Daily Archives: January 28, 2009

Group taking shape to watch island’s groundwater supply

The Association of Bainbridge Communities is forming a water resources committee to look at the problem of declining groundwater reserves and make planning recommendations to the city.

ABC was founded 30 years ago by residents concerned about the island’s finite water supply.

To learn participate in the group, contact ABC member Arnie Kubiak at biabc2000@yahoo.com

Affordable housing design meeting set for Friday

Affordable housing advocates will give the first glimpse on Friday of designs for a 24-home development planned for Winslow’s east edge.

“We’re building a neighborhood that we hope will be seen as an asset to the entire community,” said Carl Florea, director of the Housing Resources Board, the island group leading the Ferncliff Avenue project’s development.

The resident-owned homes would incorporate earth-friendly features, common-use green spaces and an overall neighborhood design that puts out a welcome mat to walkers and cyclists rather than cars. The project would also add to the island’s nearly non-existent stock of homes affordable to middle-income earners.

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UPDATED: City staff get pink slips

The city of Bainbridge Island laid off six employees as part of a larger $2.3 million batch of planned cuts to keep pace with sharply declining revenues.

“Our cash levels have dropped to extremely low levels and our current revenues have seen dramatic decrease in the last few months,” City Administrator Mark Dombroski told the City Council during a meeting on Wednesday. “We have to take action now.”

The layoffs, proposed hiring freezes and other labor cost-cutting measures will help the city save about $1 million in 2009. Three employees in the planning department, two in public works and one in information technology were given termination notices this week. They are scheduled to leave in March.

“Unfortunately, the current economic reality has made (layoffs) unavoidable,” Dombroski said.

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WSF can’t even sell ferries as scrap?

Declining steel prices have put on hold the sale of four ferries moored off Winslow.

The 80-year-old Illahee, Nisqually, Klickitat and Quinault were slated for purchase by Environmental Recycling Systems. The company planned to tow the ferries to Mexico for use as scrap. But slumping value of steel has ERS second-guessing its $500,000 purchase.

Washington State Ferries is now seeking new bids for the boats, which were pulled from service in late 2007 after the U.S. Coast Guard discovered their rusting hulls. The boats have been awaiting their fate at WSF’s Eagle Harbor maintenance yard for over a year.

Woman missing from ferry may have killed herself

The Bellevue woman who went missing aboard a Bainbridge-bound ferry earlier this month may have killed herself, her husband said in an email to her work colleagues.

The Seattle Times reported today that Lynn Stafford-Yilmaz’s co-workers at Bellevue Community College, where Stafford-Yilmaz taught English, received an e-mail from her husband noting that she had “decided to end her life” before embarking on her late-night trip to Bainbridge.

A friend of Stafford-Yilmaz forwarded to the Times an e-mail from Mustafa Yilmaz that, in part, read: “Considering the situation, the note she left behind and the evidence, her family believes that Lynn decided to end her life that night. This was very unexpected for all of us.”

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