News

“Housing authority buys 550 MadisonRents will be subsidized for 13 units, and improvements to the building are promised.”

"The man with the full white beard and head of hair not only looked like Santa Claus - he brought a full load of Christmas cheer to Madison Avenue Tuesday morning.Roger Waid, deputy director of the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority, told tenants at the 550 Madison apartment complex that his agency, not a private investor, has purchased their apartment building.Does this mean we don't have to leave? asked tenant Kathy Brown. That was exactly what the news meant. Monday, the housing authority learned that its bid for the 13-unit complex had been accepted. After a staff briefing, Waid visited the building to share the purchase with tenants Tuesday morning. "

  • Dec 13, 2000

Madison deal keeps it all in perspective

"We were starting to question the fairness of it all - the very relevance these days of concepts like loyalty, justice, faith.Watching the best shortstop in baseball leave town for a division rival will do that for you. And boy, were we in a mood.Regular readers of this space may have noticed a certain Seattle Mariners partisanship peeking through from time to time. So you can picture the scene in the editor's office Monday - closed door, low lights, contemplative music (like most days, but more so) - at news of Alex Rodriguez' defection for a reviled Texas squad. For a quarter-billion-dollar salary, no less, the absurdity of which transcends rational comment. "

  • Dec 13, 2000

Schools told to power downCold weather and a regional power crunch mean evening shutdowns beginning Sunday.

"As Bainbridge braces for a blast of arctic air, Puget Sound Energy has told the school district to curtail power use in some buildings during evening hours. While some evening activities will be impacted, the regular school day will not. Bainbridge Island School District (BISD) was given the order by PSE Thursday, to cut power to Woodward Middle School, Ordway Elementary and Bainbridge High School's 200 building, Sunday through Tuesday, 5-8 p.m. It's unprecedented - we have never had a curtailment so early in the season, PSE representative Don McDaniel said. We typically expect them in January and February. "

  • Dec 9, 2000

“Troubled waters at Winslow ClinicOperations are in the red, prompting changes at some Virginia Mason offices.”

"The crunch between rising health-care costs and lagging revenues is a national issue, but like a flu outbreak, it hits some areas harder than others.Particularly hard-hit are outpatient facilities in economically prosperous areas - a description that fits the Virginia Mason clinic in Winslow.The economics at the Winslow clinic are very challenging, said Sarah Patterson, the Virginia Mason vice president who is responsible for the system's satellite clinics.There are no present plans to close the Winslow clinic or make major changes, she said. But I can't tell you where we might be in a few years. "

  • Dec 9, 2000

Island radio on the way?A former school bus driver and kids lead the way.

"The idea of an island radio station is crystallizing - with kids hoping to run the show.It would be the voice of Bainbridge Island, with creative content for adults, kids and churches, said Tomas Smeeth, the (adult) brainpower behind student-operated Bainbridge Radio.I love kids and want to give our kids a voice, said Smeeth, an employee of NetNanny.com and a former radio program manager and Bainbridge school bus driver. Smeeth said that while driving his school bus, instead of telling the students to be quiet, he would bounce his ideas around with the kids about a Bainbridge radio station. "

  • Dec 9, 2000

Box frenzy

"Think inside the box.The rubric prescribing creativity is turned inside out as viewers peer into Mysteries Contained: Box Constructions, opening Dec. 9 at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts.Box means container; store a box in the attic, and it becomes a repository of memory. A box is a frame that distinguishes inside from outside. Pull the lid off a box, and one even has a small theater.These and other metaphors - neatly boxed - are presented by artists Jocelyn Curry, Michael Gibson, Barbara Kowlaski, Frank Samuelson, Kenny Smith and Hidde Van Duym. "

