SEPTEMBER 29, 2016


Mitsubishi’s first MRJ plane reaches Moses Lake testing site

Dominic Gates, September 29, 2016, The Seattle Times

The first of four Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) airplanes arrived Wednesday afternoon at Moses Lake, where over the next year to 18 months the Japanese company will conduct flight tests ahead of first delivery in mid-2018.

The 88-seat MRJ90 jet landed safely at 5:47 p.m. after hopscotching since Sunday from Japan, with stops in Russia and Alaska.

The plane’s arrival was delayed about a month after two previous ferry flights from Japan in late August were abandoned when a malfunction was detected in sensors monitoring the systems that control cabin air pressurization and temperature control.

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Port identifies capital project priorities

Libby Wennstrom, September 28, 2016, PT Leader

The Port of Port Townsend has identified $17.5 million in facilities work seen as necessary to protect and preserve current public assets.

Sam Gibboney, hired in April as the port’s new executive director, outlined what she called the “precarious state” of port facilities, and underscored the urgency of needed repairs outlined in the port’s draft Capital Repair and Replacement Plan from December 2015. A copy of the plan is available with this story on

The estimated $17.5 million in funding, said Eric Toews, port planner, is the minimum needed “to attain a state of good repair.” The sites of many of the proposed projects were visited during an Aug. 17 public tour of capital facilities.

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Port of Ridgefield earns $50K grant to explore dark fiber development

September 28, 2016, The Reflector

According to a Port of Ridgefield press release, at a Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) meeting on Sept. 15, members voted unanimously to award the Port of Ridgefield a $50,000 grant, which is the highest available amount for a planning grant.

CERB provides funding for public infrastructure to “local governments and federally-recognized tribes” as a way of supporting private business growth.

The port requested the grant to “complete a feasibility study and formal needs analysis for constructing a fiber optic broadband “loop” around the Ridgefield Port District, also known as the Discovery Corridor.”

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Our Business:  Increased water levels aid cruise ships at Port of Clarkston

Elaine Williams, September 26, 2016, Lewiston Tribune

Shallow-water issues that had plagued the Port of Clarkston appear to be temporarily resolved.

The port was congested early this week with the largest cruise vessel that calls on it, The American Empress, in town along with two other large vessels with cabins for overnight passengers. The American Empress (pictured) was moored at the port’s cruise-boat dock near the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers. The third boat was downstream at the port’s crane dock.

Shallow water had created navigating challenges for the boats in similar circumstances earlier this summer. The American Empress had sediment in an engine and dragged twice. The problems raised concerns, but didn’t do damage.

This month was better. The port convinced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to raise the water by one foot on its two busiest weekends in September, said Port Manager Wanda Keefer. “Every inch makes a difference.”

The water will be raised another foot starting in October as part of the normal operation of the river, Keefer said.



A time to celebrate

Dawn Feldhaus, September 29, 2016, Camas-Washougal Post-Record

More than 100 people attended the grand opening of a local recreation project that had been several years in the making.

Washougal Waterfront Park and Trail, owned by the Port of Camas-Washougal, opened Sept. 23, at the former Hambleton Lumber Company property at 335 S. “A” St.

Standing behind a lectern decorated by a banner that proclaimed, “It’s our nature to celebrate,” Port Executive Director David Ripp said he had already run on the trail.

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Port of Port Townsend says there is no plan for selling Qulicene Marina

Cydney McFarland, September 27, 2016, Peninsula Daily News

The Port of Port Townsend says that talk of plans to sell the Quilcene Marina is only rumor, but some community members aren’t convinced and nearly 500 people have signed a petition against selling the property.

According to a port statement released Friday, the rumors started because of comments made by port commissioner Peter Hanke and port Executive Director Sam Gibboney at a public workshop meeting Aug. 24 in Quilcene.

The discussion there was focused on issues affecting the Quilcene community — one of which is the Quilcene Marina losing money, according to Eric Toews, director of planning and in-house council for the port.

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Pot coming to the port

Luke Whittaker, September 27, 2016, Chinook Observer

Saturday Market has ended for the year, but the Port of Ilwaco will remain “green” this fall. Freedom Market, a marijuana retailer with sister stores in Kelso and Longview, is set to open the first pot shop on the Peninsula, with a grand opening set for Saturday, Oct. 1.

Shane Shaw, general manager of Freedom Market, announced the opening. Initially an August start was planned, but the date was delayed to allow for more community input.

“The city wanted to make sure the community was OK with it,” said Shaw, “It was a good thing, it just took some time.”

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Darigold reveals plans to purchase 23 acres near Sunnyside plant

Mai Hoang, September 29, 2016, Yakima Herald

Months after completing an expansion of its Sunnyside plant, Darigold is looking into future development.

An executive with the Seattle-based dairy cooperative told the Yakima Herald-Republic Wednesday that Darigold is in the process of purchasing 23 acres right behind its plant at 400 Alexander Road. The property is owned by the Port of Sunnyside.

In an emailed statement, Scott Burleson, Darigold senior vice president of operations, said different options for the property have been considered, but no final plans have been made.

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Waterfront access plan expected by November

Brian Soergel, September 28, 2016, Edmonds

In April, a pedestrian fatality on the railroad tracks in Edmonds shut down access to the Edmonds waterfront for nearly three hours. Police closed both Main and Dayton street crossings. There were two medical emergencies during this time – a pregnant woman and an injured child.

Before the fire department could respond, it was forced to get permission from the railroad before rescuers could climb through a rail car.

And those waiting to load or unload on a ferry? Forget about it. Edmonds’ ferry terminal is the last remaining location in the state where ferry loading is across at-grade train tracks.

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Port of Longview seeks operator for two berths at Bridgeview Terminal

Chris Gillis, September 29, 2016, American Shipper

The Port of Longview along the Columbia River in Washington state is seeking a company to redevelop and operate berths 1 and 2 of its Bridgeview Terminal.

The terminal, which is comprised of 22.5 acres of berth space, rail tracks, storage and existing structures, became available when a long-term lease with a bulk cargo operator expired earlier this year.

“The port is interested in a proposal that offers the best possible use of the site, while considering cargo throughput, job growth, bringing new cargo through the port and overall revenue to the port,” the Longview Port Authority said in its request for proposal statement released Wednesday.

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Go for a spin

Jennifer K. Bauer, September 29, 2016, Lewiston Tribune

What: Riverfest

When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: Granite Lake Park, Clarkston

Cost: Free

With 25 miles of paved trails bordering two rivers, the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley levee system is a magnet for bicyclists.

This weekend’s Riverfest and Rotary Rivers & Ridges Ride will emphasize that fact. The daylong event includes a festival and five different bike rides designed for all ages and abilities.

The goal is to showcase the levees as a place for cycling and family exercise, said Wanda Keefer, manager of the Port of Clarkston, which helps sponsor the event, now in its third year.

Twenty percent of bike riders who visit the levee system are from outside of the community, Keefer said. “We have fabulous shoulder seasons. You can ride a bike here when you’re fighting ice or snow in other locations.”

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Oil-train bans put Northwest economy at risk

Ozzie Knezovich and John Stuhlmiller, September 29, 2016, The Seattle Times

AS representatives of Washington’s law enforcement and agriculture communities, we would encourage a more thoughtful discussion on oil-train bans, one that includes the bigger economic picture for our state’s economy.

No one argues that rail safety must remain a top priority. Working together with the railroads and first responders, we will continue our vigilance in an effort to keep communities safe.

What’s at issue is the very foundation of our economy — trade — and the manner in which the vast majority of our agricultural and aerospace products are transported to foreign and domestic markets: by rail.

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