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I was in Spokane one day this past week helping my son pack up his dorm room for the summer. Adam is now a sophomore at Gonzaga University majoring in Afternoon Classes. That’s not as bad as it sounds. In another year, I’ll have a second child in college who quite possibly may be studying Advanced Tanning and Quantum Shopping Mechanics.
“It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. “
In case you didn’t already know, the city has begun updating the 2025-30 Comprehensive Plan, its first priority being the creation of a stratagem for the future of the island’s open spaces. It’s essentially another plan within a plan, but it’s fortuitous that city leaders realize the judiciousness of protecting the island’s most valuable commodity against the threat of urban sprawl. They fear that if they don’t plan now and stick to their guns later, the almighty dollar will turn this Seattle suburb into an enlarged version of Mercer Island.
At the recent Town Meeting at the American Legion Hall, a citizen suggested that I institute a column in the Review to address citizen questions – to “loop back to the people that are paying the bills” – from you, our taxpayers. This is the first of a series of columns that will address commonly asked questions, and I want to use it to respond to some of the questions about the city’s financial well-being that I heard at the meeting.
Once, at a party, the conversation was dragging a bit, when someone, asked: “What was the worst job you ever had?”
The Park District’s Finance Committee and commissioners have patiently been reviewing plans and finances to restore historic Yeomalt Cabin.
In the course of “researching” last week’s column about our national obsession with accumulating stuff, I came across a kindred spirit in the person of Jeffrey Kaplan. Mr. Kaplan wrote an article recently for Orion magazine called “The Gospel of Consumption.” Rather than just mindlessly ranting and throwing verbal bombs unfettered by logic or facts as is my preferred method of communication (and also the standard that prevails in American presidential campaigns), Mr. Kaplan did some actual research and uncovered an article from 1929 written by a Charles Kettering. At the time, Mr. Kettering was the director of General Motors Research. The article was called “Keep the Customer Dissatisfied,” and it outlined a strategic shift for American industry – a shift away from providing for basic human needs towards creating new needs.
It appears that the beloved outdoor-ed program, which for many years has served as a right of passage for island fourth graders, will soon become a budgeting victim. It won’t become official until next Thursday when the Bainbridge Island School District Board is expected to approve the administration’s plan to cut its 2008-09 budget by $1.4 million.
Much has been said lately in the media, letters and community blogs about what is going on with our city’s decreased revenue and constricted finances. For the last two months, Bainbridge Island Television (BITV) has been broadcasting City Council meetings and workshops as councilors debate the pros and cons of how to renovate Winslow Way. Part of that debate concerns two questions: 1) who is going to pay? and 2) for what?
Love charms us so; it makes us think we are stronger than we really are, when all the while it renders us vulnerable to pain of which we would know nothing were it not for the depth of our love. We think that love conquers all – hah! It is the Trojan horse of sorrow.
Members who could not attend the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center’s annual meeting on May 12 missed a great speaker.
As expected, everyone was polite and smiley when David Moseley, the new leader of Washington State Ferries, addressed the Bainbridge Island City Council on Wednesday. Word has it that Moseley is more attuned to public needs than the usual suspects running the system. Nevertheless, simmering just below the surface was the residue of a deep-rooted quarrel between the city and WSF regarding the ferry system’s Eagle Harbor maintenance yard.
The season of pomp and circumstance is upon us again. We duly celebrate the achievements of the students of Bainbridge Island School District, we recognize the dedicated efforts of the district’s faculty and staff, and we express our gratitude for community members’ myriad hours of volunteer service in and generous financial support of schools. In my view, we owe special thanks, particularly this year, to the members of the district’s Board of Directors.
I did a Google search on the word “heaven” and came up with 196 million hits, which seems like a lot of information about a place that (a) none of us has actually been to; and (b) may not even exist.
Poulsbo City Council member Becky Erickson dispatched an email Thursday with a copy of a proposed joint resolution she wants the governments of her city, Bainbridge and the Suquamish Tribe to approve and send to the state Department of Transportation. Cutting through all the “whereases,” the gist of it is to sequence the lights on SR-305 to the road end at Highway 3 “to maximize traffic flow (north and south)... during commute hours... in such a way as to reduce the excessive queuing times and move the traffic flow through the corridor in a timed pattern to avoid traffic flow interruption.”
I listen to the City Council with rapt wonder. How they discuss money, taxes, expenditures and budgets!
Step by step we are working to restore the health of Puget Sound, the rivers and our Pacific Coast. We’re working through the Puget Sound Partnership clean-up effort and also implementing the Tribal/State Ocean Ecosystem Initiative – an ecosystem-based approach to management of our Pacific coastal waters – to make this part of the world a healthier place for all of us to call home.
It is the responsibility of cities to maintain their roads, sidewalks and utilities. It is also a top tax priority of our community that the city provides safe, efficient utilities. Some have suggested recently that we should just fix the sewer main on Winslow Way and then in later years we can rip up the street again and repair the other utilities, road and sidewalks. The fact is that all three utilities on Winslow Way - water, sewer and stormwater – are cracked, failing or deficient. Significant sections of the sidewalk are also in disrepair. The current proposed Winslow Way project would correct all of these failing and deficient infrastructures.
For an island tucked away in the Pacific Northwest, Bainbridge often finds a way to become involved with national and international issues, primarily because of the type of people it attracts. Take Russell Regan for example. Regan and his family adopted a Guatemalan child in the 1990s and he eventually started an adoption agency based on the island. Today, some 30 children from that impoverished Central American country live on Bainbridge with their adopted parents.
This is no surprise, of course, but here’s the latest on what is going to be done with the old Unocal property at the corner of Winslow Way and Olympic Drive, you know, that eyesore that serves as the gateway to Bainbridge Island: Nothing is going to be done anytime soon. Maybe never, since the lot has been empty since the oil company eradicated its gas station in the early 1990s.