Category Archives: Downtown

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.

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.

Bainbridge Arts & Crafts names its new director

Lindsay Masters
Lindsay Masters

Bainbridge Arts & Crafts has a new executive director — Lindsay Masters.

Masters, who has been the organization’s publicist for more than 2 years, is taking over for Susan Jackson as she retires from the gallery after 13 years.

Bainbridge Arts & Crafts is a nonprofit art gallery, founded in 1948. The gallery, located at 151 Winslow Way, displays contemporary Northwest art and has represented more than 250 artists, according to a news release from Masters.

Masters has been the organization’s publicist since she joined in January 2013.

Previously, she was the communications manager at Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council, now known as Arts Humanities Bainbridge.

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.