Dog program at the end of its leash

"Chilly winter nights, no patient master's feet at which to curl up and doze, and not a supper dish in sight.Pity the stray dogs of Bainbridge - and pity this community as we try to find a new way to help them get home.Indeed, we were dismayed this week to learn that the local chapter of the Progressive Animal Welfare Society is at the end of its leash, as longtime volunteers Don and Marilyn Shaver retire. The couple's phenomenal efforts - taking in innumerable strays and tracking down their owners, at all hours and for no tangible recompense - are documented elsewhere in this issue. We urge readers to consider their story, a tale as remarkable as it is cautionary."

  • Mar 9, 2000

Beauty in eyes of beholders at new city hall

"You are going to love the new city hall building.Or you're going to hate it.Of course, your reaction will probably depend on whether or not you thought it should have been built in the first place.Proponents should be impressed by the new one-stop shopping approach to permit applications and fee payment. Detractors may see in its cavernous foyer, abundance of gleaming timber and top-of-the-line office furniture, a Taj Mahal to a local government gone wild and profligate.It all depends, it seems, on where one stands."

  • Feb 16, 2000

“Mayor, staff must step up to the plate”

"In the baseball world, a brand new stadium is no guarantee of a competitive team.But in the civic sphere - where quality of service rather than batting average is the measure, and general public satisfaction puts one high in the standings - a city is competing only against itself, and defining its own standard of play."

  • Feb 16, 2000

“Jeans, sweatshirts and cardboard at new city hall”

"The new chair - ultramodern and comfortable. The workstation - more than functional, the very picture of ergonomics.Even the little under-the-desk tray for Diane Todd's computer keyboard goes up and down to accommodate the height of the user.I haven't figured out how this works, said Todd, a city finance department employee, fiddling with the keyboard stand. But I know I can raise it.She paused.It took us two hours to get the (computer) monitor on the monitor tray."

  • Feb 11, 2000

Can island dodge federal salmon crackdown?

"Bainbridge's beachfront homes don't look very pretty from under water.At least, not from the perspective of endangered Chinook salmon. Their habitat and food sources have been decimated, along shorelines damaged by bulkheads and contaminated with toxic chemicals seeping off lawns.We're degrading the near-shore habitat, said Bainbridge City Councilman Michael Pollock, a science and policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce. This could mean problems for many shoreline dwellers, because the federal government will soon require implementation of new measures aimed at rescuing the Chinook from extinction."

  • Feb 11, 2000

“Junk boats take wing, fly to dump”

"Waterfront Park lost two of its most timeworn landmarks Monday, and nobody is complaining.Dozens of spectators passed by the park's edge throughout the afternoon and gawked as a 140-foot floating crane drifted within feet of the shoreline, eventually hoisting two derelict, algae- and barnacle-covered boats high into the air and onto a barge."

  • Feb 9, 2000

This monopoly game has gone on long enough

"So, your cable TV rates are going up again, you're mad as heck and you're not going to take it anymore. Who ya gonna call? The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission? Sorry, but local cable television operators answer to no one. Their rates can soar and their service stink, and you have no avenue of redress. What little oversight there is rests with the distant Federal Communications Commission in Washington D.C., neutered by the shears of deregulation and inherently indifferent to local complaints."

  • Feb 7, 2000

“When fortune smiles, give her a wink”

"When fortune smiles our way, we'll always be the first to greet her with an accommodating lap.So we were certainly delighted this week to learn of the fortuitous purchase by the city of a marvelous shoreline area and tide flat on Eagle Harbor's colloquially known head of the bay. We hope it won't be the last open space purchase you read about in these pages over the coming year, a sentiment - helloooo, Lady Luck - shared by Mayor Dwight Sutton."

  • Feb 7, 2000

Cable tax draws threat of lawsuit

"Welcome to Court TV.Northland Cable Television is threatening to sue the city, hoping to overturn a 6 percent utility excise tax that went into effect last month.It's not right, it's not fair, and we'll fight it, said Marit Saltrones, manager of Northland's Bainbridge Island office.Our customers should not have to make up revenue lost to the car tab initiative (I-695). It's ludicrous."

  • Feb 7, 2000

City buys head of bay wetland

"Sometimes, buying a swamp makes good sense.That's certainly true if you don't plan to build - and the city doesn't, after making a significant open-space purchase this week.Oh, it's awesome, said fisheries biologist Wayne Daley, treading the marshy ground at the head of Eagle Harbor Friday afternoon. Awesome."

