Kalakala board in bankruptcy

SEATTLE — The board of the Kalakala Foundation has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after being served with an eviction notice by property landowners, Fiorito Building Account LLC, James R. Reid and Robert G. Reid.

"We're freeing it from the anchor that has held it in place," said Kevin Mason, Kalakala Foundation president since October, speaking of the ferry's mounting debt. He said the liquidation is an attempt to pay 20 to 30 creditors.

According to Kalakala Executive Director Art Skolnik, in January the foundation owed around $200,000 to vendors, plus about $1 million to its founder-turned-creditor, Peter Bevis, who was instrumental in early efforts to rescue the ferry.

The Kalakala was part of the local ferry fleet from its maiden voyage on July 3, 1935, until being decommissioned in 1967. It was converted to a seafood-processing plant and later abandoned in Alaska. It was hauled to the Seattle waterfront in 1998.

But after the initial homecoming fanfare faded, a series of circumstances — the dot-com crash, recession and Boeing layoffs — seemed to doom the Kalakala, docked at North Lake Union since March 1999.

Attempts to moor the ferry locally at South Lake Union, Lake Washington and Elliott Bay fizzled. "We were not successful in portraying (the Kalakala) as a community icon," Mason said. "There was a gap there; it just wasn't embraced."

On Jan. 31, the foundation put the Kalakala up for sale in an attempt to raise cash to pay its debts, but received no offers.

Locke appoints regents for UW and WSU boards

OLYMPIA — Gov. Gary Locke has appointed regents for the University of Washington and Washington State University.

Craig Cole, a Bellingham business leader, was named to the UW board. He has previously served as a trustee of Western Washington University and the Governor's Commission on Early Learning.

Chris Marr of Spokane, a member and former chairman of the state Transportation Commission, was appointed to the WSU board.

Locke also appointed two new trustees for Western: Phil Sharpe and Peggy Zoro, both of Bellingham. Sharpe has been on the board at Whatcom Community College and was special counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources when Sen. Edward Kennedy was chairman. Zoro is an executive at Whidbey Island Bank.

Sheriff's officials worried about rookie in shooting

SHORELINE — King County sheriff's commanders say they are concerned about the psychological well-being of a young deputy who was on the job only two weeks before he and four fellow deputies fatally shot an armed, suicidal man last weekend.

"We're going to be watching him real careful," said Sgt. Kevin Fagerstrom, the sheriff's spokesman, who noted that most police officers go their entire careers without shooting anyone.

Deputy K. McCutchen and the four other deputies remained on paid leave yesterday and each will have to be cleared by a departmental psychologist before returning to work, Fagerstrom said. Counseling is available if any of them want it.

The other deputies were identified yesterday as Sgt. Paul Klein, who has been on the force 12 years, and Richard Torres, William Hurley and S. Dery, each of whom has been with the department three years.

None had been involved in a shooting before, Fagerstrom said.

Eight deputies had surrounded 51-year-old Murray J. Morrison in the parking lot of the Shoreline police station as he waved a gun around and pointed it at his head Sunday morning. When Morrison fired twice at police, the five deputies fired back.

Sheriff's deputies staff the Shoreline Police Department.

Housing authority plans to cut 40 live-in property managers

SEATTLE — Federal cuts in public housing are being felt at the Seattle Housing Authority, which intends to lay off 40 employees in order to balance next year's budget.

The agency is proposing to discontinue using professional live-in managers at its high-rise properties. Their duties instead would fall to residents now considered backup managers, administrative assistants and custodians. Executive Director Harry Thomas said the change would reduce service to residents but not compromise their safety.

The cuts to public housing total $2.8 million, about 10 percent of the authority's budget devoted to those programs. The new budget year begins in October.

Used-car dealer charged in false-registration case

EVERETT — A 51-year-old Edmonds man arrested last week in connection with a used-car registration scheme involving scores of cars was charged yesterday with one count of commercial bribery.

The State Patrol said Ivan G. Braga, owner of a Snohomish County used-car dealership, is part of a ring that bribed an employee of a private licensing contractor to falsify car registrations. The registrations allowed two car dealerships to sell damaged used cars as undamaged, thus fetching a higher price.

Braga is being held at the Snohomish County jail in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Braga and two other people were arrested after the State Patrol raided Pacific Motors, 22730 Highway 99, Edmonds; and Gibson Auto, 12702 Highway 99, Everett. Braga and the two other people, neither of whom has been charged by prosecutors, allegedly fixed and falsified the registrations of about 135 cars, according to police.

Hybrid bus cleared to carry Metro Transit passengers

SEATTLE — Metro Transit's hybrid test bus has begun carrying passengers after successfully completing 37,000 miles of road trials.

The new coach is traveling route 101 between Seattle and Renton this week, followed by route 255 on the Eastside next week. During the first two weeks of March, it served on routes 71 and 41.

Supervisors said it performed reliably in three months of previous tests carrying loads of water containers.

Metro plans to order more than 200 hybrids to replace aging diesel-electric buses that use overhead trolley wires inside the downtown Seattle transit tunnel. The hybrids, powered by dual diesel and electric motors, can run on electric mode in the tunnel, emitting no fumes.

Sound Transit opens bridge for pedestrians at Auburn

SEATTLE — Sound Transit opened a $1.4 million pedestrian bridge at Auburn Station yesterday, allowing passengers to cross from the parking garage to the southbound boarding platforms where Sounder commuter trains stop.

Auburn Station, on the west side of the town, serves three round-trip Sounder trains per day and 350 Metro and Sound Transit Express buses, while providing 676 park-and-ride spaces.

Times staff and news services.