Friday, February 7, 2020

Port of Los Angeles to Rename Street After Late Union Leader, Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Saturday morning, Feb. 8, Los Angeles port, union and community representatives will unveil a new street name honoring the former Los Angeles Harbor Commission Vice President and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) leader Dave Arian. Arian died in January 2019 after battling thyroid cancer.

A part of Miner Street south of 22nd Street in San Pedro, Calif., will be renamed “Dave Arian Way,” after the lifelong San Pedro resident who began working on the Wilmington waterfront when he was 18. He served three terms as president of ILWU Local 13 before becoming, in 1991, international president of the ILWU at age 44. Following his retirement in 2009, he was appointed to the harbor commission in 2010.

Several people are expected to speak at the event, including Port Executive Director Gene Seroka, Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner Diane Middleton, ILWU International President William Adams, ILWU Local 13 President Ray Familathe and Dave Arian’s daughter Justine Arian-Edwards.

Port of Everett Closes on LTGO Bond Sale

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Everett in late January closed on the $26.3 million sale of Limited Tax General Obligation (LTGO) bonds that will go toward newly acquired properties such as the Norton property in north Waterfront Place and the old Kimberly-Clark mill site, the port announced.

The port was able to secure a low 3.08 percent interest rate over the bonds’ 30 years in part because of its strong Aa2 LTGO bond rating. The rating reflects “the port’s sizeable and rapidly growing tax base, its participation in the broad and diverse Puget Sound economy, and adequate financial position to finance its five-year, $103 million Capital Improvement Program,” the port said.

“As committed financial stewards of public funds, this bond sale proved to be an excellent step to support financing for the acquisition of key community and regional assets,” Port of Everett CEO Lisa Lefeber said. “I commend the work of the port’s finance team for their consistent due diligence and monitoring of the market for financial opportunities like these, which are critical elements to responsibly grow our operations and remain competitive.”

Port of Hueneme Earns Business Honors

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Hueneme recently netted the California Green Business Network Certification and the 2020 Outstanding Business Catalyst Award.

The green certification is issued by the EPA-funded and CARB-assisted nonprofit California Green Business Network, which is designed to help public agencies and utilities team up with businesses to exceed environmental standards.

The 2020 Outstanding Business Catalyst Award was bestowed by the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce to honor the port’s impact on the local economy.

“What a great way to begin the New Year! Having both the business and environmental communities recognize the work the port is doing affirms that we truly are leading our community in green job growth.” Jess Ramirez, Oxnard Harbor District President stated,” Our community knows that if the port is involved, the job gets done right and in the greenest way possible.”

Port of Camas-Washougal Receives Funds for Community

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Camas-Washougal recently secured a $216,131 grant and $1.22 million loan from the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) to augment construction at the Steigerwald Commerce Center.

The money will go toward the creation of the center’s 50,000-square-foot Building 20. With an estimated $1 million in private investment, the project is expected to create as many as 80 permanent jobs over the next five years.

"We are grateful and very excited for the opportunity CERB has provided,” said Port Chief Executive Officer Ripp. “The employment opportunities this project creates for the community is what the Port is all about."

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

NWSA Co-Chair Addresses US Senators on Port Infrastructure Funding

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Tacoma commission president and Northwest Seaport Alliance co-chair John McCarthy recently came before the Transportation and Safety Subcommittee of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He urged senators to support more funding for the Port Intermodal Improvement Program, freight formula funds, INFRA and doing away with the multimodal funding cap.

McCarthy’ spoke of the NWSA’s significant role in cargo movement and employment, adding that “nearly 60% of our imports move beyond the region and our exports originate from all 50 states. As the number-two U.S. agricultural port, we are an essential partner to our nation’s farmers.”

“Rapid advancements in freight are driving ports to make significant changes,” he added. “For example, a tripling of the container capacity of ships in the last decade requires billions of dollars in new investment. And improving our port system requires that we also focus outside seaport gates across the U.S. freight networks. Bottlenecks and the cost of fixing them is often beyond the means of the communities where projects are located.”

Port of Oakland Chief Wants Industrial Sanctuary for Port

By Karen Robes Meeks

At his first State of the Port address as Port of Oakland Executive Director, Danny Wan called for the consideration of an industrial sanctuary policy that would preserve industrial land use, transportation and infrastructure in and around the port, and accommodate the transportation, commerce, business and job needs of the region.

“Our leaders recognize the Port of Oakland is an indispensable jobs and economic engine,” said Wan, who took over the top job in November. “Indeed, we are everyone’s port, but being indispensable means, we have to preserve the port.”

Oakland is experiencing unprecedented growth, with downtown development moving at an all-time high and port businesses nearing record levels, the port said.

“Let’s all declare and explain the need for an industrial sanctuary policy and explore the ways that such a policy will be compatible with local and regional planning efforts,” Wan said to the 350 people in attendance. “Let your customers and partners, your neighbors and your community know that the port is for everyone and here to stay for the benefit of all.”

Port of Everett Commissioner Commences Second Term

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Everett Board Commissioner Glen Bachman was recently sworn into his second six-year term in office.

Bachman, who was first appointed in August 2013, represents Port District 3, which includes the waterfront between north and south Everett, parts of the north Mukilteo waterfront to east to the Snohomish River.

“I am honored and humbled that you have placed your trust in me,” Bachman said. “With your trust, I will work tirelessly on your behalf to carry out the Port’s Strategic Plan that develops a balanced waterfront. This is an action that includes public access, public use, economic opportunities, international maritime expansion and environmental stewardship. I will address challenges, and secure lasting and meaningful improvements to your quality of life.”

New General Counsel for Northwest Seaport Alliance

By Karen Robes Meeks

Law veteran Dana Henderson is the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s new general counsel, the organization announced in January.

Henderson will be tasked with advising the port on legal matters and will report to NWSA co-chairs and CEO John Wolfe. Henderson has more than 20 years of experience in public and private practice, including work as a litigator and maritime law practitioner. She earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and graduated from Tulane University School of Law.

Since 2013, Henderson served as general counsel for Pierce Transit, which is considered the second largest public transit agency in the state of Washington.