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"Well, now what?That’s the question facing Bainbridge Island public officials after voter approval of Initiative 695 Tuesday.“It adds some question marks for the future,” said Ken Guy, executive director of the Bainbridge Island Fire Department.It’s a sentiment shared by Guy’s peers around the island’s other taxing jurisdictions, as they consider the imminent loss of state funds, or how and when to seek voter support for public services."
"It may be mere coincidence that two of the strongest candidates to replace longtime Bainbridge resident Karen Schmidt in the state legislature’s 23rd District have the strongest ties to the island.Mike Jones, a Bainbridge High School graduate, has been a longtime grass-roots Republican Party activist and now serves as the GOP’s 23rd District chair."
"Talk about your one-stop shopping. That’s what downtown Winslow is all about.Think about it – you can pick up groceries, visit the hardware store, buy stationary, see a florist, drop off letters at the post office, and yes, buy a latte, all without moving your car once.This assumes that you can find a parking space, but that’s a minor quibble. Bainbridge Island enjoys an asset almost unique in this day and age – a functional downtown, as central to the island as a cultural hub as it is one of commerce."
"Christine Nasser and Michael Pollock earned solid support in their bids for the Bainbridge Island City Council, while a long-time fire commissioner was turned out by voters in Tuesday balloting.Nasser, a former open-space planner and international trade specialist, outpolled Blakely-area innkeeper Ron Gibbs by a count of 4,038 to 1,186. The 76-24 split propels Nasser into the South Ward, Position 6 council seat being vacated by Andy Maron."
"That guy scared the hell out of me!”It might not have been the typical audience response after last week’s candidate forum for city council hopefuls. But it was certainly dynamic – and no, we’re not making it up – and it suggests that there is still considerable value to lining up our aspirants for public office in a room somewhere and letting them have their say."
This is for everyone who’s ever tried to find a parking spot on Winslow Way during daylight hours.And likely failed.City officials are considering scheduling a public study session on a plan to build a “town square” on two plots of property between the Bainbridge Playhouse and the north side of Winslow Way.
"It would be hard to point to more than a small handful of services that haven’t seen a price increase in the last eight years.Admission to the Ray Williamson Memorial Pool for open and lap swimming is one of them – or, rather, will have been if proposed across-the-board user fees increases of 25 to 30 percent take effect in January."
"Nobody’s throwing any parades yet.But the sale of the Fort Ward parage ground by island developer Ray Stevenson to the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority is considered a cause for celebration by open-space preservationists and affordable-housing advocates alike.“This is going to be a real constructive addition to the community,” said Mayor Dwight Sutton, who serves as the chair of the housing authority’s board of commissioners."
"Seventy-five feet.Nothing on Bainbridge Island is that tall, unless it’s a tree or a cellular tower. An amazon of similar scale, however may grace – or perhaps grate – the local landscape: the steel poles and netting for a proposed driving range at the Wing Point Golf and Country Club.That’s a change from the height listed on the club’s application for a conditional-use permit to build the members-and-guests-only practice facility. The 130-foot-wide, 700-foot-long range, with an estimated cost of more than $600,000, would be located on four recently acquired acres just east of the club’s 18-hole golf course."
"The bones of Northwest pioneers lie in graves all over Washington. While most rest in peace, some unmaintained cemeteries have been dug up and paved over for the sake of urban development.But the dead can rest easy again – a law enacted this year ends that practice, prohibiting developers from simply building over old cemeteries that no one seems to own or care for."
"When people talk about Karen Schmidt, Bainbridge Island’s retiring larger-than-life Republican lawmaker, four themes stand firm.One, at one time or another, she angered virtually everyone.Two, they respected her anyway.Three, most of her constituents have no idea how much she did for them.And four, for every island constituent who believed she held interests elsewhere in the 23rd District above theirs, there is a Kitsap County resident who felt she favored Bainbridge first."
"Morale around the Bainbridge Island Fire Department stinks.Exactly why – now that depends on who you ask.Firefighters cite what they see as a meddling and intransigent board of commissioners – arrogant and dismissive of the views of career staff and volunteers alike in hiring procedures, equipment purchases and other hot-button issues."
"Continued pressures from growth, the imminent disappearance of island farmlands, unmitigated highway traffic spurred on by poor regional planning – the next city council will face issues that go to the very heart of Bainbridge Island living.Four races, three of them opposed, will determine the direction of island planning and policy-making well into the next millennium."
"One person’s rustic is another’s dilapidated.Somewhere in between sits a small cabin on Walden Lane, a leftover from a bygone Bainbridge now looking for a new home and perhaps new residents.“We thought, ‘one last chance,’” said Walden resident Lara Lant, who’s offering the cabin – free of charge – to anyone who wants to cart it away.No takers? It burns."
"A man convicted in a string of north Bainbridge home burglaries this summer received the highest possible sentence – nearly 10 years in a state prison – in Kitsap County Superior Court Monday.James Gerard Rode, 33, acknowledged and apologized for his crimes before visiting Judge Teri Sheldon handed down the nine-year, eight-month sentence.“He appreciated the impacts his burglaries have had on other people,” Tim Kelly, Rode’s attorney, said."
"Five years ago, two Bainbridge women pulled together a group of teen-age girls to ask them about their lives.Those sessions grew into the Daughters/Sisters Project, now a model for mentoring teens that has spawned a network of similar groups nationwide."
"The former parade ground at Fort Ward has survived two world wars, three developers and four decades of benign neglect.There’s a chance, however, that by month’s end it may not survive the latest builder’s bulldozer blade.Neighbors who back a plan to convert the five-acre site into a park surrounded by partially-subsidized duplex housing face an Oct. 31 deadline to see their dreams start down the road to reality."
"As downtown roadwork wraps up, so will the tenure of Winslow merchants’ leading advocate.Citing the need to spend more time with her family, Team Winslow Director Wendy Johnson will bid the organization farewell Nov. 12."
"Bainbridge Island taxpayers allowed the park district to spend $4.5 million dollars of their money to build a new swimming pool facility.District officials estimated this week, however, that the addition to the Ray Williamson Memorial Pool will cost more than $5.44 million."
"A high school student can’t be on the debate team because he can’t afford the overnight trips and is embarrassed to ask for money. A fifth-grader goes home to an empty house every afternoon because her mother works off-island to support them. It doesn’t matter that mom can’t afford after school fees for sports or dance lessons, because the student has no transportation to and from home, anyway.A new mom wants to work part-time, but can’t find child care for her three-month-old son.How can Bainbridge Island help these community members?Developing a comprehensive system of social services to take care of islanders’ needs is the goal of the Human Services Element (HSE) draft going before the Bainbridge Island Planning Commission Oct. 14, for inclusion in the island’s Comprehensive Plan."