NOVEMBER 22, 2016



Port commission meeting discusses eliminated position / update

Hayley Day, November 22, 2016, San Juan Journal

On Monday, Nov. 21, about 30 people, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, crammed into the Port of Friday Harbor’s meeting room to discuss the elimination of a position. The controversy surrounds Joe Wheeler, who was the marina facilities manager for two years.

The port eliminated Wheeler’s position on Nov. 1 due to budget cuts. At the meeting, about eight people, including port tenants, local business owners and former port staff and contractors said the port commissioners and director were not truthful about the reason for dismissal.

Dick Grout was the only person to speak in agreeance with the port’s decision, stating that after he spoke with port staff he felt budget cuts were necessary.

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Washington ports on the clock

November 16, 2016, The Daily

The Washington Maritime Federation released a report concerning Washington state ports and trade last month. The report is very revealing and gives some good suggestions for improving competitiveness.

Over the past six to 10 years, Washington ports lost business to Canadian ports; the Port of Vancouver increased its share of the container business from 44 percent to 48 percent and Prince Rupert increased its share from 7 percent to 10 percent. Many factors contribute to the loss of business, and the effects are significant.

Robust port activity is important for the state economy. In the state of Washington, about 40 percent of jobs can be tied to the import and export of goods through ports, according to the Washington Council on International Trade. Strong import and export business has a positive ripple effect on local economies as support industries are required to handle freight and manage goods. In other words, Washington ports are a strong driver of prosperity, not only in the areas they operate, but throughout the state. Washington state is trade dependent on Asian and other markets for everything from airplane parts to apples.

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Nov. 29 event to showcase what Edmonds can offer businesses moving to city

November 16, 2016, My Edmonds News

The City of Edmonds, the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, Port of Edmonds and the owners of several office properties are hosting a Get-To-Know Edmonds event on Tuesday, Nov. 29, with the goal of showcasing Edmonds both to prospective businesses and regional commercial real estate brokers.

Bob Drewel, former Snohomish County Executive and current Washington State University North Puget Sound at Everett senior advisor, will headline the event, which will run from 2-3:30 p.m. Nov. 29.

Office properties in Edmonds will be showcased, with representatives present to discuss availability, rates and amenities.

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EIS:  Noise from Port oil project construction, operation will have ‘little impact’

November 16, 2016, The Daily World

The wail of a train whistle sounding mournfully in the night has been romanticized in song and story since the first steam engine hit the rails. But people living along the PS&P rail line cutting northwest from Chehalis to Aberdeen might use a different word other than “romantic” to describe the sound of a modern freight train whistle cutting through the air, day or night.

A portion of the Environmental Impact Statement drafted for Contanda LLC’s proposed oil storage and transportation facility at the Port of Grays Harbor, which will rely on an increased number of rail cars taking that PS&P line, deals with the potential noise and vibration increases and their effect on life along the tracks.

During the initial construction of the facility the largest bringer of noise and vibration will be pile driving. That will go on for up to three months. However, since the nearest homes are about 500 yards from the site, and since this activity and all other construction will take place during daylight hours, the EIS finds little impact in its study.

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Centralia Council supports dam near Pe Ell

The Chronicle, November 10, 2016, The Chronicle

The Centralia City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution supporting Alternative One from the Department of Ecology’s draft options for the Chehalis River Basin, which includes the construction of a dam near Pe Ell.

The alternative is one of four outlined in the Chehalis Basin Strategy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. An option to do nothing is also included in the EIS.

The comment period for the EIS was extended to Monday, allowing the council time to submit its feedback.

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Under pressure, Corps adds dams meeting in Tri-Cities

Annette Cary, November 12, 2016, Tri-City Herald

Tri-City residents will get a public meeting to share concerns about what should be included in a new study, as a movement to breach Snake River dams is being revived.

Federal agencies this fall scheduled 15 meetings in Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho.

But none was scheduled in the Tri-Cities until a letter-writing campaign by local agencies and Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash.

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Developer’s proposal near East Bay sparks discussion about sea-level rise

Rolf Boone, November 15, 2016, The Olympian

Prominent Olympia developer Walker John is ready to bring a mixed-use development to a Port of Olympia-owned parcel near East Bay.

But how will the project work in the context of projected sea-level rise?

That was the question Olympia resident Bev Bassett asked the port commission Monday after they received an overview of the project from Mike Reid, the port’s senior manager of business development.

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Lyons Ferry lease renewed, with concerns

Dian Ver Valen, November 10, 2016,

Despite reservations about costs of future improvements, the Port of Columbia has renewed its 25-year lease for Lyons Ferry Marina with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, continuing a decades-long arrangement.

Several major projects loom for the marina, including the need for larger moorages to fit modern boat designs, repairs to or replacement of the breakwater and docks, and the addition of pull-through RV spaces.

“The Port’s long-term plan is to take a new look at the facility — things have changed, RVs are bigger, boats are bigger,” said Port Manager Jennie Dickinson.

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On the waterfront:  Port Angeles terminal construction to pave way for water treatment

David G. Sellars, November 13, 2016, Peninsula Daily News

CONTRACTORS HAVE BEEN digging in the dirt around Terminal 3 in Port Angeles for the past couple of weeks.

