Monthly Archives: June 2009

Sewer spill much larger than initially thought

The Eagle Harbor sewer leak released much more raw sewage than initially thought, according to updated city estimates.

In a report released on Friday, the city estimated that a corroded pipe near the Winslow ferry terminal leaked between 287,000 to 493,000 gallons of untreated sewage last week. Initial estimates were 140,000 gallons.

City public works staff revised the number after concluding that the leak probably started two days earlier than when it was discovered on May 30.

The estimate revision came city staff reviewed the Winslow sewer plant’ daily flow records over the 15 days before, during and after the leak.

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Councilman Snow named city’s new ‘mayor’

City Councilman Chris Snow is the city’s new ceremonial mayor.

The City Council elected Snow to the position at a meeting on Wednesday night

The job comes with little to no authority beyond that of a council member, but Snow will replace former mayor Darlene Kordonowy on several of the regional boards she serves on.

The ceremonial mayor position is part of the the city’s new council-manager form of government. Island voters decided last month to do away with the city’s traditional mayor position and transfer its authority to the council.

City Adminstrator Mark Dombroski was recently named to the new position of city manager.

Snow’s council and mayoral term end Dec. 31. Snow has declined to seek reelection, leaving his South Ward position to three candidates.

Eagle Harbor’s no-contact advisory ends today

Health officials are lifting the 10-day no-contact advisory for Eagle Harbor and the shorelines between Yeomalt Point and Rockaway Beach.

The advisory was initiated shortly after a sewer pipe on the harbor’s north shore began leaking raw sewage. An estimated 140,000 gallons of sewage seeped out before city work crews fixed the leak on June 2.

Two sets of water quality tests in the harbor show normal levels of bacteria.

“Our two sampling events at Waterfront Park showed no impact from the spill,” Kitsap County Health District water quality specialist John Kiess said today.

Debbie Vann drops out of City Council race

Former city councilwoman Debbie Vann dropped me a line today announcing she’s decided not to seek the Central Ward’s seat.

Vann had filed to run on Friday, along with Dee DuMont, Debbi Lester and Virginia Paul.

“Given the high quality of candidates, and my own somewhat ‘iffiness’ about running, I decided to withdraw my name,” Vann wrote today. “So, I will not be running.”

New poll: Should Kordonowy continue to serve on regional boards?

Darlene Kordonowy has taken some heat from City Council members and some folks in the community about her continued service on regional boards she was appointed to as mayor.

She has a seat on eight boards, including Kitsap Transit, where she’s the chair, and Kitsap Consolidated Housing Authority, where she’s vice chair.

Read this story for more background on the issue, and then take the poll to the right.

The Bainbridge Conversation’s last poll showed that most respondents thought the city handled the Eagle Harbor sewer leak well.

It was interesting to see most initial opinions reflect a view that the city botched the response and endangered the harbor. But, as news rolled in that the harbor appeared to be recovering quickly, the city began receiving high marks.

Here’s the final breakdown:

40 percent: Good. The city did the best they could in a tough situation. (18 votes)
24 percent: Fair. They did the right thing, but the fix should have been made earlier. (11 votes)
22 percent: Terrible. The city’s response endangered human health and the environment. (10 votes)
13 percent: Excellent. The city was on top of things every step of the way. (6 votes)

Did Kordonowy twist Kitsap Transit’s arm to lobby the council on her behalf?

You can read a story in today’s Sun about some City Council members’ opposition to Darlene Kordonowy continuing to serve on regional boards she was appointed to as mayor.

It’s a straightforward argument: many of the positions are for mayors or council appointees only. Kordonowy’s not a mayor, and she’s not been appointed by the council. On the other hand, Kordonowy and some of her board colleagues say a new appointee could stall critical work, especially in areas of public transportation and affordable housing.

I didn’t include it in the story, but there’s a rumor circulating that Kordonowy was behind Kitsap Transit Director Dick Hayes’ visit to a recent council meeting. Driving up from Kitsap Transit’s Bremerton HQ, Hayes urged the council to allow Kordonowy’s continued participation on his organization’s board.

