Archive for November, 2013

photo-76In front of a standing-room-only crowd at City Hall, the Planning Commission voted unanimously Thursday night to recommend denial of permits for the Visconsi development proposal on High School Road. The Commissions’s findings and recommendation now go to the Hearing Examiner for review.

The crowd listened quietly as Commissioner Maradel Gale read the Planning Commission’s findings and analysis. At the conclusion of her remarks, and again after the Commission took the vote, there was enthusiastic applause.

The Visconsi team, including architect Charlie Wenzlau, sat near the front of the room, but did not comment during the meeting.

The Commission based its decision in large part on the safety problems presented by the proposed development, particularly pedestrian hazards, problems with ingress and egress into the property, and traffic impact on the surrounding neighborhood. (more…)

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This article is from Estately, a real estate sales blog. A little taunting for those unfortunates who don’t live here yet.

13 Reasons You Should NEVER Move to Bainbridge Island


At first glance, Bainbridge Island appears to be a fantastic place to live. It has beautiful scenery, great schools, low crime, friendly people, and it’s only a short ferry ride from Seattle. It’s no wonder so many people want to move there. However, few people know of the horrors that come with Bainbridge Island living. If you, or someone you love, are considering moving to Bainbridge Island, you’d best read this and then get back on the ferry and return to the mainland.



Looking to move out of the city for some peace and quiet? Maybe to a little island where you can hear the waves gently lapping at the shore? Well, hope you like the sounds of flatulent sea lions barking all hours of the night from their offshore buoys. BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! It’s like living across the street from a sea lion frat house during rush week.



Even if you corner him at the bakery, even if you beg and plead, local PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author David Guterson isn’t going to read your novel. In fact, the likelihood of him offering feedback on your vampire-themed thriller is equal to the likelihood of snow falling on cedars in Hell. (more…)

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I wrote yesterday about the big money that went into our election, and hoped that we could put that kind of money toward local non-profits this year too.

I neglected to mention another, crucial part of our community well-being: our local media. As we all know, the news business has been destroyed by the Internet and is now scrambling to figure out a business model that works in an age when everyone expects their news for free. Paywalls may yet be the future, but I don’t know many islanders who have subscribed to the Kitsap Sun since they started using theirs. I read it at the library if I’m particularly interested in one of their stories, but I don’t intend to subscribe for the privilege of reading Kitsap Sun articles and their Bainbridge-hating commenters.

And that points up the problem with paywalls—-the product has to be unique and very attractive to entice readers to pay, now that we’re all used to free news.

Yet this election surely has demonstrated how important the news is in our community. Without the Bainbridge Review and Inside Bainbridge, we would have only the most partisan of information. In the past month, if people had only the Trippwire, the Bainbridge Notebook and various personal emails on which to base voting decisions, I don’t think anyone could have made a fully-informed decision. I am fully aware of the limitations of my blog, and don’t pretend to be a real news source. I write columns and opinion pieces on subjects that interest me, based on the best information I can find. While blogs like mine serve a purpose, they cannot take the place of news organizations. (more…)

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As of November 7, the Kitsap County Elections Division has received 10,898 ballots, only five more than yesterday. But the counting continues. Here are the numbers today:

City of Bainbridge Island Council District 3 South Ward
Completed Precincts: 22 of 22
Vote Count Percentage
Roger Townsend 5,676 69.6%
Dee McComb 2,471 30.3%
Write-Ins 13 0.2%


City of Bainbridge Island Council District 5 Central Ward
Completed Precincts: 22 of 22
Vote Count Percentage
Wayne Roth 5,143 62.8%
Arlene Buetow 3,042 37.1%
Write-Ins 7 0.1%


City of Bainbridge Island Council District 7 North Ward
Completed Precincts: 22 of 22
Vote Count Percentage
Val Tollefson 5,671 67.2%
Richard (Dick) Haugan 2,755 32.7%
Write-Ins 10 0.1%


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The numbers aren’t quite final, but a look at the Public Disclosure Commission database tells us this was an election for the island history books. The six candidates for city council, plus the PACs that supported them, raised a grand total of $126,190.29. 

The six individual candidates for the three council seats raised a total of $92,921.29. Of that amount, the Roth/Townsend/Tollefson slate raised a combined $49,998.35, with Tollefson raising the most of that group ($25,978.99). Quality Bainbridge, which organized as a PAC and endorsed Roth, Townsend and Tollefson, raised an additional $3444 on behalf of the slate.

Arlene Buetow, Dee McComb and Dick Haugan together raised a slightly lower amount: $42,922.94. T-PAC raised another $28,825 for that slate.

Haugan raised the most of any individual candidate of either slate, at $28,600.

