Monday, October 28, 2013

Join or Renew Your Membership to SMBC

Dear Friend of the Maritime Industrial Community,

Since 1983 the Seattle Marine Business Coalition has actively promoted the marine industrial business sector. Our all-volunteer organization has advocated to protect industrial lands from encroachment by non-compatible uses, we’ve been a voice for reason on transportation and regulatory issues and we’ve fought to maintain the maritime and commercial fishing industry’s visibility among elected officials, policymakers and regulators who make the laws and policy that affect our industry.

Most recently we were successful in getting the city of Seattle to fund a $30,000 maritime economic impact study that validates our position in the city’s economic fabric. Some key findings:
  • King County saw a 3% growth in maritime jobs and a 20% growth in payroll during the study period 2002-2008.
  • Today King County supports 16,000 direct commercial maritime jobs, with an average wage of $70,750 per year.
  • The maritime and commercial fishing industries in Seattle alone generate $5.6 billion annually in economic output in 2008.
Studies like this help the Seattle Marine Business Coalition keep our industry’s concerns in front of our city government, regulators and policymakers.

With our story of a robust, multi-generational and dynamic family of industries, we make a strong argument for the importance of the maritime and fishing industries to our socio-cultural and economic fabric.

2014 will be especially important for our cause, and we hope you will help us continue our work by supporting our efforts with your tax deductible* annual membership to the Seattle Marine Business Coalition.

A new city administration means a whole new set of aides, staffers and regulators we need to reach. Your financial support allows us to produce the breakfast meetings, boat tours and print collateral we need to stay in front of our city.

Click here to download the membership form.

Thank you for returning your membership renewal form with your check or credit card number. Your support is essential to our efforts!

We also value your feedback. Please don’t hesitate to contact any of your board members any time to let us know how we can better advocate for the maritime and commercial fishing industries.


President, Peter Philips
Philips Publishing Group

Vice President, Brian Thomas
Vice President
Kvichak Marine Industries

Secretary/Treasurer, Warren Aakervik
Ballard Oil

Board of Governors:

Bob Alverson
Fishing Vessel Owners Assn.

Darrell Bryan
Clipper Navigation

Mark Knudsen
SSA Pacific

RADM John Lockwood USCG (ret)
Vigor Industrial

Kris Mullan
Alaska Longline Company

Vince O’Halloran
Sailors Union of the Pacific

Jim Gilmore
At-sea Processors Association

Erik Sundholm
Harris Electric 

*The Seattle Marine Business Coalition is a registered 501 (c) 3 Washington State non-profit corporation

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Sponsored by Pacific Maritime Magazine, Kvichak, Vigor and Lockwood and Associates      

Our maritime and industrial sectors are the backbone of our diverse regional economy and key to protecting living wage jobs.  We cannot allow them to languish from continued neglect and indifference. To grow the economy and living wage jobs, freight mobility must be made an urgent priority.” -- Ed Murray

