News

Help design a cool playground!

"A colossal playground for island youth is one step closer to the drawing board.Kidsup!, a local non-profit group, has gained conditional approval from the Bainbridge Island Park Board to design an elaborate new play area at Battle Point Park. The play structure is a place where kids can go and exercise their imaginations, said Helena Hoyte-Bierly, a spokesperson for the project. Its like a fort for the whole community, where everyone, especially kids, are an instrumental part of the process.Although the park district has approved the concept of building a new playground and chosen a site, district officials want to see the schematic design of the structure and consider a formal draft before they fully endorse the project.The idea behind Kidsup! is to build an original play area for kids that incorporates aspects of local history and blends different environmental themes into the structure. "

  • Aug 16, 2000

Vietnamese cuisine outgrows the market

"It sits on downtown Winslow's busiest intersection, looking a little like a bus stop. And for the businesses that have occupied it, the tiny booth on the northeast corner of Winslow Way and Madison Avenue has indeed been a temporary shelter.Most of them have gone away. Some have moved on and thrived elsewhere. The present occupant, Emmy's VegeHouse, definitely intends to be among the survivors.We need to find something a little bit bigger with a couple of indoor tables, said Hong Nguyen, who operates the Vietnamese vegetarian restaurant with her mother, Emmy Tran.They're not worried about finding customers. They've been offering their food at the Bainbrige Island Farmers' Market for a decade.Some seven years ago, Emmy made the decision to become a vegetarian. She changed her restaurant menu accordingly, and business jumped.I became vegetarian and started feeling better, Tran said. And animals have their own rights. Why do we eat them?Nguyen said that islanders are very conscious of eating healthy food, and took to the vegetarian menu immediately. In fact, some found their Saturday morning breakfast so addicting that they couldn't face a winter without their Vietnamese tofu fix. "

  • Aug 16, 2000

Young sounds abound

"What's the sound of a circle?Ohhh...And if you don't know that, you're not a 3-year-old in the Tingle Tingle Band.With hands joined Friday morning, five children, three parents, and instructors Paul and Melanie Zeir repeat that sound again and again, closing the circle tighter and then backing away, the pitch of their mantra rising and dropping with their movements.Up they go: oooooOOOHHHH!And down again:OOOOooohhhh.....And, lest anyone think the youngsters are zoning out with some New Age meditation, rest assured. The exercise is nudged comfortably amongst perky children's standards like The Hokey Pokey, and a cute ditty that could become popular around Bainbridge this time of year, There's a Dumptruck on the Road.At Talking Hands Talking Feet, where music is the key to set them free, it's all part of the curriculum.The inspiration was kids, and the idea that music is more than music, says Paul Zeir, who co-orchestrates the children's music workshop in a bright studio next to the Zeir family's Pleasant Beach home.When kids are exposed to music at an early age, it actually teaches them a lot of things - motor skills, translating feelings and expression, versatility. "

  • Aug 12, 2000

McDonald hopes district swings again

"He's hoping to ride the see-saw for one more cycle.Former state senate Republican leader Dan McDonald of Kirkland formally kicked off his campaign this week, bidding to unseat Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Bainbridge Island) as the representative from Washington's 1st Congressional District.Echoing the national Republican theme, McDonald told the Review in an interview this week that We need to use good times for great ideas and issues.The horseshoe-shaped district, which takes in Bainbridge Island and north Kitsap County, some of the northern Seattle suburbs and much of King County's Eastside, is considered one of the few true swing districts in the country. "

  • Aug 12, 2000

Pedestrian fix proposed

"What would you do if you had $60,000 to spend on pedestrian improvements?That's what Bainbridge Island City Council Chair Merrill Robison asked local pedestrian advocates, and they responded with a shopping list for Winslow.We were very pleased, said Orabelle Connally of the Senior Center Pedestrian Safety Committee. (Robison) has been quite a supporter.The senior group identified five priority areas for improvement and associated costs for each. Robison followed up with a formal proposal before the city council this week, calling for a mid-year budget amendment to fund the proposed improvements. "

