News

“Inslee, Dicks retain Congressional seats”

"Jay Inslee will serve a second term representing Washington's 1st Congressional District.Good win, said Inslee, a Bainbridge Island resident, in an acceptance speech in Shoreline.Inslee easily outdistanced challenger Dan McDonald, taking 55 percent of the vote in mid-evening returns, and holding a seat that has swung like a gate over the past decade. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

Poets slam their way to art

"The poetry slam was born nearly 20 years before in a Chicago bar as a drunken challenge between two dueling verse-twirlers.Sunday afternoon's slam at the San Carlos, the first-ever sanctioned such event for Bainbridge Island's teens, was a far calmer affair - in presentation if not in theme. And that's the point, according to the event's emcee, Michael Ricciardi of Auburn's Spoken Word Lab.It's poetry meets professional wrestling, said Ricciardi, who himself has been a part of several Seattle-area nation slam championship-contender teams. Without the body contact. Hopefully. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

Everything old is new again on MadisonThe road goes back to normal Nov. 13. But did calming work?

"It generated praise. It generated scorn.More than anything, it generated mail - more than 400 written comments to city hall over a two-month period.Now, with an experimental traffic calming project on Madison Avenue winding down, it's up to city officials to decide whether it actually worked.It's been a fun exercise, because it provoked a lot of comments, Mayor Dwight Sutton said Thursday, in his office overlooking the controversial project. That's okay right there.The roadway will be restriped to its original layout Nov. 13, but could return in modified - and permanent - form sometime next year. "

  • Nov 4, 2000

Bike/ped plan makes stridesIdeas rolled in at a workshop on non-motorized transportation.

"The parking lot was full. Perhaps, as Mayor Dwight Sutton suggested, that was in itself a comment on the state of bike and pedestrian access around Bainbridge.I bet 90 percent of you had to drive here because there wasn't a bike path to follow, Sutton told an overflow crowd, at a workshop on non-motorized transportation planning at city hall Thursday evening.We hope to change that.The 100-person turnout surprised organizers, filling up the council chambers and spilling over into an adjacent meeting room.The event marked the formal kickoff of the city's new Comprehensive Non-motorized Transportation Plan, informally referred to as the bike/ped plan. "

  • Nov 4, 2000

“Horror of the HolocaustBHS thespians find life, love and death in wartime France”

"Think of Rachel Símon as a fresh-air version of Anne Frank.Rachel, the preteen heroine of Remember My Name - the fall Bainbridge High School production which opened last night for a three-week run at the LGI theater - is a young Jewish girl growing up in the south of France during World War II.As the German war tanks roll over her homeland, Rachel's parents make the agonizing choice to send her under an alias to live in a remote French mountain village - naively believing that she may be able to live there untouched by the cruelties of war until peace has returned.Instead, the shy, sweet-natured 10-year-old winds up concealed amidst a conflicted cast of characters with the Maquis - the French Underground resistance movement - and finds her burgeoning being and beliefs challenged to their core by a cruelly zealous Nazi lieutenant.The show is the first directed by Bob McAllister following his retirement last summer after a 30-year teaching career at BHS.The first time I read it, it brought tears to my eyes, said McAllister, who was casting about for a message production in the vein of last year's Bang, Bang, You're Dead. "

  • Nov 4, 2000

Restore the balance on Madison Ave.

"And the winner of the Lamest Objection to the Madison Avenue Traffic Calming Project Award is (drum roll please)...My SUV won't fit in the lane!And you're asking for sympathy? But from the first day, the project that saw curves, cones and other goodies thrown in to slow traffic on one of Winslow's busiest streets was bound to pit competing interests against each other. Its merits depended wholly on what you use Madison Avenue for.If you see it as a speedway to the ferry terminal, the project might as well have been designed by the devil himself. If you actually use downtown as something other than a route to somewhere else - say, as a destination for shopping or other human interaction - the new crosswalks were heaven. "

