News Roundup -- Knobloch to seek 2nd term/Ferry food in June, maybe

Knobloch to seek 2nd term

Councilman Bill Knobloch has tossed in his hat for a second term on the Bainbridge City Council.

Knobloch will run again for the Central Ward Position 4 seat, and is the first councilor to announce his reelection bid.

The terms of Deborah Vann (Central Ward) and Debbie Vancil (North Ward) are also up at the end of the year, although they have not announced their intentions.

Christine Rolfes has said she will not seek another term from the south end.

“There’s too much unfinished business,” Knobloch said. “On the council, you go through a learning curve and now, in the fourth year, I’ve hit my stride.”

Knobloch said he wants to continue his efforts to improve mass transit and manage growth on the island.

“It’s an exciting time in the community,” he said. “We’ve come to the point where we have to decide if we’re going to maintain our rural character or go for higher density growth,” he said.

The Wing Point resident has been closely involved in efforts to connect the island to Poulsbo via an experimental magnetic train. He has also strongly advocated lowering speed limits and has led council efforts on the Public Works Committee.

Knobloch joined the U.S. Navy after graduating Fordham University in his native New York, and was a combat pilot in Vietnam. After retiring from the Navy, he began flying for commercial airlines, eventually retiring from US Air. He and his wife Liz moved to Bainbridge Island in 1988 from San Diego.

– Tristan Baurick

Ferry food in June, maybe

When food service shut down on Washington State Ferries on the last day of 2003, there was no inkling it would be 18 months before another on-board burger would be served.

But after continued bidding cycles, union negotiations and preparations, it now could resume on or around June 12.

“We are really hoping to get this started to coincide with the start of the summer schedule,” said WSF spokesperson Celia Schorr. “But it’s still up in the air. There are still a lot of logistical issues that we are all working very hard to resolve.”

Among these:

• finalizing the liquor license;

• getting all equipment onboard and installed properly;

• installing and programming new cash registers; and,

• hiring a full staff.

“This is really shaping up,” said Nove Meyers of food contractor Olympic Cascade Services.

“The atmosphere is great. When people walk through the galleys they will be very pleased. This will be a real asset to riding the ferries.”

The one unambiguous activity, cleaning out the galleys after 18 months of disuse, has already commenced.

Service will operate on three Kitsap County runs: Bainbridge Island-Seattle, Bremerton-Seattle and Kingston-Edmonds.

It will also provide service on the San Juan Islands run during the summer months.

Meyers said the menu will contain fresh cinnamon rolls, pizza, croissant sandwiches, Ivar’s clam chowder, chili and other snacks.

Wine will come from a rotating group of Washington wineries, while the beer is yet to be selected.

It will also serve fair trade coffee and donate a portion of bottled water proceeds to the Friday Harbor Whale Museum.

Of the 75 to 80 galley workers, 42 are returning employees from the Sodexho operation. The Inlandboatmen’s Union is currently advertising for the 20 additional openings.

Customers, who have lobbied for onboard food service should be pleased. However, merchants in the new Colman Dock food court aren’t exactly embracing the new venture.

“It scares me,” said Andreas Moussouras, owner of Alaska Gourmet Subs, who said he reached his break-even point sooner than expected. “We get a lot of ‘last-minute rush’ business, which will go away once food is available on the ferries.”

Still, Moussouras hopes that increased advertising and street traffic will compensate for any lost sales.

“We hope that once people try our food they will come back,” said Moussouras, who relocated his business from Anchorage. “But when I started this I knew it would be a calculated risk.”

– Charlie Bermant

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