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Friday, August 6, 2010

CUT to Move From Long Beach to Los Angeles

As first reported in PMM Online yesterday, California United Terminals will be moving from their home of more than 30 years at the Port of Long Beach to the neighboring Port of Los Angeles sometime around the end of the year.

On Thursday, the Port of Los Angeles governing commission approved an amendment to their lease with APM Terminals Pacific that provides for a CUT sublease of up to 200 acres on the APM property located on the Los Angeles port's Pier 400. According to port documents, the new Los Angeles facility for CUT, though physically on Pier 400, will be known as Pier 500.

The future Los Angeles CUT facility will be located on portions of the nearly 500-acre APM facility on Pier 400 which is home to Maersk. Ironically, Maersk was also a defector from Long Beach, moving to the then-recently completed Pier 400 in the early 2000s.

The current 130-acre CUT terminal in Long Beach is the epicenter of the Long Beach port's ongoing Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project and according to port officials, the CUT operators felt that the facility was no longer a good fit based on construction schedules, land configuration and berthing space limitations.

The CUT terminal in Long Beach, which opened in 1979, currently services calls mainly from Hyundai Merchant Marine as well as APL and MOL. The terminal handled just under 390,000 TEUs last year.

The move came as no surprise to Long Beach officials, who report that they have already been talking with potential replacement customers for the departing CUT.

"The departure of Hyundai Merchant Marine will not impact construction of the Middle Harbor Project," said Port of Long Beach Deputy Executive Director Chris Lytle.

"The Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project was designed to modernize and upgrade aging port infrastructure, regardless of the shipping company leasing the facilities. In fact, the timing of this departure allows us to entertain a variety of leasing opportunities that may ultimately result in a more effective use of this property and shorter construction times."

Lytle said demand for terminal space in Long Beach remains high and that new cargo coming to Long Beach will offset the loss of Hyundai’s trade volume.

"New vessels have or will shortly begin calling at the Port of Long Beach, with an additional 1 million or more TEU’s a year," said Lytle. "At SSA’s Pier A facility alone, the recent addition of two services will result in an additional 550,000 TEUs. Matson’s new China service will add about 234,000 TEU a year."

City Vote on Increased Long Beach Port Transfers Exposes Divisions

The Long Beach City Council on Tuesday agreed to allow city voters in November to decide if the Port of Long Beach should contribute more to city coffers each year.

The amendment to the City Charter would require the port to contribute 5 percent of its annual gross revenue to the city each year. Currently, the port contributes 10 percent of its net earnings. The change could wind up sending millions more to the cash-strapped city each year---at the expense of the Port of Long Beach.

The City Council meeting also offered a rare glimpse of the increasingly fractious relationship between Long Beach City Hall leadership and officials of the city's semi-autonomous Harbor Department charged with overseeing the port’s management. The Port of Long Beach commission consists of five port commissioners who are nominated by the mayor and confirmed by the city council. On Monday, the port commission voted unanimously to oppose the ballot item.

Tuesday's meeting turned contentious when Harbor Commission President Nick Sramek asked the council to reconsider its vote on the charter change. Sramek pointed to more than $300 million dollars the port has transferred directly to City Hall, paid in taxes for city redevelopment, and/or spent on city projects in the past 15 years.

"We have always been a friend of Long Beach," said Sramek, "Especially in times of need."

He then criticized City Hall for not communicating with the port on the transfer issue.

"Mayor Foster, why don't you just call me if the city needs help?" asked Sramek. "You know my number."

Sramek also questioned City Hall's urgency in bringing the ballot item to a vote without a proper vetting; stating that language to the ballot language was still being changed by City Hall the day of the council meeting.

"There has been no discussion on these issues or even back-up material for you to read," said Sramek. "Why are you in such a hurry that you don't take the time to make sure the items are clearly written?"

Sramek went on to opine that the ballot item was simply another way for the city to get money from the highly profitable port.

Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster in turn criticized some port leadership actions since the start of the global economic meltdown in late 2008, including a decision in late 2008 to give port employees raises while other city workers' wages were frozen. He also chastised the commission for not meeting in a timely fashion on the issue with the city auditor--a move Foster perceived as a lack of courtesy to the auditor.

