2014 Dry Dock Inspection & Work Report on Whatcom Chief

Here’s a summary of the 2014 dry dock ‘inspection and work done’ report for the Whatcom Chief, ferry to Lummi Island, that was sent out on 9/18/2014 by Mike McKenzie, LIFAC Chair, via Paul Davis’ Brown Betty email alert service. It’s great that the whole inspection report will apparently be posted soon, perhaps on the Public Works ferry site or LIFAC webpage.  Thanks to Rob Ney of Public Works for providing this summary so promptly, in response to LIFAC’s request for the information.  Thanks, too, to LIFAC for making the request.


From Mike McKenzie
Public Works ferry operations manager Rob Ney responded to a request by the Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee for dry-dock inspection results, and the LIFAC received a response today that included a Certificate of Inspection that passed a four-person team of the U.S. Coast Guard, representing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Continue reading

Lummi Island Ferry Finances 2006-2014

Diane Harper submitted a (draft) 1-page summary of Lummi Island ferry finances from 2006-2014 to the long-range planning committee of the county’s Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee (LIFAC) for their Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014.  The draft summary includes detailed  charts and tables of costs and revenues and how they relate to each other. (note:  If the final document changes, I will update it.) Continue reading

Special LIFAC – Public Works Meeting on Ferry Operations and Funds Wed 9/10/2014

This is a required public meetings announcement from LIFAC about a special work session. The public can attend, but as a work session LIFAC can determine the level of public participation, from ‘just listening’ to interrupting speakers with questions. Generally work sessions – because they are for getting work done — limit public participation to some degree.  The special meeting was set up because part of LIFAC’s scope of work is to review and consider ferry operations and funding issues.  In particular, learning about current funding and operations issues now is important to the efforts of LIFAC’s long range planning committee.


—–Forwarded Message—–
From: Mike McKenzie <mcwritermm@gmail.com>
Sent: Sep 9, 2014 10:10 AM
To: Chief Whatcom <lifac7@gmail.com>
Subject: LIFAC Special Meeting — Media Notice

The Lummi Island Ferry Committee (LIFAC) will hold a special work session Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, to hear a presentation from the Ferry Operations Administration about specific ferry operations, especially the management of the Ferry Fund.
The meeting takes place at 10 a.m. in the Lummi Island Public Library, 2144 S Nugent Rd. (located just across the street from the ferry landing).

Submitted by:

Mike McKenzie, Chair
Lummi Island 98262

LIFAC Technical Ferry Issues Meeting 2014-07-2014

I got a paper copy of the draft agenda and draft minutes of LIFAC’s new “technical issues” / alternative ferry subcommittee’s first meeting in late July. I scanned and am sharing them here, as they are public documents.

Attendees were Barbara Brenner, Jim Dickinson, Jansen Pierce, Mike Kmiecik, Greg Brown (LIFAC), Bill Fox, Nancy Gale, and Tom Philpot.  Their proposed scope of work is included in the July 31, 2014 draft agenda tech com 2014-07-31 agenda. Draft minutes are here:  tech comm 2014-07-31 minutes. Continue reading

Ferry Long Range Planning Cmmte (LRPC) Minutes Aug 26, 2014

These DRAFT minutes are posted for your convenience to stay abreast of what’s going on with the new group.  This special meeting was called to continue the discussion on what they will be doing as an Ad Hoc Cmmte to LIFAC.  Comments below are encouraged, as this is a good time to bring up public process, and how that may influence the outcome of any planning effort.


LIFAC is meeting tonight, and Scope of Work for both Sub-Cmmte’s is on the agenda.  See you there!

Mike Skehan, Chair, LRPC

Guemes Island Ferry Replacement Planning

Here’s a copy of my trip report down to Mt Vernon yesterday.  Some food for thought.  Their boat is much younger than ours, costs are lower, offering fewer trips per day, but have nearly twice the ridership for two islands of roughly equal populations and demographics and are much further along than we are in the planning cycle.  Here’s the full trip report after the jump.

Correction 8/27/14, reading the report, and a call from Mary Ross, and a call from me to Skagit County confirms they count each trip to and from the island as two trips, but Whatcom County counts that as only one round trip.  Therefore, the ridership between both systems is actually very similar.  This will affect the cost per trip, etc.  It’s confusing to me, so I hesitate to make any comparisons between the two systems, if in fact reporting is apples and oranges.

Continue reading

Lummi Islanders Survival Guide to going Carless during Drydock

This first posted to Nextdoor Lummi Island on 8/24/2014 and is open for more comments.

 What is your experience using the bus to and from Lummi Island during the year?

If the schedules between the bus and ferry were coordinated, would you use it more?

Whatcom Transit Authority Route 50 in blue.  For connections to other 

Locations and maps, goto   http://www.ridewta.com/routes_by_number

Part 1 

With parking at a premium at Gooseberry Pt during drydock, it seems that some of us could try using the WTA 50 bus, making 8 trips per day to downtown Bellingham. At first glance at the schedule, this seems pretty simple, however, keep in mind the ferry schedule changes during drydock, making the total trip time either tolerable or miserable, depending on which time of day you leave – somewhere between 59 minutes to 96 minutes. The good news is that it’s cheaper than dirt, (kids under 8 and seniors over 74 are free, seniors with a Medicare card are 50 cents, and everyone else is just a buck each way).  Read Part 1 and 2 after the jump.
Continue reading


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