The Daily Mash-Up

Sunday, August 30, 2015 This Week's Paper
TOTE announces plans to convert vessel to natural gas

Totem Ocean Trailer Express announced that it has signed a contract with Keppel Offshore & Marine for the conversion of the Midnight Sun to dual fuel liquefied natural gas propulsion. This is the world’s first major conversion of a large RO/RO vessel to LNG. The work will begin in December and is expected to be completed in 90 days.

Once complete, the Midnight Sun will emit fewer air and greenhouse gas emissions. Her sister ship, the North Star, is expected to be converted by 2017.

Totem will be the first in North America to begin the conversion to natural gas. Totem Ocean is part of the TOTE and Saltchuk organization that is leading the maritime industry into LNG with the introduction of the world’s first LNG powered containership into the Puerto Rico trade later this year.

“Totem Ocean is excited to partner with Keppel for the conversion of the Midnight Sun, enabling her to operate on natural gas” stated John Parrott, President of Totem Ocean. “The removal and replacement of the four engines, adding 2,200 cubic meters of LNG capacity along with the addition of 47 kilometers of new cabling is a complex undertaking, and we are confident that Keppel will provide safe, timely, high-quality work to ensure the best outcome for Totem Ocean and our customers.”

Puget Sound Energy, in partnership with Totem Ocean and the Port of Tacoma, has plans to construct an LNG liquefaction terminal at the port that will serve Totem Ocean, residents of Puget Sound and the broader transportation industry in the Pacific Northwest. This facility is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2018.

Once a month, the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health allows concerned citizens to voice their opinions. Tomorrow – Wednesday, Aug. 5 – those who wish to give, or hear, public commentary on e-cigarettes are invited to join up there with the Pink Lung Brigade for “Awareness Wednesday,” 3-5 p.m. The Health Department is located at 3629 S. D St.

Full weekend of SR 167 closure across Puyallup River begins Aug. 7

Drivers who rely on the State Route 167 Puyallup River Bridges (Meridian) are encouraged to plan for delays and alternate routes during the weekend of Aug.7.

Both the northbound and southbound SR 167 bridges that span the Puyallup River will be closed to traffic while crews relocate an obsolete steel truss bridge.

County outlines strategy for enforcing marijuana violations

By July 1, 2016, all unlicensed marijuana sales operations in unincorporated Pierce County – medical and recreational – must close. That message has been delivered to county landlords, business owners and operators whose establishments involve the burgeoning marijuana market.

Pierce County’s Marijuana Enforcement Policy Task Force, a collaborative effort made up of representatives from the County Executive’s office, the County Council, the County Prosecutor’s office, Planning and Land Services, Pierce County Responds, and the Sheriff’s department, began issuing letters of intent on Friday, July 24.

“It’s important that these individuals know that after a certain date, they will no longer be allowed to operate,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “However, it is our sincerest desire to work closely with these businesses in order to assist their compliance with the law. They’ve got plenty of time, and county resources are available to help them transition through this fledgling period.”

Under county code (chapter 18A.12), unlicensed marijuana sales establishments – sometimes referred to as “pot shops” – are illegal in the unincorporated portion of the county. While the county ordinance has been in place since Dec. 20, 2013, due to developing interpretations of state and federal laws it has largely gone unenforced.

“We owe it to our citizens to provide clear guidance and direction on this matter just as we would any other county issue,” said Councilmember Joyce McDonald, who represents Pierce County’s 2nd Council District. “Come July 1, 2016, there will be a significant increase in enforcement now that the state has provided a greater number of enforcement tools we can employ. By that date, we’ll be well on our way to shutting down illegal operations.”

In April, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 5052 which amends current recreational and medical marijuana laws, requiring unlicensed facilities to close by the July 1, 2016, deadline. Penalties for violating the law after that date could include arrest and criminal prosecution.

Under current law, individuals wishing to open retail marijuana establishments in Pierce County must obtain a license from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Control Board, as well as applicable county permits, in order to operate legally. However enforcing the law prior to the Legislature’s action in April would have been costly and fraught with legal questions, which is why the task force recommended waiting until the state clarified its stance.

For more information on state licensing requirements, visit www.liq.wa.gov. For more on the county’s zoning and development regulations, visit www.piercecountywa.org/pals.

Tacoma Link to run on extended hours Friday

Sound Transit will operate extended hours for Tacoma Link Friday, July 23 to accommodate crowds leaving the Motley Crue with Alice Cooper concert at the Tacoma Dome.

The last northbound train will depart the Tacoma Dome Station at 11:48 p.m.

The concert begins at 7 p.m.

Sound Transit buses and Link light rail trains will operate on a weekday schedule.

Complete train and bus schedules are available at http://www.soundtransit.org/Schedules.

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