All posts by Rachel Anne Seymour

About Rachel Anne Seymour

Multi-media Journalist at the Kitsap Sun. Covering North Kitsap and Bainbridge Island.

Orange is the new bench color, but not officially

One of the benches that has been painted orange near along Winslow Way. Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun
One of the benches that has been painted orange near along Winslow Way.
Photos by Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun

Tristan Baurick/Kitsap SunAt least four small cement cube benches along Winslow Way were “mysteriously” painted orange recently without consent from city officials, said City Manager Doug Schulze.

The city is trying to find out who did it.

“The issue we have now is cleanup of this might be problematic,” Schulze told the council Tuesday. “Because pressure washing or using some sort of solvent could damage the surface of the concrete.”

The city could leave the benches orange or paint over them with a cement gray color.

“If you hear any rumors about who might have done this, we’d like to chat with them so this doesn’t continue,” Schulze said.

Requesting proposals, not a consultant, for Suzuki property sale

suzukimapBainbridge Island could be asking for proposals for the Suzuki property, instead of hiring consultants.

Councilman Val Tollefson said a council subcommittee he is on decided hiring a consultant — who would breakdown how much money could be made on the property based on the buyer and development purpose — would leave the city right where is was Tuesday, needing to ask for proposals.

Interested parties would have 45 days to respond to the published request, which is expected to have a list of priorities for the Suzuki property laid out by the city.

Those priorities are:

  • Affordable housing or mixed housing with affordable and market-value houses.
  • Green and sustainable construction.
  • Open space, community gardens and connecting trails.
  • Integration with adjacent neighborhoods and island character.

Tollefson also suggested the public should have input on the proposals the city receives.

Several residents have voiced concern about traffic issues and housing density. Others have asked the city to leave the property as is.

The school district is not interesting in buying the property, Mayor Anne Blair said.

The council has previously talked about allowing affordable housing to be built on the land.

“Frankly, the city owns a valuable piece of property and needs some money,” Tollefson said.

The undeveloped Suzuki land is assessed at about $500,000, according to county documents, which is the price the city paid for the property in 2000.

The City Council decided to sell the 14-acre Suzuki property in 2008, and use the money to pay for a new police station.

Last week, the council selected a site for a new police station and court facility. It is estimated to cost about $15 million, including buying land.

Foundation could oversee city money to nonprofits

COBI_logo.jpgBainbridge-Community-Foundation.jpgCity Council is considering paying the Bainbridge Community Foundation to oversee and help allocate about $323,000 for nonprofits.

An exact cost or where the money would come from was not decided during Tuesday’s council meeting, although the foundation’s proposal outlined $21,050 in fees.

Community nonprofits voiced concern about how paying the foundations could take away money for local services.

The Health, Housing and Human Services Council previously helped guide the city in funding local nonprofits.

During the economic downturn, the council all but dissolved the Health, Housing and Human Services Council. The city cut away $103,000 worth of administrative support in 2010, ending funding for the organization’s executive director and administrative assistant.

The Health, Housing and Human Services Council was created by the city in the early 1990s, and tasked with distributing city money to about a dozen human service groups — from the food bank to the teen center. It also undertook regular community needs assessments and surveys.

The city has still provided funding to nonprofits since 2010, although it has not reviewed whether the amount these organizations receive should change based on needs or if the organizations are still based on Bainbridge Island.

A new Human Services Funding Advisory Committee also would be formed to make recommendations on goals and funding allocations.

Kids Club still in search of new location

By Chris Henry

Kids Club on Bainbridge Island is still looking for a new home.

The program, run by Bainbridge Island Child Care Centers, will have to leave the Bainbridge Island School District’s central campus, because the district needs the portables where Kids Club now meets to address space issues at Ordway Elementary School.

The district has said Kids Club can stay in the portables through the end of June, and the district has made the Ordway gym available through the end of August, until school begins.

The program is looking for a new location as close to the central campus as possible, said program director Shelley Long.

Anyone with a potential location can call Long at 206-842-6525.

Police blotter for June 12 edition

polie_blotter_logoInjury foils break in

A break in through a broken window was reported at the Filipino American Community Hall on June 4.

Although no items were missing, it appeared someone used bleach to try and clean up blood from an injury after climbing through the broken window.

It appeared that a person broke the window with a broom or dust pan and used a wheelbarrow to climb into the window that was 8 feet off the ground, according to the police report.

There were “sporadic” blood drops and smears from the window to the kitchen, along with footprints in the bleach. Police found shoe prints as well as a partial bare foot print.

An empty bottle of bleach was left on the kitchen counter.

Bainbridge funding public art program again

frog-rockThe city of Bainbridge Island is looking to start refunding the Public Art Program.

In November 2010, the council voted to suspend program funding.

Now, the council is moving forward with plans to transfer an equivalent of two-percent of all eligible municipal capital construction projects to the art program. Water, sewer and stormwater management facilities would not be eligible projects.

City officials could decide to include an additional transfer during discussions on individual projects.

City Council is expected to approve the ordinance during one of its Tuesday meetings in the near future.

City proposes an ordinance for homeless camps

City Council is considering an ordinance to allow temporary tent cities on property owned by religious organizations.

The city’s insurer, Washington Cities Insurance Authority, suggested city officials have regulations on tent cities since a church sued the city of Woodinville for not providing a permit for a temporary homeless camp in 2006. The church said the city was violating its first amendment right to free exercise of religion, and won the lawsuit.

Bainbridge Island’s proposed ordinance would allow camps for up to 92 days with a permit and require campers be over the age of 18. No drugs, alcohol or open flames would be allowed. The number of campers would be limited to 100.