They didn’t spend it all of course, and how could they? Bainbridge is not a major media market. There is no television or radio for ad buys. We have a diffuse news media market, split among two newspapers and an online news website. There were the plethora of glossy mailers, but how many votes can candidates win on multiple mailers with the same basic message?

The official expenditure numbers are likely to go up, but as of the most recent PDC filings, Dick Haugan, with his many ad buys and mailers, spent the most at $12,018, while Dee McComb spent the least at $2552.74. Candidates Haugan, Buetow and McComb spent a combined $23,018.33. T-PAC spent an additional $12,357.12 on their behalf, for a T-PAC slate total of $35,375.45.

The victors–Tollefson, Roth and Townsend—spent slightly more for their landslide wins than did the T-PAC slate: a combined total of $35,322.14. Quality Bainbridge, which registered as a PAC and endorsed the slate, spent $2882.94, for a slate total of $38,151.08. (more…)

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The Kitsap County Elections Division reports that it has received 10,893 Bainbridge ballots through today. That is almost 5000 more ballots than yesterday’s 6 pm count of 6098. The council winners Wayne Roth, Val Tollefson and Roger Townsend maintained or increased their leads. School board president Mike Spence also increased his lead.

Results today are as follows:

City of Bainbridge Island Council District 3 South Ward
Completed Precincts: 22 of 22
Vote Count Percentage
Roger Townsend 4,282 68.4%
Dee McComb 1,962 31.4%
Write-Ins 12 0.2%
City of Bainbridge Island Council District 5 Central Ward
Completed Precincts: 22 of 22
Vote Count Percentage
Wayne Roth 3,881 61.9%
Arlene Buetow 2,382 38.0%
Write-Ins 6 0.1%
City of Bainbridge Island Council District 7 North Ward
Completed Precincts: 22 of 22
Vote Count Percentage
Val Tollefson 4,285 66.4%
Richard (Dick) Haugan 2,161 33.5%
Write-Ins 8 0.1%
Bainbridge Island School District No. 303 Director District 2
Completed Precincts: 22 of 22
Vote Count Percentage
Mike Spence 3,103 56.9%
Dale Perry 2,333 42.8%
Write-Ins 18 0.3% 


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The Kitsap County Election Division results for November 5 show that Val Tollefson, Wayne Roth and Roger Townsend are winning by wide margins. Mike Spence is winning over Dale Perry for School Board.

South Ward

Roger Townsend- Vote count: 3449 Percentage: 67.6%

Dee McComb-      Vote count: 1641 Percentage: 32.2%

Write in–             Vote count:     12 Percentage; 0.2%

Central Ward

Wayne Roth—      Vote count: 3144 Percentage: 61.4%

Arlene Buetow–   Vote count: 1970 Percentage: 38.5%

Write in—            Vote count:       6 Percentage:  0.1%

North Ward

Val Tollefson—     Vote count: 3470 Percentage: 66.1%

Richard (Dick)

Haugan—-           Vote count: 1775 Percentage: 33.8%

Write in—-          Vote count:       8 Percentage:   0.2%

School Board

Mike Spence         Vote count: 2507 Percentage: 56.8%

Dale Perry            Vote count: 1891 Percentage: 42.8%

Write in                Vote count:     18 Percentage:  0.4% (more…)

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The Kitsap County Elections Division reports that as of 6:00 p.m. on Election Day, it had received 6,098 ballots. Tonight’s vote council will be available around 8:00 p.m.

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We sent this press release out today, following the receipt of Judge Jeannette Dalton’s decision in our Public Records Act case against the City of Bainbridge Island and three council members. This decision confirms the importance of electing officials who know and respect the laws about good governance and transparency. Get your vote in for the three candidates who will do this: Val Tollefson, Wayne Roth and Roger Townsend.

Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jeannette Dalton has issued a decision in the Public Records Act (PRA) case brought by Althea Paulson and Bob Fortner against the City of Bainbridge Island, and Council members Steven Bonkowski, David Ward and Debbi Lester. Paulson and Fortner filed suit after waiting more than two months for the council members to produce public records from their personal email accounts.

In September, Judge Dalton heard arguments on the defendants’ motion to dismiss all claims in the lawsuit. In a memorandum decision, Judge Dalton refused to dismiss Paulson and Fortner’s demand for production and inspection of the hard drives of the council members’ personal computers.

“[P]ublic officials who conduct business on private computers cannot reasonably expect those records to be classified as private,” ruled Judge Dalton. (more…)

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As of the end of business on November 4, only 5733 ballots were in at Kitsap County Elections Division. In years past, turnout was a little over 50% for local elections, or around 9000 votes.

Get your votes in!

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