Category Archives: Community

Update with the chief

Andrew Binion
Andrew Binion

Kitsap Sun reporter Andrew Binion sat down with Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matthew Hamner to talk about his first two years with the city and changes that have been made.

The department has moved to an organizational structure similar to other departments in the county, going from lieutenants to sergeants as first line supervisors.

There also are plans to have a community resource officer funded by a federal grant.

Hamner came from Indianapolis. Read about his background in a previous Kitsap Sun article.

Revisions continue with island rebranding

An editorial cartoon by Milt Priggee mingling the uproar with the island annual Rotary sale (shown above) ran in the June 28 edition of the Kitsap Sun.
An editorial cartoon by Milt Priggee mingling the uproar with the island annual Rotary sale (shown above) ran in the June 28 edition of the Kitsap Sun.

As consultants work on revising logos and a new brand for the city and downtown associations, some Bainbridge Island residents are asking the city to restart the process with local artists.

Since the new branding ideas were unveiled June 11, an online petition has garnered nearly 600 signatures to cut ties Arnett Muldrow & Associates, a two-man team from South Carolina.

The petition came after critics were out in force when images of the proposed logos were posted on social media the day after the unveiling. Hundreds of comments, almost entirely negative, were posted on Facebook.

Several readers have weighed in through letters to the editor — “Bainbridge already lost its brand” and “Branding can do better on Bainbridge” — and an editorial cartoon by Milt Priggee mingling the uproar with the island annual Rotary sale (shown above) ran in the June 28 edition of the Kitsap Sun. (If you’d like to share your opinion in the Sun or Islander through a letter, email David Nelson at david.nelson@kitsapsun.com.)

The city took public comment on the branding process through June 26, and revisions are expected in one to two weeks, said Kellie Stickney, the city’s community engagement specialist.

That won’t be the last opportunity for public input though.

Feedback will be taken again after revisions are made public, Stickney said, although no date for a presentation has been set.

The axes in the proposed logos were nixed by the end of the June 11 presentation, and other options were nixed after online outcry the following day. At this point the crest won’t be moving forward in the design, and there could be a different font and color scheme, City Manager Doug Schulze told City Council.

Rockaway Beach residents asked to reduce water use

Water5_13374983_ver1.0_640_480City officials are calling Rockaway Beach residents to ask them to reduce water use, specifically landscape irrigation.

A new release from the city said the Rockaway Beach water system, which serves about 90 homes, is experiencing “unusually high water consumption.” The increase is putting stress on the system that pulls water from a single well with limited capacity.

While it hasn’t been dangerously hot on the island, higher than normal temperatures have hit the region, along with dry conditions.

No other areas of the city’s water system have been affected, according to the city.

BARN awarded $500K grant

barn_logo2Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN) has earned a $500,000 grant from the C. Keith Birkenfeld Memorial Trust for a new facility.

This grant pushes BARN’s campaign for a 25,000-square-foot artisan center over $5 million, and closer to its $7.5 million goal, said Carolyn Goodwin, BARN spokeswoman.

BARN is currently in a 2,000-square-foot facility, which was meant to be a temporary location for the nonprofit. It is home to metalworking, fiber arts, writing, printmaking and glass work, among others.

BARN is a nonprofit organization, which formed in 2012 to operate a “hands-on center for craft and invention” on the island.

The organization is hoping to break ground this fall on the new center.

 

Orange is the new bench color, but not officially

One of the benches that has been painted orange near along Winslow Way. Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun
One of the benches that has been painted orange near along Winslow Way.
Photos by Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun

Tristan Baurick/Kitsap SunAt least four small cement cube benches along Winslow Way were “mysteriously” painted orange recently without consent from city officials, said City Manager Doug Schulze.

The city is trying to find out who did it.

“The issue we have now is cleanup of this might be problematic,” Schulze told the council Tuesday. “Because pressure washing or using some sort of solvent could damage the surface of the concrete.”

The city could leave the benches orange or paint over them with a cement gray color.

“If you hear any rumors about who might have done this, we’d like to chat with them so this doesn’t continue,” Schulze said.

Foundation could oversee city money to nonprofits

COBI_logo.jpgBainbridge-Community-Foundation.jpgCity Council is considering paying the Bainbridge Community Foundation to oversee and help allocate about $323,000 for nonprofits.

An exact cost or where the money would come from was not decided during Tuesday’s council meeting, although the foundation’s proposal outlined $21,050 in fees.

Community nonprofits voiced concern about how paying the foundations could take away money for local services.

The Health, Housing and Human Services Council previously helped guide the city in funding local nonprofits.

During the economic downturn, the council all but dissolved the Health, Housing and Human Services Council. The city cut away $103,000 worth of administrative support in 2010, ending funding for the organization’s executive director and administrative assistant.

The Health, Housing and Human Services Council was created by the city in the early 1990s, and tasked with distributing city money to about a dozen human service groups — from the food bank to the teen center. It also undertook regular community needs assessments and surveys.

The city has still provided funding to nonprofits since 2010, although it has not reviewed whether the amount these organizations receive should change based on needs or if the organizations are still based on Bainbridge Island.

