Protesters Object to Tax Dollars Funding the Port of Lewiston

A group of protesters crowded the entrance to the Port of Lewiston Wednesday, chanting and holding up signs in outrage regarding a recent port grant.

Protesters said their anger is directed toward the federal government, who granted the port $1.3 million for the inland port improvement on the Columbia/Snake River System.  Protestors said spending millions of taxpayer dollars for a port that’s not producing jobs or enough shipments is a substantial waste of money.

“The port continues to prove that it is not a job maker and it is in fact a money loser,” said protester Brett Haverstick.  “Even from a common person’s perspective, dock extension makes no sense.  Where is the business?”

Protesters also showed their disapproval of the grant, voicing their concerns about more megaload traffic and the negative impact it inflicts on the environment.  The activists also provided onlookers with informational sheets explaining why they believe the Port of Lewiston extension is a bad idea.

See the video at: Protesters Object to Tax Dollars Funding the Port of Lewiston

(By Whitney Hise, KLEW TV Lewiston)

Transportation Secretary Met By Cheers, Jeers at Lewiston Port

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood traveled up to central Idaho late Wednesday to promote river traffic after spending some time in Boise earlier in the day promoting light rail.

While in Lewiston, LaHood was thanked by local officials, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, and Republican Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch for $1.3 million in federal funding to expand the Port of Lewiston’s container dock.  Paper and agricultural products are shipped from the dock to Portland, Oregon, and on to Pacific Rim destinations.

This morning’s Lewiston Tribune reports that LaHood was also met by a half-dozen protesters from the Wild Idaho Rising Tide activist organization.  They disagreed with using more federal dollars at the port, calling it a “taxpayer hoax.”

Read more: Transportation Secretary Met By Cheers, Jeers at Lewiston Port

(By George Prentice, Boise Weekly)

Lewiston Port Project Draws Cabinet Visit

Idaho Senator James Risch, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Idaho Governor C.L. (Butch) Otter, and Idaho Senator Mike Crapo were at the Port of Lewiston Wednesday to promote the expansion of cargo traffic through the port (The Lewiston Tribune/Barry Kough photo).

A group called Wild Idaho Rising Tide protested Wednesday during a visit by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at the Port of Lewiston (The Lewiston Tribune/Barry Kough photo).

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood hears about effect of $1.3 million dock extension grant

The area’s elected officials got a rare chance Wednesday to thank a Cabinet official on their home turf for the $1.3 million his agency gave to an expansion of the Port of Lewiston’s container dock.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood toured the dock that stands in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley, one of the few U.S. communities of about 50,000 that’s more than an hour away from a multi-lane interstate highway.

LaHood answered media questions and heard praise of the grant from Idaho’s governor, senators, and the port president.

The port received a $1.3 million grant in June from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Discretionary Grant program. The money will help the port add 150 feet to its 120-foot container dock, which handles paper and agricultural products. The goods are barged to Portland, Oregon, then transferred to bigger vessels to be shipped overseas. Continue reading