  • Nov 4, 2000

A close shave at Sakai

"Bald is beautiful at Sakai Intermediate School, where several teachers now sport shaved heads to support colleague Shelley Evans.Diagnosed with breast cancer in early September, Evans recently went through the first stages of chemotherapy, losing all of her hair. Six Sakai teachers had their heads shaved in support, in front of fifth and sixth graders last week.It was incredible, it was awesome - I had no idea there was so much support and love out there, Evans said.Teacher Tim Harris first approached Evans about the plan, to Harris responded, Oh, you silly.But she was surprised when others volunteered.I thought it was going to be just him, Evans said. Before I knew it there were five others, including teachers Jim Starrs, Doug Olson, Rick Moore, Bob Dwyer and Adam Rabinowitz. "

  • Nov 1, 2000

Committee to look at swimming options

"Faced with community support for a revived elementary swim program, the Bainbridge School Board will form a committee to look at alternatives.We want to try to create a study-group, not long-term but focused, school board president Bruce Weiland said, not to pit people against each other, but to better address the swim needs of the district and meet some of the swim-group positives that came out of this program. "

  • Nov 1, 2000

“Gore, Inslee, Cantwell and Locke”

"We walked through the valley of the shadow of self-doubt last week - not the kind of stroll one is allowed, in a job that demands sufficient professional ego to fill that chasm and spill out over the sides.Weary of the political season, and questioning our capacity for thoughtful endorsements in some races, we resolved to bow out with a few to go. Maybe we needed a good pep talk, or a hug.We got the former via a call from a reader Friday evening, long after we're usually out of the office. "

  • Nov 1, 2000

Fall harvest: campaign signs

"Hundreds of political campaign signs disappeared from island roadways last week, taken in a crackdown by the city.En route to a meeting Monday morning, city code enforcement officer Will Peddy still found a few more to be removed.I've really got to get dressed for this ordeal, Peddy said - clad incongruously in a dress shirt, slacks and work gloves - as he pulled over to take down a few signs for Democratic candidates near the Agate Passage Bridge.The sweep was made by Peddy and public works crews at the direction of Mayor Dwight Sutton, after complaints from some island citizens that the promotional efforts of candidates and campaigns had gotten out of hand.City ordinance prohibits political or commercial signs in local road rights-of-way, including the strip along each side of the highway. "

  • Nov 1, 2000

Bump in the night

"Not afraid of the dark? Or does mommy keep the night-light glowing?Whatever degree of fright they can take, island kids will have their pick of haunted (or unhaunted) houses this Halloween weekend.From a candyland playland to a witch's den to an alien autopsy, the level of scariness varies. And to help parents and kids pick just the right fright, we've ranked three haunted Bainbridge abodes on our Terrific Terror Meter™. "

  • Oct 28, 2000

Cooper tries for Federal Way job

"Bainbridge Island Police Chief Bill Cooper is one of 20 applicants being considered for the top cop's job in Federal Way - a position that will likely be filled by year's end.Cooper, who has been Bainbridge's police chief since January 1999, says he doesn't want to leave the island. He may, however - because, in a sense, he was never here.Cooper, 49, who came to Bainbridge from Tumwater, still lives and commutes from his home in neighboring OIympia. He hasn't been able to sell his house there in its more than 16 months on the open market, and can't financially manage a move here until a sale happens.As a result, he has wearied of what has become a two-to-three-hour drive each way over an average of four days a week. "

  • Oct 28, 2000

Garage plan comes back from grave

"Just when we were ready to consign it to the dank and musty earth, laid by the heels with other great ideas gone lifeless, the Winslow parking garage plan has skipped back from the edge of the grave. Must be Halloween.Not to imply that the garage idea has any ghoulish qualities about it - not yet - but in the latest Town Square proposal, it's seen a resuscitation worthy of a certain Transylvanian count.As now envisioned, the project would include four levels of underground parking, a two story cultural component that may or may not be a convention hall, and two stories of rental housing, half of it subsidized. Total cost for the project is projected to be $15 million. "

