Thursday, May 31, 2012

Coal: May 31 Update

Stuff is continuing to happen around the topic we wish would just go away.
But, it won't without our individual and collective dedication.

A few more URL's on the subject have appeared:

Another Crosscut article

Info from Sightline

Seattle Times coverage

And, today's e-mail message from James Wells:
If you want to read all 82 pages of the EIS contract with CH2M Hill, here it is!

Good to know (page 11) that no Whatcom County funds will be used.

Initially authorized amount (page 12): $961,703.  That's for work through the Final Scoping Report (page 17).

And, it appears we get our $16,773.97 in county expenses back!  We can throw a party!  See page 15.

Scope of work starts on page 38.  Still saying public comment period June/July but document is out of date, it describes tasks that "will be" done in May.  
Soon, we'll get word that the 60-day clock will begin ticking for comments on the EIS.
Please stay tuned and ready to submit your concerns and comments to Whatcom County; PDS, Council and Executive.
We can make a difference!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Coal: Shanty Town, USA?

Shanty towns are not places most of us want to live in or near. They often reflect extreme poverty and deprivation of the essential health and basic human services most Americans have come to value and expect.

Shanty towns represent the banding together of people who share the same set of problems, often the simple need for shelter near a place where food and/or a source of income is available.

Sometimes they grow as a result of a frenzied effort to obtain wealth or rights to water or property, like the waves of miners and prospectors that have occurred in years past.

Others result from the decline of inner cities or areas devastated by disaster, both natural and man made over time.

In every case, shanty towns aren't very good places for Realtors interested in turning a quick profit, unless, of course, a major redevelopment is planned that will displace those living there.

Then, there are the unplanned changes that bring unanticipated consequences which happen more slowly and are therefore not detected until too late to mitigate them.

Comparing shanty towns with what will happen to Bellingham if the GPT Coal terminal is built may be an exaggeration, but directionally that is what would certainly occur.

Property -both private and public- values will decline, especially along the railroad right-of-way.
Existing connections between our waterfront and inland areas will be affected with negative impacts on business, recreation and ecology.

Those are simply givens that no amount of mind numbing rhetoric will overcome to any one's satisfaction - except those robber baron wannabes who could give a damn for anyone else.

Why is it so difficult to get more people to face up to this real and imminent danger?
Easy to see how politics as usual can be employed to charge up the issue and dumb down the response, isn't it?

Let's cut through that crap and face our choices clearly, now, before real harm is set in motion!

Nowhere in Bellingham's extensive planning and visioning for its future is there a scenario that even remotely dreams of its return to a mill town reminiscent of its pioneer era past.

Those were the days when folks welcomed any kind of job that put food on their table; when the free exploitation of abundant natural resources was literally the raison d'ĂȘtre for settling a place to become known as Bellingham.

That time has passed.
The mills are mostly gone, victims to a global economy.
The coal mines are closed down, for similar reasons.
Timber 'harvesting' still occurs, but at a much reduced and more sustainable pace, because most of the old growth has been clear-cut.
Fishing is a shadow of its former self around here, and now happens somewhere else, in competition with modern methods of depleting the sea's bounty.
And now, we no longer dump our garbage anywhere that's temporarily convenient; instead, we spend millions cleaning up our 'sins of the past'.
Why then, would we wish to turn back the pages of our own history?

Why, would we invite the certain reappearance of old practices in the guise of new jobs, exports, new tax monies - at the expense of our hard won prosperity and peace?
It seems a fool's errand to accept such flawed rationale to justify something no one will enjoy or in their right mind, want.
So, let's not do it. Just say no. It might work, so why not give it a try?

Are you listening, elected leaders?

