Testy crowd pressures commissioners for answers on purpose, feasibility of expanded dock
Megaload opponents and tax activists forced Lewiston port officials Wednesday to disclose how they expect to find customers for their recently expanded container dock.
Information, however, was the only concession offered at a lengthy, sometimes testy hearing. It ended with port commissioners passing a $1.9 million budget for the 2015 fiscal year without changing anything, including a $450,000 annual property tax levy for Nez Perce County residents.
Among the more than 15 people who attended the morning meeting was Linwood Laughy, a Kooskia-area resident and leader of megaload opponents. He met Port Manager David Doeringsfeld for the first time.
Carla Timentwa, chairwoman of the Nez Perce Tribe’s General Council, identified herself as one of the people arrested last year during megaload protests.
She wondered whether the port should be supporting activity in the oil boomtowns of North Dakota because of the violence associated with the rapid growth, which has victimized innocent bystanders. Continue reading
Dana Lyons has been intensively touring with two simultaneous shows over the last few months, releasing his latest, new album, The Great Salish Sea, and raising awareness and action about increased, explosive, Northwest oil trains with speaker Matt Krogh of ForestEthics on the Crude Awakening Oil Train Tour. Conducting a series of performances from June 6 to 30, Dana is singing new and comedy songs and rallying activists, and Matt is giving presentations about oil trains and tankers, from the Oregon and Washington coastal cities near proposed and operating oil storage, refining, and shipping terminals to the interior Idaho and Montana towns along the rail lines of potentially explosive oil trains.
Originating in the fracked Bakken shale oil fields of North Dakota, the amount and frequency of these “bomb trains” has been escalating over the past two years throughout much of the U.S. and Canada. They carry the same type of crude oil as trains that derailed, exploded, and sparked massive fires in Alabama, Alberta, North Dakota, and Virginia during the last year, and killed 47 people in Lac-Mégantic, eastern Quebec, on July 6, 2013, a catastrophe marked next month by numerous planned protests across the continent. More dangerous to Northwest communities than controversial coal trains, similar oil trains rumble past nearby schools, hospitals, homes, and businesses, toward export facilities proposed for expansion in British Columbia, Oregon, and Washington. Not only could they blow up entire neighborhoods, their oil in ocean-going tankers imposes much greater risks and threats of spills in the Salish Sea, the inland Pacific and Puget Sound waters of British Columbia and Washington. Continue reading