News

Runoff kiboshes car washes

"Community car washes may leave sparkling automobiles, but when it comes to Puget Sound, their impact can be decidedly dirty.So say Bainbridge Island public works officials, who, citing environmental violations, this week issued a ban on future car washes at the Village Chevron station at 305 and High School Road.The action was met with chagrin by representatives of local youth sports teams and community groups, who have held sudsy fund-raisers at the site for over 10 years.Thousands and thousands of dollars were raised down there, said Mary Clare Kersten of the Bainbridge Roller Hockey League. (Car washes are) a positive interaction for the kids with the rest of the community.But the interaction of soapy runoff with the environment has been far from healthy, said Melva Hill, the city's senior engineering technician.Normally, surface water draining off the gas station parking lot does not cause major environmental harm, she said, because it passes through a separator device that removes most oil and grease before sending the runoff out to the sound.However, Hill said, When you allow that soapy water (from car washes) to go through the separator, it dislodges the oil and the grease and makes that separator ineffective."

  • Apr 22, 2000

Forests of the future start today

"Hunting for Easter eggs isn't the only tradition to draw holiday observers outdoors this weekend.Tree planting has become a similarly emblematic ritual for a more secular holiday, Earth Day, which kicks off its 30th anniversary this morning.Since the first Earth Day in 1970, observance of the annual eco-event has expanded to include such actions as reducing personal energy use, eating less meat, and substituting bicycles for cars. But over the decades, tree planting has remained an earth-friendly favorite.The answering machine of Bainbridge Earth Day organizer Michael Sheehan this week confirmed as much.I've had a bunch of calls from people, Sheehan said. They're like, 'Can we please do tree planting?'Insuring that this zeal won't go unanswered, park maintenance supervisor Roger Belieu has obtained 700 trees from Puget Sound Energy's (PSE) Community Forestry Program, which volunteers will plant at Gazzam Lake Park today. The event begins at 10 a.m. at the main park gate off Marshall Road."

  • Apr 22, 2000

Make time for Ma Earth

"We kept an eye out all week for a Save the Earth sticker on the bumper of a local SUV - alas, to no avail.So much for our attempt at some easy irony heading into Saturday's observation of Earth Day. But undaunted, we are still inclined to offer a few thoughts on our annual observance devoted to all things green."

  • Apr 19, 2000

More milestones for McAllister

"Everyone deserves a high school teacher like Bob McAllister. He talks in sound bites no pupil could forget.If I hadn't taken up teaching, I'd be dead, said McAllister, longtime BHS English teacher.His latest achievement is Northwest Folklore Scholarly Journal's publication of his short story, The River Boys. The thriller focuses on the effect of crime on folklore. The work draws on McAllister's own experiences when stalked by a disturbed teenager, and has been dramatized every year since he began teaching."

  • Apr 19, 2000

Where does all your tax money go?

"Want to have an in-depth conversation with public officials about how they use your tax money?This year's Bainbridge Economic Vitality Conference will give you the chance.We hope to promote dialogue on where we are and what we do about the (tax) situation, said Jeff Brein, outgoing president of the Bainbridge Economic Council, alluding to recent citizen ballot initiatives on taxation and spending.We expect provocative discussions from the audience."

  • Apr 19, 2000

“No peace, just understanding”

"Can a man who has spent his career in the world's hottest flashpoints bring peace among the often-contentious factions of Bainbridge Island?No, says Christopher Snow. Bainbridgers love their island too much for that.People here are passionately involved with the community, says Snow, a retired foreign-service officer who is chairing the Bainbridge Economic Vitality Conference. And people who are passionate about something tend to see things differently.The whole purpose of the conferences is to give participants a chance to air those differences. Elements on the island that need to have their views more adequately explained can use the conference to communicate, he said.Snow believes that government is just such an element.Government is not generally well thought of these days, he said. But often, I think government is simply caught in the middle, and that is true of the Bainbridge city government."

