Tag Archives: Bainbridge Island

2013 filing day two

Day one filing information can be found here.

Midday day two filings of note include Arlene Buetow running against John Green on Bainbridge Island.

In Bremerton Roy Runyon wants back on the city council and will challenge Faye Flemister in District Six. Mike Sullivan will challenge Cynthia Triplette Galloway in District One, while District Three is a three-way race as of today. Mike Strube and Jerry McDonald will challenge Adam Brockus.

In Port Orchard Fred Chang filed to run for re-election to his council seat.

In Poulsbo Melody Sky Eisler is challenging Jim Henry for a spot on the council.

All three CK School Board incumbents are running. On Bainbridge Island Mev Hoburg is running for her school board seat and Sheila Jakubik is running for the spot held by Mary Curtis.

I saw Norm Wooldridge mad

Ten years ago this September former Kitsap Sun reporter Lynnette Meachum introduced me to people and places I would be covering as a new reporter here. One of our first stops was Bainbridge Island’s city hall, which back then was just two years old and fresh. Meachum was leaving to go to law school.

As a new reporter one of the benefits is not knowing who the “old boys” are in the “old boy network.” In all seriousness it’s sometimes worthwhile to be ignorant before a reporter begins weighing the value of opinions based on who they come from.

So Norm Wooldridge, who was memorialized Saturday, was another face on the dais for me when I began covering Bainbridge Island city government. Little did I know what a force he had been on the island, particularly for his successful work in making the entire island a city.

Had I known, then honestly it might have been a little more tough to accept how much I was angering him one day.

We at the Sun had not paid much attention to Bainbridge Island before Meachum began focusing more effort there and before it was decided to dedicate my entire coverage there as well as launching the Bainbridge Islander weekly paper. Prior to then we had ceded dominance to the Bainbridge Iland Review, which had a stellar reputation going back to Walt Woodward’s protestations over internment. That reputation, in my opinion, was mostly deserved. It was a good paper with a good staff and four times our circulation, a fact I learned to enjoy fighting as an underdog.

In the long tradition of recurring themes, there were nasty divides among members of the Bainbridge Island city council, city staff and the city’s administration. At one point the council decided to have a retreat to try to work on its relationships. For the second time since I had been there as a reporter Christine Rolfes asked me to not attend. The first time she asked me regarding another retreat I assured her I wasn’t planning to attend anyway. But these retreats are considered under the law to be every bit the public meeting a regular council meeting is. I was noncommittal on the request on the second one. Then I went. Rolfes, in a friendly way, asked what I was doing there. I don’t remember my response, but it was probably something along the lines of this was a public meeting and what they were dealing with was news.

Inside the meeting the facilitator asked me to explain myself. Both requests were technically violations of the state’s open meeting laws, a fact I didn’t know at the time. At any rate, I kept it simple, saying anyone had the right to be there, again emphasizing that what they were focusing on was news.

I knew my decision could be unpopular among council members. It was also unpopular with the facilitator they hired. Some were not mad and others, if they were mad, kept their anger under wraps.

Wooldridge didn’t. He very nearly suggested canceling the meeting because I was there.

I don’t blame anyone for being angry at me that day, for not knowing state law and for becoming uncomfortable that someone new was coming along and changing the unwritten rules. For some time the Review had been regularly accepting the council members’ requests to not attend these events, because council members told them they’d do better without the press present. I was sending a message that we were not going to let them operate out of the sunshine, that they’d just have to get used to us being there. I know that might sound self-important, but I really believed it was important, then and now.

Sure, Wooldridge was angry, but not overtly hostile. So in my experience the accolades I heard about him Saturday were well deserved. From my experience, even though I know he didn’t appreciate our efforts to usurp the Review’s presence, he was respectful of me and always returned my phone calls, even after he was long gone from the council.

Redistricting and the peninsula

During the conversation yesterday with state Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, I asked him about other whispers he’s hearing down in Olympia about the impact of redistricting.

By the way, I called Sheldon because he has been through two of these before.

Sheldon mentioned that he thinks Brinnon could become part of the 35th District because the area is part of the Mason County Public Utility District.

In years past there have been conversations about extending the 23rd District into Jefferson County. I don’t think it has been seriously considered by the group of redistricting commissioners, but there is some sentiment that Port Townsend is a good match with Bainbridge Island. Geographically it is a stretch.

What may make more sense to some is linking Bainbridge to a district in Seattle. Still, not very likely, and one commenter on the story thought the notion ridiculous.

I read our stories from 1991 and 2001 and in both cases there was a large group who thought Kitsap should only have two legislative districts. I’m not sure why that would be better politically for this area. At first glance it does seem like more is better. Bremerton itself is represented by nine different legislators, even though not one legislator is actually from Bremerton.

One of the impacts of redistricting worth watching is that 35th District swing. The district will still likely take in all of Mason County. It’s the fringes that are worth taking notice of.

The reason I believe we are more likely to lose the 35th District, or at least part of it, is because of where the incumbents live. Sheldon (Potlatch) and state Rep. Kathy Haigh (Shelton) both are in Mason County. Fred Finn lives near Olympia in Thurston County.

Several months ago I did another story on redistrictings and spoke with the man many agree is the state’s foremost expert on the subject, Dick Morrill. By e-mail he told me, “The commission’s first unwritten rule is to protect incumbents.”

