Bremerton ferry was once again down to one boat due to the M/V Kitsap having a cracked hull, discovered during a maintenance inspection. The route is back on a two-boat schedule with the 90-car M/V Sealth on the Bremerton run and the 34-car M/V Hiyu on the Pt. Defiance – Tahlequah route.

M/V Chetzemoka
M/V Chetzemoka by WSDOT

Return of the Port Townsend passenger-only ferry? Not if Commissioner Phil Johnson has his way.

Progress on the M/V Chetzemoka – Placed in water for the first time last week! Wiring work continues.

Keller ferry update – Replacement coming soon?

Progress on the 144-car ferry program

Another name the ferry contest for the second Kwa-di Tabil Class 64-car ferry. Deadline is April 30, 2010

A new version of vessel watch now available.

Kalakala may be moving yet again to become part of a museum (H/T; Jason Hill)

No more free rides for ferry workers.

State is still trying to reduce the costs of WSF.

Ferries still dependant on fuel costs

Wasteful spending on ferry system has outraged leaders and the public. One lucky deckhand made nearly $73,000 in travel reimbursements….

49 Replies to “Ferry News Roundup”

  1. That’d be awesome if we could get a real cross-sound passenger ferry transportation system going. In the next couple years, POFs to Bremerton, Kingston, and Port Townsend will likely start, joining the West Seattle and Vashon POFs. I hope when the economy gets better we bring back the Lake Washington demonstration routes! Some of them are kind of stupid, but at the very least the UW-Kirkland and UW-Kenmore routes could be have quite high ridership.

    1. Alex,

      Do you have a rich uncle? You seem to have no concept of budgetary constraints.

      Just wondering.

  2. I took the POF to Port Townsend from Seattle when they ran the special one awhile back. I dragged several friends along for the day as well, and we spent plenty of money over there.

    They should definitely bring it back — at least seasonally for the summer tourists around here. And I’d happily pay 3 or 4 times the pittance they charged the first time around to not have to drive and cross bridges or take a car ferry!

    1. It is so sad that WSF, not unlike Amtrak, is just about clueless about how to market itself both to locals AND tourists. Look at BC ferries descriptions of their cross-straits vessels and passenger services on their home pages (yes, I know their crossings are 90+ minutes to Vancouver Island, but still…). If we had kept the Chinook and Snohomish, tarted them up a bit (WHY were they built w/o galleys?) that Port Townsend run would have done well in all but the very darkest months.Of course, everyone thinks it should only cost $5 or $6 round trip and May Margaret and her cronies insist on building more car ferries…

      1. I believe the Inland Boatman’s Union still insists on all food service workers being members of their union along with the same union pay scale and benefits. So instead of the State being able to award the contract to the highest qualified bidder and making money it becomes a net cost. I don’t think even the longest POF routes would be long enough to serve any quantity of food. Providing dining space would seriously cut into capacity and having people eating breakfast burritos at their seat is pretty rude for the people that have to sit next to them.

      2. The issue is the galley workers have to be more than just burger flippers, I believe the Coast Guard and DHS require the galley hands to have the same certifications and screening as deckhands have to have. The galley workers are under the direct authority of the Captain when on the boat and are expected to know how to handle themselves and the passengers if something happens aboard the vessel. So the IBU has a bit of a point and wants to hold the line against contractors being able to come in and replace their members.

        Sodhexo was willing to renew the contract for the entire system but WSF wanted too much money and felt they could do better by re-bidding the contract. So far that hasn’t worked out so well as WSF could only find companies interested in bidding on some of the more profitable runs and even then some of the companies who won the contracts have pulled out because they weren’t making any money. This is even with drastically reducing the offerings and service Sodhexo used to offer. I believe some routes haven’t had any food service at all since Sodhexo pulled out.

        I’m not sure why WSF has such unrealistic expectations of how much they should be able to charge the food service contractors, but that seems to be the issue cited by pretty much all of the companies who’ve tried to offer food service on the ferries. Either WSF needs to charge the companies less or get rid of the IBU requirement for the galley workers otherwise there is really no way the contractors can make money.

        I’m told by a retired ferry worker I know that the state used to make far more money off of the food service onboard back when it was all in-house. That makes a certain amount of sense as there is no middleman who has to get a cut of the cash flow.

