Daily Archives: July 15, 2009

Blakely Ave. federal stimulus project nearing completion

The city will begin the final phase of federally-funded bicycle and pedestrian improvements along Blakely Avenue.

The project, which extends from Bucklin Hill Road to the IslandWood environmental learning center’s driveway, was one of three Kitsap County transportation projects awarded federal stimulus funding.

The final phase includes the widening of Blakely’s north shoulder across from Blakely Elementary School. Work crews have already installed a new sidewalk linking the Blakely Heights neighborhood with the school, a drop-off area on the south side of Baker Hill Road to ease congestion in the school parking lot, and new road center islands with solar-powered beacons to slow traffic.

The project’s construction costs will likely come in under budget. Initially estimated at $67,000, the project’s contractor bid at just over $46,600.

“We were very pleased to receive such a reasonable bid,” acting Public Works Director Bob Earl said in a statement. “With city staff costs and contingency funds included, the total project budget is estimated at $96,000 – considerably less than the (stimulus) funding. This means that island residents will benefit from the project with no (local) tax dollars expended.”

Approximately $50,000 of the $150,000 stimulus award is expected to return to Kitsap County for reallocation in a future funding round.

Sen. Murray squeezes feds for more ferry money

Patty Murray
Patty Murray
A day after Washington State Ferries learned it was excluded from a batch of federal stimulus ferry grants, almost $3 million has suddenly found its way to WSF.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray announced today that she secured an additional $7.6 million in federal money for Washington’s ferry systems.

According to the Associated Press, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood admitted the sole $750,000 grant awarded to Washington was an oversight and would be fixed. The initial grant was for a Skagit County ferry that is not a part of WSF.

The additional funds secured by Murray include $3 million for WSF’s Anacortes terminal replacement project, $2 million for King County’s ferry system and, for us Kitsapers, a hefty $2.5 million for Kitsap Transit’s passenger ferry prototype project.

State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond told the AP that state and county ferry systems applied for 11 grants totaling about $56 million.

Washington has the largest ferry system in the nation. But initially, of the 19 states that received ferry money, Washington received more than only Arkansas and Kentucky.

BI company fighting Amazon.com over trademark

A small Bainbridge design firm has sent its lawyer to do battle with mega-retailer Amazon.com over a trademarked shopping site’s name.

Hildebrand Lane-based Daigle Design owns the online shopping page windowshoppinginternational.com

Amazon has a high-tech shopping site at windowshop.com called AmazonWindow Shop.

“Well, we thought that they had just claim-jumped our name,” Geoff Daigle told Sun business reporter Rachel Pritchett for a story that appeared this week.

Daigle’s lawyer fired off a cease-and-desist letter alleging that Amazon violated the Daigle Design’s trademark, and that it could lose business if confused shoppers went to the Amazon site instead.

WSF’s allotment of federal ferry stimulus money: 0

Guess what? Texas has a ferry system. And it received over $7 million in the Fed’s latest round of stimulus funding.

How much did Washington State Ferries (the largest ferry system in the nation) get? Not a cent.

“That was a shocker,” Al McCoy, senior manager of WSF’s budget program, told Sun transportation reporter Ed Friedrich in a story printed today. “We don’t really have an explanation for that. We’re trying to find out why.”

WSF did recently receive $8.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds based on its size, but got nothing from the new fund for which it had to compete.

The state ferry system wanted $26 million to replace the Anacortes terminal and $9 million to fix up the Hyak ferry.

Michigan received the most money: $8.3 million. Maine got $6.8 million and New York pulled in $6.5 million.

A photo tour of the Williams property


The Bainbridge park district received a $1 million state grant this week to help offset the purchase of the nine-acre Williams property on Manzanita Bay. Read more about the grant and the property here.

To see a photo tour of the Williams property, click here.

Never been to the Williams property? You’re not alone. Purchased for use as a park by the city in 2007 for $1.5 million, the property has largely sat unused. It’s not marked with signs and doesn’t appear on park maps. But you’re still welcome to visit.

There’s plenty to see: a nice view of Manzanita Bay and the Agate Pass Bridge, a quiet pebble beach, a good sized lawn and even a pickleball court. There’s a house on the property too, but that’s currently being used by the park district caretaker. Future plans include possibly turning the caretaker’s house into a gathering and classroom space and opening a small boat shed for public use. A non-motorized boat launch will also be worked in. The pickleball court will likely become part of a small parking area.

To find the Williams property, take Koura Road west and continue on to where it merges with Williams Lane. Follow the gravel lane to its end. The public portion of the Williams property is on the right (north) side of the lane.