Sammamish falls short in bid for state ferry name

November 24, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 24, 2012

The bid to name a ferry for Sammamish came up short, after state transportation officials selected other tribal names instead.

Washington Transportation Commission members selected Samish and Tokitae for the 144-car Olympic class ferries. The commission also considered Cowlitz, Hoquiam, Muckleshoot and Ivar Haglund as possible names.

Sammamish city officials asked residents to submit letter supporting the bid.

(In the late 1970s, Issaquah leaders successfully lobbied for the state to name a 124-car ferry for the city.)

Each proposal met the commission guidelines for naming ferry vessels. The commission then solicited input on the proposals from Washington State Ferries, Ferry Advisory Committee Executive Council members, and through a survey sent to Ferry Riders Opinion Group members and the Voice of Washington State survey panels. Overall, more than 4,000 people responded to the survey.

The commission announced the name selection Nov. 13.

Tokitae is taken from Chinook jargon, and translates as, “nice day, pretty colors,” and also is the name given to the orca whale captured at Penn Cove, near Keystone, in 1970 and later sent to a Miami marine park. Samish means “giving people” in proto-Salish origins.

The ferry Issaquah remains in service between West Seattle and Vashon Island.

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