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aerial video of sakai lland

Aerial Video of the Sakai Land

The Bainbridge Island Park District hopes to purchase 23 acres of land being offered by the Sakai family for a public multi-use park. The property contains the Island’s second biggest lake and represents the only remaining opportunity for a sizable park in the Winslow area, which is slated to contain 50 percent of the Island’s population. Currently Winslow only has 4 percent of our community’s parkland.

The Park District will determine specific active and passive uses for the land through a public input process. However, right now it must receive at least 60 percent approval on the Parks Proposition Bond 1 measure to purchase the land before the community decides how it wishes to utilize the open space. Ballots are due February 10, 2015.

Learn more about the Sakai land here.

A final tour of the property, on Madison Avenue across from the Aquatics Center, will be offered next Saturday, February 7, between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Visitors can park at the Aquatics Center.

For those unable to tour the Sakai land, here is aerial footage of it taken by Anson Brooks with a drone.

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number 10

IB’s Top 10 Stories in January 2015

Here are the 10 most-read articles Inside Bainbridge published in the month of January, 2015, in descending order:

  1. Family Says Abbott Will Not Survive Injuries from Biking Accident
  2. Former Manager of Ray’s Automotive Arrested
  3. Perspectives on Wednesday’s Rescue of a Man Who Jumped off the Ferry
  4. More Details on Biking Coach Jay Abbott’s Accident
  5. Big Changes Coming to Colman Dock Access Next Week (Blame It on Bertha)
  6. Another Person Jumps off Bainbridge Ferry
  7. Man Overboard on 9:40 Ferry From Bainbridge This Morning
  8. Three Teens Killed Early This Morning in Seabeck Car Crash
  9. Elves on the Rocks: What the Controversy Is About
  10. Accused Bainbridge Assailant Booked for Attempted Murder

Photo courtesy of Elliot Brown.

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pertussis cases graph

Pertussis on Bainbridge Now at ‘Outbreak’ Level

The Kitsap Public Health District has announced that an outbreak of pertussis, or whooping cough, is occurring in North Kitsap County, with most cases on Bainbridge Island.

Kitsap County typically has 14 recorded cases of pertussis annually, but in stark contrast it has already had 19 reported cases so far this year in January alone. Twelve of those cases are on Bainbridge and the other 7 in surrounding North Kitsap, with the majority showing up in school-aged children.

The disease can easily spread from an infected person through droplets in the air during talking, sneezing, or coughing. Those at greatest risk of becoming infected are people with close contact to someone with pertussis. Those who share eating utensils or personal care items (towels, toothbrushes, lip gloss, etc.) also are at heightened risk of infection.

“We are concerned because of the number of cases. The largest danger is to babies, because they are at risk for severe infection and have not yet been vaccinated for pertussis due to their young age,” said Dr. Susan Turner, Health Officer at the Kitsap Public Health District.

Symptoms

Children under one year also are especially vulnerable because their symptoms present differently and they are therefore less likely to be diagnosed. “Babies may not show the cough,” Turner said, “but they may show signs of difficulty breathing. Because of that, they’ll be less likely to eat and more fussy. They may even turn purple at times.” She advised parents with babies showing those symptoms to go to a doctor right away.

Typically the illness starts with symptoms similar to a common cold. Children suffering from pertussis often develop coughing fits, especially at night, giving a high-pitched “whoop” sound indicating that they are struggling to breathe between coughs. The disease can be very severe but is rarely fatal. Infants are most at risk of death.pertussis cases graph

Prevention

Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the disease. Vaccinated children and adults can still become infected with and transmit pertussis; however, the disease is less likely to be severe. Pregnant women are encouraged to get vaccinated, and children and adults should revaccinate every 10 years. The Health District encourages parents to check their children’s shot records to be sure they are up to date.

Treatment

Pertussis is generally treated with antibiotics, which are used to control the symptoms and to prevent infected people from spreading the disease.

