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Island School green team 2014

Bainbridge’s Island School Is Greenest in the State

The Island School on Bainbridge Island has become the first school in Washington to earn the highest level of certification from Washington Green Schools’ (WGS) innovative sustainability program. During its five years of work through the WGS program, the K-5 private school “where every child matters” has taught its students that every action matters and every Earth citizen matters in ensuring a healthy, sustainable environment.

Using the framework and guidelines of WGS, The Island School’s core “Green Team,” a small, agile, dedicated group of students, teachers, staff, and parents, steered the school through five levels of certification, taking a year to complete each one (the minimum time requirement for each level of certification).

A national environmental leader, WGS is one of only a small handful of state school sustainability organizations, and its Director Kim Armstrong said The Island School’s achievement has done the program proud: ”Washington Green Schools is proud of the dedication and diligence that The Island School has demonstrated while working to their 5 levels of certification. Since the beginning of the Washington Green Schools program, they have been one of our most involved schools. They are the first school in the state to achieve Level 5 certification, and their systemic approach to sustainability should serve as a model for other schools throughout Washington.”

According to Green Team faculty leader Mike Derzon, the Team selected its annual focus from the main categories established by WGS and worked each year to generate and implement plans for how to meet the challenge. The Island School attained its level 5 certification this March after completing the requirements for its 2013-14 school year focusing on Healthy School Buildings.

Here are some of the school’s level 5 accomplishments:

  1. conducted an assessment of the health of the school building
  2. established a least-toxic pest management program
  3. formalized a hazardous materials storage policy
  4. conducted a school-wide waste audit
  5. formalized an indoor air quality tracking system with regular cleaning of air ducts and clearing of vents
  6. developed a policy of using Green Seal certified cleaners and hand soaps
  7. fifth graders conducted a poster and classroom education campaign to remind students to wash their hands, cover their coughs, throw their trash in the can, and stomp and scrape their shoes on mats when entering doorways
  8. fifth graders provided healthy school pointers in the weekly school newsletter for a month
  9. removed (through proper disposal) most of the art room toxins and put the rest in sealed storage in the basement
  10. formalized purchasing policy to buy the least toxic art and science supplies
  11. met with two representatives from the Bainbridge Island School District PTO to give pointers about implementing the WGS program in their schools
  12. established a Buy Nothing Island School (BNIS) (freecycle) board in the front hall; fifth graders made posters encouraging people to participate in the program; had a BNIS booth at the school Carnival
  13. created and managed waste and recycling stations at the Carnival
  14. established postrecess grounds cleanup by kids
  15. started a marker recycling program
  16. started a cloth napkin program for in-school meal events
  17. recycled cell phones for the community
  18. reeducated the school community about its pack in/pack out (zero waste) lunch policy
  19. recruited new families into the car pool program
  20. reeducated families about the pickup/dropoff no-idling policy
  21. participated in a Bainbridge Island Land Trust wildlife conservancy small stream mapping project
  22. tested and adjusted low-flow faucets and toilets
  23. put in a rain barrel to use for watering
  24. posted power down signs in bathrooms as reminders to turn off fans and water
  25. encouraged families in the weekly school newsletter to sign up for Green Power through Puget Sound Energy

In previous years The Island School completed annual certifications in the categories of Energy, Waste and Recycling, Water, and Transportation. WGS recently added a sixth major category, School Grounds and Gardens, to its program, so The Island School is looking ahead to that challenge.

Head of School Trish King said, “I am so grateful that The Island School has had the opportunity to work with Washington Green Schools in becoming a more sustainable, environmentally-responsive school. Washington Green Schools has created a wonderful process that is entirely doable for any school, and we have also benefited from strong support from our own Green Team and the enthusiastic buy-in of The Island School community. I would heartily encourage any interested school to pursue this.”

Parent Green Team member Kathleen Smith said, “Working with the Island School Green Team has been a very rewarding and inspiring experience for me as a parent and a professional working in the world of sustainability. The teachers and staff of The Island School took on the challenge of becoming a certified Green School with the deep understanding that educating the whole child includes educating them about their larger environment and community, both natural and human-made, and how they fit into them and empowering them to be engaged in the care and restoration of these environments and communities in a positive way. The school has met this challenge with passion, commitment, creativity, and humor. When the Green Team started five years ago, the school already had some robust environmental policies and practices in place. The Washington Green Schools program has allowed the school to dig deeper and push further in a variety of categories to reach an even higher level of environmental performance and health. This will continue as the school pursues level 6 and as it continues through the years to teach the next generation of leaders to live sustainably in a school that models this.”