        As for the length of the route, any cross-sound route is going to have enough time to at least sell a few coffees. The Bremerton route even with the fast boats still took around the same time as the Bainbridge crossing on the auto ferries. Pt. Townsend to Seattle would take even longer. As for the issue of people eating all over the boat, that happens already. People break out food they take with them on every ferry I’ve been on POF, water taxi, or auto ferry. On the big auto ferries it is common for people to take food from the galley all over the passenger cabin. The booze is the only thing that has to stay in the galley area by the rules.

        As far as I know the dining space is very much part of the total passenger capacity on the auto ferries. If the boat gets full you are going to have to sit in the galley even if you don’t really want to.

      3. I don’t thing the cashier needs to have the same qualifications as a deck hand. King 5 just did a piece on how the union benefits are being exploited. Train crews have been cut. The “brakeman” doesn’t jump cars and spin wheels on the top of each car. The caboose has been dropped. Flight crews both in an outside of the cockpit have been cut. The idea that galley workers need to be trained rescue workers is a bogus misdirect from the IBU. $130,000 for a deckhand if they take advantage of the contract rules that encourage them (based on seniority) to pick jobs as far as possible from where they live is bogus.

      4. So, let’s see, the fact that the air brake on railroad cars eased the work of the brakeman relates to work aboard ferry vessels…how? And the fact that the conductor no longer does his paperwork in the caboose means what, that ferries no longer need a stern?

        Give the union bashing a break. Naturally the millionaire who owns King-5 would rather “report” on out-of-control union members than on a $500 billion Wall Street meltdown. Keep it real- there are brokers on Wall Street who have cost the public more in a single day than the ferry system spends in a year.

      5. Bernie,
        The FAA has minimum requirements both for the training and required crew on an airliner. It doesn’t matter if the flight attendants serve drinks and snacks or not. They are there to manage the cargo (that would be you the passenger).

        Similarly if an emergency happens aboard a ferry the passengers are going to look to the first people they see in a uniform they see which may very well be a galley worker. If a fire breaks out in the kitchen, the galley workers need to know what to do too. It isn’t as if they can evacuate and call the fire department. I’m pretty sure the requirement is set by the Coast Guard and not the union.

        Furthermore anyone working on the ferry while it is underway needs to be under the direct authority of the Captain. While this may be long standing maritime tradition it is also a good idea.

        There is also the DHS requirement that anyone working on a ferry have a transportation worker card. This means you can’t just hire anyone, but have to stick to people who people who can pass the background check.

        A galley on a ferry is a very different environment than a coffee stand out in Bellevue. You can’t hire the same people, nor give them the same level of training.

        As for the issue of some ferry workers “gaming” the system, the state is working with the union to change the work rules around the travel pay. However in defense of the ferry workers, the travel pay is only for relief shifts. Paying for travel time to a location other than the usual duty station is common in private industry as well. The issue is that “picks” for relief shifts are based on seniority rather than who the closest worker is, which allows for abuse as a worker can pick the shifts furthest from where they live. There are two ways to fix this: either eliminate the travel pay, or pick based on distance rather than seniority.

  3. I suppose “Mister Ferrypants” doesn’t meet the criteria for the naming contest…

    1. How about the “M/V Captain Alexander Peabody”? If anyone was “Mr. Ferrypants” it was him. ;-)

  4. Sorry, not an open thread but Sounder North was interrupted Friday by landslides. No comment on this blog? News outlets were wondering this morning if afternoon service would resume.

    Crews expect to have the tracks cleared later Friday morning, but Amtrak and Sound Transit Sounder passenger trains are blocked for 48 hours as a precaution. Passengers are being bused.

    And besides it would have entailed a special deadhead train into Seattle with I presume a special crew. The news media is uninformed… no surprise. But Shouldn’t ST have made a media outreach here to get out the facts? I’m sympathetic over some of the situations that have resulted with Link but landsides are common place.

      1. Still, it ought to be on STB, not that I complain. Any possibility of a Twitter feed over to the right there >>———–>

  5. As for names for the sisters of the Chetzemoka, Leschi, and Salish sounds good. Anybody got a problem with Kehloken, despite the fact that it has some historical baggage from 1942.

