News

Budget hike of 9.5% proposed

"New staff, programs and equipment purchases could boost next year's city budget by $853,000.Proposals including an assistant police chief and three new public works crew members, new computers and other equipment are outlined in the mayor's draft budget proposal, now available at city hall.It's a budget that has an ambitious set of goals, said Mayor Dwight Sutton, saying he believes it balances work left unfinished this year and new demands of the public and city council.If approved, the programs would boost next year's operations spending to $14.13 million, up from $12.9 million in 2000. "

  • Nov 15, 2000

Island candidates bat 4-6Don Bonker is still at the plate in the race for secretary of state.

"Bainbridge candidates went 4-for-6 at the plate Tuesday, with the number seven hitter still at bat.Voters returned Jay Inslee to Congress and Phil Rockefeller to the state House of Representatives, and likely placed two other islanders on the county's new board of freeholders.And Bainbridge may maintain its 20-year monopoly on the Washington secretary of state post, with Sunrise resident Don Bonker locked in a close race to succeed the island's favorite son, Ralph Munro. Bonker and Sam Reed, Thurston County auditor, await further absentee returns, with Bonker picking up a 4,000-vote lead Friday out of 1.6 million votes cast.Two other Bainbridge candidates, David Harrison and Dan Murphy, appeared to have failed in their bids for Olympia, pending further absentee counts next week. The results: "

  • Nov 11, 2000

Devote a day to the great NW salmon

"In the words of a popular T-shirt: Spawn 'Til You Die.Local salmon are anxious to do just that, biding their time until late-autumn rains show up to swell the flow of six Bainbridge Island streams, so they can spread a little coho mojo.We're just waiting for enough water for them to get upstream and do their thing, biologist Wayne Daley told us this week, with frisky fish now jumping in Fletcher Bay and other locations. "

  • Nov 11, 2000

Tools seized in arrestItems are thought to be stolen from work sites.

"Equipment believed to have been stolen from area construction sites was seized in the arrest of a transient near High School Road Thursday morning.The suspect, a male believed to be in his mid-20s and listing no address, was arrested without incident at a rude campsite in a wooded area between Kitsap Bank and Lumbermen's Building Center.He was taken to Kitsap County Jail on suspicion of burglary pending formal arraignment, according to Bainbridge Police reports.Officers found that the campsite was served by power, with a sturdy light and a radio connected by heavy-duty extension cords to an outlet in a pumphouse 100 yards away across the woods. The pumphouse door, which had been padlocked by the property owner, was found forced open. "

  • Nov 11, 2000

“City opts for legal challenge to I-722The property tax initiative would cost the city millions, officials say.”

"The city of Bainbridge Island will sue to overturn Initiative 722, the Son of 695, passed by Washington voters Tuesday. And it will be in good company, as the cities of Seattle, Burien, Carnation and Pasco have launched their own legal challenges to the tax-cutting measure.I certainly feel confident, Mayor Dwight Sutton said Thursday, a day after the city council unanimously approved a legal challenge.We're convinced that its constitutionality is highly suspect. "

  • Nov 11, 2000

“Sheldon, Rockefeller apparent winners in 23rd”

"Two of the three legislative incumbents from the 23rd legislative district were enjoying comfortable leads in early absentee ballot returns on Tuesday night. The third had a slimmer margin to hold onto.Betti Sheldon, State Senator from the 23rd District and Phil Rockefeller, State Representative from the 23rd District were celebrating leads of more than 10 percent against their opposition in early returns.Beverly Woods, the Poulsbo Republican who was appointed to Karen Schmidt's legislative seat, was leading Bainbridge Island Democrat David Harrison by three percent in early returns. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

“Angel, Endresen win commish seats”

"Kitsap County voters wished Republican candidate Jan Angel a happy birthday last night by choosing her over Democratic contender Dusty Wiley as the next District 2 county commissioner.With Wiley gaining nearly 48 percent of the vote, Angel secured just under 52 percent, according to unofficial final tallies provided by the Kitsap County Auditor's Office.Though not ready to call the race at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday from the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel, where she and others celebrated her birthday and campaign, Angel still couldn't help but be excited and grateful by the early returns. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

