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About: Claudia Johnson

Recent Posts by Claudia Johnson

Discover! Did you know that the Port of Kalama has been honored for its many contributions to education and student advancement?

Did you know that the Port of Kalama has been honored for its many contributions to education and student advancement?

The Port of Kalama and the Kalama School District work closely together to create a tangible connection for students between the classroom, local industry and real world career and job opportunities. And they are plentiful—right here at home.

Industries at the Port of Kalama employ more than 1,000 people. And there are Fortune 500 companies right here conducting global business and commerce including import/export, manufacturing, marketing, welding and steel work, recycling, trucking and myriad other commercial and industrial enterprises. They choose Kalama for its ideal location in the heart of the Pacific Northwest on the highway, railroad and river.

Through work at the Kalama Career Fair and engaging Port businesses in educational programs, the Port of Kalama has built a close relationship between students, the faculty of Kalama Schools and the Port’s business partnersand the Port offers students opportunities to meet members of the business community and learn about work and career opportunities at the Port and among Port industries.

Earlier this year the Port of Kalama and Executive Director Mark were honored with the 2018 Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) Community Leadership Award for the Columbia River Region. The award recognizes Port of Kalama’s many contributions to the Kalama School District: The Port was instrumental in organizing the Kalama High School Career Fair and recruiting Port businesses to participate in an effort to educate students on career and job opportunities in the region and at the Port.

“Mark Wilson and Port of Kalama commissioners have been instrumental in forging a cooperative new direction for district-port relations. Through these efforts, the Kalama School District has engaged Port and Cowlitz businesses in the Kalama Days Career Fair promoting career awareness among Kalama students and giving them increased motivation to do well in school,” says Mike Nerland, WASA Honorary Awards Committee Columbia River Region 112. “Your efforts have also helped foster the development of a STEM network in Cowlitz County. We thank you for your support of students and families in Kalama School District and throughout Cowlitz County.”

The Port continues to offer opportunities to meet members of the business community and learn about the work they do—improving the understanding of the business activities here and educating students about the many businesses and global industries right here in the community.

Here’s to an inspiring new school year!

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Port of Kalama schedules contractors to lower weather-worn Totem Pole at Marine Park for further evaluation

While the Lelooska Totem Poles are beloved structures hosted at the Port of Kalama, time and weather exposure have taken their toll. As a result, the Port of Kalama has engaged a team of industrial contractors to lower the tallest of the poles to examine its condition and determine next steps.

Experts from JH Kelly industrial mechanical contracting and Ness Campbell crane and rigging are scheduled to be on site at Marine Park to lower the 140’ icon the week of September 17th—weather conditions will determine the exact day of operations. There will be two cranes on site to maneuver the totem pole to the ground and an I-beam will be installed along the back of the aging totem to offer additional support.

Marine Park—including walking paths, playground and parking area—will be closed intermittently during the days of operations likely from September 17th through the 20th. The public is encouraged to avoid the area those days as there will be no safe area for viewing.

“Taking down a 140’ structure will be a feat, and engineers will need a lot of space to work within so we’ll be closing the area to support their efforts to lower the pole in one piece,” says Liz Newman, marketing manager, Port of Kalama. “Following this project, the Port will store the totem pole near the amphitheater and continue to work with the family that owns them to identify the next best steps.”

The Port earlier this summer engaged engineering experts to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the tallest pole and its current ability to withstand strong winds and other weather. Early findings show impairment has affected the structural integrity of the pole—and thus the public safety of keeping it installed. Staff then worked with the engineering team to determine the best way to move the pole without creating further damage.

Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners declared the project to take down the 140’ pole an emergency action and instructed staff to immediately investigate options to remove the pole. An emergency action is taken when there’s a risk to public safety.

The Port is in close communications with the family who owns the totem poles to determine the best solution to potentially restore and maintain them.

The Port encourages visitors to be aware of contractor activity in the area around the structures the week of September 17th and to watch for further updates on the totem pole on the Port’s social media and blog pages.

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Discover! Our Working Rivers: Did you know Port of Kalama is an internationally-renowned marine terminal?

Three main rivers running through the Pacific Northwest—the Columbia River, Willamette River and the Snake River—all support the livelihood of our communities, economy, recreation and quality of life. More than 40,000 jobs in the Pacific Northwest exist because of our strong maritime commerce. And tons and tons of Pacific Northwest grain is being transported by barges traveling over these thoroughfares on their way to the Port of Kalama for export to communities around the globe.

