MAY 10, 2017


WSDOT puts 520 Bridge pontoon casting site up for bid

Dan Hammock, May 6, 2017, The Daily World

The Washington State Department of Transportation has placed the 54-acre U.S. Pacific Coast Marine pontoon project property on the auction block, setting a minimum bid of $9.75 million.

The site at 1301 W. Heron St. in Aberdeen was used by the Department of Transportation to cast the massive concrete pontoons used to build the new 520 bridge over Lake Washington near the University of Washington. The site has been vacant since it was decommissioned in 2015.

Built in 2011, the property holds a 900- by 200-foot casting basin in which the pontoons were constructed. The basin floor was made from 20,000 yards of concrete supported by more than 900 underground steel piles.

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Port of Columbia launches ‘Choose Columbia County’ shop local campaign

Brad McMasters, May 7, 2017,

Across the nation, communities are struggling with slumping retail sales and struggling businesses. Big-box stores and online shopping have changed the landscape, causing community leaders and small businesses to scramble to find ways to compete.

As the lead economic development organization in Columbia County, the Port of Columbia is working to address this issue. Last year, the Port worked closely with the Dayton Chamber of Commerce to do just that.

The first step for us was to gather information. I worked with a regional economist to determine the amount of retail leakage (money being spent outside of our county). No surprises there: At $3,167 per capita retail spending, we are 45 percent lower than Walla Walla County and 67 percent lower than Benton County.

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Offices up for election in August primary

Richard Byrd, May 4, 2017, Columbia Basin Herald

If you have ever considered running for public office, now might the time as there are many public offices open for election in the upcoming August primary.

The Grant County Auditor’s Office started accepting declarations of candidacy by mail on Monday, but they will not be filed by the office until filing week, which begins on May 15 and ends May 19. Online candidate filing begins at 9 a.m. May 15.

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Filing starts May 15 for 2017 elections

May 4, 2017, The Wahkiakum County Eagle

Filing for local offices on the 2017 election ballots will run May 15-19 in the office of the Wahkiakum County Auditor, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30- 4 p.m.

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Bill Fishburn will challenge incumbent McGregor for port seat

Rolf Boone, May 8, 2017, The Olympian

Bill Fishburn, a former longtime Intel employee in DuPont, has decided to challenge Port of Olympia commissioner Bill McGregor for his District 2 seat on the commission.

For incumbent McGregor, it’s the first time he has faced an opponent since 2007, when he defeated Bill Pilkey.

Fishburn, 47, had a long career with Intel, and now is president of the Hispanic Roundtable of South Sound. He recently formed his own consulting company — hoping to work in product management or team development — and he plans to open a brewery called Six Pennies, he said Sunday.

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McAleer to run for re-election to Port of Port Angeles seat

Jesse Major, May 9, 2017, Peninsula Daily News

Port of Port Angeles District 1 Commissioner Colleen McAleer announced Monday she intends to run for re-election this year.

McAleer, president of the nonprofit Washington Business Alliance, which advocates business principles be applied to state government, was elected to her first term as port commissioner in 2014.

Prior to her election, the Sequim resident worked as the director of business development at the port.

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McAleer to run for re-election to Port of Port Angeles seat

Kerek Kilmer, May 9, 2017

McAleer, president of the nonprofit Washington Business Alliance, which advocates business principles be applied to state government, was elected to her first term as port commissioner in 2014.

Prior to her election, the Sequim resident worked as the director of business development at the port.

McAleer, 49, hasn’t held any other elected positions.

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Sequim candidates declare for upcoming election

Matthew Nash, May 10, 2017, Sequim Gazette

The five-day candidate filing period for numerous local elected offices is nearly underway in Clallam County.

So far, several incumbents have declared their intent to run again in various offices in the Sequim area, including Sequim City Council, Clallam County Fire District 3 and the Port of Port Angeles.

Three of four incumbents for Sequim City Council — Deputy Mayor Ted Miller and Position No. 3; Mayor Dennis Smith, Position No. 4, said they plan to run for 4-year terms again, while city councilor Bob Lake, Position No. 6, runs for one year left in his position after being appointed in January 2016.

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Hundreds participate in climate march through streets of Langley

Evan Thompson, May 3, 2017, South Whidbey Record

Demonstrators numbering in the hundreds took aim at President Donald Trump’s policies on the environment, climate change deniers and the fossil fuel industry during a two-mile march around the city of Langley on Saturday morning.

Organizers estimated between 400 and 500 people participated in the event. Many protesters carried signs with ominous messages about the earth’s declining state and warned of continued pollution and other harmful climate practices. One sign said, “There Is No Planet ‘B’” while another read, “Make America Smart Again” in mockery of Trump’s presidential campaign slogan, “Make America great again.”

Other sign-holders requested action from decision makers to combat climate change, urged the protection of natural resources and advocated for global peace.