“Trees, vines, and signs”

"We can see the theater marquee now: Creepers From the Black Lagoon, perhaps, or The Vine That Ate Winslow.Indeed, our dreams have lately been haunted by the sinister English ivy, truly the stuff of campy '50s sci-fi. Ever since we took the shears to the noxious weed in our neighborhood a few weeks back, saving three trees from its fiendish clutches, hedera helix preys on our hapless mind; suddenly aware of its threat, we find the devilish vine lurking in every hollow and shadow.Removal of the invasive weed - which can throttle and bring down native trees, harm understory plants and destroy habitat for birds - was the subject of this year's Earth Day effort back in April.We can only conclude that whatever valiant efforts were undertaken by islanders, they weren't enough, as a casual stroll through Winslow last week showed. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

Home Rule rules in Kitsap County

"Kitsap County joined the ranks of major Puget Sound counties by taking the first step in becoming a charter county last night.County voters approved an initiative yesterday allowing the election of 21 freeholders to write a home rule charter that could drastically change the way the county is set up.I really believe it will be a wonderful thing for Kitsap County, said Jim Martin, chairman of the Home Rule Committee. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

Absentees could decide Jackley-McMahan race

"Fluctuating numbers left District 26 candidates hopeful last night as they vied for the narrow lead necessary to take positions 1 and 2.Preliminary election results in Kitsap County indicated political newcomer Brock Jackley, D-Manchester, could clinch a close race for Position 2, ultimately sweeping the election against Republican candidate Lois McMahan - a former representative - with 52.1 percent to her 47.6 percent. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

Telecom conference slatedLeaders hope to get Bainbridge back in the race for telecommunications

"When the first railroad lines were laid more than 100 years ago, any town left off the line died. When the first highways were built this century, any town left off the highway died. To Kevin Dwyer of the Kitsap Economic Development Council, any community without good telecommunications lines will face the same fate as the unfortunate towns left off the railroad lines and highways.If they (cities) weren't on the lines, they were far removed from commerce, said Dwyer, of Bainbridge Island. If you're not connected, you're not going anywhere.The theory is particularly relevant to Dwyer, who sees Kitsap County stuck between the high-tech ambition it has for growth and the rural surroundings it wants to do it in. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

“Mayor mulls transit levyIf nothing else, it could restore the popular Winslow shuttle.”

"How much would you pay to ride the bus?More precisely, how much would you pay so your neighbor could ride the bus too?Island voters may get the chance to decide, as several city officials mull the possibility of a local transit levy to restore some bus service on Bainbridge next year.We're being held hostage by off-island voters, Mayor Dwight Sutton said, and we can get out from under that.The idea of local transit funding comes after the failure in September of a three-tenths of a cent, countywide sales tax increase. That hike would have restored Kitsap Transit money lost to last year's Initiative 695 - 45 percent of the agency's operating and capital budget disappeared with elimination of the state Motor Vehicle Excise Tax. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

“Fire levy to drop, revenues climbingAn expansion of the Madison Avenue fire hall is planned.”

"Even as its levy rate drops, the Bainbridge Island Fire Department expects increased tax revenues to cover expansion of the Madison Avenue fire hall. A fire-protection property tax levy of $1.20 per $1,000 assessed valuation is being proposed for 2001, down from $1.28 this year. The lower rate would be offset by an increase in local assessments and new home and commercial construction.The net effect for 2001 is that while the tax rate will go down, fire department tax revenues will go up by about $300,000, to $3.3 million.That would mean the owner of a $300,000 Bainbridge home would pay $360 for fire protection and emergency aid services next year. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

“Haigh, Eickmeyer earn return trips to Olympia”

"While the presidential election seesawed with nail-biting ferocity across the nation, voters in the 35th District concerned about roads, ferries, taxes and schools, reelected the Position 1 and 2 incumbents by large margins.First term incumbent Kathy Haigh, D-Shelton, won reelection for a second term handily with an unofficial tally of 16,134 or 59 percent of the vote, to 9,822 (37 percent) for challenger Frank Dare, the state social worker who was fired from his job when he decided to run for office. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

