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City launches new web site -- News Roundup

A revamped city website is set for launch today.

While the site address is unchanged – www.ci.bainbridge-isl.wa.us – city officials promise better aesthetics and organization, new information on city departments, citizen committees and ongoing projects, and various downloadable forms.

“If you have a fourth grader writing a report on ‘what is your city doing,’ they should be able to go to the website and find out,” said Lita Myers, executive secretary in the mayor’s office.

The menu bar includes such headings as “Community,” “Government,” “Environment,” “Services,” “Projects” and “Public Records.”

Information is cross-indexed to the Comprehensive Plan and includes a link to the voluminous Bainbridge Island Municipal Code, which is hosted at another site.

The site was developed by consultant John Bartelink of the firm wawebsites.com, under contract with the city.

Future improvements are planned, based on user input.

Myers will give a short presentation on the revamped site during a city council workshop at 6 p.m. this evening.

– Douglas Crist

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***HSR project hearing reset

City Hearing Examiner Robin Baker has continued proceedings on a proposed apartment/hotel on High School Road, to give opponents time to respond to applicant motions asking that the appeal be dismissed.

The hearing will open at 1 p.m. Feb. 21, and continue on March 5. Baker will hear arguments on the preliminary motions beginning at 1 p.m. tomorrow, Feb. 13, when the hearing was originally scheduled to begin.

Opponents say the size of the project, between American Marine Bank and the High School Road Texaco, should be reduced from the planned 60 apartments and 51 “extended-stay” hotel rooms because of cumulative impact on the environment, especially from traffic.

Attorneys for the applicant, Base Capital of Bellevue, argue in their motions that the opponents don’t have standing to appeal, and that they should have filed their appeal with the planning director rather than the city clerk.

– John Waldo

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***Terminal car thefts resume

Two cars were reported stolen from the Winslow ferry terminal late last week, and a vehicle stolen from Suquamish was left there.

Descriptions of the stolen vehicles were not available at press time. One was found abandoned at the Suquamish park-and-ride lot, with its ignition damaged and back window broken out.

The terminal area was the scene of a rash of vehicle thefts last summer and fall, but the spree had died down for several months.

“Someone must have gotten out of jail or something,” Bainbridge Police Lt. Denise Giuntoli said.

– Douglas Crist

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***False alarm ordinance set

The council tonight will consider an ordinance imposing fines on the owners of chronically faulty home alarm systems.

“We will never recommend not having one – they’re valuable assets to have in the home,” Bainbridge Police Chief Bill Cooper said. “But the care with which they’re operated and maintained needs to be (observed).”

Police responded to 403 false alarms in 2001, and 420 more last year – sometimes more than once a day at the same residence.

A study several years ago showed that about 40 percent of alarms to which Bainbridge officers responded were caused by mechanical or operator error, cats and dogs running around the house, or weather events.

“When we get a windstorm, we get a lot of them,” Cooper said.

In the other 60 percent, officers could find no cause – including criminal activity.

Under the ordinance, owners of residential alarms would be required to register their systems with the police department.

“False alarm” would be defined as activation of a burglary alarm system when there is nothing occurring on the premises. It includes “incorrect, reckless or careless” use of systems, including operator error.

Escalating fines ranging from $50 to $250 could be imposed for problem systems.

– Douglas Crist

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***Quartet sings for housing

The Iris Quartet, including two internationally known musicians from Bainbridge Island, will perform Baroque and later music on period instruments, at 3 p.m. March 2 at Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church.

Tickets for the performance -- $25 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, $55 family -- are available at Eagle Harbor Books, Hallmark McBride’s, Vern’s Winslow Drugs, and the Housing Resources Board office in the Marge Williams Center.

The concert is sponsored by American Marine Bank to benefit Housing Resources Board, a non-profit organization dedicated to the creation of affordable housing on Bainbridge Island.

Information: 842-1909

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