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State oks program for protection of city’s shorelines

May 4, 2017, Edmonds

After more than a decade, it’s over. At least for now.

After years of debate, concessions, controversy and public input, the fate of the Edmonds Marsh is settled. The Washington Department of Ecology has approved the Edmonds Shoreline Master Program (SMP) comprehensive update, which the city began in 2006, with an effective date of May 10.

An SMP guides construction and development on local shorelines. Edmonds has six miles of shoreline along Puget Sound, Lake Ballinger and the Edmonds Marsh.

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Officials eye Woodland Bottoms for future industrial parks

Marissa Luck, May 3, 2017, The Daily News

It may be several years away, but eventually a large swath of the Woodland Bottoms will be open for industrial development.

The City of Woodland and Port of Woodland are in the early stages of planning to develop 426 acres of private land for industrial use. The idea is to build something similar to the Mint Farm Industrial Park in Longview.

The city is leading the effort to develop the 426 acres, but it’s working closely with the port, which owns property nearby on Guild Road. Both port and city officials say there is growing demand for industrial properties in Woodland.

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Houston firm proposes $500 million biofuel refinery in Longview

Marissa Luck, May 9, 2017, The Daily News

A Houston-based group of investors is once again looking to develop a biofuel refinery in Cowlitz County, more than a year after their plans for oil, propane and biofuel projects were rejected by the Port of Longview. This time though, the refinery will focus on processing biofuel only, dropping earlier plans to process crude oil too. And the project won’t be built on Port of Longview property.

Riverside Renewables LLC would process 150 million gallons of virgin seed oil as a “drop-in” replacement fuel for diesel trucks, according to the company. The $500 million facility would process biofuel for domestic markets and would not use palm oil, said Lou Soumas, Riverside spokesman.

Riverside may also partner with a liquid petroleum gas provider to build a transfer terminal on its property, but there are no firm plans yet, Soumas said.

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Chinook dedicating restored public school complex

May 9, 2017, Chinook Observer

The town of Chinook will celebrate successful renovation of its historic 1924 public school this Saturday. A ribbon cutting is set for 1 p.m., with refreshments available until 4 p.m. at the facility at 810 U.S. Highway 101.

Friends of Chinook School and the Port of Chinook have collaborated for a decade in bringing the former classroom/administration building back to life. Constructed in 1924 and designed by architect J.W. Wicks in part of the same effort that included reconstruction of much of downtown Astoria, the school was vacated by Ocean Beach School District in the early 1970s as part of a consolidation effort.

Now to be called the Historic Chinook School Community Building, the facility is housing a branch office of the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau. Former classroom spaces may sometimes be rented out as meeting facilities, but the building will mostly be used for a variety of nonprofit community purposes.

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May 7:  Opening Day Boat Parade in Friday Harbor

May 4, 2017, San Juan Islander

“A Community Afloat” is once again the theme of this year’s Opening Day Boat Parade sponsored by the San Juan Island Yacht Club. The parade will start at 2:20 p.m.  Sunday, May 7, with boats passing by Spring Street Landing and the Port of Friday Harbor Marina.

New this year will be an opportunity to “meet & greet” first  responders serving the San Juan Islands Community. The Fire & Sheriff’s Departments, Homeland Security, San Juan EMS Department, Friday Harbor Labs, Island Air, the Power Squadron and the U.S.C.G. Auxiliary, among others, will all be represented at the Spring Street Landing from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

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Possession Beach boat ramp redo set for June

Evan Thompson, May 5, 2017, South Whidbey Record

A facelift of the public boat ramp at Possession Beach is finally coming this summer. The only catch is it could disrupt at least half the crab and salmon seasons for South Whidbey residents.

The boat launch at Possession Beach Waterfront Park will be temporarily closed from approximately June 12 through July 31 while the ramp is resurfaced with new recast concrete panels, Port of South Whidbey Executive Director Angi Mozer said. The ramp will also be raised by about 18, inches to match the beach’s current profile, to reduce sediment buildup which has caused headaches in the past. Other changes on the docket are a realignment of the floats from the north to the south side of the ramp, and a replacement of the toe end of the launch ramp.

The float’s current alignment blocks the flow of sediments along their natural path, Mozer said. Switching it from north to south will improve sediment flow, reduce the regular chore of removing sand buildup and improve overall usage of the ramp.

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Learn how the Columbia River jetties were built

May 4, 2017,

Local historian Gary Kobes will discuss the creation of the jetties at the mouth of the Columbia River at the next Salty Talk presentation, “Building the Jetties,” 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, at the Salt Hotel & Pub (147 Howerton Ave.) in Ilwaco, Washington.

The enormous structures, which took more than 50 years to build, were constructed with the state-of-the-art technology of their time.

“Steamships and locomotives moved and placed over 3 million tons of stone to build the North Jetty alone,” according to press materials. The building of the jetties has had “a profound effect on both the people and the landscape of our region.”

