Thank you for the report on our 'PortSource' website for the Los Angeles-Long Beach harbor complex ('A 'broker' for information,' Page 31, JoC Week, January 15-21, 2001). Unfortunately, we must take exception to the way our marine exchange organization was portrayed. The article distorts the goals and objectives we have for the 'PortSource' website design. Allow me to explain. The article's second paragraph says, 'Aschemeyer envisions linking marine exchanges at more than a dozen seaports.' That is not accurate. During a telephone interview, I did mention our affiliation with a group called 'MISNA' (Maritime Information Services of North America), whose membership currently includes the marine exchange organizations at Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay, the Columbia River, Houston, and Philadelphia. I said that three of those organizations -- those at San Francisco, Houston and Puget Sound -- had expressed interest in the 'PortSource' project being developed for us by ARINC, for possible application to their local markets, and that we could envision 'hooking up' with other marine exchange organizations through that medium one day. Three, not a dozen, ports have expressed interest in the project.

More to the point, your article failed to accent our main objective for the 'PortSource' website project -- which is to provide the port stockholders and users of Los Angeles-Long Beach harbor with a vital new 'tool' for use in conducting their daily business. Instead, your readers were given the distinct impression that our Marine Exchange for LA/LB Harbor was focused far beyond our local core interest and activity, and somehow is out to 'conquer other ports' with our new 'PortSource' website design. Nothing could be more distorted from fact. Indeed, as pointed out in the article, that would make any such project 'too ambitious' at this stage of the game. Our organization is firmly focused on serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (and their constituents and users) first, and we fully appreciate the fact that we must continue to meet their needs and expectations before looking elsewhere for new challenges.

Capt. Manny Aschemeyer

Executive director

Marine Exchange of LA/LB Harbor