Category Archives: Opinion

VIDEO: Port of Bainbridge Island discussion

The Kitsap Sun editorial board had a discussion with advocates for the creation of a Bainbridge post district this week.

They discussed the proposed port’s funding, overlapping services with the city, road end improvements and how the port could make Eagle Harbor more welcoming to out-of-town boaters.

Videos of the discussion are below.



VIDEO: Port Madison Home’s goodbye

Port Madison Home owner John Hays produced a short YouTube video (see above) to discuss the closure of his Winslow Way furniture store.

In it, he urges islanders to support local businesses because they have a more of a stake than off-island chain stores in the health of the community.

“If our downtown is important to you, please consider what it takes to keep it,” Hays says in the video.

For more about Port Madison Home’s closure and the impact it may have on downtown, head over here.

Results are in: Your off-leash dog should earn you a citation

The Bainbridge Conversation’s last poll asked readers to weigh in on how the park district should handle the growing number of dogs at island parks. See related story here.

With a sturdy 53 percent of the vote, the top answer was for the park district to hand out citations to violators of off-leash and poop clean-up rules.

Coming in at Number Two with a distant 24 percent was a desire for the district to build more off-leash areas.

Seventeen percent said off-leash hours should be allowed at certain parks that get little use.

Five percent suggested that specially-trained dogs be allowed to go off-leash at parks.

And coming in last with one vote was the idea for an expanded off-leash area at Eagledale Park.

Marshall: When your coiffeuse cuts out

This month, Bainbridge Islander columnist Becky Fox Marshall writes about a painful parting of ways with her longtime hairdresser.

There is a glaring error on the list of things that stress us out – that list so often referenced by the cranky: “Hey, I am off the stress chart so leave me alone.”

I totally get the top stressors – death of a spouse, divorce, job loss and one that would completely stress me out, “imprisonment.”

But the error of which I speak is a major omission – the loss of your hair stylist.

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New Poll: How should parks handle all those dogs?

I recently wrote a story about how the Bainbridge park district is trying to handle the growing number of dogs visiting the island’s parks.

Dogs and their owners are attracted by the forested trails, the open fields and the chance to socialize, much like any other park user. Problem is, not all the other park users like being up-close with dogs they don’t know, and are especially peeved with the proliferation of dog poop and the increasingly frequent brushes with unleashed dogs.

Fun fact: there are more dogs on Bainbridge than humans under the age of five.

The park district knows dogs are here, and here to stay. They’re working now on a couple ways of accommodating the desires of both the dogged and the dogless.

One plan is to create new off-leash areas at Strawberry Hill and Battle Point parks. Another option is to expand and improve the little-used off-leash area at Eagledale Park. Others say dogs should be able to roam free at parks as long as they complete off-leash obedience training. Folks on the other end of the spectrum say dogs should always be leashed, and that the district should step up enforcement, possibly handing out citations for abandoned poop and unleashed dogs.

What do you think? Cast your vote on what the district should focus on over to the right.

Look below for the results from this blog’s last poll about 2010’s top stories.

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Police mum on why it took 77 minutes to check on Ostling

Five minutes to shoot, 77 minutes to allow medical aid
Head over here for my latest story on the Ostling shooting investigation. An analysis of the lengthy 911 dispatch log and other documents allowed us to piece together a timeline of events leading up to the shooting and the drawn-out aftermath. Police opened fire on Ostling five minutes after arriving at the scene, but it took 77 minutes to check on Ostling’s condition.

I called Bainbridge several times on Friday and Monday for an explanation about why it took so long. On Monday afternoon I was told by e-mail that police would not respond to the question.

For other recent stories stemming from documents we obtained from Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office investigators, head over here and here.

Police body cams
The Kitsap Sun’s editorial board weighed in on the issue in Sunday’s paper. The board notes that Bainbridge police and the Ostling family have given very different accounts of the Oct. 26 shooting, especially on some key issues, such as where officers and Ostling were positioned, and whether or not the ax-wielding Ostling had an officer in a vulnerable position when the second officer fired his gun.

