Category Archives: Downtown

Bainbridge Bakers ends its online fundraiser

Bainbridge-Bakers_GoFundMe

Bainbridge Bakers has canceled the GoFundMe campaign started by one of its employees, said owner Mike Loudon on the company’s Facebook page Wednesday night.

He said that the business is “putting together a more structured loan option.”

Labor and Industries confirmed it’s investigating five wage complaints lodged against Bainbridge Bakers this year.

The GoFundMe campaign was started last week to help the 29-year-old business, asking for $100,000.

About $6,000 had been donated the day after the campaign launched.

Donors can expect a refund in 2-5 days, according to Loudon’s Facebook post.

The bakery closed around noon today, with a notice posted saying it would remain closed through Sunday for restructuring, said Ben Goldsmith, who started the GoFundMe campaign.

He said owner Mike Loudon sent an email to employees saying he would be having meetings during the temporary closure, and that “the goal for this time is to work out a strategy for the future of the bakery.”

Goldsmith, who has not worked for the past several days and is one of the bakery’s employees who has not received a paycheck in recent weeks, said “Getting the payroll settled I know is his first priority.”

Tim Kelly, editor of the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal, contributed to this post.

Bags of oily food causing stink in Winslow

Bainbridge Island city officials are trying to figure out who has been leaving plastic produce bags filled with “liquid food waste” on trash bins for animals to tear open.

The city’s maintenance crews have been finding these bags around Winslow — including Waterfront Park and City Hall — the last several weeks, according to a news release from Kellie Stickney, the city’s spokeswoman.

The bags have been torn open by birds and raccoons, causing the waste to spill out. And City officials say the oily waste is a “potential human health hazard” and can wash into the drainage system that flows into Eagle Harbor.

They haven’t be able to tell exactly what type of food is in the bags, and their best guess is that it is either soup or leftover food from cooking, Stickney said.

City officials have not been able to find who is responsible and is asking residents to report any suspicious behavior to the Public Works Department at 206-842-2016 or the county’s Spills Hotline at 360-337-5777.

Leash requirements expanding on the island

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)

Bainbridge Island City Council is moving forward with changes to the city’s animal ordinance, which will affect where dogs need to be leashed on the island.

The ordinance updates will require dogs to be leashed in two major business areas on the island — Winslow and Lynwood Center — and give teeth to the park district’s current leash rule.

Under the city’s current code, dogs can be off leash on city property if under voice command.

The school and park districts already have their own regulations that require dogs to be leashed on their property, except at Strawberry Hill’s off-leash dog park. Those rules are not included in the city’s current city ordinance.

Updates to the city’s animal ordinance will include that dogs must be leashed on park district land, providing penalties for violators.

Dogs owners can face up to a $300 fine for not keeping their dogs under voice control or on leash.

Dog owners who do not prevent their dogs from injuring or intimidating pedestrians or cyclists can face up to a $1,000 fine for having a dangerous animal.

The city began discussions about changing its animal ordinance months ago at the request of the park district, which has struggled with enforcing its leash rule.

One resident who spoke out against changes to the ordinance Tuesday night said the park district hasn’t enforced its own leash rule.

Terry Lande, the park district’s executive director, previously said that the park’s rule has little teeth without the backing of a city ordinance and its penalties. Violators of the leash rule can only be asked to leash their dogs or leave the park property, Lande said.

The city had previously considered requiring dogs to be leashed in city owned parks as well, but has since decided to only apply the leash regulations to park district owned parks.

Other updates to the ordinance will require dogs be leashed in the Winslow and Lynwood Center business areas. The Winslow business area will extend from the waterfront to High School Road, and fall between Madison Avenue and Ferncliff Avenue.

The city-owned Waterfront Park will be included in the Winslow business area, and dogs will have to be leashed there.

The city also is considering a trial period to specifically allow off-leash dogs at Pritchard Park, another city-owned park, during certain hours, days or in certain parts of the park.

The off-leash experiment for Pritchard Park is expected to be discussed at a later council meeting.

Eventually, the city plans to transfer nearly all of the Pritchard Park over to the park district. About half of the park is already co-owned by the city and park district, where the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial is located.

