Daily Archives: January 7, 2010

111 percent sewer surcharge put on hold

Head over here to read my story on Interim City Manager Lee Walton’s City Council-backed decision to put a month-long hold on the massive Winslow sewer surcharge.

Councilman Bill Knobloch says the surcharge suspension shows that a wind of change has swept though City Hall.

“It’s a brand new year, a brand new council,” he said. “There’s a new direction, and I’m very pleased.”

What’s with the FBI and SWAT teams running around Bainbridge?

GrandForestSearch1Seems like that’s the question of the day here on Bainbridge Island.

If you passed by the Miller Road side of Grand Forest Park today, you would not have missed all the camo gear, the M-16s, the body armor, the armored SWAT van, the dozens of police cars, the big command center RV and the 50 or so FBI, local police, state patrol, county sheriffs, Homeland Security personnel and U.S. Marshals running all over the place.

Pretty exciting stuff for our quiet island.

Don’t worry, no one was hurt and no guns were fired. And, no, it wasn’t about the high-flying “Barefoot Bandit” Colton Harris-Moore. All those local, state and federal officers were looking for evidence related a not-quite-as-infamous local bandit, Bradley S. Robinett, an ex-Marine wanted for several robberies and fleeing police.

You might remember an incident back in September in which a man stole a car, led police on a chase near Battle Point Park and then escaped to Poulsbo via stolen kayak.

It was a blotter item here on the Conversation, which you can re-read here. Police now believe that man was Robinett, who has since gotten into trouble in the region for stealing cars and other criminal acts. He also has a history of bank robbing and illegal gun possession.

Police were searching the Grand Forest for a possible a cache of guns and stolen items, or even a shelter, which Robinett is known to construct and live in from time to time.

“His M.O. is that he’s a woodsman, a survivalist. He likes to build little structures in the woods and stash the fruits of his crimes,” Bainbridge Det. Trevor Ziemba told me today when I arrived at the search’s staging area outside Island Center Hall. Ziemba also explained that the number of law enforcement officers and the degree in which they were armed and armored was a precaution against a possible meeting with Robinett, who is considered armed and dangerous.

Thanks to all the islanders who sent me tweets and messages after seeing all the action on Miller.

You can read my report and see a photo gallery of the search here.

Poulsbo and Bainbridge sharing a courthouse?

When I polled the three newly-sworn in Bainbridge City Council members yesterday about their immediate goals on the council, there was strong agreement that the city must first focus on financial matters.

They said the city needs to save more money and find better sources for acquiring more of it. You can read the story here.

Councilman Bob Scales made the interesting suggestion of rolling Bainbridge’s municipal court into Poulsbo’s. Scales, an attorney who served a previous council term, considered applying for the Bainbridge judge job when Steve Holman left the position in 2006. The job went to the Kate Carruthers, who was recently reappointed by the council to another four-year term.

Considered a two-thirds time job, the judge’s annual salary last year was $94,946. But, according to Scales, the job’s workload amounts to a .45 position, meaning it should be paid at a less-than-half-time level.

Carruthers disagrees with Scales’ estimates.

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