West Seattle Blog... » King County Water Taxi http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Mon, 27 Apr 2015 06:41:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 ‘Providing less usable bike storage … makes no sense’: Bicycle shops’ letter re: new Water Taxis http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/providing-less-usable-bike-storage-makes-no-sense-bicycle-shops-letter-re-new-water-taxis/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/providing-less-usable-bike-storage-makes-no-sense-bicycle-shops-letter-re-new-water-taxis/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 20:17:59 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=307942

(WSB photo from M/V Sally Fox’s March dedication on Vashon)
Imagine driving onto a state ferry with open sides, every vehicle exposed to the elements. Now imagine the ferry traveling fast enough to chop across the water, with spray on all sides, especially on a stormy day. Regular users would likely wind up with rust. This is the situation faced by people bringing bicycles onto King County Water Taxis – because of the new vessels’ design, which has bicycle parking out on the open deck, instead of inside, as is the case with the current West Seattle Water Taxi, Spirit of Kingston, for example.

The latest attempt to get some relief for the problem – especially with the new Vashon boat M/V Sally Fox now in service and its twin the M/V Doc Maynard coming to West Seattle later this year – is in this letter signed by local bicycle shop owners:

The problem was surfaced by Vashon bicyclists before the Sally Fox went into service; we’re checking today with the King County Department of Transportation to see if one of the fixes suggested in the letter above is in the works, or if they’re responding in another way. We’ll add the response when we get it later today.

ADDED 3:15 PM: Here’s the KCDOT response to our inquiry about this, via spokesperson Jeff Switzer:

We’ve been talking with our water taxi customers who ride bikes. Some have concerns about the outdoor storage area that salt spray could be a problem for their bikes while others do not. We have been monitoring the area for such concerns and thus far this has not been a problem. We communicated to the cyclists that gathered for a community meeting on Vashon in March, that actual vessel operations would be monitored over time, giving us a chance to observe any adverse weather conditions during the fall and winter to see what, if any impact there are to bikes. This will give us time to determine whether there is a problem. So far, we are encouraged that our current plan to provide safe and secure bike storage is working. In the Vashon community meeting we offered storage space on the vessel for individual bike covers, and proposed a bike wash down station to be designed into the new pier 50 terminal.

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West Seattle Water Taxi reminder: 7-day schedule starts Monday http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-water-taxi-reminder-7-day-schedule-starts-monday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/west-seattle-water-taxi-reminder-7-day-schedule-starts-monday/#comments Sat, 04 Apr 2015 01:43:09 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=306084 The King County Department of Transportation is circulating the reminder tonight: Monday is the first day of the West Seattle Water Taxi‘s extended spring/summer schedule – not only 7 days a week, but also middays on weekdays, not just the am/pm commute runs covered in the winter schedule. Just in time, since Monday is opening day for the Mariners, with a 1:10 pm game. You can see the new schedule here.

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VIDEO: M/V Sally Fox, the first of two new King County Water Taxis, christened http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/video-first-of-two-new-king-county-water-taxis-christened/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/video-first-of-two-new-king-county-water-taxis-christened/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:58:26 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305399

The first of two new King County Water Taxis was christened on Vashon Island today. Above, breaking mesh-covered champagne bottles onto the M/V Sally Fox, that’s County Executive Dow Constantine, Ms. Fox’s daughter Kelly Fox Violet, and County Councilmember Joe McDermott. Big turnout at the passenger-ferry dock on north Vashon:

Here’s a better look at the boat, whose twin, M/V Doc Maynard, is coming to West Seattle this fall.

Executive Constantine talked about the growth in Water Taxi ridership – 445,000 trips last year, taking cars off the roads:

He also mentioned seeing people at the ceremony whose involvement with the county’s foot-ferry efforts goes way back. We noticed one of them – his predecessor, former County Executive Ron Sims:

During Sims’s tenure, the county took over Vashon foot-ferry service, which was formerly run by the state. Meantime, 80 percent of the $11 million cost of the two new boats – both built at All American Marine in Bellingham – was covered by federal grant money. Another financial point, brought up by County Councilmember Joe McDermott – savings realized by merging the King County Ferry District into the county Department of Transportation:

He talked about the Vashon boat’s namesake, Sally Fox, who died in 2007; her widower, retired Judge Michael Fox, also spoke at the event. Here’s the plaque that will honor her onboard:

One more look at the boat!