  • Dec 9, 2000

City still in arrears with Fort Ward

"The battle of Fort Ward is over, and the neighborhood didn't come out the victor.Plans for a new historical preservation committee notwithstanding, there is scant cause for cheer among denizens of the little outpost that once stood sentinel over Rich Passage and the gateway to the Bremerton shipyard. Construction of scores of new luxury homes - none of them subject to review for architectural propriety - continues apace around the district, with the eventuality of Winslow-like buildout in a neighborhood served by a single two-lane roadway.So with nothing much to look over save for the eight-unit Building 16 apartment project - which would be subject to public comment with or without a formal review body in place - we have to ask: what's the point of the committee? "

  • Dec 9, 2000

Sewer study needs work

"Sewers promote growth. Do not! Do too!We can already hear the debate that will come with the new south-end sewer plan, released in draft form last Friday. A year in the making, the document is long on technical data - cost estimates for homeowners, where to put a force-main line or a charmingly named grinder pump - but fails to answer an essential question:What will extension of sewer lines mean for south-end zoning? "

  • Dec 6, 2000

South-end sewer plan out for reviewBut the city has yet to reach an agreement for service.

"Extension of sewer service to several south-end neighborhoods is under way, at least formally, with the official release of a consultant's service plan.Under state law, we have to have a general sewer plan before we can begin any work on the ground, city manager Lynn Nordby said. The release of the report gets us to the point where public process starts, including city council hearings. The plan, which had been circulated in draft form last spring, would guide the extension of service to Emerald Heights, Rockaway Beach, upper portions of Pleasant Beach and Point White, where widespread septic-system failures have been reported. Blakely Elementary School could also be connected. "

  • Dec 6, 2000

At home in Oriental exoticaDomicile brings Tibet to Bainbridge.

"Geographically, Seattle is closer to the Orient than any other major American city. That closeness manifests itself in the Northwest's affinity for Oriental decor.People here are trying to create a Northwestern look by combining Asian and craftsman styles, says designer Jerry Carlin. Or they will mix very contemporary pottery with Chinese accent pieces.To cater to this affinity, Carlin and Keith Edgar have opened Domicile, a combination antique store and interior design service in Lundgren Station, immediately north of the Magnolia shoe store. "

  • Dec 6, 2000

In land we trustA Murden Cove parcel is the latest to be preserved by easement.

"Typical of the occasion, the most honored guests didn't hold invitations.As hosts Vince and Kay Mattson and members of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust tilted champagne flutes, a heron sat perched high in a tree overhead, while scores of birds rippled the waters of Murden Cove with a mad flapping.This happens every time we have one of these, said land trust president Steph Miller, of the tendency for wildlife to make an appearance at the dedication of Bainbridge parks and greenways.This occasion, observed on a brisk Sunday afternoon in late November, marked dedication of the Mattsons' property on Murden Cove as private open space protected from future development. "

  • Dec 6, 2000

Fate of ferries rests with OlympiaProposals to save the system were finalized Monday.

"The state ferry system does not hold a favored place in line for legislative funding.So warned, the Joint Task Force on Ferries Monday recommended a package of measures aimed at preserving at least the present level of service for the next decade.The Blue Ribbon Transportation Committee Report last week said we need to find $60 billion in new money for transportation, said Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen (D-Camano Island), co-chair of the Task Force and chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.That's a staggering amount, and it does not include any money for new ferry service, she said, cautioning the group to be modest in its recommendations. "

  • Dec 6, 2000

“Judge blocks I-722Round 1 goes to the city, which got an injunction in superior court.”

"City officials are breathing easier, after a judge's decision that blocks the tax-slashing Initiative 722 from taking effect while the courts consider its constitutionality.Thurston County Judge Christine Pomeroy agreed that the city of Bainbridge Island would be irreparably harmed if it had to comply with the various provisions of the initiative immediately, and entered an injunction Thursday blocking the voter-passed initiative until a final court decision. "

  • Dec 2, 2000

Hefty jump in ferry fares proposedThe goal is to recover 80 percent of operating costs at the ticket booth.