Kitsap Public Health Recommendations

  1. People who live with someone infected with pertussis should seek immediate preventative treatment from a physician.
  2. Pregnant women and/or members of households with pregnant women or babies less than one year of age are advised to (a) seek preventative treatment right away if they have been exposed to pertussis, even if they are not experiencing symptoms; (b) seek medical care immediately if symptoms emerge; and (c) avoid settings where sick people may congregate.
  3. Individuals with a compromised immune system and/or members of households with someone with a compromised immune system should (a) seek preventative treatment right away if they have been exposed to pertussis, even if they are not experiencing symptoms; (b) seek medical care immediately if symptoms emerge; and (c) avoid settings where sick people may congregate.
  4. Anyone else who has been exposed to pertussis should (a) monitor for symptoms for 21 days; (b) avoid contact with babies and pregnant women; and (c) see a doctor immediately if symptoms occur.
  5. Those who interact with babies and pregnant women (such as daycare workers) are advised to (a) get updated Tdap vaccination and (b) if coughing, avoid pregnant women and babies and see a physician.
  6. School-aged children are at risk if they have come in close contact with a symptomatic person with pertussis. If your child has had such contact, (a) monitor them for symptoms; (b) if they develop a cough, keep them home and take them to see a doctor if the cough does not resolve promptly.
  7. The steps to prevent pertussis are the same as those that help reduce the spread of the cold and flu: covering coughs and sneezes with the crook of the arm (not hands), washing hands frequently and thoroughly, and staying home from work or school if sick.

Learn more about pertussis in Kitsap County here.

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Image courtesy of Kitsap County Public Health District.

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Pj LeDorze holding Seahawks jersey

Richard Sherman Sends Bainbridge Good Guy a Signed Seahawks Jersey

Bainbridge Islander Pj LeDorze became a media darling with one inspired act—pulling off his Richard Sherman Seahawks jersey and handing it to a boy next to him at the end of the dramatic playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. It’s a story you’ve probably heard parts of, but here’s more—much.

LeDorze’s act of kindness was not random; on the contrary, it was quite specific. He was seated directly in front of the McElravy family at CenturyLink Field during the feverish game that by turns put Packers and Hawks fans into ecstasy and agony, ultimately sending Seattle’s team to Super Bowl XLIX. The McElravys, who live in Leavanworth, are unusual. Mom, Pam, and eldest son, Devan, 14, are Seahawks fans. But Dad, Tim, and younger son, Austin, 12, are Green Bay Packers fans from way back when Tim grew up in Wisconsin.

During the playoff game, LeDorze, 35, noticed his “upstairs” neighbors because an aggressive Seahawks fan was cursing at Tim and Austin for rooting for the Packers. Among other things, the rabid fan used the “f” word. Determined to show a better side of Seattle, LeDorze, a confident and formidable presence, told the mean guy to shut up and engaged the father and son in an ongoing friendly conversation about the game and about football in general, elevating the dialogue to something more than your side/my side, a perspective distinctly lacking today in American culture.

When the game ended with a Seattle win in overtime after a stunning turn of events late in what had looked like a Packers clinch, LeDorze turned to his new young friend Austin. “We fist-bumped and shared a bro hug. He was handling his loss better than I was handling my win. I just pulled off my jersey—I was wearing it over my jacket—and handed it to him,” said LeDorze.

LeDorze told me his gesture was “not a conscious decision” and that he had been impressed with Austin’s composed acceptance of his team’s loss and just spontaneously gave him his shirt in the midst of the excitement. I asked LeDorze what happened next. “The kid was floored. At first he wasn’t sure what to do. Then he gave a big smile of gratitude, and everyone got very emotional. His mom was crying, and his parents hugged me,” LeDorze said.

Pj LeDorze with Austin McElravy at the Seahawks game

Pj LeDorze with Austin McElravy at the Seahawks game

Tim took a picture of LeDorze and his son with the jersey, but they didn’t exchange more than first names before the uproarious crowd quickly swept them apart.

LeDorze, a third-generation Bainbridge Islander who played defensive end and left tackle for Bainbridge High School, told me he never expected what happened next. Tim McElravy sent the photo and story to a reporter at King 5 News, and through social media “Pj” was tracked down by the following morning. A few Seattle media outlets covered the story, and so did NBC News.

But the story didn’t end there. Princess Cruise Lines contacted LeDorze with two offers. They gave him a ticket for their Seahawks cruise in June, a week-long Alaska excursion for hardcore fans, with Seahawks players aboard, trivia games, and other football-related events. The company also asked LeDorze to talk with people on camera at the Seahawks send-off parade on January 25. LeDorze said he got to joke around with fans and choose someone to give tickets to for the Seahawks cruise.

