Time to narrow down new ferry names

Name me.

You sent in dozens of names for a new Bremerton ferry.

It’s time to start narrowing them down.

If you’re just joining us, we figured who better to name the boat than the people it serves, and decided to coordinate a community nomination. We’re ahead of schedule. Vigor hasn’t even started building the 144-car boat yet, and it’ll take a couple of years after that before it hits the water.

The ferry’s two sisters, Tokitae and Samish, were named in November 2012. Tokitae is supposed to begin service June 15 on the Mukilteo-Clinton route. Samish will follow in early 2015 in the San Juan Islands. So there’s a lot of lead time.

Washington State Ferries hasn’t told the state Transportation Commission, which is in charge of naming, when it’ll need one. The commission requires three or four months to conduct the selection process, according to Reema Griffith, its executive director.

Believe it or not, we’ll need some strategy to cut down the list. All but one of the current 22 ferries have tribal names. The Transportation Commission’s guidelines state that it values consistency with existing names. To have any shot to get our nomination selected, do we need to stick with Indian words or can we diverge?

Here are the existing names: Cathlamet, Chelan, Chetzemoka, Elwha, Hiyu, Hyak, Issaquah, Kaleetan, Kennewick, Kitsap, Kittitas, Klahowya, Puyallup, Salish, Sealth, Spokane, Tacoma, Tillikum, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Yakima. Only Evergreen State, which will be retired this summer, has a non-tribal name.

We could play it safe by advancing another Indian name. Ideally, it would have ties to Kitsap since it’ll be based here. There’s nothing that says the new boat can’t leave Bremerton, however. The Chetzemoka, named for a Port Townsend-area chief and meant for the Port Townsend-Coupeville route, now sails off the south end of Vashon Island. They move around.

A couple of existing names, you probably noticed, already have Kitsap ties, like Kitsap. It means “brave” or “war chief” to the Suquamish Tribe. Sealth, or Chief Seattle, was chief of the tribe. There’s no ferry named Suquamish, though, or S’Klallam, our other tribe. Another suggestion sent in was Princess Angeline, Chief Seattle’s eldest daughter. A Mosquito Fleet boat was named for her, and the name made the Final Four for a new Kitsap Transit passenger ferry. It would be strange to have a big Princess Angeline and little Princess Angeline docking in Bremerton at the same time.

I like Enetai and Illahee, Indian words and place names that have been ferry names in the past. Enetai means “across,” “opposite” or “on the other side.” Illahee is “land,” “country” or “place where one lives.” Both are communities just north of Bremerton.

Chico also was suggested. The community between Bremerton and Silverdale was named for a chief who died in 1909 at the age of 105, according to a place name book. That was old in those days, and even now, for that matter.

Another one I like, because it’s a cool word and to mess with the tourists, is Kalaloch. It’s Quinault for “good place to land.”

Guidelines say names of  people should be avoided but will be considered if the person has been dead at least 10 years. They should have enduring fame or have played a significant historical role. How about a person who is an Indian?

Nisqually tribal member Billy Frank Jr., a well-known environmental leader and treaty rights activist, died May 5.

There are three other people you submitted — Tony Radulescu, a state trooper who was shot and killed in 2012 while making a traffic stop on Highway 16 near Gorst; Dennis Allred, a Kitsap County sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed while on duty on Illahee Road; and Ivar Haglund, a Seattle folk singer and the founder of Ivar’s seafood chain.

Any person’s name is going to be a risk, according to the guidelines. And how do you choose between Radulescu and Allred? Haglund was almost selected the last time around, but there isn’t a local connection, and I don’t know if it was because people were being goofy or really wanted a ferry named Ivar.

Griffith of the Transportation Commission said Friday that the policy is not in stone, it’s just advisory. Ivar probably would’ve been chosen but the commission was concerned about promoting a business.

“We don’t want people to think (tribal names) all the commissioners would ever consider,” she said. “That seems to be the kind of names that come forward from organizations.”

So there are 10 nominations from our readers: Suquamish, Angeline, Enetai, Illahee, Chico, S’Klallam, Kalaloch, Radulescu, Allred and Haglund. If you feel you had a great one that I cut, make a pitch for it, or for something new. I’m still looking for something that I see and immediately know, “That’s the one.” I’ll finalize the list and put it out for vote in a couple of weeks.

39 thoughts on “Time to narrow down new ferry names

  1. I like Suquamish as a name for several reasons – since you tossed the name I sent originally. Native Americans were here first and I like naming a tribe rather than an individual if the tribe is active in the community.
    The Suquamish is the only tribe I know about holding a weekly organic gardening sale from 3pm – 7pm . They have varied booths, including a knife sharpening booth, run by one of their active Suquamish Warriors, retired military doing unsung neat things for the community.
    My vote: Suquamish ferry name.

  2. S’Klallam because I have family ties to the tribe royalty in my ancestry. What more reason does one need?

  3. No, people weren’t “being goofy.” I proposed the naming of a ferry after Ivar Haglund in a series of columns, because the man was the ultimate icon of Puget Sound, and met all criteria. As I noted:

    “No single person in state history personifies the saltwater-in-your-veins gestalt of Puget Sound life more vividly or colorfully than Haglund (1905-1985), the late restaurateur, troubadour, fireworks pyromaniac, civic prankster and beloved, larger-than-life civic character. Ivar’s lutefisk blood lines — he was the son of Norwegian and Swedish immigrants — don’t hurt the cause, either.”

    The idea caught on and turned into a populist movement; several readers took up the charge of organizing an official naming “entry” to the state DOT. Bartell’s Drugs stores posted petitions that collected thousands of signatures, which were delivered to the DOT.