"[The port is] a subset of the city," Foster said, reminding Sramek that the council’s duty was to focus on the interests of the entire city. "[The port is] not an independent entity. [The port] is just one part of the city. The council has a right to look at what is good for the entire population and not just what may be good for one business."

Port commission vice-president Susan Wise also asked the council to hold off on voting for the ballot measure, stating that the measure could tarnish the port's image with its customers as a fiscally secure operation.

"What it looks like from the outside is that the city is taking more money [from the port] off the top and [the city] does not have respect for the port as an economic entity," said Wise. "I think that risks our reputation."

"The image of the port around the world may be important--it may be important to the port and maybe even the port's business conduct--but this is not about that," said Foster. "This is about the relationship between the city and the port...and that relationship needs to be strengthened."

Foster reiterated his criticism of the commissioners for not meeting with the city auditor. "I don't understand that," said Foster. "This is just a different method of calculating this. No one is trying to gouge the port or do anything untoward to the port."

City Attorney Bob Shannon also blasted Sramek and the other commissioners for refusing to meet with the city auditor prior to Tuesday's vote to discuss the possible charter amendment.

According to Shannon, in response to a request by the auditor to schedule a meeting with the commission, Sramek sent a letter to the City Attorney's office stating his belief that a meeting between the commission and the city auditor may violate state open meeting laws. Shannon went on to say: "I indicated to [Sramek] that in my opinion [such a meeting] was not a violation”.

According to Shannon, Sramek then demanded this opinion be provided to the port commission in writing with legal citations supporting the city attorney’s position. "That is an 'us' versus 'them,' and that is a dysfunctional position to take," responded the clearly irritated Shannon.

Sramek countered that he was told by an attorney that meeting with the auditor could be an open meetings law violation and was merely seeking clarification.

Shannon’s retort was heated: "Who told you that? Was it your attorney? Look at the portion of the [City] Charter that says I am your sole and exclusive legal adviser."

After the mayor called for calm in the chambers, Sramek explained that once the city attorney confirmed there would be no violation he immediately told the other commissioners to meet with the city auditor.

"You refused to meet with [the auditor] without staff [present], didn't you?" challenged Shannon.

"No, no, no," exclaimed Sramek. "That's a lie. That is a lie."

In an apparent attempt to defuse the situation, Mayor Foster offered that Shannon's dialogue with Sramek may have been a misunderstanding. Sramek took exception to this, and brief verbal sparring ensued between the mayor and Sramek before Sramek stepped down from the podium.

Michele Grubbs, vice-president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, also spoke, raising concerns about the financial burden the change in the transfer calculation would place on the port and how this may affect future port business decisions.

Don Wylie, senior vice-president of terminal operator Ports America, also raised concerns about the transfer issue during a time of growing competition from other ports.

"In order for the [Long Beach] port to remain competitive, they must have the funds to develop infrastructure," said Wylie. "If the port is not allowed to continue to invest in infrastructure, then it is going to lose its competitive edge and all the jobs that go with it."

Foster took issue the idea of the increased transfer have a negative impact on the development of the port, stating that "even if we were talking about $2 or $3 million, this is nowhere near the significance" of other port capital projects.

"Let's not use scare tactics about the port's competitiveness," said Foster. "This isn't going to make the port less competitive and it isn't going to touch the port's ability to invest in itself. This is not about investing in the port; this is about a culture that needs to change."

Several other council members expressed a sense of surprise at the back and forth before the item went to a vote.

Council member Suja Lowenthal said she was stunned to hear the comments of the commissioners, adding that she was deeply disturbed "by the disdain" afforded by the port to the city auditor.

Despite the rancor, the ballot item passed 7-1, with Patrick O’Donnell dissenting and James Johnson absent.

In addition to changing the terms of the financial transfer the ballot measure will also ask voters to change separate charter language related to control of oil production property in the port area.

The charter change would strip the port commission of its power to control oil production within the port area and transfer this authority directly to City Hall.

It remains unclear whether City Hall will directly collect the revenue from port-area oil properties if the ballot measure is passed in November. In 2008, when oil prices were high, revenue from oil production in the port-area brought in more than $30 million to the port.