So you would think, assuming what Morrill said is true, that the 35th District’s emphasis in the redistricting plan would favor Thurston County over Kitsap. I don’t know specifically where the population growth has happened in Thurston County, so it could be that the 35th won’t change much at all. Sheldon said he thought not many incumbents will find themselves in a new district.

Sheldon also said state Rep. Marko Liias, D-Edmonds, is considering running for Congress should Jay Inslee run for governor, as practically everyone is assuming. What isn’t so clear, however, is what district Liias will live once redistricting is done. If Inslee does announce he’s running for governor, there’s no incumbent to protect, so the First Congressional District could see wild swings.

This again goes to the idea that all of Kitsap County could be in one congressional district represented by Norm Dicks. Imagine that. And if Bainbridge were lumped with Seattle legislatively, we could have 12 legislators representing the county.

Here’s a cliche for you: The possibilities are endless. Actually, they’re not. They pretty much range from Kitsap having one or two members of Congress and two-four legislative districts. That’s not exactly endless, is it.

On Pot, Bainbridge and Bremerton Agree

Back in the day, as in a few months ago, there was a nice little give and take between Bremerton and Bainbridge Island on the Bremelog. For the record I suspect sock puppetry, really, and the moderator has now become a Bremerton slumlord and bolted from the finer side of the sound. There isn’t much going on over at the Bremelog anymore.

Still, there are real differences between Bremerton and Bainbridge Island, namely the kinds of Toyotas we drive and the quality of our ferries. When I covered the island I always approached the supposed snootiness of islanders as overblown. But last Saturday my family and I went with family members who were visiting the area from Vancouver, B.C. to play in soccer matches on the island against island teams. Some guy wearing a BIFC scarf asked us if we were from Canada. My wife pointed to her sister and said she was, but that we were from Bremerton. Our islander acquaintance lost interest in us. It made me feel better about the fact that my nephews totally trounced the island kids. One of my nephews scored three goals, one with his right foot.

Nonetheless, it appears there is something on which the elect on the island and the great unwashed in Bremerton can agree: marijuana laws.

The Seattle Times has a story about marijuana legalization efforts in California and includes information about a signature-gathering effort here in Washington to get something on the November ballot. Included was this:

It’s “a little less predictable” to gather signatures with an all-volunteer staff, Dawdy said, but the group has had success across the state. He said one signature-gatherer working the Bainbridge Island ferry run collected 800 signatures in 21/2 weeks and that a Bremerton head shop collected 400 by putting a copy of the petition on the counter.

I assume the head shop is Pied Piper’s, but there may be other shops I don’t know about. Since I don’t have much demand for their products, I’m not a customer. The one time I did go in was when the store had to move the first time, out of the space it once had where the Tim Ryan building is now. I naively asked if it was a place to buy things to help to smoke pot. I was informed it was a clothing store, a place where one could buy artistic pieces of glass. It was true. There was clothing and glasswork. The shirt was very comfortable on me when I later smoked from a glass pipe I bought there using pot I bought from my island source. I kid. The source was from Port Orchard. I kid again.

Now it’s easy to assume that ferry commuters on Bainbridge are not from the same demographic as artistic glass aficionados in Bremerton. But my point to to that scarf-wearing dude at the soccer game is that we’re not so different. We can find common ground.

I wonder if one of the 800 signatures on Bainbridge came from this guy. I can’t tell you how glad I am when something like this didn’t happen in Bremerton.

Discussion With Bainbridge Council Central, North Ward Candidates

We’ve been recording video of our editorial board discussions with primary candidates, but today we ran into some technical difficulties (seriously, we didn’t just forget to plug it in). So, this time in our editorial board’s interviews with Bainbridge Island North and Central ward candidates, we recorded the audio of the discussion for those of you interested in listening in.

I’m sorry if you were really, really looking forward to the video. But now you can download it to your iPod. Since the discussions run about 50 minutes or more, the files are pretty large. Please be patient while the file loads into the player and feel free to let me know if you have any problems.

Below is audio for Bainbridge Island Council Dist. 5 candidates Virginia Paul, Debbi Lester and Dee DuMont. Click play.

Download the file by right-clicking

      1. here

Below is audio of the interview with Bainbridge Island Council Dist. 7 candidates Debbie Vancil (incumbent), Bob Scales and Melanie Keenan.

Download the file by right-clicking

      2. here

— Angela Dice

Conversation with Bainbridge Island Council Dist. 3 South Ward candidates

The Kitsap Sun editorial board hosted Bainbridge Island Council District 3 South Ward candidates Curt Winston, Tim Jacobsen, and Kirsten Hytopoulos Wednesday as part of it’s pre-primary series of interviews used to make the Kitsap Sun’s political endorsements.

We stream these discussions live and archive them on this blog. You can find out when upcoming discussions are and, at the scheduled time, watch them live, comment and ask questions, of which we’ll choose several at the end to ask the candidates on your behalf. Go to kitsapsun.com/2009/editorial-videos

– Angela Dice

Gregoire Visits — Here’s the Plan

I covered the governor’s visit today, with help from our Bainbridge Island writer Tristan Baurick. At some point I’ll post videos, one a shorty and the other the seven minutes of her speech after she concluded thanking those who introduced her. I’m hoping to get that done tonight (Friday), but that might not happen. Batman might interfere.