    Also, on a side note, many Washington State Ferries have photo collections that honor the history of regions that are associated with each boat. In the case of the Walla Walla, the photos are of people and places around Walla Walla county. I recently saw a photo of a famous Nez Perce Chief(Chief Joseph). I assume in the interior of the Chetzemoka, they will have photo of the chief it honors?

    1. The two sisters to the Chetzemoka should be the Kehloken and the Klahanie. Though I’d have no real objection to “Leschi” and “Salish”. There might be some confusion though with giving a Washington State Ferry the same name as one of Seattle’s fireboats (though both WSF and the SFD have a “Sealth”).

  6. Um, isn’t launching the Chetzemoka without a christening, very very rude to the spirits of the sea?

    I mean if the gods of the deep do not get an apology for having rudely and abruptly entered their domain, WSF is gonna have a headache even Mary Margaret can’t quell.

  7. I gotta think a lot of the enthusiasm for the POF comes from the desire to take a boat ride. I rode the Bremerton-Seattle POF several times and was not impressed.

    Instead of having a high deck to see the Olympics from, we sat almost at the water level. Instead of having lots of space and seats to choose from, you got into one seat and pretty much stayed there. No food service. And in the winter, even after leaving Sinclair Inlet, the boat just wallowed along (down by the head) because of the waves and wind, the windows covered with spray so you couldn’t see anything.

    The car ferries go to ports with solid transit connections and established walk-on riderships. Why would we pi** in that soup? Nobody is going to commute any great distance in a POF because small boats are slow boats, unless you simply cram in the horsepower, which makes them expensive and liable to breakdown and inability to keep a schedule because of adverse weather.

    Maybe you’re like me and simply don’t like cars. The solution is simple- stop building bigger car ferries! We don’t need any more cars on the west side of Puget Sound. Put the same level of transit service at Seattle and Edmonds that you have at Bremerton and Bainbridge and half the people going east would leave their cars at home.

    By all means take a ferry ride this summer. Got to Bremerton, with truly remarkable artworks along the waterfront and a POF connection to Port Orchard, or Bainbridge, very interesting dense development and a great waterfront park. Don’t forget binoculars for the view from the upper deck.

    But for a small boat ride, your best deal is right in Seattle- take the streetcar to the south end of Lake Union, and rent a rowboat from the Center for Wood Boats, or qualify and rent a sailboat. This is absolutely guaranteed to be better than any modern POF you’ll ride in Puget Sound.

    1. The POF’s main thing is they can go way faster than the car ferries. They are planning on getting the Bremerton POF from Bremerton to Downtown in just a half hour. This will be great for commuters and for commerce, getting more people across the lake. Maybe that last ferry wasn’t that nice, but this isn’t supposed to be for tourists, it’s supposed to be for commuters and residents. And the complaint about lack of food service is easily remedied.

      1. You say that as if I didn’t know that the big plan is to have the boats go faster. Of course I know that- that’s the big selling point that makes people like you think all our problems are solved. But the simple fact is that if you want to cross Puget Sound in half an hour you can do that already by going to Bainbridge.

        Of course, 70 years ago there were a number of handy little boats that made the run quite smartly, carrying workers from West Seattle to PNS in Bremerton. In 1976 I almost bought one of these boats. She was 80 feet long, 10 feet wide, and powered by the same straight-8 Chrysler used in their passenger cars of the late 40s.

        The fact remains that on one hand you have a boat that can be slowed by wind and wave (not to mention tossed and turned) and on the other hand costs 10-15$ more than the same RT on the car ferry. That’s a strong incentive to buy in Bainbridge instead of Bremerton if you need to commute- that extra $200/month could help with the mortgage.

        As for the lack of food service being “easily remedied”- h*ll, we’re lucky we have any food service at all. Maybe you were suggesting vending machines or brown bag breakfasts? In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been really hard keeping vendors on the car ferries, and where you’d put the service on a small boat is beyond me.

      2. The Bainbridge crossing is great if where you really want to go is Winslow or can be reached by transit on the other side (and the hours you are traveling match their service hours). It also works if you don’t mind dragging your car with you and don’t mind paying a mint for the privilege. However for a lot of commuters and tourists the end points of the auto crossings are less than ideal and ofter require dragging a car along at considerable expense due to poor transit connections.

        For example I might get up to Pt. Townsend more than once every few years if I had options other than a really long bus ride from Bainbridge or dragging a car with me to get there.

