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Saying he wants to plan intelligently for development before it gets out of hand, retired pilot Bill Knobloch has declared himself a candidate for Bainbridge Island City Council from the central ward. “We’re at the early stages of growth,” Knobloch said. “It’s important that we manage the assets we have correctly, because as an island, we do not have the option of adding land.” Knobloch’s previous political experience has been as a neighborhood activist. The Azalea Avenue resident has been one of the leaders in opposing to Wing Point Golf and Country Club’s proposed practice range. An application for the facility was denied by a hearing examiner last year, but a new application for a modified project has been filed. Knobloch said he would file for the office Friday, for the seat presently held by Merrill Robison, who has said he will not seek re-election.
There was a time not so long ago that when a commercial fisherman caught the wrong fish, he had to throw it away. Although fishermen hated to do that, they understood the rationale -- to remove any incentive for catching protected species. “One of the fishermen on my boat said it’s nuts that we can’t give those fish to the food bank,” said Tuck Donnelly, a former commercial boat captain. From that prod, Donnelly created a Bainbridge-based charity that is now national in scope. The seafood products it provides have become one of the leading sources of food nationwide for the needy.
Seven years on the city’s planning commission have given her plenty of insights into island issues, but little ability to do anything, Deborah Vancil says. So she is running for the north ward city council seat being vacated by Liz Murray, hoping to put what she has learned into effect. The problem she sees most consistently is what she calls a “disconnect” between the city’s set of codes and community values. “Ericksen Avenue is a perfect example,” she says. “The city code says it needs to be widened to 55 feet to accommodate sidewalks and bike lanes.
Perpetual motion may never be achieved, but island skateboarders can come about as close as physics allows. The curves, contours and transitions of the new Rotary Skate Bowl are designed such that a skilled rider can zoom from one end to the other, swoop around the various bowls and make it back to the other end without taking their feet off the board. And for those able to scale one side of the largest, 8-foot bowl, turn around, and fly back to their starting point – and then do it again – there’s literally no end to the fun. “No pushing required,” said Brendon Corrao, age 28, between forays. “That’s awesome.” The island’s new skateboard facility made its formal debut Saturday at Strawberry Hill Park, 200 cubic yards of concrete shaped into a series of bowls and ramps, with smooth pool coping around the edges.
Saying she wants to put 10 years of volunteer experience to work leading the city, Darlene Kordonowy has declared herself a candidate for mayor of Bainbridge Island. The challenge in the years ahead, she says, is to preserve the island’s essence in the face of change. “People are going to come to Bainbridge Island,” she said. “We can’t prevent them from doing that, and we shouldn’t do it if we could. “So how do we continue to be the community that we love amid that growth?”
Saying she wants to change what she sees as a negative tone on the city council and to end over-representation of the “development community,” retired social worker Deborah Vann is challenging incumbent Jim Llewellyn in the city’s central area. “I got involved with the neighborhood, and became interested in the amount of development,” said Vann, a Ferncliff resident active in the East Central Bainbridge Island Community Association. Vann calls Llewellyn, a home-builder, and retired real-estate agent Liz Murray, who is not seeking re-election, the “development community” members of the council. “But those two are able to dominate and can put their ideas over very well,” she said, saying two members out of seven can constitute an “over-representation.” Vann said that high-density development is spreading out beyond Winslow’s core, which she says is a concern to her and to many citizens. She believes development should be concentrated south of High School Road between the highway and Sportsman Club Road, and points to North Town Woods on the north side of New Brooklyn Road as an example of spreading development.
At Bethany Lutheran, there is no clear line of demarcation between church and community. Service is important to Bethany’s members, who include the city administrator, some of the pillars of Helpline House and three of the last five Kiwanis Citizens of the Year. “This church has always had a very high proportion of people involved in the community,” said Senior Pastor Martin Dasler, citing that dedication as one factor that brought him to the church. The involvement extends to the seven-acre church campus on the triangle formed by High School, Sportsman Club and Finch roads, where the congregation moved in the 1960s from its original location in Pleasant Beach. “The site was donated to the church, and we believed it should be for the benefit of the entire community,” Dasler said. “So we have entered into a number of partnerships that involve the land.”
A move to district-only elections for some county offices may be losing traction, as those drafting a new Kitsap charter consider compromises or simply putting the issue to voters. A straw poll Tuesday among freeholders working on the draft charter showed support for district-only elections for an expanded county council – an issue that has left the group bitterly divided – has eroded to as few as 10 members on the 21-person board.
The Granite 13 freeholders have lost a few chips off the old bloc. Readers will recall the 13 as those drafters of a proposed Kitsap County charter whose demand – non-negotiable, some maintained – has been that five county council members be elected only by voters in their geographic district in the general election. The group has held sway on that issue on the 21-member freeholder board. Opponents of that proposal, including Bainbridge freeholders Andy Maron and George McKinney, favor the present arrangement – candidates must live in the geographic district they represent, and primary elections are limited to voters in that district, but in the general election, everyone in the county votes for all commission candidates.