With room for 250 passengers and 26 bicycles, the Sally Fox officially goes into service next month. Go here to read the official county news release about the boat and today’s event.

P.S. It’s not affected by this, but in case you wondered – the West Seattle Water Taxi’s seven-days-a-week spring/summer schedule starts on April 6th, one week from Monday.

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New Vashon Water Taxi arrives in Seattle, 2 weeks before dedication http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/new-vashon-water-taxi-arrives-in-seattle-2-weeks-before-dedication/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/new-vashon-water-taxi-arrives-in-seattle-2-weeks-before-dedication/#comments Sun, 15 Mar 2015 21:16:43 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=303990 According to MarineTraffic.com, the first of two new King County Water Taxis, M/V Sally Fox, is now docked in Seattle. Before the vessel left All American Marine to head south, the Bellingham Herald put together this video with a look inside:

The Sally Fox will serve the Seattle-Vashon run, but the Bellingham Herald’s sneak peek is a de-facto preview of what the new West Seattle Water Taxi, M/V Doc Maynard, also will look like, since it’s a twin being built by AAM, expected to arrive in October. First: For an in-person look at M/V Sally Fox, make plans to be at the north Vashon Island dock on March 28th – we’ve mentioned that date before, but now King County has published a schedule of events for the 1-4 pm dedication celebration that day.

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No West Seattle Water Taxi for Sounders opener, but weekend service resumes soon http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/no-west-seattle-water-taxi-for-sounders-opener-but-weekend-service-resumes-soon/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/no-west-seattle-water-taxi-for-sounders-opener-but-weekend-service-resumes-soon/#comments Sun, 08 Mar 2015 21:40:13 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=303244 Another question that’s come in today: Is the West Seattle Water Taxi running for the Sounders opener? Answer: No; no weekend runs at all until 7-day-a-week, all-day service resumes in four weeks. By then, the first of the two new Water Taxis will join the fleet – M/V Sally Fox, on the Vashon Island run – lots of details in the new Water Taxi newsletter, including a more-specific timeline for the West Seattle vessel M/V Doc Maynard‘s expected arrival – mid-October.

If you can’t read it as embedded above (note the “zoom,” “fullscreen,” and other controls in the window), here it is as a PDF.

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Followup: Future West Seattle Water Taxi, M/V Doc Maynard, taking shape http://westseattleblog.com/2015/02/followup-future-west-seattle-water-taxi-mv-doc-maynard-taking-shape/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/02/followup-future-west-seattle-water-taxi-mv-doc-maynard-taking-shape/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 20:14:21 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=302092

(Click picture to see larger image)
With the county launching Water Taxi Watch and planning the debut of the new Vashon Island Water Taxi M/V Sally Fox for late March, we asked how construction is proceeding with West Seattle’s new vessel, the M/V Doc Maynard. In response, the county Department of Transportation shared the photo taken at All American Marine in Bellingham, where, KCDOT spokesperson Rochelle Ogershok says, “Last week the engines were inserted into the hull and the cabin was also attached to the hull. We are still on target for delivery of the vessel this fall.”

When the new vessels are both in service, the county plans to keep Spirit of Kingston, the current West Seattle Water Taxi, as a backup. It has already stopped leasing the SoK’s predecessor Rachel Marie – which went into service on the West Seattle run in 2010 – and will do so with the current Vashon vessel Melissa Ann. The two new boats’ cost will total $11.8 million, 80 percent of which is being covered by federal funding.

P.S. The Water Taxi’s 7-day-a-week schedule resumes April 6th.

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Getting to the downtown Water Taxi & state ferry docks will change, starting Monday http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/getting-to-the-downtown-water-taxi-state-ferry-docks-will-change-starting-monday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/getting-to-the-downtown-water-taxi-state-ferry-docks-will-change-starting-monday/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 02:05:30 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=297271

(Photo of today’s foggy sunset, by Chi Krneta)
Take the Water Taxi from Pier 50? Or state ferries from Colman Dock? Downtown-waterfront access is changing downtown from next Monday through mid-May, as announced today:

(Photo from Seacrest at sunset, by WSB’s Patrick Sand)

All vehicles will enter the Washington State Ferries terminal at Colman Dock via Yesler Way as part of temporary changes being implemented by the State Route 99 Tunnel Project and the Elliott Bay Seawall Project. Terminal access will also shift for pedestrians, bicyclists and King County Water Taxi passengers and remain in place through May 2015. Through traffic north and south on Alaskan Way remains unchanged. Drivers/riders exiting Colman Dock via Yesler Way may see some intersection modifications this week as construction crews prepare for the Monday shift.

