Megaload Port Protest

On Wednesday, August 22, at 2:15 pm, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, along with Idaho Governor Butch Otter, U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, and U.S. Senator Jim Risch, will tour the Port of Lewiston dock for about 45 minutes.  Event organizers have invited a group of 50 port customers, entrepreneurs, local elected officials, and reporters.  This rare Idaho visit of a White House Cabinet official, the first since June 2005 in Boise, emphasizes a June $1.3 million federal grant, only one of seven given to ports, and a $600,000 Idaho loan for the $2.9 million expansion next summer of the 125-foot container dock to 275 feet.  But port use for Pacific Coast and overseas shipping of agricultural and wood products through the fish-blocking gauntlet of Snake and Columbia river dams has declined significantly over the last decade, due to evolving market demands and alternative transportation opportunities.  Our purported governmental representatives have believed the port’s grant application misinformation and likely hold at least one overriding pork-barrel objective for the financially failing Port of Lewiston: Alberta tar sands equipment transport through north central Idaho. Continue reading

Anti-Megaload Activists Set Up Secret Headquarters

The environmental activist group Wild Idaho Rising Tide has set up a headquarters in the Moscow area, but is reticent to give its address.  This morning’s Lewiston Tribune reports that the group, which pushed back against megaloads rolling through north-central Idaho on their way to Alberta’s Kearl Oil Sands Project, has decided to open an office to manage its political activism but isn’t ready to share its location.

Read more: Anti-Megaload Activists Set Up Secret Headquarters

(By George Prentice, Boise Weekly)

Transportation Secretary’s Visit is Invitation-Only

A group of about 50 Port of Lewiston customers, local elected officials, and reporters have been asked to attend an invitation-only Wednesday visit of a White House Cabinet official.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will tour the Port of Lewiston port dock at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to a news release issued Monday by the port.

LaHood will be joined by Idaho Governor C.L. (Butch) Otter, U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, and U.S. Senator Jim Risch in an event expected to last about 45 minutes.

Wood products and agriculture entrepreneurs will also be among the guests, said David Doeringsfeld, Lewiston port manager. “It’s not often you get a Cabinet secretary in Lewiston, and we’re pretty excited.”

LaHood will be underlining a June $1.3 million federal grant to the port’s container dock expansion from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Discretionary Grant program, Doeringsfeld said. Continue reading

Megaloads are Gone, but Moscow Activists Aren’t

Helen Yost is a spokeswoman for the activist group Wild Idaho Rising Tide (The Lewiston Tribune/David Johnson photo).

Wild Idaho Rising Tide continues with its objective of being a climate change watchdog group.

The megaloads may be gone, but Wild Idaho Rising Tide – the activist group credited and blamed for forcing oil company infrastructure loads to circumvent this town – remains.

Spokeswoman Helen Yost confirmed Monday that WIRT has established a semi-secret headquarters here for the climate change watchdog organization.

“It’s sort of a headquarters and office as well,” Yost said. “We share the location with our members and folks in the community. But because there can be some backlash against climate activists like us, we aren’t necessarily making that (the address) available to the public.”

Local concerns about potential retaliation, however, didn’t stop Yost from speaking out about big-picture issues, including the state of American politics. Continue reading