News

City files to overturn I-722

"Saying that tax-limitation Initiative 722 has all the constitutional defects of Initiative 695 and then some, the city of Bainbridge Island filed suit this week to nullify the Tim Eyman-sponsored measure.He's put better window-dressing on 722, said Thomas Ahearne, the attorney representing the city. But substantively, it has the same problems.Ahearne, a Bainbridge Island resident and partner in the Seattle firm of Foster, Pepper & Sheffelman, also represented the city in its successful challenge to I-695, which replaced the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax with a flat $30 license-tab fee and required a popular vote to raise taxes. "

  • Nov 18, 2000

Traffic cop in budget proposal

"Two cops and three computers.That's the essence of the new budget items sought by Bainbridge Police for next year.We're doing alright, Chief Bill Cooper said, assessing the department. We've got a good facility now, good equipment, good support. Life is pretty good.Authorized to have 21 commissioned officers this year, the department is currently down to 19 because of turnover. Two desired candidates have been identified, Cooper said, but academy time and other training will keep them off the beat for months.For 2001, citing an increase in calls for service and internal reorganization, Cooper would like three more officers as well. The preliminary budget from the mayor's office would give him two.One would be a full-time traffic enforcement officer, to deal with ongoing citizen complaints of speeding drivers on local roadways. The position would be a permanent day-shift assignment, with duties including radar enforcement in problem areas as well as accident investigation.The second would be a deputy chief, to handle administrative duties including overseeing day-to-day department operations; personnel and financial issues; and fleet and equipment management. "

  • Nov 18, 2000

Internet service pulling the plug

"A California company's financial failure will cost several hundred Bainbridge Island customers the high-speed Internet connections they get through their television cable.ISP Channel has notified customers that it will no longer guarantee service after Dec. 1, and will shut down operations entirely by the end of the year. "

  • Nov 18, 2000

Get out your boots and rompTwo miles of new trails are ready near Blakely Harbor

"The ground was at times hard to see, covered as it was with crisp fallen leaves. But with each step, the crunch of fresh gravel underneath reassured one that the path was true.These trails are wonderful, said Deborah Cheadle, pausing from her daily stroll to admire the work. They're so beautiful, for one thing.The new pathways - two miles long, and growing - come with the development by Kelly Samson of several large parcels purchased from Port Blakely Tree Farms.North of Blakely Harbor, on property abutting the Eagledale neighborhood, a circuitous trail network is now open for public use, with temporary signs going up this week. "

  • Nov 15, 2000

“On the air, across the nationTom Kelly takes his popular radio real estate show to the rest of the U.S.”

"Tom Kelly is on his way to becoming a household name on houses.Kelly, a Bainbridge Island resident, recently closed an agreement to nationally syndicate his KIRO-AM radio program on real estate issues - meaning that The Real Estate Show With Tom Kelly will be airing in some 79 major U.S. markets as of Nov. 26.It's another move toward establishing Kelly, who already syndicates a weekly newspaper column and reaches untold masses through his partnership in an Bainbridge-based Internet venture - not to mention several television guest appearances and public speaking engagements - as a pre-eminent media authority on real estate.I'm a lucky guy, said Kelly, an island resident since 1989. I get to do what I love, I get to help people, and I get to live here and work here. "

  • Nov 15, 2000

Neighbors oppose proposed dock on Blakely Harbor

"Some South Bainbridge residents have lined up in opposition to a neighbor who wants to build a floating dock stretching more than 100 feet into Blakely Harbor.The neighbor, Seaborn Road resident Kim Bottles, has applied to the city for a permit to build a floating dock - a 100-foot-long, T-shaped structure - to accommodate a boat used for the daily commute to his job in Seattle. The 30-day comment period on the application closed Nov. 9, throwing the plan into the laps of planning commission members. No hearing date has been scheduled. "

  • Nov 15, 2000

Budget hike of 9.5% proposed

"New staff, programs and equipment purchases could boost next year's city budget by $853,000.Proposals including an assistant police chief and three new public works crew members, new computers and other equipment are outlined in the mayor's draft budget proposal, now available at city hall.It's a budget that has an ambitious set of goals, said Mayor Dwight Sutton, saying he believes it balances work left unfinished this year and new demands of the public and city council.If approved, the programs would boost next year's operations spending to $14.13 million, up from $12.9 million in 2000. "

  • Nov 15, 2000

Island candidates bat 4-6Don Bonker is still at the plate in the race for secretary of state.

