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Archive Results — 20226 thru 20250 of about 25700 items

Ferry access: build for a better future

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:30PM

How long are we expected to live in fear? We ponder that question as Washington State Ferries, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Washington State Patrol implement a more stringent security regime around vessels and docks. Officials this week announced the introduction of more explosives-sniffing dogs and, depending on the state of national maritime alert, the resumption of random vehicle searches briefly seen in 2002. Some areas aboard the vessels will be more prominently marked as “Restricted Access,” new monitor cameras will be seen at terminals, and security sweeps are already being stepped up.

Stepping up, paying up for public schools

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:30PM

“Fund drive.” The term implies a discrete event, finite in duration and devised with a specific goal or purpose in mind. Yet where the needs of our public schools are concerned – in this age of shaky state and federal support, and often burdensome educational mandates – fund-raising has by necessity become a year-round pursuit. It is nice to see that the community is stepping up splendidly. We can safely conclude such, after reviewing year-end totals of cash and equipment donations compiled by the Bainbridge Island School District, and passed along to the editor’s desk this week. Predictably heading the list are BEST, the Bainbridge Public Schools Trust, the Parent-Teacher Organizations – the institutional face of our private support for public schools.

How far might we go for traffic safety?

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:30PM

It’s an image that was at once amusing and frustrating, and ultimately telling. Police Chief Matt Haney, having set up at the roadside in a patrol vehicle to look at traffic conditions at local highway intersection, sees a passing driver commit an infraction – but traffic is so bad, he can’t enter the lane to make a stop. The lights and siren are held in check, in observance of the patrol officer’s credo to “never create a hazard greater than the one you’re trying to correct.” And off scoots the miscreant motorist, scot-free. It was one of the more illustrative items to come out during a committee roundtable this week between police, bicycle safety advocates and City Council members. Newly compiled traffic statistics show that while traffic enforcement – as measured by citations – is up, so too are automobile collisions on local roadways. Safety concerns come to the forefront of community and police attention, after several near-fatal crashes along the highway this year, and general frustration in some neighborhoods that speeds are too high. While viewpoints are varied and diffuse – Too much traffic on the highway? Posted speeds too high? Ineffective policing? Lousy drivers? – bike safety advocates reserve a special pique for chatterboxes who can’t make even it to the bridge without a squawk on the cell-phone – a problem they contend will only get worse, as mobile phones become yet more pervasive and service around the island improves. Advocates are girding their views with research on local ordinances against cell-phone use by drivers, and insurance company campaigns to urge the drivers they cover to keep hands on wheel and mind on road. Their concern coincides with a police observation that vehicle speed isn’t necessarily the problem, at least on the highway; driver inattention is. And driver inattention is already a ticketable offense. Yet the infraction is by its nature reactive; nobody’s ever cited for driving with a wandering mind until it actually causes a problem – a vehicle goes off the road, property is damaged, or a bicyclist is struck from behind and lands 85 feet down the road, as happened to Chris Stanley.

Back for your island summer

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:30PM

The novelty of folks actually living on Bainbridge Island year-round wore off a few decades back, when we were “discovered” by the outside world and the creep of population began to set in. But there was a time when the island population saw an noticeable surge every June, July and August, as mainlanders showed up to air out their summer cottages and spend a few months in these “remote” environs. (A few of their abodes still dot the island; we now call them “affordable housing.”)

Save jobs first, wages second in food fight

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:30PM

It’s one thing to trumpet one’s victories. But a little perspective is usually in order, too. Since last December, the lead item on the Inlandboatmen’s Union website has proudly declared, “Union Ferry Workers Vindicated.” The notice celebrates a labor board ruling that favored then-current contract provisions for shipboard food service employees. Fine, but vindication doesn’t pay the rent, and perhaps it’s time the IBU changed the headline to reflect the current state of affairs: “Ferry Galley Workers Unemployed.”

High gas prices another reason to shop locally

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:30PM

As if shelling out well over $2 per gallon for gasoline isn’t crazy enough as the nation’s fuel situation worsens, we trust other Bainbridge denizens are thinking what we’re thinking: that the days of free-for-all motoring are finally on the wane. It’s not like the extra cost at the pump is going to something worthwhile, like a gasoline tax for road improvements. So on principle alone, the threat of $3-a-gallon gasoline on the summer horizon should give us reason enough to reconsider everything from planned vacation road trips to our periodic shopping expeditions to the big-box retailers of Silverdale.

Few Memorial Days left to win battle with time

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:30PM

Of the 140,000 people who flooded the “other Washington” last Saturday for the dedication of the National World War II Memorial, one unknown soldier stands out. We crossed paths with him in Baltimore Washington International Airport on a flight from Phoenix. As a pack of harried travelers bunched in the aisle behind him, impatient but unusually polite, the crew helped the elderly gentleman to a wheelchair. He was in distinctively military garb; pinned to cap and jacket were dozens of medals. To the trained eye, those medals charted the course of a 60-year-old war, and the experiences of a young American called to serve. To the rest of the passengers, for whom that story was blurry at best, they announced an old soldier, come to the capitol for what fellow veteran Sen. Bob Dole called “our final reunion.”

