Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Coos Bay Rail to See Federal Grant

By Karen Robes Meeks

An effort to rehabilitate 15 bridge structures along the Coos Bay Rail Line will soon receive a significant financial boost.

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay is the recipient of a $20 million US Department of Transportation Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grant, thanks to an award proposal that included 40 letters of support from port stakeholders.

The port-owned rail line stretches 134 miles through Coos, Douglas, and Lane Counties. With a $5 million match from the port, the $25 million project will repair and improve the Coos Bay Swing Span Bridge, the Siuslaw River Swing Span Bridge, the Umpqua Swing Span Bridge, the replacement of the Vaughn Viaduct near Veneta, Coalbank Slough Bridge in Coos Bay, and 10 bridges in Lane County.

“The shippers on the line directly employ close to 1,000 people throughout southwest Oregon with family wage jobs, supporting the economic fabric of our community,” the port said. “These businesses depend on rail as a competitive transportation option while ensuring adequate capacity to move goods to market.”

Redwood City Channel to be Dredged

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Army Corps of Engineers has budgeted $7.95 million toward channel dredging in the Port of Redwood City region in 2019.

“The funding of the channel dredging and federal investment into our region is great news for the Port of Redwood City, providing certainty that the Port continues to secure and expand maritime activities in the future,” said Port Commission chairwoman Lorianna Kastrop.

The Port of Redwood City is South San Francisco Bay’s only deep-water port, and the dredging will help accommodate larger ships.

“This project is significant to the economic health of the Silicon Valley region, notably the construction industry as the Port supplies construction materials to fuel construction needs locally. Additionally, dredging also supports personal water recreation use in and around the Redwood Creek Channel.”

San Pedro Clean Action Plan Meeting

By Karen Robes Meeks

Residents will have an opportunity to hear the latest on the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan 2017 Update on Dec. 19 in Wilmington, Calif.

Staff members from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will discuss the new Clean Truck Program, technology feasibility assessments and technology demonstrations, and information on regulatory developments.

The public will have the chance to weigh in on how the action plan should be enacted.

The meeting is set from 10 a.m. to noon on Dec. 19 at the Banning’s Landing, 100 E. Water St., in Wilmington. For more information, go to www.cleanairactionplan.org.

New Oakland Auditor

By Karen Robes Meeks

Santa Clara County Internal Audit Manager Rebecca Haggerty will be the Port of Oakland’s new Chief Audit Officer.

The Board of Port Commissioners recently appointed Haggerty, who will take over Acting Chief Audit Officer Katherine Buckley, who will go back to being Port Audit Manager.

Haggerty, who will oversee direct operational and financial audits for all port offices, brings longtime accounting and auditing experience to Oakland.

She has worked for Santa Clara County since 1997. Before that, she worked for the cities of Palo Alto and San Jose. In the private sector, she worked as an auditor and accountant at Deloitte in San Jose and Perisho, Tombor, Loomis and Ramirez in Campbell, Calif.

Friday, December 7, 2018

SD Dive Rescue Team Trains in Philippines

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of San Diego Harbor Police Dive Rescue Team members recently completed their second training mission to the Batangas province in the Philippines.

The team presented an eight-day course in Underwater Crime Scene Investigations to members of the Philippine National Police’s Maritime Group, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Philippine Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

According to the port, the team also taught skills that would help public safety divers investigate crime scenes underwater, including how to tag and recover evidence, how to recover victims and how to document crime scenes.

“It was amazing to see the growth and development throughout this course. The participating agencies sent a full complement of their best divers to participate – they were motivated and worked hard,” said Chief Mark Stainbrook, Port of San Diego Harbor Police. “After several excellent meetings with the senior leadership, it is obvious our Philippine partners are committed to developing their internal procedures and training, and we stand ready to continue to assist in the future at the State Department’s request.”

Kalama Invites Public Comment

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public is invited to weigh in on a draft supplemental study that looks at the environmental impacts of the proposed Kalama Methanol Plant.

A public hearing is scheduled for Dec. 13 to comment on the project, which involves Northwest Innovation Works, LLC’s proposed natural gas to methanol production plant and storage facility. The draft study includes “a quantitative analysis of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions attributable to the proposed project on a life-cycle basis,” according the Port of Kalama.

The hearing will take place at the Cowlitz County Event Center, 1900 7th Avenue in Longview, Wash, from 6 to 9 pm.

Can’t make it to the meeting? Submit comments to SEIS@KalamaMFGFacilitySEPA.com or mail them to Ann Farr / SEPA Responsible Official, 110 W Marine Drive, Kalama WA 98625. All comments must be received by 5 p.m. on Dec. 28.

For more, visit https://kalamamfgfacilitysepa.com/.

New Seattle External Relations Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

Pearse Edwards is the new Senior Director of External Relations at the Port of Seattle.

Edwards, who was the port’s Director of Government Relations and had been acting Senior Director of External Affairs, now will manage matters related to “government relations, community engagement, communications, regional transportation, capital project delivery, and the port’s office of social responsibility,” according to the port.

The North Carolina native brings a wealth of experience. He has worked as a policy and political advisor to Governors Gary Locke and Chris Gregoire in Washington State, and Gov. Bev Perdue in North Carolina. Prior to that, he helped privatize state-owned enterprises in his work with the International Finance Corporation in the Russian Federation.

Edwards served as Director of Communications at Microsoft and worked as an account manager at APCO Worldwide in Seattle and GMMB in Washington, D.C. He also held the position of Director of Public Affairs at Capstrat in Raleigh, NC.

“Pearse’s background is perfectly calibrated for the Port’s external relations team, which helps create economic opportunities for our region while ensuring that local businesses and residents benefit from the Port’s investments,” said port Executive Director Stephen Metruck. “His experience in Washington state, Washington, D.C., on policy issues, operating executive offices, and leading public service teams will be a great asset as the Port navigates a dynamic policy environment and advances significant economic and environmental strategies.”