Grays Harbor Port Secures More Rail Funds

The Port of Grays Harbor has secured another $4 million toward their goal of raising more than $15 million to construct additional rail storage tracks at the port's marine terminal complex.

The port is seeking to build the rail system to handle the thousands of automobiles and nearly one million tons of domestic agricultural and liquid bulk products which move through the port each year.

The rail project, known as the Pacific Northwest Coastal Export Corridor Rail Improvements project, will also increase cargo handling capacity at the port, which according to port officials, would result in additional export and import trade volumes projected to reach more than $1 billion in value by 2015.

Port officials have said that the main challenge for the project is securing funding.

Senior Washington state Sen. Patty Murray, Chair of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Subcommittee recently announced that the Port of Grays Harbor would receive $2 million for the construction of auto terminal rail tracks to handle the port's growing volume of auto exports.

Murray's news followed on the heels of an announcement that the port would receive a $2 million interest-free loan from the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board for Phase 1 of rail improvements.

“President Obama has emphasized that increasing American exports is vital to stimulating our national economy and the Port of Grays Harbor is positioned to play a major role for American exports, but rail is critical to our customers’ and our community’s growth,” said Port of Grays Harbor Executive Director Gary Nelson. “Senator Murray’s announcement, and the commitment of the CERB financing, means we are on track to construct the additional rail needed to meet today’s demand and accommodate future cargo growth. This news has positive short-term and long-term impacts.”

Port officials will next apply for United Sates Department of Transportation TIGER II funds for the remaining funding required for build out of the rail project.

President Approves $50M for Guam Port Upgrades

President Barack Obama has signed into law federal appropriations providing $50 million to kick off a major upgrade program at Guam's commercial port.

President Obama, on Thursday, signed into law the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010. In addition to providing additional funding for U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, the measure also contains language authorizing the Department of Defense to transfer the $50 million for operations and maintenance to the Port Authority of Guam's Improvement Enterprise Fund. The funds will be administered by the U.S. Transportation Department's Maritime Administration, or MARAD.

"The $50 million in port infrastructure funding will immediately benefit the Port of Guam by allowing them to proceed with modernization and infrastructure improvement projects," said Guam Congressional Delegate Madeleine Bordallo in a statement.

The Port Authority of Guam has cited the federal funding as critical to kick-starting a $200 million plan to upgrade the island's commercial port infrastructure needed to meet anticipated increases in cargo from an impending relocation of U.S. military operations on the Japanese island of Okinawa to Guam. The military buildup will see more than 8,000 Marines, their operations and more than 9,000 military dependents shift from Okinawa to Guam by 2014. The buildup is set to begin later this year.

The island's port authority and government had failed in several previous attempts to secure initial funding for the port upgrades.

The Port Authority also plans to use the $50 million in federal funding to secure an additional $50 million loan for port upgrades from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Key City Councilmember Supports Los Angeles Port Shipyard Re-Use Plan

The more than year-long effort by a Long Beach-based firm to redevelop an abandoned Port of Los Angeles shipyard into a modern ship repair facility has received the vocal support of at least one Los Angeles City Hall official--Councilmember Janice Hahn.

Though many industry insiders and port officials scoff at the plan, Hahn wrote an op-ed piece for the port-area Torrance Daily Breeze newspaper last week in which she supported the Gambol Industries proposal to invest $50 million in redeveloping the former Southwest Marine shipyard, located along the port's main channel.

Hahn, daughter of famous City Councilmember Kenneth Hahn and brother of former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn, represents the port area. She also chairs the City Council's Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee, which oversees the Port of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles International Airport and the city's Convention & Visitors Bureau. The Los Angeles port, like the neighboring Port of Long Beach, is owned by the state but operated and managed in trust by a semi-autonomous city department.

According to Hahn, her support of the Gambol ship facility plan comes down to its promise to create jobs.

"Gambol wants to invest $50 million private dollars to bring a green, union [staffed], state-of-the art shipyard at the vacant Southwest Marine site, which could generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue. This is a difficult prospect for any of us to pass up. And to be clear, it will not cost any taxpayer or public dollars," she wrote.

Gambol commissioned The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. (LAEDC), a local economic think-tank, to study their proposal. LAEDC found that the Gambol facility would be "a welcome addition to a city that has struggled to create employment opportunities for its growing population."

