“Ask anyone on the sister agency, the North Coast Railroad Authority, about the Goldman Sachs deal and you get the official non-answer — vee know nossing!”


Portapalooza

North Coast Journal
August 7, 2008
By Hank Sims

All’s been quiet on the railroad for a few months. The old Northwestern Pacific line, that dead set of tracks from Humboldt County to the Bay Area, has been as quiet and trainless this summer as it has for the last 10 years. Strangely, though, even debate about the railroad seems to have gone on summer break. No one’s been much talking about the grand plans to reopen the 300-mile track, which would surely cure all our economic ills.

Instead, attention, such as it is, has focused on the railroad’s kissing cousin and partner in the master plan to revivify our economy — the Port of Humboldt Bay, supposed future home of an international freight terminal. Since the entrance of investment firm Goldman Sachs into scene, offering to sell off long-term leases on the assets of both the port and the railroad, everyone’s been focused on the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District. Ask anyone on the sister agency, the North Coast Railroad Authority, about the Goldman Sachs deal and you get the official non-answer — vee know nossing!

All that is set to change this month, as the railroad steps back into the limelight. In fact, there’s a whole three-day extravaganza of port and rail development activities scheduled for next week, in and around Eureka. First up, on Tuesday, the long-dormant Bay Stewards will hold one of their informational fora, this time specifically about the Bay District’s plan to develop its marine terminal. (The forum will start at 6:30 p.m., in Eureka’s Wharfinger Building.) What, specifically, is the Bay District planning for? How many cruise ships per year? How much military cargo? How many container ships? Has the Goldman Sachs deal gone south, as was recently reported in the Times-Standard?  Insofar as anyone has actual numbers, whether imaginary or non-imaginary, they will likely be presented here.

 

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