The Island School will celebrate its achievement on Earth Day, April 22, at an official ceremony attended by three representatives of Washington Green Schools, followed by a student-prepared buffet of organic, locally harvested foods.

Washington Green Schools currently has 278 participating schools in 78 districts within 23 counties. Visit their website.

Full disclosure: This author is a proud founding member of The Island School Green Team.

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Photo courtesy Oliver Gutsche-Smith.

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pregnant doe

National Guard Youth Outraged at Bainbridge Shooting of Pregnant Doe

On the morning of Saturday, March 22, West Sound Wildlife Shelter received a call from a citizen about a dead deer in his yard off Sunrise Drive just south of Day Road on Bainbridge Island. The Shelter agreed to pick up the deer and haul her away to use as food for its animal charges.

West Sound’s Operations Manager Lynne Weber told me that it is not uncommon for people to shoot wildlife on Bainbridge Island.

But this story is unusual for several reasons. The doe was found dead, still warm that morning, outside of hunting season in a busy residential neighborhood where neighbors say kids regularly run and play through adjacent yards. In addition, the doe was pregnant. Weber explained that it is illegal to shoot deer within city limits out of season; however, citizens have a right to shoot wildlife if they deem it necessary to protect their property. Thus, the law leaves a gray area. If the pregnant doe represented a threat to whomever shot her, it was legal to kill her outside of hunting season.

Some might argue that a pregnant doe could not possibly be threatening enough to justify shooting her, and, further, that using a gun in an area clustered with homes is more dangerous than a deer who might be eating your roses. Others might assert that wildlife entering their property and potentially damaging it is reason enough to kill out of season.

Whatever the reason, the deer was dead on arrival, with a fatal bullet wound to the lungs. Neighbors in the area had observed the pregnant doe accompanied by at least one yearling fawn, now orphaned. But the story does not end there.

That particular day a platoon of the Washington Youth Academy out of Bremerton was doing community service at the Wildlife Shelter. Young men aged 17-18 years were helping out as part of their National Guard program. When the dead deer came in, a student, one of nearly 90 participants over two days, volunteered to butcher it, explaining that he had extensive hunting experience.

Weber told me that she and the teen’s commander agreed to allow him and a few other volunteers to butcher the doe. But, Weber explained, about three-fourths of the way through the process the young men discovered that the doe had been pregnant with a near-term male with budding antlers.

Weber said the teens became “upset and angry” that a doe had been killed during breeding season. Some, including the young man who had volunteered to butcher the deer, said, infuriated, “this is not something you—as a hunter—do.” Weber added that the man who discovered the dead doe in his yard was “livid” when he learned of the circumstances of her death.

According to Weber, the young men from the National Guard removed the fetus, saying they wanted to provide it with a decent burial. They constructed a cross out of tree limbs and grass and dug a grave at the shelter for the unborn buck.

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Photo by Julie Hall.

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clam season closed

Beware of Clamzilla! Clamming Prohibited into Perpetuity at Fay Bainbridge Park

Clamzilla, also known as Camille Speck of the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, is a biologist in charge of the Puget Sound Bivalve Management Project. Her job is to protect all creatures clammy, setting seasons and closures for recreational fisheries.

Clamzilla came to Bainbridge Island yesterday, April 8, to assist the Bainbridge Island Park District in laying down the law against clamming of any kind at Fay Bainbridge Park.

eel grass damage

Clammer at Fay Bainbridge September 2013

Why? Clamming is damaging the life-sustaining beds of eelgrass that grow in the shallow waters surrounding Fay Bainbridge. Seagrass ecosystems, which include the flowering plant eelgrass, are among the most vital and diverse ecosystems in the world. Underwater eelgrass meadows function as nurseries for marine species, including fish, shellfish, crabs, and seabirds, and they help prevent erosion from currents and mitigate ocean acidification by sequestering carbon.

Last September beach naturalists Maradel Gale and Robert Dashiell, while leading a low-tide walk at Fay Bainbridge, observed widespread eelgrass destruction by people harvesting clams. Clammers dug deep holes in the intertidal zone and trampled large swaths of eelgrass, a practice that has been happening at the beach for years.

Dashiell and Gale contacted the Park Board with their concern, and the Board determined to halt clamming at Fay Bainbridge for its protection.

Park District Superintendent Mike Mejia told me that establishing the Park as a Marine Preserve was considered but was decided against because it would take some eight more months and make the area vulnerable to yet another season of clamming.

