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They’ve turned their attention from the flow of water to the flow of information. So news that the Kitsap Public Utility District wants to extend its fledgling fiberoptic network across Agate Passage, into Winslow and perhaps beyond, is exciting indeed.
When the Creator said, “Let there be light,” it was good. When Thomas Edison made it possible for the rest of us to create light, it got out of hand, impinging upon the Creator’s darkness. To try to redress the imbalance in some way, the Bainbridge Island City Council tonight will take up a light-control ordinance that will leave us free to brighten our own corners -- within reason -- but not those of our neighbors.
Does the freedom to neglect your own safety outweigh your responsibility to show a little common sense? Where use of our public roadways is concerned, society has decided that the answer is “no.”
The Bainbridge gym is reopening this morning on a short-term basis. But the new operators hope to be around for a long time. “This is a dream we’ve had,” said Mike Rosenthal. “We had been studying the possibility of opening a parallel gym on the island for the last six months when rumors started circulating about the old gym failing, but that would take a lot longer than getting in here.”
How might the muse have visited Robert Frost, had the poet lived on Bainbridge Island? Indeed, one sees a bit less charm in the verse, “Good vegetated buffers make good neighbors.”
The city council’s plan to restructure its budget process, to increase participation both by the public and the council, itself was greeted with optimistic caution in these quarters. Our optimism arises from the basic concept. While the council is the policy-making arm of our government, the budget is where the rubber meets the road. Abstract objectives are well and good, but what the city actually does in a given year is what finds its way into the budget.
With minor tinkering, the state Transportation Commission Thursday unanimously approved ferry fare hikes averaging 12.5 percent, on top of last year’s 20 percent increases. The increases take effect May 12, the same day that peak-season fares begin.
Sixty years after a community was torn apart by wartime fears and prejudices, hundreds of Bainbridge Islanders came together on the same spot to vow that it will never happen again. “There is a sacredness to this corner of land, a sacredness enshrined by 227 men, women and children,” said Gov. Gary Locke.
Workers apply a final coat of sealant to the concrete floor of the main dining room while a disembodied voice tests the audio system. But these are just last-minute details. The buildings are ready, the paths are groomed.
With the same sense of hope that we greet the new baseball season, we also bid a welcome to Harbor Square, the latest incarnation of a mixed-use project that could transform the landscape of downtown Winslow. Two previous plans have been launched on the prime five-acre tract north of the ferry terminal. Both foundered – in part because of community opposition, but mostly because of the improvidence of first developer, who borrowed heavily and pledged the land as security. Those debts sank “The Landing,” as it was then known, and forced a foreclosure sale that took the parcel out of the hands of the next would-be developer as well.
If bad things do happen in groups of three, then the commercial real estate market on Bainbridge Island can breathe easier for awhile. Last year brought a triple whammy, which suggests that this year, things have to get better.
The state has agreed to pay Rich Passage property owners nearly $4.5 million, settling a class-action lawsuit over shoreline damage caused by speedy passenger-only ferries. The settlement – which brings the dismissal of all claims in the suit, but does not preclude future legal action – will compensate property owners for beach erosion and damage to bulkheads and other shoreline structures.
Josh Gosik calls himself an “insect guy.” Gosik, who works as a cook for both the Harbour Pub and Pegasus Coffee House, spends his off-hours making dragonflies. “I’ve always been kind of a ‘bug person,’” Gosik, who once wanted to be an entomolgist, said. “As a kid I always had ant colonies and spiders.”
Bainbridge schools have joined the growing ranks of Washington school districts that seek private funding. District officials and community members have announced formation of the Bainbridge Island Public Educational Trust, an independent nonprofit organization to raise money for local schools. “I don’t believe that Washington state is funding basic education when I walk into a classroom and a teacher asks me for reams of paper,” school board President Cheryl Dale said. “As a community, we can’t sit back until March of every year and wait to see what the state cuts.
The city council is considering an ambitious new process for budgeting, intended to better align spending with citizen priorities by bringing both the public and the council into the process at an earlier stage.
It’s the best of causes, for the worst of reasons. While formation of a new, non-profit foundation to raise private dollars for Bainbridge Island’s public school system should be cause for celebration, the very fact that it’s necessary is cause for lament.
Concerned by what they see as a piecemeal approach to downtown planning, two local architects have fired interest in a new, broad look at Winslow traffic patterns and street design. And they’ve caught the ear of Mayor Darlene Kordonowy, who will convene a roundtable on the issues next month.
Even in the current economy, it is possible to get your foot in an employer’s door. You just have to be standing outside the right one, says career consultant Jeanne Soulier. “The challenge for the successful job seeker is to be at the head of the line, not just somewhere in the line,” says Soulier.
Sakai Intermediate School students caught a big fish this week. The 25-foot-long, one-ton fiberglass salmon “swimming” next to the school is part of a salmon-restoration project inspired by the school’s location.
Neophyte artist Anne Strandoo more than kept her New Year’s resolution to try to get her art exhibited, when she nabbed a top honor on the first try. Strandoo’s floral watercolor has been selected as poster art for the 2002 Bainbridge in Bloom event, the July garden tour that is the annual Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities fund-raiser. “I did my artist’s ‘bio’ pretty much just for the experience,” Strandoo says. “I never thought for a minute I’d win.”