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Yearly Archives: 2019

Discover! Did you know the Port of Kalama is part of a hundred year old network of Washington Ports?

As settlers migrated across the country, they often chose locations near water. Washington State was no different – with many deep harbors and navigable rivers, towns sprung up throughout the state, dependent on access to water for movement of goods and people.

In 1889, the new state constitution declared that these beds of navigable waters belonged to the people, and gave the Legislature power to designate which of those beds would become harbors. In 1911, after citizens lobbied for the right to control access to the waterfront, the Legislature passed the Port District Act, allowing the people to form a port district and elect commissioners to govern it.

In September of 1911, the Port of Seattle was formed, becoming the first autonomous municipal corporation in the nation to engage in port terminal operation and commerce development. The Port of Grays Harbor was formed shortly thereafter. Since then, more than 80 port districts have formed in Washington, all contributing to the state’s healthy trade economy.

Port of Kalama also enjoys a rich history that weaves through time along waterways, railways and roadways to drive home why transportation continues to be the community’s mainstay today. The Columbia River attracted a steady stream of settlers like namesake Hawaiian John Kalama who arrived in Kalama in 1837 to act as a middleman between local Cowlitz Tribe and the Hudson Bay Company. In 1870, the Irish and Chinese arrived to work on the railroad. The Scandinavians with interests in fishing and logging settled in Kalama as well.

On Monday, December 22, 1919, a group of Kalama residents met at the Kalama Business Men’s Club to discuss the formation of a port district. By May, 1920, the Port of Kalama was born of a local election process. We’ll be honoring 100 years of service to the community during a Centennial Celebration next year!

Today highway, rail and water meet in Kalama at some of the most efficient transportation networks in the country. Kalama’s particular landscape gave birth to a booming transportation system impacting the area both culturally and economically—ultimately transforming the area into its position today as an internationally-connected community.

Currently, there are 75 public port districts in Washington. Large and small, east and west, Washington’s ports are active in many different areas of economic development, providing jobs and economic stimulation for their communities.

Thank you to the Washington Public Ports Association for some of this educational content.

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Port of Kalama appoints Marine Terminal Administrator

Former Portland Police Officer, Randy Teig, hired as Facility Security Officer to manage Port marine terminals and security systems

 

Port of Kalama has appointed former Portland Police Officer, Randy Teig, as Marine Terminal Administrator effective June 1, 2019. Teig, who brings 31 years of experience in public law enforcement, will act as Facility Security Officer (FSO) at the Port and be responsible for managing marine terminals and security systems.

Teig is a Kelso native who most recently worked at the City of Gresham Development Division after retiring from the Portland Police Force in 2018. He is married with four adult children and is a local business owner in Kelso.

“We are thrilled to welcome a law enforcement officer with the experience of Randy Teig—and he’s a local Cowlitz County native!” says Alan Basso, president, Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners. “Randy will assume the important position of Facility Security Officer to administer the security system. Please join us in welcoming this tremendous human resource to the Port.”

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Discover! What’s on tap for your summer entertainment at the Port of Kalama?

Summer is on the way and so are seasonal events hosted at the Port of Kalama! It is part of the Port of Kalama mission to create recreational opportunities for the community and with the opening of the new Westin Amphitheater, there are even more summer events perfect for entertaining the whole family!

Mark your calendars for some new festivities and some annual traditions. Coming soon:

McMenamins Summer Concert Series at the new Westin Amphitheater, Wednesday nights from 6—8:15p—all summer long.

Kalama Heritage Festival—sharing the spirit of Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest—at Marine and Rasmussen Parks, June 28, 29, 30

McMenamins Movies in the Park, to be scheduled soon!

Kalama Fair at Haydu Park, July 11—13

Steelhead Challenge Derby, Rasmussen Park, July 19, 20, 21

ASC Dog Show, Marine Park, July 26, 27, 28

McMenamins Inaugural Brewfest, Marine Park & Westin Amphitheater, August 10

 

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Discover! Did you know the Port of Kalama dedicates new amphitheater to longest serving Port commissioner Milford S. Westin?

The Westin Amphitheater at Marine Park will be dedicated at a brief ceremony on June 5th at 6:30 p.m. prior to the first McMenamins Concert in the Park

 

Port of Kalama will dedicate its new amphitheater to the longest acting Port commissioner Milford S. Westin, who served the community for 28 years from 1977 to 2005. The Port honors Westin for his tireless public service, commitment to parks and recreational amenities, and a notable legacy of long-term planning that has made the Port the global economic engine for the community it is today. The brief dedication ceremony will take place on Wednesday, June 5 at 5:45 p.m.

When Westin joined the Port as commissioner, the organization consisted of a grain elevator and a couple of lumber companies, a budget of $295,000 and two employees. Construction of the Port’s marina was just beginning. Because of some of the strategic long-term planning of Westin and other commissioners, the Port of Kalama is now home to more than 30 industries employing well over 1,200 workers.

