Reapers Homeward Come

Editorials & Opinion: Thursday, November 27, 2003

Letters to the editor

It is refreshing to hear that newly elected Seattle Port Commissioner Alec Fisken is prepared to make waves (Times page one, Nov. 24). The current commissioners have been allowing this billion-dollar agency to wallow for lack of direction, other than to short-circuit public interest. Of particular concern is the stealth nature with which they conduct their business, including having their annual budget meeting during the week of Thanksgiving.

I have appreciated the fact that the trade journal Fisken used to publish, Marine Digest, included balanced reporting of concerns from the environmental community. I expect he will lead the Port with similar balance.

One could envision the Port using its leverage not just to solicit business, but to provide the infrastructure to allow businesses to conduct themselves in an environmentally sound manner. This could include providing electrical hook-ups for ships so they do not have to idle their polluting engines while at the dock, thereby reducing the public’s exposure to carcinogens while downtown.

It could also include asking cruise ships to report their waste discharges, like they do in Alaska, as a condition of using a publicly financed terminal. By doing so, we may be able to evaluate the impact of this burgeoning line of business on the environment and other marine-related businesses.

Welcome aboard!
Fred Felleman, NW director, Ocean Advocates, Seattle

~ by fredfelleman on November 27, 2003.

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