Electric car owners will have a working charging station in
A Chargepoint Electric Vehicle station will be put in place of
the Blink station that has been “out of service for quite some
time,” said Barry Loveless, Bainbridge Island public works
The Blink station has been down for several months and has been
working intermittently for about a year.
The situation will be different with Chargepoint, Loveless
“They have a good record of maintenance and response to
service,” he said.
To repair the current station, Blink wanted keep 60 percent of
the profits from the station and have the city to agree to an
exclusive 4-year contract that would allow only Blink stations at
Chargepoint will keep only 10 percent of the fees, and the city
will have full control of setting the fees with a 3-year
The city will even be able to monitor the usage online,
including the time and hours of usage.
“We can be as sophisticated as we want to be as far as setting
the rates,” Loveless said.
That was not the case with Blink.
Blink had not been as forthcoming with usage data, said Rex
Oliver, Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce president.
While the new station will have two charging cables, there will
only be one designated spot for electric car charging like there is
“Until there is a proven need, which we would learn by the use
of [the new charging station], I am not in favor of taking a new
spot,” Mayor Ann Blair said. “The advantage is we will learn what
the demand is.”
The new station is estimated to cost about $8,200.
The Kitsap Public Utility District’s community Wi-Fi project is
off the ground in downtown Bainbridge Island.
The island’s chamber of commerce approached KPUD several years
ago about providing free wifi in the downtown area, and now that
free Wi-Fi is available to residents and visitors along
Winslow Way and Madison Avenue, the chamber said in a news
While the Wi-Fi is free, it is not secure, meaning users
shouldn’t transmit any personal information or make financial
transactions using it.
KPUD has been testing Wi-Fi in downtown Poulsbo as well,
contracting with Intellicheck Mobilisa, Inc.,
last spring to analyze the best ways to provide public wireless
Internet to a variety of mobile devices and laptops. The Port
Townsend technology company specializes in wireless technology and
identity systems, according to its website.
KPUD had encountered problems with smartphones being compatible
with the Wi-Fi antennas before bringing in Mobilisa to test and
possibly install new antennas for the wireless project.
The Wi-Fi is free to the public, for now at least.
KPUD was not testing the wireless project with hopes of making a
profit, said Steve Perry, superintendent of telecommunications,
“All options are on the table right now. Right now we are
testing to see if it’s sustainable or reliable enough to charge
for,” he said last March.
State law that requires public utility districts to sell the
Internet at wholesale price to providers that offer it to consumers
at retail prices.
Eventually, KPUD wants to have wireless testing done in six of
the county’s community hubs — Poulsbo, Winslow, Port Orchard,
Kingston, Bremerton and Silverdale.
I am waiting to hear back from Perry on current details about
the Winslow project, including speeds.
The iconic Town & Country Market sign on Winslow Way came
down around 7:15 a.m. Wednesday morning. It will be replaced
by a similar looking sign. You can
read more about why the sign came down in a previous blog
The iconic 57-year-old Town & Country Market sign along
Winslow Way is showing its age — at least structurally — and will
be demolished Tuesday.
The 23-foot, 6-inch wood sign has become unsafe, said market
officials, and needs to be replaced with a steel and wood sign that
will be nearly identical in look.
“The new reader board will look like the old one, but will be
structurally sound,” Rick Pedersen, market director, said in a
press release. “We’re just so glad we’re able to keep it in its
original form and make sure it lasts another 50 years.”
Although the sign was first used to advertise market sale
prices, it eventually became a large announcement board for
community and public events.
The sign’s famous neon T and C that directly faces Winslow Way —
along with the rest of the neon parts — will be salvaged before the
demolition and used on the new sign or placed inside the store.
The new sign is expected to be finished this coming spring.
“It will look strange when it’s gone, but it is coming back,”
Pedersen said in a press release.
The store also is seeing a little change with a remodeled that
started in February and is scheduled to be finished during the
summer next year.
While Town & Country Market has undergone several small
remodels since it opened in August 1957, the current remodel is
it’s largest, according to market officials. The store has remained
open throughout the project, and will continue to do so.
The remodel will put all of the departments on one level, create
a new car entrance from Winslow Way, replace nearly all of the
store’s equipment and feature new restrooms.
The remodel also will include a staffed sushi counter and an
expanded Culinary Resource Center, among other items.
Even though last month the Bainbridge City Council pleased
Winslow Way merchants with the process it and the city took in
updating an ordinance for the retail use of sidewalks for cafes and
displays, the City Council is still keeping a close eye on the
seemingly growing use of sandwich boards by island businesses.