Because of this efficiency and proximity to Pacific Rim customers, farmers in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington use the ports on the Snake River to send their wheat to deep draft ports like the Port of Kalama on the Columbia River. From there, grain is loaded onto ocean-going ships to feed consumers around the world. Check out this video of how Washington wheat is expertly transported through the river system to destination grain terminals like those at the Port of Kalama.

It’s kind of a big deal!

Did you know that the Port of Kalama is an internationally-renowned marine terminal and home to some of the most efficient grain export facilities on the west coast? Temco LLC stores and handles grains like corn, soybeans and wheat for export from the Pacific Northwest to ports around the world. Today, 50 million tons of cargo travel up and down the Columbia River.

The Columbia River is the third largest grain export gateway in the world, exporting more than 50% of the nation’s wheat. At the Port of Kalama, the Temco terminal handles up to 250 million bushels of grain per year and employs 120 local workers loading as much as 2 million bushels of grain every 24 hours.

Together, Port of Kalama companies and facilities employ 1,024 individuals, reported nearly $10 million in marine terminal operating revenues and accounted for nearly 14 million tons of grain exports in 2017.

Temco leases export facilities and terminals at the Port of Kalama providing a long-term revenue stream to the Port of Kalama that pays for infrastructure investments and other high-return economic activity. Such investments are part of the Port’s comprehensive plan to ensure that the jobs and local opportunities at the facilities continue long into the future.

Our River. Our Livelihood. Our Quality of Life.

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Port of Kalama continues beach nourishment project to enhance riverfront recreational areas

The Port of Kalama next week commences maintenance dredging at the Temco LLC berth to ensure the draft necessary for cargo ships at the terminal. The Port commission voted to award the $814,212 dredging contract to HME Construction. The routine maintenance project will commence on Tuesday, September 4th and is expected to last three weeks.

The dredging procedure will remove sand in front of the Temco terminal and then use the material to continue beach nourishment on the Port of Kalama riverfront at Louis Rasmussen Park. The beach nourishment process, which is a continuation of the project started last fall, will temporarily impact some beaches at the park commencing Tuesday, September 4th. The last complete beach nourishment project took place in the 1980s. The Port is rebuilding the beach so it can continue to be used for recreation.

All parks will remain open but the beach at Louis Rasmussen Park will be closed to the public to accommodate the three-week project. All general business activities at the Port will continue as scheduled.

“It’s that time of year we need to act on outdoor renovation and improvement projects for the facilities we enjoy here,” said Liz Newman, marketing manager, Port of Kalama. “These projects are part of the Port’s effort to maintain and improve Port recreational facilities for visitors as well as maintain shipping access for Port businesses, and we apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. We urge the public to call the Port with any questions or concerns and please visit the Port of Kalama Facebook page for posted updates on the projects.”

For more information call 360-673-2325 or visit us at Facebook for updates and notices.

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Discover! Salmon recovery efforts commence at Port of Kalama

The Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group next week launches the construction phase of the Kalama River Fish Enhancement Project at the Port of Kalama. The ambitious restoration project will enhance habitat for juvenile and adult fish, increase holding water for salmon and steelhead and create cover for fish to hide from predators.

The Port provided matching funds toward the construction of the wood structures along the shoreline to provide shelter and safe feeding areas for young salmon. This next phase of the project is expected to run from August 20, 2018 through summer 2019 and will impact some areas and Port walking paths in the Kalama River Industrial Park. Visitors should look for area signage. For more information on the construction projects visit https://www.rco.wa.gov/; search project number 16-1532.

The comprehensive strategy is to maximize the function of the lower Kalama River as a thermal refuge habitat to benefit multiple in-basin and out-of-basin stocks including Chinook, coho, steelhead, sockeye, and chum. A secondary goal is to increase productivity of in-basin stocks and to decrease predation of all salmonids via increased aquatic habitat complexity and diversity.

Overall recovery and enhancement efforts will include:

  • Installing 30 multi-log structures comprised of about 100 instream complexity logs and 25 floodplain roughness logs along 7,000’ of mainstem shoreline and 970’ of side channel shoreline;
  • Enhancing 2,000,000 cubic feet of existing juvenile rearing and adult holding cover habitat;
  • Increasing riffle pool frequency from 1 in 6,500’ to 1 pool every 170’;
  • Reducing width to depth ratio from 150:3 to 125:5;
  • Adding 700,000 cubic feet of juvenile rearing and adult holding cover by increasing depth of existing deep-water habitat and creating a minimum of 20 new pools.
  • Increasing sediment sorting to create a minimum of 2,000’ sq. ft. of spawning habitat.

