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Polls open for levy Tuesday -- News Roundup

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:35PM

Polling places will be open Tuesday as islanders consider a four-year, $24 million levy for school maintenance and operations. The levy would bring in $5.7 million in 2004, increasing each year and reaching $6.6 million in 2007. The “millage rate” is estimated at between $1.70 and $1.75 per $1,000 assessed valuation on island properties each year, but could go down depending on reassessments and the value of new construction during those years.

It's official: 'Paski Gymnasium'

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:35PM

He was known as an inspirational coach. But even his players must have been surprised when, before a big football game in November 1954, Tom Paski told his team: “Win this one, and I’ll walk to the island.” It was quite a gambit. For one thing, it was raining. For another, the Spartans were playing in Port Orchard.

Times change with traffic flow

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:35PM

Islanders have strong opinions about traffic flow, but those opinions are subject to change. Two years ago, a then-proposed roundabout at Madison Avenue and High School Road was almost universally reviled. But this week, when a sampling of islanders were asked how they would prefer to handle congestion at intersections, roundabouts beat stoplights by a margin of 19-1.

Six vying for park vacancy -- News roundup

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:35PM

Six islanders have applied to fill a vacancy on the Bainbridge Island Park and Recreation District board of directors, district director Dave Lewis said Monday.

New strategies for fighting crime

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:35PM

Bainbridge Island’s 2002 crime profile looked quite familiar. Violent crime: low. Property crime: high. But the latter numbers ballooned with several high-profile burglary sprees and a rash of vehicle thefts at the ferry terminal, atop an ongoing vandalism problem. “We’re busier than we’ve ever been,” Bainbridge Police Chief Bill Cooper said, “but we’re not overwhelmed like some other cities are.”

In-house law: savings for the city?

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:35PM

With legal fees for civil work exceeding $250,000 in seven of the last 10 years, reaching $555,000 in 2002, the question arises of whether the city could save money by hiring a full-time, on-staff attorney – what’s known in the trade as “in-house” counsel. The question has been asked before, most recently in 1997, in the wake of a consultant study of city management. “We talked about it then, but never got into a detailed analysis,” said Andy Maron, an attorney who served on the council at that time. “We couldn’t see much advantage in terms of costs.”

Mayor: city going ‘virtual’ -- News Roundup

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:35PM

On-line information is key to improving communication with island residents, Mayor Darlene Kordonowy said this week. Her comments came in a 20-minute “state of the city” address at Wednesday’s council meeting. Kordonowy confessed that she had until recently “felt more like a Luddite than a techno-weenie,” and had resisted reliance on the Internet for fear that older citizens or those without computer access would be left behind.

Highways, byways, the road ahead

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:35PM

If major changes are not made to Highway 305, it will not only become parking-lot slow within a few years, but will become a semi-permanent wall, cutting Bainbridge in half. While that scenario could be avoided, changes will be expensive and will have their own down-sides, said Public Works Director Randy Witt. “There is no way to say that there will be easy solutions,” Witt said. “The question is whether we want to have the highway divide us.”

Bellevue lawyer, Bainbridge law

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:35PM

When Sam Granato took up the gavel as mayor of Winslow in January of 1990, one of his first actions was to replace islander Bob Conoley as city attorney. He instead appointed Bellevue lawyer Rod Kaseguma and his firm of Inslee, Best, Doezie & Ryder. Charles Averill, a member of the city council at the time, said the versatility of a law firm was the principal attraction of the new arrangement. “(Kaseguma) was affiliated with a law firm that had expertise in a number of areas related to city government,” Averill said. “There was a feeling that it was time to move away from a solo practitioner.” The move has proved enduring. After 13 years and five mayors, Kaseguma remains Bainbridge’s city attorney, giving him a longer tenure with Bainbridge Island than city Administrator Lynn Nordby or any of the city’s department heads.

If the suit fits, bear it

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:34PM

On the frontier of yesteryear – at least in the Hollywood version – sheepmen, cattlemen and farmers traded gunfire over land and water. Today, environmentalists, homeowners and developers still fight over land and water, but their weapons are lawsuits. The frontier is Bainbridge Island. Over the last three years, the city has been involved in no fewer than 18 lawsuits, some as plaintiff, some as defendant, and some as an unwitting third party caught up in disputes between neighbors.

Is every day the city's day in court?

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:34PM

With 500 or more attorneys in residence or practice, Bainbridge Island is a city of lawyers. In some respects it’s a city for lawyers as well, spending significantly more money for legal services than other cities of comparable size in the Puget Sound area. In 2002, the city spent $555,610 on civil attorneys and another $95,000 to prosecute and defend misdemeanor cases.

Island voices raised for peace

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:34PM

Islanders opposed to war in Iraq added their voices to the many calls for diplomacy heard nationwide Saturday afternoon. More than 400 people gathered in the town square next to city hall, in an event sponsored by the group Bainbridge United for Peace and other organizations. “Welcome to the axis of peace!” proclaimed speaker and Seattle activist Ginny NiCarthy, who recounted her recent travels to Iraq and the fear of conflict expressed by citizens she met there.

