Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Let’s explore Sperry Dock options

Letter by John E. "Jocko" Burks, University Place on Sep. 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm with No Comments »
October 1, 2012 10:45 am

I enjoyed Ken Miller’s column (TNT, 9-24) on capturing the Sperry/MSNS waterway site for completing the Dome-to-Defiance trail. As a Ruston Way trail user, I think it’s a great goal.

But to ensure success, we need to not just kick out the MNSN ships, but help them relocate. In 2008 they may not have been top priority, but now with a new Stryker Brigade, they have to be quickly available.

So where can they go? It has to be accessible to road and rail to load and unload military vehicles. What are the alternative sites in the South Sound? Maybe Olympia, or maybe we can work out an alternative arrangement that would work for all concerned.

Since more than 90 percent of the ships’ time at the Sperry Docks is just standby, why not design a moorage buoy – with power, fuel and water in Commencement Bay – that the ships can moor to while on standby? Then design a trail that passes through the new Sperry site that can be closed or minimized on those few days the ships need to tie up for loading or disembarking military loads.

Let’s form a volunteer citizens committee (with some sort of local government blessing) to explore the options and come up with recommendations on how to proceed.

(Burks is a retired U.S. Navy captain.)

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