Monthly Archives: November 2010

Bainbridge man killed in boat trailer accident

Longtime Bainbridge Islander Florentino “Sonny” Tabafunda was killed in a Suquamish Way collision on Saturday. He was 64.

Tabafunda was driving a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee that was hit by a boat trailer. The trailer, which was carrying a fishing boat, became unhitched from the truck that was hauling it along a 40-mph stretch of road.

Tabafunda was a well-known custodian at Bainbridge High School. The school issued a statement this morning:

“Mr. Tabafunda, known by all here at BHS as “Sonny”, was a wonderful employee who was always ready to lend a hand to anyone in need. His bright and sincere smile was reassuring and very welcoming to anyone who encountered him in any setting at our school. Beyond his impact on our school community, Sonny is a long time Bainbridge Island resident who has touched the lives of many Bainbridge Islanders.”

Tabafunda’s large family was rooted in farming. His father, Paul Tabafunda, came from the Philippines to farm on Bainbridge, according to a Seattle Times obituary.

The accident happened shortly after 6 p.m. along NE Suquamish Way between NE Whale Dancer Court and NE Totten Road. Tabafunda was heading north while the 1997 Ford F-250 towing the fishing boat was being driven by a 44-year-old Suquamish man in the opposite direction.

The trailer unhitched from the Ford, crossing the centerline and hitting Tabafunda’s Jeep on its left, front corner. The impact caused the fishing boat — a 1976 Glaspy — to come off the trailer and into the passenger section of Tabafunda’s car. The size of the boat was not made available.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the accident, according to spokesman Scott Wilson. The Kitsap County Coroner will perform an autopsy Monday to confirm the cause and manner of Tabafunda’s death.

BHS Principal Brent Peterson invited students, staff and community members to add comments to a large memorial banner at the 200 Building’s main entrance on High School Road.

Police blotter: “From Yemen With Love”


A Bainbridge resident was surprised this week when she opened her front door and found a package with a note that read “From Yemen With Love.” Rather than swoon from Yemen’s amorous gesture, the package recipient called the cops. The first officer on the scene shared the recipient’s concern that Yemen’s love may be of an explosive, limb-rending variety. Using a cutting-edge internal contents detection tool (a flashlight), the officer determined that the package contained a non-lethal and terribly unromantic printer cartridge.

Also this week, prescription drugs nearly drive one commuter into an oncoming patrol car, and a drunk driver gets lost while navigating the complexities of a phone book.

Blotter’s below….
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Strawberry Plant Park’s new beach takes shape

I stopped by Strawberry Plant Park today to check the progress of the beach restoration project.

The bulkhead, jetty and other remnants of the site’s industrial past have been removed, making way for a gradually sloping beach.

Once the project is completed by the year’s end, the city will transfer the property to the Bainbridge park district.

See a few more photos HERE.

Marshall: Neighborhoods shouldn’t fear the elderly

Islander columnist Becky Fox Marshall shares her thoughts on some of October’s more infamous Bainbridge news items, including the flare up over an elderly care facility in the Commodore neighborhood.

Bainbridge Island got a lot of bad publicity in October – and that was before the tragic police shooting.

A 28-year-old islander accused of armed robbery crashed through a roadblock and was the object of a manhunt in Mason County in which a sheriff’s deputy was shot in the leg. News reports stated the wound may have been caused by a ricochet, but still, we’re talking flying bullets.

Three island men were arrested in connection with a string of burglaries on the north end – with a few felony warrants and heroin thrown in. All of the burglaries occurred late at night while people were home, often while they were asleep. Scary!

There were multiple drunk driving arrests, a bloody fight at a gas station, and a standoff between a 73-year-old man with a crow bar and his 25-year-old tenant, who was armed with a gun. Unloaded, but scary nonetheless.

There were at least three dog attacks – at Fort Ward State Park, Grand Avenue and Foster Road.

You had a guy apparently shooting a gun near two child-care centers who was actually angry when the cops showed up in response to calls.

Oh yeah, and a bicycle rider punched some pedestrian along Manitou Beach Drive – surely there is more to THAT story.

But perhaps the most troubling story to come out of October was the strident and frankly shocking reaction of some neighbors to an adult care facility on Whited Place in the Commodore Lane neighborhood. It was troubling enough for the local Fox News crew to show up.
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Police blotter: Heroin where the sun don’t shine


This week, a man is busted near Waterfront Park for an outstanding warrant. Finding a few used and unused syringes in his clothes and boots, a clever Bainbridge police officer suggests that jail staff give the suspect a (ahem) thorough search before showing him to his cell. The officer’s hunch paid off with yet another charge: trying to sneak heroin into the jail.