The Port of Kalama has long considered the community benefits of creating a small public amphitheater on the Kalama waterfront to accommodate a growing number of events, concerts and public activities. With a mission of providing recreational assets to the community, the Port has completed construction of the long-awaited amphitheater.

“It is only fitting to dedicate this exceptional new community asset to Milford Westin who made innumerable contributions to the Port’s many successes and developments,” said Alan Basso, president, Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners. “It is the careful planning and strategic direction of our predecessors like Westin that enable us to envision public recreational features like the new Westin Amphitheater—we are grateful for his many contributions.”

McMenamins hosts the first in a series of summer concerts with The Ferenjis from 7:00—8:15 p.m. The concert series runs every Wednesday night through the summer. For a complete list of concerts click here.

“Part of the Port’s mission is to create recreational opportunities for the community—these improvements and the addition of a small outdoor venue for public events fulfill that goal,” says Basso. “With increased use of Port parks, the intent is to create more diverse and enjoyable guest experiences at events like the ones the region has been enjoying for decades such as the Blues and Hawaiian Festivals among others.”

 

Milford S. Westin pictured here below:

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Call out to local vendors! Port of Kalama invites local artists, businesses, crafters and gardeners/farmers to showcase their products at the first-ever Community Market

The Port will host a Wednesday Night Community Market to support local entrepreneurs and artists during McMenamins Summer Concert Series

 

Port of Kalama is seeking local vendors to participate in its first-ever ‘Wednesday Community Market’ to offer local artisans, gardeners and crafters free space to showcase their locally-produced goods and arts. The innovative pop-up market will be open during the McMenamins Summer Concert Series on Wednesday nights from 6—10 p.m. in Marine Park.

Anyone in Kalama’s 98625 zip-code is welcome to apply for a booth to participate in this first ever local farmers’ and artisan market. Applications are available online here.

Details for booth application

Local applications must be received no later than one week before the scheduled event–though if vendors are interested in reserving a booth now for next week’s June 5th concert, they will be accepted.  Applications are available here. Vendor spaces for the Wednesday Community Market are available for local Kalama (98625) artists, gardeners, crafters, and others wishing to sell their products. While no prepared food or drink that interfere with concert event sponsors will be allowed, local fresh produce is welcome.

Booths must be open and staffed from 6—10 p.m. and set up can begin at 4 p.m. Items that promote political or religious messages are not allowed to be sold or distributed. Any loud or disrupting items or displays that may interfere with the concert or are considered hazardous will not be allowed.

Inspiration to support local artisans

The Port of Kalama’s Wednesday Community Market was inspired by a recent visit to Kalama sponsored by the Cowlitz County Economic Development Commission. Becky McCray, a rural and small town business expert, inspired local government and businesses with ideas to further engage small businesses to enhance community health and livability.

Port of Kalama is seeking to spur local entrepreneurialism with the market that is simple and inexpensive to try.  The hope is to grow small businesses for Kalama.

“We believe that the time is right for a community market here in Kalama—and there’s no better time to launch than our first concert series at the new amphitheater,” says Alan Basso, President of the Port of Kalama Commission. “We’ve got a ready-made audience and space for small businesses to engage local consumers—and we hope that this is a productive way for the Port to further support the business community and local producers.”

The first-ever Wednesday Community Market debuts next Wednesday, June 5, at the first McMenamins Summer Concert Series.

For more information, contact the Port of Kalama at 360-673-2325.

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Discover! Did you know that the Port of Kalama is part of the largest public port system in the world?

Washington state has the largest locally-controlled public port system in the world with 75 port districts. Washington represents 2% of the U.S. population, and Washington ports handle 7% of U.S. exports and 6% of all imports.

Those ports are located in 33 of the 39 counties in Washington—and the Port of Kalama is one of them!

If you live in Washington, chances are that most of what you eat, wear and use came through one of Washington’s 75 ports. Our state is the most trade-dependent in the nation, with trade responsible for one in every four jobs in Washington.

Washington’s 75 ports range in size from accommodating international deep-draft trade to small community marinas and recreational boat launches and rail operators. Ports also operate docks, airports, railroads, industrial sites, marinas and recreational facilities throughout the state, bringing investments and jobs to their communities.

The Washington Public Ports Association promotes the interests of these ports and Washington state citizens to contribute to our state’s economy and quality of life through effective government relations, ongoing education, and strong advocacy programs.

Currently, 69 ports are members of the Washington Public Ports Association, visible below within the map.  Notice something? Not all ports are located on waterways—and they don’t need to be! Many airports and railways are port districts.

The primary purpose of a port district in Washington State is economic development—port districts can build and operate airports, marine terminals, marinas, railroads, and industrial parks, and in some cases, promote tourism.

