Category Archives: Opinion

Snow: Don’t move the Bainbridge court to Poulsbo

Former Bainbridge city councilman Chris Snow sent in a guest column warning that islanders must consider more than money when deciding whether to move the municipal off-island.

We must avoid the temptation to decide whether or not to relocate our Municipal Court based entirely on dollar savings. Even if the savings indicated in Table 1 of the exhaustive eleven-page study the City Council will consider this Wednesday are accurate and complete, and that is open to question, we must also consider the non-monetary costs (and benefits, if any).

The difference in incremental annual costs between keeping our municipal court at home and sending it off island would be only $1,142 dollars in 2011! By the fifth year it may grow to about $19,000, which happens to be less than the difference in security officer costs (about $25,000). The cost to lease the Bainbridge Island property will still be $3,636 less than the Poulsbo option.
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Marshall: “hp 2 di w/out evr havng wkd thru spdr web”

Longtime Bainbridge journalist Becky Fox Marshall has revived her regular Bainbridge Islander column. This week, she aims to fight irrelevancy by taking on technology….

“I am proud to say,” my friend announced in the midst of a conversation about cell phones, “that I hope to die having never sent a text message.”

Wow. If I had to choose one thing I hope to never have done upon my death, I’m not sure I’d select never sending a text message. But he loathes such things.

What I loathe, besides spiders (making this time of year particularly perilous) is becoming irrelevant. I remember as a young person thinking that “old” people were nice and all, but they seemed so, so irrelevant. So disconnected. So … yesterday. Imagine not being able to figure out a TV remote?

That’s why I have made a point of getting to know my computer and a variety of applications. Why all my photos are digital and online. Why many of my conversations are via the three IM options resident on my client. Why, I finally took on the iPod and brought music back to my life.

I felt I was keeping up pretty well. I got on Facebook despite the groans from my peers (who since have joined – TOLD YA!). My children gave me accolades for being slightly ahead when graded on a curve with their peers’ parents. But with every birthday I feel more pressure to step up my game. After all, my 87-year-old former mother-in-law writes emails (most are annoying sappy forwards, but still – she’s tech savvy!) How was I to differentiate myself?

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Sun endorses Rep. Rolfes for re-election

The Kitsap Sun has endorsed Rep. Christine Rolfes, a Bainbridge Island resident, for re-election to the state House seat she’s held for almost four years.

Here’s what the Sun had to say about Rolfes and her Republican challengers, James Olsen of Bainbridge and Aaron Winters of Poulsbo:

“Rolfes clearly offers a more reasonable and thoughtful approach to the state’s problems than her challengers, and has been an advocate in maintaining a freeze on ferry fares during her term. Even one vote we take issue with — her endorsement in suspending I-960 last session — still remained in tune with the sentiment of her constituents, who overwhelmingly had opposed the initiative. Her challengers fall back on rhetoric too often, and neither demonstrate the ability to work in the collaborative way that the coming session will likely demand.”

To read more about the Sun’s endorsements for the state Legislature, and to see the Sun’s video interview with Rolfes, Olsen and Winters, head over HERE.

Kitsap Sun’s take on Strawberry Plant Park and breadmobile

The Kitsap Sun’s editorial board took on two Bainbridge issues this week.

On the recently-approved Strawberry Plant Park shoreline plan, the editorial board made comparisons to a similar site in Gorst, and noted that, in both cases, environmental restoration rightfully trumped historical preservation. Read more here.

And click here to read the Sun’s argument that the Pane d’Amore breadmobile should have been allowed to continue operating on Bainbridge.

Will Bainbridge birth a “green” Big Brother?

Puget Sound Energy’s pilot project to reduce energy use on Bainbridge Island is giving Kitsap Sun political columnist Pam Dzama visions of a dystopian future in which the government regulates all energy use and bananas are a controlled substance.

“The government started slowly to implement procedures which rescued the world. The first thing targeted was energy usage. It started as a pilot program on Bainbridge Island in 2009 when a number of Island residents agreed to have a thermostat installed in their homes which could be controlled by Puget Sound Energy in times of high electricity use. It was supposed to regulate in-home power consumption without having to build an additional substation. It was a success. By 2020 those thermostats were in all residential and commercial buildings nationwide and electricity use was regulated by the government.

After this energy regulation was enacted, everyone in the country was assigned a personal “carbon allowance.” A “green road tax” was imposed and massive transit programs initiated to get people out of vehicles.”

Also in the year 2065: Ford begins making tiny solar-powered “Clever Cars,” the government mandates monthly home safety inspections, and sugar, beef and pineapple are sold only on the black market.

Read more of Dzama’s column here.

Sun endorses Jacobsen, Lester and Scales

The Kitsap Sun’s editorial board endorsed City Council candidates Tim Jacobsen, Debbi Lester and Bob Scales.

The Sun also gave a nod to the local school bond and EMS levy.

Read the endorsements here.

