Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Woody Murphy: “I am against the Redwood Dock!” Dave Schneider: “Docks are losers!” HBHRCD Economic Development Committee.

I went to the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation & Conservation District (HBHRCD) “Economic Development Committee” meeting tonight to hear the economic vision for the port. Woody Murphy was the only one who would flat come out and say how he felt. He said a publicly funded dock should not compete with a privately owned dock and he said his facility was not overbooked. He went through the history of his dock since 1986 and how they have tried to adapt to economic changes. At one time he was exporting logs until the spotted owl problem, and then in the 90’s he felt it ironic that he was importing logs for sawmills from New Zealand until EPIC shut them down for chemicals that the logs were treated with. He tried to bring in Cruise Ships and found out they do not want to be charged to dock. He even had potato chips go through his dock.

Dave Schneider said he was told over ten years ago to build a dock, “and they will come.“ And he did just that, building a class 1 dock at the old “A” dock in Eureka. He was not publicly harsh on the new dock, but pointed out all the improvements he had made and in the last ten years averaged 3 ships a year. “Docks are losers! They are in use only 5% of the time!” His dock does have the capacity to handle 600 containers.

Randy Gans said the Fairhaven terminal has all kinds of potential and is supportive of the Redwood Dock also. Randy is pro-growth and would like to see industrial growth to supply jobs for the local economy.

Steve Pepper of Humboldt Maritime Logistics gave a presentation on short term shipping using “green highways.” He said unloading can be done locally with a mobile harbor crane and he has a business plan utilizing Longview, Washington, Coos Bay, Oregon, Humboldt Bay, Oakland and Long Beach as ports of destination for products. He has a two year timeline. He is looking for money through the “Marine Highway Program” and public/private partnerships.

HBHRCD Commissioners Patrick Higgins and Mike Wilson co-chaired this process. Patrick was determined to keep the agenda moving, but the place was packed and questions were all over. HBHRCD CEO David Hull and Lacy Wilson tagged team a presentation of “Where they were and where they are going” that was convoluted and non specific. To shorten it up, dredging was done and completed by the year 2000 to stop shipping “Leakage.” (Boats leaving part loaded because of low waters) They did show that there are 235 parcels of land around the bay from the Samoa Bridge to Fields landing that are not developed. That caught my eye. I was also surprised to hear that our port is 2 days closer to Hong Kong than anywhere on the west coast, which is a $200,000 savings in shipping. They outlined many positives and few negatives. Lacy was asked to identify investors he said were inquiring to fund projects and in lands around the bay, but he said he could not. Pete Nichols of Baykeeper’s challenged Wilson’s pulp shipping projections, saying Freshwater Pulp had no intention of shipping pulp products.

This was just a quick glimpse of much discussion. I am sure we will hear more in the future.

17 comments:

Jennifer Savage said...

Thanks for the report, Richard. I was interested in how that meeting turned out.

Anonymous said...

I'm just curious--do you purposely leave out the word "Harbor" from your title for the District or was it accidental? HBHRCD=Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District

Anonymous said...

it is confuse you 9:47. He knows if he leaves out that word you will have no clue who he is talking about

Carol said...

Good! I like to hear about lively public forums.

Mike Buettner said...

The meeting amounted to a rehash of what has been said before. The forums on Bay economic development have been done many times... both by the district and by the Bay Stewards. Mostly the same topics and usual speakers. Oddly little of those efforts were mentioned.

Perhaps one interesting fact was that the Harbor District has 1,800 acres designated for marine dependent industrial (shipping) whereas the next largest land holding by a west coast port is 900 acres. That includes LA, Long Beach, Oakland and Seattle.

Anonymous said...

Mr Buettner, I'm so glad you
gave us your imput. Not sure
if we could live without all
of your know it all wisdom.

samoasoftball said...

9:27am-Oh, how I hate acronyms! Especially when I mess them up!

11:30am-Mike does know much more than I do on this subject matter. He does give a good observation I missed. I was just reporting the eye opening things to me.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and Hawaii is 7 days closer to China. But shipper's customers don't want their orders in Hawaii or Eureka.

Overall, Eureka is more costly for transcontinental cargo than S.F. bay. The entrance channel to S.F. bay is 2000 feet wide and 55 feet deep, making it much safer and higher capacity than Humboldt.

Anonymous said...

it is also a lot less scary to cross than the humboldt bar

Anonymous said...

Same old BS. Maggie didn't produce with her BS,so will she run again? This is just another big top show to help Wilson, another non- producer. AND then there's Higgins. If he huffs and puffs enough will his handlers let him run for 5th dst sup? One damn thing is for sure. It about power not the bay.

Anonymous said...

If Richard keeps eating the way he does, it is possible the Humboldt County economy could be supported by the importation of hot dog meats from China.

Mike Buettner said...

"Same old BS"

Yes, this is true. But the old BS comes from David Hull and Roy Curless.

Anonymous said...

No, from Mike Buettner. Curliss can fart smarter than anything Mike could ever come up with. ROTFLMAO!

Anonymous said...

The Anonymous dork assumes that if you write "ROTFLMAO!" after your comment, that makes it funny. The exclamation mark let's us know that it's extra funny.

Carson Park Ranger said...

Richard, thanks very much for posting your report.
Thanks to Mike Buettner for his observations as well.

Anonymous said...

And thanks to you too, as well Joel, for saying nothing worthwhile at all.

Watzfrsj said...

The meeting amounted to a rehash of what has been said before. The forums on Bay economic development have been done many times... both by the district and by the Bay Stewards. Mostly the same topics and usual speakers. Oddly little of those efforts were mentioned. Perhaps one interesting fact was that the Harbor District has 1,800 acres designated for marine dependent industrial (shipping) whereas the next largest land holding by a west coast port is 900 acres. That includes LA, Long Beach, Oakland and Seattle.