“I chose a great family. It was two young parents with a 13 or 14 month old. The boy was wearing a blue and green sweater knitted by his grandmother, and the father was wearing a similar Seahawks hat also knitted by her,” said LeDorze. “They were incredibly excited. They actually had been thinking about going on the cruise already. It was great to be able to give that gift. The people at the company are very Seattle. I enjoyed working with them. I’m most excited about the cruise. I’ve never been to Alaska.”Pj LeDorze with his Richard Sherman jersey

LeDorze’s decency, generosity, and good sportsmanship captured more than media attention. People from all over, including as far away as Cuba and Kyrzbekistan, contacted LeDorze to say how inspired they were by his gesture. “I haven’t had time yet, but I plan to answer every one,” he said. And when Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman heard the story after LeDorze did an on-air television segment, he promised to replace LeDorze’s gifted jersey with a new signed one, along with two signed Seahawks caps and a signed PlayStation 4 Madden NFL video game.

LeDorze invited me over to see his schwag. He plans to frame his signed jersey with an image of Sherman responding to the story on Facebook. This writer can attest to the fact that in his “man pad” LeDorze has plenty of unoccupied wall space to hang the jersey. He told me Sherman is his favorite player because he’s talented, confident, community-minded, and smart—a man looking ahead to his future who won’t “blow his money and burn out.”

LeDorze plans to give one of the hats to Austin’s Seahawks fan brother Devan McElravy, and the other hat will be a gift for LeDorze’s younger brothers, 9 and 11, to share. LeDorze said the signed video game will be something his brothers will have the opportunity to “pay forward” to someone of their choosing, just as he has done.

When I met LeDorze, his old friend Torgeir Troland had just flown in from Norway for the Super Bowl. The two met back in fifth grade at Ordway School on Bainbridge Island. I asked where they planned to watch the game, and LeDorze said he wasn’t sure which party they would end up at.

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 Photos courtesy of Tim McElravy and by Julie Hall.

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tofu section

‘Belly Brawl’ in the Safeway Tofu Section

On January 17 at 1:13 p.m. Bainbridge Police Officer Gary Koon responded to an assault report in the High School Road Safeway.

The woman who reported the incident said she had been shopping in the tofu section of the store when she was accosted by another woman. The first woman reported that the second was blocking the area with her cart. When the first woman said excuse me and reached for a package of food, the other woman reportedly became extremely agitated, aggressively pointing her finger in the first woman’s face and yelling at her. The woman who reported the incident said that the other woman had then pushed her with her body.

After the suspect went on shopping, the first woman tried to take photos of her and then reported the incident to the store manager.

When Officer Koon arrived, the first woman was shaking and crying. She said she was uninjured but very upset and had never been treated that way.

Officer Koon located the suspect in the store and asked her what had happened. She said the other woman had pushed her cart out of the way, bumping her in the stomach with it, and then reached for the tofu. She confirmed she had gotten angry and pointed her finger at her. She said her belly had touched the other woman’s belly during the interchange but denied deliberately pushing her.

The store manager said the tofu section is uncovered by video cameras. Officer Koon told both women he would write up a report and forward it to the prosecutor’s office.

Later that afternoon the suspect contacted Officer Koon to say she wanted to apologize to the first woman. He recommended she leave an apology note with the store manager.

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Photo courtesy of Brianna Laugher.

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Virginia Mason Bainbridge sign

Virginia Mason Bainbridge Adds Daily Urgent Care Service

As of this week Virginia Mason Bainbridge Island Medical Center on Winslow Way has expanded its urgent care treatment services for minor injuries and illnesses to seven days a week, with no appointments required. The Clinic is now providing urgent treatment of nonlife threatening conditions from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

While patients have long been able to walk in for unscheduled treatment of illnesses and injuries at the VM Clinic, the facility has now made urgent care an official service by assigning a dedicated team of medical experts and expanding its hours.

“We often hear from patients who get sick or hurt on the weekends or evenings and want to come to Virginia Mason, or maybe it’s during normal business hours, but there are no appointments available,” said Catherine Edwards, MD, section head for primary care. “They don’t need to visit a hospital emergency department, but they do want to be seen quickly for treatment of a minor injury or illness and not wait for an appointment. Urgent care is the answer.”