        In any case, we’ll see if the POF boats will work out now that the issue has been tossed to the counties and private operators. King County thinks it can make the numbers work for at the very least the Vashon and West Seattle runs. Kitsap has a number of ideas, but it is an open question if they can make any of the runs pencil out (though it would be a good idea for them to work out some sort of joint operation arrangement for Southworth/Manchester with King County). Jefferson County, Pt. Townsend, and the chamber up there want some sort of direct POF service to Seattle, but it remains to be seen how serious they are about it.

        So far we just have the King County ferries, but that has much to do with King County being the only operator so far with a dedicated funding source.

        It can be done. Somehow the Bay Area and New York have passenger-only boats that compete successfully with road and rapid transit crossings. True both areas have a lot more people in their CBDs and a lot more people on the other side of the water, but I think a look at the economics of POF service in both regions could be somewhat instructive on what should be possible on the Sound.

        As for food service, see what I wrote to Bernie above. The issue is more WSF thinking it can charge the same fees and get the same cut of sales as land side situations like an airport or stadium. I suspect the best thing for WSF would be just to bring the food service operations back in-house.

    2. Sounds like you did the Bremerton crossing in one of the monohulls (the ones currently up on eBay). They were known for wallowing around in even fairly calm seas. Supposedly the cats were much better (Tyee, Chinook, and Snoqualmie). I never rode the WSF cats, but I’ve been on the Victoria Clipper in some fairly rough weather and the ride wasn’t anything like what you describe.

      The two big attractions of the POF boats are greater speed (still sucks fuel compared to a displacement hull, but supposedly the modern cats aren’t nearly as bad as a planing monohull), and the ability to run routes that might not have all that much demand for auto crossings. This is for places like Vashon, Southworth, Indianola, Kingston, or Pt. Townsend to Seattle.

      1. Just so you know- the first big motorized catamaran craze happened back in the 1890s. It’s not as thought this idea hasn’t been tried before. And very few monohulls ever get up on a plane. They just look fast to people who don’t know what real speed on the water is supposed to look like.

  8. How much wasteful spending by WSF is tied to their inability to purchase vessels on the world market? Imagine the fleet WSF could have if they were able to buy a “vehicle” made in any country just as other regional transportation providers can?

    (This is especially damning giving the number and quality of used vessels that have been on the market due to world-wide bridge construction in the last 15 years)

    Why is it A-OK for Horizon to buy airplanes used in intra-State from Canada or Germany or Holland (they have flown Dorniers and Fokkers in the past), Kenmore Air does that same with an all-Canadian fleet. but WSF is forced to buy from Todd?

    Most intercity buses used in Washington State are built in Manitoba, Quebec or increasingly Germany.

    Even ST and Metro can buy from Japan, Canada, Hungary or the Czechs if the “final assembly” is performed in the USA.

    But WSF can’t even buy an Island Home vessel from her original builder on the Gulf Coast; so Todd gets the contract at a nearly 300% mark-up. How much is this costing the tax-payers, Mary Margaret?

    1. What 300% markup?? The Island Home cost $32 million in 2006, we’re paying $65.5 for the first (modified Island Home design) being built here under a strict time limit. They get cheaper as we buy more, which we are.

      One problem with being built else where is if there are problems, the ship has to go back to the yard (the Gulf) or we pay extra to have them do the work here. No ship yards here – means no trained workers to service these long term investments. Basically, you pay now or you pay later.

      1. OK, 200% of Gulf Coast Yard costs. My recollection was that Island Home was in the $20-million range.

        But no, if there were problems with the vessel, warranty work would be done at the builders expense, and moving the vessel back to the Gulf would be much more expensive than doing the work here or in Oregon, or in B.C. if, again, the protectionist legislation was done away with. Just like Abbotsford does a bunch of work on U.S. airliners.

        As to the shipyards, Todd seems to have enough work as it is, and even the duopoly on potential WSF contracts didn’t keep Nichols from filing bankruptcy.

      2. BTW, the Island Home was months late in delivery, because the yard in the Gulf was hit by one of the hurricanes. They’ve also had breakdowns and had to replace a generator already.

      3. Really Todd doesn’t do that bad on costs compared to the Gulf yards. I doubt the current design would have been much cheaper had she been built elsewhere in the US.

        Note that the Jones Act (Federal legislation) requires that the ferries be built in a US yard. The chances of changing that any time soon are slim to none.