    As to their concern about “promoting a business,” Ivar’s restaurants had nothing to do with the idea, nor the petition drive, in any way. It’s a silly reason not to honor one of the Puget Sound’s most famous sons.

    Ron Judd
    Goofy columnist,
    Seattle Times

  4. Kindly refrain from using “Indian,” especially repeatedly. You are aware that it is a centuries old misnomer, yes? There are current preferred terms, and not using those terms out of ignorance or stubbornness just makes you sound… well, frankly, ignorant.

  5. I pick Radulescu- he deserves to be remembered and honored in such a way. Simple enough.

  6. I would love it to be named “Suquamish, or “Sealth” or “Chief Sealth”
    My home town or the great reminder of where Seattle’s name came from. Also teaching others.

  7. Naming the new ferry for Trooper Tony Radulescu would be a wonderful way to remember him for giving his life in service to the citizens of the State of Washington.

  8. Radulescu was a dedicated and humble public servant who loved this community and gave his life working for its people. I recognize Radulescu is a deviation from the tradition, but the moment I saw it I knew my wish is RADULESCU.

  9. You could call it the AY-dell Ferguson. DOT has already named a freeway bridge in Kitsap County after this pioneer political journalist. The name Adele (accent on the first syllable, long “A”–get it right!) for many years has been associated with “tell us how you really feel” stories. Joining the fleet of ferries might be a fitting tribute!

  10. Illahee. Simply because I think it’s a beautiful name for the ferry. It just seems fitting to me

  11. How about the Niehaus? All of the ferries seem to have a theme. The Wenatchee celebrates the orchard industry. And there are so many others named after the tribes of the area. Truly the ferry is a part of baseball culture here in Kitsap County … just try to ride it on game day! Historic photos of baseball in seattle would be extremely interesting.

  12. AY-del Ferguson should also be added to the Hood Canal Bridge name – both stopped traffic in a long series of ‘firsts’…

    If a ferry boat name isn’t feasible at this time, why not name Adele Ferguson Lifeboat #1, 2, 3, and so on for each lifeboat on the ferry – and another first for her, a remarkable individual.

  13. I like the name Suquamish. Kitsap is the name of Chief Kitsap a warrior Chief, also of the Suquamish people. I do not agree with Adele Ferguson’s views and find them to be extreme at times, definitely not appropriate for our State ferry.

  14. Ed:

    I just finished reading your Ferry column in this morning’s paper. I’m surprised, that no one has submitted Bud Hawks name for consideration. Bud, the recently deceased Medal of Honor winner from WWII was a prominent citizen of Kitsap County: hero, educator, and role model.

    I would like to recommend that the newest ferry be named after him.

    John Middaugh

  15. Naming a boat because a tribe has an organic gardening sale seems exquisitely silly. It’s about as relevant as saying we ought to name it Suquamish “because they sell fireworks for the 4th.” Kalaloch is my vote.

  16. I like Sholeetsa who was Chief Seattle’s mother. Women are not recognized often enough in history, and if being the mother of this great human being isn’t reason itself, I am sure she had much influence in his life, in her tribe, and probably with Chief Seattle’s father. Plus, it is a pretty name.

  17. What’s relevant is the Suquamish tribe is a Native American tribe active in the community…NOT just the Farmers Market I mentioned.
    My error in bringing it up …

  18. Incidentally, the Suquamish Farmers Market is held Wednesday 3pm – 7pm in Suquamish.

  19. I like Enetai, Illahee, Kalaloch, S’Klallam, and Suquamish. Nisqually and Quinalt were also good names, and worthy of re-use. Factors I considered: I don’t want to start naming ferries after people (besides Chief Sealth). It just leads to arguments over who is more deserving, which can tend to be intractable. I do like Native place names, and if the pronunciation helps to identify tourists, so much the better.

  20. Illahee, means “place of rest” not only can you see the ferries float by from Illahee st park and Illahee the neighborhood but ferries seem to be a place where people can still be heading somewhere on their busy day and at the same time sit and be quiet. See what Washington is. Illahee to me is great name describing the potential that the ferry experience has to offer.

  21. I think Tony Radulescu, Dennis Allred, billy Frank Jr., Ivar Haglund and Bud Hawks ALL deserve to have a ferry named after them! They have all contributed something noteworthy and deserving. If, however, the final decision is that the new ferry MUST have a name similar to what the other ferries are named, I think Illahee or Kalaloch would be nice. Will look forward to the final vote!

  22. I like Chico or Illahee. I happen to be a longtime Bremerton and Silverdale resident and since the ferry’s route makes it way to two other local Kitsap City’s rather than just Bainbridge, it would be nice to market the peninsula in this way and show there is more to it than the island. Bremerton is a great ferry trip away from the big city, Kingston is a lovely place to visit… lets look at some of the other locals on the map !!

  23. Suquamish It honors the people and it is a beautiful word that makes me think of Washington’s beautiful tribal names.

  24. My vote is for Kloomachin which means Killerwhale in the Sklallam language and pronouced the way you see it also i vote for the Port Gamble S’klallam Tribe im part of this tribe and would love to see this on a ferry!

  25. I vote for Illahee. All ferry riders know how the benches are claimed for beds at all times of day, so being defined as a “place of rest” is perfect!

  26. so they are concerend about promoting a business but they dont have any problem promoting a ethnicity that is stupid.

  27. How about Skykomish? It is derived from the native Skykomish Tribe words “skaikh” meaning “inland” and “mish” meaning “people.

  28. Illahee; nice for Bremerton. Suquamish second; we do have the Chief names, but this is great too. I would add a future vote for Enatai. Honoring individuals especially like the Officer, is respectable. For me it doesn’t fit as well with the gracious tradition of the native names, which evoke great images of our great vessels crossing Puget waters, which I enjoy daily.

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