Clammers at Fay Bainbridge September 2013

Clammers at Fay Bainbridge September 2013

Instead the District and Fish & Wildlife have made it illegal to clam at the park. Mejia said the Park District intends to keep the Park closed to clamming into perpetuity. Yesterday they posted signs around the area.

Clamzilla told me that Fish & Wildlife officers will be able to enforce the prohibition with citations. “The bigger the clam and the more extensive the damage, the larger the fine,” she said. Fines start at $75 and go way up. She hopes locals will help by educating people attempting to clam. But, she explained, tribes can still harvest there for ceremonial or subsistence purposes.

Clamzilla told me that horse clam digging goes about a foot and a half feet deep, and geoducks are about 3 feet deep. She said, “Excavated piles smother clams underneath and leave holes that harbor warm water that kills clams. Once uncovered, bigger clams cannot dig back in. Geoducks can live a long life filter feeding. The oldest known geoduck was 160 years old.” She further explained that people tend to assume the holes refill naturally with the tides but that in fact they remain open for a long time. Mejia added that just recently he was walking barefoot in shallow water at Fay Bainbridge and suddenly stepped into thigh-deep hole.

clammers at fay bainbridge

Clammer at Fay Bainbridge September 2013

Clamzilla has been impressed with the concern expressed by Bainbridge citizens about the well-being of the Fay Bainbridge ecosystem. She said an Inside Bainbridge article first alerted her to the situation, and calls from locals prompted her to offer her assistance to the Bainbridge Park District.

Park District regulations are now effect against clamming, and the state ban will kick in on April 15.

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Photo of clamming last September courtesy of Robert Dashiell. Photo of sign by Julie Hall.

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dogs in chairs

Photos of the Day: Guard Dogs Use Subtle Mind Control to Defend Bainbridge Home

This pair of Aussies on Spargur Loop was so confident in their mental prowess that they never roused from their chairs (shielded from the rain under the garage eve) and only croaked out a few token barks at me today as I rode my bicycle up their street. Luckily a fence kept me safe, and ”the look” they had clearly perfected to deter intruders sent me on my wet way.

 

dogs in chairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dogs in chairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photos by Julie Hall.

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trout put into battle point park pond

Fresh Stock of Rainbow Trout Makes Big Splash at Battle Point Park Pond

Some 400 rainbow trout 8-12 inches long swam into a whole new water world in the Battle Point Park pond on Friday, April 4.

The Bainbridge Island Park District teamed up with Bainbridge Island Fly Fishers and the Washington Council of Trout Unlimited to restock the pond for the second year in a row after a five-year hiatus from fish stocking because of budgetary cutbacks. Park Services Superintendent Mike Mejia told me the Park District plans to do another fish drop in May.

The trout stocking is one part conservation effort and one part fly fishing education.

The fish will support catch-and-release fly fishing programs on Bainbridge, the first of which is April 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday’s Youth Fly Fishing Derby is a family-friendly event to teach participants 18 and under fly fishing basics. The program will feature casting clinics, fly tying, catch-and-release techniques, and information about where to fish locally. Rods, reels, and flies will be available to borrow for free. The fee for kids is $5, and parents are welcome to stay and assist.rainbow trout by kelly teague

Another youth clinic for participants aged 11-17 will be held May 3 at Battle Point Park, and a senior clinic for people 6o and up is scheduled for May 10.

Learn more about programming here (scroll down to page 6).

Register here.

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Photo of trout delivery courtesy of Debbi Lester. Photo of rainbow trout courtesy of Kelly Teague.

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farmers' market flowers

Winslow Farmers’ Market Season Sprouts up This Saturday

It’s that time again. Things are growing, and our local farmers are getting ready to share their spring harvests.

The Winslow Bainbridge Island Farmers’ Market opens for the 2014 season on Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Town Square/City Hall Park.

Mayor Anne Blair and City Manager Doug Schulze will be there to help ring the opening bell at 9 a.m. A short parade through town will follow, and music performers will liven up the occasion.

Market Manager Tim O’Brien said, “farmers, crafters, and food booths galore will once again adorn the Town Square. We look forward to a fun, successful season!”

Featured items this week include spring vegetables, herbs, garden starts, fresh-cut flowers, and artisan crafts.

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Photo by Julie Hall.

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Cave Avenue tree saved

Big Firry Deal: The City Spares a Tree

This 100-year-old Douglas Fir tree along quiet Cave Avenue in Winslow has been spared from cutting. What’s the big deal?