Virginia Mason defines urgent care as treatment of nonlife threatening illnesses such as colds, the flu, ear aches, sore throats, migraines, fever and rashes, and minor injuries including sprains, back pain, minor cuts and burns, minor broken bones, and minor eye injuries. Individuals experiencing more serious or life-threatening medical emergencies should call 911.

Learn more at www.virginiamason.org/Urgent-Care.

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Photo by Sarah Lane. 

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hood canal

Pilot of Crashed Plane in Hood Canal Presumed Dead

After searching for more than eight hours near Seabeck for survivors of a plane crash that occurred at about 1 p.m. yesterday, January 26, in Hood Canal, the Coast Guard has suspended its search.

There have been no reports of a missing plane, but a debris field was found and search crews discovered a driver’s license identifying the pilot. They have notified the next of kin but are waiting 24 hours to release the pilot’s name.

“Our prayers and heartfelt wishes go out to the friends and loved ones of those affected by this tragedy,” said Lieutenant Raphael Sadowitz, the command duty officer at Sector Puget Sound. “We also extend our gratitude to the good Samaritans who were quick to report the incident and the local law enforcement personnel who aided in our search. Their efforts helped ensure our ability to swiftly find the location of the crash and thoroughly cover the surrounding areas.”

Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound launched two MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew, and diverted the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Henry Blake to search the crash site. Other agency responders included personnel from Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, Mason County Sheriff’s Office, and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

The weather conditions at the time of the incident were clear skies, 12 to 15 mph winds, calm 1-foot seas, an air temperature of 53 degrees Fahrenheit, and a water temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

The search is suspended pending further developments.

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Photo courtesy of Dave Walter.

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sportsman club road spine trail

Newly Extended Sportsman Club Road Spine Trail Adds Community Connectivity

With the latest segment now finished, the Sportsman Club Road Spine Trail is close to completion. Made possible by an easement donated from the Club, the new 700-foot-long portion of the Trail runs along the scenic Sportsmen’s Club pond on the east side of the road and through forest.

The Trail continues north past New Brooklyn to Woodward and Sakai Schools. A final small section will be added to extend the Trail south to High School Road. City of Bainbridge Island Engineering Manager Chris Hammer explained that the City had hoped to run the final segment to High School through the woods but was unable to obtain an easement so it will widen the shoulder instead. Once across High School Road, the Trail picks up along Bethany Lutheran Church all the way to Finch Road.

“This trail will have the capacity to serve a large population of school-age children, as it increases connectivity between New Brooklyn and High School Road and provides links to trails at Bethany Lutheran and both Sakai and Woodward schools,” said City Manager Doug Schulze.

Referring to the newly completed section, Hammer said, “It’s the nicest section of trail we have in there now; it cuts through the woods and past the pretty pond with benches.” The new trail is topped with fine sand compacted so it sheds water and makes for easy walking or riding.

The City paid contractor Wyser Construction about $40,700 to build the new section of pathway. Park District workers, Nonmotorized Transportation Committee members, and citizen volunteers built the north end of the trail a few years back. Hammer hopes more volunteers will complete the final shoulder widening and crosswalk markings at High School.

[Note: Due to a change with the latest version WordPress, the photo galleries have been deleted from all of our archived articles. We are working on getting them back up.]

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Photo by Sarah Lane.

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where pond by marilynn gottlieb

Name (and Find) That Bird: Silent Stalker

This double challenge comes courtesy of Bainbridge Island photographer Marilynn Gottlieb.

Can you find and identify this familiar species reflected in the Battle Point Park pond among the reeds and branches? It hangs around water and uses its blade-like bill to snap up smaller prey and stab large fish.

Click photo to enlarge (twice).

where pond by marilynn gottlieb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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lynwood expansion site aerial shot

New Mixed-Use Lynwood Center Development Proposed

The City of Bainbridge Island (COBI) is currently reviewing an application to develop a 5-acre mixed-use parcel in Lynwood that would include two inns, a restaurant, a park and market gathering place, commercial buildings, townhouses, and single-family homes.

The proposed project at Baker Hill Road and Point White Drive was submitted by Blue Moon & Roost Land Companies on December 10, 2014.

The public is invited to learn more and offer comment about the proposed development at a meeting today, January 26, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Pleasant Beach Village Marketplace.

The applicant describes the project as a “live/work village” that creates “a pedestrian-centric assemblage of buildings, landscaping, and public amenities” consistent with the Comprehensive Plan NSC zoning district.