As Mayor, Ed Murray will work to protect and promote industrially zoned lands in the Duwamish Manufacturing and Industrial Center (MIC) and Ballard Interbay (BINMIC).  Murray will meet regularly with a blue ribbon Mayor’s Maritime and Industrial Council comprised of our valued partners in shipping and manufacturing businesses, the Port and commercial fishing, engaging them in a new initiative to preserve and grow these critically important economic sectors.  
Seattle’s manufacturing and industrial areas constitute a regional resource and economic engine. It is the oldest and largest regional M&I cluster among 8 designated industrial centers in the Puget Sound region. Duwamish and Ballard Interbay (BINMIC) comprises nearly 5,000 acres, or about 10 percent of Seattle’s total land area. And it offers 70 million square feet of privately owned leasable industrial building space while supporting more than 50,000 jobs, the largest concentration of family wage jobs in Puget Sound.
Seattle’s maritime sector is also a significant part of our economic base, particularly given our dependence on trade. The Port of Seattle’s marine cargo volume grew by over 40% the past 10 years.   Growth in the container industry drove marine job growth by 30% to nearly 13,000 in 2012.  The cargo sector doubled revenues to $3 billion annually, generating important benefits for municipal revenues. 
The Port of Seattle’s Century Agenda includes an ambitious plan to double our international cargo shipments over the next 20 years. We need strong leadership in the Mayor’s office to ensure freight and shipping infrastructure are in place and we have ample capacity to support these critical maritime and industrial assets for our City’s long-term growth and to increase living wage jobs. 
Seattle’s manufacturing, industrial and maritime base is facing serious threats from development and other pressures.
Murray will directly engage maritime and industrial leaders through the Mayor’s M&I Council to advise him on key issues that affect the long-term health of SODO, the Duwamish and BINMIC, including freight mobility, safety, environment, carbon-free electricity, economic development assistance for new and existing manufacturing and industrial businesses, workforce training, transportation, and zoning.  With freight mobility, trucks carrying containers on arterials like 1st Avenue South and other roads east, account for 30-40% of marine cargo imports and 50% of export container traffic.   The current administration has not addressed these critical issues of freight mobility, safety, infrastructure development and long-term planning. 
Murray will be a strong, effective and committed advocate for our City’s industrial areas.  His endorsements include unions, community advocates, small business leaders, and civic entrepreneurs who provide a foundation for an effective and inclusive platform to deliver economic growth in diverse sectors. 
Goal:  Develop, implement plan for freight mobility and safety in Industrial Areas
The Seattle International Gateway, with its one day Pan Asian global shipping advantage, deep water port, transcontinental railroads, trained workforce and highly developed freight infrastructure, provides huge opportunity to grow the regional economy. However, the current mayoral administration has not worked with industry leaders to develop a strategic freight plan for the City, and the administration has largely failed to deliver on commitments to assess freight mobility options and move forward.   This is critical to the long-term safety and development of our City’s industrial core and the Port of Seattle.
Convene a meeting in the first 100 days of a new mayoral administration with all major freight stakeholders
  • Include leaders of the Port of Seattle, State of Washington, key employers and labor leaders
  • Focus on Seattle’s two major industrial centers Duwamish MIC and Ballard Interbay MIC (BIMIC) in North Seattle
  • Ensure the City deliver on its pre-existing commitment to conduct a strategic freight plan to support land-use planning around the existing stadiums area of the Duwamish MIC and south downtown (SoDo), and to integrate that plan with planning for other transportation modes, as part of the proposed “Move Seattle” comprehensive transportation strategic agenda, with an emphasis on prioritizing projects and identifying funding sources over a 20-year time horizon
Deliver on the City’s long-standing, yet still unmet commitments to complete the strategic freight plan and the heavy-haul corridor report during Year One of a new administration, and identify requisite funding to move forward on top priority freight mobility projects.
  • Within four years, identify the funding and begin work on key projects in the freight plan, including the long-delayed East-West freight mobility connection between I-5 and the Port of Seattle via an overpass on Lander Street.
  • Ensure the freight plan assesses pedestrian, truck and bicycle safety
  • Establish a longer-term implementation plan based on the assessments
Ensure the integration of freight mobility and safety in the City’s long-term 2015 Comprehensive Plan
  • Consult key leaders in advance of the City’s planning process for the 2015 Comprehensive Plan
  • Ensure that freight mobility and other assessments are completed in advance of the 2015 comprehensive planning process
GOAL: Encourage development new/startup hybrid research/manufacturing/retail businesses and high-precision manufacturing businesses in industrial areas
Seattle and the NW region are known for pioneering innovation and spirited entrepreneurship in the health sciences, technology, communications, aviation and other industries. If the City was able to promote the development of life sciences and technology in South Lake Union, there is no reason the City can not do the same with high-precision, high value manufacturing and with hybrid manufacturing/retail small businesses. As new/start-up businesses seek to innovate, new land use and development models are emerging that may depart from traditional industrial functions. The City should use its land use, finance and other available tools to promote, rather than hinder, the development of such businesses.
Innovative start-ups often require inexpensive workshop space for research and development, space to manufacture their products, combined with storefront small office and retail sales spaces. These businesses are advantaged and their cost structure reduced when those requirements can be co-housed in a single location. The City should promote this by:
  • conducting a comprehensive audit of industrial land use regulations to reconsider antiquated models and land use definitions that impose rigid restrictions on uses in industrially zoned areas.
Recognize that Seattle’s industrial lands are a unique economic asset by systematically developing a manufacturing initiative package of economic development incentives that would include land use tools such as Incentive zoning, FAR and size limits, Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs), and adaptive reuse programs with an intent of improving the viability of traditional industrial activities.
  • Consider manufacturing uses, advanced technology industries, and wide ranges of industrial-related commercial functions as businesses in the SoDo area and Duwamish MIC as eligible for these incentives
  • Permit commercial uses in industrial areas to extent they reinforce industrial character, including office and retail development
  • Manage density in these areas to ensure a level of activity compatible with industrial and manufacturing uses
  • To avoid negative impacts, ensure future uses and new development in the M&I centers have necessary upgrades to transportation, safety, and utility systems in place to support traditional industrial and shipping activities.
Goal:  Vocational training in STEM related fields relevant to our industrial economy
Through a stronger and more effective partnership with Seattle Public Schools, Murray would integrate vocational training in STEM related fields as a priority.   A strong example is the Aerospace Technology Skill Center Program at Rainier Beach High School.  The program enables students to learn advanced skills in STEM disciplines through Core Plus curriculum with the Washington State Department of Education. 
  • Partner with education and industrial leaders to promote scaling-up vocational career and training pathways in STEM
  • Work with SPS to assess the opportunity to scale-up the Aerospace Technology Skill Center Program district-wide
  • Examine opportunities to strengthen the school to work pathway in the industrial sector for Seattle’s youth through internships and other applied learning opportunities
Goal:  Create opportunities for energy efficiency and environmental clean-up
Seattle is fortunate to be powered in large-part by carbon-free hydroelectricity.  Several key firms help to keep electric rates low for Seattle’s residents.  Industrial areas are large consumers of electricity.   Murray is committed to ensuring the public-private partnerships are strong.   Environmental clean-up is also a critical issue in our industrial areas.   This requires partnerships with the Federal Government, State Agencies, City departments, the Port of Seattle and key industries.    Murray is committed to the environmental clean-up of our industrial areas.
  • Promote strong partnerships between hydroelectric firms and Seattle’s industrial sector to meet needs of all partners
  • Convene key energy and industrial leaders to discuss the City’s role in these partnerships
  • Explore productive ways to maintain or develop new public private partnerships in these areas
Provide Mayoral leadership to support the coalitions for the environmental clean-up of Seattle’s industrial areas
  • Push to implement the 2012 agreement between the City of Seattle, King County, the Port of Seattle, Boeing Company to clean-up the Duwamish River
  • Hold a consultation in the first six months of the administration with the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, South Park and Georgetown community members and other environmental groups.
  • Engage with State and Federal agencies as appropriate to build new partnerships on environmental clean-up and access new sources of funding

