Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Local Boys (continue to) Make Good!

SMBC Board member Brian Thomas’ company Kvichak Marine Industries has been all over the news lately—locally and nationally—as the ‘poster child’ for successful manufacturing businesses.

Most recently they have been chosen to build new skimmers to help with the Bluewater Horizon spill clean up. The following is excerpted from the August issue of Pacific Maritime Magazine www.pacmar.com

The ‘damn hole’ is apparently plugged, at press time, but there is a big cleanup job ahead in the Gulf of Mexico. Not surprisingly, expertise and equipment to deal with the spill are being sought on the West Coast. The US West Coast has been at the center of oil spill expertise since 1989, when the Exxon Valdez changed the face of the maritime industry, and companies like Kvichak Marine Industries, which specializes in aluminum fast ferries, pilot boats and research vessels, have also become experts in the field of marine oil spill response.

Kvichak has been asked to build 30 skimmers for the Gulf, equipped with Kvichak/Marco Filterbelt oil and debris recovery systems.

The company has already sent two of the boats south, and 28 more will be built at a rate of three a week.
A crew of four can operate the skimmers in 15 feet of water or less, and under optimal conditions can pick up 1,000 barrels of oil a day.

The skimmers cost between $300,000 and $400,000 each, meaning the 30 boats could bring about $10 million in sales to the Seattle company. It pays to specialize.

Nickerson Street Road Diet to Move Forward

According to The Fremont Neighborhood blog and SDOT’s own updates, yesterday was to be the first day of work on the Nickerson Street diet. However a drive-by yesterday afternoon exposed little if anything had been done.

SDOT update at 2:30pm on July 26, 2010: The contractor plans to mobilize today and set up the no parking signs. Either this afternoon or tomorrow they will begin preliminary layout of the new channelization. Once they have completed the preliminary layout, SDOT will review and approve the layout prior to the permanent pavement markings. Grinding or removal of the existing pavement markings and installation of the permanent pavement markings are scheduled to begin on Monday, August 2.

SMBC and local residents continue to be vehemently opposed to this project. The city’s own studies show that it will do nothing to make the street any safer—for pedestrians or bicyclists.

We will continue to follow the issue, and ask that you document negative impacts on your business or your personal life over the next several weeks. As those impacts become apparent, please share them with me, and with the Seattle City Council, Peter Hahn, the city’s transportation director, and the mayor. I can be reached at Peter@RHPPublishing.com. Council members and city employees can be reached at: first name.last name@seattle.gov

Marine Industrial Sector Survey

The Seattle Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a survey of Seattle area economic activity. SMBC has been asked to circulate the survey to our membership, and I believe it’s an excellent opportunity to quantify our economic value to the city—and to the city’s chamber of commerce.

I encourage you to take a few minutes to complete the survey. You can access it at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JobSectorSurvey. It should take less than 10 minutes to complete. You are encouraged to forward this survey on to your business associates so they can participate as well.

Responses from the survey will support a broader public discussion about business conditions and provide substantive information about the best ways to keep and grow our job base. Please be assured that none of your responses will be directly attributed to you or your organization.

As added incentive to participate in this survey, the Seattle Chamber of Commerce will draw one lucky winner from all who complete the survey for Southwest Airlines Green LUV tickets.

About the Job Sector Survey Project

The Job Sector Survey is supported by more than 30 business organizations, as well as the regional Prosperity Partnership, King County, the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, Urban Enterprise Center and the Washington Research Council.

The survey aims to collect data from as many King County employers as possible. As a result, you may receive notification of this survey from other organizations. While that approach helps to gather as much data as possible, it also created the potential that you may get this survey from multiple sources. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and hope you understand that a larger pool of respondents will make the information derived more valuable.

Should you have any questions about the Job Sector Survey, please contact Chamber SVP George Allen at (206) 389-7268. George can also provide a hard copy of the survey if needed.