"Do you get candy canes, or just coal?"

"Do we hear sleighbells?We hope your stockings are hung by the chimney with all due care, and that you’ve been very, very good over the past year. We’re confident that most of you have been. So come Christmas morn, will you find a candy cane or just a lump of coal? Looking back over the year’s headlines, here are our humble suggestions to Santa Claus as he makes his rounds on Bainbridge Island:Candy canes to the Bainbridge High School girls’ basketball team for their 1999 state championship. What a fantastic season, and a thrilling title game! Not to be overlooked are our other state champions of the past year – the boys’ lacrosse team (six years in a row!); tennis star Charles Thompson; 200-yard medley swimmers Helen Silver, Christina Swanson, Melissa Clune and Alexis Kimball; and Silver again for the 100 backstroke. You make us all proud.Coal to LINK II, the ad hoc group formed to propose a second bridge and highway across Bainbridge Island. Just what we need, guys, more cars on the road. Although we suppose it follows – fossil fuels, neanderthal thinking.Candy canes to the Bainbridge Island Land Trust for securing the head of Blakely Harbor as a public park after years of behind-the-scenes negotiations and diligent fund-raising. Likewise for new swimming pool supporters for giving it one last go – successfully – on the February ballot.Coal to opponents of affordable housing projects in Fort Ward and elsewhere. Count your blessings, folks, and have some empathy – we all need a roof. Candy canes to Bainbridge Police and Kitsap County Prosecutor Deputy Prosecutor Neil Wachter, for putting together an iron-clad case against murderer Steven D. Phillips during his March trial. Justice was served in the island’s highest profile and most horrifying crime in a decade. Candy canes, in memoriam, to the island leaders who passed on during the last year – Ben Dysart, George Munro, Janet West, and many others. You’re all missed.Candy canes also to the many volunteers who devoted their energies to refurbishing the Rotary Park baseball fields, helping Kosovo refugees, improving local road ends for public enjoyment, providing safe haven for injured wildlife – the causes were just, the list endless. This community would be nothing without your efforts.Coal to would-be Winslow Landing developer Jason Lowe – good riddance. But a candy cane to Gale Cool for picking up the project and sitting down with the neighbors to hear their concerns.Candy canes to Georgia Angus and other founders of the Bainbridge Island Off-Leash Area. What a brilliant idea! Anyone who’s been out to Eagledale Park lately, to see dogs and owners on the romp in a safe and beautiful environment, knows what a treasured commodity this facility has become. We give this one two paws up.Candy canes to every Bainbridge Review reader, for making this job worth coming to work for, every single day. Have a happy holiday season."

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