This week brings a few more articles worthy of mention, including these three from Whatcom Watch:
The Sierra Club has submitted this excellent letter to Whatcom County PDS:

Sam Ryan, Acting Director
Whatcom County
Planning and Development Services
5280 Northwest Drive
Bellingham, WA  98226
May 16, 2012
Dear Ms. Ryan,
This letter presents the comments of the Mt Baker Group of the Sierra Club on the applications submitted to Whatcom County for the Gateway Pacific Terminal for the Shoreline Substantial Development Permit, the Major Project Permit and the Zoning Variance for the coal export terminal proposed at Cherry Point.  We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the permit applications, particularly given the sensitive nature of the Cherry Point site, its environs and the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.  Cherry Point provides recreational opportunities to our members in Whatcom County and throughout Western Washington for hiking, fishing and kayaking.  We are very concerned about the development of the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and the potential impacts on Cherry Points’ sensitive and important natural resources.   
We believe that the impacts of this project are significant and that the development of the Gateway Pacific Terminal is inconsistent with the applicable Whatcom County plans, policies, and regulations.   In addition, to date, neither the applicant nor the permitting authorities have completed necessary studies on the impacts of development in this area to human health and the environment, including studies specifically identified in applicable Whatcom County plans.  Any permit issued by Whatcom County will be legally inadequate without a full and complete analysis of all of the impacts of this project.  Declines in the herring population are a primary concern, given the importance of herring as a food source for salmon smolts acclimating to salt water. Other wildlife that use the near shore environment in the Georgia Straights are another concern.  Increased ship traffic associated with terminal operations and supplies increases the likelihood of collisions, spills, and threats to recreational boaters. Our concerns are described in more detail below.
Inadequate Study of Project Impacts to Ecological Resources in the Cherry Point area.
The Whatcom County Shoreline Master Program Cherry Point Management Area Policies and the Washington Department of Natural Resources’ Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan (CPEARMP) both identify the importance of herring habitat and regional fisheries in managing development at Cherry Point.    Specifically, the Cherry Point Management Area section of the Whatcom County Shoreline Master Program (SMP) lists specific goals and criteria for shoreline permits.   WCC23.100.17.A.1 identifies “Cherry Point management Area as providing herring spawning habitat and other key habitat characteristics that warrant special consideration due to their importance to regional fisheries and other elements of the aquatic environment. “  It further specifies that, “[i]n the event that the provisions of Section 23.100.17 conflict with other applicable referenced provision of this program, the policies and regulations that are most protective of shoreline resources shall prevail.” (WCC 23.100.12.A.1.e)
The SMP also states that, for industrial uses allowed in the Cherry Point Management Area, they should include:  implementation of the statewide interest(s) have been achieved through protection of shoreline ecological functions and processes [ WCC 23.100.17.B.1.a(1)]; proposed mitigation measures to achieve no net loss of ecological functions and processes are incorporated into the proposal [WCC 23.100.17.B.1.a(3)]; road, railway and utility facilities serving approved waterfront facilities related to water-dependent uses that are located and designed to minimize shoreline alteration are permitted. WCC 23.100.17.B.1.d; and mitigation to achieve no net loss of ecological functions and processes shall be conducted in accordance with SMP 23.90.03 [WCC 23.100.17.B.3.a].
The Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan (CPEARMP) identifies as its primary focus “to protect, enhance, and restore habitats used by Cherry Point herring stock, salmon, migratory and resident birds, Dungeness crab, groundfish rearing areas and marine mammals, as well as the protection of submerged aquatic vegetation and water quality.” (See Section 2. Introduction, Purpose and Content of this Plan).  The Technical Advisory Committee convened by DNR in development the management plan for the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve recognized “Cherry Point as an extraordinary stretch of shoreline with excellent potential to maintain the relatively undeveloped character of the area”.  The herring spawning in the area was recognized as “a unique biological feature of Puget Sound and its importance to the ecosystem”.  Studies of herring habitat and impacts of noise on herring are identified in the plan as essential to maintaining these critical features. The CPEARMP goes on to list as its objectives:
 1.1 Ensure future land use and permit decisions do not alter natural system forming processes, degrade habitat or result in impacts to key species 
3.1 Protect, restore and enhance habitat that supports breeding, nesting, feeding habitat and migratory corridors for fish and wildlife.  Prevent impacts of new structures, shoreline modification, intakes and outfalls on aquatic vegetation, forage fish spawning, and fish migration, and minimize the results of environmental impacts from existing industrial, residential, and recreational uses.  
3.5 Carry out research and monitoring on the causes of species decline within the Reserve in order to develop actions that will be effective in helping with species recovery.  
The research and monitoring that could supply the information necessary to accomplish these objectives has not been completed and therefore is not available to incorporate into the permit criteria.  Herring Behavior Studies need to be completed to determine how best to configure the proposed terminal design to minimize the impacts to herring.  Baseline and annual monitoring of sediment, tissue and water quality are also needed to inform the understanding of current conditions of Cherry Point surrounding habitat.  These data are essential to the formation of permit conditions and criteria that minimize project impacts to Cherry Point near shore habitat, and the creatures that rely on that habitat. 