Access changes

View a detailed map of the following temporary changes near Colman Dock:
· Drivers will turn left or right into the WSF terminal from Alaskan Way at Yesler Way.
o For southbound traffic, one lane of Alaskan Way in front of the ferry terminal will be dedicated to ferry access.
o A left-turn lane will accommodate northbound traffic at Yesler Way.
o Vehicles will exit the ferry dock onto Yesler Way or Marion Street.

· Pedestrian access through the Seawall Project construction zone will be maintained to the WSF terminal in two ways: the current pedestrian bridge at Marion Street, and at street level immediately west of the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Street level access will be maintained at all times, although it will shift at various points during construction.

· Bicyclists will enter and exit the ferry terminal on the north side of Yesler Way via the shared-use path.

· King County Water Taxi riders will enter and exit via Yesler Way.

· Passenger pickup and drop-off (including access for people with disabilities) will be shifted to the west side of the roadway between Marion and Columbia streets.

· Taxi waiting areas are also available at the current location on the east side of Alaskan Way between Marion and Columbia streets. A new taxi waiting area will – be added on Marion Street between Alaskan Way and Western Avenue.

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Transit alert: Water Taxi substitutions for next 2 weeks http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/transit-alert-water-taxi-substitutions-for-next-2-weeks/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/transit-alert-water-taxi-substitutions-for-next-2-weeks/#comments Sun, 14 Dec 2014 06:19:58 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=295262 According to an alert sent tonight to King County Water Taxi riders, the regular West Seattle Water Taxi vessel, Spirit of Kingston, is going in for annual maintenance, so for the next two weeks or so, starting Monday, Melissa Ann will be on the West Seattle run, and Victoria Clipper III will fill in for Vashon. Side note: We talked recently with Greg Lerner of the King County Department of Transportation Marine Division, and he says construction of the two new Water Taxis is on schedule; Sally Fox, the Vashon vessel, is set for delivery first, to be followed by the West Seattle vessel, Doc Maynard.

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First-ever ‘strategic plan’ in place, to steer King County Water Taxi service’s future http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/first-ever-strategic-plan-in-place-to-steer-king-county-water-taxis-future/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/11/first-ever-strategic-plan-in-place-to-steer-king-county-water-taxis-future/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 06:13:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=290984

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

While Metro bus funding and Sound Transit light rail have held the spotlight here lately, plans are being shaped for another transportation service’s future: The King County Water Taxis.

They’re in the just-approved, first-ever “strategic plan” for the King County Ferry District, which operates Water Taxi service on the downtown/Vashon and downtown/West Seattle runs – read the final version here or below:

One of the first steps to be taken is to end the Ferry District’s existence as a separate entity. The County Council is scheduled to vote on “assuming governance” of the district during its 11 am meeting tomorrow, one week after, sitting as the Ferry District Board chaired by West Seattle’s Councilmember Joe McDermott, it approved the strategic plan.

Another big decision ahead: Funding, with the plan describing the service as “”currently financially unsustainable given annual revenue, service costs, and current and near-term capital improvement needs.”

Consolidating the district into county government will help, according to the plan, because it “will eliminate redundant functions of the District and County. Separate District contracts for Legal and Accounting services can be terminated and Ferry District staff will not be needed. The annual savings from consolidation can go directly to providing services.”

But that won’t cover the gap, the report suggests. From the plan, here’s a chart showing what’s happened:

In the first two years of the King County Ferry District, its higher property-tax levy helped build up a reserve fund. Then the money it was getting from that levy was dramatically reduced so that Metro could use the taxing authority instead (here’s our 2009 coverage), and there’s been an “annual operating deficit since 2010″ – a $3.6 million gap last year, according to the new report.

This year’s costs are up because two new Water Taxi boats are being built – mostly federally funded, but still with a county share – and the county has a share of the costs for the new passenger-only-ferry terminal at Colman Dock.

The plan doesn’t recommend how much of a levy rate should go toward Water Taxi service, but suggests, “A sustainable levy rate going forward should consider the future capital costs of maintaining and preserving the current system.” And it notes that the service has improved its financial performance despite the tax situation:

In 2009, the first year the District operated both the West Seattle and Vashon routes, the farebox recovery ratio was 14.9% and the annual operating cost per rider was $14.47. By 2013 the farebox recovery ratio increased to 28.5% and the annual operating cost per rider decreased to $12.83.

