News

Is island too afraid of change?Architect Parker says Bainbridge should recognize realities of growth.

"Architect Sean Parker grew up on Bainbridge Island.But he's not always sure that Bainbridge Island has grown up. In some respects, he thinks the island is frozen in the past.We think of ourselves as a little village in the woods, he said. The reality is we're not. We're right next to one of the biggest cities in the country, and we're becoming an urban place.The 35-year-old Parker still spends most of his professional time designing single-family homes. His special interest, though, is in affordable housing and city planning, which he brings to his role as the newest member of the Planning Commission. "

  • May 23, 2001

Hepcats take style to VietnamPerformances this month will raise funds for a cultural exchange tour.

"The Swingin' Hepcats are dancing to Danang.The Lindyhop dance team will perform May 25-26 on Bainbridge Island to raise money for an upcoming dance tour of Vietnam. The Vietnamese government issued a first-ever official invitation to American youth, when they summoned the Hepcats to perform there with an indigenous dance troupe.The Vietnamese government regards this trip as a diplomatic breakthrough, said Kids First director Roger Ferrell, whose nonprofit to aid Vietnamese children is co-sponsoring the tour. They're putting a tremendous amount of energy into making it a success. "

  • May 23, 2001

“Cleaners open, blames dispute”

"Commuter Cleaners is open and will continue in business, according to owners David and Jamie Nelson.The Nelsons blame last week's temporary closure on Four Seasons Cleaners of Seattle, with whom they are engaged in a business dispute.Commuter Cleaners accepted clothes for cleaning, but the actual cleaning was done by Four Seasons.According to Jamie Nelson, they were dissatisfied with Four Seasons' work, and she notified Four Seasons owner Dick Pakko last week that she intended to terminate the relationship. "

  • May 23, 2001

Clowns abound in one-man revueLarry Pisoni assumes the many faces of comedy.

"Actors seem to assume another persona just by putting on makeup. Larry Pisoni can change into seven people. In Clown Clown Clown Clown Clown Clown Clown, Pisoni takes a free-wheeling comedic journey, accompanied by music, whirling through time and space to assume seven distinct clown personae that have informed the clowning tradition.I don't lecture about clowning's history, Pisoni said. As a matter of fact, the performance is mute. I'm working, instead, from an archetypal perspective - I want audiences to relate to archetypal characters, to recognize themselves and the people close to them. "

  • May 19, 2001

“A project, a tribute, a homeThe Marge Williams Center debuts with an open house from 1-4 p.m. today.”

"The path is meandering, 20 easy paces in length, maybe 25, connecting the front porch to the sidewalk. In ways both tangible and symbolic, it also reconnects the building with the community around it - a bridge that wasn't always certain or guaranteed.In the laying of the path - inscribed with the names of many donors and supporters - Wendy Johnson believes the Marge Williams Center has been reclaimed for Bainbridge Island, its presence exorcised of a crime that took the life of its longtime resident, for whom the center is named.The whole process (has been) to retake this building, Johnson said, and to say, 'No - this is not how she's going to be remembered.' "

  • May 19, 2001

New respite program to help weary parentsSpecial-needs children pose real challenges for working parents.

"If families with working parents struggle to arrange children's lives for the summer, what can the end of the school year mean to employed parents with a disabled child?Marie Zharinov, whose autistic son needs full-time attention, knows that it means losing another job.Every summer I wind up having to quit, Zharinov said. This is the nightmare.German-born Zharinov, a translator who speaks 14 languages fluently, and her Russian carpenter husband moved to Bainbridge two years ago. They have been trying to find specialized day care ever since. "

  • May 19, 2001

Baroque reborn through Iris

"For the members of the Iris Quartet, the May 19 Housing Resources Board benefit concert is a musical homecoming.We are four women who have professional lives in which we tour and play for large, large groups, flutist Janet See said, so this home concert, for which we prepare in a more relaxed atmosphere, is the highest quality of music-making for us. We look forward to the opportunity most eagerly. Conversely, the chance to see internationally renowned performers Janet See, Sandra Schwarz, Mary Alice Hendricks and Laurel Wells (substituting for Iris violist Kim Zabelle) on the island is a brass ring Bainbridge audiences might consider nabbing.The performers are on the cutting edge of a recent musical development - works played on period instruments. The 18th century audiences who heard Hayden and Mozart perform, heard the baroque and classical instruments the Iris Quartet play. "

  • May 19, 2001

“Choose well, firebrands”

"Dwight Sutton's announcement last week that he would not seek re-election as mayor marks, as much as anything could, the beginning of the political season.And while that season can't compete with this year's Mariners for sheer entertainment value, there's something special about local politics, particularly in what is still a reasonably small community. "

  • May 19, 2001

Cross Sound Church moving up

"When Cross Sound Church outgrew its temporary home at Woodward Middle School, it did what a lot of churches do.It looked at land, and at maybe putting up a building.But then somebody noticed that there already exists a large building meant to accommodate audiences, one that is always empty on Sunday morning - the movie theater.And so the church is moving into the Pavilion. "

  • May 19, 2001

Cultures collide in harborA proposed moorage plan angers local liveaboards.

