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Archive Results — 20276 thru 20300 of about 25650 items

Too much of too many good things?

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

One thing that makes life on Bainbridge Island endlessly fascinating is the sheer scale of our collective dreams. The pursuit of excellence -- in our schools, our parks and programs, our social services -- often brings out a remarkable selflessness for the community weal, usually expressed through open checkbooks.

An island of character, and characters

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

On paper, the task with which this community has charged its officials is simple – preserve the special character of the island. That is one of the overriding principles that animates our Comprehensive Plan, which, in turn, guides our land-use planning. Yet as this week’s workshop on a new subdivision ordinance pointed out, defining “the special character of the island” is a little like defining the perfect mate – it’s different for everyone. To some, island character is the forests, to others, the fields. Some want vistas of mountain or sea, others want lawns and neatly tended gardens.

Not 'if' but 'when' for south-end sewers

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

The south-end sewer issue is a genuine dilemma, in which there are no bad guys and no good answers. The original plan was tidy enough – four areas that have experienced septic failures through a combination of small lots, proximity to the water and poor subsurface conditions asked for the city’s help in helping themselves. They wanted the city to sell bonds to pay for sewer lines, then form a district to tax the users to pay off the bonds.

Five for fire board, sooner than later

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

Sometimes overreaching but generally under-appreciated, citizen watchdogs are among our best resources. They spend their evenings at public meetings keeping local government under close eye, helping guide a community’s growth while their neighbors are home watching “reality TV.”

Teamwork plus homework equals victory

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

How about a big Spartan cheer for the Bainbridge High School gymnasts? Their skill on beam and bar earned the team a second-place finish in the state tournament Saturday. Following their undefeated season in league and non-league competition, the tumblers were among four teams competing for the state gymnastics title this past weekend. The girls had earlier claimed the Metro League championship and placed second at District 1 and 2 meets.

On war, council wise to sit it out

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

Be it hereby resolved that the Bainbridge Island community, as expressed through a declaration of its duly elected city council, does firmly and wholeheartedly believe: War: No! War: Yes! War: Well, maybe yes and maybe no, but certainly not unless diplomatic efforts completely break down, or the United Nations signs on, or a cache of anthrax is found near Baghdad, or perhaps if the price of foreign oil gets unbearably high and we need some new “offshore” reserves, but then again, not if the president is just trying to divert attention from an ailing economy and other domestic problems. Or maybe we’re just not quite sure...

Big problem may yield to small answer

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

For the past couple of years, a number of islanders have been trying to figure out how to make high-capacity internet access available here. It’s a critical tool, they say, to luring the kind of high-tech, environmentally friendly business that the island wants to promote, and a number of surveys indicate that it’s a resource much desired by a high proportion of us.

Pritchard worthy of park honor

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

At first glance, it seemed a wee misstep twixt cart and horse (or, depending on one’s view of congressional appropriations, putting the park before the pork). After all, what was anyone doing proposing a new name for the Wyckoff property, when $8 million (and goodness knows how much time) still stand between those coveted 55 acres and a sign reading “Joel Pritchard Park and Japanese American Memorial”?

Let’s keep both facilities and our minds open

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

While it’s always comforting to be in the majority, it’s also easy to overlook opposing points of view – even the fact that opposing points of view exist. So when, on our own time, we joined hundreds of our friends and neighbors at the high school stadium for the Portrait for Peace, we didn’t give much thought either to the location or to the fact that the picture was being snapped from the basket of our fire department’s shiny new ladder truck.

Cooper, Lewis served with aplomb

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

It’s a rare police officer who can stand before a hall full of irate citizens, announce that a lot more of them will be receiving speeding tickets, and leave the podium to a round of applause. We’ve seen Bainbridge Police Chief Bill Cooper do it on more than one occasion. Say one thing for the chief – he knows how to work a room.

The difficulty of trying to buck the tide

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

As reported on today’s business page, Bainbridge’s building boom and ever-inflating real estate market both seem to have taken at least a temporary holiday. Building permits dropped for the second straight year in 2002. Home prices appreciated, but at a much more modest rate than was true during much of the last decade.

Here’s a deal: Trees, cheap (U-plant ‘em)

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

Developer Kelly Samson, shoreline rights advocate Bill Marler, and Bainbridge city officials coming together in league for the planting of trees? Politics makes odd spade-fellows. Here’s the story:

Time to look at in-house city attorney

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

For the past 13 years, our city has been getting legal counsel from Rod Kaseguma and his Bellevue law firm. By all accounts, he and his colleagues are superb attorneys, and while the hourly rates may seem high to those who don’t buy legal services every day, they are, in fact, strikingly modest. As long as the city engages outside legal counsel, we don’t think it could do better. Yet as the city’s legal costs soar, mostly because of the volume of litigation, we think it’s high time to revisit our sole reliance on outside counsel, and to bring at least some legal work “in house” through an on-staff attorney.