According to Carrie Avila-Mooney in Councilmember McDermott’s office, no levy increase is expected through 2016, but the King County Executive would likely propose one for 2017-2018, and the County Council would have to approve it. Right now, the Ferry District is taxing county residents at 0.3 cents per $1,000 assessed value of property; the county has taxing authority up to 7.5 cents per $1,000.

That’s not the only suggestion the plan has for increasing operational revenue. It mentions “additional services with limited costs that would generate revenue for service (such as) dock leases, vessel maintenance services, and back-up vessel contracts. The water taxi could also evaluate advertising revenue potential or explore coordinated marketing opportunities with local businesses and organizations to boost ridership.” (Advertising space had been sold on the Water Taxi when it used the leased Argosy vessel Sightseer – local businesses, including WSB, could buy space for banners or painted signage on the boat.)

Another major task, and one that would carry an undetermined price tag: Solve the West Seattle terminal problem and find a permanent location. The county is in the sixth year of a ten-year lease for Seacrest, it points out, noting that “connections and parking at current terminals pose challenges. ”

Looking at a big picture that might also bring in a Lake Washington route (as studied in 2009) and might see the county manage future Kitsap County foot ferries, currently under consideration, the report suggests:

There is potential to grow ridership and expand service related to significant infrastructure projects near terminals, such as the Downtown Seattle waterfront development and a new Link light-rail station at the University of Washington.

To be specific, the plan suggestions, the Spirit of Kingston – now on the West Seattle route – could be “utilized in Lake Washington” service once the two new vessels for WS and Vashon arrive.

Regarding connections, the plan notes technological integration that currently exists, and more in the works:

The water taxi is fully integrated into Metro trip planning technology and One Bus Away. Also, the water taxi is currently working on a “Where’s My Boat” application to show where vessels are in real time, and should continue efforts in implementing the smart phone application.

Overall, the plan says that deciding on the level of water-taxi service the county wants to provide – continue with West Seattle and Vashon? add Lake Washington? or? – is the most important decision to make, to shape the next three to five years of operation.

SIDE NOTE: Plan input came from not only Ferry District directors (aka County Councilmembers) and county staffers but also from what Councilmember McDermott described as: “an advisory committee that included Greg Whittaker from the West Seattle Chamber and Victoria Nelson from the West Seattle Transportation Coalition. The advisory group also had representatives from regional transportation groups; PSRC, and the Cascadia Center, cities in King County; Kenmore, Kirkland, and Seattle, labor representation, and members from the greater business community. The advisory committee was very engaged and did excellent work in giving input into the plan.”

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And the winning Water Taxi names are … http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/and-the-winning-water-taxi-names-are/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/and-the-winning-water-taxi-names-are/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 20:47:03 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=284590

(Rendering of new vessels – reflecting size/shape/configuration, not final color/paint/trim)
Instead of the Spirit of Kingston, when the new West Seattle Water Taxi arrives next year, you’ll be riding the Doc Maynard. Just announced by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who chairs the county Ferry District Board:

After this summer’s public process, the King County Ferry District’s new boats have been named. Doc Maynard will serve the West Seattle run, and Sally Fox will bring riders from Vashon Island to Downtown Seattle.

“I want to thank everyone who got involved whether it was nominating names or voting for their favorites. The names reflect our community’s awesome history,” said Ferry District Chair Joe McDermott.

Doc Maynard was a Seattle pioneer and doctor.

(Added: Public-domain image of Doc Maynard, via Wikimedia)
As one of the primary founders of Seattle, Maynard’s friendship with Chief Sealth inspired him to propose the name of the city be named after his Duwamish friend.

Sally Fox fought tirelessly as a passionate advocate for passenger-only ferry service to Vashon. She organized the community and fought at the forefront of the movement to protect and expand this valuable service. Fox passed away in 2007 from esophageal cancer, but her spirit lives on through the results of her activism.

While Cobain Watertrain was a popular vote for the West Seattle run, it was determined there was too much licensing risk involved.

Mostly funded by federal grants, the new boats will start operating in 2015.

We’re asking about the actual numbers and will add whatever we find out.

P.S. Here’s Doc Maynard’s biography, via HistoryLink.org.