Last spring a nearly 2.5-acre forested area in an ecologically sensitive ravine across the street from this tree was wiped out by a private party owner to build a multifamily housing complex. After losing a two-year battle to protect the forest, some area residents turned their attention to petitioning city planners to save this tree, which was slated for removal because of its location in the path of a sidewalk mandated by municipal code because of the development.

The good news, a year later, is that a workable compromise has been reached. City Council member Wayne Roth explained to me that the city bumped out the sidewalk around the tree and designed the area underneath the sidewalk next to it with an elevated grated clearance to allow the tree to breathe. Yes, trees breathe out oxygen and breathe in carbon dioxide, as well as “drink” in water and nutrients. Roth said a utility pole directly across the street from the tree made the sidewalk a tight but doable fit next to the roadway, with six inches to spare.

Kathleen Alcalá, area resident and one of the tree’s advocates, said she sees renewed hope among city staff and citizen activists for enforcement of the city’s tree code and preservation of life-sustaining forested land on Bainbridge Island.

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Photo by Julie Hall.

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woman reading Poetry Corners poem

What Is This Woman Doing?

The Bainbridge Arts & Humanities Council is doing it again: getting people to read poetry. What better way to celebrate National Poetry Month than to plaster locally grown poems all over downtown for passersby to peek at and peruse? Do not be afraid: They’re everywhere, from the library to the ferry terminal to Winslow windows and walls, but they will not harm you.

The 53 featured poems around town were selected winners of the annual Poetry Corners competition, sponsored by the Arts & Humanities Council. The poems were penned by professional writers to beginners starting in first grade, all united by this year’s competition theme ”do not be afraid,” a translation of the last dying words, in August of 2013, of Irish poet and 1995 Nobel laureate in literature Seamus Heaney.

Poetry Corners 2014 chapbook cover

Poetry Corners 2014 chapbook cover

Heaney once described poetry as “testimonies to the fact that poets themselves are finders and keepers, that their vocation is to look after art and life by being discoverers and custodians of the unlooked for.”

The poets selected for this year’s at-large exhibit will have a chance to read their work to the community on April 24 at 7 p.m. in the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) auditorium. Co-hosts the Arts & Humanities Council and BIMA invite the poetry-committed and -curious alike to attend this free evening of free and formal verse. A chapbook collection of the poems will be available for purchase at the event and Eagle Harbor Book Company.

“Once again, I am amazed at the hidden talents that lie in our midst, on our little island,” said the Arts & Humanities Council’s executive director, Barbara Sacerdote. “We are honored to present this collection of poetry, expressed from the heart and inspired by the comforting last words of Seamus Heaney.”

Here is a list of the Poetry Corners 2014 winners and poem locations.

Full disclosure: This writer’s poem “Spring Song” is in the window of Pegasus.

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Poetry Corners poems 2014

Poetry Corners poems 2014

Chapbook cover courtesy of Arts & Humanities Council; photos by Julie Hall.

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Weather: Rainy Weekend, Then Sunny Warming Trend

The National Weather Service forecast for Bainbridge Island shows rain for the weekend, opening up to part sun and temperatures in the low 6os early next week.

Friday A 50 percent chance of scattered showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 54 degrees F. South wind around 15 mph.
Friday Night A 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 42 degrees F. South-southeast wind 7-14 mph.
Saturday A 90 percent likelihood of rain, mainly after 11 a.m. High near 53 degrees F. South wind 7-15 mph.
Saturday Night An 80 percent chance of rain, mainly before 11 p.m. Low around 45 degrees F. South wind 8-13 mph.
Sunday A 50 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 59 degrees F. South wind around 5 mph, becoming calm in the morning.
Sunday Night A 30 percent chance of showers before 11 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 48 degrees F.
Monday Mostly sunny, with a high near 62 degrees F.
Monday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 45 degrees F.
Tuesday Partly sunny, with a high near 63 degrees F.
Tuesday Night A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 46 degrees F.
Wednesday Partly sunny, with a high near 60 degrees F.

Photo by Julie Hall.

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Scouler's Harebell flower

Name That Flower

Find out what this local wildflower is on April 11 between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. when Bainbridge Island photographer Paul Brians presents a photo lecture on the wildflowers of Bainbridge Island. Brians will show a wide variety of beautiful wildflowers and explain where and when they may be found.

Brians’ photos are featured in the second edition of Walks on Bainbridge and in his book Four Seasons on Bainbridge Island. Some are currently on display in the Bainbridge ferry terminal as part of the Bainbridge Island land Trust (BILT) 25 Year Celebration Exhibit. Brians also is the author of the recently released Common Errors in English Usage, as well as a regular contributor to Inside Bainbridge.

