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kestrel by jay wiggs

Name That Bird: The Littlest Falcon

This colorful, feisty raptor is the smallest falcon in North America. Often seen in the Pacific Northwest in open spaces along roads, on wires, and in meadows and farmland, this graceful flyer helicopters on the wing and catches a variety of large insects, small rodents, and occasionally small birds on the ground or sometimes in flight.

This dynamic, attractive bird can see ultraviolet light, enabling it to detect urine trails of rodents, such as voles, one of its primary food sources. Weighing less than 4 ounces, often this bird is prey for larger hawks, owls, crows, and even snakes.

Can you name this impressive fierce little falcon? Tell us!name that bird by jay wiggs

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spooky creatures Pele and handler Nancy LeMay

Photos courtesy of Jay Wiggs; photo of Nancy LeMay holding bird by Julie Hall.

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jim whiting

All-Comers Coach Jim Whiting Hits the Stop Watch on His Final Run

Tomorrow evening, August 25, Jim Whiting is ending his 20-year run as the coach/manager of the popular summer All-Comers track meet series.

Whiting started the free weekly meets in 1995 shortly after moving to Bainbridge Island as a way to give back to the community and connect with other runners. But with the first meet, which attracted about 25 runners, the series took off in a direction that surprised its founder.

“I thought it would appeal to adults, but from the get go it was obvious the main constituency was kids,” said Whiting. “I instituted age divisions starting with 5 and under, but once again I was wrong.” Before long, 3 and under was the youngest age category. “There were times I was looking at 36 little girls 3 and under taking off down the track,” said Whiting. “It turned out to be very positive that it became a kid-oriented event.” The average age of participants is 6.

Another early adjustment Whiting made was to retire the starter pistol because it made some kids cry. “After the second or third meet it was, ‘On your marks, get set, go!’” Whiting conceded that with about 70 races per meet and 8 or 9 meets each summer his voice is pretty hoarse by late August, in evidence in our conversation.

jim whiting all comers

Whiting Coaching All Comers. Photo by Marilynn Gottlieb.

He estimates he started about 10,000 individual races through his tenure running All-Comers. As the meets became more popular, attracting some 150-160 kids each week, an efficient finish-line system of clocking and recording times became essential. Whiting explained that he had help from volunteers, including from Paul Benton, an accomplished runner in his own right and an assistant coach for the Bainbridge High School Cross Country team. Benton will take over running the All-Comers meets next season, with sponsorship from the Bainbridge Island Kiwanis.

Previous sponsors include the Bainbridge Park District and local business Bainbridge Self-Storage. Whiting expressed gratitude to all three organizations for their vital assistance in making All-Comers possible over the years.

Although he’ll be resting his voice and visiting his three grandchildren more often after stepping away from All-Comers, Whiting is not hanging up his coach’s whistle. He still coaches the Blazers, the Park District’s running program for middle schoolers. Whiting started coaching the Blazers in 2008 with about 30 kids. Last season the program had 80 participants, and more are expected this fall.

The Blazers are close to home for Whiting, who describes himself as the kid always picked last for sports until he discovered running in junior high. He is thrilled that this fall three kids from the Blazers will be runners at Whitman College (his alma mater): “It blows my mind that kids who were in Blazers are now in college.”

As for his All-Comers kids, Whiting told me he doesn’t have records from the early years but it’s possible that second-generation kids have participated in the meets.

Author of some 170 children’s nonfiction books and editor of 300 more, Whitman said, “I look back on my life, and All-Comers and Blazers have been some of the most satisfying things I’ve done.”

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Lead photo courtesy of Jim Whiting. Other photo courtesy of Marilynn Gottlieb.

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Christina Albrecht Tinling

Forum Moderator Talks About ‘Bainbridge Islanders’ and Its New Bad Sibling

Even the most active participants of the Facebook forum Bainbridge Islanders don’t have the dedication to monitor every comment of every thread of the buzzing nearly 3,000-member conversation. But as the group’s administrative lead moderator, Christina Albrecht Tinling, sees it all—the good, the bad, the ugly, and just about every nuance in between.

Tinling joined the Bainbridge Islanders admin team as an assistant last December and took over as the main moderator in early March when the forum’s founder Marilynn Price Mitchell decided she had had enough of the bad and ugly and informed the small assistant administrative team that she was deleting the entire forum unless someone was willing to take it off her hands. Tinling told me she believed too much in the value of the forum as a community resource to let it go, so she stepped into the unpaid volunteer role, well-aware that Mitchell had been burned out both timewise and emotionally.

Tinling didn’t pull punches in telling me about the down side of the work. She regularly deals with anger, hurt feelings, complaints, attacks, and legal threats. She said the negative feedback outnumbers the positive by 10 to 1, especially when the conversation gets what she calls “hot” over controversial topics.

