Tree Sitter Lands Safely

Posted by on August 19, 2014 at 8:50 pm


by Julie Hall and Sarah Lane

Nineteen-year-old Chiara D’Angelo safely descended tonight from 70 feet and over 40 hours in a Douglas fir tree on Bainbridge Island land slated this week for clear-cutting to build a mall.

D’Angelo was harnessed in overnight and for the better part of two days while supporters gathered around her in opposition to the destruction of nearly 8 acres of forest by commercial developer Visconsi Companies.

The exhausted but exhilarated teenager emerged from the woods and hugged her relieved mother. She told a crowd waiting in the dusk, “I didn’t go up there for those trees; I went up for this community.” She encouraged people to stay involved in the civic process.

Chiara and Debra D'Angelo

Chiara and Debra D’Angelo

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Photos by Sarah Lane. 

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5 Responses to “Tree Sitter Lands Safely”

  1. I gave you five stars, not three. Umpf. Nice seeing IB out there this evening for this important event.

  2. M. Green says:

    The most important fact remains the former Judge and her husband who are the biggest developers on the Island and their friends, including the former Mayor (voted out of office), real estate and architect interests, picked city staff to accommodate their need$. Like the city Planning Director, who green lights all development without the proper SEPA evaluations (full of errors and omissions), and allows multiple variances essentially rendering environmental protections put in place to protect Island limited resources useless.


    1. Triangle Pit; inappropriately utilizing a grading permit to illegally operate an open pit mine that remains without DNR required EIS and reclamation plan.

    2. Bainbridge Museum Development (a former Judge/husband project); granted multiple variances including paving to the edge of the Ravine overlooking code for the protected area (25-50 foot setback), and excessive density upgrades.

    3. The Strawberry Cannery Park, renamed the John Nelson Park; a listed hazardous waste site that remains uncharacterized and unclean, was a former Judge/husband property, exchanged for the John Nelson deeded public property. Which is now…you guessed it Vineyard Lane Condos, and residence to a former council member who voted for this land swap, straddling taxpayers with the costs of eventual cleanup.

    4. Way Point Park: a former gas station and listed hazardous waste site that remains unclean, purchased by the former mayor and Kitsap Transit authorities to make a nice entrance for the new Museum development, with full knowledge of the liability to taxpayers. Even Rotary got to put their stamp of approval on the project utilizing taxpayer-funded consultants to fudge the reporting.

    5. Pritchard Park a Hazardous Waste Superfund Site; by Ecology’s own reporting the beach is not safe, nor is it safe to swim, they just do not properly notify the public. Thus, exposing park goers to known carcinogenic health risks. Brought to a vote by an Island Senator when serving on Bainbridge council, for purchase by the city before it was properly characterized and cleaned.

    6. Grow Project another former Judge/husband project; described by Planning Commission as a prison facility, provided numerous zoning variances and increased density without the proper environmental impact studies by the current Planning Staff, Planning Director and City Manager.

    Good for this young woman for recognizing and acknowledging discrepancies in this latest project vs. the code and comprehensive plan put in place to protect Island limited resources. How could a 19 year old know about the decades of land use and real estate corruption or how far the net of corruption extends in Kitsap and King County governments? Not even the Planning Commission or the Council get to vote on these questionable projects which places heavy financial burdens directly on the backs of taxpayers to fund the required cleanup and infrastructure improvements to accommodate them.

    Please get involved in the ongoing Comprehensive Plan Update (named “Navigate Bainbridge”) so staff looking for $ to fund their jobs do not erase the directives to protect Bainbridge Island resources. Speak out and show up at city hall even though it is painful to watch our dysfunctional city government thwart public comment and process, and bend the code to benefit their job security and not much else. Most important show up and VOTE for better representation.

    • E. Sine says:

      Excellent reply and thank you for enlightening us. Eleven years after moving here, I am getting the whole picture and it is ugly. The pristine sense you (used to) get when visiting Bainbridge, is eroding with every passing year. It won't be long before we look and act like Mercer Island. Goodbye what used to be. It is so sad to see it happen, tree by tree. 800 trees. Shame on you City of Bainbridge, shame. I wonder why we bother to vote in all these elections we have when the people's voices are ignored, constantly, by whomever we elect.

  3. Roy Mason says:

    Lawlessness comes to Bainbridge Island. It is not as bad as Ferguson, MO but it seems this growing trend has spread to Bainbridge Island. A small, but vocal minority has been fighting a new small shopping area on Bainbridge Island that is being advanced by Visconsi Development. They have fought in city meetings, in court, blocked traffic on Highway 305 and a 19 year old woman spent two days in a tree on the property blocking workers. Today when I drove by the site there were fences and 3 off duty policemen guarding the site. This lack of respect for our city leadership, fellow citizens and trespassing laws is minor but it is becoming a trend in our nation. It has been said that when a person moves to Bainbridge Island they oppose any further action to increase the population or development. We really do not want Bainbridge to become just like Mercer Island, but we need to respect our community and shared values. Incidents like this really go against why most of us live here. Stand up for what you believe in and speak your mind, but when the decision is made, don’t become part of lawless America.

    • Edie Sine says:

      Isn't this country founded on freedom of speech? Saying this is "not as bad as Ferguson, MO" is stretching it greatly. This is nothing like what happened there. When the "decision is made" is not a reason to stop working towards a different ending. Awareness is what protest is all about, and this young woman wasn't hurting anything and was doing all she could to make people aware. Without people like this we wouldn't be the nation we are today. We didn't give up and "accept it" when King George wanted to tax tea. We fought back and became a free nation. Being passive didn't get us where we are today.


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