Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Washington Governor Launches Strategy

By Karen Robes Meeks

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee’s Maritime Blue Strategy kicked off Jan. 8 at Pier 66, where stakeholders met to discuss an effort to grow the regional economy through sustainable innovation by 2050. Leveraging business, academic, port, labor and community partnerships will be key to the strategy’s success.

"I welcome the opportunity to support the development and implementation of Governor Inslee's Maritime Blue Strategy representing the Port of Seattle on the Innovation Advisory Council," said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman, who served as a member of the Maritime Blue Advisory Committee.

“The Port is committed to creating a competitive maritime gateway, based on industry and labor prospering while decreasing their carbon intensity and environmental footprint,” he said. “There is no better region in the nation to lead this effort than the Pacific Northwest where our maritime heritage runs deep and the spirit of innovation is part of our cultural fabric."

The Maritime Blue strategy includes the development of a Maritime Innovation Center, a business incubator space being considered for Fishermen’s Terminal, and a push to bring shore power to maritime facilities.

Nichols to Build High Speed Ferries

By Karen Robes Meeks

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders recently signed a contract with Bremerton, Washington-based Kitsap Transit to design and construct two new high-speed passenger-only ferries, with an option for a third.

The new ferries, which will each carry 250 passengers and 26 bicycles, will augment Kitsap’s Kingston service and add service to Southworth in 2020.

“We really appreciate the opportunity to work with Kitsap Transit on the development and implementation of this new transportation system networking the Olympic Peninsula with Seattle,” said Nichols Brothers CEO Gavin Higgins.

“Using Puget Sound as a water highway to reduce the Seattle metro traffic congestion and expand housing market with very reasonable travel times is a great model for the other counties around Seattle to follow.”

Carnival Long Beach Terminal Wins Award

By Karen Robes Meeks

Carnival Cruise Line’s Long Beach Cruise Terminal was recently named Most Improved Cruise Terminal as part of the Porthole Cruise Magazine’s annual Editor-in-Chief Awards. Winners will be featured in the publication’s January issue.

Editor-in-Chief Bill Panoff picked the winners “based on his personal experiences with various cruise operators throughout the year,” according to the Carnival Cruise press release.

Last year, the Long Beach Cruise Terminal, which Carnival opened in 2003, went through a massive multi-million-dollar makeover that more than doubled the size of the facility housed inside the former Spruce Goose dome. The new 142,000-square-foot facility features a mural of the Sierra Mountain and other natural elements native to California, a starry night sky ceiling and retro 1980s-style arcade games.

“The Long Beach Cruise Terminal has always been a very popular homeport for Carnival Cruise Line, and we could not be more elated to see this stunning facility recognized for its jaw-dropping renovation,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Thousands upon thousands of satisfied guests sail from Long Beach each year, and we can’t wait to welcome the new Carnival Panorama to Southern California later this year.”

Carnival, which runs three year-round ships from Long Beach, is growing operations this year with the new Carnival Panorama joining Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration in December for seven-day Mexican Riviera sailings. This trio is anticipated to carry 600,000 passengers annually from Long Beach, according to Carnival.

Everett Waterfront Hotel to Open in June

By Karen Robes Meeks

The first private development at the Port of Everett’s Waterfront Place Central in Fisherman’s Harbor recently celebrated a milestone on Jan. 9 when the final beam of the new Hotel Indigo was put in place.

Port and local government leaders commemorated the moment by signing the last beam before it was put into position.

Port Commissioners Glen Bachman, Bruce Fingarson and Tom Stiger, Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin and Snohomish County Council Chair Terry Ryan attended the event.

Expected to open in June, the 98,000-square-foot, $36 million Hotel Indigo will feature 142 rooms, over 7,000 square feet of event space, a restaurant, bar, and indoor pool and outdoor plazas.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Hueneme Signs Groundbreaking Labor Agreement

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the first time in its 81-year history, the Port of Hueneme has signed a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) that prioritizes union hiring on projects greater than $250,000 for the next three years.

The Oxnard Harbor District Board of Commissioners inked the PLA in December.

“The port’s priority has always been to hire contractors and labor from our local community, the PLA formalizes this priority and ensures that our projects directly support our local workers and families,” said Oxnard Harbor District President Mary Anne Rooney. “We are eager to continue moving the Port forward as the leading provider of homegrown good-paying jobs, real ladders of economic opportunity, and strong environmental leadership for our community.”

The contract mandates that at least 30 percent of all construction labor hours go to those living in Oxnard and Port Hueneme first, before extending those opportunities to Ventura County residents and then those living in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

The agreement also prioritizes work for veterans through the “Helmets to Hardhats” program.

