Daily Archives: April 1, 2009

Wal-Mart superstore breaks ground on Winslow Way


Within hours of announcing its plan to build a “supercenter” store in downtown Winslow, the Wal-Mart corporation broke ground today on a 260,000-square-foot facility aimed at serving all of the island’s shopping needs.

Citing the city’s financial troubles, city planners reviewed and permitted the project using an obscure and rarely-implemented “fast-track” development approval process.

“Not only will the sales tax revenue save us from insolvency, it will finally allow us to build the golden-domed, Corinthian-columned, flying buttressed Waterfront Park restroom islanders need and deserve,” said planner Beulah Kratt.

The discount retailer broke ground on its new Winslow store at 8 a.m. By 10:30 a.m., Wal-Mart construction crews had cleared most of the existing buildings on the south side of Winslow Way and erected a sign that now dominates the Winslow skyline.

The store will include a vast retail area as well as full-service supermarket, pharmacy, auto repair center, photo processing lab, portrait studio, nail and beauty salon, barber shop, video rental store, lumber yard, optometrist’s office, garden center, bait and tackle shop, cellular phone store and a franchise of Botox Xpress, which will offer drive-thru morning and afternoon service.

The store will include several new Wal-Mart-owned outlets offering services that “honor and celebrate Bremerton Island’s retail heritage,” said a Wal-Mart spokesman.

The outlets under consideration include Beagle Harbor Books, Flying Pony Coffee Company, Isla Bon Neato Mexican restaurant and Churchhamster Yarn and Tea.

Editor’s note: April fools!

Speaker says manager-led government is good, but electing good people is better

Whether Bainbridge’s government sticks with its traditional political model or switches to one rooted in the business world, City Hall will remain only as good as the people chosen to run it.

That was the message municipal government expert Carl Neu drove home during a Tuesday night forum exploring the differences between mayor- and manager-led cities. Islanders will vote May 19 on whether to do away with the city’s elected mayor position in favor of a manager hired by the City Council.

“As you get into this question, try to separate yourselves from personalities and decide what makes sense structurally,” the Colorado-based consultant said to the over 100 people gathered in Bainbridge High School’s commons. “There’s never been a form of government that can overcome the foibles of humanity.”

While a manager-led government is no “silver bullet,” Neu characterized it as generally more cost-effective, efficient and transparent than the mayor form.

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