Section 3 of the CPEARMP (Potential Future Impacts, Shoreline Modifications) states:  “The potential adverse impacts of light, noise shading and vessel traffic on Cherry Point herring spawning, prespawn holding behavior, and preferred migratory corridors have not been well studied; research on these issues is a priority and is addressed further in the management actions.” 
The SMP also specifies that industrial development facilities in Cherry Point Management Area “attenuate proximity impacts such as noise, light and glare, and may address scale and aesthetic impacts” [WCC 23.100.17.B.5.a].  This requirement also supports the need for studies of light impacts from the proposed terminal operations, and the potential for damage to species and habitat in the Cherry Point near shore area.  
The additional information necessary to accomplish the objectives of the CPEARMP includes studies identified in Section 5 (Management Actions), listed as necessary for effective management of the Plan, and excerpted below.
Monitoring, Data Collection, and Research; Data Gap Analysis, Tier 1
  • Identify any additional necessary and immediate protections for forage fish spawning habitats, marine and terrestrial bird habitat, and submerged vegetation.
Baseline Monitoring; Tier 1
  • Conduct detailed seafloor mapping and analyze habitat characteristics within the management area.
  • Identify the location, extent and quality of other forage fish spawning habitat.
  • Measure the diversity, distribution and abundance of intertidal species adjacent to and within the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve.
Baseline Monitoring; Tier 2
  • Complete validation of the herring larval survival and growth test in a commercial lab to finalize protocol for use by regulated community.  This is a high priority because lessees are required to carry out studies as a condition of any lease authorizations associated with increases in stormwater or wastewater discharges.
Trend Monitoring; Tier 1
  • Increase surveys of herring spawn timing and behavior in response to light and noise.
Research; Tier 1
  • Determine causes for small size, low hatch rate and the high rate of abnormal development in Cherry Point herring stock both as an assessment of the intrinsic health of the stock and in regards to the geographical pattern of abnormalities seen in outplants along the shoreline
  • Research ways to reduce shading of herring and forage fish habitat.
  • Assess effects of sound from commercial vessel traffic and dock operations on the spawning behavior of herring.
Allowable Uses; New Overwater Structures
  • Identify potential impacts and extent of salmon and herring behavior and distribution changes over time due to the artificial light and noise from the piers at Cherry Point.  The studies should also investigate the potential changes in species abundance and dominance resulting from increased prey access under artificial lighting, and address ways to reduce or eliminate any identified impacts.
At a minimum, baseline and annual monitoring, herring behavior studies, and habitat mitigation should be completed prior to any permits being issued for the Gateway Pacific Terminal.  Further, the applicant will need to assess the project’s impact on other aquatic species and habitats other than the herring, especially those identified in the CPEARMP, including “salmon, migratory and resident birds, Dungeness crab, groundfish rearing areas and marine mammals, as well as … submerged aquatic vegetation and water quality.” (See Section 2. Introduction, Purpose and Content of this Plan).  The applicant may need to complete additional studies and analyses, other than those identified above, to gather this information and assess the project’s complete impacts on human health and the environment.  Without this necessary information, any permits issued by Whatcom County will be legally inadequate.
Vessel Traffic Impacts Conditioning
The CPEARMP notes that “[m]arine vessel traffic is extensive in the Strait of George in the vicinity of the Reserve.  Cherry Point contains the largest refineries in Washington State; over half of all the crude and refined oil and petroleum products are loaded and offloaded here…. Numbers are not available regarding current vessel traffic into the Reserve.  This information will be collected during plan implementation to inform management actions related to dock operations and traffic risk mitigation strategies.”  (Section 3. Resource Characterization, Current Conditions).  Without this information, identified as essential to the functioning of the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve, the permits for the construction and operation of the export terminal cannot be structured to address and mitigate the impacts of vessels on the Cherry Point near shore environment.  As such, the shoreline master permit should not be issued until this essential information is collected to inform the permit conditions.  
The CPEARMP goes on to identify a need for data on seasonal vessel traffic, near miss/incident data for vessels and traffic between existing regional port operations.  The need for this information is stated as: “Vessel traffic analysis must be completed and an assessment of traffic management needs evaluated as per 1999 Settlement Agreement.” (Section 5. Management Actions, Allowable Uses, New Overwater Structures).  Studies on the following topics have yet to be completed:
  • Tidal currents 
  • Ship and boat vehicle safety
  • Vessel mooring study and plan 
  • Impacts of shipping traffic on tidal circulation and shallow nearshore habitat 
  • Stormwater management.
The additional information that the studies listed above reveal that it is necessary to collect a significant amount of information about existing Cherry Point uses and habitat to identify appropriate permit conditions, and accomplish the objectives identified in the Shoreline Master Program and the Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan.  
While the permit applications have already been determined by PDS to be complete, they are lacking in the detail needed to actually issue permits.  The permits applications are therefore inconsistent with the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program.  We request that permits are not approved until the information necessary to achieve the policies defined in the Shoreline Master Program and the Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan is acquired.  
If you desire any additional information about these comments or the Sierra Club’s priorities for the Cherry Point area, I can be reached by phone at 360-527-1134 or by email at
Llyn Doremus
Mt Baker Group
2520 Jefferson St
Bellingham, WA 98225

