Category Archives: economy

Time for another bridge?

Bainbridge Island Mayor Ann Blair, left, and I during a live video chat with Ed Friedrich.
Bainbridge Island Mayor Ann Blair and I during a live video chat with Ed Friedrich.

Kitsap Sun transportation reporter Ed Friedrich and I had a live video discussion with Mayor Anne Blair on Thursday evening about the future of Agate Pass Bridge and Highway 305 congestion.

Don’t worry if you weren’t able to make it to the live chat, we recorded the conversation and you can watch it below from the Kitsap Sun’s YouTube channel.

Where do you gas up?

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Last week, Kitsap Sun business reporter Tad Sooter wrote about how there will be one less gas station on the island.

Brown Bear Car Wash will be shutting down its Chevron station off off Hildebrand Lane, leaving the island with only two gas stations.

Brown Bear also owns the station on Highway 305 and High School Road. That station will stay open.

The other gas station on the island is a 76 station that operates in Island Center.

 

Where do you buy gas on Bainbridge Island?

  • Suquamish (37%, 13 Votes)
  • Chevron at Highway 305 and High School Road (26%, 9 Votes)
  • Chevron off Hildebrand Lane (20%, 7 Votes)
  • Poulsbo (6%, 2 Votes)
  • The closest station I can find when I am low on gas. (6%, 2 Votes)
  • 76 in Island Center (3%, 1 Votes)
  • I bike or take public transportation. (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Seattle (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 35

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Housing, hotel, rooftop restaurant coming to Lynwood Center

LynwoodCenterSeattleTimesBanner
Bainbridge Island’s Lynwood Center.

A nearly 5-acre development is being proposed off Lynwood Center Drive for residential and business space, along with a park.

Blue Moon & Roost Land Companies, LLC has plans for multiple homes, town houses, a hotel and rooftop restaurant and bar, along with office, retail and artist space.

While the Lynwood Center buildings have a Tudor style, the developers architect said the project will not be the same style.

INDIGO Architecture & Interiors does not “interpret” the center’s design guidelines require the Tudor style.

The proposal did not say what specific style would be used in the development.

Housing would be the first phase of the project, including five 2,000 square-feet single family houses with 800 square-feet mother-in-law homes, two 1,700-square-feet single family houses and six town house units above commercial space.

The project’s second phase would be three three-story buildings about 9,000 square feet each. These buildings would include a hotel called Hotel Charrette, rooftop restaurant with water views, ground-floor retail with room for working artists and second floor office space.

There also will be six “inn cottages” called Gypsy Wagons by the proposed park and a market plaza along Point White Drive.

An existing brick house on the site will be renovated and used for commercial purposes.

The site was previously a lumber yard and the rest of the property has been used as a pasture for the last 40 years, according to INDIGO’s proposal.

The Larson Lumber building is still on the site.

Developers also said in the proposal that they want to keep as many of the trees as possible, including a pine by the market to use as a holiday tree.

There will be a public meeting Monday night to address questions.

See drawings of the proposed development.

PUBLIC MEETING

WHAT: Public meeting on a development by the Lynwood Center

WHEN: Monday, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Pleasant Beach Village Marketplace, 4738 Lynwood Center Road NE, Bainbridge Island

Help us rank the top 10 Islander stories of 2014

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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:

 

Update: Hearing Examiner expects to make Visconsi decision no later than March 10

Story updated 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND – Attorneys involved in the proposed Visconsi shopping complex were requested by Bainbridge Hearing Examiner Stafford Smith to submit their briefs by Wednesday, Feb. 12, and Visconsi attorney Dennis Reynolds to submit his reply by Monday, Feb. 17.

Smith’s request on the final day of his hearings about the Visconsi project on Jan. 28, followed the Bainbridge Planning Commission voting 7-0 in November to recommend denying the proposed 62,000-square-foot shopping center. To be located on High School Road across the street from McDonald’s, the 8-acre complex would have a two-story medical facility, bank, drugstore, restaurants and other retailers.

Smith is looking at three parts to the Visconsi issue, a conditional use permit, a site plan review and a State Environmental Policy Act, Hearing Examiner Assistant Debbie Rose said.

Rose stated in an email Wednesday that Smith planned on having a decision in the case by March 10.

“Legal briefing by the parties is scheduled to be completed by 2/24/14 and the hearing examiner expects a decision to be issued within two weeks of that date,” Rose said.

When Smith reaches a decision on the Visconsi project it, Rose said will be posted on the city’s website.

Quick facts on the Bainbridge bag ban

The island’s ban on plastic shopping bags begins Thursday. We’ve posted some of the basics below. Let us know what you think of the bag ban by taking our poll below or leaving a comment.

Why a bag ban?

The City Council unanimously approved the bag ban this spring as a way of reducing litter and unnecessary waste, while promoting reusable bags. Bainbridge is the fifth Washington city to ban plastic bags and the first in Kitsap County. Seattle banned plastic shopping bags in July.

What are the rules?

Starting Thursday, retailers are no longer allowed to provide those thin, single-use plastic bags at checkout. Paper bags will still be available, but the ordinance requires retailers to charge 5 cents for larger paper bags (this doesn’t apply to qualifying low income shoppers).

There are a few exceptions to the ban. Plastic bags are allowed for restaurant take-out food, produce, greeting cards, small hardware items, newspapers, dry cleaning and waste.

What stores does this apply to?

