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Just in case the city’s budget and the community eventually support affordable housing on the island, the Bainbridge Island Planning Commission continues to plug away on the creation of an inclusionary housing ordinance. It appears that sometime this summer a draft will be pulled together and presented to island developers for their input.
The on-again, off-again passage through the business park segment of the Island Village mall has taken another divergence. Charlie Frame, owner of CFA properties, has decided to close the northern end of his rear parking lot, which for the last two and a half years has again become a quasi-public road that allows north-south traffic to slalom through the commercial development. Assuming the business owner receives approval from the fire department, he’ll place a semi-permanent barrier on his private property that would be removed only when there’s need for emergency ingress or egress.
This just in: scientists say the earth is humming. Not humming the chorus to “Bye Bye Miss American Pie” exactly, nor belting out Broadway show tunes, but rather emitting random clutches of notes and tiny clusters of chords woven into a mysterious, ethereal, rhythmic thrum of primordial noise so low and deep that it is imperceptible to human ears, so low that it can only be picked up by sophisticated geothermal listening devices, African elephants wallowing in the fetid lowlands of the Kenyan rain forest, and ancient blue whales diving for albino plankton in the silent inky depths of the Mariana Trench.
An open letter to members of the Bainbridge Island City Council: You have a difficult job ahead of you. As you do it, you should expect a lot of citizen disappointment and, naturally, the resulting flood of criticism from your constituents whose pet city projects no longer make sense.
The first time I met Ron Konzak was 20 years ago. The Chamber of Commerce sponsored a naval tour of the island. A tour boat providing dinner and a dance floor sailed through our bays. (It could have stayed at the dock the entire time because drinking, eating, dancing and having a fine time were the main attraction.)
Washington State Ferries representatives will be in town Monday to discuss operational and pricing strategies, which consist primarily of taking a new approach to an old problem that can be expected for most commuter runs – congestion in peak periods and underutilized vessels and facilities in off-peak times. They want to accomplish this by tweaking the pricing system and installing a systemwide reservation system.
Last month some of our neighbors came to Helpline House to seek help. Some needed food, clothing or counseling while others asked for information, legal issues help, housing or transportation assistance. In their own words, they were:
How long of a line do you suppose you could draw with one ordinary pencil? A mile? Ten miles? Thirty-seven miles?
The Fourth of July is just around the corner – the fireworks stands are open and plans for the “Grand Old Fourth” are under way. The Fourth of July provides a wide range of opportunities to celebrate American independence; opportunities as diverse as the population of the United States.
How did this happen? Did anyone see it coming? With the arrest of one member of the Class of 2008 Friday morning in connection with “Paint Night” (more like “Paint Week”) vandalism, and word of more arrests on the way, we are left to wonder what made this specific group cross over the line that had been loosely drawn by previous practitioners of this long island tradition. Why them? Why now? Now what?
(The following is adapted from remarks made last week at “Reading Leading,” an event held by the Bainbridge Schools Foundation to celebrate island authors and benefit school district reading programs. I omitted the part where I pointed out that a copy of “Skeletons from Our Closet” would make an excellent Father’s Day or graduation present. And to the very gracious staff at Wing Point where the event was held, I apologize again and want to reiterate that I have no idea how all that silverware got into my briefcase.)
Habitat for Humanity, perhaps one of our society’s more effectual programs created to help people help themselves, has had very little success on Bainbridge Island. In recent years it has turned donated land into two houses built in the Fort Ward area and another at Hidden Cove, but the island’s skyrocketing land values have made it difficult for the Kitsap County nonprofit to afford the type of ambitious projects it prefers.
Ron Konzak is the Bard of Bainbridge, a poet and “island treasure.” Esoteric, eclectic, electric, creative, humanistic, universalistic, humorous — Ron is these and more.
I took a short trip by plane this weekend and discovered airports have started something new since my last flight — security lines where travelers self-identify by experience and degrees of personal chaos.