“Inslee, Dicks retain Congressional seats”

"Jay Inslee will serve a second term representing Washington's 1st Congressional District.Good win, said Inslee, a Bainbridge Island resident, in an acceptance speech in Shoreline.Inslee easily outdistanced challenger Dan McDonald, taking 55 percent of the vote in mid-evening returns, and holding a seat that has swung like a gate over the past decade. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

Poets slam their way to art

"The poetry slam was born nearly 20 years before in a Chicago bar as a drunken challenge between two dueling verse-twirlers.Sunday afternoon's slam at the San Carlos, the first-ever sanctioned such event for Bainbridge Island's teens, was a far calmer affair - in presentation if not in theme. And that's the point, according to the event's emcee, Michael Ricciardi of Auburn's Spoken Word Lab.It's poetry meets professional wrestling, said Ricciardi, who himself has been a part of several Seattle-area nation slam championship-contender teams. Without the body contact. Hopefully. "

  • Nov 8, 2000

Everything old is new again on MadisonThe road goes back to normal Nov. 13. But did calming work?

"It generated praise. It generated scorn.More than anything, it generated mail - more than 400 written comments to city hall over a two-month period.Now, with an experimental traffic calming project on Madison Avenue winding down, it's up to city officials to decide whether it actually worked.It's been a fun exercise, because it provoked a lot of comments, Mayor Dwight Sutton said Thursday, in his office overlooking the controversial project. That's okay right there.The roadway will be restriped to its original layout Nov. 13, but could return in modified - and permanent - form sometime next year. "

  • Nov 4, 2000

Bike/ped plan makes stridesIdeas rolled in at a workshop on non-motorized transportation.

"The parking lot was full. Perhaps, as Mayor Dwight Sutton suggested, that was in itself a comment on the state of bike and pedestrian access around Bainbridge.I bet 90 percent of you had to drive here because there wasn't a bike path to follow, Sutton told an overflow crowd, at a workshop on non-motorized transportation planning at city hall Thursday evening.We hope to change that.The 100-person turnout surprised organizers, filling up the council chambers and spilling over into an adjacent meeting room.The event marked the formal kickoff of the city's new Comprehensive Non-motorized Transportation Plan, informally referred to as the bike/ped plan. "

  • Nov 4, 2000

“Horror of the HolocaustBHS thespians find life, love and death in wartime France”

"Think of Rachel Símon as a fresh-air version of Anne Frank.Rachel, the preteen heroine of Remember My Name - the fall Bainbridge High School production which opened last night for a three-week run at the LGI theater - is a young Jewish girl growing up in the south of France during World War II.As the German war tanks roll over her homeland, Rachel's parents make the agonizing choice to send her under an alias to live in a remote French mountain village - naively believing that she may be able to live there untouched by the cruelties of war until peace has returned.Instead, the shy, sweet-natured 10-year-old winds up concealed amidst a conflicted cast of characters with the Maquis - the French Underground resistance movement - and finds her burgeoning being and beliefs challenged to their core by a cruelly zealous Nazi lieutenant.The show is the first directed by Bob McAllister following his retirement last summer after a 30-year teaching career at BHS.The first time I read it, it brought tears to my eyes, said McAllister, who was casting about for a message production in the vein of last year's Bang, Bang, You're Dead. "

  • Nov 4, 2000

Restore the balance on Madison Ave.

"And the winner of the Lamest Objection to the Madison Avenue Traffic Calming Project Award is (drum roll please)...My SUV won't fit in the lane!And you're asking for sympathy? But from the first day, the project that saw curves, cones and other goodies thrown in to slow traffic on one of Winslow's busiest streets was bound to pit competing interests against each other. Its merits depended wholly on what you use Madison Avenue for.If you see it as a speedway to the ferry terminal, the project might as well have been designed by the devil himself. If you actually use downtown as something other than a route to somewhere else - say, as a destination for shopping or other human interaction - the new crosswalks were heaven. "

  • Nov 4, 2000