FEBRUARY 20, 2017

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Citizens:  Don’t punish town for exercising free speech

Patricia Guthrie, February 17, 2017, Whidbey News-Times

Valentine’s Day was anything but sweet at an Island County commissioners’ meeting Tuesday.

Comments about a proposed increase in Navy EA-18G Growler landing practices at Outlying Field Coupeville continued to sour relations between North and Central Whidbey.

Three Coupeville residents said during public comment that they were displeased that two commissioners denied a Coupeville economic development grant because of perceived “anti-Navy” discussions of Coupeville officials and residents.

Read more here:  http://www.whidbeynewstimes.com/news/citizens-dont-punish-town-for-exercising-free-speech/

 

LAND USE

Port of Centralia approves site plan for mental health evaluation and treatment center

Pete Caster, February 16, 2017, The Chronicle

Port of Centralia commissioners approved a detailed site plan for Cascade’s Mental Health Evaluation and Treatment Center at their Wednesday meeting.

Kyle Heaton, executive director of the port, said Cascade is gearing up for a spring groundbreaking.

The 22-bed mental health evaluation and treatment center will be housed near the Port of Centralia office. The facility aims to meet a need that mental health patients were previously unable to get in the area.

The roughly $8 million facility will provide between 48 and 52 jobs in the county, while ensuring there are more psychiatric beds for Lewis County residents.

 

MISC

Top Port of Seattle executives will return disputed bonuses

Mike Rosenberg, February 16, 2017, The Seattle Times

A dozen top Port of Seattle executives who received large bonuses under a program the state auditor has deemed illegal will pay back the money, officials said Thursday.

The decision comes more than a year after the bonuses were doled out but follows the first public disclosure of the executive payouts earlier this week.

The Port in December 2015 approved a one-time 7 percent bonus to all nonunion employees, with about 650 people getting a total of $4.8 million. Earlier this month, the state auditor said the bonuses violated two parts of the state constitution because the money wasn’t tied to any performance standards or goals.

Read more here:  http://www.seattletimes.com/business/top-port-of-seattle-executives-will-return-disputed-bonuses/?utm_source=The+Seattle+Times&utm_campaign=aa6cb9d736-Alert_News_alert%3A_Top_Port_of_Seattle_executives_w&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5beb38b61e-aa6cb9d736-122455733

 

PEOPLE

Port seeks applications for open commission seat

Dawn Feldhaus, February 17, 2017, Camas-Washougal Post-Record

The Port of Camas-Washougal is expected to fill the vacant District 3 position in March.

To be eligible, each applicant must have continuously resided within the port’s District 3 for a minimum of one year prior to potential appointment to the commission and be a registered voter in Clark County, Washington.

A port district map is available at www.portcw.com/docs/commissioner/district_map3.pdf.

Read more here:  http://www.camaspostrecord.com/news/2017/feb/17/port-seeks-applications-for-open-commission-seat/

 

 

Former port director resigns | Guest column

Ted Fitzgerald, February 17m, 2017, San Juan Journal

Former executive director of the Port of Friday Harbor

(Editor’s note: Joe Wheeler told The Journal he has never threatened anyone.)

On Nov. 1, 2016 in my capacity as director of the Port of Friday Harbor I eliminated the position of marina facilities manager, held by Joe Wheeler. The position was eliminated because it wasn’t needed anymore. I stand by it.

However, certain members of the public including Wheeler’s family members and members of the family of the previous port director have made allegations intended to obscure the facts regarding the elimination of the manager position, specifically going back to a Sept. 13 decision I made to remove Wheeler from his role as port liaison with the contractor for the Spring Street Landing project. Wheeler and I were the only two individuals with knowledge of the events leading up to his removal, so I was surprised to hear it mentioned; clearly Wheeler communicated his unhappiness with that decision to others. I have been inaccurately accused of removing Wheeler from the project because of favoritism toward an employee of the Project Contractor Wellman and Zuck. Attempting to re-cast reality in that light is wrong.

Read more here:  http://www.sanjuanjournal.com/opinion/former-port-director-resigns-guest-column/

 

TRADE

NWSA sees box volumes surge in January

Chris Dupin, February 20, 2017, American Shipper

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA), which encompasses the marine facilities of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, handled 301,105 TEUs in January 2017, a 17 percent increase from January 2016.

The NSWA reported that for January 2017, compared to 12 months prior:
• Full international import containers increased 18.9 percent to 128,892 TEUs;
• Full international export containers increased 16.7 percent to 76,339 TEUs;
• Empty international containers increased 15.3 percent to 44,579 TEUs;
• And total domestic containers increased14.6 percent to 51,295 TEUs.

Read more here:  http://www.americanshipper.com/main/news/9d81d8c1-73e2-475f-b75e-348c401e7be6.aspx

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