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ER letter: Correcting some misconceptions about shipping and maritime industry
Friday 4 Apr 2008, 07:56
Filed under: Humboldt | Tags:

Dear Editor,

Douglas B. Jackson’s recent letter needs correcting.

Reference was made to “other ports.” I agree that other ports along the West Coast are handling varied cargo — and very well. Also, other areas along the West Coast are providing recreational areas, trails, and tourist attractions — very well. With the price of gasoline increasing, we may be well-advised not to waste public monies duplicating any of those efforts.

However, since the maritime industry is the only one growing in the United States, perhaps we could better be prepared to handle that increase by improving our dilapidated docks, especially when other ports are asking us to do so.

Your reference to the “lockout/strike” is fiction. The fact is, there were no waterfront strikes on the entire West Coast during 2002. The actual “lockout” (an employer locks its doors) lasted 10 days. The last longshore strike on the West Coast was in 1971; it lasted 128 days. That was 37 years ago.

How a vote in Panama had anything to do with our little port here is a big stretch. Fortunately, the Port of Humboldt Bay has qualified, efficient workers who can presently discharge a variety of cargo — containers (with ship’s gear), break-bulk, liquid, and neo-bulk; no special facilities required. All of this is fairly routine, except for neo-bulk.

Why would you ask a “planner” a shipping industry question? There are plenty of people associated with the shipping industry locally to ask questions of — and could give you an accurate answer.

Charles Ollivier
Former member, Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation & Conservation District
McKinleyville

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