News

The affordable housing challenge

"On it's face, affordable housing on Bainbridge is an equation that simply won't balance.There are only seven homes on the island now selling for $200,000 or less. Qualifying for a mortgage on a $200,000 house requires an income of roughly $50,000, after scraping together $20,000 for a down payment.And that's more than lots of islanders make. Islanders like nurses, teachers, policemen, store clerks, carpenters, plumbers and firemen.It's the numbers, said Bill Reddy, director of the island's Housing Resources Board. Lots of people on this island make $12.50 an hour. But to afford a house here, you have to make $50 or $60 an hour. "

  • Sep 6, 2000

The street of dreams comes true

"To most people, community-building is a metaphor. For the residents-to-be of Strawberry Place, it's a hands-on reality.They are both the owners and the builders of nine Bainbridge Island homes made affordable by their own efforts. And before they could build houses, they had to build a team, because the rule is that nobody moves in until all the houses are finished.We're a family, said Laura Harrison, a single mother who works as a medical assistant. We have to pull together.They are building the single-family, two-story homes under the self-help program of the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority. Participants in the program do most of the construction work themselves, putting in a minimum of 30 hours a week under the tutelage and supervision of master carpenter Del Sutton, a KCCHA employee. "

  • Sep 6, 2000

A new niche for island knitting circles

"The dictionary defines the word knitting literally as the act of fashioning yarn into a garment, and metaphorically as the joining together of previously unrelated elements.According to knitting devotee Kit Hutchin, one leads to the other.Knitting is something that creates instant community among people who have that in common, Hutchin said. And it seems that people feel comfortable approaching someone who is knitting and striking up a conversation.Believing that there are enough actual and potential knitters on Bainbridge Island to support a business, Hutchin this week will open Churchmouse Yarn and Teas on Madrone Lane. "

  • Sep 6, 2000

Can we find a roof for all on the island?

"We thought we'd begin with a success story.On page A1 of this edition of the Review, readers will find the tale of a little street called Strawberry Place, also known as the Weaver Creek self-help housing project. There, nine up-and-coming island families - young newlyweds, single moms, a hodgepodge of office workers and blue-collar types - are putting the finishing touches on cozy, attractive little houses of their own construction. In so doing, they are achieving the dream of home ownership through their own industry, with the help of the county housing authority and local affordable-housing ordinances. We believe their success is cause for celebration in this community - and a story that we hope can be repeated again and again around the island. "

  • Sep 6, 2000

Images of wanderlust

"Have camera, will travel.At least that's what island photographer Ellen Briggs hopes for in the coming years.New areas, new people, inspiration - I always take more photographs when I'm travelling, says Briggs, who was introduced to the art of the camera - and wanderlust - with the Girl Scouts in her native Massachusetts.She joined the troop because they were going to New York on a propeller plane. Later, with the same group, she took her first photography class. Someone had a good camera, a black and white, Briggs recalls, and we took each other's pictures, messing with light and that kind of thing.Colorful Oaxaca, her present show, features the market stalls, ruins and people of south-central Mexico. "

  • Sep 2, 2000

Give Madison project a fair chance

"Timing is everything.So, as the autumn leaves start to turn and we begin our slow, inexorable retreat indoors, we fear that the Madison Avenue traffic calming project won't be getting the fair trial it deserves. Not because it won't slow drivers down - to the contrary, watching some motorists snake carefully through the rows of white pylons that went up this week made it look like we'd skipped traffic calming and moved right into traffic sedating. "

  • Sep 2, 2000

Staff losing hours in school cutbacks

"For school district employees, numbers in the budget are affecting numbers in their bankbooks.The school board formally passed the district's 2000-2001 budget Thursday night, with staff cuts designed to make up for a projected million-dollar deficit. Administrators have blamed the budget shortfall on unexpectedly low enrollment, coupled with operating costs of Sakai Intermediate School and an overabundance of staff around the district.It's not the most enjoyable topic, said personnel director Ken Crawford. "

  • Sep 2, 2000

Stay home! Stay! Pets shooed from schools

"From now on, you'll have to leave Fido, Fluffy and Mr. Ed at home - from classroom pets to parents with dogs, new school district policy and procedure prohibits most animals from school grounds.We've had horses at Wilkes, said Michael Schroeder, school district business and operations administrator. And people who'd rather let their dogs loose to do their business in the school yard instead of their own yard.Kids slip on it, fall in it - it's not a pleasant thought. "

  • Sep 2, 2000

“A kinder, gentler Madison Ave.?”

