Bainbridge Conversation

Reporter Ethan Fowler engages island residents in a conversation about their community.
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Study indicates Bainbridge boasts large tenured city workforce

July 9th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

During a presentation on a citywide study of job classification and compensation by Milliman Inc. of Seattle, Bainbridge City Council members learned during Monday night’s meeting that Bainbridge Island city employees receive approximately 9 percent above the market median (50th percentile) when comparing actual salaries.

The compensation analysis was from 34 cities that responded to Milliman’s request. Most of the responding cities were primarily from Washington, but some were from Oregon, said Greg McNutt, a compensation consultant and principal with Milliman. Yakima, Renton, Spokane Valley, Marysville and Lakewood were some of the municipalities that responded.

“You have a lot of tenured people here,” McNutt told the Council. “You have 86 percent of the people that are at the top step.”

Some of the recommendations given by McNutt for managing the city’s staff included:

– Managing base salaries toward its intended market position. This action will maintain desired market target.

– Maintaining benefits in their current form. This will provide employees both the opportunity to save for retirement and act as a safety net against unforeseen health issues.

– Maintaining salary structured at their current range width, but create mores steps within each grade with annual increments of approximately 3 percent between steps. This would cause pay progression problems to diminish over time.

– Manage high fixed costs of base salaries.

McNutt’s presentation to the City Council was for information only and no action was taken on it.

Two Bainbridge Island law and justice candidate forums planned

July 9th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

Voters will have two chances to hear and ask questions of Kitsap County prosecutor candidates, as well as one forum giving them an opportunity to hear from candidates for the Kitsap County District Court judge in Department 1.

Islanders for Collaborative Policing (ICP) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Kitsap County (NAMI-Kitsap) will hold a forum from 5 to 6:15 p.m. Thursday, July 17, at the Bainbridge Island Waterfront Community Center, located at 370 Brien Drive. The event will feature candidates for the county prosecutor position and will focus on mental illness and drug dependency.

The candidates will also discuss how they think people with mental and behavioral problems are being handled by the local justice system. They will also talk about what they will do – or continue to do – as prosecutor to improve outcomes in these areas.

The July 17 forum will be moderated by Jane Cartmell of NAMI-Kitsap and Bainbridge Police Chief Matthew Hamner will give introductory comments. An update on Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) tax allocations will also be provided by Lois Hoell, a MIDD Citizen Advisory Committee member.

A forum for prosecutor candidates and candidates for Kitsap County District Court judge Department 1 will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, at Bainbridge Island City Hall, which is located at 280 Madison Ave. N. The candidates will discuss a wide range of law and justice issues at the forum. The event will be moderated by Court of Appeals Judge Robin Hunt.

Former Bainbridge city councilman Bob Scales (Democrat), Tina Robinson (Republican, Port Orchard) and Bruce Danielson (independent, Port Orchard) are running against incumbent Russ Hauge of Silverdale in the Kitsap County prosecutor race. The position carries a four-year term.

Claire Bradley of Silverdale and Tracy Flood of Port Orchard are running for four-year terms in the non-partisan Kitsap County District Court judge Department 1 office.

The primary election is Aug. 5 and the general election is Nov. 4.

Bainbridge Island police blotter, July 9

July 9th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

** This blog was edited to fix a mistake in the July 6 “Found property” entry at 12:45 p.m. July 9.


The following items were taken from Bainbridge police reports by reporter Ethan Fowler. For more blotter, visit and click on Bainbridge blog link on the right side of the screen.

Crime log stats from June 29 to July 5: 7 traffic accidents, 4 found property, 3 miscellaneous, 2 identity theft, 2 mental investigation, 1 missing person, 1 agency assist, 1 reckless driving/racing, 1 theft in the first degree, 1 mailbox theft, 1 missing person, 1 driving under the influence, 1 theft in the first degree-shoplifting, 1 injury from car accident, theft in the third degree, 1 malicious mischief in the third degree, 1 criminal trespass in the second degree, 1 suspicious incident/investigation, 1 warrant arrest by outside agency, 1 miscellaneous, 1 boating/marine incident, 1 motor vehicle theft, 1 vessel abandoned/derelict on aquatic lands, 1 verbal dispute.

