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Park levy on Feb. ‘04 ballot -- News Roundup

The Bainbridge Island Park and Recreation District will put its next two-year maintenance and operations levy before voters on the Feb. 3, 2004 ballot.

The levy amount has not been determined; park commissioners Wednesday settled on the early election date to avoid a fire district “lid lift” try and a school district bond issue likely to go before voters later in the year.

They also expressed a preference for a shorter promotional campaign before the levy.

Commissioners voted 4-1 for the February date; Kirk Robinson was opposed, arguing that it did not give the district enough time to prepare for the election.

The levy would fund district operations for the years 2005-06.

Director Terry Lande will return to the board at an upcoming meeting with two proposals for consideration, one a “status quo” budget adjusted for inflation, staff COLAs and associated costs, and a second with “add-ons” for any new programs and proposals.

The board next meets at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at Strawberry Hill Park; a workshop on the 2005-06 proposed budget will be held Dec. 11 at the same time and venue.

The board must formalize its levy request and file it with the county by Dec. 19 to get it on the February ballot, an elections official said Friday.

– Douglas Crist

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***City auctions derelict boats

Don’t think of it as “junk”; think of it as “a project.”

The city is auctioning off a derelict sailing vessel that sank in Port Madison in September and was reclaimed from the depths a month later.

The Marnie, a 27-foot single-master of cedar plank construction over an oak frame, comes sans sails and engine, but does boast a shaft and propeller.

Harbormaster Tami Allen described the boat as “very messy, but it is floating on its own.”

Bids will be taken at City Hall or by email to tallen@ci.bainbridge-isl.wa.us through 12 p.m. Dec. 5.

The winning bidder must relocate the vessel to an authorized moorage or haul-out immediately upon purchase.

Also up for auction is a 12-foot, fiberglass Wesco sailboat hull, abandoned after a capsize-and-rescue incident in front of an incoming ferry in June.

Inquiries: Tami Allen, 780-3733.

– Douglas Crist

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***BIB moving to channel 12

Bainbridge Island Broadcasting will soon be cablecast on a new channel. Currently on channel 6 on the Comcast Cable system, BIB will be moving to channel 12 on Nov. 25.

The channel move comes at the end of a five-month buildout of new fiber by Comcast.

BIB director Wendy Johnson said the move will have benefits for the local viewer.

“Being on channel 12 will give us parity with other access centers in the region,” Johnson said in a news release. “With this new location BIB will have more programming flexibility and availability. There may be opportunity to coordinate live programming from City Hall beyond our current system on Bainbridge to the rest of the county for instance. And we’ll get programs from Bremerton and Poulsbo that may be live as well.”

The change in channel for Bainbridge Island Broadcasting comes as the Comcast buildout reaches completion.

Other benefits to local cable subscribers will be options for high definition television, pay-per-view programming and broadband.

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***Swanson to lead museum

The Bainbridge Island Historical Society has hired Jack Swanson as interim director while its director and curator are on leave.

Swanson, a 23-year island resident, is a freelance writer who authored the society’s book, “Picture Bainbridge: A Pictorial History of Bainbridge Island,” published earlier this year.

A journalist by training, he is a former editor of the Bainbridge Island Review and worked on the staffs of other newspapers in Washington, California and Arizona.

Joan Piper, the society’s director, has taken a leave of absence while the society’s museum is being moved to downtown Winslow.

Erica Varga, the museum’s curator, is taking a four-month honeymoon to travel around the world with her husband. She plans to return in April, and Swanson will fill in for her during that time.

The concrete foundation has been completed at the museum’s new location on Ericksen Avenue.

The contractor plans to move the museum’s buildings from Strawberry Hill Park to the new site sometime after Thanksgiving, Varga said.

The society will continue to hold its monthly speaker programs and other activities.

“The museum may be closed temporarily, but we’re still in business,” Varga said.

Historical society staff members can be reached at 842-2773.

High marks for fire dept.

The Bainbridge Island Fire Department earned plaudits from the Washington State Auditor’s Office in the most recent review of department operations.

In a Nov. 6 letter to fire commissioners, Auditor Brian Sonntag offered congratulations for the department’s “commitment to accountability, as demonstrated by five consecutive audits without findings, dating back to 1991.”

Wrote Sonntag: “Often the (department) responds to our recommendations prior to completion of the audit. The (department) has also taken positive steps over the years to protect public dollars...”

The audit results, released in draft form earlier this month, show no “findings” or deficiencies in the department’s accounting, public meetings or other procedures.

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***Jolly St. Nick loves his pets

The Kitsap Humane Society has enlisted Santa Claus and the services of Town and Country Photography for its annual pet-posing fund-raiser.

Bring the kids and any four-legged, furry, feathery or slithering family members you desire to a photo session with Santa, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Paws and Fins on Madison Avenue.

Sittings are first-come, first-served. Portrait packages range from $20 to $45.

All pictures (except Christmas cards) will be digitally printed on site and ready within 10 minutes.

Information: www.kitsaphumanesociety.org.

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