Monthly Archives: April 2012

Police blotter: Backwoods coffee roastery busted


Some parts of this country are known for cooking up backwoods moonshine.

Some parts of this county are known for cooking up backwoods meth.

On Bainbridge, they cook up backwoods coffee.

Police this week halted the operation of a small coffee roastery in a wooded portion of south Bainbridge. The fumes from the roasting beans were apparently making neighbors ill.

Also this week, a mailbox was destroyed by a tomato sauce attack and an 83-year-old woman was arrested for drunken driving.

The blotter is below.

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POLL: How should Bainbridge pay for road fixes?

This week, a city report indicated the city will need to pay $2.5 million each year just to maintain the current condition of its roads. Read more about it here.

The city hasn’t been coming close to that. Over the last four years, the city has put just $1 million into its road maintenance budget. This year’s $600,000 contribution was the highest in the four-year period.

The city would have to more than quadruple what it pays now just to break even on its roads, according to the report.

So, the big question is: where’s that money going to come from?

The City Council is moving toward a ballot measure in 2013 that – if approved – would boost taxes for a big infusion of road-repairing cash, possibly in the range of $8 million.

Others say the city should better manage the money it already receives from taxpayers, spending less on overhead and more on asphalt.

And of course there’s always the $20 car tab fee that’s been debated on the island for years. The $440,000 it would raise for roads each year isn’t nearly $2.5 million, but it could help.

Or maybe roads aren’t such a big deal. Some residents have urged the city to leave the roads as they are and put more money into arts and cultural programs boosters that they say drew people here in the first place. A few islanders even prefer a few potholes here and there to keep people from speeding.

What do you think? Cast your vote in the poll over to the right.

Police blotter: “She gets crazy (and scratchy) when she drinks”


A woman suffered several injuries after she got into what appears to have been a brawl fought largely – and viciously – with fingernails. She was hospitalized, but the other woman (also her best friend) didn’t fare much better. She had deep bloody scratches on her forehead, near an eye and on her neck. Why such brutality between buddies? The less-injured best friend explained it this way: “She gets crazy when she drinks.”

Also this week, a 69-year-old woman got busted for pot, and a woman stood helpless as two very pale, beach-wandering ladies stole her wallet.

The blotter’s below.

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Bainbridge getting its own glossy magazine

A local start-up magazine aims to celebrate all the good things about island living.

This summer, Bainbridge entrepreneur Michael Cyger is planning to unveil Bainbridge Island Magazine, a glossy lifestyle quarterly that was inspired, in part, by all the “bad news” the island generates.

Here’s what Cyger has to say about the mag at another of his properties,

“We all moved to Bainbridge Island for one or more reasons: the top-rated schools, the quaint downtown, the educated community, the welcoming people, the arts, the rural appeal, the list goes on and on…it’s a great place to getaway from the hectic city or raise a family. Whatever your reason, it is tarnished by bad news that has been rampant in our community. What we need is a way to celebrate what we have.”

Bainbridge magazine, he adds, will “focus on the positive. Only good news.”

It’ll have stories about island homes, gardens, arts, restaurants, organically grown food and “of course – a focus on sustainability.”

“All of the reasons we moved here,” Cyger says.

“This will be the magazine you are proud to show your family that live in a different state, your friends that come to visit in the summer, and that you will be proud to leave out on your coffee table or in your business waiting room….”

The magazine will be mailed to every household and business on the island. On newsstands, it’ll cost about $5.

Head over here for a video statement from Cyger and a “walk through” of the upcoming issue.

Bainbridge in the ’60s

Above is a five-minute video slideshow of photos taken on Bainbridge during the 1960s. The slide show was prepared for the Bainbridge Public Library’s 50th anniversary celebrations last month.

Culled largely from the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum‘s archives, the photos depict some of the island’s last big blue-collar employers, including the Eagle Harbor shipyard, and plenty of new real estate offices.

Also popping up are a long-gone bowling alley, lumber yard, shoe store and Crazy Eric’s burger joint. Watch close and you’ll see (around the three-minute mark) the Unocal gas station site that has been making the news lately.

At least two businesses in the slide show – Town & Country Market and Esther’s fabric store – are still thriving today.

It’s striking to see how little Winslow Way has changed since the 1960s, and how much the newer Village shopping center on High School Road has been altered quite a bit.

Sewage concerns close Blakely park’s beach

UPDATE: Most of the sewage was contained in a nearby wetland. The city and sewer plant operator plan to pump out the sewage on Monday. Click here for our latest story on the spill.

Public health officials are warning people to steer clear of Tani Creek and Blakely Harbor Park’s beach after sewage leaked into a wetland near the Fort Ward sewage treatment plant.

Here’s our report from yesterday.

The wetland, which sits next to a public trail, connects to Tani, which flows into Blakely.

The state Dept. of Ecology warned that “contact with fecal contaminated waters can result in gastroenteritis, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. Children and the elderly may be more vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.”

The Kitsap Public Health District has taken water samples from Tani and Blakely to see how far the contamination spread from the wetland. Results were expected today, but it looks like we’ll have to wait until Thursday afternoon for confirmation the sewage spread beyond the wetland.

Sewer district board member Sarah Lee estimates between 3,000 and 5,000 gallons of partially-treated sewage leaked from a hole in a 40,000-gallon tank.

The cause of the hole is not yet known, but it doesn’t appear it was punctured or damaged by force.

The health district isn’t sure how the mess will be cleaned up – if at all. The sewer district pumped out some of the sewage from their grounds on Friday, shortly after the leak was discovered.

On Monday, the health district discovered the sewage had traveled out of the treatment plant property and into the wetland, which is down-slope of the plant.

It appeared much of the sewage was caught and partially contained by a “log jam” in the wetland, according to health district water specialist Stuart Whitford.

Water test results will guide next steps. Cleaning the mess could include pumping out portions of the wetland. If the testing shows relatively low levels of contamination, the health district and Ecology officials may take a hands-off approach.

I’m off for the next two days, so look for environmental reporter Chris Dunagan’s followup story on the testing results.