The park transfer is expected to take place some time after September, said City Manageer Doug Schulze.

The city won’t make any conditional requirement in favor of off-leash dog spaces or times at the park for the transfer to take place, Tollefson said.

While leashes will be required in more areas on the island, there are no plans to change the animal control budget for enforcement or code penalties.

Updates to the city’s animal ordinance are expected to be adopted next week.

Leash ordinance changes will likely be discussed next study session

blog.dogpark

Although the Bainbridge Island City Council did not discuss updating the animal ordinance during Tuesday’s meeting, it is expected to be on the council’s next study session agenda.

The proposed changes would require dog owners to leash their dogs in the Winslow and Lynwood Center business areas, as well as city parks. A story in last week’s Islander incorrectly stated the changes would not apply to city-owned parks. The story has been updated online.

The potential ordinance change also would include that the school and park district require dogs to be leashed on their property.

In recent years, the park district has had incidents of off-leash dogs intimidating or injuring people as well as horses.

Under the current city code, dog owners can face up to $1,000 fine for not preventing their dogs from intimidating or injuring pedestrians or cyclists.

Owners failing to keep their dog under voice control or leashed face a citation and up to a $300 fine.

There are no proposed changes to the ordinance’s penalties.

City cutting the cord on Blink car charging station

charging-station
A Blink charging station in Port Orchard. Kitsap Sun file photo.

Electric car owners will have a working charging station in Winslow.

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 director.

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 said.

“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 city facilities.

Chargepoint will keep only 10 percent of the fees, and the city will have full control of setting the fees with a 3-year contract.

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 now.

“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.

Free Wi-Fi up and running in Winslow

Wi-Fi_Map_Winslow
KPUD’s free Wi-Fi coverage. Map from the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce

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 release.

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, last year.

“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.

KPUD requested the Internet speed be between 4 to 30 megabytes per second, ideally at or close to 30.

The Federal Communications Commission defines fast Internet as 4 or more megabytes per second.

Help us rank the top 10 Islander stories of 2014

Ferry1_7125841_ver1.0_640_480
The tugboat Pacific Knight helps maneuver the state ferry Tacoma to the Bainbridge Island dock after it lost power while making the 12:20 p.m. sailing from Seattle to Bainbridge on July 29, 2014. MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN

We are asking readers to rank the top Bainbridge Islander stories from this past year in a survey. The top 10 will be posted on this blog.

You can take the survey here.

If you need to refresh your memory on a story,  they are listed below in no particular order with links:

 

Town & Country sign coming down (for a little bit)

t&c3
The iconic Town & Country sign, left, will be demolished Dec. 30 and rebuilt because of safety concerns with the 57-year-old, wood structure. Photo by Tad Sooter/Kitsap Sun

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.

t&C
The Town & Country sign was originally for sale prices and is now used to list community events. Photo by Tad Sooter/Kitsap Sun

“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.

City Council noticing proliferation of sandwich boards

Photo by Ethan Fowler / Special to the Kitsap Sun A pedestrian crosses Ericksen Avenue as he walks along Winslow Way next to a number of business sandwich boards.
Photo by Ethan Fowler / Special to the Kitsap Sun
A pedestrian crosses Ericksen Avenue as he walks along Winslow Way next to a number of business sandwich boards.

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 hearings.

A new vision for island’s Grow Community

blog.130729_Grow Site plan persp

Construction on the first phase of Bainbridge Island’s Grow Community is well underway on the corner of Wyatt Way and Grow Avenue.

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 Lane).

blog.grow

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 south.

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.

Bainbridge harbor group seeks support for expanded city dock

Public Dock Final Rendering

Bainbridge Island’s advisory Harbor Commission was busy crafting designs for a new city dock well before the planning workshops for Waterfront Park began last month.

The city held two planning meetings in June to discuss potential upgrades for the park and dock, and is now circulating a survey to gather more input. A 30-minute update on the planning process is scheduled for tonight’s City Council meeting.

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.

Public Dock Plan Drawing 06.01.13 by tsooter

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 project.

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