July 7

Identity theft: A 41-year-old man living on the 7000 block of Vincent Road reported that he had received a state tax refund from Indiana, a state he had never lived or ever done business. When the man inquired with the Indiana Department of Revenue, he discovered someone was using his name, address and social security number as documentation for work in the Midwest state. This has caused tax withholdings for both state and federal taxes that are reporting under the man’s name and social security number.

Theft in the third degree: A woman and her husband, who live on the 5000 block of Battle Point Drive, discovered several items from their cars were left in the driveway a distance from their home’s parking area. Both cars had been tampered with and several items had been stolen.

Malicious mischief: A man living on the 5000 block of McDonald Avenue reported that he was awoken to the sound of glass breaking and a softball-sized rock hitting the floor in his living room as he slept in his bedroom upstairs at 12:30 a.m. When the officer arrived, the man said a rock was also used to break the right rear window on a vehicle parked in the driveway that belongs to his daughter-in-law, who lives in a separate residence behind his. The man saw what he thought was a flashlight beam in his backyard. The right rear tail lamp on the man’s car was also broken. Estimated cost to fix the house 12-inch-by-16-inch window is $750 and $250 to repair the tail lamp.

July 6

Theft in the third degree: A woman living on the 6000 block of New Brooklyn Road reported that her family’s Fourth of July sign that it ties to the house and uses annually was missing. The 30-inch-by-36-inch vinyl sign shows Peanuts characters Snoopy and Woodstock, along with the American flag, with wording “CELEBRATE.” The sign is valued at $25. There are no suspects, but the woman believed it was neighborhood kids since other items had gone missing in the past but weren’t reported to police.

Found property: A woman found a wallet sitting on a sidewalk post area of Winslow Way. Credit cards and ID in the wallet bore the same name, but when the officer searched several databases to obtain a phone number they were unsuccessful. The wallet was placed into police property. Another wallet was also found on July 5 on Winslow Way East and an officer had similar problems locating a phone number for a person whose name was on several credit cards.

July 5

Boating/marine incident: The marine patrol officer and another officer on the boat responded to a boat in distress at 3:40 p.m. near Lincoln Park. The boat had two people and a dog on board. The Auburn man’s boat had a problem with his out-drive (gear case) and was unable to operate the boat. The man threw out a small anchor to keep him from blowing onto the rocks. When the patrol boat arrived on the scene, the 25-foot Maxum cabin cruiser was equidistant between Alki Point and the Fauntleroy ferry crossing in approximately 20 feet of water. The tide was flooding and the wind was building to approximately 15 knots to the north. The vessel needed to be towed to Des Moines and the boat’s operator made arrangements with Vessel Assist Tacoma, which arrived soon after.

July 4

Miscellaneous: An officer assigned to Pritchard Park on foot and bicycle patrol from 6 p.m. to midnight reported 16 camp fires were doused, four firework violations were dealt with verbally. The officer estimated approximately 400 to 600 people were present. At 2 a.m. on July 5 when officers walked the area, they found an extreme amount of trash left on the beach. Officers went through the trash in an effort to find who left the large amount of trash behind, but were unsuccessful.

Host family meeting for Japanese exchange students set for July 15

July 7th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

Islanders interested this summer in experiencing the world without leaving home are invited to attend an information and orientation meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 15, at the Hyla Middle School, located at 7861 Bucklin Hill Road N.E.

The meeting would provide the opportunity to meet other island families who are already looking forward to hosting the 14-year-old English-speaking Japanese exchange students for four weeks from July 25 to Aug. 22.

