties are hung up because the funding for them is part of the state capital budget — which, after a full legislative session and three special sessions, has yet to be passed.

“Certainly the Westport dredging is a big one, but given that there is $70 million in spending for school construction it is hard to say what is more important,” said Sen. Dean Takko (D-Longview). “Cosmopolis school cannot go out to bid on their remodel as they do not know when they will get their SCAP money from the state.”

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Ten projects proposed for FASTLANE funding

MarEx, August 10, 2017, Maritime Executive

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has released its proposed list of 10 project awards under the small project fiscal year 2017 Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Project program (known as FASTLANE).

Of the 10 proposed awards, most were multimodal and all featured freight infrastructure improvements. The proposed awards will enhance safety at over 100 rail crossings, repair nearly 250 miles of track and improve over 70 rail bridges, allowing communities in Maine, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and Texas access to the national freight rail network. In total, the $78.88 million in proposed FASTLANE awards will lead to approximately $217 million in total investment in infrastructure.

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CAGTC applauds FASTLANE awards

Stuart Chirls, August 10, 2017, Railway Age

Freight infrastructure improvements, particularly in rural locations, are a priority for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s latest round of awards.

The DOT released its proposed list of 10 project awards under the small project fiscal year 2017 Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Project program (FASTLANE). Of the 10 proposed awards, most were multimodal and all featured freight infrastructure improvements.

“The Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects program was designed by Congress to fund projects that help improve America’s commerce and freight mobility especially,” said President Leslie Blakey of The Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC). “We are pleased that this round of grants lives up to that standard. Rural lawmakers have long expressed concerns that competitive grants may not be effective in their regions and are more likely to favor urban areas. USDOT has done well to select freight-focused, multimodal small-scale projects in mostly rural areas that can improve business efficiency not only regionally but nationally.”

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State auditors issue one finding in Port of Port Angeles audits

Jesse Major, August 15, 2017, Peninsula Daily News

State auditors issued one finding that the Port of Port Angeles did not have controls to ensure compliance with federal prevailing wage requirements, officials told the port during its meeting Monday.

Amy Strzalka, assistant audit manager for the Office of the Washington State Auditor, told the port the deficiency was related to the $2 million federal Economic Development Administration grant that helped fund building the Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC).

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Overstock to expand footprint and jobs at Satsop

Port of Grays Harbor, August 16, 2017, Grays Harbor TALK

Only three months after the grand opening of the Evergreen Customer Care Call Center at the Satsop Business Park, the Port of Grays Harbor Commission approved a lease amendment to double’s footprint to include the entire 43,000 square foot Flex Tech Building.

Overstock will begin construction improvements immediately, and hope to be operational within their expanded footprint by October 1.  The Evergreen Customer Care Call Center expects to hire up to an additional 150 new employees, some of which may be seasonal as they prepare for the busy holiday season. Overstock will again look to fill positions by tapping into the labor pool of the surrounding five-county region including Grays Harbor, Thurston, Lewis, Mason and Pacific.

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Pasha to boost vehicle imports at Grays Harbor

Eric Haun, August 9, 2017, Maritime Professional

Pasha Automotive Services said it will provide a new volume of port-processing services at its Port of Grays Harbor facility in Washington for FCA US LLC, a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies, for vehicles shipping short sea from Mexico beginning this summer.

“Pasha’s Grays Harbor location offers exceptional connectivity, combined with specialized vehicle-processing services,” said Penny Eubanks, general manager. “Imports, especially landbridge, are attractive given the availability of rail equipment stranded at the facility from unit trains carrying in export business, and the ability to access two class 1 railroads from the terminal. The facility is also well positioned to save days of steaming time as an alternative for ocean carriers currently calling Portland and Seattle/Tacoma.”

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Letter:  Pasco port districts not balanced

Del Lathim, August 13, 2017, Tri-City Herald

There are strict laws against “gerrymandering” voting districts. Each district is supposed to have an equal population and the lines cannot disadvantage any race or ethnic group from participating in the political process.

The city of Pasco found this out the hard way. The Pasco Port District used to be fair and balanced, now it is far from that.