I mentioned the rumor to Kordonowy and Hayes. Both were quick to dispel it.

“Jeez, they’re peevish up there,” Hayes said. “I don’t want to get into a battle, but I can say that’s categorically not true.”

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Lovegreen vs. Lovgreen

Last week, I wrote a story about the revival of “Minnie Rose Lovgreen’s Recipe for Raising Chickens.” The book is an oral history of sorts focused on an old-time islander’s methods of making hens happy (and getting a lot of fresh eggs at the same time). You can read the story here.

While talking to Nancy Rekow, who first published the book in 1975, she mentioned that the road named after Lovgreen’s family has long been misspelled on city street signs. The road, which intersects Highway 305 south of Day Road, is titled “Lovegreen” road. Note the extra ‘e’.

Rekow said several longtime islanders have pointed out the typo, but the city’s been slow to respond.

Fortunately, a new form of government – heralded as the more responsive and effective alternative to the musty old mayor-led kind – is taking shape at City Hall.

Echoing the late Ronald Reagan’s famous Berlin address : “Mr. City Manager, tear down that misspelled street sign.”*

(*Reagan may have actually used slightly different words.)

Addendum: Blog reader Marvin added that the city also misspells Lovgreen as “Lovegren” on other parts of the Road. If memory serves, the city uses “Lovegreen” at the highway intersection and “Lovegren” to the east. By the way, I’ve also heard plenty of different pronunciations of the road – “Love-green,” “Loav-green,” “Loav-grin” and “Lofgren” (which is actually a road south of Murden Cove). According to Rekow, the correct pronunciation is “Love-grin.”

City Council race update

Well, the deadline to file for a City Council seat has passed.

Here’s today’s update on all the council filing action:

In the North Ward race, Falk Road resident Melanie Keenan filed to run against incumbent Debbie Vancil and Bob Scales, a former councilman and mayoral candidate. Keenen is known to City Hall-watchers for a spirited fight against a city attempt to remove goats from her property.

The Central Ward race became the island’s most crowded as Dee Dumont, Debbi Lester and Virginia Paul filed today. They join former city councilwoman Debbie Vann, who filed on Thursday. Incumbent Kjell Stokness declined to seek reelection.

DuMont, a Grow Avenue resident, is a seamstress and Winslow business owner. She wants to curb city pending and streamline permitting processes.

Lester, an Ihland Way resident and daughter-in-law of Debbie Vancil, is a community activist and arts magazine publisher. She has been active in park preservation, ferry passenger service issues and the establishment of community gardens.

Paul, a Lovell Avenue resident, could not be reached for comment. She has spoken out recently about expected high utility fees related to Winslow Way upgrades.

Councilman Chris Snow announced he would not seek reelection representing the South Ward. That leaves the race to Kirsten Hytopoulos, Tim Jacobsen and Curt Winston.

DuMont files to run against Vann in Central Ward council race

Grow Avenue resident Dee DuMont filed to run against former councilwoman Debbie Vann for the City Council’s Central Ward position.

Incumbent Kjell Stoknes announced this week he will not seek reelection.

A seamstress for over 40 years, DuMont co-owns Winslow-based Doozie Design Services. DuMont is the former owner of a Winslow antique and gift shop.

She is a graduate of Michigan State University and has taught in Puget Sound community colleges.

More information on DuMont to come.

Also filing today were Mike Spence for the school board’s position 2, Jay C. Kinney and Bob Selzler for position 4 of the park board, and Glen Tyrrell for position 5 of the fire commission.

Today is the last day to file for local elections. Final filing results will be posted by the county auditor’s office at 5:15 p.m.

Councilman Snow will not seek reelection

City Councilman announced yesterday that he will not seek reelection to his South Ward position.

His decision puts the South Ward race spotlight the South Ward on the three candidates who filed this week: Kirsten Hytopoulos, Tim Jacobsen and Curt Winston.

When discussing his reelection prospects late last month, Snow said he may not run, in part, because of the council’s divisiveness.