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Coal: Creating Private Wealth Offset By Public Debt

I remember learning somewhere, long ago, that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. 
Then, along came Albert Einstein who showed how matter and energy are in fact related, and even interchangeable under the right conditions. 
Think e=mc[squared]

Lately, I've been reminded that the earth was given its entire allotment of water at the time of its creation, and its now up to us to learn how to use it; hopefully, more efficiently and effectively with fair and equitable pricing mechanisms including a large dose of conservation!
The same may be said about coal and other natural resources, many of which are not easily sustainable.

How do these concepts relate to our current little problem of dealing with the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal and its dependency on hauling enormous amounts of our nation's coal along railways that bisect and disrupt and pollute American communities all along the way? 

Well, one way is that we the people ought to have a very strong voice in any decisions that impact our lives and our wallets!
There is growing evidence that many people have already waked up to that realization and are making their concerns public. I'm glad this is happening and happy to add my own voice in reflecting what others are saying and writing.

Another way the earlier concepts relate to us is that the proposal carries with it the promise of imposing an involuntary and unnecessary tax on every one of us, if the GPT proposal were to be approved in its present form. That ought to get everyone's undivided attention, whether a GPT advocate or not! If it doesn't, you are either brain-dead or anticipating a private payoff of some kind.

But, enough of my editorializing and on to the recent written thoughts of others:

The Bellingham Herald deserves credit for its reporting coverage of the growing GPT debate, with these citations;

First, the Whatcom Democrats met and approved a resolution against GPT.

Then, this report of BNSF's desire to add more sidings along our waterfront.

Today brought this article on last night's presentation to the City Council by the organization CommunityWise.

From Crosscut, new articles are coming thick and fast from Floyd MacKay:

1 - Coal train impacts to Boulevard Park

2 - Coal train impacts to Passenger service, etc, per CommunityWise report to City Council

3 - Coal train impacts to Pacific NW - PGE says no to use of property as terminal

4 - A brief plaudit to Mssrs MacKay and Simmons for their Coal train coverage to date; mention of Robert F Kennedy, Jr address in Portland about coal.
[an excerpt]
A little celebrity, now and then, is a good thing. As Billy Frank, Jr. learned during the Indian fishing wars of the 1960s and 70s, corralling a star like Marlon Brando to participate enhances media exposure. In the battle over Northwest coal exports — a debate expertly covered by Crosscut's Floyd McKay and Bob Simmons — a celebrity or two could be a political boon. So why not import a Kennedy to speak truth to power (and add a bit of glam)? "Several hundred activists gathered in Pioneer Courthouse Square today [May 1] to rally against exporting Montana and Wyoming coal from Northwest ports, an effort to signal the industry that it's in for a no-holds-barred fight," the Oregonian'sScott Learn writes. "Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.,  chief prosecuting attorney for Hudson Riverkeeper and president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, took top billing. Based on his experience fighting coal mining in Appalachia, Kennedy told the crowd, coal would corrupt politicians, damage health and the environment and 'turn government agencies into the sock puppets of the industries they're supposed to regulate.'"  
The Blogsite Get Whatcom Planning has new posts on Coal Trains, yesterday and today. Check them out.