The free event is the final in the 2014 Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series. People of all ages are invited to bring their lunches and enjoy the show at Waterfront Park Community Center. A suggested $3 donation goes to support BILT.

Another Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series is planned for 2015.

Don’t miss the BILT Native Plant Sale on April 12.

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Photo courtesy of Paul Brians. 

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herons in love

Bainbridge Herons Get It on, Plus Great Blue Factoids

If you get outside much in these parts, chances are you see great blue herons (Ardea herodias). They are difficult to miss, having an impressive average wing span of about 6 feet and a height of about 4 feet. Their prehistoric flying silhouette and patient hunting technique, often in shallow water, make them even more easy to spot.

But in recent years great blue herons, the largest and most common heron, have had some hard times breeding in the Northwest, including on Bainbridge Island. These big birds breed in colonies, known as rookeries, or, to be more specific, heronries, which are vulnerable to numerous threats. According to Kitsap Audubon Society Vice President Judy Willott, great blue herons on Bainbridge abandoned their largest local heronry some 8-10 years ago due to predation by bald eagles. But the biggest threat to breeding heron colonies is habitat destruction and disruption by humans, to which they are highly sensitive, especially during their mating and nest-building phase in March and April.

heron rookery

Lovell heronry April 2014

A visit today, April 2, to the abandoned site, on Lafayette Avenue across from Kane Cemetery, showed that it remains inactive this season, with 15 or so old nests hanging on after long neglect. Another smaller heron breeding area off of Peterson Hill Road is similarly silent, with 6-8 old nests sitting unused.

Good News

The good news is that great blue herons are actively breeding near the water in residential Winslow, on Lovell Avenue. The heronry, which local residents estimate has been home to nesting herons for at least three years, has some 16-18 nests at the tops of tall Big-Leaf Maple trees. Breeding pairs appear to be completing their nests now and preparing to lay, most likely by midApril.

Breeding pairs, who mate seasonally, share the work of incubating their eggs and foraging for food. Males typically arrive at nesting sites first and work to attract female mates, who take over nest construction, with help, branch by branch.

Females lay broods of approximately 3-7 eggs. The young herons first fly at around 2 months old and leave the nest 1-4 weeks later, at which time they are about the size of their adult parents, making feeding them an intensive process. Willott said, “It’s pretty funny to see the large young herons walking out of the nest on branches. They make quite a racket.”

heron feeding baby by don willott

Two juveniles goofing in their nest, by Don Willott

Indeed they do. Some might call it a cacophony of demanding baby appetites. With a whole lotta love, and luck, the future Bainbridge hatchlings will carry on the lineage. And, perhaps, one year soon, they will repopulate the Island’s areas that silently await their return.

Great Blue Factoids

  1. With their hollow bones, adult great blue herons weigh an average of only 5 pounds, about the weight of a rabbit.
  2. Herons are not helpless. They have been known to defend themselves and their young by spearing enemy birds with their long, razor-sharp, quick bills.
  3. In addition to fish, herons eat frogs, snakes, turtles, young birds and eggs, rodents, and other small mammals.
  4. The mortality rate of young herons is high. Predators include crows, ravens, gulls, hawks, eagles, bears, and raccoons. Cold and heavy rain around hatching time also take a heavy toll.
  5. A typical lifespan is 6-8 years, but herons have been known to live up to 15 years.
  6. Herons have suffered the threats faced by many North American birds. They were nearly hunted to extinction in the late 1800s by people looking to obtain their plumes for women’s hats. In the 1940s-60s, their populations were decimated by the pesticide DDT, which was banned in 1972, leading to the recovery of many species on the brink, also including eagles and pelicans.
  7. The most common heron vocalization is a raspy croak-squawk. Mating pairs make a “clappering” sound by rapidly hitting their bills together.

How to Help Great Blues

great blue herons nesting

Love?

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends the following steps to help preserve heron habitat.

  • Preserve shoreline trees.
  • Protect eelgrass beds, which provide great habitat for herring, a major heron food source.
  • Protect wetlands, where herons breed and feed.
  • Keep pets away from heron feeding and breeding sites.
  • When visiting the beach or boating, steer clear of herons and heronries.
  • Minimize development near heron colonies.

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Photos by Julie Hall; babies playing courtesy of Don Willott.

