News

His business speaks volumesEd Smith can indeed judge a book by its dust jacket.

"On a chilly December morning, Ed Smith was hot on the trail of his quarry - valuable books. As with most hunters, there were hits and misses.The big one got away - a book of Edward Gorey illustrations. The auction opened at $5,000, but within minutes, the bidding topped $40,000 - too rich for Smith's blood. Sale price - $47,500.Next up was an inscribed first edition of From Here To Eternity. Another miss.But then the morning's catch - a first edition of The Naked And The Dead, inscribed by author Norman Mailer. Smith's bid of $1,400 was a winner. "

  • Jan 3, 2001

“At this point, give the nod to the mayor”

"Islanders like their mayor.Even if they don't like the mayor at any given time, they do seem rather fond of the office. We were struck by that notion as we looked back over the past two mayoral elections. While most city council races draw no more than two candidates per seat, 11 hopefuls for the mayor's post have come forward in the last two campaigns alone - five in 1993, six in 1997. Business people, tutors, contractors, retirees, hay haulers, gas station attendants - all manner of citizens have put themselves before the voters for the chance to swing the gavel as titular head of island government. What's the draw? "

  • Jan 3, 2001

Use of school shed irks neighborTruck traffic was not part of a decade-old agreement.

"Tom and Kathleen DeVange wake daily to the beeping of a truck's back-up alarm, vehicle doors slamming or the persistent throb of diesel engines. The noise comes from a nearby shed at the southwest corner of the Bainbridge High School grounds, just 30 feet behind the DeVange home on Whited Place. If we had known that we would wind up with a heavy equipment maintenance depot virtually in our back yard, we would never have bought (our) property, Tom DeVange said. DeVange described the noise problem to the school board at its Dec. 14 meeting, and asked the district to honor an 11-year-old promise to be quiet. "

  • Dec 30, 2000

Hip to be the owner of a chipper

"We saw it in the corner of the neighbor's garage just the other day - its little maw, as always, agape in anticipation - perhaps sensing that its day was almost here. For, with the countywide burn ban set to go into effect this coming Monday, the little 8-hp machine was about to make its owner the most popular gal in the neighborhood.I still haven't decided on a fee, she told us coyly.Chipper owners, you're suddenly very hip.We expect a lot of new relationships to spring up - neighborhood feuds wane, petty grievances forgotten - with the advent of the countywide burn ban, Kitsap County being the last corner of Washington to come under the state's Clean Air Act of 1990. "

  • Dec 30, 2000

Realtor sues to block sale of 550 MadisonCraig Clark claims breach of contract by the seller.

"Claiming that he still has a valid purchase contract, local realtor Craig Clark has sued to block the county housing authority's purchase of the 550 Madison apartment building.Named as defendants are Vicki Holmstrom of Kingston and her husband, the building's sellers.I want to be reasonable and fair, but someone has to acknowledge the very real time and money I spent in going after something like this, Clark said Friday. "

  • Dec 30, 2000

A sense of placeJill Myers shuns the who for the where.

"She sees, therefore she shoots.Photographer Jill Myers thinks of the camera as a natural extension of her eyes. I love the challenge of taking a photo of something that captures a different view, Myers says. I see things differently.Viewers will see familiar places through Myers' distinctive lens when her photographic exhibit opens Jan. 7 at Pegasus Coffeehouse. "

  • Dec 30, 2000

Inslee: bipartisanship or elseThe Democrat says a divided House could see legislation mire.

"In the long run, the loser in the presidential election may be the environment, says Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Bainbridge Island).With the president and vice president both coming from an industry (oil) that has not been in the forefront on environmental issues, we won't see leadership from the White House on issues like global warming, Inslee said.After a short ski vacation in eastern Washington, the third-term congressman (he served an earlier term in the 4th District) met with his staff Thursday on legislative strategies for the upcoming term.The issues that will occupy Congress, Inslee said, will be taxes, education and health care. In all of those area, he thinks some action will occur. "

  • Dec 30, 2000

Cutting off Winslow Way is tough sell

"The block was ripe for redevelopment.Situated in the heart of a thriving downtown district, flanked by a popular five-story shopping mall and minor transit hub and surrounded by other high-profile retail outlets, it was a prime location for a posh department store.There was only one catch - the next block was closed to car traffic, forming a pedestrian mall with an adjacent park.Ah, the developer said, but we need drop-off traffic. Reopen the street, or we won't redevelop the block.And, as readers will recall, the Nordstrom family prevailed; Seattle's Pine Street was reopened between Fourth and Fifth, and in went a new flagship location for the hometown department store empire.We thought back to this debate from a few years ago, as several islanders try to rally support (reported elsewhere in this issue) for closing off part of Winslow Way with a goal of improving both commerce and personal interaction. "

  • Dec 27, 2000

Menu limited for Packard propertyOptions seem few for the site of a quirky diner and garage.

"Al Packard dreamed about resurrecting the past at his businesses on Madison Avenue. But the businesses have failed, and the question now is whether the property itself has a future.It would be expensive to remodel the building for anything other than automobile-service use, said Pavilion co-owner Jeff Brein, representing a group of local investors currently looking at the property.Packard built an auto-service business. But it wasn't just any old garage. This one was a brown-stucco replica of a 1930s-era Sinclair station.And he built a restaurant, the Blue Water Diner. But it wasn't just any old restaurant. Packard found an antique diner in Pennsylvania, trucked it to Bainbridge Island and restored it. "

  • Dec 27, 2000

Happy ending for wandering youthNeighbors are called heroes.

