Monthly Archives: April 2015

City goes all green with electric

420524_5531137_ver1.0_640_480City Council members voted 5-2 to buy 100 percent green energy for the city. Council members Sarah Blossom and Steve Bonkowski voted against it.

Bonkowski said he would vote against it because of the low percent  of residents who participate, which he correlated to green energy support.

About 13 percent of islanders participate in Puget Sound Energy’s Green Power Program. The program relies more on wind, bio-gas and solar-energy sources instead of coal.

The city had been buying about about 13 percent of its electricity from green energy to match the resident participation, costing about $3,000 a year. The city spends a total of $330,000 a year on electricity, and going to all green power would cost the city an additional $15,000 a year.

Sailing, rowing teams making a splash

Bulletin_Sailing team
Photo courtesy Christine Brown.

By David Nelson, Bainbridge Islander editor

Sailing team takes first in Anacortes

The Bainbridge Island High School Sailing Team won first place at the annual Islands Cup regatta in Anacortes on April 11-12.

This fleet-racing regatta rotates among various locations in and around the San Juan Islands each year and attracts teams from all over the Northwest.

Sailors completed four races, two in each division, before racing was called off on the first day when wind gusts of more than 25 knots continued to build, with as many as six boats capsized on the course at a time. Weather conditions on Sunday were nearly perfect.

The Bainbridge High School Plaid team, with Stasi Burzycki and Sophia Kasper/Kat Smith in Division A and Jackson McCoy and Hannah Harrison in Division B, took 1st place out of 32 teams to win the 2015 Islands Cup. Fourth place went to the combined team of Will Brown and Josh Rentz in Division A and Caelan Juckniess, Nicole Sanford and Harry Saliba in Division B.

Lucas Burzycki, Elizabeth Rolfes, Christophe Webber, Harry Saliba, Olivia Mitchell and Sophie Crandell placed ninth, and Nick Dresel, Karl Anderson, Zach Mellin, Quinn Ring and Cole Garthwaite placed 21st.

Rowers competes in British Columbia

Bainbridge High School rowing teams earned several first- and second-place finishes last weekend at the international Brentwood Regatta on Vancouver Island.

The Varsity Boys Eight came in first of the U.S. teams in the high school race, with a boat consisting of Alex Larsen, Scott Musselwhite, Will de Rubertis, Konnor Vander Leest, John Danielsson, Dan Queen, Lars Erickson, Cole Sander and coxswain Keith Carlson.

In girls races, the varsity eight took second overall in the high school race, the

lightweight four finished second and then launched for a second race with the rest of their squad as the lightweight eight boat.  In a close final, Bainbridge finally nosed ahead of Brentwood for second place behind Holy Names, which won in a late sprint.

The boys novice eight boat, Colin Veilleux, Gavin Veilleux, Conor Sweeney, Jackson Patrick, Peter Van Ness, Aaron Lewis-Sandy, Hudson Dore, John Merritt, cox Sam Carson, took first place, the first time a junior novice team from the Bainbridge Island Rowing Club has won an Open-A level race, according to coach Tim Goss. The novice boys four also won its race.

Ostling bill signed into law, requiring more police training

Governor Jay Inslee preparing to sign the Ostling Act into law April 24. Bainbridge Island Officer Trevor Ziemba, far left, and Kitsap County Sheriff Gary Simpson, center, attended the signing. Ziemba testified in favor of the bill. (Photo by Legislative Support Services)
Governor Jay Inslee preparing to sign the Ostling Act into law April 24. Bainbridge Island Officer Trevor Ziemba, far left, and Kitsap County Sheriff Gary Simpson, center, attended the signing. Ziemba testified in favor of the bill. (Photo by Legislative Support Services)

The Douglas M. Ostling Act, a measure that will require all Washington law enforcement to receive crisis intervention training, became law when Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill April 24.

Ostling, a mentally ill Bainbridge Island man, was shot and killed by Bainbridge Island police in 2010, and two years later a federal jury determined the city had not provided proper training for the officers, awarding the Ostling family $1.4 million.

The new law requires incoming police officers to receive eight hours of initial crisis intervention training starting in 2017, and two hours of additional training each year for all officers by 2021.

Since the shooting, Bainbridge Island’s newest police chief has been working to improve training and repair community ties.

Matt Hamner, hired in 2013, sent Officer Trevor Ziemba to Olympia to testify in favor of the Ostling bill. Ziemba is the department’s crisis intervention officer.

“We wanted to show our support of this bill,” Hamner said. “We want to do better, and we want to do the best we can for the community.”

Bainbridge Bakers ends its online fundraiser


Bainbridge Bakers has canceled the GoFundMe campaign started by one of its employees, said owner Mike Loudon on the company’s Facebook page Wednesday night.

He said that the business is “putting together a more structured loan option so as to minimize chances wherein they can be subject to companies like moorcroft debt collection company.”

Labor and Industries confirmed it’s investigating five wage complaints lodged against Bainbridge Bakers this year.

The GoFundMe campaign was started last week to help the 29-year-old business, asking for $100,000.

About $6,000 had been donated the day after the campaign launched.