The paradox of our growing traffic woes

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

Named for the German mathematician whose formulae first explained it, “Braess’ Paradox” describes the phenomenon by which adding links within a network somehow reduces overall performance. It is most often applied to traffic management to show how adding lane capacity in a road system can by itself result in slower traffic and higher costs for individual motorists. A related and road-specific phenomenon called “induced travel” – the shift in individual driving habits and influx of hopeful motorists caused by the presence of new lanes or routes, filling those lanes up overnight – explains what would otherwise seem highly counterintuitive.

Litigation situation mitigation

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

Sometimes it vows to “see you in court,” sometimes it’s “dragged” there itself. Willingly or otherwise, our city spends a lot of time these days in the realm of the argument and brief, the bench and gavel.

‘Open space’ harder to define than protect

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:22PM

Ask any islander how they feel about open space, and they’ll tell you they’re for it. Really, really for it. Correspondingly, any island politician worth his or her salt will not only tell you they’re for open space, but will work to preserve it. Saying anything else would be politically ill-advised, at best. So it’s easy to understand the council’s alarm when the Washington Supreme Court struck down an ordinance from another city requiring developers to set aside a specific proportion of their land as “open space.”

Find the way to workable shoreline rules

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:21PM

Despite months of effort, the Bainbridge Planning Commission didn’t resolve the shoreline controversy to everyone’s satisfaction. But like the Seahawks ending a losing season on a winning streak – creating at least some hope about what lies ahead – the commission’s last-minute work does offer promise.

Reconnect with schools this month

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:21PM

A state flush with cash, and overwhelming voter support to funnel funds into local school coffers. November 2000 it was, and a sense of optimism about public school funding was pervasive, contagious even. Twin initiatives – I-728, steering the state’s excess revenues and lottery funds to local districts for new teachers and classrooms, and I-732, mandating long-needed teacher and staff pay raises – had prevailed by wide margins. Projections were that Bainbridge public schools would get $6 million over five years – big money for a district that runs on about $27 million annually. “It could be that the most important thing about the initiative may not be the legislation itself, but that it demonstrates decisively to Olympia that the overwhelming percentage of people in Washington support education,” one school board member told us confidently.

Season of giving -- a drive update

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:21PM

Building a foundation, part 2: Back in October on this page, we called attention to a less-than-encouraging trend in giving – a somewhat surprising one, in a community whose members are known for helping each other along. Our comments were occasioned by the arrival in mailboxes of those distinctive big red envelopes that herald the Bainbridge Foundation’s annual One Call For All fund drive.

Clean it up, or step down

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:21PM

As the year began, so did it end: mayor and council perched on the dais, thrashing each other for perceived slights and subterfuge. The council’s attempt to raise “management concerns” on Dec. 18 (two days after the mayor had vowed to make changes) inspired the mayor’s shrill and overwrought rebuke, which brought in turn the council’s “affront” at being so rebuked. With wisdom and grace nowhere in evidence, the voices mercifully fell silent until the new year.

Ferries still the ties that bind Puget Sound

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:21PM

Wanting answers as to why his preferred ferry service was being eliminated, Eilert Eliasen took his queries to Olympia, to no less an authority than the governor of Washington himself. The governor’s reply suggests that some things never change (including the studied blandness of official responses).

Voters get the Christmas they deserve

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:21PM

Gov. Gary Locke has (grudgingly, we assume) taken on the role of Grinch this holiday season, revealing plans this week for a budget balanced with “deep and painful” cuts but no new taxes.

Bon mots for the 'Non-Mot'

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:21PM

Like all journeys, the development of a Non-Motorized Transportation Plan began with a single step. Thumbing back through our travel journal, we recall it was the inspiration in early 2000 of Marti Stave, then a senior planner with the city, to apply for a state grant to study bicycle and pedestrian facilities around the island.

Modest fixes for parking at least half right

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:21PM

As a committee looking at the issue properly notes, Bainbridge has two downtown parking areas – retail Winslow, where shortages of free on-street parking limit the growth of businesses, and the ferry terminal, where parking is costly but also scarce. While the areas are quite different conceptually, they lie in close proximity geographically. Too often, Seattle-bound drivers who can’t find a spot at the terminal (or want to dodge the daily toll) park downtown, adding to problems there.

Orderliness not answer to ferry mess

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:21PM

For those who love order, the arrival of an evening commuter ferry on Bainbridge is not a pretty sight. Bicyclists pedal furiously uphill in a losing effort to maintain their slight head-start over the motorcycle armada. The first few foot passengers sprint up the loading trestle for reasons that have never really been clear. Then come 200-plus cars, and as many as 2,000 more foot passengers, all taking whatever they perceive to be the shortest route home.

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