It seems a day didn’t go by recently without someone (sometimes more than one someone) asking me who the Sun was going to endorse. Truth is, I learn who the Sun endorses the same way everyone else does: by reading the paper.

Also, be sure to check out the Sun’s online voter guide. It’s right over here. Lots of information supplied direct by the candidates, and some interactive wizdings to allow side-by-side comparisons.

Happy voting.

Bainbridge distillery on KOMO News

KOMO is the latest news outlet to pickup on the organic distillery taking shape here on Bainbridge Island.

You can see their video piece above. And my story about the distillery here.

Interesting comments follow the KOMO story, which you can see on their site here.

One commenter, objecting to the reporter’s characterization of BI as “scenic” and “rustic,” has this to say:

Scenic? Rustic? When was the last time this staffer was on the island? BI is crowded, overbuilt, heavily traffic’d and half the population are rude NIMBY hippie types.

Another commenter writes:

Agreed! Entering Bainbridge Island is like entering The Twilight Zone. Something is very wrong with the general population.

It’s not just left over hippies.. It’s the now rich Hippie offspring mixed with California’s Yuppie Rejects!

There you have it. Four decades of island demography in a nutshell. The Hippies begat the Rich Hippies (who apparently gained their riches through inherited stores of patchouli and love beads). Although the Rich Hippies became quick converts to the NIMBY way, their “Not In My Back Yard” mantra apparently did not apply to the influx of California Yuppie Rejects. Intermarriage between the native Rich Hippies and the foreign-born Yuppie Rejects has produced a new generation of islander that I suggest should henceforth be called Cali NIMBY Yippies. Has a ring to it, don’t you think?

New poll: Would you support a $20 car tab fee?

What do you think of the proposed car tab fee winding its way through Bainbridge City Hall? Would the $20 per vehicle per year be too much of a burden in these hard economic times, or is the annual $440,000 for roads worth the cost?

Place your vote at the poll on the right side of the screen.

For more on the car tab fee proposal, click here.

As for our last poll about the future of Strawberry Plant Park, the final result was close.

57 percent (21 voters) supported the city’s shoreline restoration and park development plan.

43 percent (16 voters) said the city should leave the shore as-is and ask for more public input.

If you didn’t catch it, the latest news with the park is that the city hearing examiner tossed out an appeal of the city’s plan. To read more on that, click here.

Kitsap Sun tells Inslee to “stay out of our pea-patches”

The Kitsap Sun’s editorial board today told Congressman Jay Inslee to plant his community garden money somewhere else.

Inslee, as outlined in a previous post, wants to create a federal grant program to help establish and maintain community gardens.

The editorial board argues that community gardens are best left to communities.

“Simply put, community gardens are working well because they’re grass roots, and they’re a good idea.

More to the point, they’re a good idea Congress should leave alone.”

Read the full editorial here.

New poll: Should the Strawberry Plant Park plan go forward?

What do you think of the city’s plans for Strawberry Plant Park?

Should the largely grant-funded effort to reshape the Eagle Harbor park’s shoreline go forward?

Or should the city send the $600,000 grant back to the state and reconsider some of the varied concerns islanders have raised about the park’s redevelopment and possible uses?

You can vote on the new poll over to the right.

Need to brush up on the issue before casting your vote? Check out the stories below.

Land Acquisition Just the First Step for Bainbridge, Park District Planners, Nov. 2008

Some on Bainbridge See History Being Removed Along With Pilings, Feb. 2009

Bainbridge Decides to Go With Natural Look for New Park, Feb. 2009

Bainbridge Council Accepts Grants for Strawberry Plant Park Work, July 2009

Look below for a map showing what the park may look like after the city’s portion of the redevelopment is completed.

(As for the last poll, in which 93 responses were logged, 43 percent felt former mayor Darlene Kordonowy’s role in regional boards should be minimized, 32 percent said she should be allowed to continue serving on the boards, and 23 percent opted to leave the decision to the City Council.)

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New poll: Should Kordonowy continue to serve on regional boards?

Darlene Kordonowy has taken some heat from City Council members and some folks in the community about her continued service on regional boards she was appointed to as mayor.

She has a seat on eight boards, including Kitsap Transit, where she’s the chair, and Kitsap Consolidated Housing Authority, where she’s vice chair.

Read this story for more background on the issue, and then take the poll to the right.

The Bainbridge Conversation’s last poll showed that most respondents thought the city handled the Eagle Harbor sewer leak well.

It was interesting to see most initial opinions reflect a view that the city botched the response and endangered the harbor. But, as news rolled in that the harbor appeared to be recovering quickly, the city began receiving high marks.

Here’s the final breakdown:

40 percent: Good. The city did the best they could in a tough situation. (18 votes)
24 percent: Fair. They did the right thing, but the fix should have been made earlier. (11 votes)
22 percent: Terrible. The city’s response endangered human health and the environment. (10 votes)
13 percent: Excellent. The city was on top of things every step of the way. (6 votes)