Tisbury Selectmen Carry Gripes About Schedules to Boat Line Port Council
James Kinsella

HYANNIS - In the latest skirmish in the continuing battle between the Tisbury board of selectmen and the Steamship Authority, the port council yesterday backed a boat line plan to shift three summer trips from Vineyard Haven to Oak Bluffs.

The decision by the council, which advises the SSA board of governors, came over the bitter protests of council member and Tisbury selectman Thomas W. Pachico and fellow selectman Tristan Israel. The council voted 5-1, with Mr. Pachico dissenting and Nantucket member Nathaniel Lowell absent, to back the SSA plan.

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Selectmen Persist in Protesting Schedule Changes for Ferries
Max Hart

Striking a far more conciliatory tone, the Tisbury selectmen stood their ground this week in opposing a set of proposed Steamship Authority schedule changes for next year, also calling on boat line leaders to play a role in creating a better traffic layout at the Vineyard Haven terminal.

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Boat Line Sees Fuel Cost Spike
James Kinsella

Facing the possibility of up to $1 million in unplanned fuel costs, Steamship Authority management is taking a hard look at slowing down its ferries to and from Martha's Vineyard as a way to cut costs.

SSA General manager Wayne Lamson said yesterday that reducing speeds would be "at the top of our list" for reining in operating costs at the boat line.

The Steamship Authority has forecasted operating expenses this year of $63.5 million.

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Tisbury Trades Barbs with Boat Line Over Embarkation Fee Spending Plan
James Kinsella

Sparking a fresh war of words between the Steamship Authority and the town of Tisbury, the Vineyard boat line governor said yesterday he may call for the state attorney general to look into how the town plans to use its ferry fee revenues.

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SSA Revises Oak Bluffs Terminal Plan
James Kinsella

The coastal bank just to the north of the Steamship Authority terminal in Oak Bluffs won't win any beauty awards.

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County Commission Backs SSA Governor in Dispute Over Tisbury Embarkation Fee
James Kinsella

Steamship Authority chairman Marc Hanover was not looking for support from the Dukes County Commission Wednesday in his continuing battle with the Tisbury board of selectmen over ferry fee money. But he got it anyway.

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Final Farewell to Historic Steamer Nobska
Jim Hickey

Time has finally run out for the Nobska, the last coastal steamer in America and the car and passenger vessel that served the Vineyard between 1925 and 1973. Preliminary work to dismantle the historic vessel began in the Charlestown Navy Yard early this week, and on Wednesday the wrecking ball came down on her upper deck.

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SSA Ferry Island Home Launches with Fanfare at Mississippi Boat Yard
Mark Alan Lovewell

MOSS POINT, MISS. - Marking history for the Steamship Authority and its fleet of ferries that ply the routes between the Cape and Islands, the Island Home - a 255-foot, double-ended ferry that will replace the venerable MV Islander - was launched Friday morning at the Gulf Coast shipyard where she was built.

More than 300 onlookers cheered and applauded, with air horns wailing, as the still unfinished vessel - freshly painted black and white - slid sideways on five greased tracks and landed in the calm Escatawpa River with a giant splash.

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Boatline Reports Profit Drop in 2005
James Kinsella

The Steamship Authority continued to make money last year, though not as much as boat line managers anticipated.

Unaudited numbers show that the SSA, beset by rising fuel costs and falling passenger traffic, brought in $1,491,957 in operating income in 2005 - a decrease of about $1.3 million from the prior year, and about $2.6 million below budget projections.

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Foot Traffic Drops on Boatline Ferries
James Kinsella

Fewer passengers rode the Steamship Authority ferries last year, continuing a trend under way since the turn of the millennium.

The boat line, which provides the only year-round passenger and vehicle service to the Islands, carried 2,609,835 passengers last year, off 63,324 or 2.4 per cent from 2004.

Passenger traffic on the Vineyard route fell 3.1 percent.

"This is the third year we've been down three per cent," Vineyard SSA governor Marc Hanover said yesterday. "There are more people living here, fewer people visiting."

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