        The built in Washington requirement is something imposed by the legislature on WSF after the Super class was built. Yes it is somewhat “protectionist” but the state is allowed to do that just the same as Clipper Navigation can buy only from yards in Washington if it wants to do so.

        Having ferries built and maintained in Washington does carry some advantages. For one it saves transit time for annual inspections or any other work the ferries might need. For another it saves travel time and expense for WSF and shipyard personnel. A further advantage is it employs Washington residents, puts their payroll into the local economy, and the shipyard pays B&O, property, and sales taxes.

        I’m willing to bet that any savings on building ferries out of state, or doing the maintenance out of state, would more than be offset by other added costs and the loss of tax receipts.

    2. Imagine the fleet WSF could have? Well, they basically lack one boat to sit in harbor as a back-up boat, so I imagine the fleet would look pretty much the same.

      The cost of the ferry is a small part of the cost of the service over the life of the boat.

      When you spend the money in Louisiana, you drive down the living standards of American labor, support one of the most corrupt political regimes on the continent, and watch the money leave your state forever. When you spend the money here you support the local economy and workers, and reclaim some of the money as taxes when it is spent in the state.

      As for buying used boats from overseas- bwahahahaha! Pass that pipe over here!

      1. But they aren’t cheap – “When the vessel arrived she first went to Point Hope Shipyard for a major overhaul…” “In 1996 the Queen of Chilliwack was taken out of service for another overhaul,” It’s due to be replaced in 2013 with a new ship[wikipedia]

        The reason given for not building the replacements in Canada is their shipyards no longer build ships of that size.

      2. I fully agree with your “Should have lost the Civil War on purpose to get rid of ’em” sentiments, but I remind you that it is the Passenger Services Act/Jones Act which you seem to support based on your scoffing of “used boats from overseas” that forces us to have to buy from the Confederacy if it the above protectionist laws are enforced and the contract goes to the lowest qualified bidder.

      3. According to the links Eric G most graciously provided, the Island Home was built in Pascagoula MS, not LA.

      4. Also under your logic Mississippi should require all government offices to run a natively produced Linux shell instead of Windows, it’s government contract with Southern Link (a subsidiary of Southern Company as is Mississippi Power and Gulf Power), all it’s cafeteria’s serve only Mississippi grown apples, etc. ect.

        Which is BS.

        Import Substitution Industrialization can work for developing economies, but for developed ones (which WA most definitely is) Export Led Growth is hands down the way to go. Specialization and Economies of Scale are what allows developed economies to continue their growth. If for whatever reason WA is no longer suited to shipbuilding, it should focus it’s capital and labor on industries in which it has a comparative advantage, not throw it’s money away trying to save an industry that cannot compete, even within it’s own nation.

      5. Sounds like they don’t agree with you in Mississippi –

        Mississippi is considered by historians (such as James Cobb, author of The Selling of the South) to be the birthplace of what has since come to be called “the economic war among the states,” in which states compete with one another to attract large industrial and commercial projects by offering large, multi-subsidy packages.

      6. What does that have to do with my post?

        We’re not talking about tax breaks for corporations (which of course Washington has no history of.. just ask Boeing) but instead requiring goods and services be purchased in state.

      7. Maybe I misread your “…it should focus it’s capital and labor on industries in which it has a comparative advantage, not throw it’s money away trying to save an industry that cannot compete,…”.

        A subsidy by any other name is still a subsidy.

      8. I agree that it is a bad idea that is yet another example of government propping up corporations. However once, again I will point out that is not what serial cat owner was talking about, nor was that what I was responding to. Every State does that. Not every state cuts off their nose to spite their face by only buying in-state like WA is doing with it’s ferries.

        Paying twice, TWICE what the boat is worth. Really? C’mon….

      9. But do you want the shipyard salaries going into the economy of the Gulf Coast rather than Washington State? What if without the Ferry work all of the larger shipyards and drydocks in the area go out of business? That means all of the work they do, not just the work for the ferry system goes elsewhere. That also means possibly losing things like some of the Coast Guard operations or the Pacific and Alaska fishing fleets.

        The economic impact of that, even just in terms of the state budget would be far larger than any savings from sending WSF shipyard work out of state.

