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Solidarity stand at Occupy Port of Coos Bay

Solidarity stand at Occupy Port of Coos Bay
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Occupiers gathered the Port of Coos Bay main offices on Central and Hwy 101 today and protested the Port’s continued support for dirty fossil fuel industries while ignoring a growing renewable energy market. One sign read “Don’t be a gashole”.

Veterans For Peace joined opponents of LNG and coal as well as people asking for the passage of the jobs bill and raising the cap on social security taxes. The Port has earned a hard reputation for secrecy and some of the occupiers went into the Port offices to demand the release of financial records and records pertaining to a proposed coal export terminal. Acting CEO, David Koch, claimed that he would usher in a new era of transparency. When pressed for an explanation of why the Port lied about the need for an emergency declaration to repair the rail line last summer, Koch avoided the topic according to witnesses.

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About magix

Profile photo of magix When my oldest son, a Marine, left for war and crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq in March 2003 I started writing my conscience. After two tours that young combat veteran’s mother is now an ardent peace activist and advocate for social, environmental and economic justice. MGx has matured since those early vents and ramblings and now covers relevant and important local and regional matters in addition to national and global affairs.

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2 Responses to "Solidarity stand at Occupy Port of Coos Bay"

  1. Themguys  December 13, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    I have to admit I appreciated the “new” CEO of the Port stepping up and out of his office to talk to the rabble at the door. He’s quite personable, and I think it is a very positive thing that he choose to speak/listen to us . That being said, all the while, and most of what he wanted to discuss was their new “green” ness. He’s quite astute in recognizing we were a varied group with various interests, as if that is a “surprise”. I tried to press him for a response on the lie the Port threw out earlier this year about their “emergency” decisions. He didn’t tell us this, from yesterdays’ paper:

    Ratified a declaration of emergency allowing the Port to accept a bid of $164,437 from Kyle Electric for electrical repairs to the railroad swing bridge in North Bend. The declaration was needed because Kyle’s bid, the lowest, was unexpectedly over the limit at which the port can solicit bids via a Request for Qualifications.

    • Authorized the CEO to amend its option-to-purchase agreement with Jordan Cove Energy Partners. The amendment lets Jordan Cove acquire a 13.88-acre parcel next to the Henderson Ranch property on the North Spit. To get the property, JCEP would pay the Port $300,000 to relinquish its option to buy the property. The commissioners must ratify the amendment in January.

    Where have we seen THIS before?

    He also was greeted with applause when he mentioned his focus on establishing their “carbon footprint”. Applause? This is nothing but another attempt to buy pollution credits? Am I misunderstanding this issue?

    He also did not admit to this decision:

    “Commissioned David Evans & Associates to study the engineering and enviromental impacts of several rail traffic scenarios associated with the development of new marine terminals that would handle bulk commodities and intermodal containers. The scenarios would include as many as two unit trains of bulk shipments and six of intermodal containers, in addition to manifest trains accommodating the industries served by the rail line. The study will add $189,131 to the Port’s existing $2.2 million contract with Evans for a feasibility study and environmental impact statement for improvements to the channel.”

    Another $2.2 million in feasibility studies?

    And I missed him discussing this one:

    “Widen the bay’s channel. Before this can happen, the port must complete a channel modification study.”

    Widen the Bays’ channel?

    Have they talked about “widening” the channel? I thought it was simply dredging the existing channel.

    Another feasibility study.

    And praise be to the Rusted Railroad To Nowhere:

    “Continue improving the Coos Bay rail link. The railroad is up and running, and the port is on schedule for all initial improvements. However, there is significant deferred maintenance on the line the port plans to continue addressing to increase rail traffic.”

    What do you think when you read “significant deferred maintenance” to the rail line? Have you guys seen the photos of the bridges?

    All in all, even though Mr. Koch (no relation he says) is much easier to deal with than the previous CEO, and much more pleasant I am sorely afraid it’s business as usual for the Port.

    I hope I am wrong, but actions speak louder than words.

    Within hours I received an email from Elise H. with the information they are willing to give up in their financial records. I’m hoping they are genuine in letting members of the public review the financial records of the previous eight years.

    I’d like to know where that $200,000,000.00 went, we have that right after all. Mr. Koch kept repeating the fact their budget is online, I requested to see their financial book, the spread sheets, you know, like I told him, what goes in and what goes out, and where?

    That, along with the refusal to allow questions from the public at their “public” meetings was discussed as well.

    He looks and sounds swell. I hope he does make changes towards more openess.

    He wouldn’t budge, not an inch discussing the previous “emergency” call to allow them more funding, as if he wasn’t familiar with it, until I threw out the $7 million iin funding, he quickly corrected me, “it was $500,000.00″. So he knew full well what I was talking about. The Port lied, I said if they would only come out with the same display in the press and on film in admitting they lied to get funding, as they did in pimping to get the money, they wouldn’t have protesters in their offices. I don’t think that message got very far.

    Last night I read the paper, and they have another screwey bid, but at least it’s for a local contractor – Kyle Elect.

    And this:

    “Begin using tax revenue toward developing infrastructure.”

    What?

    Reply
  2. Themguys  December 13, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    I’m sorry, that is $300,000,000.00 in funding in ten years. Every project they apply for is headed “jobs, jobs, jobs, etc.”

    Unemployed doubled.

    What goes in-what goes out indeed.

    Reply

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