Finally, as the major player in the foregoing debate, the kindly Mr Warren Buffet has a few things to say - indirectly:

Mr Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway has begun the year very well, as this report shows.

More on Berkshire Hathaway:
Berkshire Hathaway's 2011 Annual Report contains some interesting information about BNSF Railway Company, specifically on pages 10, 11 and 70.

As excerpted and condensed from page 11: 
Revenues grew from $16.850 Billion in 2010 to $19.548 Billion in 2011
Operating earnings grew from $4.495 Billion in 2010 to $5.310 in 2011
Net Interest grew from $507 Million in 2010 to $560 Million in 2011
Pre-Tax earnings grew from $3.988 Billion in 2010 to $4.741 in 2011
Net earnings grew from $2.459 Billion in 2010 to $2.972 Billion in 2011

Excerpted from page 10:
An excerpt - BNSF [headquartered in Fort Worth, TX; 39,000 employees] is a very large business that is both regulated and capital intensive.
A key characteristic… is the huge investment [it has] in very long-lived, regulated assets, with these partially funded by large amounts of debt that is not guaranteed by Berkshire [whose credit is not needed]. [The business has] earning power that even under terrible business conditions amply covers [its] interest requirements. In a less than robust economy during 2011, for example, BNSF's interest coverage was 9.5x….
Measured by ton-miles, rail moves 42% of America's inter-city freight, and BNSF moves more than any other railroad - about 37% of the industry total. A little math will tell you that about 15% of all inter-city ton-miles of freight in the U.S. is transported by BNSF. It is no exaggeration to characterize railroads as the circulatory system of our economy. Your railroad is the largest artery. [our aorta?]
All of this places a huge responsibility on us. We must, without fail, maintain and improve our 23,000 miles of [owned] track along with 13,000 bridges, 80 tunnels, 6900 locomotives and 78,600 freight cars. This job requires us to have ample financial resources under all economic scenarios and to have the human talent that can instantly and effectively deal with the vicissitudes of nature, such as the widespread flooding BNSF labored under last summer.
To fulfill its societal obligation, BNSF regularly invests in far more than its depreciation charge, with the excess amounting to $1.8 billion is 2011. The three other major U.S. railroads are making similar outlays. Though many people decry our country's inadequate infrastructure spending, that criticism cannot be levied against the railroad industry. It is pouring money - funds from the private sector - into the investment projects needed to provide better and more extensive services in the future. If railroads were not making these huge expenditures, our country's publicly-financed highway system would face even greater congestion and maintenance problems than exist today.
Massive investments of the sort that BNSF is making would be foolish if it could not earn appropriate returns on the incremental sums it commits. But I am confident it will do so because of the value it delivers. Many years ago Ben Franklin counseled, "Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee." Translating this to our regulated businesses, he might say, "Take care of your customer, and the regulator - your customer's representative - will take care of you." Good behavior by each party begets good behavior in return.

Excerpted from page 70 [Management's discussion]:
Railroad ("Burlington Northern Santa Fe")
We acquired [100%- had previously owned 22.5%] control of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation including its subsidiary BNSF Railway Company, ("BNSF") on February 12, 2010. BNSF's revenues and operating results are included in our consolidated results beginning immediately after the acquisition. Prior to that date, we accounted for our investment in BNSF pursuant to the equity method. …….

[ insert revenues and operating results, as summarized above]

BNSF operates one of the largest railroad systems in North America with approximately 32,000 route miles of track in 28 states and two Canadian provinces. BNSF's major business groups are classified by product shipped and include consumer products, coal, industrial products and agricultural products. The following discussion compares BNSF's results for the years ending December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009.

