City makes pitch for ferry named Hoquiam

The City of Hoquiam is making a pitch to have one of the two new state ferries named for the city.

The City Council Monday night unanimously passed a proclamation promoting a ferry Hoquiam and will apply to have it considered by the state Transportation Commission, which has asked citizens statewide to submit name ideas for the two new Olympic Class 144-car ferries.

The proclamation notes there are 23 vessels in the Washington State Ferries fleet, and that many have have names reflecting the state’s tribal heritage. The most recently named vessels are the Chetzemoka, Salish and Kennewick.

“The naming guidelines include names (that) represent the state’s image and culture, tribal names, bodies of water, geographic locations, cities, or relate to nautical heritage,” the document states.

Under that criteria, Hoquiam states a case that it has just about all those elements covered.

Hoquiam has plenty of connections to bodies of water: the East Hoquiam River, West Hoquiam River and Little Hoquiam River that empty into the Chehalis River and Port of Grays Harbor.

Also, the proclamation states, the first residents were members of the Lower Chehalis Tribe and the name Hoquiam is a Chehalis phrase meaning “hungry for wood.”

“Between the 1890s and the 1920s, Hoquiam became a major center for logging, sawmilling, ship building and Pacific maritime shipping, which helped Grays Harbor become one of the largest lumber producing regions in the world,” the document adds.

“It will be interesting to see if that floats,” said City Councilman Ben Winkelman, sitting in as mayor pro tem for the absent Jack Durney. City Finance Director Mike Folkers said the applications for a new ferry name are due Sept. 26, so the city plans to submit a formal application with a copy of the resolution.

The ferry system has a total budget of $279.4 million to build the two new unnamed ferries. The first will begin service in the spring of 2014 and the second in early 2015, but the routes have yet to be determined.


The City Council also began to consider a ban on all dogs in city parks with enclosed fences. The ban would include Central Playfield, Richie Park, Olympic Stadium and Gable Park. Fines would be no less than $50 and no more than $150 for a first offense, and no less than $75 or no more than $250 on a second offense. A third offense would be treated as a misdemeanor crime.

Councilman Paul McMillan, chairman of the Public Safety Committee, said the issue grew out of the committee’s discussion about banning smoking in city parks.

“The reasoning for it is that even if a dog’s on a leash, and even if you picked up the dog’s leavings, there is still going to be residue on the ground,” McMillan said. With a new spray park being installed and new playground equipment going in, the hope is to keep those parks free of dog excrement.

The issue still has to come back to the council at a future meeting before the ban formally goes into effect with council approval. Councilman John Pellegrini voted against it after the first reading.

Councilwoman Jasmine Dickhoff wanted to know how it was going to be enforced, and City Administrator Brian Shay acknowledged that it would likely be self-policed after signs are posted.

“That’s most likely how it would be enforced, and hopefully people would voluntarily follow the rules,” he said.

Angleo Bruscas, a Daily World writer, can be reached at 537-3916, or by email at