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Archive Results — 21901 thru 21925 of about 23975 items

Ferry system facing 'cold hard reality'

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:33PM

Washington State Ferries’ proposal to shut down passenger-only ferry services is a bitter blow to Bremerton, but voter refusal to fund the system leaves WSF with little choice, local legislators say. The proposal, floated Wednesday by WSF Director Mike Thorne at a state Transportation Commission meeting, follows repeal of the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax and the failure of the Referendum 51 transportation package. “Michael Thorne was facing some very difficult realities,” said Rep. Phil Rockefeller (D-Bainbridge Island). “He is concentrating on his core mission to keep the system functioning.”

Kitsap Transit may save foot-ferry service

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:33PM

If Kitsap County residents come up with the money, Kitsap Transit may rescue passenger-only ferry service within two years – including the much-discussed fast-ferry service from Kingston to downtown Seattle. Kitsap Transit has dusted off a plan that would put five small but fast boats on the Bremerton run, then put the two existing fast boats on the Kingston run. “If we can get this on the ballot in November, we could actually begin the service in as little as two years,” Kitsap Transit Director Dick Hayes this week.

Council finds accord on 2003 budget

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:33PM

With few issues yet to be decided on the city’s 2003 budget, Councilman Bill Knobloch was confident that accord could be reached in short order. “It’s really not that bad,” Knobloch said, as a final budget workshop got under way Monday, “if council members restrain themselves from commentary.” Four hours later, the council adjourned with general agreement on a $17.13 million operations budget for next year.

Agencies seek secure future for Serenity House

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:33PM

You may not think of the 21 developmentally disabled adults at Lynwood Center’s Serenity House as part of your family. But you, they say, are part of their family. And those ties are at risk if Serenity House closes when long-time owner Ruth Closser-Wieman retires. “If Serenity House is closed, the people living there would most likely be moved off Bainbridge Island and away from the community, which is really their family,” said Donna Dahlquist, who knows the Serenity House residents through Helpline House’s community access program, which she heads.

Nasser Rolfes to lead 2003 council -- News Roundup

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:33PM

Christine Nasser Rolfes will lead the Bainbridge Island City Council as chair in 2003. She was selected by unanimous vote of her colleagues after a motion by current chair Michael Pollock, who said she would be “outstanding” in the role. Nasser Rolfes will be in the fourth year of her first council term, and is the only senior member who has yet to serve as chair.

'This education brought to you by Coke'

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:33PM

Asked what was special about their teacher, Charlotte Rovelstad said, many students in her daughter’s first-grade class once answered: “She drinks Diet Coke every day.” That set Rovelstad to thinking about creeping commercialism in the classroom. She is not alone; the encroachment of corporations into public schools has been the subject of debate nationally for several years. And in an era of scarce public funding, many districts have bitten at the grants, software or instructional materials that bait commercial hooks.

Will the gate come down?

  • Dec 14, 2002 at 12:00AM updated Jun 9, 2008 at 4:33PM

A public right of way on Fletcher Landing could mean modest access to the water for a few a and kayakers, but nothing resembling a waterfront park. “We have not at all called for ramps or trailers,” said Bitsy Ostenson, a long-time member of the city’s road-end committee, which drafted plans for the former ferry landing that has been in dispute since 1996. “This property was designed to get people onto and off of the water, so what we’re proposing boils down to the historical use.”

WSF scales back proposed fare hike

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:32PM

Ferry riders could see fares climb by 5 percent beginning in May, significantly less than the hike proposed earlier under a two-year old plan for stepped increases. The lower-than-anticipated hike was endorsed by the Tariff Policy Committee at its meeting Wednesday. Washington STate Ferries will instead cut some operations costs, and try to generate new revenue through advertising and retail services.

No increase in city staffing for 2003

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:32PM

Citing a down economy and concern for the tax burden on island residents, the Bainbridge Island City Council agreed Monday to a policy of “no net increase” in city staff for 2003. The council stopped short of an outright hiring freeze, under which positions that open up during the coming year could not be filled. “We’ve been criticized for not thinking we’re part of the county – sometimes I wonder if we realize we’re part of the state,” said Councilwoman Debbie Vancil, who cited a regional downturn that has left some cities and counties with budget shortfalls.

Report: Take small steps for downtown parking

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:32PM

Downtown Winslow’s parking problem – a happy problem, but a problem nonetheless – doesn’t have a single, magic solution. But modest steps like adding spaces on Madison and small lots at the edge of Winslow can keep the situation manageable until economics change and more global solutions become practical, according to the initial report of the city’s parking committee.

Is nighttime surveillance the answer to graffiti?

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:32PM

Not a week seems to go by without graffiti vandalism at Bainbridge High School, outside or in. A chagrined school Superintendent Ken Crawford cites what he perceives as a “cultural acceptance” of graffiti by islanders, manifest most prominently in “Paint Night” at school year’s end. “There seems to be this acceptance that ‘tagging’ roads and signs is okay,” Crawford said. “If roads and signs, why not a school?”

Grinch dumps junk at shop -- News Roundup

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:32PM

An early front-runner for this season’s Grinch Award paid an unwelcome visit to the Bargain Boutique over the weekend. Persons unknown dumped a truckload of useless appliances and other items outside the Winslow Way shop, manager Willie Grimm said. Items included a box springs and mattress, washer and drier, a television and bags of miscellaneous refuse.

Rockaway folk irked by water rate hike

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:32PM

A proposal to jack up Winslow water rates by 54 percent over the next five years drew only mild reaction at a Monday public hearing, with the only questions being whether better conservation could blunt the increase. But a plan to hike rates for Rockaway Beach customers by up to 150 percent of the Winslow rates drew heated opposition from residents there.

