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 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

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.”

New Head of Long Beach Port Real Estate

By Karen Robes Meeks

Eamonn Killeen will lead the Real Estate Division at the Port of Long Beach, it was announced this week following the approval of his promotion by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.

Killeen, whose appointment takes effect on Dec. 8, began at the port in 2002 as a leasing officer before becoming senior leasing officer in 2009 and assistant director of real estate in 2014. In June, he became the acting director of real estate after the previous director retired.

During his time at the Port of Long Beach, Killeen has secured lease agreements with several Port tenants and coordinated the land acquisition for high-profile projects including the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement and the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility.

In his new role, Killeen will be tasked with creating revenue through port property and facilities leases. He will also be key in enacting environmental policies.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Port of Seattle’s Five-Year Plan

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle Commission’s new 2019 budget and five-year capital investment plan call for $348 million in investment “to maximize the economic and environmental vitality of Seattle’s working waterfront in the face of significant industry changes,” the port stated in a press release.

“This forward-looking budget and five-year plan directly respond to our region’s travel, trade, and logistics needs. We prioritized efficient facilities, environmental investments, and resources to strengthen customer service and community engagement,” said Executive Director Stephen Metruck, who began leading the port in February.

The 2019-2023 plan looks at more than 20 significant maritime and economic development projects to maintain port assets, advance maritime industries, and invest in communities and the environment. Project highlights include:

• $100 million for a new cruise berth;

• $39 million to develop the Terminal 91 uplands;

• $35 million to replace a berth at Terminal 91;

• $30 million toward electrifying the waterfront,

• $23 million for the Fishermen’s Terminal Gateway Building and

• $17 million toward a Terminal 117 habitat restoration program

Through the Northwest Seaport Alliance, the port will spend $340 million to renovate Terminal 5 to better accommodate mega container vessels.

“Our aviation and maritime industries are among this region’s most recognizable and reliable sources of opportunity,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Courtney Gregoire. “This budget and five-year blueprint advances our region’s status as a premier global gateway and makes transformative infrastructure and environmental investments to attract future opportunities consistent with our region’s values.”

Contract Extended Between Chiquita and Hueneme

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Hueneme and longtime produce shipper Chiquita have extended their relationship with a new long-term contract. Chiquita, which began operating at the port in 2004, is a major importer of bananas, which get sent to a distribution facility in downtown Oxnard before making their way to 13 Western states.

“Our company provides direct jobs to the City of Oxnard, in addition to the hundreds of related and induced jobs which include: truck drivers, longshoremen, freight forwarders, stevedores, managers, expeditors, retailers and Ag inspectors,” said Chiquita Oxnard Facility Manager Nives de Luca. “We congratulate the Port of Hueneme on their investments to upgrade the Port’s infrastructure and equipment, allowing the Port to increase productivity and efficiency to better service the growing container trade through this niche port and community.”

Oxnard Harbor District President Mary Anne Rooney echoed those sentiments.

“We are proud to have Chiquita continue to call Port of Hueneme home again as a customer for another eleven years,” she said. “Their investment in our community strengthens the economic opportunity provided to our residents. When they succeed, we all succeed!”

San Diego Boat Launch Pending

By Karen Robes Meeks

According to the Port of San Diego, the Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility Improvement Project is nearing completion. The port expects to grant public access to the boat ramp later this month, while the work on the entire project is expected to be completed in January 2019.

So far, a breakwater wall with 92 piles and 53 concrete wall panels has been completed. Both platforms linking the floating docks are in place and the new concrete ramp and connecting apron are done as well as the installation of floating docks on the eastern portion of the boat launch basin.

Once all improvements are completed, these upgrades will make the ramp safer and easier to navigate. Improvements will add 80 percent more maneuvering area in the basin, lengthening the boarding floats, putting in public docks and public walkways and updating the restroom to ADA standards.

Commissioner Named for Grays Harbor

By Karen Robes Meeks

Tom Quigg will fill the Port of Grays Harbor’s District 2 Commission seat, the port has announced.

Quigg was selected by Commissioners Stan Pinnick and Phil Papac to take over the seat left vacant by Commissioner Jack Thompson, who passed away in October.

“We appreciate all of the highly qualified candidates that applied and truly value their interest in the Port and their enthusiasm and commitment to the future of Grays Harbor,” stated Commission President Stan Pinnick. “We look forward to welcoming Mr. Quigg to the Board and have confidence his business experience, knowledge and dedication will serve the Port and our community well.”

A lifelong Grays Harbor resident, Quigg brings marine construction and real estate experience to the role. He is a commercial and industrial real estate broker with Windermere Real Estate in Aberdeen, Wash., a founding member of the Grays Harbor Shipping Club and a board member of the Grays Harbor Community Foundation.

Quigg will be sworn in on Dec. 11 and will serve until November 2019, when he and others may seek to run for a six-year term on the commission.