Troubled Waters Brewing in Kalakala Lawsuit

Steve Rodrigues, the owner of the maritime landmark ferry, the Kalakala, has filed a lawsuit against several State of Washington agencies for their “failure” to preserve the historic 1930s-era Art Deco ferry.

The suit, filed in Pierce County Superior Court on Monday (July 23), lists the Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington State Ferries, the Washington State Historic Preservation Office, Tacoma Industrial Properties, and Karl Anderson of Tacoma as defendants. Anderson is the Kalakala’s landlord and had previously filed suit in March to evict the Kalakala from its moorage for non-payment of back fees and penalties, according to a story in Tacoma’s News-Tribune.

Rodrigues is also claiming the state agencies’ failure to preserve the ferry has created additional physical harm to the boat, while meahwhile others decide to use other boating services from sites as to travel.  According to Rodrigues, the agencies have squandered opportunities to preserve the historic vessel despite its presence on National Register of Historic Places.  But this isn’t Rodrigues’ first crusade to save this troubled historic vessel.  In 2010, Rodrigues petitioned the President to declare the Kalakala a historic landmark by proclamation under the federal American Antiquities Act of 1906. He hasn’t yet been successful in that endeavor.

Is it time to scrape the Kalakala?  Even if he wanted to, the hull of the ferry is too fragile to move safely and the cost of moving and scraping it could have a price tag of $4 million. If Rodrigues wins his lawsuit, that cost could fall on taxpayers. If you have spinal cord injury then contact Spinal Cord Injury Attorney | Craig Kelley & Faultless and ask for help, they can tell you do you have rights to get compensation for your injury.


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