The students will attend English classes and excursions every weekday (Boeing, Mount Rainier, Microsoft, Kitsap County Fair, canoe trips, a Seattle Mariners baseball game, etc.)  Families and their kids can join the fun activities or just enjoy their company evenings and weekends.

For more information, contact: or 206-853-3800.

If you’re curious about what the students would be like below are two examples:

Kazuhisa, a 13-year-old boy from Okinawa, says basketball and playing the trumpet are two of his favorite hobbies. He belongs to his school’s brass band and will be competing in a music contest prior to his arrival in the USA. Kazuhisa also enjoys basketball, fishing, swimming, listening to music, reading and watching TV. Kazuhisa is traveling abroad because his grandfather, a priest, traveled quite a bit and recommended that Kazuhisa travel as much as possible.

Hikari, a 14-year-old girl from Okinawa, says she has always loved to swim as she lives on a small island named Iheya. Aside from swimming she loves to dance, listen to music, play volleyball, watch TV and read. During her homestay in Washington, Hikari hopes to learn, make new friends and gain a new perspective. She is grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait to meet Bainbridge Islanders.

Birding on Bloedel: Listen up for ospreys gone fishin’

July 7th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

“A Year of Birding in Bloedel” is a column that runs every Friday in the Bainbridge Islander. The project is planned to continue in 52 parts through 2014 to help readers find and identify birds in the island’s garden sanctuary. Beginning with this entry on the bald eagle, each column will also be published  here on the Bainbridge Conversation blog each Friday. 

The author, Ted Anderson, is a retired professor of biology, having taught at McKendree University (Ill.) for 32 years and for the University of Michigan’s summer biological station for 20 years, where he frequently taught the biology of birds.

Anderson is also the author of “Biology of the Ubiquitous House Sparrow, from Genes to Populations” (2006), and “The Life of David Lack, Father of Evolutionary Ecology” (2013). Ted and his wife Carol have been members of Bloedel Reserve for seven years. They live in Kingston. 

Photo © David Seibel, Used by permission. All rights reserved. Ospreys leave their Pacific Northwest breeding ground to spend winters in South America.

Photo © David Seibel, Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Ospreys leave their Pacific Northwest breeding ground to spend winters in South America.

Often referred to as the Fish Eagle, the Osprey (Pandion hallaetus) is the second-most widely distributed raptor species in the world, occurring on every continent except Antarctica, as well as on many oceanic islands. Its colloquial name is an apt one, as its diet is comprised of 99 percent fish, and it is nearly eagle sized. It is more slender bodied than an eagle, however, and has narrower wings that are bent at the “elbow,” giving it a distinctive silhouette when it is soaring overhead. It leaves its breeding ground in the Pacific Northwest to spend the winter in South America.

Watching an osprey fishing can lead to some truly exciting viewing. On Puget Sound a fishing osprey will often fly in large circles near the shore, then hover for a few seconds before plunging in a head-first dive toward its intended prey. Just before entering the water it shifts to a feet-first position and sometimes disappears completely beneath the surface before it re-emerges, wings flapping vigorously with a fish clutched in its talons.

What happens next may be even more exciting to watch. Often a member of that notorious tribe of kleptoparasites, the bald eagle, has also been watching the osprey fishing. The would-be bandit begins its rapid pursuit of the successful fisherman laboring to gain altitude with his catch clutched tightly in its talons.

The eagle will then dive repeatedly at the fleeing osprey, sometimes striking it from above with its own talons. More often than not the hapless Osprey will release its catch, at which point the eagle will dive to retrieve it, sometimes even catching it in the air. A dramatic example of nature “red in tooth and claw!”

While soaring, ospreys will frequently utter a high-pitched chirp call that is characteristic of the species. If you scan the sky above you when you hear this call, you will often see the circling Osprey with its white underparts and “bent” wings. Two weeks ago when I visited Bloedel I heard an osprey calling over the pond in front of the Visitor’s Center and looked up to see two ospreys soaring overhead.