 

The Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group and the Port of Kalama thank the following partners for their contributions to the Kalama River Fish Enhancement Project:

  • WA State Dept. of Natural Resources
  • WA State Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
  • WA State Recreation and Conservation Office
  • Salmon Recovery Funding Board
  • Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board
  • Steelscape Inc.
  • Larch Correctional Facility

 

In addition, the following firms are involved in the efforts:

Woody materials: HFI Consultants

Engineering:  Inter-Fluve Inc.

Contractor: Kysar-Koistinen

For more information on the project, visit https://www.rco.wa.gov/. Search project number 16-1532. Or call Brice Crayne, LCFEG project manager, at 360-904-7922.

“The Port of Kalama is dedicated to preserving Kalama’s natural environment through community service projects and facility enhancements that protect its natural resources,” says Liz Newman, marketing manager, Port of Kalama. “This fish enhancement project will further our local efforts to restore and enhance habitat for salmon and steelhead navigating the Kalama River.”

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Discover! New industrial building opens to welcome a growing cluster of steel manufacturing companies offering local family wage jobs in Kalama

In response to demand for light industrial space at the Port of Kalama, the board of commissioners approved the expansion of Kalama River Industrial Park with a new 120,000 square foot building. As part of its economic mission, the Port works hard to offer employers an array of properties and buildings that result in excellent family wage jobs and opportunities.

The Port’s long-term comprehensive planning process was designed to create this balanced and diverse industry base, and new buildings and amenities are a key part of the plan to attract tenants.

Port of Kalama’s newest tenants, Bridger Steel and Marco Industries, are large manufacturing entities that play a significant role in the steel manufacturing cluster emerging at the Port. The companies join other organizations like Steelscape, CE Metal Fabrication, Christiansen Enterprises LLC, and Aero-Vac Alloys & Forge to leverage Kalama’s place in the region and create good local jobs. Partnerships like these create long-term opportunities for the next generation of local talent to live, work and raise families close to home.

The growing steel sector at the Port of Kalama showcases the economic circle of life core to the mission of the Port commission—creating economic development, revenue and job opportunities not only for the Kalama community but the entire region. The Port is now experiencing growth in this steel industry where companies are able to import steel, manufacture and install products for use right at the Port and elsewhere around the region. It’s huge for next generations coming up who can live, work and play right here in Kalama and put their own stamp—and pride—on high-visibility projects in their home community.

Check out this video of the economic circle of life created by this growing steel cluster.

And please join us in welcoming the newest members of our business community—learn more about Bridger Steel and Marco Industries:

Bridger Steel

Bridger Steel Inc., a premier metal manufacturer of panel systems for roofing, siding and interior applications, signed a lease with the Port of Kalama for 30,000 square feet of office and warehouse space and another 10,000-square foot covered area for loading trucks. The company serves the US and Canada, as well as Europe and the Pacific Rim. Bridger prides itself on delivering the highest level of service and support to partners and upholding a standard of quality in everything they create.

Marco Industries

Marco Industries,  an industry leader in the manufacture and distribution of quality accessory products for the metal roofing and cladding industry, also signed a lease for 30,000 square feet of warehouse and office space at the Port of Kalama. Marco Industries manufactures and distributes ventilation, closure, fasteners, flashing, underlayment and other accessories for metal roofs and wall systems and expects to hire eight to ten employees in its start-up phase at the Port. Numerous Marco products have been utilized in the construction of the new building.

 

 

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Discover! New marina amenities at Port of Kalama and more on the way soon!

We’ve come a long way! Earlier this year the Port of Kalama embarked on a comprehensive marina renovation project that would enhance and update the popular riverfront facility for patrons and guests. With a world-class facility in mind—designed for fishing, boating and water recreation—the Port has made great strides this year to create the renovations and upgrades to the Port of Kalama Marina that have ultimately enhanced the user experience.

The Port today announces that the following enhancements are complete:

  • The boat launch has been replaced with two lanes open for launch traffic.
  • All docks have been replaced at the boat launch and fuel dock.
  • A state-of-the-art fuel system and new digital self-service pump have been installed—accepting Visa, Mastercard, and Voyager credit cards and open 24 hours a day.
  • Waler boards and power pedestals have been replaced in boathouse C.
  • Gangways have been replaced at the fuel dock and boat ramp

 

Marina project upgrades still underway include:

  • Waler board replacements in Boathouses A and B AND C.
  • Boathouse utilities like the new metal pedestals and electricity—which are underway in all houses.