Case in point was a conversation thread last week that Tinling said heated up “in the wake of impending bulldozers” to clear forested land for the Visconsi mall. She told me the person who posted the original comment had raised very good points and that she had written him to ask that he tone down part of his comment that violated the forum’s Dos and Don’ts guidelines. She said the conversation had been a very valuable one that had garnered over 100 comments. Then it was mysteriously deleted. In response, Tinling temporarily took over exclusive control of the admin powers. And then she had a lightbulb moment.

She launched a no-holds-barred “bad sibling” splinter forum of Bainbridge Islanders. “At first there was serious blowback and the reception was static-y,” said Tinling. There was a debate about the new forum’s name and then a debate about the debate. She told the group to go with it, saying, “orangutans are skeptical of changes in their cages.” Eventually the name Radio Free Bainbridge was settled on, and things calmed down.

When I spoke with her a day or two after she started Radio Free Bainbridge, Tinling seemed practically giddy at the prospect of a place where locals, including herself, can spout off completely without moderation. ”Get your togas on and take it to the [Radio Free Bainbridge] forum,” she told Bainbridge Islanders. But Tinling is equally relieved at the prospect of taking off the pressure from Bainbridge Islanders, which she describes as “the front porch of the Island general store.” She explained: “I hold the group very lightly; I don’t like intervening and enforcing. But when a political thread gets hot each new comment bumps it to the top, and the regular practical helpful stuff gets buried.”

I mentioned that in the short time since Radio Free Bainbridge launched I had noticed people quit in disgust and then rejoin. Tinling laughed and said she calls that a “rage quit,” a phrase her kids use to describe a frustration moment during videogaming.

I asked Tinling how she handles the logistics of moderating Bainbridge Islanders. A mother of four, she told me she fits 95 percent of maintaining the site into little pockets throughout her day, mostly from her smart phone. Once a week she spends a few hours at her laptop evaluating and approving requests for membership in the forum. The criteria is not always clear cut. Tinling tries to determine what connection each person has to Bainbridge Island if they don’t live here. People with strong ties to Bainbridge, like those who work here, are obvious approvals. Others are a judgment call.

As for why she does it, Tinling said the rewards are closely tied with the challenges of the job. She said helping people work through hurt and alienation with empathy is her biggest reward—that and those two little words, “thank you.”

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Photo of Christina Albrecht Tinling by Julie Hall.

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WSF Eagle Harbor Repair Facility

Tacoma Ferry out of Service Until at Least December

Washington State Ferries (WSF) has announced that they now know the cause of the Jumbo Mark 11 Tacoma ferry’s sudden breakdown on August 8, which threw the crucial regional transportation system into chaos for days.

The repair contractor, Siemens Marine Solutions, reported that a fuse blew in the vessel’s propulsion control system. WSF said the blown fuse occurred “without indication to the operating engineers, triggering a chain of events that led to the power failure.”

WSF Communicatios Director Marta Coursey said the Tacoma is expected to remain out of service until at least December, 2o14.

WSF is continuing to review the cause of the incident and what to do about it. “A Board of Inquiry, WSF’s highest level of investigation, convened this week and expects to complete their work once the vessel repair is complete,” said Coursey.

The Tacoma is docked in Eagle Harbor at the WSF repair facility. It was sitting lit up last night, visible from the ferry terminal landing.

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Photo by Julie Hall. 

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forest at 305 and High School

Letter from the Editor: After the Death of a Forest ‘Memory Becomes the Exercise Against Loss’

 

Memory becomes the exercise against loss.             

—Ruth Stone, from her poem “Against Loss” in Simplicity

This week Ohio-based Visconsi Companies clear-cut the 8-acre forest ecosystem at the corner of High School Road and Highway 305 to make way for the erection of a widely protested mall.

What is a mere 8-acre forest? To many it has become a symbol of something much bigger than a small wooded habitat. It has come to represent what is being lost every day across our Island and across the planet—”wild” places, biodiversity, a stable climate, animals, life-giving trees and soil, shade, clean water, peace, natural beauty, and something less tangible—a moral code between the human species and the natural environment that is our home. We can fence it, cut it, burn it, and bury it under concrete in the defunct name of “progress,” but we will never own it. Rather we owe it our lives.

In geological time nature will have her way. But in the meantime, for our children and grandchildren, may this be a lesson for all of us to stand up and give our home the reverence and care it requires so in turn it can sustain us, as we require.

Bainbridge Island’s Comprehensive Plan is updated every 20 years. The revision process takes two years and has just begun for the next version of our Plan. We all need to get involved to make sure the Plan is backed by clear policy and legal muscle.

