Friday, December 8, 2017

Oakland’s International Maritime Center
Lease Renewed

By Karen Robes Meeks

The nearly 5,000 sailors who arrive at the Port of Oakland annually on container ships will continue to have Oakland’s International Maritime Center as a safe place to rest, thanks to the Port Commissioners’ recent decision to extend for the next five years its rent-free lease with the Center.

The lease encompasses 0.2 acres of land near Ben E. Nutter marine terminal. The operators of the International Maritime Center own the building.

The center is a resource for visiting sailors, offering shopping excursions, a place to play billiards and other recreation activities as well as spiritual care through the Seafarers Ministry of the Golden Gate, Apostleship of the Sea, Korean Presbyterian, and others.

“Our role is to recognize and appreciate the contributions of seafarers and shipping to the Bay Area,” International Maritime Center Director John Claassen said. “We provide a safe space for the seafarers and the Port community to just take a break.”

Kalama Marina Construction

By Karen Robes Meeks

Marina construction at the Port of Kalama is expected to start early next year.

“The floats at the boat launch, fuel dock, and existing guest dock will be replaced along with the main walkway floats in the marina,” said Recreation Administrator Paul Morin. “In addition, there will be utility and gangway/ADA upgrades. The grant from the [Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office] will help offset the costs for renovating the boat launch and existing guest dock.”

New fuel systems and utilities will also be installed, steel will replace the wood pilings. Potable water lines will be replaced, and the water system will be graded for emergency response.

Boat Houses A and B will see power boosted from 30 to 50 amps, while Houses C and I will go from 20 to 30 amps. The south end of the marina will also be ADA accessible. The wailer boards on the outside slips that keep the floats together will be replaced.

Long Beach Considers Air Draft Issues

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners will consider on December 11 an environmental impact report that studies a Southern California Edison proposal to remove and raise its current transmission and telecommunication lines so ships can move safely in the Inner Harbor.

The project would involve taking out a section of the existing transmission line and raising other segments of transmission and telecommunication lines as well as supporting transmission structures that cross the Cerritos Channel at Piers A and S.

The transmission lines and associated towers, which are currently 155 feet above water, will need to be at least 205 feet to avoid navigation issues. The new span being built to replace the Gerald Desmond Bridge will also be 205 feet above the port's Back Channel.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. at the Port Interim Administrative Offices, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive in Long Beach. The report can be found at The public can also submit comments via email at

Port of Los Angeles Master Plan Public Meeting

By Karen Robes Meeks

The public can weigh in on a completed draft amendment of the Port of Los Angeles’ Master Plan.

According to the port, the amendment includes a proposed map change to Planning Area 1 that adds maritime support to the commercial area at Berth 73A, the institutional area near the municipal fish market (Canetti’s building), and the proposed Jankovich barge area at B51.

A hearing will take place at 8:30 a.m. on December 14 at the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners meeting at the Los Angeles Harbor Department Administration Building, 425 S. Palos Verdes Street, San Pedro.

Comments can also be sent by December 14 to the port’s Planning and Strategy Division, 425 S. Palos Verdes Street, San Pedro, CA 90731 or emailed to

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Space for New Business at Port of Olympia

By Karen Robes Meeks

Small and budding entrepreneurs will get the chance to develop and grow in Thurston County, thanks to an interlocal agreement recently struck by the Port of Olympia and the city of Lacey.

The agreement allows for entrepreneurs and new businesses to have entry-level tenant space in the Lacey Gateway area to nurture and expand their enterprises and connect them to resources such as the Lacey MakerSpace, South Puget Sound Community College Center for Business and Innovation, and Saint Martin’s University.

“This is a big step in the Port’s renewed focus on creating economic opportunities for small and emerging businesses that want to grow and contribute to a prosperous Thurston County,” said Port Commissioner Joe Downing.

In the coming months, the port and city will put together a market analysis to identify potential tenants and design improvements needed to accommodate future tenants. The port will be in charge of the study and future operations at the space; the city will contribute funds for the market analysis and improvements to the space.

Long Beach Community Health Grants

By Karen Robes Meeks

Long Beach programs that help those dealing with respiratory and cardiopulmonary issues will be receiving a financial boost from the Port of Long Beach.

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners recently voted to give $3 million from the port’s Community Grants Program toward the effort.

Recipients include:

St. Mary Medical Center for its Respiratory Rescue Program, which offers mobile health screenings, education and home visits;

The Children’s Clinic for Breathe Better Together;

MemorialCare Medical Center Foundation for its Community Health Worker Asthma Intervention Program;

City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services for its Cambodian Community Asthma Management Program; and

California Aquatic Therapy and Wellness Center for its Respiratory Health Improvement Program. “The Port considers itself a part of this community, and we listen to our neighbors. The grants program was created in direct response to the community’s advocacy,” said Harbor Commission Vice President Tracy Egoscue. “This kind of targeted help to our neighbors was exactly what we envisioned when we started the Community Grants Program. We’re honored to help fund these projects to improve community health.”

LA Port Wins Globalization Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Los Angeles’ Trade Connect Program was recently honored with the Responding to Globalization award at the seventh annual Orange County Business School’s Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Awards.

The awards took place Nov. 16 and were sponsored by JP Morgan Chase & Co. and spotlights those that have enacted policies and programs that foster job creation and remove barriers that hinder economic growth.

The port’s Trade Connect Program was created to help educate firms, create jobs and nurture more trade flow in Southern California through seminars. The program has garnered various awards, including a pair of Presidential "E Awards,” considered the county’s highest export trade honor.

Bellingham Prioritizes Infrastructure

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Bellingham’s recently approved $58 million budget for 2018 prioritizes investments in infrastructure, environmental cleanup, the downtown waterfront and economic development. The port’s fiscal plan includes:

More than $7 million invested into Bellingham Shipping Terminal for large equipment, power upgrades and main pier improvements;

$2.6 million toward a new commercial fishing web house in Blaine and the removal of the current web house to improve the layout of Blaine Marine Industrial Park;

$12.5 million to clean up historic contamination at Fairhaven Shipyard, improve marine habitat and modernize aging infrastructure; and

More than $1 million in new infrastructure to continue supporting the Waterfront District. Next year, the port also plans to support the Fairhaven Quiet Zone and curb train horn noise by upgrading the railroad crossings at Harris Avenue, the Alaska Ferry access road, and in Fairhaven Marine Industrial Park.