Update with the chief

Andrew Binion
Andrew Binion

Kitsap Sun reporter Andrew Binion sat down with Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matthew Hamner to talk about his first two years with the city and changes that have been made.

The department has moved to an organizational structure similar to other departments in the county, going from lieutenants to sergeants as first line supervisors.

There also are plans to have a community resource officer funded by a federal grant.

Hamner came from Indianapolis. Read about his background in a previous Kitsap Sun article.

Revisions continue with island rebranding

An editorial cartoon by Milt Priggee mingling the uproar with the island annual Rotary sale (shown above) ran in the June 28 edition of the Kitsap Sun.
An editorial cartoon by Milt Priggee mingling the uproar with the island annual Rotary sale (shown above) ran in the June 28 edition of the Kitsap Sun.

As consultants work on revising logos and a new brand for the city and downtown associations, some Bainbridge Island residents are asking the city to restart the process with local artists.

Since the new branding ideas were unveiled June 11, an online petition has garnered nearly 600 signatures to cut ties Arnett Muldrow & Associates, a two-man team from South Carolina.

The petition came after critics were out in force when images of the proposed logos were posted on social media the day after the unveiling. Hundreds of comments, almost entirely negative, were posted on Facebook.

Several readers have weighed in through letters to the editor — “Bainbridge already lost its brand” and “Branding can do better on Bainbridge” — and an editorial cartoon by Milt Priggee mingling the uproar with the island annual Rotary sale (shown above) ran in the June 28 edition of the Kitsap Sun. (If you’d like to share your opinion in the Sun or Islander through a letter, email David Nelson at david.nelson@kitsapsun.com.)

The city took public comment on the branding process through June 26, and revisions are expected in one to two weeks, said Kellie Stickney, the city’s community engagement specialist.

That won’t be the last opportunity for public input though.

Feedback will be taken again after revisions are made public, Stickney said, although no date for a presentation has been set.

The axes in the proposed logos were nixed by the end of the June 11 presentation, and other options were nixed after online outcry the following day. At this point the crest won’t be moving forward in the design, and there could be a different font and color scheme, City Manager Doug Schulze told City Council.

Rockaway Beach residents asked to reduce water use

Water5_13374983_ver1.0_640_480City officials are calling Rockaway Beach residents to ask them to reduce water use, specifically landscape irrigation.

A new release from the city said the Rockaway Beach water system, which serves about 90 homes, is experiencing “unusually high water consumption.” The increase is putting stress on the system that pulls water from a single well with limited capacity.

While it hasn’t been dangerously hot on the island, higher than normal temperatures have hit the region, along with dry conditions.

No other areas of the city’s water system have been affected, according to the city.

Bainbridge’s first retail pot shop opened


Paper & Leaf co-owner Brendan Hill is shown walking through the store in a reflection on a glass case where marijuana products are locked up. (Photo by Rachel Anne Seymour/Kitsap Sun)
Paper & Leaf co-owner Brendan Hill is shown walking through the store in a reflection on a glass case where marijuana products are locked up. (Photo by Rachel Anne Seymour/Kitsap Sun)

Bainbridge Island’s first and only retail marijuana shop could pass for an art gallery or café with its natural light, neutral color scheme, vinyl music and refurbished wood décor, if not for the smell of marijuana.

Even the name, Paper & Leaf, doesn’t reek of weed clichés.

Owners Steve Kessler and Brendan Hill held the company’s grand opening Wednesday, after having a soft opening for friends and family June 20. The 1,800-square-foot store is just off Highway 305 in the industrial park at 8040 Day Road.

Although state regulations won’t allow more than one retail shop on the island and Paper & Leaf won’t have competition within a 30 minute commute, it is doing business a little different from other pot stores around the Sound.

Shoppers won’t find candy-like edibles for one.

While islanders strongly supported legalizing marijuana, there was a concern about can candy edibles appealing to children and minors, Kessler said.

About 70 percent of the island’s voters backed Initiative 502, which legalized marijuana in 2012, compared to 56 percent statewide.

Instead of candy edibles, Paper & Leaf has liquid products customers can drop directly into their mouths or use to bake.

When using products for the first time, Kessler suggested taking it slow.

“I always tell people, ‘Less is better,’” he said, especially with edibles that can take up to two hours to take affect.

Paper_Leaf_IMG_6115_webHow Paper & Leaf displays its marijuana products also is a little different from most.

They are all locked in wood and glass cases on the walls and not behind the register. Producers, including several locals, have their own case with a variety of strains.

More than half of Paper & Leaf’s producers are in Kitsap or North Mason, Kessler said.

Product not only arrives faster with closer producers, he added, it’s a way of supporting other local business.

Marijuana isn’t the only local item Kessler and Hill want to hang on the wall.

One long, blank wall by the store entrance will eventually feature artwork from local island and area artists. The first exhibit will be a history of cannabis, Kessler said, although future exhibits can be unrelated to marijuana.

The art is part of a goal to create a relaxed atmosphere at Paper & Leaf.

To add to the vibe, customers can talk with staff or among themselves — as some did Wednesday — at a long table made from reclaimed wood by the local Coyote Woodshop.

Even with a relaxed feel, security is tight.

There are 28 cameras throughout the parking lot and every room in the business, except the bathroom. Kessler and Hill also had motion detectors, automatic locks and broken glass sensor installed.