"Bainbridge candidates went 4-for-6 at the plate Tuesday, with the number seven hitter still at bat.Voters returned Jay Inslee to Congress and Phil Rockefeller to the state House of Representatives, and likely placed two other islanders on the county's new board of freeholders.And Bainbridge may maintain its 20-year monopoly on the Washington secretary of state post, with Sunrise resident Don Bonker locked in a close race to succeed the island's favorite son, Ralph Munro. Bonker and Sam Reed, Thurston County auditor, await further absentee returns, with Bonker picking up a 4,000-vote lead Friday out of 1.6 million votes cast.Two other Bainbridge candidates, David Harrison and Dan Murphy, appeared to have failed in their bids for Olympia, pending further absentee counts next week. The results: "

  • Nov 11, 2000

Devote a day to the great NW salmon

"In the words of a popular T-shirt: Spawn 'Til You Die.Local salmon are anxious to do just that, biding their time until late-autumn rains show up to swell the flow of six Bainbridge Island streams, so they can spread a little coho mojo.We're just waiting for enough water for them to get upstream and do their thing, biologist Wayne Daley told us this week, with frisky fish now jumping in Fletcher Bay and other locations. "

  • Nov 11, 2000

Tools seized in arrestItems are thought to be stolen from work sites.

"Equipment believed to have been stolen from area construction sites was seized in the arrest of a transient near High School Road Thursday morning.The suspect, a male believed to be in his mid-20s and listing no address, was arrested without incident at a rude campsite in a wooded area between Kitsap Bank and Lumbermen's Building Center.He was taken to Kitsap County Jail on suspicion of burglary pending formal arraignment, according to Bainbridge Police reports.Officers found that the campsite was served by power, with a sturdy light and a radio connected by heavy-duty extension cords to an outlet in a pumphouse 100 yards away across the woods. The pumphouse door, which had been padlocked by the property owner, was found forced open. "

  • Nov 11, 2000

“City opts for legal challenge to I-722The property tax initiative would cost the city millions, officials say.”

"The city of Bainbridge Island will sue to overturn Initiative 722, the Son of 695, passed by Washington voters Tuesday. And it will be in good company, as the cities of Seattle, Burien, Carnation and Pasco have launched their own legal challenges to the tax-cutting measure.I certainly feel confident, Mayor Dwight Sutton said Thursday, a day after the city council unanimously approved a legal challenge.We're convinced that its constitutionality is highly suspect. "

  • Nov 11, 2000

“Sheldon, Rockefeller apparent winners in 23rd”

"Two of the three legislative incumbents from the 23rd legislative district were enjoying comfortable leads in early absentee ballot returns on Tuesday night. The third had a slimmer margin to hold onto.Betti Sheldon, State Senator from the 23rd District and Phil Rockefeller, State Representative from the 23rd District were celebrating leads of more than 10 percent against their opposition in early returns.Beverly Woods, the Poulsbo Republican who was appointed to Karen Schmidt's legislative seat, was leading Bainbridge Island Democrat David Harrison by three percent in early returns. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

“Angel, Endresen win commish seats”

"Kitsap County voters wished Republican candidate Jan Angel a happy birthday last night by choosing her over Democratic contender Dusty Wiley as the next District 2 county commissioner.With Wiley gaining nearly 48 percent of the vote, Angel secured just under 52 percent, according to unofficial final tallies provided by the Kitsap County Auditor's Office.Though not ready to call the race at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday from the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel, where she and others celebrated her birthday and campaign, Angel still couldn't help but be excited and grateful by the early returns. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

“Trees, vines, and signs”