At the July 21 meeting, council member Steve Bonkowski wanted to
add an item under council discussion about sandwich boards since a
number of people had made comments about the influx of sandwich
boards and trees advertising a hospital on public land. Bonkowski
said he would refrain from talking about the use of the trees for
another time and would focus the discussion on sandwich boards.
“At least to me, there are a lot more (sandwich boards) than I
ever envisioned possible,” Bonkowski said. “It’s almost as if we’re
deforesting the island to make sandwich boards.”
Bonkowski said it appeared there were two different varieties of
sandwich boards: ones that advertise to consumers to “come on in”
and others that direct the locations of businesses.
City Manager Doug Schulze said that on July 21 that the city’s
Code Compliance officer found 39 signs from Madison Avenue, along
Winslow Way, to State Route 305 with two violations. On July 18,
the Code Compliance officer found 43 signs and only two violations
for multiple signs that were off-site.
Schulze said he’s aware businesses use sandwich boards also on
High School Road.
During the recent economic downturn, Schulze said cities often
gave businesses more latitude on sandwich boards for advertising.
Schulze also used a PowerPoint presentation to show the City
Council some examples of how cities, including Seattle, use uniform
directional signs to direct people to businesses.
“It doesn’t look like it’s a matter of people not complying with
the current ordinance, it looks like it’s just what the current
ordinance allows,” Schulze said. “What I would suggest is we look
at the (sign) ordinance, but at the same time that we’re working
with the businesses so that we can find some solutions that can
work with the businesses as well. Rather than just looking at
eliminating the signage.”
Bonkowski then asked Schulze whether something could be done
this summer to impact the issue.
“I think it would be pretty difficult to get something
constructed and installed that quickly,” Schulze said. “But, I
think, certainly for next summer, it’s a reasonable timeframe.”
Council member Wayne Roth noted there are city directories in
the Bainbridge ferry terminal and Columbia Bank that are updated,
already in place and providing solutions to the situation. Roth
said he’s used them many times with tourists who needed help
finding food and clothing locations.
“There’s always been – old Winslow Way/new Winslow Way – some
sandwich boards somewhere,” Roth said. “But it is now that everyone
has one out and ‘Now I need one, too, (philosophy)’ and it has
gotten to be … hard to find a business without one.”
Schulze said he planned to have a discussion with the business
community about sandwich boards in the near future and revisit the
issue with the City Council possibly as early as September.
Any change in the city’s sign ordinance would require public
Now developers are retooling designs for the second phase,
planned for five acres between Wyatt Way and Shepard Drive, just
west of the Pavilion complex (currently the site of John Adams
The new preliminary site plan (a rough rendering is shown above)
shifts the focus from single-family homes to a mix of apartments,
condominiums and townhouses. Island architect Jim Cutler has
sketched plans for 87 homes clustered into two distinct
neighborhoods, each centered around a common area.
Most of the resident parking will be located underground to
allow for about three acres of open space above. A community center
building is planned for the center of the courtyard to the
According to developers, the new buildings will still be built
to meet the One
Planet Living standards achieved in the first phase of Grow.
This includes space for solar panels on the rooftops.
Developers plan to submit a revised site plan to the city for
review in September.
Members of the Harbor Commission feel the discussion so far has
centered heavily on the park’s uplands. They hope to rekindle
interest in rebuilding the aging city dock.
The commission is circulating refined conceptual drawings for an
expanded dock. The new dock would feature four fingers with space
for more visiting yachts as well as club sailboats, rowing shells
and kayak rentals. The plan calls for moving the head of the
dock to the west of the existing boat ramp.
The city designated $1.85 million of a recent Washington State
Ferries settlement to upgrading Waterfront Park, and plans to seek
additional grants. Many visions for the park were floated during
the June workshops, and not every idea will fit in the final
In an open letter to the boating community this week, Harbor
Commission Chair Mark Leese said he felt boaters were
underrepresented in the discussion. He urged more boaters to get
involved: Continue reading →
Planning for a revamped Waterfront Park will continue Sunday
a second community workshop. The event runs 1:30-4:30 p.m. at
Waterfront Park Community Center. Islanders can join a walking tour
of the park and dock at 1 p.m.
The city dedicated $1.8 million of a Washington State Ferries
settlement to reinvigorating the downtown park and will seek
additional grants. A
request for qualifications from design firms was recently
issued for the project.