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Archive Results — 21201 thru 21225 of about 26575 items

Of problems and their solutions

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:23PM

C. Northcote Parkinson earned modest fame with his axiom that “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” While generally used to explain bureaucracies, we might attempt to apply it to other spheres of public service as well.

Development in county helps island

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:23PM

As a Bainbridge resident and executive director of the Kitsap Regional Economic Development Council, Zoltan Szigethy observed more closely than most the curious relationship between his hometown and his home county. On the one hand, we take full advantage of our geographic proximity to downtown Seattle – far more islanders commute east than west, and the convenient availability of Seattle cultural, entertainment and sports events is one of the amenities that contributes to the desirability that propels Bainbridge property values. On the other hand, we’re not completely happy about the number of Kitsap County residents who use “our” roads, parking lots and ferry terminal to get to and from their jobs, or their entertainment.

Washington’s a taxing place for non-rich

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:23PM

A loyal reader this week passed along a thought-provoking booklet from an outfit called the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a think-tank based in the Other Washington, titled “Who Pays – A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States.” The study looks at the “fairness” of each state’s tax system by calculating the proportion of family income paid in taxes by folks at various income levels.

Yes on sales tax for 911

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:23PM

Asked about the relative merits of the sales tax hikes that have come before Kitsap voters of late, Cencom director Ron McAffee offered a little gentle parochialism on behalf of his agency. “We like to think of 911 as the guys in the white hats,” he smiled, in a meeting with Kitsap Newspaper Group editors this week. Director McAffee was on hand to discuss the one-tenth of a cent sales tax hike that Kitsap County Central Communications will put before voters in a special mail-only election on April 22. Ballots should appear in island mailboxes next week.

Planning vacancy a challenge

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:23PM

Like an American president whose greatest impact may be felt through judicial appointments, who affects American civic life long after his or her presidency has ended, a mayor’s most important impact may be the department heads he or she names.

Trapped in the duality of conflict

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:23PM

Asked by a reader this week to offer some comment on the invasion of Iraq, we confessed to a profound personal ambivalence, unsure what to say. Having generally opposed the political course by which our nation has sped toward preemptive and undeclared war, the overthrow of a foreign government, and the lengthy and uncertain occupation that will follow, we nonetheless find ourselves hoping that its prosecution will be efficient, its complications few, and its end swift and favorable. We also hope to keep our own community whole; yet like our nation, we find within ourselves many divisions.

Planning itself needs more planning

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:23PM

Whatever else one may think about the state’s Growth Management Act, it is a full-employment-for-planners measure, mandating not only extensive planning for community change, but also frequent revisions of those plans. Pursuant to those directives, the city’s Comprehensive Plan is being reviewed and updated in its entirety, a process that began over two years ago and is not yet finished. Controversial revisions to the city’s shoreline management program (of which you may have read a news account or two) have gone through the Planning Commission and been forwarded to the City Council, to be taken up in the near future. And later this week, the process of reviewing and updating the city’s critical areas ordinance gets under way.

Ethics ordinance needs some moderation

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 9:23PM

Yes, we agree: We all want an ethical local government. We count on the fair review of our permit applications and requests for service. We trust public employees not to cut deals by which they will profit from their authority. So why not have an ethics ordinance? While those on both sides of the issue were in full rhetorical flower this week, we find the proposal now before the city council troublesome in both scope and tone.

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.

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