"Heidi McKay was on the phone with her mother-in-law, and her son Timothy was sitting in front of the heater.Suddenly, a neighbor was pounding on her door asking, Do you know that your son is out in the middle of the road? Neighbors saved the developmentally disabled youth Dec. 13, after he left the house without warning and was about to wander onto the highway.I panicked, McKay said, recalling the moment neighbor Christina Garrigues appeared at the door, and ran several blocks, yelling, and when I got around the corner I saw he was okay. "

  • Dec 27, 2000

Service cited in budget hike to $14.87 million

"Growing community, growing budget.Citing increasing demands for services, the Bainbridge Island City Council Wednesday adopted a $14.875 million operating budget for 2001, up from $12.9 million this year. "

  • Dec 23, 2000

Center remodel roars on

"The building isn't done, but the tenants were happy to settle in anyway - if only for an hour. Representatives of five social service agencies met inside the Marge Williams Center for the first time Thursday afternoon, making plans for a March 1 move-in date.We're going to end up with a first-class building here - much more than we ever imagined a year ago, said local real estate agent Ed Kushner, who has spearheaded the project from its inception.The building was still very much a construction zone - tools and materials were scattered about, wires dangled here and there, blankets of insulation bulged from the unfinished walls. Outside, construction crews pounded away on a new peaked roof and a more robust balcony and facade. "

  • Dec 23, 2000

“Bag it, city – fast food law needs to go”

"'Tis the season of giving. But not even our spirit of holiday generosity makes us feel good about spending $115,000 of taxpayer money to defend the city's fast-food ordinance against Papa Murphy's pizza store.The problem is not that the city capitulated before a superior court judge could decide the case.Nor is the problem the interpretations of the planning director and the hearing examiner to the effect Papa Murphy's is formula take-out food, and therefore not permitted in the Village shopping center.The problem is the ordinance itself. While the settlement didn't decide its validity, the law looks legally indefensible. "

  • Dec 23, 2000

Pursuing the perfect image

"Tim Thompson is a guy who likes to hang from airplanes. Even without hearing his stories, one can tell from viewing the spectacular photographs in Thompson's new collaborative book, Puget Sound: Sea Between the Mountains, that the man doesn't mind taking a few risks in the name of art.If sticking his head out of a plane to photograph is the only way to capture a scene, then that's what he does, no problem.Thompson has also hung from helicopters and from hot air balloons. When we're doing air-to-air shoots, Thompson says, which is when you're flying in tandem with another plane to photograph it, things can be a little tricky - you could run into each other, which is not ideal.One would imagine not. But there are other kinds of risks artists take, and Thompson has sustained his share of these, as well. "

  • Dec 23, 2000

City settles with U-bake pizza franchise

"Twelve months and $115,000 later, the city has decided that Papa Murphy's U-bake pizza is not a formula take-out food business after all.The city settled a lawsuit brought by Sequim businessman Mike Cooper, who challenged the city's refusal to let his business locate in the Village shopping center, next to Radio Shack.In exchange for a city permit, Cooper agreed to drop his claim for damages. But the city will pay $80,000 in attorneys' fees to Cooper, and will spend close to $35,000 paying its own attorney. "

  • Dec 23, 2000

Woodland out of the woods

"As one controversial island housing development neared the finish line, another cleared its initial hurdle.Last Friday, a Kitsap County judge rejected challenges to the 27-home Woodland Village development on Ferncliff Avenue. Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Leonard Kruse ruled last week that the city acted properly when it approved the project.In so doing, he may have ended a multi-year battle over the project's density.We're disappointed in the ruling, said Ferncliff Drive resident Lois Andrus, who appealed the city's go-ahead along with the East Central Bainbridge Island Community Association.We'll have to review the decision with our attorney to see where we go from here, she said, indicating that no decision had been made about whether to press a further appeal. "

  • Dec 20, 2000

Cooper owes island a firm commitment

"We can walk away from our jobs at any time.Impressment and indentured servitude having gone out with the 19th century, we're pretty much free to jump ship at any time, assuming we can find someone new to take us on.To that extent, we have no problem with Police Chief Bill Cooper's recent pursuit of the Top Cop job in Federal Way. Citing frustration with his regular commute to the island from Olympia - his house has failed to sell, after a year and a half on the market - Cooper dusted off his resume and went through an intensive application and interview process close to home. And, as reported elsewhere in this issue, he didn't get the job. But with the source of Cooper's frustration unchanged - his apparent inability to resettle in the vicinity of Bainbridge - Mayor Dwight Sutton and other city officials need to ask themselves: Should this arrangement continue at all? "

  • Dec 20, 2000

Swim program may return for K-1

"Kindergarteners and first graders could get swim lessons during morning and afternoon hours and vacations, under a reinstated school district program.Those grades were identified in a draft proposal made to the school board last week, with a formal presentation possibly coming next month. The program could be reinstated for the 2001-02 school year. "

  • Dec 20, 2000

“Hanukkah cookies, anyone?”

"The seasonal greeting these days is as likely to be Happy Holidays as Merry Christmas.Islanders' increased awareness of non-Christian neighbors may be one reason for the inclusive salutation. It makes a major difference, says one member of the Jewish community who asked not to be identified. No one wants to be the Grinch who stole Christmas; it's just nice to feel acknowledged. "

  • Dec 20, 2000

Beat crazy

"Man, those cool cats groove, Daddy-o.Brush up on the Beatnik lingo, grab some bongos and a beret, then head for Pegasus Coffee House for Beat poetry and jazz with Bob McAllister and the Bischoff brothers, Dec. 16. McAllister, backed by Korum Bischoff on drums and Jared Bischoff on guitar, will read his own poetry and works by such Beat greats as Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure and Allen Ginsberg.I'm paying homage, poet McAllister says. So much of art is calculated, but if you want that first creative splurge, that flowing urge, that 'instant poetry' stuff, that improvisation, trust your first impulses like the Beat poets did. "

  • Dec 16, 2000