A “ sight-obscuring fence” could be required around the camp unless there is “sufficient vegetation, topographic variation, or other site conditions,” according to the proposed ordinance.

A public hearing for the ordinance will be scheduled.

Easier access coming to Manitou Beach


Island residents and visitors will eventually be able to park along Manitou Beach Drive in a small parking lot by a the beach park looking out at downtown Seattle across Puget Sound.

City Council approved a plan for two bike racks and four parking spots, including one handicap spot, on the west side of the road.

There also will be a 6-foot-wide, ADA-accessible boardwalk on the east side of the road over a ditch, allowing access to the 1.36-acre beach.

Mark Epstein, the city’s capital projects coordinator, told the council the project would cost about $54,000-$60,000. He also said the city could save about $15,200 if the city performs some of the work.

Police blotter for June 5 edition

polie_blotter_logoDrunken driver stops for a bathroom break

Police found a silver Nissan Sentra pulled over at Koura and Highway 302 after reports of two men leaving the Suquamish Clearwater Casino while drunk May 30.

Casino security reported the men and their vehicle to local law enforcement about 2 a.m. when they were leaving because they had been “cut off from the bar” because of their “level of intoxication,” according to the police report.

Both men were standing outside the car when Bainbridge Island police found them, the passenger was “urinating in the side of the road.” The car was

According to the police report, the driver was slurring his words and fumbling his words.

He offered to leave the vehicle and “chuck the keys.” He admitted to driving and that he would have continued after his friend was done peeing, if the officer had not come along.

He blew a .222 breath alcohol level at about 2:30 a.m.

After being taken to the station and placed in a holding cell, the driver became “very ill” and vomited multiple times into the toilet.


Purse thief suspected of riding away

As a woman had her purse stolen from her car while dropping off books at the Bainbridge Island Library on May 28.

The woman parked in front of the main doors at the library and left her passenger door open about 2 p.m. that Thursday, according to the police report.

She notice a man with his bike sitting on the bench by the doors as she went inside.

The man, his bike and her purse were all gone when she got back to the car. No one witnessed the purse theft, which had $20 in cash. The woman’s wallet and cell phone were not in the purse.


Looking for pain meds

A man left a local dentist office without paying for his examination after asking for pain medication for a toothache May 27.

When the man was preparing to leave after his examination he requested medication multiple times, according to the police report, and it reminded an employee of a similar situation five years ago.

The employee asked for his ID, and he said it was in his car.

He went to the car and did not come back to pay for his $93 appointment. He did not receive any prescriptions, the employee told police.

She described the white man as having “slicked down white-yellow” hair and blue eyes. He is about 5’7’’ and 175-180 pounds.


Car rolls away

After a driver parked legally on Bjune Drive May 26, he heard a crash from his 2007 Honda rolling down hill across two lanes before striking a fence.

The driver was not sure if he had left the vehicle in gear, applied the e-brake or if his dog, which was in the car, had messed with either of those items, according to the police report.

No one was injured, including the rottweiler.


Forgot to put the car in park

A man’s car drove itself into an embankment and onto a beach after he jumped out to scare away an aggressive dog on May 23.

The man told police he had been driving north on Crystal Springs Drive about 10 a.m. when he saw a large dog becoming aggressive with an older woman. He pulled into the oncoming lane to try and scare the dog away, although he did not hit the dog, he said.

He then got out of his car to chase the dog away.

When he turned around, he saw his vehicle driving onto the beach.

The man said he realized he got out of the vehicle without putting it in park.

No one was injured.


Airlift after 40-foot fall

An employee for a moss removal company was flown to the hospital after falling 40 feet from a roof May 18.

The man had been cleaning a skylight, according to the police report. He had detached himself from the harness and was getting ready to climb down the ladder about 3 p.m. May 18, when a fellow employee heard his shoes start slipping on the roof.

The fellow employee told police he partially caught the man and broke his fall.

Police examined the ladder and did not find any “deficiencies.”


Traveling on someone else’s dime

Frontier Airlines called a woman about a flight purchase on her mother’s credit card.

The daughter, who has power of attorney for her mother, called to check on travel plans. Her said she did not have any travel plans and had not booked the flight.

She then found out the credit card had been used to buy 16 different flights in the country starting May 17.

The credit card has been cancelled and there are no suspects.

Rowing club heads to national tournament

By David Nelson

Four boats from Bainbridge Island Rowing qualified to compete at US Rowing Nationals with performances at the Northwest Youth Championships in Vancouver, Washington on May 16 and 17.

The Varsity Boys Lightweight Four (Michael Aber, Schuyler Westerhout, David Goon, John Michael Najarian, cox Nathan Johnson) placed third on the 2,000-meter course to qualify for the championship race, which will be held in mid-June in Florida.

Also, Varsity Boys Pair (Konner Vander Leest and Michael Aber) placed third to qualify, the Varsity Girls Lightweight Four (Alexina Boudreaux-Allen, Tica Drury, Jemma Blazina, Sam Dore, cox Chrina Munn) placed third, and the Varsity Girls LightWeight eight qualified for nationals with a second place finish (Emma Pazoff, Alexina Boudreaux-Allen, Anneke Karreman, Jessie Sheldon, Elsa Derrickson, Tica Drury, Jemma Blazina, Sam Dore, cox Chrina Munn).

Although two girls boats qualified, coaches determined only the Lightweight Four will represent Bainbridge at nationals.

Nearly 100 kids in the club rowed at the Vancouver meet, bringing home 19 medals from the three-day regatta.

Photos by Anna Bernhard Carson