“Although our cargo comes from all over the world, this agreement guarantees that we will continue to provide economic opportunity for our local workforce first and foremost,” denoted Oxnard Harbor District Board Secretary Jess Ramirez. “Our projects, and the millions of dollars the Port is planning on investing in our community, is now guaranteed to directly support our local families and workers who help us modernize our port.”

Seattle Hires New Diversity Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

Small Business Program and Policy Manager Mian Rice has been elevated to Director of Diversity in Contracting for the Port of Seattle.

"Mian Rice brings over 23 years of public and private sector experience to this position, having managed complex projects in limited time-frames while delivering results,” said Economic Development Division Director, Dave McFadden.

Rice, whose promotion is effective immediately, will be key in the port’s new effort to bolster spending on WMBE contracts by 15 percent and triple the use of women and minority business suppliers over the next five years.

“I look forward to improving opportunities for small and WMBE businesses, to promote diversity in Port contracts, and to provide economic equity across the region,” said Rice. “For me, this is the role my work experience has led me to, and it will be an honor to help others succeed.”

New Longview Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Allan Erickson is the newest member of the Port of Longview Board of Commissioners.

Erickson, who represents the Commission’s 3rd District, was chosen to fill the seat left vacant by former Commissioner Bob Bagaason, who resigned in September after serving since 2007.

“On behalf of the Board, I want to welcome Mr. Erickson to our team,” said Commission President Jeff Wilson. “We look forward to Allan’s participation in continuing the Port’s success.”

A University of Washington graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Erickson worked in the printing industry for more than four decades before retiring and becoming involved in community organizations.

“I am honored to help guide port leadership as we build on the momentum of recent successes,” said Erickson. “One of my goals as commissioner is to work toward building more family-wage jobs for the citizens of the port district.”

Bellingham Native to Lead Port Commission

By Karen Robes Meeks

Bobby Briscoe will serve as president of the Port of Bellingham Board of Commissioners.

The Bellingham native was selected by his colleagues to lead the board in 2019, while Commissioner Ken Bell was chosen to be the Vice President and Michael Shepard the new Secretary.

A fourth-generation fisherman and longtime business owner, Briscoe operates commercial fishing vessels out of Squalicum Harbor and has worked in ports along the West Coast. He was previously the president of the Puget Sound Crab Fisherman Association. Briscoe represents District 3, which encompasses Northwest Whatcom County. His four-year term on the commission ends Dec. 31, 2019.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

New Ops Manager for Cook Inlet Tug & Barge

By Karen Robes Meeks

Foss Project Manager Amber Thomas has been tapped by Foss Maritime Co. independent subsidiary Cook Inlet Tug & Barge as interim Business Operations Manager for Anchorage, Alaska starting Jan. 2, the company announced Friday.

Thomas will oversee administrative and commercial operations, taking the reins on all shoreside matters in Anchorage and Seward.

The Alaskan native will serve in the temporary post while the company conducts its search for a new president. Former CITB president Ben Steven resigned from the top spot in December to work for the Alaska governor’s office.

Thomas brings a lot of relevant experience to the interim position. Before joining Foss in 2015, she was Operations Coordinator for ASRC Energy Services, where she worked with subsidiary US companies such as Petrochem and AES Continental, to troubleshoot and streamline operations. At Foss, she assisted in the Shell offshore drilling venture in the Chukchi Sea and helped manage the Puerto Rico Utility Equipment Projects and the Puerto Rico FEMA accommodations project.

Swantown Marina Recertifies as Clean Marina

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Olympia’s Swantown Marina and Boatyard was recently recertified as a Clean Marina and a Leadership Clean Boatyard by the Clean Marina Washington program.

Established in 2005, the program reviews a marina’s operations and set environmental qualification standards to earn the certification.

Swantown Marina, which first received the Clean Marina certification in 2007 and Leadership Clean Boatyard in 2012, earned a five-star Leadership Clean marina designation this year, the highest rating available.

Clean Boating Foundation Program Manager Adria Lau was “particularly impressed by the high level of environmental safety training that was occurring at Swantown,” which includes an annual half-day oil response drill alongside the Department of Ecology that takes place at the marina.

“I am proud of all the hard work the staff at the marina and boatyard performs on a daily basis to ensure our facilities and operations operate at the highest level of efficiency while also remaining environmentally sustainable,” said Port Harbor Director Bruce Marshall.

This certification comes as the port’s marine terminal became part of the Green Marine environmental certification program, which asks participating terminals to show annual improvement in greening operations.

Chula Vista Port Begins Bike Path Construction

By Karen Robes Meeks

Construction on the Sweetwater Bicycle Path and Promenade project (Sweetwater Pathway), a new multi-use bicycle and pedestrian path for the Chula Vista Bayfront, is expected to break ground this summer, thanks to the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners and the City of Chula Vista, who recently agreed to issue Coastal Development Permits for the project.