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Industrial Stagnation

By Chris Philips,
Managing Editor, Pacific Maritime Magazine

The late 18th and early 19th century saw the dawn of the industrial revolution, whose impact was felt throughout the world and which catapulted the United States and its citizens to an unprecedented level of wealth, safety, health and comfort that we enjoy to this day.

In 1775, the New York firm of Sharpe and Curtenius cast the first cylinder for a steam engine in the new world. Twelve years later, John Fitch of Pennsylvania built a working steam-powered boat, operated by six pairs of mechanical oars. In 1790, his second steamboat reached seven miles per hour on the Delaware River. That summer, it operated a passenger service from Philadelphia to Burlington, Bristol, Bordentown and Trenton.

In 1804, Robert Stevens built a steamboat 68 feet long, with a 14-foot beam and a revolutionary, 100-tubed boiler. At the same time, Oliver Evans was in production of 50 high-pressure steam engines, as well as an amphibious steam-powered paddlewheel dredge that he drove under its own power from his workshop to the Schuylkill River.

In 1807, Robert Fulton’s steamboat North River, later known as the Clermont, made her maiden voyage from New York to Albany. The next year, Robert Stevens sailed from New York to Philadelphia (the first sea passage by steam power), and in 1811, the first steam-powered ferry, Juliana, began operation between New York and Hoboken, New Jersey.

