U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood traveled up to central Idaho late Wednesday to promote river traffic after spending some time in Boise earlier in the day promoting light rail.
While in Lewiston, LaHood was thanked by local officials, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Republican Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch for $1.3 million in federal funding to expand the Port of Lewiston's container dock. Paper and agricultural products are shipped from the dock to Portland, Ore., and on to Pacific Rim destinations.
This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that LaHood was also met by a half-dozen protesters from the Wild Idaho Rising Tide activist organization. They disagreed with using more federal dollars at the port, calling it a "taxpayer hoax."
Earlier Wednesday, LaHood championed a streetcar initiative while visiting Boise-based MotivePower, manufacturer of diesel-electric locomotives.
"I have committed to Mayor [Dave} Bieter that [the Department of Transportation] will work together with the mayor on his mission," said LaHodd. "The idea of a streetcar system to connect the university community with the downtown community is a very strong vision."