"We can see the theater marquee now: Creepers From the Black Lagoon, perhaps, or The Vine That Ate Winslow.Indeed, our dreams have lately been haunted by the sinister English ivy, truly the stuff of campy '50s sci-fi. Ever since we took the shears to the noxious weed in our neighborhood a few weeks back, saving three trees from its fiendish clutches, hedera helix preys on our hapless mind; suddenly aware of its threat, we find the devilish vine lurking in every hollow and shadow.Removal of the invasive weed - which can throttle and bring down native trees, harm understory plants and destroy habitat for birds - was the subject of this year's Earth Day effort back in April.We can only conclude that whatever valiant efforts were undertaken by islanders, they weren't enough, as a casual stroll through Winslow last week showed. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

Home Rule rules in Kitsap County

"Kitsap County joined the ranks of major Puget Sound counties by taking the first step in becoming a charter county last night.County voters approved an initiative yesterday allowing the election of 21 freeholders to write a home rule charter that could drastically change the way the county is set up.I really believe it will be a wonderful thing for Kitsap County, said Jim Martin, chairman of the Home Rule Committee. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

Absentees could decide Jackley-McMahan race

"Fluctuating numbers left District 26 candidates hopeful last night as they vied for the narrow lead necessary to take positions 1 and 2.Preliminary election results in Kitsap County indicated political newcomer Brock Jackley, D-Manchester, could clinch a close race for Position 2, ultimately sweeping the election against Republican candidate Lois McMahan - a former representative - with 52.1 percent to her 47.6 percent. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

Telecom conference slatedLeaders hope to get Bainbridge back in the race for telecommunications

"When the first railroad lines were laid more than 100 years ago, any town left off the line died. When the first highways were built this century, any town left off the highway died. To Kevin Dwyer of the Kitsap Economic Development Council, any community without good telecommunications lines will face the same fate as the unfortunate towns left off the railroad lines and highways.If they (cities) weren't on the lines, they were far removed from commerce, said Dwyer, of Bainbridge Island. If you're not connected, you're not going anywhere.The theory is particularly relevant to Dwyer, who sees Kitsap County stuck between the high-tech ambition it has for growth and the rural surroundings it wants to do it in. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

“Mayor mulls transit levyIf nothing else, it could restore the popular Winslow shuttle.”

"How much would you pay to ride the bus?More precisely, how much would you pay so your neighbor could ride the bus too?Island voters may get the chance to decide, as several city officials mull the possibility of a local transit levy to restore some bus service on Bainbridge next year.We're being held hostage by off-island voters, Mayor Dwight Sutton said, and we can get out from under that.The idea of local transit funding comes after the failure in September of a three-tenths of a cent, countywide sales tax increase. That hike would have restored Kitsap Transit money lost to last year's Initiative 695 - 45 percent of the agency's operating and capital budget disappeared with elimination of the state Motor Vehicle Excise Tax. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

“Fire levy to drop, revenues climbingAn expansion of the Madison Avenue fire hall is planned.”

"Even as its levy rate drops, the Bainbridge Island Fire Department expects increased tax revenues to cover expansion of the Madison Avenue fire hall. A fire-protection property tax levy of $1.20 per $1,000 assessed valuation is being proposed for 2001, down from $1.28 this year. The lower rate would be offset by an increase in local assessments and new home and commercial construction.The net effect for 2001 is that while the tax rate will go down, fire department tax revenues will go up by about $300,000, to $3.3 million.That would mean the owner of a $300,000 Bainbridge home would pay $360 for fire protection and emergency aid services next year. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

“Haigh, Eickmeyer earn return trips to Olympia”

"While the presidential election seesawed with nail-biting ferocity across the nation, voters in the 35th District concerned about roads, ferries, taxes and schools, reelected the Position 1 and 2 incumbents by large margins.First term incumbent Kathy Haigh, D-Shelton, won reelection for a second term handily with an unofficial tally of 16,134 or 59 percent of the vote, to 9,822 (37 percent) for challenger Frank Dare, the state social worker who was fired from his job when he decided to run for office. "

  • Nov 8, 2000