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Scott to leave school board –– News Roundup

Scott to leave school board

Bainbridge Island School Board member Mike Scott will vacate his District Five post June 30.

Scott’s resignation from the board, two years into his four-year term, was announced at Thursday’s meeting. It was necessitated by his planned move to downtown Winslow; board policy requires that members reside in the district they represent.

“I regret not being able to serve out my term,” said Scott, elected to the board in fall of 2001. “This district has a wonderful group of administrators, parents, teachers and board members.”

An attorney whose three children attend island schools, Scott has served on the board’s curriculum and capital facilities committees, and acted as board liaison to Bainbridge High School and to the state legislature.

His contributions were praised by board president Bruce Weiland, who said, “I tried to talk him out of (leaving).”

The board will fill the vacancy by appointment at its June 24 meeting; the new board member will serve out the remainder of Scott’s term, standing for election in fall of 2005.

Candidates for the post should submit a resume and letter of intent to the office of Superintendent Ken Crawford by June 11. The board will interview candidates on June 17, with the appointee to be sworn in July 8.

School board members agreed that the search for Scott’s replacement needs to begin now.

“Being on the school board is a real commitment of time and energy. It’s not a decision people take lightly,” Weiland said. “I wanted a fairly long time to take applications so that people could give serious consideration to their proposed commitment.”

– Dee Axelrod

Fire dept. levy ballots in mail

Ballots went out Wednesday for Proposition 1, the Bainbridge Island Fire Department levy “lid lift” to be decided in an all-mail election.

Ballots were sent to 14,653 registered voters on Bainbridge, Kitsap County Auditor Karen Flynn said. They must be postmarked and returned by May 18.

The proposal asks islanders to approve a property tax hike of 10 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation – about 10 percent – for the fire district, to fund the purchase of new fire trucks beyond general operations and maintenance through at least 2010.

The lid lift would increase the cost of fire and aid services for the owner of the “average” Bainbridge home – valuation: $362,000 – to $398 in 2005, up from $355 this year, Kitsap Assessor Jim Avery said.

Fire Commissioner Glen Tyrrell said the district has worked to cut operations costs over the past year, and that the tax hike would meet only “mission essential” needs.

“I believe the fire department provides necessary service with a high level of skill,” Tyrrell said. “Voters respect that, and I’m hoping we have demonstrated fiscal responsibility.”

Fire commissioners will host an open house for the public at 7 p.m. May 3 at the Phelps Road fire hall, to answer questions and discuss the lid lift proposal.

The lid lift has been opposed by several former fire officials, who say the department has sufficient cash reserves to fund operations for the next several years.

– Douglas Crist

Freak gusts darken island

To quote Neil Young, it was “out of the blue and into the black.”

A freak windstorm knocked out power island-wide Tuesday afternoon, felling trees and lines and cutting service to residences until late morning Wednesday.

Gusts that reached 45 mph downed a 70-foot tree early in the afternoon, fouling a transmission line and knocking out power to the south end of the island, Puget Sound Energy spokesman Tim Bader said.

Subsequent damage darkened the rest of the island, and much of North Kitsap.

No injuries were reported, but emergency crews responded to some two dozen calls during the storm. Firefighters at one point were summoned to the Winslow Way Cafe, where an unattended candle set the restroom paper dispenser alight, Fire Chief Jim Walkowski said.

Gusts also felled one of the majestic elms flanking the gates to Bloedel Reserve. Another tree fell across both a house and a car at one north-end residence.

– Douglas Crist

Special council meeting slated

The Bainbridge Island City Council will hold a special meeting at 12 p.m. May 3 in the council conference room.

The only agenda item is discussion with the Trust for Working Landscapes of the Johnson Farm lease agreement.

The item was originally on Wednesday’s regular meeting agenda, but required more time.

Giving politics a sweeter side

The lemonade stand has grown up to become the political bake sale.

On May 2, islander Marissa Simcoe takes up the call to “Bake Back the White House.”

Inspired by the liberal political group MoveOn.org, the sale pits small, cookie-priced contributions against big-money donors of President George W. Bush.

“I’ve never done something like this before,” Simcoe said. “But this was something I figured I could get enough people involved to pull it off.”

Simcoe’s Sunday bake sale will raise money for the MoveOn political action committee, which supports moderate and progressive candidates and Democratic Sen. John Kerry’s bid for the White House.

MoveOnPac reported on April 19 that more than 1,000 bake sales had raised an estimated $750,000.

Days after Simcoe registered her bake sale, eight people signed up online to help, and several friends also joined.

“I didn’t expect so many people to be interested,” she said. “Other people tell me they’re glad I’m doing this. I’m having a great time.”

The sale will be held at Simcoe’s parents’ home, where her father, classical and jazz guitarist Alan Simcoe, will provide music and bake bread in his brick oven.

Goodies include a variety of dollar-priced cookies and pies. Visitors can also pick up voter registration forms and information about the Kerry campaign.

Simcoe says a lot of her friends in their early 20s like herself have been actively participating in caucuses, but many do not vote even though they do not like the current administration.

“(At the bake sale), all they have to do is buy a cookie and it helps,” Simcoe said. “It doesn’t take that much.”

The Bake Back the White House runs 2-5 p.m. or until cookies run out, May 2 at 8168 High School Road. Parking is limited.

Information: 855-4682 or marissa55@hotmail.com.

– Tina Lieu

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