Daily Archives: February 19, 2009

State to discuss tranfer of BI parks

The state park system is hosting a public meeting on Friday to discuss the possible transfer of Fay Bainbridge and Fort Woard state parks to the Bainbridge Island Metro Mark and Recreation District.

Gov. Chris Gregoire proposes to close 13 state parks, including Fay Bainbridge and Fort Ward, to help meet a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall. The 13 parks on the closure list aren’t up to the state standards for use, scenic views, cultural resources and potential to earn money.

State parks staff will discuss how and when the transfer may occur and hear public comment about what features park users would most like to see preserved.

Fay Bainbridge State Park is a 17-acre marine camping park with 1,420 feet of saltwater shoreline on the northeast corner of Bainbridge Island. Fort Ward State Park is a 137-acre park with 4,300 feet of shoreline on Rich Passage.

For the Sun’s most recent story on the proposed transfer, click here.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at Island Center Hall, 8395 Fletcher Bay Road N.E.

For more information, contact state parks planner Peter Herzog, (360) 902-8652.

Winslow Way project moving forward on time, on budget

Despite the city’s shaky financial state, City Council members were assured this week that the $12 million Winslow Way reconstruction project will move along strong and steady.

The project draws its financial stability from grants and utility fees, which are not tied to the city’s sharply declining tax revenue bases, according to city staff.

Read my story here.

Letter: “Winslow Way plan aids water quality”

Island resident Greg Bedinger writes this week to praise aspects of the Winslow Way revamp that will improve storm and waste water lines:

I would like to weigh in on the current round of chatter concerning the infrastructure improvements slated for Winslow Way on Bainbridge Island. Others are challenging the arguments against proceeding based on costs, timing, disruption, and grants vs. no grants, ad infinitum! I wish to be on the record as a supporter of the project.

I find it simply amazing that there would be such hesitation to implement a project that will clearly improve the quality of water entering Eagle Harbor by way of upgraded storm and waste water lines. The Puget Sound Partnership recognizes that one of the greatest threats to our quality of life is the rapidly degrading quality (read polluted) of the water entering the Sound by way of overburdened and failing storm water systems. Add to this the deteriorating conditions of municipal sewage lines and it does not take a rocket scientist to recognize that we continue to sully our own backyard by delaying these important improvements.

All the residents of Puget Sound, shoreline and upland, rural and urban, share a responsibility for acting in the best interests of all, not just the few. The Winslow Way improvements are a much-needed response to an urgent call for action for each of us to contribute in a timely way to improving water quality in Puget Sound, thus ensuring a living and vibrant resource for all of us now and for the generations that follow.
Greg Bedinger

May 19: the date BI will vote on changing its government

Bainbridge Island has the green light to hold a special election on May 19 on the question of whether the city should change its government structure.

Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill Wednesday that alters state law to allow ballots on change-of-government measures to go before voters in any month. Previously, they were only allowed during November general elections.

In Bainbridge’s case, the bill allows voters to decide whether the city should do away with its elected mayor position in favor of a city manager hired by the City Council.

The bill, granted emergency status last month, was quickly passed by the state House and spent just more than a week in the Senate. Rep. Christine Rolfes and Sen. Phil Rockefeller, both Bainbridge Democrats, sponsored the bill in their respective houses.

Bainbridge City Councilwoman Debbie Vancil said Wednesday the bill would be important to all municipalities to help them govern their own affairs. She said the Legislature and the governor recognized Bainbridge Island’s immediate need for the bill and gave it an emergency status, which means it took effect the moment the governor signed it.

Continue reading