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Chevron station

Two More Chevron Stations to Open at Highway 305 and High School Road

Hard to believe? We thought so too. But as a second Chevron station, with an upscale convenience store and organic eatery inside, prepares to open across from the existing Chevron, more Chevrons are in the works for the busy intersection.

Not two, not three, but now four Chevron stations are planned at 305 and High School, one on each corner. Yes, you read that right.

With approval on March 27 from Bainbridge Island Hearing Examiner Stafford Smith to move forward with development of a shopping center at the intersection’s northeast corner, the Ohio-based Visconsi Company has announced its plans to include a Chevron in the commercial center. A review of Visconsi’s revised site plan shows that its Chevron will include a complimentary espresso-to-go and “flash-relax” massage service for people pumping their gas. Visconsi spokesperson Michelle Becker told me, “Our customers will be treated to a great cup of complimentary coffee and a free mini-massage from trained professionals as they fill up their tanks.” When I asked Becker if the cost of gas at the Visconsi station will be higher because of the free services she explained, “We believe the extra business our bonus services will attract from happy returning customers will enable us to keep our price point at a competitive level. It’s a win-win business model for everyone.”

If all that weren’t surprising enough, California-based firm Eat & Get Gas Unlimited just this week submitted plans to convert the existing McDonald’s to a Chevron-McDonald’s establishment with, wait for it, an added fine wine drive-thru. Eat & Get Gas Unlimited spokesperson Frank Nerf said, “This McDonald’s gets more business than any other in Kitsap County, and we recognize its value to the community. We also see the need for something Bainbridge Island doesn’t offer its discerning but busy consumers—fast access to fine wine. Parents will find it all here: a tank of gas, a fast family meal or snack for the kids, and excellent wine without the wait.” When I asked Nerf about the heavy competition literally across the street in all directions he replied, “We have something that sets us apart. From a Big Mac to a seasoned Beaujolais, we’re covering all the bases.”

April Fools.

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Photo by Julie Hall. 

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IB's Top 10 Stories

IB’s Top 10 Stories in March 2014

Here are the ten most-read articles Inside Bainbridge published in March, 2014, in descending order. (The first article is always our top one, but it was not published in March.)

  1. Ferry on Foot to Bainbridge: 37 Things to Do Downtown
  2. Sale of Best Western Puts over $23 Million of Prime Bainbridge Real Estate on the Market
  3. Tokyo Tapas Gets Ready for Its Bainbridge Island Debut
  4. What Big Bainbridge Real Estate up for Grabs Might Mean for Winslow & You
  5. Citizens Who Gave Life-Saving CPR to Chilly Hilly Rider Honored at Fire Dept Ceremony
  6. Loose Dogs Killing Chickens Raises a Facebook Frenzy and Big Questions for Bainbridge
  7. Unsolved Mystery: Crushed Car Uncovered on South Beach Drive
  8. Bainbridge’s Sarah Mather Is a Rising Star
  9. Serial Burglar Hitting Bainbridge in the Daytime
  10. Bainbridge Fire Marshal Warns of Increased Landslide Risk

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Photo courtesy of Elliot Brown.

 

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rainbow by joe michael

Photo of the Day: Blinded by Rainbows

Here is one blindingly brilliant rainbow captured yesterday, March 29, from northeast Bainbridge Island by Joe Michael.

Joe used his Nikon 300 lens with a slow shutter to capture the stunning arch of colors caused by the refraction and dispersion of sunlight by rain.

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rainy bainbridge street

Weather: Seattle’s Wettest March on Record Ain’t Over Yet

As of yesterday, March 29, the Sea-Tac Airport weather station reported 9.44 inches of rainfall for the month, the most rain recorded for March in Seattle since recordkeeping began at the downtown Federal Building in 1891.

Yesterday’s precipitation tally exceeds the 1950 record of 8.40 inches by over an inch and vastly exceeds the March average of 3.92 inches.

More rain is expected this evening into early Monday morning, possibly spiking the record even higher.

Seattle’s average annual rainfall is 38.39 inches. This year, January started out dry, but wet weather in February and March brought our total precipitation for the first quarter of 2014 to 19.25 inches, as compared with the average first quarter total of 12.79, according to Sea-Tac weather station data.

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Photo by Julie Hall.

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new chevron station

Chevron with Convenience Store and Upscale Eatery to Open at Former 76 Station Site

The closed 76 Station that has collected dust for nearly a year on High School Road near Highway 305 is under new ownership and getting ready to open with a major makeover.

