Monthly Archives: September 2008

Teens get diversion agreements for police vehicle vandalism

Read Kitsap Sun police reporter Josh Farley’s story on the price two Bainbridge teens must pay for painting and slashing the tires of police vehicles in June.

County prosecutors will drop vandalism charges against two Bainbridge Island teens if they stay crime-free for a year, do community service, and pay back the police department for the eight patrol cars they damaged.

Samuel Bice, 18, and Colin Bowman, 18, have entered the felony diversion program, according to Chris Casad, Kitsap County deputy prosecutor.

Bice and Bowman were arrested by Bainbridge police in June after an investigation revealed the pair had painted eight patrol cars and slashed the tires on some of them, including Chief Matt Haney’s vehicle, which was at his home. Some of the cars had “08” painted on them. The incidents occurred around the time of the island’s “paint night” tradition for Bainbridge High School’s graduating seniors.

Continue reading

Sand pit’s stop work order upheld

The city hearing examiner denied an appeal this week by a local development company forced to halt work on a 4-acre sand pit operation on the island’s south end.

In her decision, Hearing Examiner Margaret Klockars affirmed the city’s late June decision to halt the operation at the intersection of Fletcher Bay and Lynwood Center roads for violating land use permit rules and possibly endangering the largely residential area’s underground water supply.

Continue reading

A tour of the island’s edible landscapes

There are no neat rows in Chuck Estin’s vegetable garden, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a complex system at work.

“It’s a big gimish, I know,” Estin said, pointing to the sprawling mass of green near his front door. Resembling a forest floor more than a vegetable garden, the dozen plants in the 30-square-foot plot were chosen for their ability to cooperate while producing food.

A Japanese fuki plant produces edible stems and broad leaves that fall, decay and enrich the soil for quince and pawpaw, a Kentucky transplant with a custard-like fruit. Strong-smelling mint repels unwanted insects and ground cover of alpine strawberries holds weeds at bay. Yellow calendula flowers dotting the plot attract pollinating bees that help the mini-ecosystem thrive.

The rest of Estin’s Lynwood Center yard, which amounts to about a fifth of an acre, is layered with 108 different kinds of food and flower-producers.

“We get pretty much all the vegetables and fruit we eat from right here,” he said.

Continue reading

Change in government petitioners gather 1,200 signatures

Petitioners pushing for vote on replacing the city’s elected mayor with a hired manager say they have enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot.

Signature gatherer Dennis Vogt filed over 1,200 signatures with the city clerk this week.
Petitioners need almost 1,000 signatures representing 10 percent of the island’s voters for ballot consideration.

Initially targeting the November ballot, petitioners now prefer a February or November 2009 vote.

Continue reading

Watch out for trinket-selling hippies on Bainbridge beaches

Steeply rising gas prices and a souring economy have grounded many jet-set vacations. But that doesn’t mean Puget Sounders can’t find adventure nearby.

Try a “staycation,” advises the The Naked Loon, Puget Sound’s “Most Spectacular (satirical) Newspaper.”

But staycationers be warned: while Bainbridge may seem like a good place for a little R&R, the island has many unsavory characters roaming the beaches.

According to the Loon:

Hippies selling trinkets on the beach will say or do just about anything to get you to buy their wares. Officer Mike Gerard says that you should be skeptical of their claims—but feel free to ask them for a little dance if you want. Trinket dealers often tell tourists that their knick-knacks are made of high-quality plastic and then quote prices starting at around $5. But Gerard points out that the do-dads are almost always made from nothing more than discarded seashells gathered at low tide. “Tourists from the ‘mainland’ are always looking for a bargain,” Gerard says.

And I thought the last of the Bainbridge hippies were swept off the island in the late 80’s when Bellevue settlers began crossing the Sound for greener pastures. It’s good to see pockets of resistance remain, and that they’re continuing their age-old do-dad selling traditions.

The ‘mystery’ of B.I.’s kindergarten boom

I heard an array of theories to explain the surprise spike in both public and private kindergarten enrollment this year. Some of them are recounted in the story below.

School officials are happy to have a fresh crop of kids sprout up after the last couple years of sagging enrollment.

After talking to a lot of people and looking at national, state and school district demographics and other data, I never did find an answer that seemed to hit the nail squarely on the head. School administrators are also a bit baffled, as were the real estate agents and city planners I talked to.

What’s your theory to explain the island’s kindergarten boom?

Continue reading

Winslow Way property tops state hazardous sites list

The former Unocal gas station property on Winslow Way was one of four Kitsap County properties added to the state’s Hazardous Sites List this week.

Sitting at Winslow Way’s intersection with the highway, the 1-acre property has for several years been hemmed by a fence decorated with murals and banners.

The property hosted a gas station from 1957 until 1989. It is currently joint-owned by the city of Bainbridge Island and Kitsap Transit. Three underground storage tanks — with one or more leaking — were removed in 1991.

The site could impact the stream in Winslow Ravine, which borders the property to the west.

Continue reading

Police blotter: Search continues for a barefooted, gravel-throwing street burner

This week, a mysterious barefooted teen lit an intersection ablaze and pummeled a witness’ car with gravel before disappearing into the woods.

Police mounted a late night search of the area, going door-to-door and checking the feet of sleepy teenagers. The search was called off after officers found only innocence-proving clean feet.

Also this week, a man wakes up to find his truck’s gas flavored with strawberry Nesquik, and a gas-thieving boater takes a victory lap for the benefit of landlubber police officers.

Continue reading

Can Bainbridge achieve energy independence?

A Vashon Island environmental research group thinks Bainbridge has a good shot at energy independence.

But Kitsap Sun readers apparently don’t.

My story about Institute of Environmental Research and Education director Rita Schenck’s appearance at the Bainbridge Environmental Conference sparked quite a discussion at the Sun’s Web site this weekend. You can check out the story below or by clicking here, where you can weigh in about Bainbridge’s chances of saving and making enough energy to achieve self-sufficiency.

To learn more about IERE, visit its Web site here.

For the IERE’s energy plan for Vashon, go here and click on “Energy Independent Communities” to download the report.

Continue reading

Despite outcry, city moves forward with debt-funded plan

The City Council narrowly approved a controversial bond-funded plan Wednesday that would put nearly $1.8 million toward small-scale capital projects.

“We’re all taxpayers and wish the city could meet its obligations without going into debt,” said Councilman Barry Peters. “Projects like the famous bathroom are now virtually done and we have to pay for it,” he said, noting that the long delayed Waterfront Park restroom is, after almost eight years, finally set for completion in the coming months.

Road repairs, bicycle lanes and city dock upgrades were also included in the bond-funded plan.

While using bonds to fund capital projects is common, critics argued that most of the plan’s elements were for small items that could have been paid for out of the general fund or deferred to a later time when the city wasn’t facing a $2.5 million revenue shortfall.

Continue reading