Category Archives: Politics

Two Bainbridge Island law and justice candidate forums planned

Voters will have two chances to hear and ask questions of Kitsap County prosecutor candidates, as well as one forum giving them an opportunity to hear from candidates for the Kitsap County District Court judge in Department 1.

Islanders for Collaborative Policing (ICP) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Kitsap County (NAMI-Kitsap) will hold a forum from 5 to 6:15 p.m. Thursday, July 17, at the Bainbridge Island Waterfront Community Center, located at 370 Brien Drive. The event will feature candidates for the county prosecutor position and will focus on mental illness and drug dependency.

The candidates will also discuss how they think people with mental and behavioral problems are being handled by the local justice system. They will also talk about what they will do – or continue to do – as prosecutor to improve outcomes in these areas.

The July 17 forum will be moderated by Jane Cartmell of NAMI-Kitsap and Bainbridge Police Chief Matthew Hamner will give introductory comments. An update on Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) tax allocations will also be provided by Lois Hoell, a MIDD Citizen Advisory Committee member.

A forum for prosecutor candidates and candidates for Kitsap County District Court judge Department 1 will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, at Bainbridge Island City Hall, which is located at 280 Madison Ave. N. The candidates will discuss a wide range of law and justice issues at the forum. The event will be moderated by Court of Appeals Judge Robin Hunt.

Former Bainbridge city councilman Bob Scales (Democrat), Tina Robinson (Republican, Port Orchard) and Bruce Danielson (independent, Port Orchard) are running against incumbent Russ Hauge of Silverdale in the Kitsap County prosecutor race. The position carries a four-year term.

Claire Bradley of Silverdale and Tracy Flood of Port Orchard are running for four-year terms in the non-partisan Kitsap County District Court judge Department 1 office.

The primary election is Aug. 5 and the general election is Nov. 4.

City needs volunteers for its advisory groups

Are you passionate about particular issues on Bainbridge Island?

Until 5 p.m. Friday, May 16, the City of Bainbridge Island will be taking applications for residents who would like to volunteer their time to one of nine citizen advisory groups.

Opening are on the Design Review Board, Environmental Technical Advisory Committee, Ethics Board, Harbor Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, Non-Motorized Transportation Advisory Committee, Planning Commission, Roads Ends Advisory Committee and Utility Advisory Committee.

Advisory group volunteers are appointed and receive no compensation for the time.

If you have questions, contact City Clerk Roz Lassoff at or (206) 780-8624.

Police Blotter: Didgeridoo destroyed in dispute between ex-roommates


A didgeridoo was broken, a scooter was vandalized, and a ski was hurled through a screen door, all during a multi-day dispute between  former roommates at a Bucklin Hill residence.

Also this week, an entire campsite was swiped from Fay Bainbridge Park and police crashed a late-night pizza party on Winslow Way.

The blotter is below:

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Drew Hansen shares knowledge of King’s ‘Dream’ speech

UPDATE: Apparently Hansen wasn’t done yet. Here’s his op-ed published Tuesday in the New York Times. 

Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s transcendent “I Have a Dream” speech.

As the occasion approaches, media outlets across the country are striving to place the historic day in context. For help, some are turning to islander and state legislator Drew Hansen.


Few people are as intimately familiar with King’s speech as Hansen. The Bainbridge lawyer and 23rd  District representative is also author of “The Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Speech that Inspired a Nation,” a study of the meaning, context and legacy of the famous oration.

“The Dream” was published by Harper Collins in 2003 coincide 40th anniversary of the March on Washington. Hansen became a popular guest speaker after the book’s release, giving numerous talks on King and the speech over the last decade. As the 50-year anniversary of the march approaches, he is once again sharing his insights.

In a USA Today story published earlier this month, Hansen noted the “Dream” speech slid toward obscurity in the years after it was delivered. The speech returned to prominence only after King’s death in 1968, and became – “one of those things we look to when we want to know what America means,” Hansen told the paper. Continue reading

Bob Bosserman withdraws from Bainbridge City Council race

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — Bob Bosserman is withdrawing his candidacy for Bainbridge Island City Council.

Bosserman announced his decision in a statement Friday. The former Utility Advisory Committee member was running against Roger Townsend and Dee McComb for the South Ward position. Bosserman is now endorsing Townsend for the post. In his statement, Bosserman said he believes Townsend shares his “progressive and environmental” principles.

The South Ward position is currently held by Kirsten Hytopoulos, who is not seeking reelection. Hytopoulos is Bosserman’s niece by marriage.

