The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar

Splash! Summer guide

HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.


Published: Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
In Our View/Norma Smith and Larry Seaquist


Time for a ferry system review

Accountability and truth telling — virtues in polite society — extend to government. Or so hope the taxpayers.
Preventable design headaches (with “preventable” double-underlined) are dampening reception of Washington's newest ferry, the 144-car Tokitae, which began the Mukilteo-Clinton run Monday. Tokitae is a Coast Salish greeting meaning “nice day, pretty colors,” not be confused with a bastardization, “nice day, watch the damn ramps.”
On Tuesday, a minor hydraulic leak sidelined the Tokitae's first round trip of the day. It was a manageable setback. But what about the undercarriage scraping of vehicle with low clearances, a problem flagged by Reps. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, and Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, months ago? Smith and Seaquist report that some of these cars get bellied as they reach the upper parking deck.
“We were simply misled. If the proper analysis had been done, this would never have happened,” Smith told The Herald.
Deck hands can navigate the loading and unloading of cars to determine which vehicles might have trouble, according to the interim ferries' chief, Capt. George Capacci. While it's not a public safety concern — Washington ferries have a stellar track record — it is emblematic of a culture of arrogance, if not incompetence, among WSF's upper management.
Zero will change until there's a comprehensive review and ferry muckamucks are held accountable (that includes giving some the heave-ho).
Regarding the Tokitae's design, Capacci told The Herald's Jerry Cornfield, “I do not think it's a fatal flaw. I think it's one of those grooming issues you deal with when you bring a new vessel into service.”
When did “grooming” migrate from the vet's office to bureaucratic lingo? After getting elbowed, WSF put in a change order to create a smoother ramp on the two remaining Olympic-class boats under construction.
We've seen this movie before. A couple years ago, Smith demanded action on the WSF's new 64-car vessels, which leaned when empty. After the state poured tons of ballast to steady the boats, fuel use dropped significantly. Smith and Seaquist deserve an award for their bird-dogging.
They also deserve action on their June 27 letter to Gov. Jay Inslee, requesting the appointment of a review panel to noodle WSF operations and labor management and present its recommendations to the new ferry director.
The behavior of upper management at the WSF is not acceptable, Smith said. Amen to that.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...

Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.

HeraldNet Classifieds