The plan would extend the Lynwood Center commercial streetscape along Point White Drive with three mixed-use buildings housing a boutique hotel, a rooftop restaurant and bar, office space, and art-centered retail space. A Point White Market Plaza would accommodate the seasonal farmer’s market and art and community events. Behind the commercial front would be inn cottages and townhouses, as well as single-family units at the farthest northern segment of the land.

The site plan includes a pocket park, the retention of “the vast majority of existing significant trees,” and “protection and enhancement” of the wetland at the northwest corner of the site.

The company says it hopes to begin construction this April and aims to begin opening to residential occupancy by December of 2015 and business occupancy in November, 2016.

According to the developer, they wish to be good land and resource stewards but have not yet selected a green standard. They say they are considering One Planet, LEED, Living Building Challenge, and Built Green.

View the site:

proposed lynwood expansion site

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Aerial image courtesy of Blue Moon & Roost Land Companies.

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seattle skyline 12th man pete saloutos

Poll: Who Will You Cheer for on Super Bowl XLIX Sunday?

Remember last year when a frenzied fan left his/her engine running in an illegal spot near the Bainbridge ferry terminal on Super Bowl XLVIII parade day?

But not all of us are Seahawks fans, including a member of my (in-law) family who shall remain nameless.

Who will you cheer for next Sunday, February 1, starting at 3:30 p.m. PT (NBC)? Or will you be taking a serene walk with your dog that afternoon?

Tell us in our poll here or in the right column of our Home page.


Photo courtesy of Pete Saloutos.

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Julie's Guacamole

‘Fully Inflated’ Great Guacamole Recipe

We’re legally and figuratively pumped for the Super Bowl here in Seattle+. And that means getting ready to serve up plenty of guacamole.

Possibly you starved yourself in a suspended-animation stress-response to the Seahawks playoff comeback against the Green Bay Packers. Or, in another understandable stress-induced response, you overindulged in lordy knows what.

The good news is you have not had enough guacamole. Why? Because avocados are good-for-you food that neutralizes any possible overconsumption of, say, beer. Avocados are just healthy, delicious eats no matter what occasion, and, partnered with good chips, they provide the soul sustenance that intensely dedicated fans require.

So, as you plan your Patriot-butt-kicking Super Bowl XLIX party—large or small—get ready to serve up your best chips and dip.

Selecting Your Avocado Ambrosia

Probably the most important step is choosing your avocados well. Avoid underripe, hard, overly green ones. They just aren’t ready. If you do find yourself with hard avocados, you can speed up their ripening by placing them in a paper bag (this also is true of bananas and many other fruits, and, yes, avocados are a fruit). Time your purchasing and ripening with the day in mind, so they are in their prime of perfection when it matters. You will know if you’ve cut into an underripe avocado by its extreme firmness, stubborn refusal to separate from its skin, chewiness, and lack of flavor.

sliced ripe avocadosPossibly an even worse catastrophe is getting overripe avos. Unless you and your guests are the kind of people who like eating black bananas, overripe avocados are meant for the compost bin. Usually they are black, squishy, and/or have flat areas where the skin feels as if it is separated from the inner fruit when you hold them. When you cut into them, they are rotten inside, with brown spots. Another hazard of avocados is stringiness, which unfortunately is hard to predict until you get inside.

The perfectly ripe avocado is relatively firm but not hard, with give when gently pressed. It does not have to be black on the outside to be ready, since some types of avocados are naturally green.

Making Guacamole

There are many ways to make this sublime concoction, but it’s hard to go wrong with a few key ingredients. Once you’ve chosen your fruit well, the rest is easy. Here is our Go Hawks! great guacamole recipe. I love some green salsa in mine, but choose your brand wisely, as many green salsas are overly sweet.

Ingredients

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh or bottled—I’m not a stickler)
  • 2-3 diced green onions
  • salt (with sea or kosher salt) generously to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsps green salsa (recommended brands are Herdez and La Costeña)
  • Corn chips that are solid enough to not break in the dipping process and that are salty!

Directions

chips with guacamolePeel avocados. Mash up avocados in a bowl with a fork. Don’t oversquish them; it’s better to have some chunkiness rather than pureed mush. Mix in onion, lemon juice, green salsa, and salt to taste. I never measure when making guacamole, so adjust these quantities to taste. This recipe amount is fairly small, satisfying 2-4 gobblers. Double, triple, or quadruple it, as needed.

