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Archive for April, 2014

The Kitsap Sun reported on Friday that the Parks Department has picked a 2.5 acre parcel at Strawberry Park for the island’s long-awaited dog park. The subject of dog parks, leashed dogs, park policy and island trails has been debated off and on for years, and heated up over the last year as the Parks Department considered the dog park options.

IMG_4170Although dog owners have supported the idea of a fenced dog park, many have also advocated for the ability to unleash their dogs on some of the Parks trails. The Parks Department maintains more than 1400 acres of developed and undeveloped parkland and 23 miles of trails.

People have suggested that communities like Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. have designated off-leash trails as well as dog parks. A so-called “shared use” was proposed, where a few of the island’s many trails would be available for off-leash recreation during well-publicized, limited times. That way people who want to walk without encountering an unleashed dog could avoid the trail at the off-leash time.

Parks Commissioner Kirk Robinson told the Sun that he wouldn’t be interested in looking at the shared use option until there is compliance with current Parks policy, which requires dogs on Parks property to be leashed at all times. Given the island’s history of lack of compliance with leash policy on Parks trails, his comment seems to rule out a shared use option altogether. (more…)

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As the Bainbridge Review has reported, lawyers for both the developer of the proposed Visconsi project on High School Road, and its opponents have submitted motions for reconsideration to Hearing Examiner Stafford Smith, asking him to modify his conditions for approving the project.

Dennis Reynolds, attorney for Visconsi, has asked that the requirement for Visconsi to install two crosswalks as part of the shopping center project be modified to allow the developer the option of installing stop signs at the crosswalks instead of elevated crosswalks.

Islanders for Responsible Development, a group that opposes the project, has also asked for several changes in Smith’s decision. Here is an email from the group today, with an update on the legal status and an explanation of its motion for reconsideration. (more…)

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You’ll have another chance to weigh in about marijuana regulation on Bainbridge Island at the April 28 City Council study session at City Hall. At that meeting, the Council will discuss a proposed ordinance governing marijuana growing, processing and retail sale.

Although a majority of the members of the Planning Commission have recommended that marijuana farms and indoor grows be allowed in residential neighborhoods (with significant restrictions, including setbacks, screens and size of plant canopy), a minority of Planning Commission members have filed a dissenting report. That report asked the Council not to allow marijuana growing in residential zones.

Public comment at the April 28 meeting begins at 7 pm. A final public hearing is tentatively scheduled for May 12 at 7 pm. You can email written comments until 4 pm on April 23, to pcd@bainbridgewa.gov. Even if you miss that deadline, you can still submit comments until the final public hearing.

You can read the draft ordinance here: 040714 Att A 4 3 Draft Ordinance 2014-06 MJ (more…)

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I wasn’t able to go to Tuesday night’s “Oil on Water” event at Eagle Harbor Congregational Church. Speakers discussed problems with the extraction and transportation of fossil fuels, and offered ways the public can advocate for stronger regulation of this necessary but hazardous industry. Here’s a report from the blog of “Low Carbon Girl.”

The Oil on Water Event, Co-sponsored by Coal-Free Bainbridge, Sustainable Bainbridge and Eagle Harbor Congregational Church was standing room only, with more than 100 people in attendance on Tuesday evening, April 9th including Bainbridge Mayor Anne Blair and City Councilman Val Tollefson.

Erika Shriner of Coal-Free Bainbridge kicks off event.

Erika Shriner of Coal-Free Bainbridgestarted off the evening by giving an overview of some of energy issues we’re facing today and what is slated for the near future. Erika started Coal-Free Bainbridge after being inspired by Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal program, noting that most Bainbridge Islanders don’t realize that 37% of our energy still comes from coal. And, that our coal comes from aptly-named Colstrip, Montana. Erika said Sierra Club’s and other’s efforts, including Governor Jay Inslee, are helping to win the battle against Colstrip. Eric de Place later reiterating that saying he felt the entire coal industry was “on the ropes.”

Next, Eric de Place took the podium and talked about the different types of fossil fuels now in play: fracked oil from North Dakota (aka Bakken shale oil), tar sands oil from Alberta, and natural gas from British Columbia – all with different viscosities, combustibility and environmental hazards. Then Eric dropped a bomb that 17% of the gas in our cars comes from tar sands. I can see where this is going…can’t you? Now, we’ll need to be energy locavores too! Know what is going in your gas tank, home and office. My head is spinning.

Why is Seattle slated to be overrun by oil trains? We, along with California and parts of British Columbia stand between large fossil fuel deposits and “energy-hungery” Asian markets. (more…)

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