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The little engines that couldn’t

A little bird tells me that Washington state purchased four very expensive engines that will not fit the ferries that we have or are likely to build. They were purchased in advance of our steel-bottomed ferries being pulled from service. Now I can understand pulling dangerous vessels from service, but maintenance of these vessels should have been a priority considering what ferry service means to Washington state and our local economies, as well as being an integral transportation link within Puget Sound.

And the larger ferries cannot fit into the Keystone docks — not so much of a surprise after all. I remember a few years back when our state wanted to move the Keystone docks to accommodate larger vessels. They did some preliminary work, but the will to do this by the people did not move things forward. I guess that with the closing at Keystone, the purchase of engines that do not fit our ferries, and the need for the Legislature to “do something” to restore service, we should expect to see the move of the Keystone docks revisited.

So what we might think was just a stupid move by the state in buying the wrong engines probably wasn’t a mistake after all. It’s called behavior modification. Help the people make the move by forcing them into a situation of “no choice.” The people also have the option to do “behavior modification” of their own. It’s called elections and holding our elected officials accountable.

Clairann Haney

Oak Harbor

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