Monthly Archives: January 2013

Kitsap Transit riders get new voice on Facebook

Like most bus riders, Todd Penland has never attended a Kitsap Transit board of commissioners meeting. He can’t get off work for the morning events. That doesn’t mean he and other customers have nothing to say, and it’s why he created a Supporters of Kitsap Transit Facebook page.

Before the economy went bad, Kitsap Transit provided “an admirable level of service for a community of our size,” he said. But there have been reductions ever since while demand continues to increase.
“A vital service like public transportation needs an involved and informed community in order to survive and thrive,” he said. “This page is meant to be a positive forum for those who are interested in public transportation in Kitsap County; a place where new ideas can be born and grow from the input of those who might otherwise go unheard. We hope that everyone who is interested in this subject — including the staff and management of Kitsap Transit — will join us there. Find it at

Ferry Chetzemoka sustained dents to both sides of hull

The ferry Chetzemoka received dents to both sides of its hull when being placed into dry dock at Vigor Shipyards nearly two weeks ago.

About an 8 foot by 8 foot section on the starboard side and 8 foot by 14 foot portion of the port side were damaged, said Vigor spokesman Brian Mannion. The steel wasn’t breached. The ferry, for perspective, is 274 feet long. No ship systems or equipment were damaged.

The incident occurred Jan. 14 when the Chetzemoka was entering its annual dry dock period. As the dry dock was being raised, the ferry was supposed to set down onto blocks, but some blocks in the middle were too high, Mannion said.

Vigor will return the steel to its original shape and repair a small part of the associated frame. Vigor will eat the costs and still expects to complete the scheduled work by the Feb. 8 target date, Mannion said.


Trident submarine expert hired by WSF

Steve Vonheeder will switch from maintaining Trident submarines to caring for the state’s ferry boats.
Vonheeder, a commander, is retiring from the Navy. He’s the repair officer with Intermediate Maintenance Facility at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. He’ll become Washington State Ferries’ director of vessel maintenance, preservation and engineering.
Vonheeder graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in nuclear engineering. He also holds master’s degrees in environmental management and  mechanical engineering.
He’ll replace Paul Brodeur, who in July took a position as director of the King County Department of Transportation’s Marine Division. The job pays about $120,000.
“I am excited to welcome Mr. Vonheeder to WSF, and I look forward to the wealth of knowledge he will bring to the new vessel construction project and vessel maintenance and preservation programs,” ferries director David Moseley said in his weekly briefing.

It could soon be the Emerald Queen Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Rep. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, introduced a bill Monday allowing naming rights to be sold for bridges and other transportation facilities to help pay their operations and maintenance costs. She suggested the idea months ago to take a bite out of rising tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Tolls were raised by a buck in July and are expected to go up another dollar his summer. Most people will be paying $6. For somebody crossing every weekday, that’s $120 a month.

House Bill 1051 would put the Washington State Transportation Commission, which is already in charge of naming things like new ferries, in charge of selling naming rights. It would be required to submit a report on its guidelines by the end of the year.

I don’t like naming rights because it’ll be like stadiums. You don’t even know where they are anymore. And once you finally learn, somebody else buys up the rights, like Quest and Century Link.

For example, where are these major league baseball stadiums?: Chase Field. Citizens Bank Park. Progressive Field. PETCO Park. Citi Field. AT&T Park. Miller Park. Comerica Park. U.S. Cellular Field. Target Field. PNC Park.

Answers: Chase Field Phoenix). Citizens Bank Park (Philly). Progressive Field (Cleveland). PETCO Park (San Diego). Citi Field (Queens). AT&T Park (San Francisco). Miller Park (Milwaukee). Comerica Park (Detroit). U.S. Cellular Field (Chicago). Target Field (Minneapolis). PNC Park (Pittsburgh).

I guess it could work for everybody if the sponsor and team/city were combined in a name, like they do with some of the bowl games. The Discover Orange Bowl. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The Rose Bowl Game Presented By Vizio. It’s hard to fit all that in a headline, though.

With the bridge, it could be something like the Emerald Queen Tacoma Narrows Bridge. And you don’t need to stop there. You could name the Hood Canal (it’s officially the William A. Bugge Bridge), Warren Avenue, Manette and Agate Pass bridges, and the ferry boats. The Kitsap Sun Manette Bridge. The Kitsap Sun Kaleetan. Think of all the exposure.

Angel’s bill contains a list of naming no-nos. It can’t be obscene, discriminatory, religious or political. It can’t promote tobacco, marijuana, illegal narcotics, tawdry films or video games, adult content or false material.

If you want your name on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, you have at least a year to save up.