ISLAND – Attorneys involved in the proposed Visconsi shopping
complex were requested by Bainbridge Hearing ExaminerStafford
Smith to submit their briefs by Wednesday, Feb. 12, and
Visconsi attorney Dennis Reynolds to submit his
reply by Monday, Feb. 17.
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
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
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
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
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
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:
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,
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.
“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.
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
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
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
Blackbird Bakery’s customers have long wished the
nearly-always-crowded coffee and lunch hangout would expand. That
wish will come true by mid-April with the opening of Fork and
Spoon, a new restaurant that borrows from Blackbird’s menu while
expanding it to include meat dishes, salads, beer and wine.
“This started as a way to grow our lunch business, which was
held back by seating capacity,” Blackbird co-owner Jeff Shepard
Fork and Spoon will take over the nearby Madrone Lane space
formerly occupied by Victor Alexander winery.
There will be no indoor connection to Blackbird’s Winslow Way
space, although the new restaurant will make use of Blackbird’s
The new location will have outdoor seating in an enclosed
Shepard said Fork and Spoon will use many local ingredients,
including Bainbridge eggs and vegetables.
Also set to open soon is Radish, a high-end restaurant run by
the former owners of Real Foods, which closed
closed a few months ago.
A new sandwich shop is set to open soon in Winslow Mall, but I
have little more detail than that.
here to read my Sunday story about Sage, an iconic fly fishing
rod manufacturer that was founded on Bainbridge 30 years ago.
Sage is a bit of a rarity on Bainbridge. It’s a company that
makes things – real things that you can actually hold in your
And despite the challenges of manufacturing on Bainbridge (let
alone the United States), Sage says it’s staying put. Sage may, in
time, move its distribution wing, but the hands-on work of making
high-end rods will remain on Day Road.
Even if that happens, Sage will probably remain the island’s
largest private employer. Sage has 180 people working for it; the
runner-up, Messenger House, has just under 100.
Bainbridge Rep. Christine Rolfes and other Kitsap legislators are
throwing their support behind a
gay marriage bill. It appears to be gaining momentum in
Lock your doors
unlocked homes were burglarized in the Commodore neighborhood
this week. Police are urging islanders to lock their homes at night
and when they are not at home.
The romance of Bainbridge Island was mentioned in an
MSN article about love-inspiring destinations.
BPA minds its manners
Kitsap Sun arts reporter Michael C. Moore has a story on Bainbridge
Performing Arts’ ‘Philadelphia Story.’
“…there is much to be taken from Barry’s comedy of
manners — make that a mannered comedy, if you will — including
witty dialogue, classic screwball plot machinations and a pointed
observation or three about the social upper-crust: mainly, why we
less crusty folk are so enamored of it,” Moore writes.
here for my coverage of Rep. Jay Inslee’s Monday night speech
at a Rotary of
Bainbridge Island meeting. He touched on several issues,
including health care, the defense of the Clean Air Act and the
ballooning federal deficit, an elephant-in-the-room issue he said
Republicans and President Obama are avoiding.
And then drop by the
Vashon Beachcomber. They have a story about Bainbridge author
Claire Dederer’s visit to their island, and about the success of
her new book, “Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses.” Its
recent stint on the the New York Times’ Bestseller List pushed it
into a second printing a few weeks after its initial release,
according to the ‘Comber. There’s been plenty more written about
Dederer’s book, like
this and this.