Monthly Archives: August 2012

WSF mulling options for taxis at Bainbridge terminal

As we reported earlier this month, the Bainbridge City Council wants Washington State Ferries to consider moving the taxi waiting area away from the front entrance of the Bainbridge terminal.

WSF is taking the request seriously.

Ferries director David Moseley plans to meet with city representatives to discuss congestion at the terminal, WSF spokeswoman Marta Coursey said in an email Tuesday. Coursey said ferry planners are evaluating a few options to share with the city.

The council asked WSF to consider relocating the taxi waiting area after hearing from islanders who said it was difficult to load and unload at the terminal. Taxis, shuttle buses and private vehicles share a narrow lane north of the building. Traffic crawls through the  zone during busy commuter hours and taxis queuing along the curb outside the entrance make it tricky to drop off walk-on passengers near the door.

“It’s something that I consider to be an obvious issue,” Councilwoman Kirsten Hytopoulos said Aug. 16. “I mean, I don’t know where we’re supposed to park to pick up our grandmas.”

You can read a draft of the city’s letter to WSF here.

Stream bugs offer clues to health of Bainbridge waters

Caddisfly casings cling to a rock pulled from Bainbridge’s Cooper Creek on Wednesday. (Below) a frog keeps a wary eye on its surroundings. (Tad Sooter photos)

When fly fishermen approach a stream they watch for a few familiar bugs. A flurry of mayflies, caddisflies or stoneflies tell an experienced angler what food fish are rising for.

When water quality specialists approach a stream they look for the same insects for different reasons. To the trained eye, those water-dwelling macro invertebrates offer clues to the overall health of a creek.

I received a crash course on stream bugs Wednesday as I tagged along with volunteers from the city’s Water Quality and Flow Monitoring Program, in preparation for a story on the city’s State of the Island’s Waters report, which was released with little fanfare earlier this summer.

Five years of data gathered from all 12 Bainbridge watersheds and around the island’s shoreline went into the report. It’s the first comprehensive study of island water health the city has completed. The report confirmed that many island streams still struggle with high levels of harmful bacteria and nutrients, and low dissolved oxygen.

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Police Blotter: ‘Skittish’ collie causes $1,200 in bicycle damage


A 48-year-old Bainbridge cyclist crashed on Point White Drive on Aug. 16 while trying to avoid a “skittish” collie on a leash. The dog’s owner agreed to pay for repairs to the bicycle, which a bike shop estimated at $1,200.

Also this week, burglars crawled through the window of a north-island home and made off with more than $10,000 in jewelry along with home electronics.

The blotter is below.

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Bainbridge senior center gets new name; opening set for December

The Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center will no longer be the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center when it moves into its new space this winter. The City Council voted Wednesday to change the Brien Drive building’s name to Waterfront Park Community Center.

The Bainbridge senior center board requested the change to clear up confusion surrounding the name of the city-owned facility, which is also referred to as the Bainbridge Commons. Senior center President Don Fisher said the new name would also reflect the diverse range of programs hosted at the building.

“We feel with the name change we’re better representing who we are,” he said.

The city and senior center are splitting the cost of a $500,000 reconstruction of the senior center’s space in the west wing of the building. The senior center is operating out of the east wing (pictured above) as construction continues. The west wing was demolished in May.

Mayor Debbi Lester said the reconstruction project is on schedule and on budget. A grand reopening is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 4.

(Meegan Reid/File photo)


Bainbridge Boxing Club ready to rumble for a good cause

Ben Little is no Don King.

Mainstream boxing might be about making big money for big promoters, but Little, founder of the Bainbridge Island Boxing Club, is more interested in fighting for a good cause.

All money raised by his club’s “Battle for the Beasts” exhibition Saturday will benefit the Kitsap Humane Society. The unlikely pairing of pooches and pugilists was suggested by club member Laura Swanson, who works at the shelter.

“I really like the idea of charity events,” said Little, 36. “It highlights the majesty of the sport. It takes away the stigma, and totally shows it in a different light.”

Little is billing the exhibition as the island’s first live boxing event since 1906. The eight-round main event pits John “Sandman” Daigneault against Dustin “Hurricane” Praxedes. The headline bout will be followed by several five-round matches: “Angel of Death” Swanson vs. Allison “Sugarfists” Spiceland; Isiah “King Kong” Conner vs. Jason “Mean Mother” Tucker; and Jim “Ironman” Savage vs. James “The Vanilla Gorilla” Miller. Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Ivan Salaverry will serve as a celebrity judge.

Matches begin at 5 p.m. in the club’s gym, 563 Madison Ave. N. Tickets are $10.

Fighters have been using bmi scales to keep a good track of their improvements to get prepared for a fight. The Bainbridge Island Boxing Club opened a year ago and has about 70 members. Little and a handful of other instructors teach boxing, kickboxing and fitness.

Bye for now, Bainbridge

Bainbridge Conversation readers,

When it comes to covering Bainbridge Island, I’ve joked with some of my colleagues that I should have cut back on all the journalism in college and spent more time studying law and hydrogeology. That’s because the big stories on Bainbridge often feature one or both of these topics, and having a better understanding of their complexities would have served me well during the eight years I’ve reported on the island.

Well, now I get my chance.

I’m shipping off to Boulder, Colo. to study those very things – plus a whole lot more – as a Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado.

It’s an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. The basic idea is the university throws its doors open and lets me and the other four fellows take whatever classes will make us better environmental reporters. I’m planning on studying environmental sciences, environmental law, and I may try and squeeze in some writing and photojournalism courses. I’ll also attend conferences, go on field trips, participate in fellowship seminars and work on a research project.

With the other fellows hailing from the Los Angeles Times, Spokesman-Review and Associated Press New Delhi bureau, I can tell you that I’m still pinching myself that they let in a kid from the Kitsap Sun.

Speaking of the Sun, the paper has been amazingly supportive every step of the way, and have pledged to take me back when the fellowship ends in May.

I’m leaving the Bainbridge beat in the talented and highly-capable hands of Tad Sooter, whose byline has been appearing regularly in the Bainbridge Islander and Kitsap Sun. He’s worked for the Bainbridge Island Review, North Kitsap Herald and was the editor of the Kingston Community News.

I’ve admired Tad’s work for years, and I’m glad the Sun’s readers will be seeing more of his stories and photos.

You can read Sun editor David Nelson’s column about my departure and Tad’s new role here.

Please welcome Tad as he takes over this blog, and begins his rounds around the island. You can reach him at

Bye for now,