 

While there is still amphitheater construction in Marine Park and Louis Rasmussen Park, walking paths have been repaved with new lighting and are open for visitors.

Port of Kalama’s celebrated parks are all open for business and offer incredible amenities and popular venues for family enjoyment:

  • 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

 

Please sign up for email project updates at www.portofkalama.com under the contact tab, and follow the Port on Facebook, where there will be updates and information for marina users. Marina patrons can also sign up for email notices and updates by filling out the form here.

Questions can also be directed to the Port administrative office 360-673-2325 at any time.

“We understand what marina interruptions mean to our valued patrons and visitors and we appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we complete the biggest marina renovation project since it was originally built,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “While there will be short-term construction, we believe the end product will restore the marina so it can be enjoyed for decades to come.”

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Discover! A history of stewardship on the river

Like other Pacific Northwest ports, Port of Kalama is an economic and environmental steward of the regional river system. The Port collaborates with regional organizations like Our Working Rivers, Pacific Northwest Waterways Association and Washington Public Ports Association to ensure the health of our river system.

Three main rivers running through the Pacific Northwest—the Columbia River, Willamette River and the Snake River—all support the livelihood of our communities, economy, recreation and quality of life. More than 40,000 jobs in the Pacific Northwest exist because of our strong maritime commerce.

With a key economic and recreational location on the Columbia River, it is the mission of the Port of Kalama to keep the river working for the entire community. The Columbia River plays a vital role in the commerce and trade that support our town. In fact, Kalama was founded because of our place on the river.

Today, 50 million tons of cargo travel up and down the Columbia River. It is the third largest grain export gateway in the world, exporting more than 50% of the nation’s wheat.

We’re all interconnected through our rivers.

Kalama is more resilient and prosperous because of our location on the Columbia River and its connection to the global marketplace. Port of Kalama joins other Pacific Northwest ports as the economic engines of our region working with shippers, barge lines, export companies and farmers to transport cargo like grain, automobiles, lumber and steel up and down the Columbia River safely, efficiently and successfully.

Our River. Our Livelihood. Our Quality of Life.

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To our fellow Kalama Community

Like you, we are saddened to see the results of the weather exposure the Lalooska totem poles have endured over time. We’d like to clarify just a few points.

  • Port of Kalama does not own these poles—we are the host venue.
  • We are working closely with the family of owners to help them with the best way to determine the future of the pole.
  • The Port is investing in engineering consultants to help us—and the family—understand the best—and safest—way to bring the tallest totem to the ground for more evaluation.
  • Until we all know how the tallest totem has been impacted by weather and exposure, we don’t yet know the best solution.
  • We want to keep everyone up-to-date as we receive more information from both engineering teams and the family that owns these treasures.
  • There are three totems that will remain upright at this location while we analyze the tallest which stands at 140’.
  • Engineering specialists advised the Port of Kalama commission that the tallest totem is a potential safety hazard as it is not likely to withstand riverside winds as it once did.
  • The totems are hosted at one of the Port’s most-visited public parks—public safety at Port parks and beaches is our number one concern and priority.

 

We hope that the Kalama community understands that we are doing the best we can to move quickly with engineering and the family of owners to assure a timely solution for the totem.

Thank you all so much for your patience as we identify the best route to proceed.

 

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Port of Kalama engages structural engineering team to evaluate weather-worn Totem Poles at Marine Park

With weathering and wear of the iconic wooden structures, the Port contracted WRK Engineers to examine the condition of the totems

While the Lelooska Totem Poles are beloved structures hosted at the Port of Kalama, time and weather exposure have taken their toll. As a result, the Port of Kalama contracted WRK Engineers to evaluate the structural integrity of the tallest of the wooden symbols standing 140’ high.

The Port engaged the engineering firm to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the tallest pole and its current ability to withstand strong winds and other weather. Early findings show impairment has affected the structural integrity of the pole—and thus the public safety of keeping it installed.

Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners last night declared the project to take down the 140’ pole an emergency action and instructed staff to immediately investigate options to remove the pole. An emergency action is taken when there’s a risk to public safety.

Staff will work with the engineering team to determine the best way to move the pole without creating further damage. The other totem structures will remain upright for now.

The Port is in close communications with the family who owns the totem poles to determine the best solution to potentially restore and maintain them.

The Port encourages visitors to be aware of contractor activity in the area around the structures and to watch for further updates to the plight of the Kalama icons.

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