By 1814, steamboat service was operating between New Orelans and Nachez, Mississippi, and in 1819 the Savannah became the first steamship to cross the Atlantic.

Between 1824 and 1831, the first school of science and engineering opened in the United States, the Erie Canal opened from Albany to Buffalo, New York, the first freight and passenger-carrying rail line in the US was incorporated, and the first US-built steam locomotive, Peter Cooper’s Tom Thumb, began working the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, replacing horses.

These milestones were the product of unfettered scientific and commercial ventures, and they were powered by coal.

Last month, Washington State’s Cowlitz County granted a shoreline-development permit to an Australian company that wants to build a shipping terminal in Longview, Washington. The company, Millennium Bulk Logistics, a subsidiary of Australia’s Ambre Energy, hopes to export 5 million tons of coal a year, brought by rail from Wyoming and Montana. The coal will go to China to fuel that country’s own industrial revolution, presumably offering the opportunity to 1.3 billion Chinese for the same unprecedented level of wealth, safety, health and comfort that we enjoy. In exchange, Millennium Bulk Logistics says the company will create 120 family-wage jobs in the Longview area during construction and 71 full-time positions at the terminal once it comes online.

But all is not smooth sailing for the terminal. Like the 19th-century Luddites that saw technology as a threat to their way of life, environmental activists, from hooded anarchists in Portland, Oregon to Hollywood stars, and all the way up to the White House, scorn the coal that continues to fuel much of our fragile economy. In 2008, on the campaign trail in San Francisco, then-Senator Barack Obama promised to price coal out of existence as a source of electricity: “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

Locally, environmental activists are opposing the terminal, hoping the required permits will be denied by state or federal regulators. “This is an emerging area of law,” says Jan Hasselman, an attorney with the environmental law firm Earthjustice, speaking to the Seattle Times. “But we shouldn’t have commissioners in Cowlitz County making what effectively are decisions of national and even international significance.”

Some would argue that we shouldn’t have radical environmental groups like Earthjustice involved in what are effectively local decisions. Earthjustice claims 776 different members and associations, including the usual suspects like the AFL-CIO, Bluewater Network and the Humane Society, and eco-radical groups like the Basel Action Network, The Sierra Club and Greenpeace.

Of the 776 groups that make up Earthjustice, the overwhelming majority consists of attorneys, who apparently make a “non-profit” living accepting donations to sue the federal or state government, which, in turn, pays large settlements from tax receipts, presumably from the people whose jobs have been eliminated by the eco-lawyers.

It is becoming more difficult in the United States to harvest or extract our abundant natural resources, and those we can extract are considered to be too dirty to use. Now, the eco-obstructionists don’t want anyone else to use our resources either. The Luddites are back.

Click on these links to subscribe to Pacific Maritime Magazine or our weekly online newsletter PMM Online.

Street Use Fees Could Go Up 900%

SMBC has learned that SDOT has proposed a substantial increase in the fees it charges those who use city street Right Of Ways (ROW) for storage. As part of the 2011 City budget process the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDoT) proposed a fee increase of 900% for ‘material storage’ on 128 parcels of city property leased to private organizations and individuals.

The proposed ordinance would increase annual SDoT Street Use Material Storage Fees (Use Code 12) from $.0.51 per square foot per year to $4.68 per square foot per year. The fee ordinance was bundled with other issues as part of the 2011 city budget adoption process; and was scheduled to be passed by Council on November 22nd.

Little advance notice was given to users of affected property. Permit holders were notified by letter of the city’s intent to increase the fees in a letter dated November 10th—fewer than two weeks prior to the City Councils scheduled hearing of the proposal on November 22nd.

SMBC and other businesses organizations joined affected property users in mid-December to urge Council members and SDoT director Peter Hahn to delay voting on this increase until affected property owners had a chance to comment on the proposal. Hahn has since consented to delay putting the proposal before the city council until 2011, but it’s pretty clear that SDoT intends to wrest a much larger lease fee from those who use city ROW to support their business activity. SMBC will continue to follow this issue, and we’ll keep members apprised of any proposals of which we become aware.