The LAEDC estimated that "When the [Gambol] shipyard reaches full capacity, it [could] generate total annual economic activity of over $219 million and sustain 2,040 full-time jobs in Los Angeles County with [payroll] earnings of $79 million."

Hahn also wrote in her editorial that preserving the historical use of the shuttered shipyard was an important goal, both economically and environmentally. She pointed out that "of the top 25 ports in the world, Los Angeles and Long Beach are the only ones without a major ship building and repair facility. Large ships have to travel to San Diego or Seattle for maintenance and major repairs, which generates additional diesel pollution, and sends the jobs there, instead of keeping them here in Los Angeles."

Hahn urged the Los Angeles port commissioners to support the Gambol plan.

On Monday, the port commission spent more than four hours debating the Gambol plan, deciding at the end to postpone further discussion until Aug. 19.

The port wants to fill areas around the shuttered Southwest Marine facility with sediments from an impending $96 million Army Corps of Engineers project to dredge the port's main channel. Port officials have cited possible delays to the dredging project--which could impact the ongoing redevelopment of two marine terminals--and the lack of a viable business plan from Gambol as reasons for not moving forward with the shipyard re-use plan.

For its part, Gambol claims to have come up with a way to provide enough of the shuttered facility for the dredging sediment while still retaining enough waterfront area to operate the facility as a shipyard.

Long Beach Port Bridge Replacement Approaching Reality

The nearly decade-long effort by the Port of Long Beach to replace a deteriorating late-1960s-era bridge that is a key egress point for many of the port's marine terminals took a major step forward last week with the release of the final environmental impact report for construction of a $1.13 billion replacement bridge.

Opened in 1968, the existing Gerald Desmond Bridge connects Terminal Island with downtown Long Beach and serves as a major commuter route into the city heart. It also provides access to the southern end of the Long Beach Freeway, the primary route for trucks hauling cargo to and from both the Long Beach and neighboring Los Angeles ports. According to Long Beach port officials, about 15 percent of the nation's goods travel over the bridge each year. Approximately 25 percent of the 58,000 to 68,000 vehicles which traverse the bridge each day are trucks servicing the two ports.

Originally designed to last between 40 and 50 years, the steel and concrete Gerald Desmond Bridge is reaching the end of its useful life, and has been deteriorating more rapidly in the last decade.

The bridge is susceptible to ‘spalling’ a phenomenon that results from rusting rebar that causes cement to flake off the structure.

Concrete falls off the underside of the bridge so regularly that port officials were forced to install two nets—first in 2001 and then in 2004. Referred to by locals as a diaper, the nets catch the pieces of falling concrete—some pieces as large as baseballs.

In late-2003, the California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, found the bridge to be in such poor shape that it gave the structure a sufficiency rating of 54.3 out of a possible 100 points, just above the 50.0 rating that typically moves the bridge into the "to be replaced" category (and by coincidence the same rating given the Minneapolis roadway bridge which collapsed in 2007). Despite state and local officials claims that the bridge remains safe for traffic, the Caltrans rating for the Gerald Desmond Bridge has fallen since 2003 to 48 points out of 100. The national average rating for high-traffic bridges like the Gerald Desmond is 85 points. A recent $1 million upgrade raised the Caltrans rating of the existing bridge's road deck from "critical condition" to "satisfactory," despite the ongoing issue of underside spalling.

The existing bridge, which spans the port's main channel, also has limited road deck capacity and is not tall enough to allow passage of the largest container vessels to the back-channel area's of the port.

The replacement bridge, if built, will address both the capacity and height issues.

"The [existing] bridge is obsolete and deteriorating," said Port Executive Director Richard Steinke. “The new bridge will add lanes for improved traffic flow and dedicated safety lanes to keep traffic moving if there’s a breakdown or accident.”

The new bridge would have three traffic lanes plus emergency lanes in both directions, compared to the two lanes in each direction on the existing bridge (note: in the 2000s, the port added an extra approach lane in each direction but each merge before the apex of the span into two lanes on the downside in each direction). The span of the new bridge would also offer a 200-foot mean high water level clearance underneath, as opposed to the 156-foot MHWL clearance of the existing bridge, to allow for the newest generation of cargo ships to pass underneath.