"Saying ferry users must be a visible part of the solution to the transportation-funding crisis, a state commission is calling for substantial fare increases over the next six years.In a report issued this week, the Tariff Policy Committee of the state's Transportation Commission recommends boosting the round-trip passenger fare on the Bainbridge, Bremerton and Kingston runs from the present $3.70 to $6.50 by 2006, and the car-and-driver fare from the current $6.50 to $12. During the peak summer season, the car-and-driver fare would go from the present $8.25 to $15.The price of a 10-ride passenger coupon book would go from the present $26 to $46.25 under the proposal.The premise is that users should pay 80 percent of ferry operating costs by 2007, up from the present 65 percent. "

  • Dec 2, 2000

“Where have all the students gone?School district enrollment is in free fall, adding to the budget crunch.”

"It's the case of the disappearing students.Bainbridge Island School District enrollment - already 55 students below projections for September, and down 62 in October - is down another 11 in November, according to the district business office.The cumulative enrollment drop - 73 full-time equivalent students below projections for the year - represents nearly 2 percent of the district's 3,800 students, said Mike Schroeder, director of business operations.Schroeder reported the latest enrollment drop at Thursday's school board meeting.We are 10 or 11 further off than that which we've allowed for in the adjusted budget - we have to hope that there isn't going to be much more, Schroeder said, But this year, all bets are off. We're already beyond anything typical or historical or predictable. "

  • Dec 2, 2000

Four vie for park vacancyThe appointee will fill out the term for a year.

"Four candidates have emerged in the search to fill the vacant seat on the Bainbridge Island Park and Recreation District's board of directors.The four seated commissioners - Ken DeWitt, Chris Llewellyn, Daryle Schei and Dave Shorett - may convene a special public session to interview candidates Eric Hoyte, Dane Spencer, Kjell Stoknes and Frank Stowell - before the board's next scheduled meeting on Dec. 14. "

  • Nov 29, 2000

Growth plan going under microscopeThe planning commission will dissect the successes and failures.

"Citizens are generally satisfied with the island's comprehensive planning policies, but not with what they actually see happening.And while part of the problem may be real, a big part is public perception, Bainbridge Planning Commission Evelyn Klinckmann believes.I think people don't always understand the consequences of policies, said Klinckmann, on the threshold of the first review of the comprehensive plan. As a matter of public education, we need to present them with really clear scenarios. "

  • Nov 29, 2000

BEST choice for an evening on the town

"Your kids could be slumped down in their desks at school, snoring through yet another period of rote book learnin'. Or they could be in Doug Olsen's science class at Sakai Intermediate School, using a Martian colony simulator - complete with working solar panel - to study the energy requirements for successful colonization of another planet.That they have access to the latter - purchase price, with all its mind-expanding possibilities: $1,600 - is a tribute to the efforts of the Bainbridge Education Support Team, better known as BEST. "

  • Nov 29, 2000

Fast service at Internet cafe

"Gary Chambers had it all. A successful Internet business. A home office. The ability to set his own schedule and answer to no one.But he got lonesome.And that led to a new business - Creative Internet Center.This is a European-style Internet cafe - a gathering place where people can come and meet, use a computer, drink coffee and socialize, said Chambers.The business, which Chambers owns with wife Tricia Borgardt, is located at 578 Winslow Way East, the porch next to Bainbridge Coffee. The cafe has six computers, three of them equipped with cameras for teleconferencing. Several of the computers have 3-D capabilities for dedicated video gamers.Hours will be Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with a shut-down for lunch from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. "

  • Nov 29, 2000

Cooper makes Fed. Way final fourCity officials are exploring ways to keep the chief on Bainbridge.

"City officials, anxious to keep Police Chief Bill Cooper on Bainbridge Island as he pursues the same post in Federal Way, went so far as to explore the possibility of using city funds to purchase Cooper's house in Olympia.That, and other economic incentives explored by city officials, however, were abandoned as either unconstitutional or in violation of state laws, city Administrator Lynn Nordby said this week.We're continuing to investigate the things we can do, but we've got to be careful, Nordby said. "

  • Nov 25, 2000