  • Oct 28, 2000

It all comes down to the race inside

"We're tired of writing endorsements.We're tired of scripted debates and cynical campaign ads on television, tired of achievements trumped up, voting records distorted, shortcomings blown all out of proportion.And we're really, really tired of the thousands of meaningless campaign signs cluttering up local roadsides - an unhappy irony, we think, that the road to our collective future could be so ugly.So we've decided that since most readers have already made up their minds how they're going to vote Nov. 7, we're dropping out of the madness altogether. For the rest of this campaign season, we resolve: no more endorsements. "

  • Oct 25, 2000

Parents try to revive swim class

"There is still some splashing to be done over the Bainbridge Island School District's decision to drop school-year swim programs for three elementary-level grades.A group of parents, supported by a stack of petitions bearing some 1,500 signatures, will urge school board members to reconsider their July vote to drop the first- and third-grade swim classes - as well as those for fifth-graders, dropped a year earlier - at the board's 7 p.m. Thursday meeting in the Bainbridge High School library.We're going to let the school board know that the community wants to keep these programs, and that the alternatives they've presented don't work, said Kathy Cooper, a parent and swim instructor who spearheaded the petition effort. I know this has upset a lot of parents.When the program was dropped, district officials cited the inability to fit the swim lessons into a school-day time frame increasingly crowded by other burgeoning options, such as art, music and reading. "

  • Oct 25, 2000

Kids already set for holiday giving

"Local youths have already caught the holiday spirit, and hope to spread it around the world.Sixth graders at Bethany Lutheran Church hope community members will participate in Operation Christmas Child, by filling shoes boxes with small gifts. The boxes will be sent to children around the world who have been affected by war, disease and poverty. It is not just a church thing, said Mary Harmon, organizer. This is a way to promote an idea. It's so humanitarian. "

  • Oct 25, 2000

Leonard gets six more months

"Ralph F. Leonard, the Bainbridge liveaboard resident turned shooting suspect, will spend another six months in the bowels of the state's mental health evaluation system.Maybe.Leonard, 63, rearrested last December after his release following a late 1998 armed standoff with police officers aboard his boat, could be released at any time without notice - thanks to the state's secrecy-shrouded commitment process.That's frustrating for Bainbridge Police Lt. Scott Weiss, grazed by a blast from Leonard's shotgun during the Blakely Harbor incident.Weiss, who has been tracking the case ever since, gets what little information he can from a contact he's developed close to the case.If the doctors want, they can let him go and not notify anybody, Weiss said. "

  • Oct 25, 2000

Parking garage coasts into place

"Should it be called a cultural center? A convention center? A gathering center?No one seems sure.But the idea of a really big room with a kitchen - with apartments on the roof - seems to have revived plans for a parking garage just north of Winslow Way.My daddy used to say, when the ducks fly, you'd better be ready to shoot,' City Council Chair Merrill Robison said, after a presentation on the $15 million Town Square project at city hall Monday evening. This duck is flying.Joining Robison on the dais were Mayor Dwight Sutton and four council members, for a two-hour presentation by Winslow architect Bill Isley and several representatives of the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority. About two dozen citizens attended. "

  • Oct 25, 2000

Is Adopt-A-Road project going to the wayside?

"For lack of support, the Adopt-A-Road program is losing coordinator Nancy Sutter.Sutter said there are hundreds of volunteers for the garbage-cleanup program, but many simply aren't doing their jobs.I get sick of people (who are not volunteers) calling me and complaining about the trash on their road, said Sutter, who has managed the program for the past seven years.A frustrated Sutter said that people don't want to get involved anymore, and think that it is someone else's job.It's a democracy, and everyone needs to participate, Sutter said, not only a few old ladies like me. "

  • Oct 21, 2000

Budgeting under way as I-722 looms

"For the second year in a row, a citizen initiative looms over the city budgeting process.Initiative 722 - which would roll back last year's increases in local taxes and fees, and cap future valuations on island real estate - shadows the task in uncertainty.It's like I-695 - nobody knows how it will be interpreted, said Ralph Eells, finance director for the city. A worst-case scenario, he suggested, would result in city staff layoffs and cuts to both discretionary spending and essential services.I don't mean to sound alarmist, Eells said, but we don't have $1.5 million we can take off the top. "

  • Oct 21, 2000