Fire damages new home -- News Roundup

Fire damages new home

A fire of suspicious origin damaged a home under construction in the Olympic Terrace neighborhood early Thursday.

A neighbor reported the blaze at about 1:30 a.m. Jan. 30 in the 11300 block of Olympic Terrace, and firefighters arrived to find flames and smoke coming from the second floor.

Crews entered the home, which was near completion but unoccupied, and extinguished the blaze without incident.

Fire damage was contained to the upstairs bedroom and bathroom with smoke, heat and water damage to adjoining portions of the home. Damage was estimated at $30,000.

Cause of the fire is under investigation, Operations Chief Luke Carpenter said.

– Douglas Crist

Winslow plan raises queries

A Seattle engineering firm emerged this week as the front-runner to guide public process on downtown Winslow planning.

Public works officials told the City Council Wednesday they want to use the firm of KPG to oversee a citizen advisory committee, traffic and parking studies and other aspects of the planning process.

A draft timeline unveiled at the meeting suggested workshops and council meetings throughout the year, culminating in final recommendations to the council in late September.

The process would refine and build on recent recommendations for parking garages, traffic circles and other improvements, touted by downtown property owners as necessary to maintain a vibrant retail district.

The KPG proposal, to which no dollar figure was attached, raised red flags from some audience members. Several said a competitive process should be undertaken to select the project consultant.

But public works Director Randy Witt said the city is not required to have competitive bidding for professional services and has not done so in the past. KPG, he said, had previously been selected for city work after an extensive review process.

The firm had been guiding improvements in the “gateway” stretch of Winslow Way, from the highway to Ericksen Avenue, until that project was “paused” while downtown property owners completed their own proposals.

The KPG firm has done similar work in a downtown redevelopment in Burien, and has designed traffic circles and other treatments in many Seattle neighborhoods, a representative said.

Nevertheless, Lee Walton, interim city administrator, said Friday that the question can be addressed before it goes back to council for contract approval.

“If there are concerns, we can revisit it,” Walton said.

– Douglas Crist

Schools hold education fair

Preschools, childcare providers and independent schools from North Kitsap and Bainbridge Island hold an information fair on education options for preschool through 12th grade, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the American Legion Hall, 7880 Bucklin Hill Road.

The annual fair is an opportunity to explore options offered by the area’s private schools, many of which are currently registering students for the 2004-2005 year. Brochures, pictures and handbooks will be available, and staff and volunteers from more than 20 schools will be on-hand to answer questions.

Information: 855-1736.

Step up for conservation

The Kitsap Conservation District is seeking candidates for the district board of directors.

On March 6, the district will elect one volunteer supervisor to a three-year term on the board.

Volunteers represent landowners and the general public in determining the direction of natural resource conservation programs. Supervisors identify local conservation needs and help develop county policy on water quality/quantity issues, protection of soil, water, wildlife and other renewable resources, and sustainable agriculture.

A candidate must occupy land within the conservation district boundaries or be in possession of land within the district as an owner, lessee, renter or farm operator. The candidate must also be a qualified and registered voter.

Candidate applications are available from the Kitsap Conservation District, 817 Sidney Avenue, Port Orchard. To appear on the ballot, a candidate must submit applications by Feb. 5.

Information: (360) 337-7171 or

BYS issues call for teen jobs

Bainbridge Youth Services is seeking additional job opportunities for the 880 registered, employable youths that participate in the BYS employment program.

Over 45 percent of middle school and high school students are enrolled in the program, which provides training and support in how to find work, choose a career direction and succeed in the workplace. It also offers youths meaningful involvement with responsible, caring adults outside of school and home to enhance their probability of success in life.

Many island teens are currently seeking work, and can help with a host of chores, including trash hauling, dog walking, ditch digging, yard work, furniture moving, childcare and transporting kids to sports and lessons.

To list a job with Bainbridge Youth Services, contact BYS 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday at 842-9675. For additional information about BYS and other community programs for youths and their families, visit

Znetix scam victims, unite

Investors who were fleeced in the Znetix securities scam may yet get some relief.

Claim forms are being accepted through Feb. 24, by which those who lost money in the $93 million fraud can document their losses and apply for recovery.

Funds available will depend on the outcome of litigation against attorneys representing Znetix and company principals, said Michael Grassmueck, a court-appointed receiver who has been liquidating assets of the defunct Znetix/Health Maintenance Centers firms.

Some 5,000 investors nationwide were defrauded by Znetix founder and former island resident Kevin Lawrence, now serving a 20-year sentence in a federal penitentiary. Lawrence and associates sold unregistered securities in companies he claimed were developing fitness and health systems; instead they spent investor funds on themselves, buying luxury homes, automobiles and jewelry.

A claims clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 2 in Seattle’s Federal Building. For information, see, or call Grassmueck at (503) 294-9928.

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