Short answer: All of them. This ban applies to all retailers across the island, not just supermarkets. It also applies to farmers markets and vendors  at festivals. Food banks can still use plastic bags.

Where can I get reusable bags?

Reusable bags are available at island grocery stores and some other retailers. The city is handing out a cloth “Bainbridge Bag” tonight during the Winslow trick-or-treat event from 4-6 p.m, and at the library and City Hall starting Thursday.

Where can I get more information?

The city has more details and links on its Sustainable Practices page. If you’re interested in the nitty gritty, you can read the ordinance here. Watch for a full bag ban story Thursday in the Kitsap Sun.

What do you think of the Bainbridge plastic bag ban?

View Results

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Photo credit: Larry Steagall/Staff Photo

Helpline House: How best to help with food shortage

(Volunteer Reed Thomas, 14, stocks Mac & Cheese at Helpline House food bank last week).

Food banks across the county are struggling with high demand and low donations this summer, as we reported Wednesday.

Since the story ran we’ve received a few inquiries from readers asking how they can help, including an email this morning from local Les Schwab manager Brett Clark. Donna McKinney of Helpline House responded with some tips:

Thanks for your very prompt response to the article in the paper!  We appreciate donations of just about any foods, but there are certain items that we are especially low on and/or are distributed so fast that we cannot keep them in stock.  At this time, this is the list:

— Canned beans for cooking

— Cereals

— Assorted pasta

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A chilly start for sales in downtown Winslow

The unveiling of a “friendlier” Winslow Way hasn’t sparked a resurgence for downtown businesses. At least not yet.

Sales tax figures released for the first six months of 2012 showed receipts from downtown Winslow were down 1.9 percent compared to the same period last year ($211,718 compared to $215,863). That figure might seem insignificant until you recall what Winslow Way looked like in the first half of 2011:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales were lower from January to June this year than in 2011, when shoppers braved a jungle of barricades and traffic cones to visit shops. Downtown continued to lose businesses as well, down to 172 from a total of 201 in 2011.

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Cash mob set to strike on Bainbridge

The Kitsap Cash Mob is planning a hit at a Winslow Way retailer this Saturday.

Don’t worry, this mob plans to spend money (and lots of it) rather than extort it.

The Kitsap Cash Mob is part of a national movement in which a group of shoppers come all at once and flood a locally-owned business with some much-needed revenue.

You can read my story about a Kitsap Cash Mob event in Kingston here.

The mob has hit several places around the county, but this is their first one on Bainbridge.

The target: Paper Products, a Winslow office, art and gift store that has seen more lucrative years.

Here’s what Paper Products had to say on the cash mob’s Facebook event page.

“2011 was a tremendously tough year on our business. The Winslow Way project was nine months of absolute stress. We averaged 165-250 customers in our store daily. During the peak of the construction period, we were lucky to get 30 customers in the store/day. As a result, we had to make cuts in hours, inventory, and extra services. We lost staff and regular customers. The recovery has been slow. We are also expecting a baby boy September 1st so we are committed to the hope that our customers will continue to support us – particularly through the slower summer months (which are often the toughest for our business).”

Anyone can join in on the hit. It starts at noon and ends at 3 p.m. Once the shopping’s done, the mob plans to gather at Lynwood Center’s Salmon Canyon Cafe for a post-hit meal.

Bainbridge promo video hits airwaves

KPS_Bainbridge FULL // Final from KOMO Production Services on Vimeo.

The Bainbridge Island Tourism Alliance has produced a promotional video with KOMO TV that touts the island an “escape” for city dwellers who want a mix of rural and ritz.

You can see the full three-minute version above.

Shorter 30- and 15-second versions will show during commercial breaks on KOMO’s Channel 4.

Andrea Mackin commissioned the video for the alliance, which includes the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce and three other island groups.

She said the video is aimed at boosting tourism during the off-season.

A Komo videographer spent three days last summer shooting footage of Eagle Harbor, the farmers market, the internment memorial, wineries and downtown shops.

The video is expected to have prime-time showings on KOMO until the end of November.

Hitchcock plans expansion, lunchtime menu

Despite the economy and the upheaval caused by the Winslow Way reconstruction project, at least one Winslow restaurant is doing well enough to expand.

Hitchcock, a local foods fine-dining restaurant that opened on Winslow Way last year, is in talks to expand into the next-door space recently occupied by a bath supply boutique.

“I’ve got some big plans for a business that would be an extension of Hitchcock, philosophically, but deliver the products we’ve worked so hard to procure over the last year to consumers in a different way,” said owner/chef Brendan McGill.

He said he’ll divulge specifics once a deal for the space is finalized.

McGill is also expanding Hitchcock’s hours to include lunchtime service. The focus will be on traditional Neopolitan pizzas made in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven.

“Lunch is a good excuse to crank the oven up for pizzas – good, fast lunch food,” he said.

Lunch service is offered now on weekends. Once the reconstruction project is done this fall, Hitchcock will begin serving lunch during weekdays.

I profiled Hitchcock last year when three restaurants specializing in local foods opened at the same time in Winslow. One of the restaurants closed a few months after opening. Its space will soon open as a wine bar. Local Harvest is still going strong in the Pavilion. You can read about the little boom in local food restaurants here.

In other Winslow food news, Greg Atkinson (chef, author, regular NPR guest) is opening a French restaurant on Madrone Lane, near Mora ice cream. Read more in Rachel Pritchett’s recent story.