A good week for local land conservation

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:30PM

It’s a good week for land conservation when a million-dollar open space purchase is overshadowed by another, larger deal entirely. So with the first phase of the Pritchard Park/internment memorial purchase (relayed on the front page), we’d be remiss if we didn’t note the City Council’s approval, as expected, of public acquisition of the 49-acre Peters property next to Gazzam Lake.

Voters have been selective for years now

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:30PM

A levy failure? On Bainbridge Island? Well, grab the kids and head down to the root cellar. The end is surely upon us! That’s been the reaction in some circles since islanders voted down the fire district’s proposed 10 percent property tax hike last week. To hear some folks talk, the back-to-back failure of the fire and park levies this year heralds an apocalyptic shift in Bainbridge sensibilities, as though well-heeled islanders have previously embraced every tax hike put before them, and are just now waking up from a years-long orgy of self-indulgence. While that may be the view to those living outside the community, cliches can be deceiving; Bainbridge voters have in fact been judicious with their tax money, as a review of the past decade-plus of levy elections demonstrates.

Court decision shields govt. from public

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:30PM

Open access to government at all levels is fundamental to our democracy. So when the courts or legislature inhibit our ability to monitor the actions of those elected and appointed to work on the public’s behalf, we think citizens need to be made aware of such. Sadly, the Washington State Supreme Court struck just such a blow recently, in a decision that curbs free access to government documents long established under the state’s Public Disclosure Act. No less an authority than state Auditor Brian Sonntag has said the decision “inflicts the most significant damage done to state public access laws since they were approved by voters in 1972.” What follows is a commentary by our colleague Scott Wilson, publisher of the Jefferson County Leader and president of the Washington Coalition for Open Government, on this troubling decision. The Review seconds his comments wholeheartedly.

A good buy, but the work is ongoing

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:30PM

A hike across the Peters property at the island’s south end Monday afternoon brought a certain sense of deja vu. Seemed like just last week we were tramping these same woods, exploring the remotest reaches of the Open Space Commission’s latest discovery – the Close family property. This time, of course, we were actually southeast of Gazzam Lake, not northwest, crossing land that’s been under five decades of stewardship by the Peters clan. We were heading toward a secluded man-made pond, not the choppy waters of Port Orchard Narrows. And the going wasn’t nearly as rough, which was good for those in the party who hadn’t anticipated an afternoon field trip and might have been wearing sandals, i.e. us.

Herbicides: our way, or the highway’s?

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:30PM

To take a crack at an old chestnut: The more things change, the more they stay the same – especially the conflict over just how change should occur. Last week’s public meeting on WSDOT’s plan for controlling weeds along Highway 305, which was presented to the city council Wednesday, illustrated just that – a civilized and thoughtful exchange of views was had, but very little common ground gained. At issue in the meeting was the proposed use of herbicides along a three-mile portion of the 14 miles of roadside (that’s seven miles of highway times two sides of the road) that WSDOT manages on the island. While the state’s “roadside vegetation management plan” for 2004-2007 calls for mowing or hand-pulling most vegetation, it doesn’t rule out the use of herbicides except around streams. And it explicitly calls for application on the sections of the highway with guardrails, where standard mowers won’t work.

Community Congress needs you

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:29PM

The first key day for Winslow Tomorrow: the day after tomorrow. That’s when, we are reminded, applications are due for the new Community Congress, a citizen forum being established by the city to hash out the future of our downtown. The congress will have perhaps 75 seats, with committees examining traffic, pedestrian, parking, business, utility and financing issues. The application form – available in the mayor’s office, or online – polls hopefuls on their place of residence and their general connection to Winslow Way, as shopper, employee, property owner, neighbor, commuter.

PAWS, take stock of our furry family

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:29PM

They say there are “cat people,” and then there are “dog people.” While these monikers may or may not harbor some cultural wisdom (largely self-informed, we’d wager, in the manner of a daily horoscope), what is certain is that there are “pet people,” in whose lives and memories our animal companions occupy a special place. The recent, and thankfully temporary, disappearance of a member of the Review’s extended family occasioned the meeting of many such folk, and prompts this offering of their best advice on recovering a lost pet:

Fire levy: think before you vote

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:29PM

The ballots are in the mail, and islanders now must decide the fate of a proposed 10 percent property tax hike to support local fire and aid services. If voting on a fire levy seems somewhat novel, you are correct. Islanders have not been given the chance to weigh in on funding for local emergency services since 1993, when the fire district tendered its last “lid lift” (a proposition by which a new, higher base property tax collection is established).

Park and ride repaired: thanks a lot

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:29PM

We’d be remiss in our duties as occasional chider of local officialdom if we didn’t hand out roses now and again as well. Ergo, in an otherwise sluggish news week, we should offer a follow-up report on the Phelps Road park and ride lot, and what has transpired there since our commentary of a few weeks back.

