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Posts Tagged ‘Anne Blair’

Mayor Anne Blair is recovering from heart surgery today in a Spokane hospital after falling ill while on vacation. We are sending our prayers and thoughts for a complete and quick recovery to Anne and family. Here is the press release sent out by her family. 

On July 15, 2015, Anne Blair had heart bypass surgery at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, Washington. Anne was vacationing in the Spokane region with family when she experienced chest tightness and shortness of breath. While Anne did not have a heart attack, doctors determined that she needed bypass surgery to eliminate some blockages in her heart and help prevent future problems.

“By all reports, the surgery went very well. The surgeon said she looks like she’s 10 years younger than she is,” said daughter Jessica. “We hope for and expect a speedy and full recovery.”

As expected after open heart surgery, Anne remains in critical condition and in intensive care. She will convalesce at Sacred Heart Hospital over the next several days before returning to Bainbridge Island early next week. From there, doctors anticipate that she will need a full month of recovery before returning to work. “Mom’s always been committed to her work. Letting that go for a few weeks may be as hard on her as the surgery,” joked Jessica.

“To say that all of us were all surprised by this would be an understatement,” said husband Wayne. “She’s been a fairly healthy eater, walks regularly and hasn’t had any health issues. It is a good lesson for others to take symptoms of potential heart problems seriously.”

During Anne’s absence from the City Council, please direct any pressing business to City Manager, Doug Schulze, Deputy Mayor Mike Scott, or Councilmember Val Tollefson.

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Last week, Council member Steven Bonkowski sent a letter to the press, trying to rehabilitate his reputation after his unlawful and costly violations of the Public Records Act. We sent the letter below to the Bainbridge City Council, the City Manager and the City Attorney. 

Dear Council, Mr. Schulze, and Ms. Marshall:

We read Steven Bonkowski’s letter to Inside Bainbridge this week, in which he attempts to re-litigate arguments he lost in court. His false statements are so significant that we think it’s important to correct them in writing. We also want to express our alarm that as a sitting member of the Bainbridge City Council, Mr. Bonkowski continues to substitute his own incorrect interpretation of the law for the judgment of two courts, suggesting that he is within his rights to continue the unlawful behavior that has cost the city so much money.

The following are false statements by Mr. Bonkowski:

Bonkowski: “I want the community to know that I did not conduct city business from my private email account, and I did turn over my emails to the city in a timely manner for the public records request.”

The facts: Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jeanette Dalton held that the documents we sought were “related to the financial information that Mr. Bonkowski discussed at the June 5, 2013 meeting, and thus do come within the realm of ‘public records.’” In fact, when Judge Dalton discussed Mr. Bonkowski’s flawed reasoning in determining what constitutes a public record, she wrote the criticism that has been so often repeated in the press: “The Council members knew well what the Governance Manual requires, and any hesitation by them in turning over such emails is a grave concern for the people of Bainbridge Island.”

Moreover, Mr. Bonkowski did not turn over his emails in a timely manner, because, as Judge Dalton found, he “admitted to deleting records that were responsive to the PRA requests.”

The Court of Appeals supported Judge Dalton’s positions, writing that Bonkowski and Ward “undisputedly violated the Governance Manual by using their personal accounts for city business, by failing to forward emails received on their personal accounts to City servers, and by deleting emails which constituted public records, thus making it impossible for the City to adequately respond to Paulson and Fortner’s PRA requests.” (more…)

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Last August, we filed a Public Records Act lawsuit against the City of Bainbridge Island and certain individual councilpersons, after learning they had been conducting City business from their personal email accounts, and had failed to produce these records after receiving our public records request.

As we said in our press release at the time, “The last thing we want to do is sue the city….But the way the Public Records Act is written, we have to sue the city in order to require rogue officials to obey the law.”

We have tried to make clear throughout this litigation that our primary concern was not with individuals on the City’s staff, whom we had found to be cooperative and professional. It was unlawful activity by the councilpersons that troubled us, because they have consistently placed themselves above the law and have refused to turn over public records. Council members Dave Ward and Steven Bonkowski have admitted under oath that they deleted emails concerning City business, relying upon their own personal definition of what constitutes a public record, and without seeking advice from the City. In doing so, they ignored guidelines that were provided to them on multiple occasions.

In a 32-page decision issued May 29th, Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jeannette Dalton agreed with us, finding that the councilpersons’ refusal to turn over the records was of “grave concern for the people of Bainbridge Island.” Judge Dalton found that the City failed to do an adequate search for the requested records as required by law, because even after the City knew the council members were conducting City business on their personal accounts, it did not make any effort to search those accounts. She ruled that the City violated the Public Records Act and ordered the City to pay our attorneys fees and sanctions for the violations.

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After a week of daunting climate news, here’s your Friday reward: Internet news sensation, Kitsap Report TV, in a no-holds-barred interview with Bainbridge mayor Anne Blair on pressing topics like our city council’s military coup, fast food and twerking. Be sure to look for Councilman Bonkowski’s wink.

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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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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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Today, the New York Times has a story about a report on climate change just released by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest non-governmental general science membership organization.

AAAS convened a task force of climate science experts, economists, community leaders and policy makers for its “What We Know” Initiative, to address the continuing lack of public awareness of the full spectrum of climate risks. Scientists from Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Woods Hole and other research institutions are guiding the effort to educate people about the scientific evidence on climate change, raise the alarm about serious risks and consequences to the planet, and debunk myths and misinformation.

The report contains no new science. Instead, it is clearer and “more accessible than perhaps anything the scientific community has put out to date,” the Times writes. The initiative is intended to cut through public confusion, and identify:

The Reality–Surveys show that the public is somewhat concerned about climate change, but believes there is still significant scientific disagreement about the causes. This is FALSE. According to AAAS, “Based on well-established evidence, about 97% of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening.”

The Risk–AAAS writes: “Earth’s climate is on a path to warm beyond the range of what has been experienced over the past millions of years. The range of uncertainty for the warming along the current emissions path is wide enough to encompass massively disruptive consequences to societies and ecosystems: as global temperatures rise, there is a real risk, however small, that one or more critical parts of the Earth’s climate system will experience abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes.”

Worst case forecasts include severe food shortages, rising seas that would inundate coastlines, extreme heat waves, droughts and floods, and massive extinction of plants and animals.  (more…)

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