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Maritime remains crucial to Washington’s economy

The Washington Maritime Federation released the Washington State Maritime Sector Economic Impact Study 2017 Update. This study updates the seminal 2013 study of the same name and provides a detailed analysis of the positive economic impact of the state’s maritime industry.

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On the Waterfront:  Port of Port Angeles terminal gets a face-lift

David G. Sellars, May 7, 2017, Peninsula Daily News

FOR THE PAST couple of weeks, contractors have been removing and disposing of the macadam overlay on the Port of Port Angeles’ Terminal 3.

Once that task is completed, Lakeside Industries will apply a new surface with a slant built into it that begins at the northern edge of the dock and slopes to the south, which will cause all the surface water to run off the dock into the port’s storm drains and be collected in the underground tanks that were installed earlier this year by the bridge that crosses Tumwater Creek.

According to Chris Hartman, director of engineering for the Port of Port Angeles, this work is being done to create a process for handling the stormwater runoff from Terminal 3, which will mitigate contaminants from entering the harbor.

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Court sides with Army in undercover infiltration of Washington anti-war group

MintPress News Desk, May 3, 2017, MintPress News

The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment Tuesday against members of an anti-war group who claimed civilian employees of the Army violated their constitutional rights by infiltrating the group and facilitating their arrest.

The Port Militarization Resistance protested the use of Washington state seaports to ship arms to Afghanistan and Iraq. John Towery, a civilian working for the Army, infiltrated the group and shared information about its plans with his supervisor, Thomas Rudd. Rudd in turn informed police in Tacoma and Olympia, which led to protesters’ arrests.

The protesters claimed the arrests were without probable cause, violating the Fourth Amendment and chilling their First Amendment rights. The trial court granted summary judgment to Towery, Rudd and the police on all claims.

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In one ear:  Blowin’ in the wind

Elleda Wilson, May 5, 2017, The Daily Astorian

There hasn’t been much news about wind power happening here in the U.S., which is why a story in Longview, Washington’s The Daily News about the Port of Longview unloading the “longest wind blades to date” in mid-April caught the Ear’s attention (

Each blade was 177 feet long, and they are pictured, courtesy of the Port of Longview. It took 25 longshoremen three and a half days to unload 60 of them for rail transport to Illinois. Thirty are still at the port, because there’s no room for them yet at the wind farm.

The blades came from Vestas Wind Systems, a Danish company with 59,000 turbines installed in “more than 70 countries across six continents” (, many offshore. They chose Longview because it’s one of the few (if not the only) direct-to-rail shipping system on the West Coast, capable of unloading directly from the ship to a rail car.

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Port of Olympia’s moo-vement

Matt Miller, May 8, 2017, American Journal of Transportation

With a shipment of over 2,000 dairy cows, Port of Olympia makes hay in a new market.

Late last month, the Port of Olympia loaded some 2,161 head of dairy cattle, 250 tons of bulk feed, 126 metric tons of hay pallets, and 53 pallets of wood shavings on an odd-looking ship called the Ganado Express, and sent the cows on their way. Owned by Livestock Express out of Singapore, the China-built ship and its unique cargo are bound for Vietnam.

That exercise marked the second time the port had hosted this kind of cattle run; the first came two years back. They are part of a Vietnamese government effort to battle childhood malnutrition through providing milk to all children. The cows, which come from Idaho and Washington farms, are Holstein Friesian heifers, and will be (hopefully) impregnated once they reach their destination. Forty-nine are already pregnant.

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Sponsor spotlight:  Plan to get nautical at Edmonds Rotary Waterfront Festival

May 8, 2017, My Edmonds News

The Port of Edmonds on June 2-4 will welcome the 30th Annual Edmonds Waterfront Festival hosted by the Rotary Club of Edmonds, with new nautical-themed booths sure to delight visitors and residents alike.

This annual festival is a major fundraiser with proceeds supporting Rotary programs and services. Among programs that benefit include college scholarships for local youth, support for YWCA transitional housing for women and their children, YMCA Partners with Youth, Boy Scouts, and Washington Kids in Transition.

Visit for a complete listing of the programs and services the Rotary Club of Edmonds supports. The setting for the festival is the beautiful Port of Edmonds Marina that is home to over 1,200 boats and named the 2006 National Marina of the Year.

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Whitman County’s Meyer to fill seat on port commission

Elaine Williams, May 7, 2017, The Lewiston Tribune

A woman who was raised on a Palouse farm has become the first female to serve on the Port of Whitman County Commission, filling a position vacated by the death of Daniel Boone.

Kristine Meyer, 43, was the only applicant. She was appointed by the commissioners to fill Boone’s term, which ends Dec. 31. Meyer will have to run for office this year if she wants to retain the seat. Boone died in March after serving on the commission since 2000.

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