RAPIT forum.
I am for all Port and Rail development. I want a vibrant well organized Port with Rail plans. 

But……

Robin and I went to the RAPIT meeting tonight. It was a one sided forum that needed a more consistent agenda. There were lot’s off the wall commentary and disorganization. Obviously someone was making a play on the environment by handing out “green” support cards to be sent to the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District Commissioners. Robin was disturbed by the postcard saying “I support environmentally responsible development. Let’s make ours the first GREEN port and railroad in America.” She felt it was bold statement with no back-up information to back up this. What qualifies this statement? What makes our potential developed bay green, and what makes other ports not green. If that is the case, why did they skirt around the question of erosion during dredging and release of ballast organism. And where on the card is the mention of the RAPIT forum? Bill Bertain said RAPIT is a task force? Are they? And who is the ptyson@portofhumboldtbay.org. on the front of the card?

Bill Bertain was the moderator for this forum, with a bias. Made the comment it would take 72 million in 1998 dollars to revitalize the railroad. May be more in now dollars. I think Bill is a great guy, but he needed to stay on task. If you have not been part of this process, I can see where you could get lost.

All of the panelists gave their takes. David Hull gave an update slide show. Good stuff.

Then in the middle of the introduction of former Assemblyman Dan Hauser, Pete Oringer was at the podium to read a letter by NCRA Chair Allan Hemphill. This letter was not on the agenda, and from what I heard, every dime and dollar will be focused on the Southern end of the rail. Hauser just stood and waited. Then he gave a short speech saying he had to be quick because Bill and Pete had taken 15 minutes of his 5 minute allotted time. (His introduction was longer than his speech!) He did bring up that the dismantle would cost as much as the rebuilding.

Eric Zampol of Goldman Sachs brought more questions than answers. Why their interest? It is kind of like, “You are pre approved for this credit card” and now what? Why would an investor take interest to us without the rail? He made it clear, we have to have private investors.

Tom Creamer from Ports America was a great informational source. I learned more about shipping from him than all others combined.

The questions were generic and through 7 questions at least 20 more were followed up by the moderator. And clearly not the audience questions but the moderator. Just my look. If the RAPIT group wants to do this type of forum, hire a non- biased moderator.

I had thought that someone on the panel would be from organized labor. Nope. Let us try this again. Maybe more organized.

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