  • Aug 12, 2000

Point White calls for sewer service

"Point White has joined the list of neighborhoods calling for south-end sewer service.It's a matter of environmental impact, said Point White Drive resident John Herber. Eventually, septic systems wear out. I think it's an evolution as the island population grows, and it will come to everybody sometime.While they it may be the latest in the sewer-service queue, the Point White neighborhood's view is echoed in a study commissioned by the city. Waterfront homes on the southern third of the island should be connected to sewer lines as soon as possible, according to a draft report from local consultants. "

  • Aug 12, 2000

“Seniors, Grow folks learn system”

"How can you get your pet issue to show up on the city's radar screen?If you want to call attention to traffic problems, you might borrow a radar gun itself. As reported a few issues back, that was the strategy of some industrious Grow Avenue neighbors concerned about chronic speeders on their street. The Senior Center Pedestrian Safety Committee took a similarly proactive tack. Troubled by neglected crosswalks and poor pedestrian access around town, they've devoted months to an informal traffic study, documenting conditions and offering recommendations for crosswalks, signs and the like - to the point that the city council is considering a $60,000 mid-year improvement package to meet their needs.What we're seeing are citizen activists bringing their issues to the fore of the city agenda - effectively. "

  • Aug 12, 2000

“PFD, Maron look at rec needs”

"Former city councilman Andy Maron will represent Bainbridge Island on the newly created Kitsap County Public Facilities District.A resolution passed by county commissioners earlier this year authorizes the PFD to acquire, build and operate public projects in the county for sports, entertainment and recreational uses. Some could be public/private partnerships.The group will begin meeting in early September. "

  • Aug 9, 2000

Leave minor league ball plan on bench

"Pennant fever - we've got it.And after watching our Seattle Mariners take three of four from the hated Bronx Bombers over the weekend - on the hostile turf of Yankee Stadium, no less - we've got one word for the non-believers:October.Indeed, with the race for the World Series in full, glorious swing, how can you say enough about baseball? Despite the crazy escalation of player salaries, periodic labor strife, and the occasional bad-apple idiot like John Rocker, baseball unites the nation's sports fans like nothing else, a peerless amalgam of power and grace, real time held in lazy suspension for nine innings of play, the quintessential American pastime...But our thoughts here are occasioned less by the Mariners' solid output than the upcoming work of the new Kitsap County Public Facilities District, which gets under way early next month. The seven-member PFD board, empaneled by county commissioners earlier this year, will look at public recreation needs around the county and propose a list of projects for development with public funds.And amongst the specific proposals to be considered will be a new ballpark facility, of sufficient scale and class to bring a minor league baseball franchise to Kitsap County. "

  • Aug 9, 2000

Bonker bids for secretary of state

"Don Bonker wants to keep the Washington Secretary of State's office in island hands.And the former seven-term congressman says he is more qualified than any of the other 10 aspirants who want to succeed Bainbridge Island's Ralph Munro, who is retiring after 20 years in the office. The secretary of state's most important formal duty, Bonker says, is overseeing state elections, and he had on-the-job training as Clark County auditor, where he oversaw local elections. The secretary's most important informal job is as a trade ambassador, and Bonker says he learned that aspect of the job as former chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee.I think my credentials really stand out, the Democratic candidate said. I think I have more experience and maturity than anyone else who has ever served as secretary of state. "

  • Aug 9, 2000

Rhoades pedals east

"It's payback time for Bainbridge Island cyclist Steve Rhoades.He's leaving Saturday morning for a cross-country bike marathon to Washington, D.C. And his objective is to raise $100,000 for the social-service agencies that rescued him from a life of homelessness and substance abuse.I want to give back to all the charities that helped me, Rhoades said. "

  • Aug 9, 2000

Development at home with open space

"If you want a look at the Bainbridge of tomorrow, check out North Town Woods, a new development north of New Brooklyn Avenue and east of Sportsman Club Road.Lots are small - 6,000 to 7,000 square feet. Of necessity, homes are close together.This is the outgrowth of changed platting requirements that favor clustered development, developer Jim Laughlin said. We have groups of neighborhoods with no cul de sacs. The neighborhoods are separated by open space, and every house backs up to open space. "

  • Aug 9, 2000

Churches turn focus to island youths

"Hoping to reach out to young people in their congregation and in the community, two Bainbridge churches have added new staff to focus on youths and their families.Dan Holland has joined the staff at Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church as director of youth missions and ministries, while Julie Honig-Smith has come to St. Barnabas Episcopal Church as associate rector, with a focus on youth work."