Also this week, an islander calls the cops after a neighbor menaces him with a leaf blower, and a dead man’s meds mysteriously appear at the police station’s front door.

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New poll: Should the city fund BITV?

The City Council is scheduled to hear a presentation tonight about the various options it has to broadcast city meetings.

The council decided last month to pull all funding for Bainbridge Island Television and to cancel its contract with the public access station. The overriding reason was to cut costs. The council is trying to build a $2.4 million savings reserve largely through cuts to city services, staffing levels and community service groups like BITV.

At the council’s direction, the city administration has spent the last week gathering information about how other jurisdictions broadcast city meetings, and the various costs involved.

Meanwhile, BITV has warned it will cease operations by mid-December if the city doesn’t restore some or all of the nearly $300,000 the station was expecting. BITV has used its B News program to rally supporters for its cause. The station has also lobbied the council at nearly every public meeting and took to the streets last week to protest the cuts.

The council has held firm, stressing that the city has no obligation to fund BITV. City leaders believe there are several lower-cost options for broadcasting city meetings, and that much of the nearly $300,000 can be put toward shoring up the city’s fragile budget.

So, what do you think? Should the city restore BITV’s funding? Should the city give some – but not all – of the money? Or, should the city find another lower-cost broadcasting alternative and let BITV find other sources of income? Head over to the poll on the right to cast your vote.

As for the last Bainbridge Conversation poll, it looks like most of this blog’s readers want the municipal court to stay on Bainbridge Island. Sixty percent of the 100 voters said it’s important to have the court in the community it serves. Forty percent voted in favor of the move, saying relocation to Poulsbo will save some desperately needed money. As you may have read, the council voted late last month to begin negotiations to move the court.

Police blotter: Drunk driver would rather go home than to jail


This week, a drunk driver crashed her SUV into an embankment, backed through two lanes of traffic and finally lodged her vehicle in a ditch. While en route to jail, the woman kept asking about her dogs (who were unwitting accomplices during her drinking and crashing) and wherer she was being taken. After being told several times that she was being taken to jail, the woman repeatedly suggested that her preference would be to go home instead. Police denied her request.

Blotter’s below.

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City: “The signs must come down”

The city sent out a notice reminding all the island’s politicos that the party is over.

“The ballots are in and the signs must come down,” the city notice said in a rare moment of getting straight to the point.

“With election season at its end, it is time to clean up the roadways. The city’s municipal code (chapter 15.08) regulates the placement of signs to protect public safety and preserve the natural character of the community.”

The signs must be removed within seven days of an election. That means the roadways should be free of political clutter by next Wednesday.

“As a citizen, you may assist in this effort by removing any signs on or around your property by Nov. 10, 2010. Signs that remain in the right-of-way – requiring city removal – will have the expense of removing the signs charged to the political candidates.”

Call the city’s code enforcement office at (206) 780-3769 to report any political signs remaining after Nov. 10.

Bainbridge school levy measures passing; Rolfes and Inslee headed for re-election

The two Bainbridge school levy measures were passing by healthy margins on Tuesday night.

Early returns showed the technology levy passing with 54.65 percent of the vote, and the operations levy lid lift passing with 60.64 percent.

Bainbridge’s Jay Inslee appears headed for another term in Congress. He was besting his Republican challenger, James Watkins, with 56 percent of the vote.

Rep. Christine Rolfes was beating fellow islander James Olsen to retain her state House seat. She had 55 percent to Olsen’s 44.8 percent.

Longtime Bainbridge attorney was in a tight battle with Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders on Tuesday night. Wiggins had 49.15 percent, Sanders had 50.85 percent.

See more Kitsap Sun election coverage HERE.

Read my story about the school measures below.

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Woodworkers unite!

The island’s woodworkers are joining forces to establish a community woodshop at the city-owned Johnson Farm on Fletcher Bay Road.

That’s a bit of the preliminary site plan above.

The effort’s got plenty going for it: over 200 people have shown strong interest in making use of the shop, and the City Council unanimously endorsed the idea. The next big hurtle for the group, known as the Bainbridge Community Woodshop, is fundraising. They’ve pulled together $50,000 of their own money, but about $550,000 more is required.

For more about the effort, read my story HERE.

See Bainbridge Community Woodshop’s website HERE.

The group is having a public meeting on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 9 a.m. at the Commons in Waterfront Park to discuss the woodshop plans. Two days later, on Nov. 15, the city will host a second meeting to gather public comments about the proposal. The city meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

By the way, the woodshop won’t just be for Bainbridge Islanders. Any dues-paying member will be able to use the shop.

The full woodshop site plan can be seen below.

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