"It is sometimes said that the hallmark of a good compromise is that everyone is equally unhappy.If so, judging from the protest at a Tuesday public hearing, the Bainbridge Harbor Commission's new anchoring plan for Eagle Harbor is a success.It was a sharp clash of values and philosophies. Liveaboards said they don't want regulation; shoreline residents said they don't want liveaboards. "

  • May 19, 2001

School techs gets a boostStudents are using laptop computers to cover many disciplines.

"This is the story that changed my life forever.Blakely Elementary School fourth grader Lacy Kuhn types the first line of her tale about aliens into the Earthwalk EBuddies laptop on her desk, one of seven that will be featured May 17 as part of Bainbridge schools' technology fair. I'm switching my story from MicrosoftWord into hyperlink, Kuhn says matter-of-factly. You can access this link about phases of the moon from the text.Kuhn clicks on the link she has just created in her story about aliens, and a computer-animation of the moon fills the screen, waxing and waning in a cycle that compresses a month into five seconds. "

  • May 16, 2001

Building for funConstruction of the KidsUp! playground draws hundreds of hands with hammer and saws.

"If Battle Point Park has an occupancy limit, it may have been exceeded Tuesday morning.An estimated 400 volunteers wearing work boots and tool belts showed up to begin construction of the KidsUp! playground. Perhaps most surprising for Kim MacPherson and other organizers was the appearance of a contingent of Marines.Even so, MacPherson said, We need people in a big way because we're still at half of what we need. We're just about there financially, organizer Helena Bierly said. Our biggest challenge now is getting people to show up to build.The 10,000-square-foot play structure has been on the drawing board for about a year, with kids and parents helping architects in the design. "

  • May 16, 2001

“Council interest in mayor post mixedJim Llewellyn says no, but Michael Pollock mulls a bid.”

"Saying he can't afford to quit his day job, Bainbridge Island City Council member Jim Llewellyn said he will not run for mayor this fall. But another council member, Michael Pollock, said he is taking a hard look at the possibility of running.And council member Liz Murray said she will not seek re-election, opening up at least one council seat for the fall election. "

  • May 16, 2001

“Focus is the wood, not the workFurniture builder John Steiner hopes his efforts look, above all, natural. “

" Master furniture builder John Steiner wants his efforts to disappear into the woodwork.The best compliment you ever get is to have somebody say 'boy that's beautiful wood,' he said. That means the design is simple enough that they don't really notice - it's secondary to the beauty of the wood.For the past 25 years, Steiner has been building fine furniture and cabinetry from his downstairs workshop on South Beach Drive. And he expects that most of the pieces he has made during that quarter century are still in use.If a piece is well made, it should be around for hundreds of years, he said. That's why I like a simple, classical design. It will last for many generations, and through periods of design and fads. "

  • May 16, 2001

Land costs keeping home prices high

"Does an affordable home costing upwards of $280,000 promote economic diversity?Some local contractors say a home that cuts that price by a third - a $180,000 single-family residence - simply can't be built on the island, principally because of the cost of home lots.Land costs are the number one issue on Bainbridge Island, said Jim Engle of Kitsap-Trident Homes. A building lot on Bainbridge costs at least $50,000 more than the same thing in Poulsbo. "

  • May 16, 2001

Decisions are not polls

"Wednesday in this column, we waxed on the public decision-making process as a dynamic between competing goods - forests vs. ball fields, better traffic with no more roads, on and on.Today, prompted by several recent letters and comments we've heard at city council meetings, a few corollary thoughts are perhaps in order. Specifically, we would ask:Where did some islanders get the notion that elected officials are always beholden to whims of the majority? "

  • May 12, 2001

Sewer process may be spikedA new proviso could make it harder to finance work.

"The city council took a step towards providing sewer service to four south-end neighborhoods Wednesday, settling on language for an amendment to the island's comprehensive plan.But the language they approved at their Wednesday meeting contains a closely contested proviso that some say could preclude any sewer extension by dramatically increasing costs. "

  • May 12, 2001

“Commodore safe, at least for 2001-02But a study of school facilities is under way.”

"The Commodore building will remain open at least through next year, school board members told 40 parents and staff members Thursday.But they acknowledged that a study of all district facilities is under way, the first step in a process that might lead to the closing of some school buildings. "

  • May 12, 2001

“Weapons, pot use by students citedResults of a survey suggest challenges for the district.”

"Weapons at school, marijuana use and the rate of depression among students emerged as areas of concern for educators and parents, in a survey of Bainbridge 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th graders.So says the school district's Health Advisory Committee, after a state-administered survey of substance abuse among local teens. Students took the survey in November, with the results presented to the school board at Thursday's meeting.Unfortunately, Assistant Superintendent Brent Peterson said, the percentage of our students making dangerous choices concerning the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs is very similar to the situation faced in most communities across the state. "

  • May 12, 2001

Better homes and wagons

"Dwellings showcased on the May 12 Bainbridge Performing Arts Home Tour include small, cozy spaces, to go with those large and grand.Whether they appeal to an atavistic instinct to curl up in a den or a straightforward desire for less to clean, Denise Harris' gypsy caravan and Craig and Nancy Johnson's condominium show the comforts of containment.For Harris and friends, small did not mean fewer hours of construction, however. More than 1,700 hours have been devoted to the gypsy wagon so far, Harris said.Building the caravan was like any other project, she said. If you start, you might get obsessed.But the most important thing is that it was built from scratch - built, not bought. "

  • May 9, 2001