Forum for BI fire commission candidates is tonight

Islanders can get to know an unusually crowded field of candidates for the Bainbridge Island Fire Department commission Thursday night.

Resident Jane Dunkel organized the forum, scheduled for 7-8:30 p.m. at Station 21, 8895 Madison Ave. (Dunkel requested use of the meeting room, the fire department is not affiliated with the event). 

Dunkel said seven of the eight fire commission candidates are expected to attend. Current commissioner Dan Morrow is running unopposed for Position 3 and is not participating in the forum.

Dunkel said she is interested in promoting effective local government and organized the forum as a community service. It will include opening remarks from candidates, questions from the moderator (Dunkel) and an audience Q&A session.

Commission positions 2, 3, 4 and 5 are up for election. Position 2 has three contestants and will be the only commission position appearing on the August primary ballot.

Longtime commissioner and department booster Glen Tyrrell resigned from Position 5 prior to the candidate filing period. Tim Carey was sworn in Wednesday to fill Position 5 until an elected commissioner takes office.




Former Bainbridge police chief was job hunting before resignation

Former Bainbridge Island Police Chief Jon Fehlman applied for at least one police chief position this year before resigning his post Sept. 15.

Fehlman applied for a position as chief of police in Port St. Lucie, Fla., in February. Fehlman was one of 46 applicants for the south Florida job, according to the TC Palm newspaper. Florida state law requires applicants for public office to be made public.

Fehlman’s application, provided to the Sun by the TC Palm (and posted here), lists former Bainbridge City Manager Brenda Bauer as a reference. In his resume, Fehlman highlighted close relationships he said he built on the island and with outside agencies.

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VIDEO: Inslee unveils first TV ad

Bainbridge resident and gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee unveiled his first TV ad this week.

The one-minute ad focuses on Inslee’s biography, touches on his time representing both sides of the Cascades in Congress, and mentions his opposition to the Iraq War and the Wall Street bailouts.

Republican candidate Rob McKenna has not aired an ad yet.

Final Bainbridge election results

The Kitsap County Auditor released the official results from the Nov. 8 election today.

None of the Bainbridge races were close, so there are no surprises here.

At Large City Council
Steven Bonkowski: 4,873, 53.12%
Barry Peters: 4,267, 46.52%
Write-In: 33, 0.36%
Total: 9,173

North Ward City Council
Anne Blair: 5,015, 57.90%
Melanie Keenan: 3,626, 41.86%
Write-In: 21, 0.24%
Total: 8,662

Central Ward City Council
David Ward: 4,714, 55.39%
Joe Levan: 3,773, 44.33%
Write-In: 24 0.28%
Total: 8,511

South Ward City Council

Sarah Blossom: 4,549, 53.42%
Robert Dashiell: 3,924, 46.08%
Write-In: 43, 0.50%
Total: 8,516

Port of Bainbridge Island
NO: 7,138, 73.95%
YES: 2,515, 26.05%
Total: 9,653

For results from all Kitsap races, head over here.

From knee pads to kites to insulating walls, campaign signs can do it all

Not everybody hates campaign yard signs.

In fact, there’s a guy on the Bainbridge who can’t get enough of them.

After my recent story about the proliferation of campaign yard signs, retired sign-maker Joe Litus asked that I get the word out to local politicians (and their supporters) that he’d love get his hands on their leftover signs.

“I have projects that range from building raised garden plots, to covering a wood shed against the rain, to using them as walls for my grandson’s tree house, and using them for siding on a ‘cat house’ for the grandkids’ cats!” Joe wrote in an email.

And that’s not all.

The old signs are good for insulating basement walls, advertising garage sales, protecting old knees as portable padding and crafting home address numerals. Joe can even shape them into kites, glider planes and the foundations of entire worlds (model train worlds, that is).

And with Christmas right around the corner, why not let Joe transform all those sour memories of failed campaigns into holiday cheer?

“Ingenuity can be lent to see them recycled into Christmas ornaments!” Joe wrote.

The newfangled corrugated plastic signs are best but the vintage-style rigid paper ones are plenty good for reuse. Throw in the wooden stakes. Joe will know what to do with them.

Joe’s house is conveniently located near downtown Winslow. Shoot him an email, jmlclassic at, to coordinate sign drop-offs.

Rolfes gets her new Senate appointments

Newly-anointed state Senator Christine Rolfes was named to Senate education, environment and transportation committees this week.

Rolfes, who is taking over the Senate seat vacated by fellow Bainbridge Islander Phil Rockefeller, said the committees are a good match with the work she did in the state House of Representatives.

For more information, read the press release below.

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