A note about freshness. Guacamole goes brown within hours and if possible should be prepared fresh before eating. If you must store it, sprinkle some extra lemon juice on top to help keep it fresh. Also, if you find yourself with half an avocado unused, keep it attached to the pit to make it last longer in the fridge.

[This recipe was published in different form on January 20, 2014.]

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Photos by Julie Hall, Nathan Borror, and Ilovemypit.

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girls softball

Spring Softball Clinics Start This Weekend

Yo Tweens (and your parents)! Softball season is batting up, and you are invited to show your stuff.

Softball Spring 2015 Player Pre-Evaluation Warm-Up Clinics

  • Who Should Attend: All players ages 10-12
  • When: January 25 and February 1, 6:15-8 p.m.
  • Where: Commodore Gym

Softball Spring 2015 Player Evaluations

  • Who Should Attend: All players ages 10-12
  • When: February 8, 6:15-8 p.m.
  • Where: Commodore Gym

Make-Up Evaluations

  • Who Should Attend: All players ages 10-12 who did not attend the February 8 Evaluations
  • When: February 15, 6:15-8 p.m.
  • Where: Commodore Gym

Learn more about Bainbridge Island girls softball here.

Blurry photo by Julie Hall.

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floating crane in eagle harbor

How This Rig off Our Shores is Making a Meadow and Why You Should Care

This floating crane at the mouth of Eagle Harbor is in the process of laying sediment for subtidal eelgrass meadow, extraordinarily rich marine habitat destroyed in decades past by the activities in the harbor at the Wyckoff Creosote Plant site.

Between 1903 and 1988, the Plant used creosote, a cancer-causing oily liquid, to pressurize and preserve wood. With plentiful supplies from the massive lumber mill operation also on Bainbridge Island, Wyckoff became one of the world’s leading producers of pilings. In addition to contaminating Eagle Harbor, a Superfund cleanup site, Wyckoff dredged two deep depressions in the seabed to make navigation channels to the site’s dock, wiping out large swaths of eelgrass.

preparing eelgrass for planting

Preparing eelgrass for planting

The work currently underway is phase two of the Milwaukee Dock Eelgrass Restoration Project, coordinated by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A 1.4-acre, -24-foot depression was previously filled and revegetated with eelgrass shoots transplanted from the rim of the depression. The second depression, -26 feet, is now being filled to prepare for a 1.6-acre meadow.

According to NOAA Restoration Center oceanographer John Kern, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently filling the remaining depression with a sublayer of pea gravel that they will cover with sand, shipped in by barge. The work began January 8 and is expected to continue through midFebruary. Eelgrass will then be replanted in the bed in late spring or early summer, its fastest growing season. To prepare for replanting, volunteers on land bundle the shoots onto landscape staples, which SCUBA divers place into the sediment. Kern said the bed is being set at -8 feet: “Ideally we wanted to go shallower, but there wasn’t sufficient funding.”preparing eelgrass for planting

Nevertheless, Kern is excited that the second half of the restoration project is underway. “Three acres is a big project.” He noted that the restored area will be an important piece of the ongoing Puget Sound Partnership project to increase eelgrass habitat in the Sound 20 percent by 2020.

The $3 million Milwaukee Dock Eelgrass Restoration Project is funded in part by Wyckoff assets that were turned over to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Suquamish Tribe, one of the trustees overseeing Eagle Harbor cleanup efforts, obtained a crucial grant of $1.76 million to cover the lion’s share of the project. The money came from the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) fund, an organization with a salmon restoration focus and broad ecological improvement objectives.preparing eelgrass for planting

Tom Ostrom, Salmon Recovery Coordinator for the Suquamish Tribe, pointed out the importance of the project for salmon recovery. “Chinook and Chum salmon in particular utilize near-shore eelgrass meadows in their early life span for feeding and as safe corridors for hiding from predators.”

Ostrom explained that the hope is the transplanted eelgrass will root in and spread throughout the bare areas. “The depth of these depressions is what has prevented eelgrass from growing. Because the surrounding eelgrass is so dense and so robust, it makes this site a prime candidate for restoration,” he said.preparing eelgrass for planting

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists will monitor the restoration site annually for at least five years to document how well the transplanted eelgrass is growing and to assess the overall success of the project.