"When the new yellow center stripe first appeared Monday afternoon, it looked like the road crew had been drinking on the job.Back and forth the stripe meandered in a series of lazy curves, first toward the east side of Madison Avenue, then back toward the west. By midweek, though - with the addition of diagonal parking spaces, three new crosswalks and rows of white plastic pylons - the logic of the design took shape, and most drivers appeared to have it figured out.Thus was Madison Avenue officially calmed.This is something we're doing for people, not for cars, said Winslow architect Peter O'Connor, touring the project with city Administrator Lynn Nordby Thursday morning. We're trying to take the car away a little bit. "

  • Sep 2, 2000

“Family first, last and always for LDS”

"The building may be new, but the land has been in the family for years.That's because three decades ago, someone in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had the foresight to see that a building might someday be necessary on Bainbridge Island.There's some wisdom in that, said member Ed Rehder, strolling the halls of the new Mormon church on Madison Avenue, discussing the policy of purchasing land long before it might be needed for a new building.And, Rehder said, look what's happened.To the peal of a brand new organ and the relief of those weary of driving to Poulsbo for services each week, the Bainbridge LDS congregation recently moved into its new 11,000-square-foot building just north of Ordway Elementary School. "

  • Aug 30, 2000

Historic Camp Hopkins at a crossroads

"Though Camp Hopkins has provided decades of fine scouting memories, Gerald Nakata's are tainted by the island park's name.While we Japanese were in the internment camps, just before the ban on us was lifted, this guy Hopkins and his pal...were very defiant about us coming back, Nakata said. So I don't like the name of Hopkins.Nakata dislikes the name so much, he did not bother to attend a recent old-timer's picnic at the camp, even though he was among the first Boy Scouts to use the facility with Winslow Troop No. 497. "

  • Aug 30, 2000

That finishing fashion touch

"It's the shoes that are fitting southern transplant Andrea Ragin into Bainbridge. And judging from the early reaction to Magnolia's on Madison, Ragin's new shoe store, the match is a good one.I was looking for a deficit in retail opportunities, what was not being provided on the island, she said.I polled different merchants, and shoes were it.The store opened Aug. 18 in Lundgren Station on the corner of Winslow Way and Madison Avenue. "

  • Aug 30, 2000

September means primary season

"In a rare show of unity, county Republicans and Democrats urge citizens, above all else, to vote.It always amazes me to see people keep that right in their hip pocket until a presidential election day and do nothing else, said Karl Duff, chair of the Kitsap County Republican Party.County Democratic Chair Russell Hartman agreed. Stay tuned, pay attention, get out there and vote, he said of the Sept. 19 state primary election. "

  • Aug 30, 2000

Koyle answers call for Unitarians

"Ending a 40-year tradition of being led by lay members, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap County has called a minister.Rick Koyle will begin leading services for the fellowship beginning Sept. 3 "

  • Aug 30, 2000

Pratt made a mark for public transit

"Most of us recall Don Pratt, the fire commissioner, or Don Pratt, the neighbor.That is, Don Pratt, the islander.Professionally, of course, the Bainbridge High School graduate and north-end resident spent his days on the peninsula, as planning director for the city of Bremerton. And we're pleased to report that this week, his public service will be honored in that city.Pratt, who died in 1998 at age 52, after a two-year battle with cancer, is credited as among the creative forces behind development of the new Bremerton Transportation Center, a peerless hub for ferry, bus, bicycle, vanpool and pedestrian transit. This Friday, local, state and federal dignitaries will dedicate the center to Pratt, who helped get the project off the ground with his just do it approach from 1992-96.They were the years that were crucial in shaping the plan and getting it started, Dick Hayes, director of Kitsap Transit, told us this week. "

  • Aug 29, 2000

Inslee counts on constituents

"Jay Inslee hopes constituent service and a record he says reflects the values of the local electorate will turn the volatile 1st Congressional District into a safe seat.I get my marching orders from people in the neighborhoods, Inslee told the Review in an interview this week. My successes come from being home grown.The Bainbridge Democrat is trying to fend off a challenge from Dan McDonald, the former Republican floor leader in the state Senate, for the congressional seat that Inslee took from Rick White in 1998. "

  • Aug 26, 2000

No fine for discharge

Ray Williamson Pool will no longer be drained into a field across the street.The city has ordered the Bainbridge Island Park District to connect the pool to the Winslow sewer system after an Aug. 15 code violation in which chlorinated water was discharged into a Class 1 wetland across Madison Avenue.

  • Aug 26, 2000

City appeals cannery ruling

"After a rebuff from Superior Court, the city will appeal to prevent Earl Miller from rebuilding the old strawberry cannery over Eagle Harbor.The 20,000-square-foot structure at the foot of Weaver Road was destroyed by fire in 1997.The city denied Miller's application to rebuild, saying that the proposed use was prohibited by city zoning, and that Miller had lost his grandfathered rights because the use of the property had changed over time.You can't build structures out over the water anymore, city attorney Rod Kaseguma said. But if you are making a valid non-conforming use of the structure, you can replace it. "

  • Aug 26, 2000

“Get out the chainsaw, then the spade”

"Even now, you can see the courtroom scene.The aggrieved and angry plaintiff; the solemn city attorney in defense; the insurance photographs of the fallen tree and the mangled vehicle; the personal-injury lawyer waving the plant pathologist's report before the jury:See! They knew!Fear of liability isn't the best basis for policy decisions. But given what the city knows about the relative health of two aging maples that find themselves in the way of the Winslow Way East reconstruction project, it's time to fire up the chainsaw. "

  • Aug 26, 2000

Witt hired as director of public works

"He already knows the lay of the land.That's because Randy Witt, hired this week as the city's new director of public works, has been driving Bainbridge roads for eight years.It's a little different opportunity, (and) a promotion, said Witt, who will join the city staff Oct. 1 after an eight-year stint as engineer for the city of Bremerton. It's a little more hands-on on the operations side, and some more challenges. I'm excited. "

  • Aug 26, 2000