News

A close shave at Sakai

"Bald is beautiful at Sakai Intermediate School, where several teachers now sport shaved heads to support colleague Shelley Evans.Diagnosed with breast cancer in early September, Evans recently went through the first stages of chemotherapy, losing all of her hair. Six Sakai teachers had their heads shaved in support, in front of fifth and sixth graders last week.It was incredible, it was awesome - I had no idea there was so much support and love out there, Evans said.Teacher Tim Harris first approached Evans about the plan, to Harris responded, Oh, you silly.But she was surprised when others volunteered.I thought it was going to be just him, Evans said. Before I knew it there were five others, including teachers Jim Starrs, Doug Olson, Rick Moore, Bob Dwyer and Adam Rabinowitz. "

  • Nov 1, 2000

Committee to look at swimming options

"Faced with community support for a revived elementary swim program, the Bainbridge School Board will form a committee to look at alternatives.We want to try to create a study-group, not long-term but focused, school board president Bruce Weiland said, not to pit people against each other, but to better address the swim needs of the district and meet some of the swim-group positives that came out of this program. "

  • Nov 1, 2000

“Gore, Inslee, Cantwell and Locke”

"We walked through the valley of the shadow of self-doubt last week - not the kind of stroll one is allowed, in a job that demands sufficient professional ego to fill that chasm and spill out over the sides.Weary of the political season, and questioning our capacity for thoughtful endorsements in some races, we resolved to bow out with a few to go. Maybe we needed a good pep talk, or a hug.We got the former via a call from a reader Friday evening, long after we're usually out of the office. "

  • Nov 1, 2000

Fall harvest: campaign signs

"Hundreds of political campaign signs disappeared from island roadways last week, taken in a crackdown by the city.En route to a meeting Monday morning, city code enforcement officer Will Peddy still found a few more to be removed.I've really got to get dressed for this ordeal, Peddy said - clad incongruously in a dress shirt, slacks and work gloves - as he pulled over to take down a few signs for Democratic candidates near the Agate Passage Bridge.The sweep was made by Peddy and public works crews at the direction of Mayor Dwight Sutton, after complaints from some island citizens that the promotional efforts of candidates and campaigns had gotten out of hand.City ordinance prohibits political or commercial signs in local road rights-of-way, including the strip along each side of the highway. "

  • Nov 1, 2000

Bump in the night

"Not afraid of the dark? Or does mommy keep the night-light glowing?Whatever degree of fright they can take, island kids will have their pick of haunted (or unhaunted) houses this Halloween weekend.From a candyland playland to a witch's den to an alien autopsy, the level of scariness varies. And to help parents and kids pick just the right fright, we've ranked three haunted Bainbridge abodes on our Terrific Terror Meterâ„¢. "

  • Oct 28, 2000

Cooper tries for Federal Way job

"Bainbridge Island Police Chief Bill Cooper is one of 20 applicants being considered for the top cop's job in Federal Way - a position that will likely be filled by year's end.Cooper, who has been Bainbridge's police chief since January 1999, says he doesn't want to leave the island. He may, however - because, in a sense, he was never here.Cooper, 49, who came to Bainbridge from Tumwater, still lives and commutes from his home in neighboring OIympia. He hasn't been able to sell his house there in its more than 16 months on the open market, and can't financially manage a move here until a sale happens.As a result, he has wearied of what has become a two-to-three-hour drive each way over an average of four days a week. "

  • Oct 28, 2000

Garage plan comes back from grave

"Just when we were ready to consign it to the dank and musty earth, laid by the heels with other great ideas gone lifeless, the Winslow parking garage plan has skipped back from the edge of the grave. Must be Halloween.Not to imply that the garage idea has any ghoulish qualities about it - not yet - but in the latest Town Square proposal, it's seen a resuscitation worthy of a certain Transylvanian count.As now envisioned, the project would include four levels of underground parking, a two story cultural component that may or may not be a convention hall, and two stories of rental housing, half of it subsidized. Total cost for the project is projected to be $15 million. "

  • Oct 28, 2000

It all comes down to the race inside

"We're tired of writing endorsements.We're tired of scripted debates and cynical campaign ads on television, tired of achievements trumped up, voting records distorted, shortcomings blown all out of proportion.And we're really, really tired of the thousands of meaningless campaign signs cluttering up local roadsides - an unhappy irony, we think, that the road to our collective future could be so ugly.So we've decided that since most readers have already made up their minds how they're going to vote Nov. 7, we're dropping out of the madness altogether. For the rest of this campaign season, we resolve: no more endorsements. "

  • Oct 25, 2000

Parents try to revive swim class

"There is still some splashing to be done over the Bainbridge Island School District's decision to drop school-year swim programs for three elementary-level grades.A group of parents, supported by a stack of petitions bearing some 1,500 signatures, will urge school board members to reconsider their July vote to drop the first- and third-grade swim classes - as well as those for fifth-graders, dropped a year earlier - at the board's 7 p.m. Thursday meeting in the Bainbridge High School library.We're going to let the school board know that the community wants to keep these programs, and that the alternatives they've presented don't work, said Kathy Cooper, a parent and swim instructor who spearheaded the petition effort. I know this has upset a lot of parents.When the program was dropped, district officials cited the inability to fit the swim lessons into a school-day time frame increasingly crowded by other burgeoning options, such as art, music and reading. "

  • Oct 25, 2000

Kids already set for holiday giving

"Local youths have already caught the holiday spirit, and hope to spread it around the world.Sixth graders at Bethany Lutheran Church hope community members will participate in Operation Christmas Child, by filling shoes boxes with small gifts. The boxes will be sent to children around the world who have been affected by war, disease and poverty. It is not just a church thing, said Mary Harmon, organizer. This is a way to promote an idea. It's so humanitarian. "