Believe it or not, the owners, Car Wash Enterprises, are opening the new station as a second Chevron across from the existing one, which they also own. For the time being they are planning to keep both locations open.

The new Chevron, however, will offer a large convenience store with a unique twist—an upscale eatery inside. According to General Contractor Darrell Cooley, who runs Cooley Construction on Bainbridge Island, the establishment will be unlike anything he has seen: “I think it’s going to knock the socks off of Bainbridge. It should be really popular,” he told me.

inside new chevron stationCooley explained that the convenience store, Hungry Bear Market, will offer healthy, organic food options but that people looking to grab a bag of Cheetos will find what they want too. The noshery inside the Market will be a high-end deli called Jake’s Pickup, run by chef Jacob Angel. Jake’s will offer freshly prepared sandwiches with bread made on site, pizzas with homemade dough, soups, and vegetarian options with an emphasis on organic and local ingredients.

Cooley said the restaurant will cater to the “working man” on the fly but also provide seating for about 20 people looking to sit down and have a “fine meal.”

Cooley pointed out that since the closure of the convenience store on Madison Avenue several years ago, the Bainbridge core hasn’t had a place where people can grab and go.

inside new chevron stationAs for gas, the station will offer 14-16 state-of-the-art pumps. Laughing, Cooley told me that although the gas station and market aren’t open yet, people are driving up and hooking the pumps to their cars. “We are turning away drivers looking to get gas, telling them we’re not quite open yet!”

Cooley estimated that the new establishment will be open for business by about April 15.

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Photos by Sarah Lane and Darrell Cooley.

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strawberry hill proposed dog park

Park Board Seeks Input About Off-Leash Dog Sites at Upcoming Hearing

The Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park & Recreation District Board is holding a public hearing on April 3 at 6 p.m. at the Strawberry Hill Center to discuss off-leash dog parks.

According to the Park Board, plans for the Vincent Road off-leash site are currently off the table because of budgetary constraints. In leui of the Vincent Road park, the Park Board is offering four potential off-leash sites for consideration:

  1. Battle Point Park North: 1.5 acres off the east parking lot; view it here
  2. Battle Point Park South: 1.25 acres on high ground above the seasonal pond, and 2.9 acres if expanded to include the seasonal pond; view it here
  3. Strawberry Hill Park: 2.35 acres west of the play area; view it here
  4. Madison Avenue Tot Lot: a portion of this pocket park in downtown Winslow; view it here

The four proposed sites have been staked out for the public to view. Citizens will be invited to make comment at Thursday’s meeting following a staff presentation of the four locations.

The Park Board says it will not take official action at the meeting, but it anticipates that following community input, any or all of the above four options could be approved.

In an official statement about the hearing, the Park Board said, “This effort to find locations in existing parks for off leash dog areas is in response to community concerns about off leash dogs in parks. It is a follow-up to three public hearings held in 2012 on dogs in parks and potential off leash sites.  The intent of the upcoming hearing is to gather input on the above four locations.”

How to Submit Written Comments

Those unable to attend the meeting on April 3 can submit written comments by April 10, 2014, in the following ways:

  • Email Perry Barrett at perry@biparks.org
  • Mail to Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park & Recreation District, P.O. Box 10010, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
  • Drop off at Park District Administrative Office, Strawberry Hill Park, 7666 NE High School Road, Bainbridge Island, WA

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Image courtesy of Bainbridge Park District.

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Land Trust Native Plant Sale Coming up: Don’t Miss the March 31 Preorder Deadline!

This year marks the 25th anniversary of our beloved Bainbridge Island Land Trust (BILT). Help honor the nonprofit organization’s vital role in preserving beautiful Bainbridge at its annual Native Plant Sale. Preordering on-line runs to March 31. View the full native plant collection here. Click on the plant photos to read descriptions and needed growing conditions. Those who order ahead on-line will receive a free, pre-selected 4-inch potted plant.

The sale is April 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church at the corner of Highway 305 and Madison Avenue across the street from the fire station. Pick up your preordered plants there and/or buy from the day’s wide selection.

Landscaper and Bainbridge Island Land Trust Board member John van den Meerendonk will lead a class during the sale at 11 a.m. on the selection and use of native plants. Here are some highlights from Meerendonk of a few of the plants, not commonly available for purchase, that are offered at this year’s sale:

false solomon's seal

False Solomon’s Seal

False Solomon’s Seal (Smilacina racemosa) This absolutely lovely woodland perennial, a member of the lily family, has narrow, oval, opposite leaves that march up a 3-foot stalk topped by a plumed terminal cluster of small, whitish flowers, followed later in the season by a cluster of quarter-inch reddish berries. A perennial, it is often found in colonies in open woodlands where there is good organic woodland soil with a bit of moisture. It is common throughout the Pacific Northwest woodlands and seen along the trails of the Grand Forest and Gazzam Lake, always beautiful, never losing its charm. When blooming en masse it is stunning. Western Trillium (Trillium ovatum) is another lovely member of the lily family that is available at the sale.

