The Port of Oakland is navigating out of a sea of red ink and stabilizing its finances with a back-to-basics strategy that emphasizes traditional lines of business, new management, and streamlined operations.

An expensive foray into the risker field of property management and development during the gogo 1980s exacted a price from the port. In fiscal 1991, for example, the port posted a net loss of $18.2 million, partly because of a $6.8 million write-off related to certain real estate assets. It was the first deficit in the port's 65-year history.

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