Archive for June, 2008

You’ve heard of citizen journalism, citizen policing, and citizen activism. Lately there have been signs that on Bainbridge Island we might need a citizen government as well.

Case in point: locals began complaining about the open pit sand mine on Fletcher Bay Road and Bucklin Hill a month ago. Nevertheless a stop work order was not issued until Friday, after weeks of continued digging and site disturbance. The work went on in spite of numerous citizen complaints, both in writing and at public meetings, and the input from licensed hydrogeologists, who sounded the alarm about impact of the operation on groundwater. Citizens also pointed out the failure to comply with state and local law governing disturbances of this size. (more…)

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The Board of Trustees of the Kitsap Regional Library (I’m the Bainbridge representative on the Board) has decided not to put a levy lid lift on the ballot in 2008. We made the decision after months of discussion, number crunching and analysis. With the help of cost-cutting wizards Jill Jean, KRL Executive Director, Bob Goldstein, Finance Director, and the entire KRL staff who have energetically sought ways to become more efficient in their respective departments, KRL has been able to balance its budget in spite of the more than $2 million in shortfalls anticipated for 2008.

Because KRL is almost entirely funded by property taxes, and increases in those taxes are limited by law to 1% annually, KRL’s revenues are not keeping up with increases in the costs of doing business, and deeper cuts are likely next year. As a result, the Board is considering a levy lid lift for November 2009. (more…)

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At last night’s City Council meeting, Councilwoman Debbie Vancil outlined an alternative approach to the City’s Capital Facilities Plan that would substantially change the way the City manages its money. The plan, submitted as a minority report for the Council’s Finance Committee (members are Vancil, Chris Snow and Barry Peters), calls for deeper cuts in City operations, more detailed analysis on the need for specific projects, less dependence on debt financing, and partnerships with other agencies, non-profits and private entities to accomplish City capital projects goals.

Just a few minutes into Vancil’s summary of the report, Finance Committee Chair Chris Snow, aided by Mayor Darlene Kordonowy, attempted to cut her off, arguing that she was taking too much time to explain a report that the Council can read on its own. Vancil replied that she wants the report to be discussed in public just as the administration-prepared CFP has been. Eventually, she was allowed to continue.  (more…)

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The following health advisory was issued on June 18, 2008 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regarding the use of artificial turf (also see the CDC website, here): 

This is an official

CDC Health Advisory

Distributed via Health Alert Network
June 18, 2008, 16:10 EDT (04:10 PM EDT)

Potential Exposure to Lead in Artificial Turf:

Public Health Issues, Actions, and Recommendations

Public Health Issues 

In the course of conducting a routine health investigation at a metal facility in Newark, NJ, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) tested a nearby community athletic field for lead contamination.  Samples taken from the field showed high levels of lead in the field dust, but the lead did not come from the scrap metal facility.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is partnering with its sister-agency, ATSDR, to monitor this situation because of CDC’s expertise in lead poisoning prevention.

After determining that the lead source was the artificial turf, NJDHSS began to test other artificial turf fields looking for similar high lead levels in artificial turf fibers. These findings raised concerns about potentially high lead levels in artificial turf used in other locations including fields and playgrounds. NJDHSS tested a limited sample of athletic fields in New Jersey. Any questions regarding the specific fields tested should be directed to NJDHSS. (more…)

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The City of Bainbridge Island has issued a Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance on the Park Department’s request for a permit to replace a Battlepoint Park soccer field with artificial turf. Under state regulations, the determination means the City has decided that, with mitigation measures, there “will be no probable significant adverse environmental impacts.” 

The public may submit comments on the issue until June 30 at 4 p.m. The completed environmental checklist and other information is on file with the City, and is available to the public upon request. (more…)

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Update: A BHS senior was arrested this morning on felony malicious mischief charges in connection with the vandalism of several Bainbridge Island police cars early Wednesday morning. “Other arrests are expected,” according to the Kitsap Sun. Click here for the Sun’s report.

This week’s vandalism of several Bainbridge police cars, including one parked outside the residence of Police Chief Matt Haney, was angry, aggressive and personal. It was directed at the most visible symbol of authority and order in our community, and an obscene gesture to the whole island. Everyone–especially other high school students–hopes the perpetrators are quickly caught and prosecuted.

Wednesday night, a visibly shaken Chief Haney recounted some of the details of the crime to the City Council. He said that between 2 and 3 a.m. that morning, tires on 8 police vehicles were flattened, including all four on his own, which was parked at his Bainbridge home. Several colors of paint were splashed over the vehicles, and Haney estimated the damage at about $15,000.  


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This email went out to BHS parents this morning:

End of School Year Concerns – Message from Brent Peterson, BHS Principal

I am sure that it is no surprise to BHS parents that I was extremely disappointed to receive the continuing reports of the serious vandalism that has occurred in our community during the last several days. It is also important to note that many members of the Class of 2008 are also expressing their disappointment and frustration regarding these outrageous acts. My personal experience with the Class of 2008 is that we have an outstanding group of students who have excelled in many, many areas during their four-year career at BHS.


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This post has been updated. See below.

A Harbor Square resident emailed me about some major vandalism at the Bainbridge Police Department so I drove by and snapped these pictures. It looks like someone splashed buckets of paint on several police cars in the station parking lot. My Harbor Square informant wrote that some windows were smashed, tires slashed and “there is a message on one windshield–looks like a bad word.” 

We’ll find out more today on KIRO news, because their truck was on the scene. (more…)

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I saw this street editorial today as I biked by the open-pit sand mine at Fletcher Bay Road and Bucklin Hill Road. There may be new and well-spelled signs at the site, but it doesn’t look like the controversy is fading away…

PS–I realize this paint on concrete is vandalism. I don’t in any way condone vandalism or any other criminal act. I posted the picture only because it’s interesting and an undeniable sign of one person’s reaction to a large-scale project that has generated concern and discussion.

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Three weeks ago, Heery International, the design consultant on the Winslow Way improvement project, picked up its marbles and went home, notifying the City that “because of delays in agreeing to a scope of services for the next phase of the contract, the described scope of services cannot be completed within the agreed-to time frame and must therefore be withdrawn.” Heery also complained that “the repeated delays to the contract demonstrate that the City is uncertain what scope of services is desired from the Winslow Way design team.”  Read the Heery withdrawal here: heeryletter1

Of course the withdrawal wasn’t a real breakup, just a little hiatus until the City could figure out how to show mom and dad (the taxpayers) that Heery is a really nice guy. Tomorrow night, Heery in a cheaper-looking suit will be on the Council’s agenda in the form of a revised contract featuring dramatically reduced costs and services, with no indication of what the plans are for the rest of the Heery services.  (more…)

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