A new Human Services Funding Advisory Committee also would be formed to make recommendations on goals and funding allocations.

Kids Club still in search of new location

By Chris Henry

Kids Club on Bainbridge Island is still looking for a new home.

The program, run by Bainbridge Island Child Care Centers, will have to leave the Bainbridge Island School District’s central campus, because the district needs the portables where Kids Club now meets to address space issues at Ordway Elementary School.

The district has said Kids Club can stay in the portables through the end of June, and the district has made the Ordway gym available through the end of August, until school begins.

The program is looking for a new location as close to the central campus as possible, said program director Shelley Long.

Anyone with a potential location can call Long at 206-842-6525.

Bainbridge funding public art program again

frog-rockThe city of Bainbridge Island is looking to start refunding the Public Art Program.

In November 2010, the council voted to suspend program funding.

Now, the council is moving forward with plans to transfer an equivalent of two-percent of all eligible municipal capital construction projects to the art program. Water, sewer and stormwater management facilities would not be eligible projects.

City officials could decide to include an additional transfer during discussions on individual projects.

City Council is expected to approve the ordinance during one of its Tuesday meetings in the near future.

City proposes an ordinance for homeless camps

City Council is considering an ordinance to allow temporary tent cities on property owned by religious organizations.

The city’s insurer, Washington Cities Insurance Authority, suggested city officials have regulations on tent cities since a church sued the city of Woodinville for not providing a permit for a temporary homeless camp in 2006. The church said the city was violating its first amendment right to free exercise of religion, and won the lawsuit.

Bainbridge Island’s proposed ordinance would allow camps for up to 92 days with a permit and require campers be over the age of 18. No drugs, alcohol or open flames would be allowed. The number of campers would be limited to 100.

A “ sight-obscuring fence” could be required around the camp unless there is “sufficient vegetation, topographic variation, or other site conditions,” according to the proposed ordinance.

A public hearing for the ordinance will be scheduled.

City approves off-leash dog trial at Pritchard Park

Claire Hicks plays fetch in the water with her dog French at Pritchard Park on Bainbridge Island. (LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN)
Claire Hicks plays fetch in the water with her dog French at Pritchard Park on Bainbridge Island. (LARRY STEAGALL / KITSAP SUN)

Pritchard Park will be open to off-leash dogs under voice command all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as Saturdays before noon. The ordinance was approved by a City Council vote Tuesday night.

The off-leash ordinance will go into effect as soon as the city can post signs. The city also plans to add mutt mitt locations and additional trash cans to the park.

Pritchard Park is owned by the city, but is planned to transfer to the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Parks District later this year. The parks district does not allow off-leash dogs except in designated off-leash areas, including the Strawberry Hill Dog Park.

The off-leash amendment will end two weeks before the park is transferred to the park district.

Ostling bill signed into law, requiring more police training

Governor Jay Inslee preparing to sign the Ostling Act into law April 24. Bainbridge Island Officer Trevor Ziemba, far left, and Kitsap County Sheriff Gary Simpson, center, attended the signing. Ziemba testified in favor of the bill. (Photo by Legislative Support Services)
Governor Jay Inslee preparing to sign the Ostling Act into law April 24. Bainbridge Island Officer Trevor Ziemba, far left, and Kitsap County Sheriff Gary Simpson, center, attended the signing. Ziemba testified in favor of the bill. (Photo by Legislative Support Services)

The Douglas M. Ostling Act, a measure that will require all Washington law enforcement to receive crisis intervention training, became law when Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill April 24.

Ostling, a mentally ill Bainbridge Island man, was shot and killed by Bainbridge Island police in 2010, and two years later a federal jury determined the city had not provided proper training for the officers, awarding the Ostling family $1.4 million.

The new law requires incoming police officers to receive eight hours of initial crisis intervention training starting in 2017, and two hours of additional training each year for all officers by 2021.

Since the shooting, Bainbridge Island’s newest police chief has been working to improve training and repair community ties.

Matt Hamner, hired in 2013, sent Officer Trevor Ziemba to Olympia to testify in favor of the Ostling bill. Ziemba is the department’s crisis intervention officer.

“We wanted to show our support of this bill,” Hamner said. “We want to do better, and we want to do the best we can for the community.”

City invests in phase II of Ferncliff Village

The first phase of Ferncliff Village development. (Brad Camp/Special to the Kitsap Sun)
The first phase of Ferncliff Village development. (Brad Camp/Special to the Kitsap Sun)

City Council agreed Tuesday to provide $150,000 for phase II of the Ferncliff Village, an affordable housing development by Housing Resources Bainbridge on the island.

Phase II will include 16 two and three bedroom townhomes, a playground and trails. Each townhome will cost about $200,000, according to the development’s website.

Housing Resources Bainbridge started the first phase of the development in 2011 and sold all of the homes by the fall of 2013.

The city will contribute $75,000 a year for two years after Housing Resources Bainbridge has a construction loan agreement.

Payments from the city will be reimbursements, and Housing Resources Bainbridge must submit receipts.