One petition we hope that islanders sign

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:29PM

We’ve all been accosted by paid signature-gatherers aboard the ferry or on the street corner: “Excuse me (ma’am/sir), would you like to sign a petition that would force the government to (do something that sounds good on its face, but in reality is probably imprudent or inadvisable)?” Generally speaking, it’s good policy to just “no thanks” and walk away (even when, depending on the initiative and/or its sponsor, you’d really like to grab the clipboard and whack the person over the head with it). But this isn’t one of those times. In fact, we urge islanders to seek out and sign on with the (decidedly unpaid) canvassers from Partners for Parks, who you’ll see around Bainbridge Island over the next few weeks.

Where is next signal really needed?

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:29PM

Damage to the car was such that you couldn’t easily determine the make or model. That was the unfortunate result of its being struck broadside by another vehicle coming down the highway, the car’s journey through the air and over a guardrail 30 feet away, and its tumble to the bottom of a ravine next to Hidden Cove Road. Debris littered the roadway amid skid marks and gouged pavement; traffic was rerouted for hours while police took measurements to sort out physics and motives and misjudgments; the driver was in intensive care at Harborview.

Leaving a smaller mark

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:29PM

Next time you worry about Bainbridge Island getting too crowded, you might broaden your perspective a bit to think about the Earth. To mark the annual Earth Day observances, we would direct readers to an online quiz sponsored by the organization Leadership for Environment and Development International. Take a few minutes and consider how big an “ecological footprint” you might really be leaving on this little planet we call home. Those small, individual choices start to add up: www.lead.org/leadnet/footprint/intro.htm.

Ferry fortunes are getting a positive spin

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:29PM

If you want some symbol of progress at Colman Dock, look no further than the pending eviction of the “people mover” walkway that never moves any people. The ramp up from Alaskan Way – which must have seemed pretty innovative in its day, but for years has sat idle and forlorn like a refugee from some dystopian Futureland – will be torn out this fall as Seattle’s aging ferry terminal gets a comprehensive and long-needed makeover. Also in the works, as reported in this issue, is a food court anchored by one of our own home-grown businesses, Commuter Comforts.

How the Lost Valley was found

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:29PM

“Where are we?” someone on the trail ahead of us asked.“I don’t know,” came the answer – from, ominously, one of our guides. Well, it is called the Lost Valley – even the press was asked to bring along a machete should the going get too rough. But we can report that of the intrepid band of 15 who this past Saturday braved the dense forestland north of Bucklin Hill, west of the Head of the Bay, all emerged unscathed (although city Administrator Lee Walton had to be rescued from a patch of Northwest quicksand, a.k.a. mud).

Downtown vision: the timeless need

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:29PM

A week ago in this space, we ruminated on our community planning process coming full circle via the Winslow Tomorrow project. And proving that where Bainbridge Island issues go, there really is nothing new under the sun, we’ve since then come across this commentary that appeared on the Review’s editorial page on May 10, 1956. Downtown street needs, local business concerns, public financing questions, Winslow’s relationship with the greater island, and the quest for a common, community-wide vision.

Of congresses and sticky dots

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:29PM

It felt like 1992 all over again – there was Darlene Kordonowy leading a discussion about island planning issues and talking about, of all things, “sticky dots.” You have to have been around a while to appreciate the reference. More than a decade ago, when the denizens of our newly created all-island city set out to draft a comprehensive land-use plan, the humble adhesive paper dot was the straw-poll medium of choice. At various town meetings – including one in which more than 300 people were asked where they preferred to see future growth, in Winslow or the outlying “villages” – folks enthusiastically filed past large posterboard displays and cast their votes dot by dot, which at the end of the exercise gave colorful illumination to the popular sentiment.

Bridge never gets too far

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:29PM

Nothing builds bridges like the chance to blow one up, even if it’s still a figment of the fevered Kitsap County imagination. So if you wandered off to the refrigerator at the wrong moment while watching Wednesday’s City Council meeting on BIB, you may have missed the brief reappearance of that great uniter in Bainbridge politics: opposition to any plan for another span from the Kitsap mainland. For the second time in four years, the council passed a formal resolution opposing a second bridge, citing the usual litany of objections: condemnation of property, relocation of families, environmental consequences...everything except Bainbridge exclusivity, which is probably implicit in the text anyway.

Pedal faster, Lorenz – we need you

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:29PM

Where’s Lorenz Eber when you need him? The answer is, “Down Under” – but not for much longer. The once and future engineer with the city public works department – who achieved minor fame hereabouts as the father of the Madison Avenue roundabout – is in New Zealand with his wife, Paula Holmes, and their two daughters, completing the final foreign leg of an around-the-world bicycle ride to raise funds for asthma research (www.bikeforbreath.org). At last report, having conquered Europe and Asia, the Eber-Holmes clan was crossing the vast expanses of Kiwi Country, bound for Wellington (although a 200-mile stretch was being traversed in a bus, after one daughter banged up her foot and couldn’t pedal for a week).

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