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Portland District celebrates restoration of Jetty A at the mouth of the Columbia River

Jeffrey Henon, August 8, 2017, DVIDS (Defense Video Imagery Distribution System)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District, co-hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association to celebrate the completion of construction at Jetty A, the first significant milestone in the Major Rehabilitation of the Mouth of the Columbia River Jetty System.

Jetty A is one of three jetties that make up the Mouth of the Columbia River Jetty System along with North Jetty and South Jetty. The Major Rehabilitation of the Mouth of the Columbia River Jetty System, a multi-year project, is expected to wrap up in September of 2023.

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Port of Chehalis currently working on three sale and purchase agreements

Justyna Tomtas, August 11, 2017, The Chronicle

The Port of Chehalis is currently in the process of drafting three separate sale and purchase agreements.

The proposed sale agreement is being put together for Wilson Oil, also known as Wilcox and Flegel Oil Co., for the port’s Maurin Road Industrial Site 2 property. The company originally wanted a build-to-suit facility, but later decided it would rather purchase the property and build its own building to house its operations.

The proposed site is 8 acres.

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Tall ship, tall crane at Brownsville

Terryl Asla, August 1, 2017, Kitsap Daily News

The skyline at the Port of Brownsville got temporarily taller this week.

In addition to the towering masts of the visiting tall ship, Lady Washington, an even loftier pile driver crane barge, Skookum, was inside the marina, pulling out old wooden pilings and pounding in steel ones.

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Port will ask cruise line for help with mooring buoy cost

Terryl Asla, August 11, 2017, Kitsap Daily News

Starting in 2018, not one, but two, American Cruise Lines ships will be visiting Poulsbo.

Currently, the cruise liner “American Spirit” stops in Poulsbo; it carries about 100 passengers. A new ship, “American Constellation,” will carry almost twice as many passengers.

Having two ships in the Sound will enable the cruise line to offer 18 cruises during the 2018 season, including summer cruises. The cruise line will also add a longer cruise — the “Grand Puget Sound Cruise,” an 11-day round trip out of Seattle. In addition to Poulsbo, the Grand Puget Sound itinerary will include Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle, Port Townsend, Port Angeles, Friday Harbor and Anacortes.

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State Commission:  Steam train group did not properly report July accident

Justyna Tomtas, August 11, 2017, The Chronicle

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission recently issued a letter to the operators of the Chehalis-Centralia Steam Train, stating the association did not properly report a July 15 accident that resulted in the death of a Curtis man after a collision with the train on state Route 6.

Rick Rouse, senior director of operations of the Port of Chehalis, informed port commissioners on Thursday that the UTC said the accident was not reported in a timely manner, nor was the report complete.

“The failure for timely and complete reporting cited in the WUTC correspondence is of considerable concern to the Port of Chehalis Commission,” stated Rouse in a letter to the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad and Museum.

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Tall ships’ visit to Edmonds August 18 – 21 includes special solar eclipse sail viewing

August 13, 2017, My Edmonds News

Lady Washington, the official tall ship of Washington State, and her companion vessel the Hawaiian Chieftain will visit Port of Edmonds Friday-Monday, Aug. 18-21. In addition, the Hawaiian Chieftain will have a special sail viewing of the solar eclipse from Edmonds, running 9:30-11:30 a.m. Aug. 21, with refreshments and NASA-approved eclipse viewing glasses.

Tickets for the solar eclipse sail are $99 for adults and $49 for children under 12. You can find more information online here or by calling 1-800-200-5239.

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Oller swim program corrects course

Natalie St. John, August 15, 2017, Chinook Observer

It’s been a year since Verna Oller’s unique bequest made it possible for South Pacific County residents to swim for free. The arrangement has proven so popular that the managers of the Verna Oller Aquatic Trust recently had to make a change to ensure there will always be enough money to keep Oller’s dream alive.

Initially, the trust paid for both free swimming lessons and unlimited swimming sessions at the Astoria Aquatic Center and the Dunes Bible Camp pool. Group swimming lessons are still free, Doug Knutzen, one of the board members who manage the trust said on Aug. 14. However, recreational and lap swimmers are now limited to eight free swims per month.

“It’s being used far beyond our expectations. It’s getting to the point now where we’re having to watch our budget because we’d like to see the program going into perpetuity,” Knutzen said.

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