Tag Archives: Ferries

Rolfes wants to allow out-of-state bids for ferry projects

Rep. Christine Rolfes wants to remove a state rule that limits ferry construction bids to Washington shipbuilders.

The Bainbridge Democrat believes allowing greater competition will lower the cost for the state ferry system and make ferry projects eligible for federal dollars.

Seattle’s Todd Shipyards was the only shipbuilder to bid on the ferry system’s last two projects. Both jobs came in over-budget.

Rolfes’ proposal is one of her bolder and potentially divisive moves since first taking office in 2007.

Read more in Ed Friedrich’s story, here.

Missing woman may not have been on ferry

The Washington State Patrol is not ruling out foul play after determining that a Bellevue woman, initially believed to have gone missing from a Bainbridge-bound ferry, may not have actually ridden the ferry.

After reviewing surveillance footage, state troopers said they’re not certain Lynn Stafford-Yilmaz, 45, was the person who drove her Ford Windstar van onto the Puyallup ferry on Tuesday night, according to KOMO News story posted this morning.

Discovery of Stafford-Yilmaz’s van on the auto deck and some of her belongings on the passenger deck sparked a large-scale search shortly after the 10:55 p.m. ferry arrived in Eagle Harbor. The search involved state troopers, Bainbridge Island police, Seattle authorities and U.S. Coast Guard air and marine units.

The search was called off Wednesday afternoon.

“We have saturated the search area and have not located anyone,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Michael Long in a Kitsap Sun story yesterday.

Stafford-Yilmaz is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone who saw her or has information about her location is asked to call Washington State Patrol Detective Dave Killeen at (360) 405-6650.

Your commute…only prettier

Bainbridge ferry commuter Michael Diehl doesn’t take his cross Sound commute for granted.

With his camera at the ready, Diehl has focused his attention on what makes the ferry ride to and from Seattle a world-class visual experience. Sunsets rippling on waves, fog-shrouded skyscrapers, glimmering mountains.

Diehl has compiled his best shots into Crossings,” a photo-rich book focused entirely on the Bainbridge-Seattle run.

What Diehl has captured is the what many ferry commuters forget to appreciate. I know I did when I was a ferry commuter. Too often the ride is a taken up by naps, newspaper reading (although that is a very, very worthwhile thing to do), eating, napping, coffee drinking, napping and laptop tapping. We get plenty of this at work and at home. Lost is an opportunity to become familiar with the landscape, getting to know the mountain peaks and the swaths of land that many can identify on a map, but not when it’s right before our eyes.

For more about “Crossings,” read Barbara McMichael’s review and see a sample page below.

Bookmonger: Crossings Celebrates Our Affair with Ferries
By Barbara McMichael

Born and raised locally, I have had a lifelong fondness for ferries, and I have always regarded with suspicion those ferry commuters who seem to be blasé about their daily transits across Puget Sound.

To have those mountains! Those shorelines! The wind in your face! The ever-changing scene in the shipping lanes! The possibility of an orca sighting!

Why some people prefer to huddle inside and do a crossword puzzle or nap is entirely beyond me.
Crossings: On the Ferries of Puget Sound.

Fortunately, Michael Diehl is not one of those ho-hum types. A regular commuter on the Bainbridge Island-Seattle run, Diehl carries his camera with him, and the images he’s captured over the last few years first made their appearance as an Internet posting.

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Ferry system busted for tossing recycling in the trash

A KIRO TV News investigation revealed that workers on the Bainbridge Island-Seattle ferry route were rounding up separated paper and plastic in on-board recycling bins…and tossing it all in the trash.

In the TV footage, KIRO reporter Chris Halsne confronts a Washington State Ferries worker who was throwing a cart full of recyclables in a trash bin.

“I don’t want to see this on KIRO News or anywhere else,” said the ferry worker before throwing a bag full of newspapers into a trash bin.

Halse then gets the runaround from two WSF supervisors who refuse to answer this basic question: why trash the presorted recyclable items?

KIRO News staff had used hidden cameras and specially marked recycled items to track the items’ trips from recycle bins (with signs declaring “Recycling. So simple it works!”) to the trash in all 22 trips they documented.

“It’s such a waste,” one ferry rider told KIRO.

“I feel deeply betrayed,” said another.

One rider said the fault lies not with the workers but with their bosses.

“Management isn’t setting the tone,” he said.

WSF management told KIRO they had “no idea” that recycling was being trashed, but vowed to set things straight now that it was brought to their attention.

To view KIRO’s story and the raw footage of ferry workers getting caught in the act, click here and find the links on the right side of the page.

Rolfes and Lowe debate ferries and film

Rep. Christine Rolfes and her Republican challenger Mark Lowe staked opposing positions yesterday on the state ferry system, eduction and aspects of the very debate they were taking part in.

Rolfes, a Bainbridge Democrat and former Bainbridge City Council member, objected when she noticed that island resident and Republican activist Jim Olsen (and frequent commenter to this blog) was filming the event for use on BITV.

Read Steven Gardner’s story below.

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Prototype ferry still causing too much wake on island beaches

Kitsap Transit is going back to the drawing board to produce a ferry that both gives Bremertonians a 30-minute link to Seattle and satisfies Bainbridge Islanders who sued over the wake earlier fast ferries were kicking up.

Read Kitsap Sun transportation reporter Ed Friedrich’s story below.

Research Passenger Ferry to Be Scaled Back for Wake’s Sake
By Ed Friedrich

Kitsap Transit is reducing the size and speed of a prototype passenger ferry because computer modeling showed that the boat would create too much wake.

With all of the time and money spent developing a vessel that won’t harm Rich Passage beaches, wake performance can’t be compromised.

“First and foremost, the goal is to keep the faith of the program — getting a boat that goes through there without any damage,” said Kitsap Transit Executive Director Dick Hayes.

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A boat tour of Ralph Munro’s Bainbridge

Ralph Munro remembers the day when torpedoes struck the Crystal Springs shore.

He also remembers a gray whale slipping past Rich Passage’s submarine nets, and how Civil War vets were once the land barons of Bainbridge

Munro, an island native and former secretary of state, was one of the guides aboard the historic steamer Virginia V on Sunday. The sold out four-hour tour was aimed at highlighting the history of 30 ferry landings around the island.

At the end of the trip I hopped off the boat sure that the story I’d write would be full of Munro’s comments. It wasn’t. Munro, I realized after looking over my notes, had said very little about ferries, the topic of the tour and the subject of my story. But he had plenty of colorful and interesting things to say, especially about the island’s west side.

For my story about the tour of ferry landings, click here.

For highlights from Ralph Munro’s steamboat tour of Bainbridge, read on…

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