Monthly Archives: November 2009

News about the newspaper

If you haven’t taken a look yet, the Kitsap Sun just launched its revamped website. You can see the front page at

Also, stop by the Sun’s new Bainbridge page. That’s where all the stuff I write ends up, and quite a few Bainbridge stories by other Sun writers. Don’t forget to bookmark it on your toolbar or set up an RSS feed (that’s that orange dot/curvy line thing on the top right of the Bainbridge Islander page).

In other Kitsap Sun news, the editorial board is looking for a few good volunteers. The current two community members are from Bremerton and Port Orchard. Figures, right? Well, now’s your chance to get an islander (you) on board and inject some Bainbridgeness into the editorial page.

Being a member of the board means you have to have ready access to e-mail, attend weekly meetings in Bremerton (don’t worry. They’re opening an organic market downtown, so you won’t starve), and you have to work well with others (Bainbridge City Council members need not apply).

Read more about the ins and outs of serving on the board in by clicking here.

“Hard landing” costs ferry system big bucks

Washington State Ferries was spent $327,000 on repairs and other costs after the Wenatchee ran into Seattle’s Colman Dock on a foggy August morning.

The Wenatchee, which was arriving from Bainbridge on Aug. 30, was taken out of service for five days. That caused a cascade of boat-shifting that left the state needing to lease two passenger-only ferries from Victoria Express to use on the Bremerton run, according to a story in today’s Kitsap Sun.

WSF paid $180,000 to fix the ferry’s bow and $122,000 to lease the passenger-only ferries, spokeswoman Marta Coursey said.

Read more:

And the next ethics complaint goes to…

….City Councilwoman Hilary Franz.

Hot on the heels of former city manager Mark Dombroski’s ethics complaint against Councilman Bill Knobloch, Bainbridge Ratepayers Alliance member Sally Adams has filed a complaint alleging that Franz leaked confidential information about legal negotiations between the city and the alliance.

Franz, like Knobloch, denies wrongdoing.

Read my story here.

Vancil concedes to Scales in North Ward City Council race

Councilwoman Debbie Vancil conceded to challenger Bob Scales on Monday.

Vancil’s announcement came after an updated vote total released this Monday afternoon showed Vancil almost three percentage points behind Scales.

“It was my hope that I would be able to continue working with you all to complete the changes we initiated last May, and put the needed structures in place to secure a responsive and accountable small town, community-led government,” she said in a statement to supporters. “Even though the close results of my race will not allow me to continue with you in this effort, I know it will happen.”

Scales’ narrow lead over Vancil has held steady since Tuesday, when initial results were released.

With only 200 ballots left to count in the county on Monday evening, Scales had 50.9 percent of the island’s vote to Vancil’s 48.3 percent.

Scales said he expects “a totally different dynamic” on the council when he and the other election leaders – Debbi Lester and Kirsten Hytopoulos – are sworn in at the start of next year.

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Ex-city manager takes off the gloves

In a candid interview just before he left the city, ex-city manager Mark Dombroski called out the City Council and a small group of islanders he says are causing the the divisiveness and indecisiveness that permeates City Hall.

“I’ve lost faith with the ability this council,” he said. “They’ve created an environment that’s not conducive to a good trusting relationship with myself and staff.”

Read more of Dombroski’s “exit interview” here.

UPDATED: Group sues city over Island Gateway project


A group calling itself the Friends of Bainbridge Island is suing the city of Bainbridge and the developers of the Island Gateway project.

Filed with the Kitsap Superior Court on Tuesday, the lawsuit alleges that the city failed to follow due process in its approval of the 75,000-square-foot project at the intersection of Highway 305 and Winslow Way.

A key issue is the city’s decision to vacate a portion of a 30-foot right-of-way along the west side of the highway to allow more room for the development.

The group contends that the city’s decision did not adequately take into account the vacation’s impact on traffic safety and future mass transit and regional trail options.

“While the city claims to have considered these factors, the (City) Council’s decision was not supported by substantial evidence, was clearly erroneous and arbitrary and capricious,” the lawsuit states.

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Jacobsen concedes in South Ward race

City Council candidate Tim Jacobsen conceded on Thursday that his opponent Kirsten Hytopoulos has an insurmountable lead in their race for the South Ward seat.

Unofficial election results released Thursday evening showed Hytopoulos with a four percentage-point lead over Jacobsen’s 47.7 percent.

“I don’t see how I can close that kind of gap,” Jacobsen said. “I think she has won.”

Hytopoulos also believes the gap has widened enough that she will be declared the winner when the election is certified on Nov. 24.

“I’m excited and honored and humbled,” she said. “To have an opportunity to help lead this community is quite an honor.”

Continue reading

BI’s Gray learning “there’s more to life than basketball” at Gonzaga


Bainbridge basketball standout Steven Gray is going “hippie.”

At least that’s what his coach thinks.

Since heading over to Spokane to play for Gonzaga University, Gray has sprouted a wispy beard and grown out an afro. He’s taken up longboarding and is playing a gay athlete in a school play.

It’s all part of key lesson Gray has learned since leaving the island: “I just feel there’s a lot more to life than basketball,” he said.

Read more about how Gray has grown as a person and a player here.

Hytopoulos widens lead a touch, Scales holds steady

In Bainbridge Island’s two close City Council races, South Ward candidate Kirsten Hytopoulos saw her lead climb slightly while Bob Scales, the leader in the North Ward race, held steady with three percentage points over incumbent Debbie Vancil.

Hytopoulos’ edge rose from 50.5 percent on Tuesday to 50.8 percent on Wednesday. Tim Jacobsen, her opponent, was drawing almost 48.7 percent.

Scales, at 51.1 percent, continues to lead Vancil’s 48.2 percent.

Central Ward candidate Debbi Lester saw her already overwhelming lead grow on Wednesday. She now has 53.5 percent while opponent Dee DuMont’s percentage fell to 45.9 percent.