Donors can expect a refund in 2-5 days, according to Loudon’s Facebook post.

The bakery closed around noon today, with a notice posted saying it would remain closed through Sunday for restructuring, said Ben Goldsmith, who started the GoFundMe campaign.

He said owner Mike Loudon sent an email to employees saying he would be having meetings during the temporary closure, and that “the goal for this time is to work out a strategy for the future of the bakery.”

Goldsmith, who has not worked for the past several days and is one of the bakery’s employees who has not received a paycheck in recent weeks, said “Getting the payroll settled I know is his first priority.”

Tim Kelly, editor of the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal, contributed to this post.

Going all the way with green energy?

420524_5531137_ver1.0_640_480City Council will discuss buying 100 percent green energy for the city’s electricity at its next business meeting in two weeks.

Puget Sound Energy’s Green Power Program relies more on wind, bio-gas and solar-energy sources instead of coal.

About 13 percent of the city’s electricity is from green energy, costing about $3,000 a year. The city spends a total of $330,000 a year on electricity, and going to all green power would cost the city an additional $15,000 a year.

The council decided to buy 13 percent green power from PSE last year, matching the percent of residents that use green power.

Two other Washington cities buy 100 percent green energy, said Heather Mulligan, PSE market manager. Those cities are Lacey and Bellingham.

City invests in phase II of Ferncliff Village

The first phase of Ferncliff Village development. (Brad Camp/Special to the Kitsap Sun)
The first phase of Ferncliff Village development. (Brad Camp/Special to the Kitsap Sun)

City Council agreed Tuesday to provide $150,000 for phase II of the Ferncliff Village, an affordable housing development by Housing Resources Bainbridge on the island.

Phase II will include 16 two and three bedroom townhomes, a playground and trails. Each townhome will cost about $200,000, according to the development’s website.

Housing Resources Bainbridge started the first phase of the development in 2011 and sold all of the homes by the fall of 2013.

The city will contribute $75,000 a year for two years after Housing Resources Bainbridge has a construction loan agreement.

Payments from the city will be reimbursements, and Housing Resources Bainbridge must submit receipts.

Island fire department prepares to sell off land

Bainbridge Island Fire Chief Hank Teran. (Kitsap Sun file photo)
Bainbridge Island Fire Chief Hank Teran. (Kitsap Sun file photo)

The Bainbridge Island Fire Department plans to sell .83 acres of undeveloped land on the south end of the island.

Fire commissioners unanimously voted to surplus the land, which is assessed at $130,000, on April 9.

The department is not using the land that is surrounded by a neighborhood and is zoned residential, said Chief Hank Terran. It was donated to the department for a “nominal amount” in the 1960s.

Although the Bainbridge Island voters recently passed a fire bond to build two new fire stations, the undeveloped property isn’t in the right location for a station, Terran said.

Money from the property sale will go into the department’s capital fund.

Oversight committee next step in police relations

bainbridgepolicebadgeThe City Council is moving forward with discussions on forming a public safety committee with the support of the police chief and residents.

The public safety committee, which would be made of three council members, was suggested by council members to improve police oversight and communication between the department and community.

“We’ve made so many important strides,” said Kim Hendrickson, founder of the grassroots group known as Islanders for Collaborative Policing. “It’s a different department now, and there’s a real commitment at the top level of the police department to interact positively with the community.”

The committee’s specific role and responsibilities will be discussed at a following council meeting, said City Manager Doug Schulze.

When and how often the public would be given notice of the committee meetings also will be reviewed.

Islanders for Collaborative Policing started in 2011, when police and resident communication was “terrible,” Hendrickson said.

“Sadly, up until the shooting death of Doug Ostling, people just didn’t talk openly about the police department,” she said. “It wasn’t the culture on this island to have an open conversation about it.”

In 2010, Ostling was shot by Bainbridge Island police after calling 911. A judge later ruled the city didn’t provide officers proper training to interact with residents that have documented mental health issues, like Ostling, and Ostling’s family was awarded a $1 million settlement nearly two years after the shooting.

The police department faced other scrutiny under former Police Chief Jon Fehlman.

In 2011, the department hired a volunteer reserve officer — giving him a badge and the authority to carry a gun — who had a criminal history, including a misdemeanor assault charge and a weapons charge.

Fehlman was the Bainbridge Island police chief during each of these issues. He resigned in September 2012.

The current police chief — Matt Hamner — has been working to rebuild community relations since he was hired in 2013, he said, including designating a community resource officer earlier this year.

Hamner said he welcomes questions from the community and is working to provide a transparent department.

“I think it’s important that the community, with their elected representatives, are able to see the progress and good work the police department is doing,” Hamner said. “And this is a great venue to accomplish that.”

Under Hamner’s direction, the department has a new mission, new training and new ways to document complaints, among other changes.

Transparency is part of the department’s transformation, Hamner added.

While he and Hendrickson both said improvements have been made in the police department, they also agreed there is more work to be done.

Seeing an oversight committee is one more aspect Hendrickson wants to see.

“We’ve been waiting for this for years,” she said. “This is a huge step in the right direction, if it happens.”

Read an extended version about changes in the police department on the Kitsap Sun website.