Revenues for the year ending December 31, 2011 were approximately $19.5 billion, representing an increase of approximately $2.7 billion (16%) over 2010. Revenues from each of the four business groups increased between 8% and 19% as compared to 2010. Overall, the increases in revenues in 2011 reflected a 12% increase in average revenues per car/unit across all four business groups, as well as a 3% increase in the volume of cars/units handled. Revenues in each period include fuel surcharges to customers under programs intended to recover incremental fuel costs when fuel prices exceed threshold fuel prices. Average revenues per car/unit in 2011 included the effects of fuel surcharge increases of 35% as compared to 2010.

The 3% increase in volume is comprised of increases of 7% in cars/units handled in the consumer products and industrial products groups combined with a 4% decrease in volume for coal products. The consumer products volume increase was attributable primarily to higher domestic intermodal and international volume. The decline in coal unit volume was partially attributable to the impacts of severe flooding along key coal routes. Industrial products volume increased primarily as a result of increased steel and sand shipments, as well as increased demand in petroleum products. Agricultural product volume remained relatively unchanged, as higher wheat exports and U.S. corn shipments were mostly offset by declining soybean exports.

Operating expenses in 2011 were $14.2 billion, representing an increase of $1.9 billion (15%) over 2010. Fuel expenses increased $1.3 billion in 2011 primarily due to higher fuel prices. The remainder of the increase in fuel costs was driven by higher overall freight volumes and severe weather conditions, which negatively impacted efficiency. Compensation and benefits expenses increased $311 million, reflecting volume-related costs, as well as salaries and benefits inflation, increased personnel training costs and flood-related costs. Purchased services expenses increased $49 million due primarily to volume-related and flood-related costs. In 2010, purchased services also included one-time merger-related legal and consulting fees. Materials and other expenses increased $186 million, reflecting higher locomotive and freight car material costs and increased crew transportation, travel and casualty costs offset by lower environmental costa.

[omitted 2 paragraphs related to prior year results]
As a last thought, I am again listing my post of April 30, 2012, that lists all of my previous blogs on the subject of Coal.
I will also forward this one to Whatcom County Planning as part of the public record.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Port: Mayday Or Pan-Pan?

The term 'mayday' is known as an international distress signal to be used only in dire emergencies.
The Port of Bellingham seems headed that direction, but hopefully hasn't yet hitched it's hawser to the bits on that miserable dock.
Instead, we ought to take the precaution of signaling 'pan-pan', which sounds the alarm that the Port is merely off-course enough to warrant concern that it's situation is steadily worsening.
So, that is what this blog attempts to do.

I am supporting a petition for the next public ballot that seeks to increase the number of elected commissioners from three to five, as is allowed by State law.
The two additional commissioners would be selected at-large, which wouldn't directly affect any of the commissioners now in office.
But, it would dilute their existing authority and require fresh eyes to steer a course truer to the public's interest in sustaining and improving not only its waterfront, but also it's airport and other assets meant to spur economic prosperity that benefits the entire community.

Not only has the current Port leadership failed to engender the public trust and confidence in its ability to manage its assets well by it's arrogance and unresponsiveness to significant public concerns, like hiring and supporting a competent Executive Director, Charlie Sheldon.

Two of the three Commissioners -Walker and Jorgenson -demonstrated exceptionally poor judgement, despite vocal public outcries that challenged their silly and remarkably unexplained actions.
That kind of arbitrary display is simply repugnant to citizens who expect much better accountability from their elected officials!

Don't get me wrong, because I don't believe in numerology; there is no intrinsic certainty in greater numbers.
Just look at our County Council as an example of why seven isn't a very magic number.
Or, worse, our combined Congressional circus of 535!

But, five is better than three at the Port for the simple reason that it's much harder to avoid having an illegal meeting out of the public view, something that has unquestionably happened with the current cast of Commissioners.
Is that enough reason to sign a petition so that voters can decide?
I think so!

Switching to a five member Commission would also allow additional concerned people to become responsibly involved in both knowing and deciding the Port's direction on the entire range of important public business the Port manages.

In addition to the critical redevelopment of our waterfront, that also includes future plans for the airport; something the Port has seriously neglected to share with the public, other than the after-the-fact course that we are just now beginning to hear about.

So, I'm calling 'pan-pan' and signing that petition, and hope you will too.