  • Oct 25, 2000

Leonard gets six more months

"Ralph F. Leonard, the Bainbridge liveaboard resident turned shooting suspect, will spend another six months in the bowels of the state's mental health evaluation system.Maybe.Leonard, 63, rearrested last December after his release following a late 1998 armed standoff with police officers aboard his boat, could be released at any time without notice - thanks to the state's secrecy-shrouded commitment process.That's frustrating for Bainbridge Police Lt. Scott Weiss, grazed by a blast from Leonard's shotgun during the Blakely Harbor incident.Weiss, who has been tracking the case ever since, gets what little information he can from a contact he's developed close to the case.If the doctors want, they can let him go and not notify anybody, Weiss said. "

  • Oct 25, 2000

Parking garage coasts into place

"Should it be called a cultural center? A convention center? A gathering center?No one seems sure.But the idea of a really big room with a kitchen - with apartments on the roof - seems to have revived plans for a parking garage just north of Winslow Way.My daddy used to say, when the ducks fly, you'd better be ready to shoot,' City Council Chair Merrill Robison said, after a presentation on the $15 million Town Square project at city hall Monday evening. This duck is flying.Joining Robison on the dais were Mayor Dwight Sutton and four council members, for a two-hour presentation by Winslow architect Bill Isley and several representatives of the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority. About two dozen citizens attended. "

  • Oct 25, 2000

Is Adopt-A-Road project going to the wayside?

"For lack of support, the Adopt-A-Road program is losing coordinator Nancy Sutter.Sutter said there are hundreds of volunteers for the garbage-cleanup program, but many simply aren't doing their jobs.I get sick of people (who are not volunteers) calling me and complaining about the trash on their road, said Sutter, who has managed the program for the past seven years.A frustrated Sutter said that people don't want to get involved anymore, and think that it is someone else's job.It's a democracy, and everyone needs to participate, Sutter said, not only a few old ladies like me. "

  • Oct 21, 2000

Budgeting under way as I-722 looms

"For the second year in a row, a citizen initiative looms over the city budgeting process.Initiative 722 - which would roll back last year's increases in local taxes and fees, and cap future valuations on island real estate - shadows the task in uncertainty.It's like I-695 - nobody knows how it will be interpreted, said Ralph Eells, finance director for the city. A worst-case scenario, he suggested, would result in city staff layoffs and cuts to both discretionary spending and essential services.I don't mean to sound alarmist, Eells said, but we don't have $1.5 million we can take off the top. "

  • Oct 21, 2000

Tear it out and start anew

"The clinical term would probably be cathartic. To those charged with demolishing the inside of the future Marge Williams Center Friday morning, one could probably get by with something less stuffy - perhaps fun.This is pretty cool, said Ty Evans, catching a breather next to an overflowing dumpster in the building's driveway. It's a great way to release stress on a Friday afternoon.Evans was one of a 15-person work crew, mostly comprised of Windermere Real Estate employees volunteering for community service, who got the Williams Center project under way at long last. "

  • Oct 21, 2000

“Endresen, Angel, yes on charter govt.”

"So, why should Bainbridge Island care about the races for Kitsap County commissioner? Well...10 percent of your property tax bill still goes to county government, to support courts, election services and what not; commissioners serve on various regional planning boards whose decisions impact the island; and we are, after all, still Kitsap, not King. "

  • Oct 21, 2000

“Compact homes, compact living”

"Houses should be designed from the inside out, island architect Bernie Baker says. But with most of them, it's absolutely backward.The impetus is to design for curb appeal, that is, the way the house looks from the street, Baker said. The real issue is, how it flows from the inside out.And in saying design should start with what is inside, he doesn't just mean the inside of the house. He's talking about what's inside the people who will live there.The house has to respond to the lives of its owners, Baker said.Baker's thinking parallels that of Minnesota architect Sarah Susanka, whose recent book The Not So Big House became an influential best-seller. Susanka's follow-up volume, called Creating The Not So Big House, features a Baker-designed remodel on Mercer Island.They liked the spot, but not the house, Baker said of his clients. The design made it possible to have their house transformed into a dream. "

  • Oct 18, 2000

Woodland utility work put on hold

"Road work scheduled to begin this week at the intersection of Ferncliff Avenue and High School Road has been postponed indefinitely, according to Dave Nelson of the city public works department.The work would have included extension of city sewer lines north on Ferncliff, to serve the proposed Woodland Village development.Public works officials said that Woodland Village developer Doug Nelson elected to defer the work, possibly pending resolution of a court challenge to the size of the development. "

  • Oct 18, 2000

Tenants fear sale of building

"They are potential victims of the island's economic change, these 13 modest-income renters on Madison Avenue.They fear that the wheels of commerce may carry them off the island, where some were born and have lived their entire life.Their apartment building at 550 Madison Avenue - a low-key, brown complex, just north of Wyatt Way - is in the process of being sold. And if the transaction goes through, residents fear that rent increases would drive them out of the building and off of Bainbridge.We were told 'you will not be living in this building at these rents very much longer,' said Jeff Hyskell, who said he talked to one prospective buyer last Friday morning. But where are we going to go? "

  • Oct 18, 2000

Jazz band picked for Disneyland performace

"After four years of practice, the Bainbridge High School Jazz Band will get its day in the sun.Disneyland has selected the band to perform on stage during Disney Magic Music Days this spring.The kids and I are are very excited about the Disneyland performance, said Stephanie Lindjord, the band instructor. Only a small handful of high school bands from around the nation are selected to perform in the park.High school bands from all over the nation audition each year in hopes of performing in front of a real audience at Disneyland. Lindjord said that those groups who are selected to play must demonstrate exceptional musical quality and appearance. "

  • Oct 18, 2000