Man injured in collision -- News Roundup

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:34PM

A Bainbridge man was airlifted for treatment after a two-car collision snarled commuter traffic south of the bridge Friday morning. The accident was reported by a witness at 7:46 a.m. near Agatewood Road. Police said Kevin W. Groves, age 48, of Hyla Avenue on Bainbridge, was northbound on the highway in a Ford pickup when he lost control and slid sideways into the opposite lane.

Ferry fare hike of 5 percent endorsed

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:34PM

The state Transportation Commission Thursday endorsed a 5 percent across-the-board fare increase effective in May, and will schedule a number of public meetings and a hearing on the plan before implementing any increase. In so doing, the panel accepted the recommendations of the Tariff Policy Committee, chaired by Alice Tawresey of Bainbridge Island.

In the vanguard for public education

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:34PM

Bainbridge was there in force. More than 500 island teachers, administrators and staff, parents and kids trekked to Olympia Tuesday for the Washington Education Association “Day of Action” in support of public education funding. They had a lot of company; a crowd estimated at 25,000 marched the mile from Capitol Lake Park to gather at the rally site east of the capitol grounds. “It really is amazing to see this many people,” said Patti Schlosser, head of the Bainbridge teachers’ union. “I think if any legislator were to talk about ‘whining teachers,’ they would be very foolish. Surely they must recognize the strength we have behind us.”

Lower speeds on two roads -- News Roundup

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:34PM

The city will lower speed limits on several island roads this month, public works department officials said. A portion of Fletcher Bay Road will be lowered to 35 mph from the current 40 mph. The affected area stretches from just north of the High School Road intersection to the end of the first curve south of that intersection. Tree branches will also be trimmed to improve sightlines for drivers.

Decant debate wafts back in

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:34PM

A citizen committee charged with trying to put to rest public controversy over a so-called “decant” facility will hold its first meeting tomorrow, its charge to determine whether the whole problem can be shipped off the island. The directive came after public outcry greeted two plans for on-island sites, first on lower Weaver Road and then on city property on New Brooklyn Road. “Our charge from the city council is to see if there is a way not to leave anything on the island,” said Public Works Director Randy Witt.

Burglary suspect arrested -- News Roundup

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:34PM

A 36-year-old man wanted for residential burglaries on Mercer Island was arrested in Kitsap County after a high-speed chase this week, and may be linked to a recent break-in spree on Bainbridge, police said.

Schei goodbye -- park board member steps down

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:34PM

Citing changing life priorities and the desire to spend more time traveling with his wife, Daryle Schei resigned this week from the Bainbridge Island Park and Recreation District board. Schei announced his resignation in a letter to board chair Dane Spencer. He had just completed the first year of his second term on the board, having been re-elected unopposed in November 2001.

Eleventh-hour agreement on shorelines

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:34PM

After months of heated debate, the Bainbridge Planning Commission may have reached an agreement on shoreline buffers – the most contentious among many regulatory issues. But because the commissioners have almost run out of time to meet the Bainbridge Island City Council’s deadline for handing off the issue, they may not be able to produce any document that reflects their last-minute consensus.

Nasser Rolfes takes council reins

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:34PM

In committee, away from the cameras and a sometimes incredulous public eye, things didn’t go that badly for the city council and mayor last year, Christine Nasser Rolfes says. Sometimes, after a tough issue was tackled and resolved, members would sit back and say, “Too bad the public didn’t see that.” “Yes, there were squabbles, posturing, and inappropriate public remarks,” Nasser Rolfes said. “It was unpleasant for people to watch and it was personally draining to be a part of. It was a tough year of transition. But I hope to put that behind us in 2003. “There are a lot of difficult issues for us to tackle together and we need to mend fences, move forward, focus on the policies and the vision, and get away from the personalities.”

Council off and running for 2003

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:34PM

Asked about their work in 1997, city employees complained about poor communication, inconsistent application of policies and a lack of direction. A consultant recommended a number of remedies. And even though most of those recommendations have been implemented, some of the problems cited in 1997 study may have resurfaced or remain, suggesting to some that the process might bear repeating.

Inslee: Nation must break oil addiction

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:33PM

Jay Inslee wants to persuade his fellow congressional Democrats to kill two huge birds with one stone. The “birds”: national security and global warming. The “stone”: reducing our national reliance on cheap fossil fuel. When he goes to the congressional Democratic retreat later this month, Inslee will propose a 10-year program to promote alternative energy sources, he said in an interview this week at his Hawley Way home on Bainbridge Island.

Winds leave island dark again -- New Roundup

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:33PM

For the second time in a week, high winds left islanders in the dark. They were in good company – trees downed transmission lines in the Poulsbo area, leaving an estimated 37,000 customers without power on Bainbridge and in North Kitsap.

Znetix, council -- Year in review, part two

  • Jun 9, 2008 at 4:33PM

The Znetix/HMC scandal reached a crescendo in August when founder Kevin Lawrence was arrested and jailed on charges of criminal fraud. A horde of buyers descended on a series of auctions at which tangible property bought with millions of investor dollars was sold off, netting well over a million dollars, most of which has gone to administering the estate. Much of the island’s political passion was seemingly devoted to the city’s proposed shoreline regulations, which throngs packing the Bainbridge Planning Commission meetings denounced as unnecessary infringements on property rights.

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