ADDED 3:51 PM
: Thanks to Councilmember McDermott’s office for the top three voting results for each vessel – first, West Seattle, then, Vashon:

Cobain Watertrain-32.75%
Doc Maynard- 22.75%
Princess Angeline- 18.74%

Sally Fox- 38.46%
Betty MacDonald – 29.29%
Lisabeula- 21.52%

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West Seattle Water Taxi sets monthly-ridership record: 50,000+ boardings in August as of midmorning http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-water-taxi-sets-monthly-ridership-record-50000-boardings-in-august-as-of-midmorning/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-water-taxi-sets-monthly-ridership-record-50000-boardings-in-august-as-of-midmorning/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 22:24:02 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=284035

(Mid-August Seacrest panorama by Robert Spears)
Recordsetting month for the West Seattle Water Taxi, and it’s not over yet. Just shared by County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who is also chair of the Ferry District Board, which oversees West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi operations, an announcement sent by Marine Division shoreside operations/customer-service manager Greg Lerner:

I wanted to let you know that today, on the 10:30 am sailing, our 50,000th rider for the month of August boarded our West Seattle boat, setting a new all-time record for the route. From a person who spent 10 years working with the West Seattle route at Argosy thinking we were doing well, I’m particularly proud of all of you for taking this route to the next level!

You can see month-by-month ridership for the past year and a half by going here and clicking the “West Seattle ridership” line to open it – last year’s biggest month was July, with 47,588. This year’s July ridership isn’t posted yet but June was the biggest month of the year posted to date, with 32,484.

P.S. The West Seattle Water Taxi will be in service on Labor Day, but using the Sunday schedule.

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Name the new Water Taxis, round two: Vote on your favorites from 11 finalists – 6 for West Seattle, 5 for Vashon http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/name-the-new-water-taxis-round-two-vote-on-your-favorites-from-11-finalists/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/name-the-new-water-taxis-round-two-vote-on-your-favorites-from-11-finalists/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:03:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=280481

(Rendering of new vessels – reflecting size/shape/configuration, not final color/paint/trim)
Four weeks after the King County Ferry District invited you to suggest names for the new Water Taxi vessels that are under construction, here comes Round 2 – your chance to choose between 11 finalists. Just out of the WSB inbox:

The process to name the King County Ferry District’s new vessels continues with public voting starting (today) and running through August 15, 2014. To vote, see surveymonkey.com/s/TTPBNZQ or call 206-477-3840.

“The public’s participation in this process has been incredible – we have received 326 different name nominations. People in this region really value this service,” said King County Ferry District Chair Joe McDermott.

The King County Ferry District’s Executive Committee has narrowed the names down to 11.

Now, the public has one final opportunity to name the vessels. This is the last step of the process. This final public vote will determine the names of the two new water taxis that will serve both the West Seattle and Vashon Island routes. The top names for each route will serve as the names of the two new vessels currently being built by All American Marine in Bellingham, WA.

The Vashon options include Sally Fox, Betty MacDonald, Lisabeula, Barbara Durham, and Lucy Gerand.

Sally Fox fought tirelessly as a passionate advocate for passenger-only ferry service to Vashon. She organized the community and fought at the forefront of the movement to protect and expand this valuable service. Fox passed away in 2007 from esophageal cancer, but her spirit lives on through the results of her activism.

Betty MacDonald was a prominent author, who notably wrote books such as Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and The Egg and I. Her humorous, autobiographical tales are still cherished today. The farm where McDonald wrote still exists on Vashon Island. Even after her tragic death by cancer at age 49, MacDonald still has a large, adoring fanbase to carry out her legacy.

Lisabeula is a park on the island that has a unique story behind the origin of its name. When trying to determine the name for a new post office on Vashon, the officer at the Post Office Department looked to two employees in the office, named Eliza and Beulah. He decided to combine the two names, resulting in Lisabeula, the name of the new post office and later, a waterfront beach park.

Barbara Durham was the first female chief justice of the Washington Supreme Court. She was highly respected by her colleagues. She served as a judge in Washington state courts at the district, superior, appellate, and supreme levels. She grew up on Vashon and graduated from Vashon High School in 1960.

Lucy Gerand was a Native American, longtime Islander who was one of the first to provide stories about her life on the island. She dug clams with her husband in Quartermaster Harbor and took the ferry to Tacoma where she sold them at the farmer’s market. She died of tuberculosis in 1929.