I asked around and determined that contractors are installing a system to handle stormwater runoff from the docks into the waters below.

The deck of the terminal will be configured with new paving in such a way as to channel all the water that falls from the sky to the west end of the terminal, where it will be diverted into a treatment plant that will be built on a parcel of land across Tumwater Creek.

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Northwest Seaport Alliance extends longer gate times program

Donal Scully, November 12, 2016

The ports of the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) – Seattle and Tacoma – have extended their pilot scheme offering extra night and weekend gate times for customers.

The scheme was due to end on Friday but NWSA is prolonging it until December 2 in response to positive feedback and the needs of partners, in particular agricultural exporters who are moving a lot of product.

So far terminal operators have run an added 50-to-70 hours per week during the scheme.

Originally the aim was to ease congestion during the peak season for imports and exports, starting in August.

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Seattle-Tacoma gives more time to extended-gate pilot

Bill Mongelluzzo, November 10, 2016,

Agricultural exporters will have access to extended gate hours in Seattle-Tacoma until Dec. 2 thanks to financial support from the Northwest Seaport Alliance to help fund flex, night, and weekend gates.

The port authority in August announced an appropriation of $2 million for a 12-week pilot project of extended gates geared primarily toward increased imports during the summer-fall peak shipping season in the eastbound Pacific. That program was scheduled to end on Friday.

However, with exports, especially agricultural exports, especially strong right now, the port decided to extend the payments to marine terminal operators for three more weeks. “Based on the positive feedback we received from our customers, we are pleased to offer three additional weeks of the extended-gate program,” said Dustin Stoker, the port’s chief operations officer.

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As Port of Centralia turns 30, rebranding effort launched

Justyna Tomtas, November 11, 2016, The Chronicle

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Port of Centralia is stronger than ever and looking forward to its next 30 years.

That was the message from port officials at a celebration held at Dick’s Brewing Co. in Centralia on Thursday, where the port unveiled a rebranding effort it has undertaken to better market port properties.

Originally founded by a vote of area residents on Sept. 16, 1986, the port has grown to become the largest employer in the community, and the biggest contributor to the tax base, said Kyle Heaton, executive director of the port.

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South Whidbey honors island veterans

Evan Thompson, November 11, 2016, South Whidbey Record

Dozens gathered for a Veterans Day service on Friday morning at the Bayview Cemetery to honor America’s armed forces.

Veterans of wars ranging from World War II to Iraq were in attendance, as well as their families, friends and supportive residents.

Among the crowd was Vietnam combat veteran 73-year-old Freeland resident Ken Goff, who served 11 months as a medic in the 1st Battalion, 12 Infantry Regiment of the 1st Air Calvary Division. From January 1968 to November 1968, he participated in the Tet Offensive, helped Marines lift the siege at Khe Sahn and saw action in the Quang Tri Province and the A Shau Valley. For heroic actions during combat, he earned three bronze stars.

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Protesters block rail line leading to Port of Olympia

Amelia Dickson, November 12, 2016, The Olympian

A group of Olympia protesters has camped out on the rail line that serves the Port of Olympia to stop the transportation of ceramic proppants, also known as fracking sand, to North Dakota.

The group, Olympia Stand, said in a Saturday morning press release that the group had already blocked a train carrying fracking sand from leaving the port Friday. A video sent to The Olympian by Zoltan Grossman shows an engine backing away from a cheering crowd at the intersection of Jefferson Street Southeast and State Avenue Northeast.

The Olympian contacted the Port of Olympia and Genesee & Wyoming Railroad on Saturday, but had not yet received a response about what the train was carrying or where it was headed.

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Olympia anti-fracking protest settles into camp on railroad tracks

Rolf Boone, November 13, 2016, The Olympian

An anti-fracking protest that began Friday apparently prevented a train from leaving town the same day, and settled into a makeshift camp Sunday in the area of Seventh Avenue and Jefferson Street. That location is in downtown Olympia, not far from the train tunnel that runs underneath the city.

The anti-fracking group calls itself Olympia Stand. A reporter and photographer tried to interview those at the camp and take pictures Sunday, but a woman who met both said that no one would be giving individual interviews. She also declined to have her picture taken. Instead, she issued the same statement that the group previously issued.

“We are here to stand in solidarity with Standing Rock as a response to their call for support as the indigenous peoples there are being terrorized by police on a daily basis, as well as to protest centuries of neo-colonialism and environmental racism. Furthermore, our goal is to stop the transportation of more fracking materials to North Dakota. Come join us!”

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SR 281 near Quincy designated as a Critical Rural Freight Corridor

Joe Utter, November 11, 2016

State Route 281 between Quincy and George was recently designated a Critical Rural Freight Corridor by the state Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration.

The designation puts SR 281 in strong consideration to be widened to four lanes. The about 10-mile stretch of highway runs between Interstate 90 and state Route 28.

In 2015, nearly 8 million tons of cargo traveled along SR 281, a large volume of traffic coming from the Wenatchee and Chelan areas, some of the largest fruit packing regions in the world.

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