Daily Archives: June 2, 2009

UPDATED: School bond fails by a fraction of a percent

The bond failed by a hair.

The final vote tally for the Bainbridge Island School District’s $42 million capital bond showed it .2 percent shy of the of the 60 percent it needed to pass.

A Tuesday afternoon election report from the Kitsap County Auditor’s office showed that only a handful of “yes” votes – perhaps 50 – would have edged the bond (which earned 59.8 percent) to victory.

More than 9,500 ballots were cast in the election.

It’s unlikely school leaders will call for a recount. Campaign chair Clif McKenzie told the Sun last week that a recount would probably not be worth the nearly $2,500 it would cost.

School officials are considering a similar measure for the November ballot.

City criticized for slow, incomplete response to sewer spill

City Council members on Monday questioned whether the city’s response to the Eagle Harbor sewer leak was too slow and not comprehensive enough to ensure the health and safety of people and the environment.

Councilwoman Kim Brackett, who visited the leak site near the Winslow ferry terminal shortly after it was identified on Saturday, was unimpressed with the city’s efforts to protect the marine ecosystem and clean the beach of solid waste.

“This is a very significant environmental issue for the health of Puget Sound,” she said during a council Public Works Committee meeting. “Was there an effort to capture (the waste) and pickup the tissue paper sitting on the beach? I was a little stunned to not see anybody there to clean it up.”

The corroded, 32-year-old pipe blamed for the leak, which spilled an estimated 140,000 gallons of sewage into the harbor, was repaired Tuesday morning. Public works crews had installed a temporary band on the pipe on Sunday, after about 70,000 gallons of solid and liquid waste flowed freely into the harbor. The band halted the flow of solids but not liquid effluent, allowing an additional 70,000 gallons of sewer water to escape.

Assistant Public Works Director Lance Newkirk said high tides delayed repair work until early Tuesday morning, when an extremely low tide was expected.

Responding to Brackett, Newkirk declined to assess the city’s response to the spill.

“I’m not prepared to comment on how well – or not well – we did,” he said.

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Jacobsen joins Hytopoulos in South Ward City Council race

Promising greater financial oversight of a city plagued with budget problems, accountant Tim Jacobsen on Monday entered the race for
the South Ward City Council position currently held by Chris Snow.

Jacobsen joins community activist and attorney Kirsten Hytopoulos, who announced her candidacy early Monday. Snow said on Monday evening that he has not yet decided whether he’ll seek reelection.

“I am running because I feel that I have experience and talents that can benefit Bainbridge Island,” said Jacobsen, who moved to Bainbridge from Montana in 1997. “The island is facing many challenges which have only been compounded by the economy. My financial background will be an obvious asset.”

The Bill Point Court resident has been a self-employed accountant since 2005. He is a former managing partner of a Seattle-based accounting firm.

Jacobsen is the chair of the city Salary Commission, which sets pay rates for elected officials. He plans to resign from the commission now that he’s a council candidate.

He also serves as the Bainbridge Island Boys and Girls Club advisory board president.

Sewer leak fixed early Tuesday morning

City public work crews stopped the three-day flow of raw sewage into Eagle Harbor early Tuesday morning.

Crews spent about 90 minutes installing a rubberized metal collar around a corroded section that began leaking on Saturday. The repair was completed during low tide at approximately 6:30 a.m. The pipe was tested and the sewer system was brought back to normal functioning by 7 a.m.

“We were fortunate,” said Lance Newkirk, assistant director of the city’s public works department. “We had a backup strategy with a three-hour repair cycle. But the (faster) strategy is the one that worked.”

Newkirk said additional cracking or other damage would have required crews to replace a section of the pipe. Crews had waited until Tuesday morning because a extreme low tide was predicted, and would have allowed time for the more complex fix.

The pipe, which runs under the beach about a quarter mile east of the Winslow ferry terminal, is estimated to have released 140,000 gallons of sewage. It carries most of the Winslow area’s sewage to the downtown treatment plant on Hawley Way.

Health officials issued a no-contact advisory for all of the harbor and the seven miles of shoreline between Yeomalt Point and Rockaway Beach. Residents are asked to not touch the water or low tide areas for 10 days.