Eelgrass Facts

  1. Eelgrass is a subtidal flowering plant.
  2. Eelgrass meadows are the base of numerous food webs.
  3. Eelgrass roots and rhizomes stabilize the seabed.
  4. Eelgrass meadows contribute crucial oxygen, both above and below the seabed.
  5. Eelgrass habitat is utilized for foraging, spawning, rearing, and as migration corridors by many commercially important fish and invertebrate species, marine mammals, and birds.
  6. Eelgrass mitigates ocean acidification by sequestering carbon.

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Lead photo courtesy of Paul Brians; eelgrass bundling photos courtesy of Tom Ostrom.

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Day Road West Business Industrial zone

Pot Shots: Two Prospective Cannabis Businesses for Bainbridge

The prospect of marijuana business on Bainbridge has caused quite a buzz here since Washington voters legalized recreational pot in late 2012.

The city’s decision to limit marijuana production, processing, and retail to business/industrial zones and Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) law requiring a minimum 1,000-foot buffer from schools and public parks basically left one small area on Day Road west of Highway 305 as the only viable place for cannabis to take root here.

Now one company, WayKool, is in the final stages of gaining both city and state authorization to launch a production and processing facility here, at 8040 NE Day Road. This week the City of Bainbridge Island (COBI) conditionally approved the company’s land use application. According to city planner Jennifer Sutton, provided WayKool meets its final site requirements it will be poised to receive final permitting from COBI any day now and soon thereafter a fully approved license from WSLCB.

What About Retail?

WSLCB designated up to one retail establishment for Bainbridge Island, and its lottery selected three winners to give pot sales a shot here. A company called Evergreen won the top place in the lottery, giving it first dibs on the Island. Evergreen applied for a permit to build on undeveloped land in the business/industrial zone where WayKool is leasing their space. However, Evergreen has run into a hitch. Their location, slightly farther west than WayKool’s, would be 750 feet from Manzanita Park, seemingly putting it in violation of the state’s buffer law. But WSLCB defines public parks as places for recreation that do not include trails, which are just about all Manzanita Park offers.

COBI objected to the state’s definition of a park as not including trails in a “Disapproval of Applicant” letter about Evergreen that it sent to WSLCB on December 17, 2014. In the letter COBI pointed out that most of the parks on Bainbridge include trails, and it requested that WSLCB accept its rational for denying Evergreen a license due to its location’s proximity to a city park.

It remains to be seen whether WSLCB will defer to the city’s authority in the matter or override its objection.

The plot thickens. The owners of the space WayKool will occupy have a permit to create a retail area adjacent to WayKool that is specifically for pot sales. As a producer and processor, under Washington State law WayKool cannot also run a retail business, which begs the question: Will Evergreen reapply for that location?

When I spoke with the owner of Evergreen he said he was not yet willing to comment on the issue but expects to be ready to go public with his plans in the next few weeks.

I asked Sutton if she knows who might lease the retail space next to WayKool, and she said it would have to be one of the three lottery winners, with Evergreen being first in the running if it can meet WSLCB’s requirements. Sutton pointed out that even if the state overrides COBI’s request to deny Evergreen its license for its current application location, it will be an arduous and time-consuming process for Evergreen to receive the permitting it will need to build on undeveloped land.

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Photo by Sarah Lane.

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Katie Vreedenburgh petting tigers in Thailand

BHS Grad in the Running to Host World Travel Series Needs Your Vote

Katie Vreedenburgh wants to show you the world. First she needs your vote to be chosen as the cohost of Global Degree, a web series featuring visits to the 195 countries of the United Nations.

The web show, recently picked up by the Discovery Channel, is set to begin its second season and looking for a female host to join the first season’s host Michael Graziano and videographer Alex Hennessey. Bainbridge High School graduate Vreedenburgh, 27, is in the running for the job, competing with 35 other young women for an adventure of several lifetimes and to share her travels with viewers.

Katie Vreedenburgh on Maui beach

Vreedenburgh in Maui

Vreedenburgh, who is currently working as a flight attendant, said she loves travel and is reaching out to her hometown of Bainbridge Island for votes to earn the role as cohost. “I’m not particularly interested in the fame aspect but more excited about the cultural experiences this opportunity would offer. People say there is a classroom and then a classroom of the world. I love the experience of meeting new people, seeing how they live, and putting myself out of my comfort zone.”