  • Feb 7, 2000

Charges dropped against Leonard again

"It's increasingly likely that Ralph F. Leonard won't slip through the cracks of the civil and criminal justice systems a second time.So say county officials, despite the fact that 13 felony charges, including attempted murder, against the 62 year-old Leonard were dropped last Friday in Kitsap County Superior Court."

  • Feb 6, 2000

Fund drive under way for Williams Center

"What they’d really like is a phone system – preferably with voice-mail capability.But cash and checks will do just fine, as a fund-raising drive for the Marge Williams Center gets under way next week.“I’m convinced we will do it,” said Ed Kushner, who chairs the campaign to raise $420,000 in private donations for renovation of the Winslow Way West building. “I know we will do it.”"

  • Jan 20, 2000

“What price, naming rights to new pool?”

"What’s in a name?Plenty, when it comes to naming Bainbridge Island’s new swimming pool.The park district is considering selling the right to name its soon-to-be-constructed aquatic facility to any community-minded philanthropist willing to make up part, if not all, of its current $350,000 budget shortfall."

  • Jan 20, 2000

“Community pool, not corporate billboard”

"We’re already looking forward to April, and our first trip of the new baseball season to that ballpark across the water. You know, that ballpark. The one named after some company or other. Yes, we’re fully cognizant of its formal title. But you can count us among the throwbacks who just can’t get used to that name. We’d rather have seen the awesome facility dubbed, say, King Street Grounds, or some other moniker that suggests a regional or geographic identity, rather than just becoming another billboard for corporate largesse."

  • Jan 20, 2000

“Northland Cable News, we hardly knew ye”

"It is generally assumed that when a competitor goes under, the survivor does a little jig on the newly turned earth. In market capitalism – essentially Darwinism expressed as a spreadsheet – one’s passing means a windfall for someone else’s bottom line.Be that as it may, where news and information are concerned, competition is always a good thing. That’s why we’re saddened to hear that Northland Cable Television no longer feels it can afford to subsidize its news operation."

  • Jan 15, 2000

Controversial Camasi wraps up 15 years on fire board

"The answer: None.The question: How many contested elections did Sam Camasi win on his way to a 15-year career as a Bainbridge Island fire department commissioner?It’s strange, but true. Camasi, an electrical contractor, ran and lost two years before being appointed to replace Jack Schaeffer in 1984. Less than a year later, he lost to challenger Lisa Oncken in a 62 percent landslide.But less than a year after that, he was reappointed to the board when Oncken abruptly resigned. He won an unopposed election in 1993 in his bid for a fresh six-year term, but lost again attempting to stretch his service tenure to 2006 in last November’s election."

  • Jan 15, 2000

Northland pulls the plug on news program

"The cable will soon be cut on the island’s televised news-and-sports broadcasts.Northland Cable Television, which produced the five-minute segments airing during CNN Headline News broadcasts from its High School Road headquarters since 1993, will tape its last show Jan. 28."

  • Jan 15, 2000

“Rockefeller, Sheldon launch ferry bills”

"Two Kitsap legislators hope to calm the waters for passenger ferry service.Sen. Betti Sheldon and Rep. Phil Rockefeller, both Democrats from the 23rd District, submitted bills this week that make ferries exempt from environmental review.“I think we’ll both be happy if either one of our bills goes,” Sheldon said. “This is our trial balloon, and we’re going to see how many bullets it takes to bring it down.”"

  • Jan 12, 2000

Comprehensive plan to get first five-year review

"The answer is “38.”The question: What percentage of island development has occurred in Winslow over the past five years?And given that the Bainbridge Island Comprehensive Plan is predicated on trying to make that number hit 50 percent, a five-year review of the plan could go many directions indeed.“Between now and the end of the year, we’re going to have to decide how much we want to get into this,” said Marti Stave, senior long-ranger planner for the city."

  • Jan 12, 2000

On a fast boat to bad policy

"Leave it to the legislative season to kindle an outbreak of silliness. But we wouldn’t have predicted state Rep. Phil Rockefeller (D-Bainbridge Island) and Sen. Betti Sheldon (D-Bremerton) as the first agents of contagion.Alas, the pair this week announced plans to seek a legislative change to the State Environmental Policy Act, exempting high-speed foot-ferries from environmental review before they go into service on existing routes. The move would supposedly “clarify” the vessels’ future, after last summer’s landmark court ruling that hobbled the speedy Chinook for alleged wake damage to Rich Passage shorelines. A challenge to that ruling is still wending its way through the court system, but now in stride Phil and Betti to the wheelhouse, intent on saving the day."

  • Jan 12, 2000