Keep your ears peeled for this chirp emanating from high in the sky.

Bainbridge selling old math textbooks

July 3rd, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

Want an old math textbook?

The Bainbridge Island School District will be unloading all its old kindergarten through eighth grade math books to families of district students from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, July 10, at the Commodore Options School, located at 9530 N.E. High School Road.

Books – which are at least four years old and could be as old as 10 – will be on sale from 50 cents to $1, district accounting specialist Julie Gray said.

The need to purge the old math textbooks followed the Bainbridge School Board’s adoption of a new K-8 math curriculum. In the June 26 board meeting, a consent agenda item was passed to dispose of surplus district property.

After the July 10 sale to district families, the books will be available for purchase to other school districts on July 14-15, Gray said. The remaining books will then be shipped to the state’s surplus facility in Olympia, the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services, likely sometime in the fall, Gray added.

For more information about the math textbook sale, contact Gray at 206-780-1063 or through email at

Bainbridge Island police blotter, July 2

July 2nd, 2014 by Ethan Fowler


The following items were taken from Bainbridge police reports by reporter Ethan Fowler. For more blotter, visit and click on Bainbridge blog link on the right side of the screen.

Crime log stats from June 22 to June 28: 5 traffic accidents, 2 thefts in the second degree, 2 driving with license suspended/revoked in the third degree, 2 suspicious incident/investigation, 2 residential burglaries, 2 miscellaneous, 1 domestic verbal, 1 violation of the uniform controlled substance act-more than 40 grams of marijuana, 1 burglary in the second degree, 1 patrol check, 1 theft in the first degree, 1 identity theft, 1 false alarm-employee error, 1 hit-and-run/unattended property damage, 1 neighbor dispute, 1 malicious mischief in the third degree, 1 disorderly conduct, 1 malicious mischief in the first degree, 1 found property, 1 agency assist and 1 lost property.

June 30
Identity theft: A man living on the 7000 block of Fletcher Bay Road reported that he received several pieces of mail from a bank that he hadn’t opened an account with. A debit/Visa card with a pin code for online banking was in one of the letters.

Found property: A woman found some cash in the middle of the road and reported it to the police, who placed it in found property. The location and the amount of cash was redacted from the report.

Reckless driving/racing: An 85-year-old woman living on the 6000 block of Monte Vista Drive was reported to police for reckless driving. Another driver witnessed the woman driving all over the road and driving onto the curb at a roundabout. The reporting party said it was the second time she had seen the woman driving recklessly. When police caught up with the driver at her home, the woman said she had been under a lot of stress with family health problems. The driver also admitted to the officer that she had driven over the roundabout’s curve and that her mind had been occupied, which caused her to possibly daydream. The officer suggested to the woman that she may want to retest with the Department of Licensing and that she needed to drive more carefully.

June 28
Driving with license suspended or revoked in the third degree, failure to transfer title within 15 days: A 26-year-old man living on the 300 block of Shepard Way was stopped when an officer noticed an apparent expired license plate tab. The vehicle’s registration had expired in 2012 and the car was sold in November 2011. However, the vehicle was displaying a 2014 license tab. The driver admitted to the officer that he took the tab from his father’s Ford Ranger truck. When the officer ran the man’s name in the state’s database, it returned with the man being charged for a driving while license suspended/revoked in the third degree for failure to appear for unpaid tickets. The improper tab was removed from the man’s car by the officer.

June 27
Residential burglary: A woman living on the 800 block of High School Road reported someone had stolen two prescription bottles from her home’s bathroom. The woman believed she had failed to lock her apartment since there was no evidence of forced entry. One of the lost medicine bottles contained approximately 20 pills of Oxycodone and the other contained about 30 pills of Meloxicam. The woman said several people in her apartment complex were aware the woman needed medicine because of her recent foot surgery, which she still had a cast for.