  • Apr 19, 2000

Market produces a throng

"When it came to promoting local produce, vendors at the debut of the farmers' market Saturday were not timid, even if some of them were chickens.Rocky the rooster, for example, made a confident sales-pitch premiere.He was our radio spot announcer, said Sundown Ridge Farm owner Chuck Muller. Every five minutes, we would have a commercial break and he'd let loose.But the caged-yet-cocksure fowl could not compare to one performing lamb, which was far from sheepish. The animal flailed to the beat of the Dirt Road Philharmonics bluegrass band, delighting a crowd of children dancing by the stage at the market's new location next to city hall.My kids love the market because they see their friends, said island artist Debbie Lester, one of a sizeable contingent of islanders who crowded the market site on opening day.I do this every Saturday, Lester said. It's a ritual. My kids remind me every (week)."

  • Apr 19, 2000

Wise words and reasoned rhyme

"Stored magic. If boxes of tricks or treasured memories spring to mind, think again. Twentieth century English bard Robert Graves coined the phrase to describe poetry - small wonder islanders have such diverse views on what good verse means. ''This island stores magic in so many ways,'' says Cindy Harrison, coordinator for An Island's Stored Magic, Sunday's reading in observation of National Poetry Month. ''We have a rich poetic heritage here on Bainbridge.''"

  • Apr 15, 2000

“Mysteries of parking, email revealed”

"We're feeling a little low on the admonishment scale today - what, like we're supposed to have the answer to everyone's problems? - so we've decided to don our ombudsman cap, reach into the mail bag and try to answer a couple of reader queries."

  • Apr 15, 2000

History rolls into future

"Without a tornado in sight, the house at 701 Madison Avenue was lifted several feet above the ground. Then it sailed down the road like a tribute to The Wizard of Oz, to touch down on Weaver Avenue.The hardest part will be passing the house under the fiber-optic (overhead) line, said Jeff Monroe of Monroe House Moving, adjusting the remote control by which he steered the motor beneath the historic home Thursday.We move a lot of buildings because of natural disasters like floods and erosion, Monroe said. Right now, though, development growth management is big business. The Monroe firm was commissioned to move the structure, donated to the Housing Resources Board for use as subsidized accommodations, and to make way for a new Madison Avenue development.Built in 1904 and once the residence of Sadie Woodman, the first postwoman on the island, the family home passed from son Bob Woodman and then into the hands of developer Rod McKenzie, who intends to build a courtyard of 30 houses on the site. McKenzie donated the home to the HRB, a non-profit agency that seeks to provide affordable housing.There's a whole load of history here, said Janice Thomas, Bob Woodman's daughter."

  • Apr 15, 2000

City buys land for police station

"The police are moving northwest, and the courts southwest, someday to meet.The Bainbridge Island City Council Thursday approved purchase of a 15-acre parcel at Sportsman Club and New Brooklyn roads, for the future construction of a new police station and municipal court building.Purchase price was $495,000, which city Administrator Lynn Nordby said was far less than other properties under consideration.We were looking at two- and three- and five-acre parcels for the same kind of money, Nordby said."

  • Apr 15, 2000

Remember- rumor loves a vacuum

"Was there really a threat?A few islanders, and those of us at this newspaper, will certainly reflect on that question after regional media showed up this week to pounce on the supposed threat of gun violence in a Bainbridge school.Television coverage apparently will follow a banner headline in a Bremerton newspaper Tuesday, proclaiming the expulsion of a Sakai Intermediate School student for taking handgun and shotgun shells to school.For obvious reasons, school district officials hate this sort of thing, and they are irate over a treatment they seem to feel unreasonably implied that random gun violence has descended upon island schools."

  • Apr 14, 2000

District downplays threat of bullet cache

"An 11-year old Sakai Intermediate School student has been expelled indefinitely for carrying bullets to school.Was he a threat to himself or other students?Bainbridge Island School District officials and police say no, after separate investigations into the March 29 incident.I think we're walking away from this one pretty confident, Bainbridge Police Chief Bill Cooper said. We're real comfortable it's been resolved.The student, who authorities declined to name, will remain under expulsion pending unspecified medical assurances of his safety to himself and other students, Bainbridge school Superintendent Steve Rowley said."

