Port of Tacoma – NYK Deal – Money Mostly Well Spent

Pierce Couty Terminal at night
Like I said in the last post, I don’t usually read the Tacoma News Tribune. It’s a scandal rag, owned by the McClatchy organization.

Last week, I couldn’t help looking at their story on the Port of Tacoma – a copy was lying there on a table at work, open to the story, Port of Tacoma’s Blair Development: Millions to nowhere. So reluctantly – knowing that with a title like that, it couldn’t be a good story – I read on.

In the article, they tell the story of the development of the proposed new container terminal for NYK.

Briefly, in 2007, the Port of Tacoma signed a deal with the shipping line NYK, to provide them a new dedicated 168 acre container terminal in Tacoma, located on the tip of the Blair Peninsula. Integral to building the new terminal was relocating an existing terminal, Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE), and the demolition of existing buildings, as well as the cleanup of some toxic waste sites.

Because the Port didn’t own all the property necessary for the project, it spent some $146 million on property acquisition and demolition.

In 2007 when the deal with NYK was inked, the economy was going great guns. All the projections – which were accepted pretty much universally – held that Chinese imports would explode in the coming years, with cargo growth rates reaching as much as 25% a year. The big fear, up and down the West Coast, was that we would not have enough dock space or the infrastructure available to handle the glut of Chinese cargo coming in.

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Tacoma News Tribune – A Newspaper Only In Name

Tacoma News Tribune - RIP
I don’t generally read the Tacoma News Tribune. It’s a McClatchy “newspaper” – and I use that term loosely.

McClatchy rags all seem to tout the McClatchy line – they’re anti-labor, right-wing, rags with a very specific, narrow agenda. I guess you could say they’re the print equivalent of Fox News.

When McClatchy bought the TNT from the Baker family years ago, one of the first things they did was engineer the breaking of the newspaper’s union – pretty much just as they’ve done at most all the other McClatchy rags. That kinda set the tone for everything else.

I stopped reading the TNT – cancelled my subscription – when they came out with a story about longshore workers in Tacoma, about the longshore casual selection process. The story was quite biased and the editorial that followed was a sniveling, whiny piece of drivel – motivated by what was obviously the fact that the editor’s kid must not have gotten a casual card and the editor was pissed.

When you intimately know a subject – I am a longshoreman in Tacoma – then it’s easy to separate fact from fiction. The story about ILWU Local 23 was severely biased. And if the TNT promotes lies about that, then I have to figure the rest of their coverage is similarly biased.

So like I said, I quit subscribing.

I did pick up an occasional Sunday paper – mostly for the ads. And I continued to read the online version – for the local news.

Then a few months ago, the paper published yet another whiny, anti-labor editorial that was blatantly untrue and biased – and since then, I quit reading the online version.

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