Library receives new hearing loop system

July 1st, 2014 by Ethan Fowler
Contributed photo / David Warren Bob Bosserman, left, chair of facilities for Bainbridge Public Library, and Rick Diaz, assistant installer at Now Hear This!, test the newly installed hearing loop in the library’s Community Room.

Contributed photo / David Warren
Bob Bosserman, left, chair of facilities for Bainbridge Public Library, and Rick Diaz, assistant installer at Now Hear This!, test the newly installed hearing loop in the library’s Community Room.

To help meet a growing need for Bainbridge residents, the Rotary Club of Bainbridge provided a grant for the Bainbridge Public Library to install a hearing loop system in the library’s large and popular Community Room.

“We want to provide good access to our ‘silently disadvantaged’ residents through the new hearing assistive technology,” said Bob Bosserman, facilities committee chair for library’s board of directors, in a news release.

Bosserman said the Community Room is booked an average of 22 days a month.

The system works by using hearing loops that transmit audio from a public address system directly to telecoil-equipped hearing aids and cochlear implants. The telecoil function as an antenna and relays the sounds directly into the ear of someone wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants without background noise or distortion – similar to how Wi-Fi connects people to the Internet.

“We are … eager for word to get out to islanders that there is a new venue on the island where they can be assured their hearing impairment will not be a barrier to enjoying lectures and performances,” said Sarah Morgans, one of the board of directors for Bainbridge Public Library.

Roberts to retire from Bainbridge school district in August

July 1st, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

After working 13 years for the Bainbridge Island School District, Kathy Roberts will be retiring at the end of August to close her 30-year career in K-12 public education.

Roberts, administrative assistant to Superintendent Faith Chapel, worked 17 years for Everett Public Schools prior to being hired by Bainbridge.

“It’s hard to leave my second family who are the staff, students and administrators of the Bainbridge Island School District,” Roberts said after Thursday’s School Board meeting.

Documentary ‘Honor & Sacrifice’ wins more awards

June 26th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

Earlier this month, the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) announced Lucy Ostrander and Don Sellers were winners of an Award of Merit at its Leadership in History Awards for the documentary “Honor & Sacrifice: The Ray Matsumoto Story” in Nashville, Tenn.

The AASLH Leadership in History Awards is in its 69th year and is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history, according to a news release.

The movie, which chronicles the life of Japanese immigrant Roy Matsumoto and his family’s challenges during World War II, also won the group’s History in Progress (HIP) Award by the Leadership in History awards committee.

“The HIP Award, given at the discretion of the committee, is an additional award for an Award of Merit winner whose nomination is highly inspirational, exhibits exceptional scholarship, and/or is exceedingly entrepreneurial in terms of funding, partnerships, or collaborations, creative problem solving, or unusual project design and inclusiveness,” the news release stated.

Ostrander, whose production company Stourwater Pictures is located on Bainbridge Island, said the AASLH presented only two awards for projects in Washington state and both were from Bainbridge. The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum won the other award for its exhibit, “The Overland Westerners.”

In April, “Honor & Sacrifice” won the prestigious Erik Barnouw Award from the Organization of American Historians for outstanding programming in documentary film concerned with American history in Atlanta. The documentary also has won award at film festivals in Gig Harbor and Port Townsend.

Bainbridge Island police blotter, June 25

June 26th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

The following items were taken from Bainbridge police reports by reporter Ethan Fowler. For more blotter, visit and click on Bainbridge blog link on the right side of the screen.

Crime log stats from June 15 to June 21: 3 false alarms with unknown cause, 3 suspicious incident/investigation, 3 domestic verbal, 2 miscellaneous, 2 found property, 2 identity theft, 1 malicious mischief in the third degree, 1 stalking, 1 theft in the second degree, 1 warrant arrest by outside agency, 1 malicious mischief in the second degree, 1 open door, 1 driving with no valid operator’s license, 1 mental investigation, 1 traffic accident, 1 theft in the third degree, 1 extortion in the second degree and 1 lost property.

