• State Wades into Coal Terminal Controversy

    LONGVIEW, Wash. – The State of Washington wants to weigh in on the environmental review process for a coal export terminal that has been proposed for Longview.

    Several conservation groups banded together earlier this month to challenge a permit for the terminal, granted by the Cowlitz County Commission. On Tuesday, the Washington Department of Ecology filed as an “intervenor” in that case – not taking sides, but exercising its legal option to have a seat at the table.

    According to the groups’ attorney, Jan Hasselman of Earthjustice, the move could indicate the state is also not convinced that the environmental and health effects of transporting, storing and shipping coal have been taken into account.

    “Washington stepping into this case is a recognition that it’s an important test case about whether this is the right fit for our state, and whether the coal companies have followed the appropriate process in involving the public in this important decision.”

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  • Layoffs at Rayonier Incorporated

    Eric Fonnelly with the company confirms that on Monday they reduced their local staff by 9 positions in the forest management department, one other position was removed, the person filling that role will be moved to another department.
    Fonnelly tells us that “it is a common theme in this economy” adding that cost reductions, and the need to thin down operating expenses precipitated these layoffs.Western Forest Resources (WFR) employed 54 before the layoffs on Monday.

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  • Coast Guard Cutter Mellon Returns to Homeport After 5-month International Deployment

    SEATTLE, Wash. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mellon returned to homeport, Monday, concluding a five-month deployment to Southeast Asia in support of the international Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercises.

    Since departing March 31, 2010 Mellon has been an active partner throughout the success of the exercises. Under the command of Navy Destroyer Squadron 31, Mellon engaged in five training phases focused on strengthening relations and interoperability with the maritime services of Southeast Asia. The multi-national exercises consisted of training scenarios both on land and at sea, which took place in Brunei, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

    Throughout the CARAT deployment Mellon partnered with maritime law enforcement counterparts in law enforcement procedures and simulated boardings, small-boat operations, air-defenses exercises and tactical ship maneuvering.

    The crew of the Mellon also participated in community service projects to improve local conditions and establish a personal connection with residents. Combined service projects included mentoring children, rebuilding schools, and planting trees.

    Mellon is commanded by Capt. David S. Klipp and has a crew of 170 officers and enlisted personnel. A 378-foot, high-endurance cutter, Mellon typically performs lengthy patrols enforcing fishery laws in Alaskan waters and counter-narcotics operations off the coast of Central America.

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