Monthly Archives: September 2014

Eight names submitted for new ferry

The name Illahee that many of you readers selected through this blog has a 12.5 percent chance of winding up on the next 144-car ferry.

Eight names were formally submitted  to the state Transportation Commissionby last Friday’s deadline. They are Illahee, Cowlitz, Suquamish, Sammamish, Chimacum, Taima, Tukwila and Nawt-sa-matt.

Taima is the name of the Seattle Seahawks mascot.

I had no idea what Nawt-sa-matt was. Had to look it up. Turns out, now I can’t find it. Oh, here. It’s a a new regional coalition of Native Americans and non-natives banding together to protect the Salish Sea from corporations seeking to turn it into a fossil fuel corridor.

The other six are all places with Native names.

Your Illahee didn’t get a great deal of support from local municipalities and officials. Oh well, it’s strength is it was the choice of you people, hundreds of you.

A decision will be announced on Nov. 19.


Illahee beats the Friday ferry-naming deadline

The deadline is Friday for submitting nomination packets to the state Transportation Commission to name the third Olympic-class ferry. So far, I know of three others besides Illahee, which you readers chose through a competition on this blog. I sent that to Olympia on Monday.
The other three are Suquamish, which was your second pick, Cowlitz and Sammamish.
Cowlitz and Sammamish are resubmissions from two years ago, when Tokitae and Samish were chosen. They’re the work of Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson and the city of Sammamish, according to those areas’ community newspapers.
Other finalists then were Ivar Haglund, Hoquiam and Muckleshoot. I haven’t heard anything about them, but it wouldn’t take much to resurrect them. Ivar, proffered by Seattle Times columnist and former Kitsap Sun reporter Ron Judd, stole the attention last time, but didn’t sway commissioners.
A key, according to the commission, is to show support from community and state leaders. We sought the backing of most of the area’s movers and shakers, including the Suquamish Tribe. We won’t be getting that one.
So far, the city of Bremerton is backing Illahee. Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, and Rep. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island, support both Illahee and Suquamish. The city of Bainbridge and Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, went with Suquamish. Both are good names. There’s still time get behind one of them.

The names will  go through a  review and public comment process and we’ll get the outcome at the commission’s Nov. 19 meeting in Lakewood.

Seahawks keeping flow going through Colman Dock

Tons of people rode the ferries to the Seahawks’ season-opening pummeling of Green Bay Thursday. The number paled in comparison to those who went for the Super Bowl parade in February, but it was still impressive.
More than 27,000 rode the Bainbridge and Bremerton boats for the Packers game, which might be the second-busiest day ever at Colman Dock, behind the “unprecedented,” as Washington State Ferries put it, 40,000 who crowded through the terminal on Feb. 5.
The system isn’t built for those kinds of hordes. Parade day was insane. You couldn’t even get into Bremerton, much less find a parking spot. Our maintenance guy extraordinaire, John, was chasing people out of our lot when I drove in. I knew it was going to be wild, but never imagined anything like that.
Last Thursday, fans traveled throughout the day so there weren’t lines going up to Sixth Street like for the parade. Also, WSF put on extra terminal staff and security to help with the crowds, and communicated more with riders through tweeting and travel alerts. A round trip to Bremerton was added that night.
The Seahawks don’t have any more prime-time home games on the schedule. They all start between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., although times could change. Two nationally televised night games are on the road — Monday, Oct. 6, at Washington and Thursday, Nov. 27, at San Francisco, so the ferries won’t be affected. That 49er game is on Thanksgiving, by the way, at 5:30 p.m., so the turkey and cranberries time to settle.
Who knows what’s going to happen during the playoffs. Plus I’m thinking the Mariners are going to be hosting some postseason games, too, so there still could be some huge ferry crowds to come.