Paper & Leaf staff continue working on the store as others help customers during the grand opening on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. (Photo by Rachel Anne Seymour/Kitsap Sun)
Paper & Leaf staff continue working on the store as others help customers during the grand opening on Wednesday, June 24, 2015. (Photo by Rachel Anne Seymour/Kitsap Sun)

Police blotter for June 26 edition

polie_blotter_logoSpeeding leads to underage pot citation
A teenager was cited for possession of marijuana after a silver Lexus was pulled over for going 42 in a 30-mph zone on Sportsman Club Road on June 20.
As a Bainbridge Island Police Department officer spoke with the 18-year-old female driver, he noticed a “strong odor of green (non-burned) marijuana,” according to a police report.
The officer asked the driver how much marijuana was in the car. She told him there was none, but there had been marijuana in the car previously.
The officer told the driver that she had to be 21 to possess pot, and asked her for the marijuana. She then pulled a small plastic bag with 5.4 grams of “a green leafy substance” out of her purse, before telling the officer, “I cannot believe I just gave you my marijuana.”
The driver was given a warning for speeding and a citation for the marijuana, according the police report.

Updated to reflect the edited code item in the June 26 print edition of the Islander.

BARN awarded $500K grant

barn_logo2Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN) has earned a $500,000 grant from the C. Keith Birkenfeld Memorial Trust for a new facility.

This grant pushes BARN’s campaign for a 25,000-square-foot artisan center over $5 million, and closer to its $7.5 million goal, said Carolyn Goodwin, BARN spokeswoman.

BARN is currently in a 2,000-square-foot facility, which was meant to be a temporary location for the nonprofit. It is home to metalworking, fiber arts, writing, printmaking and glass work, among others.

BARN is a nonprofit organization, which formed in 2012 to operate a “hands-on center for craft and invention” on the island.

The organization is hoping to break ground this fall on the new center.


Orange is the new bench color, but not officially

One of the benches that has been painted orange near along Winslow Way. Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun
One of the benches that has been painted orange near along Winslow Way.
Photos by Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun

Tristan Baurick/Kitsap SunAt least four small cement cube benches along Winslow Way were “mysteriously” painted orange recently without consent from city officials, said City Manager Doug Schulze.

The city is trying to find out who did it.

“The issue we have now is cleanup of this might be problematic,” Schulze told the council Tuesday. “Because pressure washing or using some sort of solvent could damage the surface of the concrete.”

The city could leave the benches orange or paint over them with a cement gray color.

“If you hear any rumors about who might have done this, we’d like to chat with them so this doesn’t continue,” Schulze said.

Requesting proposals, not a consultant, for Suzuki property sale

suzukimapBainbridge Island could be asking for proposals for the Suzuki property, instead of hiring consultants.

Councilman Val Tollefson said a council subcommittee he is on decided hiring a consultant — who would breakdown how much money could be made on the property based on the buyer and development purpose — would leave the city right where is was Tuesday, needing to ask for proposals.

Interested parties would have 45 days to respond to the published request, which is expected to have a list of priorities for the Suzuki property laid out by the city.

Those priorities are:

  • Affordable housing or mixed housing with affordable and market-value houses.
  • Green and sustainable construction.
  • Open space, community gardens and connecting trails.
  • Integration with adjacent neighborhoods and island character.

Tollefson also suggested the public should have input on the proposals the city receives.

Several residents have voiced concern about traffic issues and housing density. Others have asked the city to leave the property as is.

The school district is not interesting in buying the property, Mayor Anne Blair said.

The council has previously talked about allowing affordable housing to be built on the land.

“Frankly, the city owns a valuable piece of property and needs some money,” Tollefson said.

The undeveloped Suzuki land is assessed at about $500,000, according to county documents, which is the price the city paid for the property in 2000.

The City Council decided to sell the 14-acre Suzuki property in 2008, and use the money to pay for a new police station.

Last week, the council selected a site for a new police station and court facility. It is estimated to cost about $15 million, including buying land.

Foundation could oversee city money to nonprofits

COBI_logo.jpgBainbridge-Community-Foundation.jpgCity Council is considering paying the Bainbridge Community Foundation to oversee and help allocate about $323,000 for nonprofits.

An exact cost or where the money would come from was not decided during Tuesday’s council meeting, although the foundation’s proposal outlined $21,050 in fees.

Community nonprofits voiced concern about how paying the foundations could take away money for local services.

The Health, Housing and Human Services Council previously helped guide the city in funding local nonprofits.

During the economic downturn, the council all but dissolved the Health, Housing and Human Services Council. The city cut away $103,000 worth of administrative support in 2010, ending funding for the organization’s executive director and administrative assistant.

The Health, Housing and Human Services Council was created by the city in the early 1990s, and tasked with distributing city money to about a dozen human service groups — from the food bank to the teen center. It also undertook regular community needs assessments and surveys.

The city has still provided funding to nonprofits since 2010, although it has not reviewed whether the amount these organizations receive should change based on needs or if the organizations are still based on Bainbridge Island.

A new Human Services Funding Advisory Committee also would be formed to make recommendations on goals and funding allocations.

Kids Club still in search of new location

By Chris Henry

Kids Club on Bainbridge Island is still looking for a new home.

The program, run by Bainbridge Island Child Care Centers, will have to leave the Bainbridge Island School District’s central campus, because the district needs the portables where Kids Club now meets to address space issues at Ordway Elementary School.

The district has said Kids Club can stay in the portables through the end of June, and the district has made the Ordway gym available through the end of August, until school begins.

The program is looking for a new location as close to the central campus as possible, said program director Shelley Long.

Anyone with a potential location can call Long at 206-842-6525.