Red Huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium) This rarely offered gem enjoys the shaded haunts of its cousin, the Evergreen Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum), which also is offered at the plant sale. Red Huckleberry is common in semi-mature to mature forests, thriving in the shade and biomass of large trees and most often growing out of old stumps and rotting logs. It has elegant angular green young stems with small oval leaves and delicate tasty red berries.  This woodland shrub is the real focus plant in the Moss Garden at the Bloedel Reserve and was a favorite of Mr. Bloedel.

Golden Iris

Golden Iris

Golden Iris (Iris innominate) This native iris is considered the most attractive among the native irises that grow in the Pacific Northwest. In the wild its color range can be considerable, from yellow to purple to light cream to apricot to light pink. But, arguably, the most beautiful color form is its golden hue—not to be confused with the invasive Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus). Golden Iris is evergreen and sprouts new leaves each spring. It thrives in sunny to partially shaded locations and does very well in a garden setting.

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Featured photo of Oregon Oxalis. Photos courtesy of BILT. 

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Posted in Community, Culture, Don't Miss This 1, Garden1 Comment

Rooster Head Falls from Sky

Possibly Chicken Little had good reason to conclude that “The sky is falling, the sky is falling” after seeing a decapitated rooster head careening Earthward.

A Bainbridge Islander and her boys recently discovered this head on the sidewalk near Wilkes Elementary School and shared their photo of it with Inside Bainbridge.

She said she heard that a mink had decimated a flock in the area. After seeing eagles overhead the day she encountered the rooster head she guessed that they may have been scavenging the carcasses. “This head may have fallen while an eagle was flying away with its meal,” she said.

Well, we’ll never know. Peace be with you, fallen soldier.

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chilly hilly cpr rescue ceremony

Citizens Who Gave Life-Saving CPR to Chilly Hilly Rider Honored at Fire Dept Ceremony

The Bainbridge Island Fire Department (BIFD) hosted a packed house at the Madison Avenue station tonight, March 27, to honor the fast action of three men who helped save the life of a fellow Chilly Hilly rider last month.

After summiting Halls Hill, approximately three-fourths of the way along the challenging 33-mile Chilly Hilly route, rider Brian Moran collapsed onto the roadway, his heart stopped. As luck would have it, riders trained in CPR were seconds behind him. Patrick Rugh, an EMT from Tacoma, and Joe Kimzey, the brother of a Bainbridge firefighter, spotted the fallen cyclist and immediately went to work administering CPR.

Moments later, cardiologist Roger Chan, who told me he was lagging behind his pack of riders from Olympia, topped the hill, saw Moran on the ground, and joined the rescue effort.

brian moran chilly hilly cardiac arrest

Roger Chan, Brian Moran hugging Joe Kimzey, Patrick Rugh

While BIFD emergency responders struggled to move through the throngs of Chilly Hilly riders, Rugh, Kimzey, and Chan worked together to keep life-saving oxygen flowing to Moran’s brain. Cardiologist Chan explained that having three people working on chest compressions and carotid pulse monitoring made the work far more efficient than if just one or two people had been administering CPR.

A fourth rider, Johnny Walker, who assisted in the citizen rescue effort was not able to attend tonight’s ceremony because of business travel.

Bainbridge Fire Marshal Luke Carpenter commended the efforts of the impromptu citizen rescue team, noting that “aggressive training in the community and workplace in King County has given them the highest survival rate in the nation—57 percent.”

brian moran family

Caroline Moran and kids

With his wife and three children, Moran traveled from Issaquah today to personally thank the people who saved his life.

After Chan, Kimzey, and Rugh accepted framed certificates from Bainbridge Fire Chief Hank Teran in recognition of their “prompt action in providing life-saving care,” Moran’s wife Caroline presented the men with flower bouquets, and Moran gave them each a hug of gratitude.

Rugh joked that he had helped save “the life of Brian,” eliciting laughs from the appreciative crowd.

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Photos by Julie Hall. Featured photo from left to right: Roger Chan, Joe Kimzey, Patrick Rugh, and Brian Moran.

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