FerryFare cartoon created by Walt Elliott, Feb. 2017.

So long old timer | FerryFare

So long, old timer | FerryFare

After a century of service off Alaska and Bristol Bay, the fishing vessel Olympic met her end washed ashore in Appletree Cove.

This motorized halibut schooner and was a typical fishing vessel during the transition from sail to power. While Poulsbo was known for its cod fishery, boats from here also fished halibut. Olympic was one of a few surviving Scandinavian-style boats built around Seattle between 1910 and 1932.

After a considerable restoration, the Olympic was anchored here on Department of Natural Resources property. While boats may anchor on DNR property for up to three months a year, the Olympic had been there for several years. When left unattended long enough, as we have seen before, many boats break free.

So it was for the Olympic. Immediately, the port surrounded her with an oil boom and the Department of Ecology pumped her fuel tanks. While Ecology is responsible for oil spills, the DNR is responsible for removing derelicts. With a limited budget and hundreds of derelicts around the Sound, it’s hard to get on the removal list. Thanks to action by the port staff and local residents, the Olympic was squeezed onto DNR’s derelict disposal list.

Vox Populi (voice of the people): Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, has sponsored a bill (SB 5392) that sets WSF’s obligations to its riders. This is important. Riders pay the bills and should have a say in how their money is spent. If you think SB 5392 should be passed, please ask our legislators to support it. Better still, have your friends contact their legislators.

WSF’s public outreach has yo-yoed around, depending on how much the director values rider communications and input.

Here are some examples: After three Kingston ferry meetings a year, we haven’t had any for the last two years. Although our downtown ferry traffic issues continue, WSF’s lost interest in addressing them. The WSF’s Long Range Ferry Plan was developed without public input and proposes reducing ferry overloads by eliminating frequent user fares… huh? We deserve better than that.

The senator’s bill spells out the roles of riders, communities, and the Ferry Advisory Committees in ferry and fare decisions. It adds a public review of survey questions used by WSF for their planning. WSF will be compelled to involve riders when making their future plans and changing service.

Transparency and the “voice of the customer” are critical to the quality of any service. Passengers want to see that their ferry money is spent wisely and deliver the service they need. People in Olympia or Seattle cannot have a better understanding of this than us.

Info: www.ferryriderinfo. com.

— Walt Elliott is chairman of the Kingston Ferry Advisory Committee and a member of the Kingston Port Commission. Contact him at elliottmoore@ comcast.net.

The fishing vessel Olympic met her end when she washed ashore in Appletree Cove. farmboat.org / Contributed

(no description)FerryFare cartoon created by Walt Elliott, Feb. 2017.

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