Monday, January 26, 2009

Jasper Port Supporters Celebrate Groseclose Exit

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Mon, Jan 26, 2009 at 11:33 AM

As a former reporter in the sparse hollows of Jasper County, I can tell you that there was no lovelost between the community and the States Ports Authority — actually, court filings could tell you that too, so don't consider me the only source for this nugget.

The port has been a years-long dream of the small county border county and they've felt sabatoged at every step by SPA. So this story that they're looking forward to a change is no surprise (though, what is surprising is the reporters mistaken impression that Sen. Clementa Pinckney, D-Jasper County, is a woman).

"It's like Barack Obama becoming president," said state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, whose district spans both Jasper and Charleston counties.

"It's a breath of fresh air at the Ports Authority," she said.

The prospect of new leadership means the Jasper Port could "get a fair evaluation," compared with Charleston, said Nancy Vinson, the program director for the Charleston-based Coastal Conservation League.

The environmental group has strongly advocated for the Jasper Port over an expansion of the Port of Charleston, citing a worsening of pollution and roadway congestion in Charleston.

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