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Council nixes sewer proposal -- News Roundup

A proposal to contribute $500,000 in general revenue to the south-end sewer project was scuttled by the city council Wednesday.

Representatives of Pleasant Beach, Point White and Emerald Heights had proposed a plan under which the city would contribute a half-million dollars to build basic infrastructure to connect the neighborhoods to the Fort Ward treatment plant operated by Kitsap County Sewer District No. 7.

The money would have been repaid through hookup fees by property owners currently outside the boundaries of the proposed sewer LID. But the proposal was voted down 6-1, with Lois Curtis alone in support.

Councilmembers have been wary of expanding the proposed sewer service boundaries, and have opposed the use of general tax monies for a utility project that would benefit only those who would get service.

As an alternative, Councilman Norm Wooldridge proposed that the city contribute $100,000 toward construction of a sewer line to Emerald Heights.

“We’ve acknowledged from the beginning that Emerald Heights is the most critical area, and we want them to participate (in the sewer project) if possible,” Wooldridge said.

Several colleagues countered that the move would open the door for other neighborhoods to claim hardships and ask for subsidies of their own, and the proposal failed by a 5-2 vote.

That sent the question back to committee, while sewer proponents and city officials wait for better project cost estimates.

“We’re floundering around, and that’s not good,” Councilman Bill Knobloch said.

– Douglas Crist

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***Madison ped islands OK’d

The council Wednesday approved a contract for construction of new pedestrian islands and crosswalks on Madison Avenue and High School Road.

The $125,000 contract was awarded to Kemper Construction of Redmond, and could get under way before the end of the month.

The project will see installation of four lighted pedestrian islands in the median lane near City Hall and the Pavilion; one near Virginia Villa on High School Road; and a porkchop island to channel traffic flow in and out of Hildebrand Lane.

One of the Madison islands may yet be pared off, and the money used to install crosswalks without islands north of Wyatt Way.

The project was proposed last year, but stalled when a first round of bids came in substantially higher than estimates. A second round of bidding favored the city, but still required a $25,000 budget amendment.

– Douglas Crist

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***BIAHC hosts week of sci fi

The Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council’s 2003 Humanities Inquiry, “Discovery: A Story without End,” delves into the realm of H.G. Wells and Isaac Asimov next week with a four-evening classic science fiction film festival, March 16-19, and a symposium with Seattle-area science fiction writers on March 20.

From stainless steel to space travel, science fiction has often played a prophetic role in technological developments and their ramifications. Today, it’s hard to find an article on the new advancements in biomedicine, cloning or genetic engineering without references to a “Brave New World” or “Frankenstein,” or to read about the new domestic security measures without a nod to “Big Brother.”

In the film festival’s four features, scientific realms from the microscopic to the intergalactic become the terrain of human exploration: March 16 – “Things to Come” (1936); March 17 – “Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea” (1954); March 19 – “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (1959); March 20 – “Fantastic Voyage” (1966). See www.artshum.org for film descriptions and locations.

Each 7 p.m. showing will begin with the 14-minute “A Voyage to the Moon (Le Voyage Dans La Lune)” (1902), the first science fiction film, created by turn-of-the-century French filmmaker/magician Georges Melies from a novel by Jules Verne.

At the symposium on March 20, three Seattle-area science fiction writers – Susan R. Matthews, William C. Dietz and Syne Mitchell – will discuss the connections between science fiction and “real” science, and the ways the genre has predicted the culture and the future of science, in a panel discussion moderated by Duane Wilkins, manager of the science fiction department of the University Book Store in Seattle.

Cosponsored by the Bainbridge Public Library, the symposium begins at 7 p.m. March 20 in the library’s meeting room.

Both the science fiction film festival and symposium are free. See www.artshum.org for the complete schedule of BIAHC’s 2003 Humanities Inquiry events.

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***Faith groups lift voices in song

Choirs and soloists from more than a dozen local faith communities assemble at 3 p.m. March 16 in Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church for a choral festival organized by the Bainbridge Island/North Kitsap Interfaith Council.

The works to be performed at the free program reflect a cross-section of the island’s religious groups, from Christian-based worship song to Arabic chant and Hebrew melody.

The festival will close with the choirs uniting under the direction of Rolling Bay choir director Norma Edens to sing excerpts from Handel’s “Judas Maccabeus” and other selections.

Call 842-3098 for more information.

Harbor group plans session

The Bainbridge Island Harbor Commission will hold a work session from 5:30-7:30 p.m. March 18 in the Kallgren Room at the Bainbridge Island Senior Center.

The commission will discuss the work remaining on the draft for the Eagle Harbor anchoring and mooring plan.

Information: 780-3733.

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