“This pathway is a key component of the future Sweetwater and Harbor Parks and is just one of the many public recreational amenities planned for the Chula Vista Bayfront, supporting the Port’s goals of creating a vibrant waterfront destination and a safe and healthy place for all to visit, work and play,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners.

About $4.8 million of the $5.63 million project will be paid for with an Urban Greening Grant awarded to the Port by the California Natural Resources Agency. The Port also added $794,000 through its Capital Improvement Program and the city of Chula Vista chipped in $33,000.

“We appreciate the $4.8 million grant from the California Natural Resources Agency to create this new pathway for bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “With additional funding provided from the Port and the City, the Chula Vista Bayfront will have another amazing amenity for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

“The Sweetwater Pathway will bring the public to areas of the Chula Vista Bayfront that have never before been accessible while also protecting the bayfront’s natural resources and environment,” said Commissioner Ann Moore, Chula Vista’s representative on the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners.

“I look forward to taking a casual stroll and observing the wildlife that visit or call the area home,” she added.

State of the Port of Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka will deliver the 2019 “State of the Port of Los Angeles” address on Jan. 24 at the World Cruise Center in San Pedro.

The event co-hosted by the port and the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association highlight the port’s successes, with Seroka discussing the seaport’s seven lines of business, environmental progress and community development initiatives.

“We are very excited to move into a larger venue for this end-to-end overview of the nation’s number one gateway of containerized trade,” said PMSA Executive Director John McLaurin. “Mr. Seroka is an exceptional leader and always eloquently reviews the breadth and depth of the Port of Los Angeles portfolio and business ecosystem inside a trade gateway that touches 1 in 9 jobs in the five-county region.”

The event will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the Port’s World Cruise Center, located at 100 Swinford Street, Berth 93, San Pedro, CA 90731.

Friday, January 4, 2019

New Olympia Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Former Port of Port Townsend Executive Director Sam Gibboney will lead the Port of Olympia Commission as its new Executive Director.

Gibboney outshone two other finalists for the top job formerly held by Ed Galligan, who served 12 years before resigning.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to lead an organization with such significant economic impact,” said Gibboney. “I look forward to joining the Port of Olympia team and getting to know the Thurston County community.”

At the Port of Port Townsend, Gibboney managed the operations of an 18-acre shipyard, three marinas, an international general aviation airport and a campus of historical buildings.

She joins the port as it implements the Strategic Plan adopted in 2017, which seeks to develop economic opportunities in the region, be an environmental steward, and create and maintain community assets.

“Gibboney will be expected to move the Port toward the ultimate goal: A More Resilient Thurston County,” the port said.

“The Commission strived for a great public servant to lead our organization with transparency and strong values,” said Commission President E.J. Zita. “We are thrilled to have Sam’s experience and leadership as we progress and change.” Gibboney, 57, is expected to start in Olympia on Jan. 22. Her compensation is set at $175,000 a year.

Enhydra Wins Accolades

By Karen Robes Meeks

All American Marine, Inc.’s 128-foot, 600-passenger boat Enhydra earned vessel of the year at the 2018 International WorkBoat Show.

The vessel was constructed for tour company Red and White Fleet at All American Marine’s new 58,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in downtown Bellingham, Wash. It launched at the Squalicum Harbor boat launch.

All American and BAE Systems teamed up to build the Enhydra, currently the biggest lithium-ion battery electric hybrid-powered vessel in North America constructed under USCG Subchapter K certification.

“We are proud to introduce such a large-capacity hybrid technology vessel and working with such great partners such as Red and White Fleet and BAE Systems to develop and build the boat of the future," All American Marine CEO Matt Mullett said. "All American is working to stay at the forefront of the decarbonization movement in the maritime industry, and the lithium-ion hybrid electric propulsion system on the Enhydra is a step in the right direction.”

San Diego Invites Public Comment

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego is inviting the public to weigh in on the future of the Embarcadero area of San Diego’s waterfront. The new survey will help prioritize future amenities.

The data collected will be incorporated into the Port Master Plan Update, a blueprint for developing the 6,000 acres of waterfront property over the next 50 years.

“The port is seeking feedback on the public’s preferred uses for the Embarcadero, specifically the North and Central Embarcadero, because of the great interest both residents and visitors have in this highly visible area,” read the press release issued by the port.

The feedback could include “park space, public art, seating areas, retail and other businesses, and ways of engaging with the bay,” the port said. The survey also asks questions about public parking, driving and other ways of maneuvering around the waterfront.

The survey will be available until Jan. 31 and can be found at https://bit.ly/2PFoyfs.