  • Aug 5, 2000

Audit alleges overbilling

"A city secretary was fired last year for alleged irregularities in invoices for work done earlier under a personal services contract. The irregularities were disclosed in an audit of the city books for the 1998 fiscal year, released by the state Auditor's Office last week.But whether or not the woman - then under contract as a secretary for the Civil Service Commission, and later hired briefly as a part-time secretary in the mayor's office - was paid more than $22,000 for work not performed remains in dispute."

  • Aug 5, 2000

Charter government for Kitsap?

"Convinced that Kitsap County government is obsolete, a diverse citizen's group is asking voters for permission to start a remodel.And there is a surprising degree of agreement on what a new county government ought to look like, even among the incumbent office-holders.With the breadth of issues we face, three commissioners are not enough, said Kitsap County Commissioner Chris Endresen of Poulsbo, who represents the north end of the county and Bainbridge Island. And I think an executive and legislative branch with real separation of powers would lead to better decision-making.A group calling itself the Home Rule Committee has gathered enough signatures to put the issue of a home-rule charter for Kitsap County on the Nov. 7 general ballot.Voters will also see a slate of freeholders on that ballot. If the charter petition passes, the elected freeholders will draft a new charter for county government - essentially a local constitution - which in turn would be submitted to the voters for approval."

  • Aug 5, 2000

“Relay for life, and for love”

"For many readers out there, it's always a lot more than just another calendar listing. This year, as we look ahead to the American Cancer Society Relay For Life on Aug. 11-12, that someone is us - and we ask for your generosity and help.This week, the editor of this newspaper learned that his mother has breast cancer, and faces a mastectomy. It is, as any family that has been touched by the scourge of cancer can attest, a time of great uncertainty and no small amount of fear. We can hear her now, reading this commentary when the Review arrives in her mailbox in Oregon next week, and her inevitable exclamation of chagrin - Oh, heavens! - irked that we're making mention of it. But we do so not out of any thought of public sympathy, but rather to remind readers of the suddenness with which cancer can strike, how close to home - and that many in our island community are doing what they can to battle the disease."

  • Aug 2, 2000

Swimming program dropped

"A popular activity for elementary school students will be dropped from the calendar this coming school year.The swimming program, which has been part of elementary curriculum for the past 25 years, will be terminated this fall due to changes in scheduling. School District Superintendent Steve Rowley announced last week that the swimming module will be discontinued, as it no longer fits into the time frame of the school year."

  • Aug 2, 2000

Catering to island coneheads

"Elizabeth Kelsey is the first to admit that she's a little nuts about fruit.This is my obsession, my baby, she says about the fruit-based ice cream she sells from her tiny store-front on Bjune Drive below Eagle Harbor Books, next to Lindsley's and Bainbridge Auto Parts.Kelsey's All-Natural Ice Cream, as the store is called, is a misnomer. There's no cream or any other dairy product involved. Only organically grown fruit."

  • Aug 2, 2000

“What fate, historic mill building?”

"Craig Snyder didn't want to see part of Bainbridge Island's history lost to the wrecking ball.So last winter, to alert users and passersby, Snyder placed a series of mock eviction notices inside the old concrete building at Blakely Harbor Park, announcing its condemnation.It's always been thought of as kind of a nuisance (because of vandalism), said Snyder, an island public-art advocate who works for a hi-tech firm in Seattle. But it brings up the whole issue of what to do with these old remnants.Once you get inside (the building) and see some of the views the openings frame, it's really amazing, he said."

  • Aug 2, 2000

What is that awful smell?

"In Murden Cove, summertime fills the senses. It inspires the squawks of herons and shrieks of eagles, it ushers away winter clouds to reveal Mt. Ranier towering in the distance. And across tidal flats on gentle breezes, it sends an obnoxious, putrescent stench.Other places on Bainbridge Island can stink, said Brandi Hunt, who lives near the cove, but they don't stink like this does.On torrid, cloudless days at a low tide, the smell begins. It starts on the mud flats and the silt-covered banks of the Murden Cove stream and it rises in feculent wafts upwards, past Hunt's house on Moran Road.On the worst days it even reaches the highway, where drivers turning from 305 onto Sportsman Club Road shrivel their noses, roll up their windows and step on the gas."

  • Jul 29, 2000