Port of Tacoma goes back to basics

by Tim Flanagan on June 28, 2010

Bob Simmons has this story at Crosscut:

The fuss over NOAA’s move to Oregon may have quieted down, price but Sen. Maria Cantwell says it isn’t over, at least as far as she’s concerned.

In an uncomfortable exchange with Commerce Secretary (and fellow Washington Democrat) Gary Locke last week, Cantwell hinted that Congress might hold up funds for the agency’s move of a fleet of research ships from Seattle to Newport, Oregon. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is housed in Locke’s department, but Cantwell’s Senate subcommittee oversees its budget.

Cantwell criticized Locke for allowing NOAA to wrap up its own investigation of its own relocation process, while the Commerce Department’s inspector general, Todd Zinser, still has serious questions about that process. In a letter (a pdf file) to NOAA made public by Cantwell’s office, Zinser says the agency should have looked more seriously at sites the federal government already owns in Seattle, where NOAA’s already housed.

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As container traffic withers, gynecologist
Tacoma’s port turns to more traditional means of raising revenue. John Gillie has the story in the Tacoma News Tribune:

When the Port of Tacoma paid Weyerhaeuser Co. $28 million in 2007 for its export log yard at the end of the Hylebos Waterway, Tacoma said goodbye to a business that been part of the business fabric of Pierce County from its earliest days.

Now, the log export business is back as the port scrambles to use assets it acquired when business was booming.

“We’re trying to maximize the use of all of our assets,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President Don Johnson. “We have challenges in restoring our financial health, and we need to generate income from all of the property that we own.”

In the past port officials’ energy was targeted toward high-dollar container development. Now, they’ve turned to more traditional business.

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