The replacement project is expected to face an approval vote at the Aug. 9 meeting of the port governing board. Port officials also plan to begin meeting with potential project contractors on Aug. 10 about the possibility of utilizing the "design-build" process to accelerate the construction of the new bridge.

When first conceptualized in the early 2000s, the replacement bridge was estimated to cost $350 million, a cost which has nearly tripled during the development of several proposed replacement plans.

The replacement bridge will be funded by a combination of federal and state funds, with the port providing between 10 percent and 15 percent of the total cost in what port officials call "matching funds."

Of the total $1.13 billion in estimated costs for the replacement project, about $652 million from various sources have been earmarked, including: $318 million from federal sources, $250 million in state funding, $29 million from Los Angeles County sources, and $55 million from port funds. According to port documents, just under $474 million in federal funds have yet to be identified.

Plans call for the new bridge, when completed, to be turned over to Caltrans as a state asset where it will become part of the state highway system.

Oakland Gantry Cranes Head for Second Life In Boston

Two low-profile gantry cranes which once handled cargo at the Port of Oakland left the Bay Area on Monday headed for the Massachusetts Port Authority.

A barge carrying the 1,200-ton 12-story tall steel cranes is expected to take about a month to make the 6,300 mile trip to the Port of Boston via the Panama Canal.

The Kocks low-profile cranes, which are almost 200 feet shorter that typical folding-boom gantry cranes, were used at the Oakland port's Evergreen terminal to address flight path safety issues when the nearby Alameda Naval Air Station was in service. The air base was closed in 1997.

In March, the port replaced the Kocks cranes with more modern Super Post-Panamax folding-boom cranes built by ZPMC in China.

Boston's Conley Container Terminal needs the cranes due to similar air traffic issues with nearby Boston Logan International Airport.

“We are pleased that our low-profile container cranes are going to be put to good use at Massport," said Port of Oakland Maritime Director James Kwon. "This demonstrates how the port industry is making conscious decisions for the environment whenever possible. With the re-use of these cranes, we are reducing waste and saving resources, and Massport gets cranes that are ready to put in service.”

House Bill Introduced to Amend FMCA Federal Preemption

New York Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler has introduced a bill which seeks to change language in the Federal Motor Carrier Act allowing local port authorities to set environmental standards above federal standards and thus preempt federal de-regulation laws regarding trucking.

Co-sponsored by 57 other representatives, the bill would amend the FMCA to "allow ports to set the standards needed to replace diesel trucks with clean diesel and alternative energy vehicles in order to reduce pollution," according to a statement released by Rep. Nadler.

Proponents of the Port of Los Angeles' Clean Trucks Program have been lobbying for the changes to federal law since a federal judge held up portions of the port's trucking plan citing the federal preemption language in the FMCA. The Port of Los Angeles has spent nearly $350,000 lobbying to get the FMCA language changed.

In addition to setting environmental standards, the Los Angeles plan includes requirements that all truck drivers serving the port be employees of trucking firms. A federal judge issued an injunction against this portion of the port plan, holding that the employee-only provision violated FMCA language which gives the federal government authority over interstate trucking.

The Los Angeles truck plan, in place since Oct. 2008, has been implemented without the disputed provisions. A final decision on the legality of these provisions is expected from the same federal judge in the near future.

Currently, more than 80 percent of all drivers serving the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are independent owner-operators.

Opponents of the Los Angeles plan have raised the specter that such changes to federal law would create a situation where truckers are required to obtain multiple licenses and permits to operate in each local authority surrounding ports--akin to pre-deregulation trucks having to display a multitude of state license plates.

Since 2008, the Los Angeles plan--in conjunction with a similar plan in Long Beach (with no employee provision)--has resulted in the elimination of more than 80 percent of diesel truck emissions from the two ports' drayage fleet, according to the two ports. It should be noted that both ports also saw dramatic declines in cargo traffic during that time which also accounts for the decrease in emissions.

Fidley Watch - Flotsam

USCG Funding
The opinion piece by Clay Maitland on page 46 of this issue notes that theUS Coast Guard is the only uniformed service not exempted from the Obama administration’s ‘spending freeze.’ All current branches of the US military deserve to be fully funded – not the least of which is the agency in charge of maritime safety, maritime security, maritime mobility, national defense and protection of our natural resources – surely ahead of dubious pork-barrel social programs.

