Tag Archives: John Whetten

Shaw and Lopez Islands Excused from Eastbound Reservations

The San Juan Islands Partnership Group met last Thursday. Comprehensive meeting notes will be distributed soon and we will post them here once they are available. In the meantime, a critical decision was announced during the meeting. Lopez and Shaw Islands will not be subject to eastbound reservations. Westbound reservations for all islands are still on the table as are eastbound reservations for San Juan and Orcas Islands.

John Whetten, Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) rep for Lopez wrote the following letter to David Moseley of WSF and agreed to share it here.


I have not attended the last two San Juan Partnership meetings because Carol and I spend most of the winter in Park City, Utah.  I plan to attend the March meeting in Friday Harbor, and, I hope, most of the meetings thereafter.

Despite my absence, I have kept close track of what is going on. It has become quite apparent from the meetings and from talking to residents of Lopez and other islands that different islands have very different needs, and I want to express my gratitude to you and to WSF for recognizing this.  I am sure that your decision to remove Lopez and Shaw from consideration for eastbound reservations was difficult and will create additional problems, but I think it was the right decision.  My understanding is that you used mostly economic reasoning for the decision; I see the limited terminal space and the overwhelming wishes of the Lopez residents as being the main consideration.  Regardless of which argument you view as the most important, I think the decision was the right one, and I am very grateful to you, WSF, and the Partnership for making it.  Thank you!

As the Partnership moves on there will be significant challenges–designing a “hybrid” system whereby some islands have reservations and some, I assume, will be given vehicle allocations.  I will certainly do whatever I can to help make such a system workable and of benefit to WSF and its many customer-types.  I would again offer the suggestion that a phased approach to reservations, starting with the highest-demand ferries westbound from Anacortes,  would benefit virtually all of WSF’s customers and would be the cheapest and easiest to implement.  Once a process for westbound reservations was in place, then a move to eastbound reservations from selected island terminals would follow.

In closing, I want to reiterate the main point of this note:  Thank you very much for listening and for responding to the needs and wishes of island residents.  I am very appreciative of your decision.



Notes: Ferry Advisory Committee Meeting 11/09

The November FAC meeting was held on Orcas Island. Several very important topics were on the agenda including the appointment of a new FAC rep for Orcas Island, the proposed Winter schedule, and questions about the proposed reservation system. Please take a few minutes to review John Whetten’s notes which are posted below.

I think the issue of the reservation system needs to be taken very seriously. Continue reading

Our old, creaky Washington State Ferry fleet

This coming Saturday we have an opportunity to meet with state legislators and talk with them about our concerns related to the current state of the ferry system. In preparation for this meeting, we’ve been sharing recent news articles addressing various ferry topics. The article linked here today appeared online yesterday. Our old, creaky Washington State Ferry fleet by Joel Connelly (Seattle PI) lays out a good argument for why transportation issues matter to all Washingtonians.

Thanks to John Whetten for sharing the link.

FAC meeting notes from John Whetten

Thanks to John Whetten, FAC rep for Lopez Island, for sharing his notes from this week’s FAC meeting. I am posting them below in their entirety. Several important topics were discussed during this meeting–at least one of which may be appropriate to bring up during the FCP meeting that will be held on the morning of Saturday, November 5 at the public library in Anacortes. Reps. Morris, Seaquist, and Lytton have said they plan to attend. More information will be posted next week. In the meantime, here are John’s notes.

Much of the meeting was spent discussing the good, the bad, and the ugly related to last week’s unprecedented double whammy with casualties to both the Yakima and Hiyu. WSF was given much credit for delaying dry docking of the Chetzemoka and putting it into service as the interisand boat. WSF was criticized for poor communication with the dock agents and the public in the early stages of the problem
(occurring on Tuesday, October 11). A new Emergency Plan will be devised.

The state-wide Super Committee to come up with ways to finance the State’s transportation needs by Thanksgiving has so far not come up with anything. Only two more meetings are scheduled.

Much of the federal grant received by WSF to improve access to the Friday Harbor dock will be spent on an ADA-compliant sidewalk. (The money comes from ADA funds). See lead story in this morning’s Sanjuanislander.com. for more details.

Still no Orcas person to replace Ed Sutton on the FAC. An applicant will be interviewed in the next week or two.

Melissa Johnson, from WSF, continues to provide superb coordination between the FAC, WSF, and our dock agents.

The scheduling subcommittee (Corenman, Rosenfeld, Brantigan, and I) will have our first meeting with WSF schedulers this afternoon on the Winter 2012 schedule.

The next meeting of the FAC, originally scheduled for Lopez, will be held on Orcas on November 9, 2011 in the morning at a time and place to be designated.

FAC meeting this week, FCP meeting postponed

Our local Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) is meeting on Lopez Island this week. Here is an invitation from John Whetten, Lopez Island FAC representative.


This will be news to some and a reminder to others, but I wanted to be sure you were aware of a San Juan Islands’ Ferry Advisory Committee meeting which will be held at the Lopez Library meeting room on Wednesday, May 11, from 1:30 until approximately 3:30pm You are welcome to attend!

This meeting will be an opportunity to hear the latest on what has transpired in Olympia regarding Washington State Ferries, including fare increases, fuel surcharges, and the prospect of building new ferries. You will have an opportunity to comment on schedules, fares, food service, or anything else you’d like the Committee to hear (pertaining to ferries!)

Important Notice: Due to the fact that the legislature is still in special session, the Ferry Community Partnership meeting scheduled for May 21st in Anacortes is being postponed. We are working with Reps. Morris and Lytton and Sen. Ranker to find a Saturday in June when all three can attend to meet with the public and discuss the outcomes of the session, as they relate to ferries. As soon as we have a date it will be posted here.

Public Meeting on Lopez Regarding WSF Issues and Concerns

John Whetten, Ed Sutton, Jim Corenman, members of the San Juan County Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC) representing Lopez (Whetten) and San Juan (Corneman), will meet with all interested Lopezians on Wednesday, March 9 from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Lopez library meeting room. The purpose of this public meeting is to provide current information about what is going on with WSF in Olympia and with our San Juan route, and to give participants the opportunity to raise questions and issues of concern. Attendees will also learn more about the San Juan Islands Ferry Group and ways its members are working with the FAC and the Ferry Community Partnership to find feasible solutions to the challenges currently faced by the ferry system.

Notes, FAC Meeting (2-09-11)

John Whetten has shared his unofficial notes from this week’s FAC meeting in Friday Harbor. They are posted below in full. There are a couple of things I’d like to highlight.

1. Note that the draft summer schedule will be available soon for comment. We’ll post a notification here, but it will be very important that you respond in a timely way. We appreciate that WSF is planning to include an explanatory narrative and hope they will follow up on John’s suggestion that they provide feedback on the input received.

2. Scenic Byways–I believe this is something the Chambers of Commerce and San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau are taking the lead on for the other islands. Lopez needs to take another look at being involved. Would we start with our Chamber of Commerce?

3. Finally, I will email Kari about scheduling another FCP meeting up this way. I will ask about March 5 or 12.

Here are John’s notes:

Continue reading