June 23
Patrol check: A patrol check was requested by a business owner on the 9000 block of Sportsman Club Road. The owner requested extra patrols and a meeting regarding prowlers on her property.

June 21
Found property: A woman found a cell phone on Eagle Harbor Drive that belonged to a woman in SeaTac. When police tried to contact the out-of-town woman, the number was disconnected. The phone was placed in the department’s evidence as found property.

June 20
Identity theft: A woman withdrew cash from her bank’s ATM at 10:30 a.m. and discovered her account was overdrawn by more than $200. Someone had charged more than $1,000 in airline tickets from her account without her consent.

Theft in the third degree: A woman living on the 200 block of High School Road found that the lock on her storage unit had been broken and that two tents had been stolen. The tents were described as a four-person green Coleman-brand valued at $100 and an orange two-person valued at $35. The brand wasn’t known of the orange tent. Both tents were in a blue nylon duffel bag valued at $20. The storage unit was on the second floor of the complex. A police officer didn’t see any other storage units damaged.

Identity theft: A woman living in the 500 block of Homestead Lane reported her Visa card was used today at Snoqualmie Casino for a fraudulent charge of $527.99. The woman was notified of the theft by her bank.

June 19
Driving with no valid operator’s license: A 21-year-old Bremerton man, who was involved in a minor traffic accident with another vehicle, was issued a traffic citation for not having a driver’s license or any identification or paperwork with his name on it. There was also no record found for the man, who admitted driving in reverse on Baker Hill Road after he missed his turn for Palomino Drive. The man had caused a collision with a 30-year-old Poulsbo man driving a BMW.

June 18
Open door: The door to a Winslow Way business located on the 100 block was found open and unlocked. No one was in the store when an officer arrived after a family walking down the street noticed the open door. The officer left messages with the owner and also texted her. The officer could not secure the door since it only locked from the inside. The officer later checked on the business while she was on bike patrol and the door was locked.

Malicious mischief in the second degree: At Battle Point Park, someone used a black permanent marker to write letters and offensive words on four Park District vehicles, street signs and the mobile stage. This caused an estimated $1,200 worth of damage. A metal lift gate was also damaged and would cost $1,000 since it now hit a custom door. Photos of the damage were taken by the responding officer.

June 17
Theft in the third degree: A man who was moving to Hawaii and believed he was renting an apartment found he was a victim of a $4,149.59 scam when the man he was working with that claimed to be the property manager wasn’t legitimate. The man had taken steps to confirm the apartment’s location was legitimate through numerous emails, reference checks and filling out applications. Police discussed with the man how he could avoid future theft since the man had provided the suspect with his personal information for the apartment application.

Found property: A woman living on the 10000 block of Manitou Park Boulevard came to the police station to turn over drug paraphernalia that she had found. She handed a small, clear Ziploc bag with 40 small cotton balls inside a tree near the library at 10:30 a.m. Police tested the balls and one indicated the presence of amphetamine. The balls are often used to filter narcotics prior to intravenous use. The bag was placed into police property for destruction.

Warrant arrest by outside agency: The King County Jail called to confirm a warrant on a 43-year-old Seattle woman. The woman’s warrant charge wasn’t listed on the incident report.

Bainbridge residents invited to ferry meeting

June 18th, 2014 by Ethan Fowler

Bainbridge residents are encouraged to attend a community meeting that will include long-range planning, new vessel construction, route-specific issues, liquefied natural gas and other topics will be discussed at a Washington State Ferries meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, June 23.

The meeting will be held in Suite 210 of the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, located at 100 Ravine Lane.

The ferry system hosts community meetings twice a year and also takes input from customers and the community through its Ferry Advisory Committees.

Bremerton’s meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 2, in the Kitsap Conference Center’s Oyster Room, located on 100 Washington St.


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