There is no way that I can keep the Ferry Forum going on my own. When I said I missed Colleen, I really, really meant it.
As long as we live on Lummi Island and depend on the ferry, we need a way to stay informed and communicate with each other on “all things ferry” — fares, operations, dry dock, ferry finances, tracking ridership, plans for a new ferry, proposed County actions that might lead to our having reduced service and/or increased fares, and yes, maybe even going to Fairhaven before the 35 years is up! (I know, none of us want to hear that but the Fairhaven option is definitely not totally off our County government’s mind, due to the unknowably high costs of the 35 year lease).
I think that Lummi Islanders still need the ferry forum or something like it (preferably with an improved format). One person can’t do it alone, certainly not me. I’ve been thinking that a new editorial structure might work, one with several contributors, each dedicated to tracking just one issue (quarterly financials, ridership, county council proposed actions, a new vessel and/or docks, integrating with WTA bus service etc) and write posts on just that issue. That could help islanders stay informed, in a timely and objective manner, about ferry issues that are crucial to our lives — without overly burdening one or two people.
A new County-appointed ferry advisory committee (should one be formed) might provide a consistent, timely and interactive communications function if it were so charged and members with the right skills and attitudes were appointed. Other current alternatives are useful but not really substitutes for the Ferry Forum. Mike McKenzie, for example, has been using Facebook for announcements, but not everyone is willing to become a Facebook member. Paul and Brown Betty do a superb job in relaying information from various sources, including the Ferry Forum, but that service doesn’t include a searchable archive of emails. The PLIC Board sends out emails and posts on its site at their discretion but, like Brown Betty, doesn’t use two-way communications.
If the Ferry Forum is to continue, others need to step up to help out. I don’t need thanks. I need help.
Please contact me if you might be interested. I’m thinking about holding a meeting sometime between Dec. 1 and 15, to brainstorm ways to move forward with the Ferry Forum. I will send out a post if I decide to do that. But if no one else is interested in taking on some of the work, well … guess we’ll all have to wait and see.