Sorting out a terminal mess

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:32PM

Someday, Washington State Ferries plans a major upgrade of its Bainbridge Island terminal, which handles some 7 million passengers and vehicles per year. But given the state’s financial straits, that “someday” is a long ways off. In the meantime, a multi-agency task force is taking a look at relatively minor changes they say could improve safety and efficiency around the facility. “There are so many user groups and they’re all there at one time,” said Trooper Glen Tyrrell of the Washington State Patrol. “We have drivers, bus riders, bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and van-pool riders in one small, heavily used area.”

Rental store burgled again -- News Roundup

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:32PM

Equipment was stolen from an Island Center rental outfit Tuesday evening, the second “smash and grab” burglary there in a month. A store alarm summoned police about 7 p.m. to Bainbridge Rental, on Fletcher Bay and New Brooklyn roads, according to reports.

Rate hike likely for city water

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:32PM

The island’s municipal water system is showing signs of age at a time when both regulatory and user demands are increasing, meaning that some significant upgrades are required. And because the system only serves about a quarter of the island’s population, it isn’t supported by general-fund tax dollars, only by the rates that users pay. The bottom line: a significant rate increase for next year – to $44.75 per month for a typical Winslow-area residential customer that uses 10,000 cubic feet of water each month, a 27 percent boost from the current rate of $35.28. “The lines we have aren’t built for the flow we’re seeing today, and those flows wear them out faster,” said city Public Works Director Randy Witt. “When you keep the rates low, you eventually need larger increases.”

Gateway area looking for a facelift

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:32PM

Only one corner of four is landscaped, and the extent of the public art is the banners and kids’ murals on a fence surrounding a vacant lot. Informational signs are few, and after the ice cream store, it’s one long block before any signs of commerce and culture resume. Yet for ferry visitors, this is the “gateway” to Winslow and the island beyond. It is, many agree, less than welcoming.

Council to take up shoreline policies with new year

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:32PM

South Beach resident John Steiner wants to add a room over his garage. But after a pre-application meeting with city planners, Steiner says, he was told he would have to replace his lawn with native vegetation. He objects to the loss of use. “The grass is pretty scruffy, but that’s where we have our lawn chairs and play ball,” Steiner said. “I’ll scrap the plan to add a rental apartment if I have to give up my front yard.” Disagreement over what might trigger requirements for waterfront replanting – and precisely what regulations are in effect today – continues to hang over review of the city’s Shoreline Management Program.

Schools to try four-year levy in February

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:32PM

Counting on historically strong support – and the absence of other tax measures on the ballot – the Bainbridge Island School District will put a four-year, $24.4 million maintenance and operations levy before voters in February. The levy would supplement local public school operations for 2004-2007, replacing the current three-year, $14.7 million levy that expires next year. The Bainbridge School Board unanimously approved a Feb. 4 levy try at Thursday’s meeting. “We think sentiment is strongly in support of schools” despite the down economy, said Clif McKenzie, chair of the district’s volunteer levy committee, in a presentation to the board.

What would ferry yard move mean for Bainbridge?

  • Nov 23, 2002 at 12:00AM updated Jun 9, 2008 at 4:32PM

Local officials generally welcomed news that WSF is seriously considering moving its maintenance facility from Bainbridge to the mainland, with thoughts turning to future uses of the property. At the same time, though, they observed that negotiations with WSF have not always gone smoothly in the past. “This is something the community has wished for as long as I can remember,” said former mayor Dwight Sutton, a long-time champion of a plan to move the maintenance yard elsewhere.

Ferry yard move picks up steam

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:31PM

Ferries officials and local lawmakers are embracing a recommendation that the Eagle Harbor ferry maintenance yard be moved to Seattle. The proposal could mean significant savings for the ferry system, would free up four-plus acres of prime waterfront property, and would remove an industrial use viewed by some as a nuisance in an increasingly urbanized harbor. “Every time I take a shower, I think of more reasons why we should do this,” said WSF maintenance director Mark Nichtmann.

Ferries could plan own security

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:31PM

Washington State Ferries could craft a local maritime security plan under a bill recently approved by Congress. Called the Maritime Transportation Security Act, the legislation provides a two-tiered approach to securing the nation’s seaports, said U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-1st District). One tier is national, the other local.

Parking plan spurs study of ferry area

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:31PM

An application to build a new ferry parking lot on the southwest side of Olympic Drive – the road from Winslow Way to the ferry loading area – has unleashed an array of complaints about an area many consider too congested and unsafe. The upshot may be a new multi-agency look at planning for the area as a whole. “My application may be the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said Bill Isley, acting for the Griffith Trust, which owns much of the land around the ferry terminal.

Pollock to call for hearings on Planning Dept.

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:31PM

Bainbridge Island City Council chair Michael Pollock sees a high level of citizen frustration with the city’s planning department. And although Pollock acknowledges that the department’s function is an administrative matter, he says that little has changed during the year Mayor Darlene Kordonowy has been in office. Therefore, he says, it’s time for the council to act. At tonight’s meeting, Pollock intends to call for council hearings into how the department can be made more effective and user-friendly.

Fiber-optic on its way, at cost

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:31PM

Assuming the state issues necessary permits promptly, a high-capacity fiber-optic Internet access line will come to Bainbridge Island as early as next March. It will bring with it the capacity for enormous increases in data transmission, but also a host of unresolved legal and financial issues. Because of that, the city itself plans to be the guinea pig, connecting its various facilities into a wide-area network.

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