Monthly Archives: August 2011

New Poll: Who should run the Winslow water utility?

The future of the Winslow water utility has become one of the key debates in at least two of the four City Council races this year.

Candidates David Ward and Steve Bonkowski want to transfer the utility to the Poulsbo-based Kitsap Public Utility District, which has estimated it can cut water rates by 45 percent.

Incumbent Barry Peters (who faces Bonkowski in the race for the At-Large position) and Central Ward candidate Joe Levan (who is facing Ward) want to retain the utility, saying local control over water resources is preferable.

Local control supporters have also expressed concern that transferring the water utility may drive up sewer rates because the shared resources with the water utility would disappear.

The City Council is moving toward an initial 25 percent rate reduction, with more cuts planned in the near future. Read more about that in this story.

Peters is proposing that the city cut rates down to the level that KPUD is proposing.

But proponents of the transfer say the much smaller Winslow water utility can’t keep a high level of service if it cuts rates as low as KPUD.

So, what do you think? Head over to the right column (below the Facebook link) to cast your vote.

For the results of the last poll, head below.

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A path to one of Bainbridge’s great mysteries

I called up city Road Ends Committee chairwoman Bitsy Ostenson last week to chat about the rumor that someone had built a deck and stairwell on the Pleasant Lane road end, a narrow strip of property intended for public beach access.

Turns out the rumor was true. Ostenson isn’t happy about the private use of public land, and is a bit nonplussed about the city’s reticence to do anything about it.

But this is not nearly the only island road end that needs attention, she said.

A big one in her mind is the North Street road end on Agate Point. It’s the only public access point to the beach where a rare rock carving has sat facing Indianola for some 1,500 to 3,000 years.

Known as the Haleelts petroglyph, it confounded Bainbridge’s first white settlers and appears to be a mystery even to local tribes, said Bainbridge historian Jerry Elfendahl.

“Its origins are unknown to the Suquamish or anyone,” Elfendahl wrote in an essay about the petroglyph.

The petroglyph is grown over with barnacles but it’s periodically cleaned up to reveal what looks to be faces and human figures.

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Clock is ticking to file for Bainbridge port district race

Thursday is the last day to file to run for the proposed Port of Bainbridge Island.

The November ballot will let Bainbridge voters decide whether to create the new taxing district. At the same time, voters will chose the port district’s first batch of commissioners. If the port measure fails, the commission candidates will have to seek work/public service elsewhere.

There are five commissioner spots. Candidates won’t campaign directly against each other. The top five vote-getters in the race will serve on the commission if the port measure passes.

County elections officials decided on a very short filing period. It began on Tuesday and ends on Thursday at 5 p.m. So if you want to run (there is no filing fee, by the way), toss your hat in the ring here.

Port backers say they’re scrambling to find people to run. When I wrote about this issue last week, only four names were being floated as possible candidates. Most were associated with the city harbor commission and/or island yacht clubs.

The port district may have a broad reach, touching on marine environmental issues, the liveaboard community, pubic road ends, tourism, public docks and boat haul-out facilities. Some nearby port districts even run their own ferries (Kingston), air ports and industrial parks (Bremerton) and marinas (Poulsbo).

The money at the Bainbridge port’s disposal is expected to start at an annual $600,000. Commissioners are paid on the order of $90 per meeting they attend.

Here’s a link to the port backers’ website.

Bainbridge man named the sixth ‘most beautiful’ person in Washington D.C.

Photo: The Hill

You dream of a life in politics, you get into the right college, you get good grades, you make the right connections, you land a good job in D.C., you work hard and finally, FINALLY somebody notices …. you’re beautiful.

That’s how it happened for 2005 Bainbridge High grad Zach Mallove, who was ranked number six in The Hill’s 50 most beautiful people working at the nation’s capital.

“These days life may be ‘beautiful’ for Zach Mallove, but his start on Capitol Hill wasn’t quite as pretty,” begins the Hill’s profile of the 24-year-old legislative aide for Sen. Patty Murray.

The unprettiness Mallove had to overcome was the D.C. subway system. A subway mixup on his first day made him 45 minutes late (possibly also due to what he admits is a lengthy morning grooming routine).

Arriving late was “obviously, not the best first impression,” Mallove told The Hill.

But what he lacked in punctuality was surely made up for in beauty. He got to keep his job and “he’s likely got a long career ahead of him,” declared the Seattle Weekly after reading the Hill’s profile.

For more about Mallove (including his nightlife preferences, calorie-busting workout routine and his thoughts on the Senate’s debt ceiling agreement (just kidding), head over here.