Come See & Touch the Future at PortTechEXPO

A solar concentrator dish that can burn through a one-inch thick solid steel block (at 2,650º F), create steam to run a turbine, or recycle wastewater for reuse; hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles; an electric semi truck; a remotely operated zero emission vehicle, on which can be mounted cameras and sensors for diverse purposes, such as railroad track safety or marine infrastructure inspections; a computer system that uses game theory to prevent security breaches… these and scores of other exciting clean energy, environmental, transportation and security technologies will be on display during the fourth annual PortTechEXPO. This year, for the first time, the public is invited for a free, action-packed afternoon seeing and touching these technologies of the future.

Produced by PortTechLA, the expo will take place on Wednesday, September 11, at Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles (110 E. 22nd Street; 22nd Street at Harbor Blvd.).

PortTechLA is a local public/private nonprofit with a global reach. It is dedicated to creating sustainable technology companies for ports and beyond by bringing together entrepreneurs, corporate partners and investors to accelerate innovation, advance clean technologies and help create economic opportunities. PortTech promotes and helps to develop technologies that enable enterprises to meet their environmental, energy, security, transportation and logistics goals. Attracting and growing these technology companies creates new jobs, protects current jobs by ensuring that our port remains competitive, and reduces negative environmental impacts on local communities.

PortTechEXPO kicks off with a morning session featuring Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero, a panel discussion focused on Clean Energy, and a luncheon with Keynote Speaker, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Tickets and table sponsorships for the morning session and luncheon are still available at www.PortTechLA.org. From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. exhibits open for the free public event: “CleanTech – Cool Tech.”

Much of the CleanTech – Cool Tech event is focused on education. The Port of Los Angeles TransPORTer, a mobile exhibit that features displays on the history, jobs, cargo, equipment, environmental programs and future of the port, will open for visitors. Southern California’s top research universities will be represented with displays and interactive exhibits on their latest research and development projects. And local high schools have been invited to bring displays on their STEM projects. Anyone considering a career in research, technology or the maritime industries, will surely find something of interest at the expo.

Clean Tech – Cool Tech will also feature a host of alternative fuel and electric vehicles for use on both land and water. If you are considering purchasing a hybrid or plug-in electric automobile, several vehicles will be available to look over, and experts certified to maintain them will be available to answer questions. Small, medium and full-size electric trucks will also be on display. And speaking of vehicles, unmanned, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are becoming more versatile for both land and sea applications, and both will be exhibited at the expo.

Electric lighting and ways of saving energy have been hot topics for years. We’ve progressed from incandescent, to fluorescent, to Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights in an effort to reduce energy and cost. Come see a demonstration of the next generation in lighting: Light Emitting Plasma (LEP).

Councilman Joe Buscaino will be the featured speaker during the Clean Tech – Cool Tech event. In addition, representatives from AltaSea, the marine research center planned for City Dock #1, will share their vision and plans for the iconic, world-class facility. Food trucks and entertainment round out the event. So, step into the future on September 11 at the fourth annual PortTechEXPO. For further info, see www.PortTechLA.org.spt

Herb Zimmer owns PriorityOne Printing in downtown San Pedro and serves as Board Chairman of PortTechLA.

Tripod: Our Loveable Inspiration

Tripod (photo Herb Zimmer)

It was December 9, 1999, when she came into our lives.

I was leaving a meeting at the Banning Museum, crossing Banning Park in Wilmington, when a small reddish-brown puppy ran across my path. It was trying to avoid some kids who were chasing it. I stopped them and asked if it was their dog. They said no and that they thought it was a stray. Once the kids stopped chasing the puppy, it stopped too, turned, looked at me curiously and tentatively came toward me. Only then, did I notice that the puppy was walking on only three legs. The left hind leg was twisted at an angle and didn’t reach the ground as the dog walked. Seeing no owner, and thinking that maybe the puppy had been dumped in the park because of its condition, I picked it up and put it in the car.

It had been only two months earlier that Arlene and I had lost our two much-loved Westies. We’d sworn that we were not going to have another dog anytime soon. The plan was to immediately find a home for this new puppy. Well, we found out very quickly that no one wants a dog with a broken leg. Just as quickly, we realized that this adorable little girl was meant to be ours. We named her Tripod after a three-legged dog in a detective novel I had read just days earlier. (The timing was scary.) At our first visit to the veterinarian, we learned that Tripod was approximately four-months-old, was probably a Lab/Ridgeback mix, was going to grow to be about 65 pounds and would be able to live a normal life if we had the broken leg removed.

On a Thursday afternoon, when she was eight months old, Tripod had surgery to remove the useless leg. We picked her up from the canine orthopedic surgeon Friday morning, gently lifted her into the car so as not to disturb the stitches where her leg had been, cradled her in Arlene’s lap and drove home. When we arrived, Tripod launched herself out of the car, ran in the front door, up fourteen steps, jumped on her couch and sat there with a look on her face that seemed to say, “So, can we play now?”

Since that day, Tripod has been an inspiration and a teacher. At the dog park, Tripod never thought of herself as different than the other dogs, and neither did they. Though she couldn’t run after thrown balls as fast as others, she never stopped trying. She’s come to work at the print shop with me every workday for thirteen years. She’s been our meeter, greeter and goodwill ambassador. She loves kids, and there have been many times a client’s child has crawled in and shared Tripod’s bed with her under the bindery table.

Now, at thirteen and a half (almost 95 in human years), her one functional back hip is wracked with arthritis. I have to use a sling to help her get around and to go up and down stairs. No matter what, though, she still has that puppy outlook on life… always positive, always curious, never judging, never complaining. Every time Arlene and I grumble about our minor aches and pains, all it takes is one look at Tripod to set us straight.

The once reddish-brown puppy now has a very white face. But her eyes still sparkle and her ears still perk up when it’s time for dinner or for one of her favorite treats: a big soup bone that Arlene roasts just for her. I don’t know how much longer Tripod is going to be with us. However long it is, we’ve been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn so many great life lessons from our three-legged “daughter.”

Thank you, Tripod. We love you. spt

Herb Zimmer owns PriorityOne Printing in downtown San Pedro.