The editorial board argues that video cameras mounted to police officers would have made the key details of the incident much more clear to investigators, and the judge and jury that are likely to weigh in in the not-too-distant future.

Here’s a bit from the editorial:

“A car-mounted digital video cam costs about $5,000 — versus about $900 for a body-mounted camera, which also can be removed and mounted on the dashboard. Worn on an officer’s chest or with an ear clip similar to a Blue Tooth, the body cams offer a close-up video and audio recording that provides an accurate and unbiased view of disputed incidents.”

To read the rest, head over here.

Poll: What was the top Bainbridge story of 2010?

We recently polled readers and ourselves here in the newsroom about Kitsap County’s top news stories of the year.

You can read the results here, and weigh in on the reader poll at the bottom of the page.

Seeing as how the poll offerings are slanted toward Bremerton (a fish statue is a top story?), and that most Bainbridge Islanders have never heard of Bremerton, I have created Bainbridge Island’s very own top stories of 2010 poll.

Head over to the right side of the screen to weigh in.

And have a happy New Year.

Sun endorses Eagle Harbor dock plan

The Kitsap Sun’s editorial board urged the city of Bainbridge to accept Washington State Ferries’ $2 million offer and use the money to build a new Waterfront Park dock.

“Taking a lump sum now — particularly in light of how city capital spending has dwindled the past few years — to complete a project that will be popular among residents and visitors is the most prudent approach, and the best option for Eagle Harbor’s future,” the board wrote in a Sunday editorial.

The City Council is set to choose between the dock proposal and a boat haul-out facility proposal at Wednesday evening’s meeting.

For more on the issue, head over HERE.

Marshall: Love, hate and hot showers

Here’s Islander columnist Becky Fox Marshall’s column about our recent spate of power outages.

For anyone unfamiliar with what is meant by a “love/hate” relationship, might I suggest you experience being the only house in your neighborhood that mysteriously has power the day before Thanksgiving?

I am smack dab in the middle of about 16 homes on the west side of Bainbridge Island that, like the rest of the island, lost power on the Monday before Thanksgiving. It was all rather exciting to experience that howling, frigid wind and see Puget Sound behaving like an ocean with high, pounding surf.

After a few rounds of Bananagrams by lantern light with NOAA Weather Radio in the background repeating its endless loop of millibars and wind speeds, we hunkered down in our own homes for a long, cold night of scary sounds and down comforters.
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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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Surprise! Kitsap Sun endorses Watkins over Inslee

Bet you didn’t see this coming: The Kitsap Sun didn’t endorse Jay Inslee.

In a surprise move, the Sun’s editorial board chose his Republican challenger, a candidate that most polls say doesn’t have a chance against Bainbridge’s six-term congressman.

Inslee has been the Sun’s favorite in years past, but business know-how and fiscal restraint – keynotes of the James Watkins campaign – swayed the editorial board this year.

“Watkins has four years of experience under two administrations in helping to cut spending at the FDIC, served as a director at Microsoft, managed successful small businesses, and has been a consultant working with small businesses across the nation. He’s a fiscal conservative, opposes deficit spending, and says a key to economic recovery is policies that will allow small businesses to grow in a supportive environment that’s stable in terms of taxes and regulatory measures,” the editorial board writes.

Plus, Inslee is no Norm Dicks or Patty Murray (both endorsed by the Sun) when it comes to bringing the federal bacon to Kitsap, according to the board.

To read the full endorsement, click HERE. Scroll down past the bits about Dicks and Murray to get to the Inslee vs. Watkins part at the bottom.

New Poll: Should the Bainbridge court move to Poulsbo?

What do you think about the proposal to move the Bainbridge municipal court to a shared court facility in the new Poulsbo City Hall?

See the previous POST for the pros and cons, and then cast your vote over to the right.

As for our last poll about the Moran School theater building, head down below for the results…

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