For the West Seattle vessel, the public can choose from Doc Maynard, Princess Angeline, Cobain Watertrain, Lushootseed, Lynn Campbell, or Dixy Lee Ray.

Doc Maynard was a Seattle pioneer and doctor. As one of the primary founders of Seattle, Maynard’s friendship with Chief Sealth inspired him to propose the name of the city be named after his Duwamish friend.

Princess Angeline was the eldest daughter of Chief Sealth and was a well-known and highly-respected figure in Seattle. She was the last living descendent of Chief Sealth, and did laundry and sold baskets, while living in a waterfront cabin near what is today known as Pike Place Market.

Cobain Watertrain is a name that might not require as much of an explanation. This name is a tribute to the legendary Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the grunge band Nirvana.

Lushootseed refers to the language spoken by many Salish tribes, including the Duwamish.

Lynn Campbell started the Spring Street Water Taxi in 1949, which ran crew and supplies to ships in Elliott Bay. He then started tours a couple years later and added Seattle Harbor Tours, which was eventually renamed to Argosy Cruises. Campbell offered deckhand and bartending positions for women and welcomed gay charter cruises at a time when venues were harder to come by for the community. This includes the Queen City Cruise (Tacky Tourist Cruise) which has its 24th annual sailing in August.

Dixy Lee Ray was not only the first woman to be elected governor of Washington, but she was also a marine biologist, associate professor at the University of Washington, and director of Seattle’s Pacific Science Center.

The voting opportunity will begin (today), and will close on August 15. To vote, go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TTPBNZQ, or call 206-477-3840.

We don’t know how many of the 326 potential names mentioned by Councilmember McDermott came from WSB’ers but we do note that five of them were mentioned in comments on our original story announcing your chance to suggest a name.

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You’re invited to help name the new West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi vessels http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/youre-invited-to-help-name-the-new-west-seattle-and-vashon-water-taxi-vessels/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/youre-invited-to-help-name-the-new-west-seattle-and-vashon-water-taxi-vessels/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 19:04:41 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=277671

(Rendering of new vessels – reflecting size/shape/configuration, not final color/paint/trim)
Just in from the King County Ferry District:

The King County Ferry District wants King County residents to help name the two new water taxis that will serve West Seattle and Vashon Island.

“This is a great opportunity to display your creativity and highlight your favorite part of our region,” said Joe McDermott, who chairs the King County Ferry District. “Anyone can submit name suggestions, so spread the word to your kids, friends, families and neighbors!”

The naming contest starts today. Individuals can submit their ideas at www.surveymonkey.com/s/2JNBGG2 or by calling 206-477-3840. Suggestions will be taken until Friday, July 18, 2014. The King County Ferry District will then narrow the names down before putting the final public vote forward to the public at the end of July.

To be considered for the final vote, names must contain regional relevancy, must not exceed two words nor have any inappropriate language. A boat’s name is said to reflect its personality, so the name should be in good taste. While this will not disqualify a name suggestion, it should be noted that maritime folklore says it is unlucky for the boat to be named after a living person who intends to ride the boat in their lifetime.

The new vessels are primarily funded through federal grants and are being designed and built by All American Marine in Bellingham. The new vessels will start serving riders next year …

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Ceremony marks construction start for new King County Water Taxi boats http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/ceremony-marks-construction-start-for-new-king-county-water-taxi-boats/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/04/ceremony-marks-construction-start-for-new-king-county-water-taxi-boats/#comments Sat, 26 Apr 2014 06:25:37 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=271518

At All American Marine in Bellingham today, a keel-laying ceremony marked the start of construction for the two new King County Water Taxi vessels.

(Artist rendering of new vessels’ basic design)
The boats are scheduled to be delivered next year, as reported here last December, with federal money covering 80 percent of their $11.8 million cost.

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Water Taxi rider alert: Detour for walking to downtown dock http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/water-taxi-rider-alert-detour-for-walking-to-downtown-dock/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/03/water-taxi-rider-alert-detour-for-walking-to-downtown-dock/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 20:51:09 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=267697 If you catch the West Seattle Water Taxi back home by walking to the downtown dock via Yesler Way – as we’ve done a few times while working at the courthouse this month – you’ll need to detour north to Columbia, starting today: The county just announced that the city’s seawall work is closing the Yesler/Alaskan Way crossing TFN.

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