Hoquiam as name for ferry doesn’t float

Neither of the state’s two new ferries will be named after the city of Hoquiam.

The Washington Transportation Commission Tuesday decided on Samish and Tokitae instead. The commission said the names selected at its meeting in Tacoma keep the tradition of giving ferries regional tribal names.

Among the other names rejected were Ivar Haglund, for the late Ivar’s Restaurant owner and Seattle civic figure, and three other tribal names: Cowlitz, Muckleshoot, and Sammamish.

The first of the 144-car ferries under construction will be named Tokitae, a greeting meaning “nice day, pretty colors.” It’s also the original name of a Washington orca now at the Miami Sequarium.

Samish is a tribal word meaning “giving people.”

Hoquiam, which is a Lower Chehalis tribal word that means “hungry for wood,”made a civic pitch for the name. Mayor Jack Durney said City Administrator Brian Shay attended the Transportation Commission meeting to make a presentation on Hoquiam’s maritime history “and the positive things going on in our entire community.”

He also thanked Police Chief Jeff Myers for launching the Hoquiam effort.

“As it turned out, the decision had already been made by a subcommittee so the effort proved fruitless,” Durney said, noting that one of the winners, Tokitae, “was a totally unpronounceable name. We should have received extra points for ours, in comparison.”