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Archive for March, 2011

Observations 3/21: revenue streams, combined tax district, & more

Sunday, March 27, 2011 @ 06:03 PM
posted by mike

From combined notes by PLIC board members, comments by Task Force vice-chair Diane Harper, and input from attendee Terry Terry: Task Force Observations 3-21

A wide range of ideas floated from the floor after Jim Dickinson gave a report on some ideas of how additional revenue could stem from (a.) a combined tax district with the City of Bellingham where most ferry traffic flows, relieving all of the burden from falling on unincorporated areas; (b.) a back-up ferry that could be contracted for hauling propane service vehicles on a route to Orcas Island, and (c.) renting the Whatcom Chief for special events, such as weddings.

Attendees spoke to issues such as revenue generation from marketing Island events and the Whatcom  Chief, from a combined Lummi Nation/Lummi Island tax district, from grants, from naming rights, and from a closer review of cost allocations.


Protocol for Dinner w/ Lummi Nation

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 @ 11:03 PM
posted by mike

The PLIC Board learned from sources some helpful tips about the dinner invitation from  Lummi Nation scheduled at its community center on Monday, March 28, and was told the following helpful tips:

1. Do not take food. This is not pot luck, it is a dinner hosted by Lummi Nation. (See note below from an Islander about taking pies.)

2. Do not take gifts.

3. Please RSVP at [email protected]

4. Questions will be accepted, written on a note card, upon arrival.

5. Please car pool as much as possible.

* * *

PLIC Board member Rhayma Blake reported on one source:

I talked with A.J. Barse, director of communications for Lummi Nation. He said the event will be much like the event at Beach School in February 2010.  “It’s very much like you heard…Y’all come,” he said. “We’re cooking.  Don’t bring anything.  It’s a neighborhood sit-down.  No press is invited.  The ferry will be discussed.  Our Ferry Task Force will do a presentation explaining the time line you saw in the Bellingham Herald and what to expect after the drop-dead date.  We’ll invite comments and questions on note cards that evening, nothing scripted beforehand like at the Beach School.”

When I asked if it would be appropriate to bring my 13-year-old, he hesitated a little, then said yes.  But it sounded like this is more political than social in nature.
* * *
Islander Terry Terry, at a Lummi Island Community Association (LICA) meeting Wednesday night (3/23), reiterated the same points — take nothing except “an appetite and questions” — and said that she was asked to serve as a point of accepting RSVPs so the hosts can determine how much food to prepare. If you plan to attend, please email her: [email protected]
* * *
Islander Colleen Berg sent the following message: I have contacted the Lummi Council office to ask if we could bring pie to the dinner. There was a warm “that would be very nice” response. So I would like to extend the invitation to everyone who will be attending the dinner and discussion to help “set the table.” I will be bringing two berry pies, and I understand that we can take them to the kitchen upon arrival. Also, the invitation says the gathering would be from 7-9. I let the council office know that the ferry arrives on Gooseberry Point at 6:40 and 7:20 so that islanders may be either early or late. Thank you.

Observations 3/7: Review of Budget History

Friday, March 11, 2011 @ 09:03 PM
posted by mike

On behalf of PLIC, board member Rhayma Blake compiled notes, highlighted by Task Force member Pat Dunn’s findings on ferry expenses from 2000-2009 delineating labor and maintenance expenses.  The group, by consensus, agreed to delay examination of ferry user needs and a study of trips taken until the end of April, after more detailed 2010 census data might become available.

Task Force Observations 3-7-11 Mtg.

Task Force 2000-2009 Ferry Fund Expense


Government and Ferry Contacts

Friday, March 11, 2011 @ 09:03 AM
posted by mike

Whatcom County Council contact information

U.S. Congress contacts representing the State of Washington:

U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (D-2nd District) email him HERE

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D)  email her HERE

Sen. Patty Murray (D) email her HERE

Washington State Government

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire

Washington State Congressional Contacts:

Legislative District 42 (Western Whatcom County)

Senator Doug Ericksen (R), contact him here
Representative Jason Overstreet (R-Position 1), State Gov’t & Tribal Affairs; Oversight Transportation Committees, contact him here
Representative Vincent Buys (R-Position 2), Business & Financial Services Committee, contact him here

Bureau of Indian Affairs

BIA Northwest Region; Reg’l Director – Stanley Speaks in Portland OR
Contact BIA HERE


Whatcom County Lummi Island Ferry Site

Whatcom Chief Ferry Schedule

Lummi Island Ferry Fares and Regulations


Whatcom County Council

Whatcom County News

Whatcom County Public Works


Ferndale School District #502

Lummi Nation Web site

Lummi Island Ferry Forum


Help Wanted: Petition Drives

Monday, March 7, 2011 @ 11:03 AM
posted by mike

A small group of volunteers wants your help to make it a large group. They went out last weekend (March 4-6) and all this week to circulate a petition to Congressional delegates for support resolution of our ferry issues. The group would welcome you to do any or all of the following to help:

1. Print and carry the petition with  you at all times. Collect signatures wherever you go. Petition to WA Congressional Delegation

2. Join the volunteer force with any amount of time you can help, on the island or off, to gather signatures. Contact Jeff at [email protected]

3. Sign the on-line petition. GO TO IT HERE. Then, you can post it to Facebook, Twitter, or email it to anyone. We have thoroughly vetted the petition site for privacy. It contains an option to omit your name from viewing on the Internet. It does not post either your address or email (required for sending to Congress).

After it went live Sunday (3/6), by mid-morning Monday it had gathered more than 110 signatures from 17 states, a state union (Serbia & Montenegro), a commonwealth (Bahamas), a federation (Canada), a republic (India), and a federal republic (Germany). The goal is 5,000 signatures, quickly.

Thanks for helping.


Observations 2/28: grants, history, fare comparison, & ridership

Friday, March 4, 2011 @ 09:03 PM
posted by mike

Members of the PLIC Board combined notes, and Rhayma Blake compiled a report of the Task Force’s examination of historical data on the ferry’s History, Fare Comparison as compared with other ferry systems, Ridership History, and possible sources for grants.  Here is an overview of the proceedings from that meeting:  

Task Force Observations 2-28-11


Observations of 2/21 meeting w/Ferry Crew

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 @ 08:03 AM
posted by mike

Members of the PLIC Board combined notes, and Rhayma Blake compiled a report of ideas and thoughts presented to the Task Force by ferry captain Mark Richardson and deckhand/purser John Mulhern. Task Force and Ferry Crew Report 2-21-11

They talked about operations and revenues and responded to questions from the task force and audience. Among many points made: they favor no discounted fares except for multi-ride usage (punch cards); they favor an electronic fare-collection system; they feel that operations, because of set scheduling and duties, is by-and-large efficient; 10 full-time crew and 5 retired crew receive free passage along with spouses and dependent children (when applicable), by labor contract, but not other family members.

One item directly relating to the task force’s exploration of costs and revenues: upward to $18,000 a year occurs in uncollectible fares (loosely referred to as IOUs) such as riders who present a credit card, a Washington state ferry pass, or do not have cash or a punch card.  Most common occurrences are with service vehicles and non-resident visitors to the island who don’t know the system.  Mulhern said he would venture a guess that IOUs could amount to $50 a day, on average.