Protesters Oppose Port of Lewiston Expansion as Transportation Secretary LaHood Visits

State to Pay Fired ITD Director Pam Lowe $750,000 and Protesters Oppose Port of Lewiston Expansion as Transportation Secretary LaHood Visits between 18:30 and 4:30 on the Wednesday, August 22, KRFP Radio Free Moscow Evening Report, Port Expansion Opposed

Megaload Port Protest 8-22-12

Members of Friends of the Clearwater, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Northern Rockies Earth First!, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide protest the federally funded, proposed expansion of the container dock at the Port of Lewiston, Idaho, likely to accommodate tar sands equipment shipments, as U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood tours port facilities on Wednesday afternoon, August 22, with Idaho Governor Butch Otter, U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, and 50 invited port customers, entrepreneurs, local elected officials, and reporters.

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

Coal Export Action 8-18-12

Thanks to the amazing work of Blue Skies Campaign and hundreds of our fellow climate activists from 16 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, the August 12 to 18 and 20 Coal Export Action raised awareness and staged multiple actions against coal extraction and export in Montana and across the Northwest.  Wild Idaho Rising Tide participated in a Helena Farmers Market demonstration, Montana Capitol teach-in and group photos, and Montana Rail Link coal train rally and photos on Saturday, August 18.  But this is only the beginning, King Coal…

(All photos by Steve Liptay except the first by Helen Yost)

Climate Justice Forum: Crystal Lameman & Lowell Chandler 8-20-12

On Wild Idaho Rising Tide’s (WIRT) Monday, August 20, Climate Justice Forum radio program, we welcome Crystal Lameman, a Beaver Lake Cree First Nation activist and the Peace River tar sands campaigner for the Indigenous Environmental Network in Alberta, talking about current indigenous lawsuits against the Canadian provincial and federal governments and efforts to restore Native treaty rights and stop Alberta tar sands exploitation.  Blue Skies Campaign organizer and spokesperson Lowell Chandler of Missoula, Montana, describes August 12 to 20 Coal Export Action protests and activities at the Montana Capitol and in Helena as well as recent issue updates.  Broadcast on KRFP Radio Free Moscow between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PDT live at 92.5 FM and online, the show also covers continent-wide climate activism news.  Listen to an edited recording of the August 20 Climate Justice Forum posted in Radio4All and adopt WIRT as your KRFP DJ.

Top Federal Official to Visit Port of Lewiston Next Week

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will present grant

A top-level White House official will be visiting the Port of Lewiston Wednesday with Idaho’s governor.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is scheduled to appear at 1:30 p.m. at 1626 Sixth Avenue North in Lewiston, according to the governor’s office.  He’ll be accompanied by Idaho Governor C.L. (Butch) Otter, Senator Mike Crapo, and Senator Jim Risch, both R-Idaho.

LaHood is a member of the Cabinet who advises the president.  The men will be presenting a federal grant to the Port of Lewiston, according to the governor’s office.

The port received $1.3 million in June to expand its dock from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Discretionary Grant program.  It’s not clear if the award that will be given Wednesday is the same. Continue reading