      10. Imagine the fleet WSF could have? Well, they basically lack one boat to sit in harbor as a back-up boat, so I imagine the fleet would look pretty much the same.

        Well the shipbuilding need for the ferry system is a bit more dire than just needing a backup boat. For one Pierce County wants their ferry back eventually. So that makes at least two boats needed.

        The Rhododendron is over 60 years old and can only be used on a few runs due to Coast Guard regulations. So that makes 3 boats needed.

        The Evergreen State Class is all over 50 years old and also needs to be replaced sooner rather than later (though they’ve been good runners for their age). They are also a bit small to sub in on any of the bigger routes like Bremerton, Bainbridge, Kingston, Anacortes, or even Clinton. They are only really useful on the Vashon run and as inter-island boats in the San Juans. That makes 6 boats needed (the replacements are probably going to be 144 boats).

        The Supers are over 40 years old and will need to be replaced in the next decade or two. They are definitely showing their age. That makes 10 new boats needed. Again these will likely be 144 class boats.

        After that the two older Jumbo’s will need replacing. Though they’ve been good enough runners that their lifetime might be able to be stretched a bit, but they won’t last forever.

        I suppose the situation might be helped some if WSF could buy used ferries from elsewhere. But this assumes there are suitable ferries for WSF’s needs available used. WSF likes double-ended boats with “pickle fork” bows and no car deck doors.

        The big issue for WSF isn’t so much how much it would cost to buy new boats from Washington shipyards but the legislature being unwilling to replace the WSF capital budget after eliminating the MVET. That seems to have finally changed with the crisis brought on by the sudden forced retirement of the Steel-Electrics. Hopefully this isn’t just a short term three boat only shipbuilding order and the legislature will fund enough orders for the 144 boats to keep up with the fleet replacement needs.

    3. One thing that always strikes me about this kind of argument is the idea that if you can’t put a price tag on it, it’s worth nothing. Cheapness is anointed the ruler of all, trumping any other value.

      Now, for one kind of person, this may work. A person who moves here to get a job, and intends to leave soon, may not have any connections or values associated with Puget Sound- and may not care. To that person, personal values are simply a matter of keeping costs low and revenues and resale values high.

      Most of us, thankfully, are not like that. We pay extra at a coffee joint to help keep them in business, donate to a local charity, make a point of voting to tax ourselves for good schools even though our children aren’t in them at the moment, and so forth.

      And, while you may consider it realistic to say that “all that” should be done voluntarily through charities, we actually have a representative government here and there are things we can do to maintain what we consider to be values. Naturally there’s all sorts of argument about what those things are, but King County spends 1% for art and (so far) nobody’s taken that close enough to the Supreme Court for Justice Roberts to legislate from the bench.

      Now, for all I know, commenters here are high-minded sorts who devote most of their spare time to preserving our local customs and historic buildings. But if that’s the case, they might consider how building the boats here preserves the dignity of our workers while producing a product designed for Washington. There are reasons those boats all look pretty much alike, and it’s not because they got a great deal on green paint.

      1. Good argument on why we should build our boats here! I always thought this was a no brainer even if they could be built cheaper someplace else.

        With respect to historic preservation, this ties in with a comment I was going to make on the poor old Kalakala which is a pet project of mine that seems to be eternally languishing. I have a lot of sympathy for Steve Rodriguez but I do wish we could preserve this boat – it is so integral to the history of our region and state and someone needs to step forth to help preserve it.

      2. I thought there was an effort to give the Kalakala a home in Tacoma that seems to have gone a bit further than the other preservation efforts so far?

        I must admit I’m rather sad none of the Steel-Electrics were saved and the Vashon, San Meteo, and all of the Wood-Electrics were lost.

        So much maritime history in the PNW, but sadly so little of it has been properly preserved. Thankfully we still have the Virginia V, the Skansonia, the Kirkland, the Thea Foss (ok, not a ferry but a historic vessel I have a rather personal connection to), and a handful of other vessels of various sorts that have been preserved.

      3. Proper preservation of steel or wood hulled vessels in water is extremely difficult, and very expensive, as Chris suggests. Sadly, in this area with so much maritime history, we have chosen (with our wallets and through our electeds) to support other sorts of musea. The losses of San Mateo and Princess Marguerite were particularly tragic and inexcusable. The preservation of Virgina V is our one true highlight – happy 88th Virgina!

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