Veterans of Initiative 728 school funding effort have united to form a new advocacy group, the League of Education Voters. “We learned from I-728 that we win the battle but lose the war when the initiative funnels money to the schools, but Olympia cuts someplace else,” said Elaine VonRosenstiel, a former Bainbridge Island School Board member who helped draft I-728.
The Auction for the Arts promises to be the rockin’ event of the fall season. The evening may be as wild a ride as a gallop on a hand-crafted rocking horse, as fine art, fine wine and adventures galore go on the auction block to benefit four island arts organizations. “When four groups work together to put on the auction we can draw volunteers from every group,” auction co-chair Gail Temple said. “We all know we’re working toward the same end, to support teacher, students and artists in the community.” The four organizations – Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council, Bainbridge Music and Arts and Bainbridge Performing Arts – have united for the benefit of all. The unified funding model that brings different community groups together to raise funds, is an unusual one, organizers say; typically, each group runs a separate campaign to raise money. “I think we’re very fortunate here to be able to collaborate on this kind of thing,” said Nancy Frey, Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council director. “It really speaks well for this arts community that we can.”
Steven Djordjevich needed a good idea for his Eagle Scout project. An observation by his mother offered inspiration. “A lot of people don’t know who William Bainbridge was,” she told him. “Some of them think he discovered this island.” Djordjevich realized that indeed, nothing on the island described Bainbridge or his accomplishments. Until now. This Saturday at 11 a.m., Mayor Dwight Sutton will dedicate Djordjevich’s project, a 5,000-pound concrete, river rock and marble structure with a plaque summarizing Commodore Bainbridge’s distinguished career in the U.S. Navy.
Only a few weeks have passed since September 11, but already artist Richard Stine has tackled the difficult subject matter. Stine swiftly reconfigured some works for a group show due to open at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Oct. 6, “Four Walls and a Roof: The House as Image and Metaphor.” “It’s about the people in power gobbling up the opportunity to make all these rules – I don’t want to move under the weight of someone else’s ideas of freedom,” Stine said. “We’ve got to seek out the terrorists. But we better be mindful of all the things civilizations have lost because of fear.”
At first blush, “shabby elegance” seems to be one of those oxymorons like “jumbo shrimp” – two concepts that can’t readily co-exist. Sisters JoAnna Geraghty and Wendy Lavachek disagree, so much so that they are basing a business on the “shabby elegant” look. “It looks like something you inherited from your grandmother,” said Lavachek, describing the furniture and accessories on display at Ethereal, the pair’s store in the basement of Sandy’s Barber Shop on Winslow Way.
Voters will decide next month whether to amend the state constitution to create “portable” judges that could relieve trial-court backlogs, particularly in the state’s larger counties. Bainbridge Island Municipal Court Judge Stephen Holman, who was part of the judicial study group that recommended the change, says the amendment may not have a lot of impact in Kitsap County, but could be helpful across the water. “There is a backlog problem, particularly with civil cases (in King County),” Holman said, noting that because of the speedy-trial guarantees in the state and federal constitutions, criminal cases take priority on a court’s trial calendar.
The question was, how can a “decant facility” fit into your neighborhood? The answer: “No way – it can’t be done.” What was billed as an informational meeting on a proposed disposal facility on city-owned property south of New Brooklyn Road and east of Sportsman Club turned into an angry protest, as residents of the Commodore developments to the south filled the city council chambers and vowed to block the project.
The Jazz Ambassadors promote musical good will and harmony wherever they go They bring the message to Bainbridge Island in a “First Fridays” concert, Oct. 5 at Island Center Hall. “I picked the name Jazz Ambassadors because I always have this idea that music is multicultural and multi-lingual,” band leader Dave Carson said. “If I go to Japan and say, ‘Let’s play B-flat blues,’ everyone understands what I mean.”
When Marge Williams Center tenants asked Joel Sackett if he had suggestions for art to fill the center’s conference room walls, the photographer replied, “I’m already making it.” Sackett has been shooting islanders at home for a new exhibit, “Interior Bainbridge,” which he will show at Winslow Hardware for the November Arts Walk.
A previously unnoticed clause in the state constitution could allow Kitsap voters to decide what county freeholders can’t. If freeholders are unable to find consensus on key issues, they could submit a charter with alternate provisions to Kitsap voters. Under an option outlined by freeholders board chair Linda Webb last week, voters could be asked both to approve or reject the charter – and to decide parts of what’s in it.
Renata Lac had always considered her autistic son’s future, but with Max a high school freshman, the need to plan became more pressing. Lac decided to help Max – and other island residents with disabilities – by convening a first-ever Bainbridge Island Community Summit on Disability, slated for Oct. 13.