News

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

“Lundgren, Doogals plans filed”

"Two projects in the formative stages could dramatically transform the face of downtown Winslow.Indianola resident Earl Miller has filed a pre-application for a complex of buildings at the northeast corner of Winslow Way and Madison Avenue, where Lundgren station and the red-brick building housing Schmidt's Appliances, Paisley Place and Bainbridge Floor Covering now stand.Meanwhile, Bror Elmquist, a commercial construction manager and agent for the Magnano family of Seattle, is in the pre-application phase of a project on the northeast corner of Ericksen Avenue and Winslow, site of a now-demolished restaurant building that most recently was Doogal's.Both are mixed-use projects that incorporate residential and commercial space. Bainbridge Island architect Charles Wenzlau is designing both projects. "

  • Dec 16, 2000

Open space dreams need tangible plan

"The old strawberry cannery property on Eagle Harbor. Pastoral fields at Wyatt/Weaver. The Winslow ravine. Large wooded parcels near Gazzam Lake. A waterfront strip near Wing Point.The list of desirable properties unveiled at Thursday's park board meeting certainly dazzled.The real challenge, committee member John Eremic told park commissioners, is that there are so many opportunities.Indeed, the presentation by the district's Land Acquisition Committee - commissioned last spring to give board members a better idea of what's out there in the way of potential parks, open space and ball field sites - was both provocative and exhaustive. "

  • Dec 16, 2000

Students get the picture

" Sakai Intermediate School honored its namesakes this week with the dedication of an etched glass photograph of Yoshiko and Sonoji Sakai. I am honored - the picture puts a face to the name, said Dean Sakai, the grandson of the Sakai couple.The portrait, which is displayed in the main entrance of the school, is one of several art projects the Art for Sakai Committee hoped would crystallize. Tammy Melby, a committee member, said that several years ago when the committee envisioned different art pieces for Sakai, the now-deceased Don Nakata came up with the idea of displaying a glass photograph of the family in the school. Don said that there needs to be something more representative of the Sakai family, Melby said.Last February, committee members and Sakai school officialsd approached Al Philips, Bainbridge glass artist and owner of Dolphin Glass, with the idea and vintage photograph. We knew that Al was a glass artist, said Sakai Principal Jo VanderStoep.But then he told us about his son Ben who had some work in the Bainbridge Library, and we thought, 'Let's have a real Bainbridge Island student do this art work.' "

  • Dec 16, 2000

“Cottage plan touted for affordabilityThe city looks at ways to promote cheaper homes by size, not price.”

"A new cottage industry - smaller, clustered homes - could be an entirely new approach to affordable housing on Bainbridge Island.That's one approach being considered by the city council, after a protracted debate over the current affordable-housing law that deals with price but not size.Maybe we should get away from all these rules and income levels and look instead at encouraging smaller and therefore more affordable houses, said councilman Michael Pollock. "

  • Dec 13, 2000

“Budget going baselineBeset by shortfalls, the school district will take a hardline look at needs.”

"The Bainbridge Island School District will likely use a baseline model to determine its 2001-02 budget.First, everything would be cut away except bottom-line program elements and staffing required for the school system to function. Then items deemed both desirable and financially feasible would be returned. "

  • Dec 13, 2000

“Housing authority buys 550 MadisonRents will be subsidized for 13 units, and improvements to the building are promised.”

"The man with the full white beard and head of hair not only looked like Santa Claus - he brought a full load of Christmas cheer to Madison Avenue Tuesday morning.Roger Waid, deputy director of the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority, told tenants at the 550 Madison apartment complex that his agency, not a private investor, has purchased their apartment building.Does this mean we don't have to leave? asked tenant Kathy Brown. That was exactly what the news meant. Monday, the housing authority learned that its bid for the 13-unit complex had been accepted. After a staff briefing, Waid visited the building to share the purchase with tenants Tuesday morning. "

  • Dec 13, 2000

Madison deal keeps it all in perspective

"We were starting to question the fairness of it all - the very relevance these days of concepts like loyalty, justice, faith.Watching the best shortstop in baseball leave town for a division rival will do that for you. And boy, were we in a mood.Regular readers of this space may have noticed a certain Seattle Mariners partisanship peeking through from time to time. So you can picture the scene in the editor's office Monday - closed door, low lights, contemplative music (like most days, but more so) - at news of Alex Rodriguez' defection for a reviled Texas squad. For a quarter-billion-dollar salary, no less, the absurdity of which transcends rational comment. "

  • Dec 13, 2000

Schools told to power downCold weather and a regional power crunch mean evening shutdowns beginning Sunday.

"As Bainbridge braces for a blast of arctic air, Puget Sound Energy has told the school district to curtail power use in some buildings during evening hours. While some evening activities will be impacted, the regular school day will not. Bainbridge Island School District (BISD) was given the order by PSE Thursday, to cut power to Woodward Middle School, Ordway Elementary and Bainbridge High School's 200 building, Sunday through Tuesday, 5-8 p.m. It's unprecedented - we have never had a curtailment so early in the season, PSE representative Don McDaniel said. We typically expect them in January and February. "

  • Dec 9, 2000

“Troubled waters at Winslow ClinicOperations are in the red, prompting changes at some Virginia Mason offices.”

"The crunch between rising health-care costs and lagging revenues is a national issue, but like a flu outbreak, it hits some areas harder than others.Particularly hard-hit are outpatient facilities in economically prosperous areas - a description that fits the Virginia Mason clinic in Winslow.The economics at the Winslow clinic are very challenging, said Sarah Patterson, the Virginia Mason vice president who is responsible for the system's satellite clinics.There are no present plans to close the Winslow clinic or make major changes, she said. But I can't tell you where we might be in a few years. "

  • Dec 9, 2000

Island radio on the way?A former school bus driver and kids lead the way.

"The idea of an island radio station is crystallizing - with kids hoping to run the show.It would be the voice of Bainbridge Island, with creative content for adults, kids and churches, said Tomas Smeeth, the (adult) brainpower behind student-operated Bainbridge Radio.I love kids and want to give our kids a voice, said Smeeth, an employee of NetNanny.com and a former radio program manager and Bainbridge school bus driver. Smeeth said that while driving his school bus, instead of telling the students to be quiet, he would bounce his ideas around with the kids about a Bainbridge radio station. "

  • Dec 9, 2000

Box frenzy

"Think inside the box.The rubric prescribing creativity is turned inside out as viewers peer into Mysteries Contained: Box Constructions, opening Dec. 9 at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts.Box means container; store a box in the attic, and it becomes a repository of memory. A box is a frame that distinguishes inside from outside. Pull the lid off a box, and one even has a small theater.These and other metaphors - neatly boxed - are presented by artists Jocelyn Curry, Michael Gibson, Barbara Kowlaski, Frank Samuelson, Kenny Smith and Hidde Van Duym. "

  • Dec 9, 2000