Special thanks to the Washington Public Ports Association for aggregating this information to offer insight into the largest public port system in the world. The Port of Kalama is a proud, active member of the association. Check it out for more information on the work of our public ports system.

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Port of Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility

Today, Governor Inslee made an announcement pertaining to the proposed Kalama Methanol Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility project.  As stated in the Governor’s press release, this does not change the state regulatory process, currently underway. The Port and County will continue to complete the supplemental environmental review, with the Final Supplemental EIS expected to be completed late this summer.

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Meet Randy Sweet, Secretary, Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners!

Randy Sweet has served as a Kalama Port Commissioner since 2005. An engineering geologist and hydrogeologist with degrees from LCC, Western Washington and the University of Oregon, he founded a very successful nationwide environmental consulting business.  He is also past president of the St. John Foundation, chairman of the Cowlitz County Planning Commission, and is a founding member of the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board. Randy and his wife, Sheli, have lived in the oldest house in Kalama for over 40 years!

“As a retired environmental scientist and businessman, I recognized the importance of environmental stewardship in growing our local economy and wanted to help shepherd these processes,” said Sweet when asked by he ran for the office. “My hope for the future of the Port is to continue providing family wage jobs and increase the tax base to support the City of Kalama as well as the school and fire districts.”

Port Commissioners have many responsibilities to ensure optimum use of port facilities, acreage and infrastructure. The commission oversees everything from marina and industrial improvements to due diligence on industries that fit and comply with the mission of the Port and the culture of the community, as well as investment in community recreational facilities like parks, walking paths, marina and other amenities.

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Port of Kalama pays homage to longest serving Port employee, dedicates new Haydu Park play structure to Linda Durgeloh Williams

Let’s play! The Port of Kalama has invested in a brand-new playground structure to grace the beautiful grounds at Haydu Park—and will dedicate the new amenity to the Port’s longest serving employee, Linda Durgeloh Williams. The Port pays homage to Williams for 45 years of dedication and service, retiring as Deputy Auditor.

The Port will host a dedication ceremony and celebration of the beautiful new play structure on Friday, May 10 at 4 p.m. and invites the community to join them to enjoy complimentary hot dogs and beverages. To commemorate the new park facilities the Port will also host locally-baked park-themed cookies. The AMALAK Plant Sale will also be open in the EXPO building at Haydu Park during the event.

The Port wanted to celebrate Williams’ commitment and contributions to the Port with a special dedication—she has witnessed some big moments at the Port: Williams saw the raising of the Totem Pole in 1974, the development of the North Port from a cow pasture into an industrial park, and development of a dock and corporate headquarters for Steelscape. She has seen the Oak Street overpass constructed and the installment of pedestrian and bike pathways throughout the Port.  Most impressively, she has witnessed the Port’s expansion from one to three operating docks and a roster that includes 18 full-time employees. A highlight that stands out for Linda is her ride on a navy ship from Astoria to the Portland Rose Festival.

As sunny weather approaches, there’s no better season to enjoy the natural beauty and outdoor recreation that are unique to Kalama. The Port is a key contributor to the Kalama community and is responsible for providing and enhancing public recreational opportunities. In addition to the new play structure, the Port recently completed the new community amphitheater in Marine Park, and managed a comprehensive renovation of the public marina.

Port of Kalama’s celebrated parks offer:

  • Beaches and waterfront for boating and fishing
  • Sporting facilities for soccer, baseball, tennis, football
  • Equestrian arena
  • Picnic facilities and covered areas
  • Walking paths
  • Expo area for events 

 

Congratulations to Linda! Now, let’s get outside and enjoy!

Photos: Saskia Van Verseveld

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Meet Troy Stariha, Vice President, Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners!

Troy Stariha has served as a Commissioner for the Port of Kalama since 2010.  He also is currently serving on the Washington Public Ports Association (WPPA) Executive Committee and the Executive Committee for the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments.

A long-time Kalama resident, he graduated from Kalama High School in 1989. Troy has worked for Kalama Auto Supply and Repair for 27 years, purchasing the business in 2003.  As a small business owner within his community, he understands the area’s desires and future needs on a personal level. Troy is the father of three boys and just welcomed his second grandchild! Much of his free time is spent attending his sons’ sporting events. Other hobbies include playing golf, watching NASCAR and attending community events.

Troy’s focus on economic development helps the port successfully create a balance of quality of life and family-wage jobs in the region. The Port of Kalama is an integral part of their community and Troy is proud to serve as commissioner.

“I ran for Port Commissioner because I wanted be part of something that has such a positive influence on our community and be part of the decision making for the change we’ve seen and that yet to come,” says Stariha. “My hope for the Port is that we continue economic growth while creating a balance with recreational opportunities and development of properties that conform with our mission statement.”

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