  • Apr 12, 2000

Uncorking the rare and unique

"Charles Smith couldn't decide whether to be a European or an American. He has resolved that conflict by bringing the taste and feel of Europe to the Winslow Wine Shop, which he opened March 3.I've tried to incorporate the feeling of all my favorite shops in Europe - cozy, comfortable and relaxed, Smith said.Early indications are that the concept is a hit."

  • Apr 12, 2000

Battle Point Park too fouled by fowl?

"When Bob Skodis visits Battle Point Park with his dog, he usually brings home more than pleasant memories.The Fletcher Bay resident says his frequent sojourns are followed by a noisome period spent cleaning bird droppings off his shoes, as well as from his dog's paws and fur.It's really disconcerting when you get home and you realize you've got duck crap on your shoes and your rug, he said.Now Skodis is lobbying the Bainbridge park district to ban the feeding of ducks and other water fowl in local parks. Handouts of stale bread and other goodies, he believes, exacerbates a problem of once-migratory birds loitering and fouling the park grounds.When somebody goes up to the edge of the lake with bread, the ducks fly right up, 100 or more, Skodis said. To a certain extent, they rely on that. That's why they stick around."

  • Apr 12, 2000

Budget could forestall cuts

"No matter how the House and Senate resolve their fight over the state budget, islanders should be sitting pretty - at least in the short term. Ferry service will be maintained, and city taxes could actually decrease, local officials say.Those assessments are based on the information trickling out of Olympia this week. The special session of the Washington State Legislature was expected to adjourn Friday afternoon with no budget agreement, and reportedly was not slated to reconvene until House and Senate negotiators agree on a budget.According to Rep. Phil Rockefeller, D-Bainbridge Island, the budget plans from both House and Senate would give the ferry system the same amount of money for the upcoming fiscal year, and Bainbridge ferry service wouldn't be affected at that funding level."

  • Apr 8, 2000

A wealth of talent

"What does a little encouragement cost?For Bainbridge Music and Arts, about $300,000.Over the past 32 years, that's what the all-volunteer nonprofit organization has paid out in scholarships and awards, enabling more than 2,000 middle and high school students to pursue training in dance, drama, music, creative writing, and mixed-media art (painting, sculpture, jewelry, photography, paper making).And how the program has grown!Because of the generosity of donors and other arts organizations, says BMA president Caryl Grosch, we've been able to increase the amount we give to the kids."

  • Apr 8, 2000

Has island law left fast-food behind?

"They stood beneath hand-lettered signs and - it being November - umbrellas. They protested the cutting of trees, and perhaps the irony that in a country founded on individualism, the arrival of generic hamburgers could be seen as progress.Their image graced the front page of the Review on Nov. 22, 1989, some two dozen islanders taking a stand against the groundbreaking of the McDonald's eatery on High School Road. The restaurant did in fact go up, and seems to enjoy loyal patronage to this day. Now we wonder - do the local zoning restrictions on formula fast-food restaurants that McDonald's inspired still have a following of their own?"

  • Apr 5, 2000

Pizza franchise threatens suit over fast food law

"Allow a Papa Murphy's pizza franchise on Bainbridge Island, or risk seeing the city's fast-food ordinance overturned in court.That's the challenge from restaurateur Mike Cooper of Sequim, and his attorney. Do the city a favor and interpret the ordinance in a way that permits our operation, attorney Peter Eglick told a city hearing examiner Monday, because I don't think this ordinance will last a day in court.Cooper said his plan to open a Papa Murphy's U-bake pizza outlet in the Village shopping center was approved in December of 1999. But after a complaint from another local pizzeria, a sizeable investment by Cooper, and an executive session of the city council, city Planning Director Stephanie Warren reversed her decision, a sequence of events that has prompted charges of favoritism and closed-door dealings."

  • Apr 5, 2000

From garden to menu

"On a sunny afternoon, Rebecca Slattery's farm seems as inexorable as spring itself.But these days, the mysterious force of nature pushing the first intrepid crops to the sky withers in the face of an element perhaps even more arcane: the market.As Bainbridge farmers search for ways to sell their crops for enough money to meet the rising costs of staying on the island, they are learning to nurture not only chard, kale and cauliflower, but also potential clients.We definitely need (to do that) on Bainbridge, Slattery said, because we're such an endangered species - farmers here."

  • Apr 5, 2000