Heat Sink
When soldering transistors or diodes to an electronic circuit board, one attaches a temporary ‘heat sink’– usually a finned block of aluminum, to draw the heat of the soldering iron away from sensitive components. BP’s Tony Hayward fits the bill. A more continental title would be ‘whipping boy’– a young boy who was assigned to a prince and was punished when the prince misbehaved or fell behind in his schooling.

Either way, poor Tony is being cast adrift after having borne the brunt of American ire during the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

On May 27th, President Obama claimed responsibility for the mess: “In case you’re wondering who’s responsible, I take responsibility. It is my job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down.”

A week later, he promised, “If laws were broken, leading to death and destruction, my solemn pledge is, we will bring those responsible to justice.”

Nonetheless, at press time Tony Hayward, heat sink/whipping boy, was facing dismissal and a paltry severance package of  15 million, or US$19.5 million. Not bad for barely three months of abuse.

Skimmers for the Gulf
The ‘damn hole’ is apparently plugged, at press time, but there is a big cleanup job ahead in the Gulf of Mexico. Not surprisingly, expertise and equipment to deal with the spill are being sought on the West Coast. The US West Coast has been at the center of oil spill expertise since 1989, when the Exxon Valdez changed the face of the maritime industry, and companies like Kvichak Marine Industries, which specializes in aluminum fast ferries, pilot boats and research vessels, have also become experts in the field of marine oil spill response.

Kvichak has been asked to build 30 skimmers for the Gulf, equipped with Kvichak/Marco Filterbelt oil and debris recovery systems.

The company has already sent two of the boats south, and 28 more will be built at a rate of three a week.

A crew of four can operate the skimmers in 15 feet of water or less, and under optimal conditions can pick up 1,000 barrels of oil a day. The skimmers cost between $300,000 and $400,000 each, meaning the 30 boats could bring about $10 million in sales to the Seattle company. It pays to specialize.

Like Oil Upon Troubled Waters
The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) won’t take enforcement action against Asiana Airlines after one of its jets had to jettison roughly 5,000 gallons of fuel over Puget Sound during an emergency shortly after takeoff from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on April 29, 2009.

Because the fuel release occurred as part of an emergency operation to safely land the plane and save lives, Ecology won’t levy penalties or fines. On the other hand, the tugboat company that spilled TWO GALLONS of diesel during a refueling accident wasn’t so lucky.

Ecology has fined a local Seattle company $15,500 for an April 13, 2009 spill of two gallons of diesel fuel to the East Waterway off Harbor Island in Seattle.

According to the State, the incident involved crew inattention during a fuel transfer between two tug boats. $7,750 per gallon. Tony Hayward got off lucky.

Cap’n Trade
The Climate Bill has been tabled, as US Senate leaders took the controversial ‘cap and trade’ energy bill off the docket last month. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will bring a limited package of oil spill response and energy measures to the floor early this month, delaying action until at least this fall on a broader proposal that would impose greenhouse gas limits on power plants, according to senior Senate Democratic aides. According to Washington insider online journal The Hill, aides insist Reid’s decision is a nod to the packed floor schedule the Senate faces before it leaves in two weeks for the August recess, and that he has not abandoned plans to try and bring up a broader climate and energy plan later in the
year.

James Taylor, senior fellow for Environment Policy at The Heartland Institute, believes the senators initially supporting cap-and-trade felt the public backlash. “What it shows is that our elected representatives fear their constituents more than they do the party leadership,” he says, “and that’s a good thing.”

Nevertheless, many believe the failure of Congress to pass climate change legislation will just lead to the imposition of similar carbon-dioxide restrictions by the Environmental Protection Agency, bypassing transparency, accountability and any possibility of checks and balances.

Aloha
We would be remiss if we passed up the opportunity to mention the recent congregation of long-time maritime industry professionals at Saint Anne’s Catholic Church, at the top of Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, who gathered to swap stories, anecdotes and fond memories of ZF Marine’s Tom Katica. Given the opportunity, Tom would have stolen the show. Fair winds and following seas, Tom.

Chris Philips, Managing Editor