Vreedenburgh said she is excited that the show has decided to bring on a female cohost. “It’s a male-dominated field, and it shouldn’t be,” she told me. “Most travel shows are hosted by older men, often with a focus on food. We’re trying to focus on the culture and people.”

If Vreedenburgh is selected through popular vote (based on her video introduction), she would host the next five seasons of the show and become the youngest woman to visit all the UN countries, earning her a Guinness World Record. I asked her about the South American countries that have already been filmed, and she explained that the crew would go back and reshoot those locations with its female cohost.

Vreedenburgh in Quito, Ecuador

Vreedenburgh in Quito, Ecuador

View Vreedenburgh’s video here (scroll half way down the page to find her on the right). To vote for her, give her a Facebook “like” next to her video.

I asked her if she filmed her video on Bainbridge, and she said she happened to have a layover in Maui and had a friend help her shoot it there.

Global Degree has not set a date for the closing of the voting period, but Vreedenburgh has intel that it will be soon, so don’t wait to vote for the hometown girl.

Check out episodes of Global Degree here.

 

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Photos courtesy of Katie Vreedenburgh.

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kitsap transit bus with flat tire

City Bus Tire Goes BOOM, Slows Traffic on 305

Today at approximately 4:25 p.m. a Kitsap Transit bus blew its front left tire heading north on Highway 305 just north of Lovgreen Road.

The bus is currently under repair on the east side of the highway, marked off by traffic cones. Two-lane traffic is moving slowly around the bus.

No injuries were reported.

Residents in the area reported being startled by the resounding boom.

Kitsap Transit was not immediately available for comment on the situation.

Photo by Lynn Smith. 

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wenatchee ferry by Tobia Eigen (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tobiaseigen/)

Wenatchee to Resume Normal Sailing Schedule

The Coast Guard has cleared the Wenatchee ferry to resume its normal schedule starting on the 4:35 p.m. sailing from Bainbridge to Seattle.

The boat was pulled from its 2:55 p.m. sailing from Bainbridge and its 3:45 p.m. sailing from Seattle.

According to Washington State Ferries Communications Manager Hadley Rodero, concerns about a problem with the engine telegraph throttle led WSF to temporarily take the boat out of service. Rodero said a Coast Guard inspection cleared the boat for service.

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Photo courtesy of Tobias Eigen. 

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ferry

Bainbridge-Seattle Run Down to One Boat

As of 3:12 this afternoon, January 20, the Wenatchee ferry has been pulled from service on the Seattle/Bainbridge route due to “operational constraints.”

According to Washington State Ferries (WSF), the following sailings will be affected:

  • from Bainbridge Island: 2:55 p.m., 4:35 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
  • from Seattle: 3:45 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. sailings

WSF was not immediately available for comment, and we do not know exactly how those sailings will be “affected.”

Inside Bainbridge will publish more information as it becomes available.

Photo courtesy of Atomic Taco.

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gig harbor tornado path graphic

Tornado Hits Gig Harbor

The National Weather Service (NWS) has confirmed reports of a tornado hitting the Gig Harbor area on Sunday, January 18.

According to NWS Seattle office meteorologist Josh Smith, the tornado touched the ground at approximately 2:18 p.m. for 10-15 minutes. Its path began 4 miles west-southwest of Gig Harbor and traveled 4.1 miles east. Its maximum width stretched 175 yards, with winds up to 110 miles per hour.

The tornado caused no human injuries or deaths but destroyed trees, tore off roofing panels and canopies, sucked up a skylight cover, and stirred up some kayaks.

Smith explained that NWS radar picked up storm activity in the area, but from 5,000 up the data was inconclusive so NWS staffers visited the site to evaluate the storm path and verified that it was a tornado. Its intensity was rated EF1, on an increasing scale from EF0 to EF5. About 80 percent of tornadoes are rated at EF0 or EF1 levels.

Washington averages 2-3 tornadoes a year. I asked Smith if he has seen an increase in tornado activity in our area relating to climate change, and he said to his knowledge there has not been a change. The cooling effect off the Pacific Ocean has a mitigating influence on climate change impacts in the Northwest.

Smith said this is the first tornado in Western Washington this year.

View the storm path graphic:

gig harbor tornado path graphic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Graphic courtesy of NWS.

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Alvin Molloy Jen Pells
Hyla Vote Yes for Parks