Two new ferries named Samish, Tokitae

TACOMA — The Washington Transportation Commission has decided to name two new state ferries the Samish and the Tokitae.

The commission says the names selected at Tuesday’s meeting in Tacoma keep the tradition of giving ferries regional tribal names.

Among the names that didn’t float were Ivar Haglund and four other tribal names: Cowlitz, Hoquiam, Muckleshoot, and Sammamish. Haglund was founder of the Ivar’s seafood restaurant chain.

The first of the 144-car ferries under construction will be named Tokitae, a greeting meaning “nice day, pretty colors.” It’s also the name of a Washington orca better known as Lolita at the Miami Sequarium.

Samish is a tribal word meaning “giving people.”

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