Comments on the Supplemental Draft EIS for the Bored Tunnel Viaduct Replacement Alternative

The Seattle Marine Business Coalition was invited to submit comments to the Draft Environmental Impact Study that the state is required to complete prior to moving ahead with the Bored Tunnel replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. 

The city must prepare and submit a similar study. Below is the text of the comments we submitted to the state today. We will update you with responses from the state and city when we receive them.

The Seattle Marine Business Coalition represents roughly 300 marine industrial land users within the city limits. Most of our member companies are clustered at the north and south ends of the viaduct, and rely on the efficiency that structure provides for movement between the two industrially zoned neighborhoods of the BINMIC and the Duwamish.

We are concerned with the effects the bored tunnel alternative proposal will have on traffic movement between those two neighborhoods. We believe there has been inadequate analysis of the cumulative impacts of the project on vehicle mobility on I-5, Alaskan Way and other city truck routes, arterials and residential streets. Without more comprehensive analysis, there is insufficient information in the SDEIS to provide adequate notice to the potential users of the revised road transportation system, and/or to plan and provide for appropriate mitigation of the impacts of the project.

Specifically, the analysis should address the following:

1. The state project managers have consistently held that the current tunnel portal configuration and access points mean that virtually all freight movement will be diverted from the existing viaduct to a new at-grade Alaskan Way. What are the expected truck volumes along Alaskan Way?

2. Given that trucks operate differently from single occupancy vehicles, what will be the effect of the additional freight volumes on Alaskan Way to overall travel times between BINMIC and the Duwamish?

3. Tolling seems to be increasingly attractive to the state as a revenue source to help offset construction costs of the bored tunnel, yet the effects of various tolling scenarios are not well defined in the Draft EIS. What will be the diversion patterns for the various tolling scenarios? Which tolling scenario is the preferred scenario? What are projected revenues for that scenario, and what effect will that scenario have on Alaskan Way traffic volumes and travel times?

4. The bored tunnel alternative will by definition cause a reconfiguration of the street grid. What happens to existing recognized truck routes in the post bored tunnel scenario? It would be helpful to the freight community if WSDOT or SDOT could create a schematic to illustrate truck routes developed to accommodate freight needs under the bored tunnel alternative.

5. Finally, we note that two other alternatives were compared to the bored tunnel in the Draft EIS: the cut and cover tunnel and a new elevated structure. Why was maintenance and seismic upgrade of the existing structure not included in the comparison? Several of our members served on Viaduct Advisory Committees. From that participation and independent study, we know that such a seismic upgrade would cost roughly ¼ of the cost of the bored tunnel alternative, and would maintain existing capacity and travel times.

Thank you for the effort represented by this Draft EIS, and for the opportunity to provide input regarding our concerns over the proposal.

Your responses to these concerns will help the freight community understand the effects the bored tunnel proposal may have on our businesses, such that we may work collaboratively with the city and the state to develop solutions that will help maintain the economic viability of the maritime industrial communities represented by the Seattle Marine Business Coalition.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Peter Philips
Seattle Marine Business Coalition

City of Seattle to form Freight Advisory Board

The City of Seattle has decided to form a Freight Advisory Board (FAB) to advise the city on issues affecting freight mobility within and through the city. According to the city, the FAB would have equal standing to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Boards currently advising the city on those issues.

The city council will appoint six members to board and the mayor will appoint five members. The Port of Seattle will have one seat for a Port staffer.

The FAB will be supported by a city staffer and will make regular reports to the city. SMBC has made several recommendations for representation from our membership.

Next Tuesday, Dec 14th, the city council’s Transportation Committee is expected to make its appointments to the Freight Advisory Board. Although the agenda for the committee meeting is not available as of press time; this action is scheduled as item 2 on the committee’s docket immediately following a briefing and discussion concerning the city’s response to the Nov 22 snow event in Seattle.

As always, Council committee meetings begin with an opportunity for public comment. Committee meets on Tuesday morning, 9:30 in Council Chambers at City Hall. The appointments to the FAB should probably come up by around 10:30 or so.

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

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.