It can be easy and sometimes less painful to forget what has been lost. Here are photos of the forest as it was early this summer. May they stand as documents against forgetting.

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

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forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

forest at 305 and High School

Trees slated for cutting

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 Photos by Julie Hall. 

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seahawks fans in ferry terminal

Ferries Advisory for Tonight’s Seahawks Game

WSF anticipates increased foot traffic on the Seattle/Bainbridge Island ferry route today, August 22, because of a Seahawks preseason game tonight at home at CenturyLink Field at 7 p.m. against da Bears.

WSF Advice

  • Pre-purchase walk-on return ferry tickets on-line or at a kiosk.
  • Sign up to receive WSF travel alerts.

WSF Operations Plan

To help mitigate obvious burdens on the already burdened Washington State Ferries (WSF) system, WSF has set up an operations plan for today.

  • They have increased staff at the Seattle, Bainbridge, and Bremerton terminals to help load and count passengers.
  • They have added an extra sailing on the Sealth this evening (10:15 p.m. out of Bremerton and 11:30 p.m. out of Seattle).
  • Terminal supervisors will remain onsite until the event ends.
  • Managers will be present at all terminals.
  • They have increased communications to help customers plan ahead and stay informed during heavy traffic.
  • They will provide detailed travel alerts.
  • They will provide a visual paging system and intercom announcements.
  • They are working with media to help keep customers informed.

Bainbridge-to-Seattle Sailing Schedule Today 

The 202-vehicle/2499-passenger vessel Puyallup is scheduled to depart Bainbridge Island at 2:55 p.m., 4:35 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. The 202-vehicle/2499-passenger vessel Wenatchee is scheduled to depart Bainbridge Island at 2:05 p.m., 3:50 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.

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Photo by Sarah Lane.

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pregnant doe

Wildlife Shelter Issues Watch for Displaced Wildlife During Visconsi Clear-Cut

Bainbridge Island’s West Sound Wildlife Shelter has issued a statement to the public warning people about wildlife displaced and/or injured by the destruction of the forest habitat at High School Road and Highway 305 today, August 20, as the land is rapidly clear-cut by feller bunchers.

The Shelter anticipates animals running onto nearby roads, including Highway 305, to avoid the machinery. They ask citizens who see or find animals in need to contact the shelter at 206-855-9057.

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Photo by Julie Hall.

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tree sit chiara d'angelo

Poll: Lessons from a Tree Sitting?

Bainbridge Islander Chiara D’Angelo, 19, drew media attention that reached a national level this week with her 40-hour tree sit in a forest slated for clear-cutting starting this week by commercial developer Visconsi Companies.

Locals rallied around the young activist, decrying the planned mall’s immoral destruction of a living ecosystem and its unwanted sprawl, both in violation of Bainbridge Island’s Comprehensive Plan. Others dismissed the action as a media stunt, citing the fact that the land had been designated for commercial purposes for years and welcoming the addition of the commercial center to the Island’s shopping options.

What, if anything, did you take away from the tree sit? Tell us what you think about it in our new poll.

 

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Photo by Julie Hall.

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Key Bank/ Visconsi Protest Rally Photo Gallery & Video

The final rally around Chiara D’Angelo’s tree sitting yesterday evening drew over 150 people, including numerous community leaders who spoke out in support of the 19 year old’s political activism against a profit-driven corporate value system that sacrifices natural resources and strips communities of sustainable quality of life. (Read more about the rally here.)

D’Angelo said her actions were meant to inspire community activism and spur change. In that spirit, the rally took on a meaning and life of its own, with people of all ages speaking about implementing change to prevent future destruction of natural habitat on Bainbridge Island and more broadly.

Here is a video of rally goers:

Here are photo highlights of the rally:

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kids at rally

Young speakers

young speakers at rally

young speakers at rally

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visconsi go away

visconsi go away

Debbi Lester

Debbi Lester

Debbi Lester

Ron Peltier

Ron Peltier

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Photos and video by Julie Hall.

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chiara d'angelo

Community Rallies Around Tree Sitter as She Faces Possible Arrest

Since shimmying 70 feet up a Doug fir in the wee hours yesterday morning, August 18, Chiara D’Angelo has spurred an unquiet little revolution on the road that cuts through the heart of the forest slated for clear-cutting this week by commercial developer Visconsi Companies.

Since her ascent, in the last two days a steady stream of people has walked down the wooded road to see the girl in the tree. A rally yesterday afternoon drew 100 people who took their message to the corner of Highway 305 and High School Road, where they chanted, danced, and displayed signs of resistance. Before that a protest vigil last Saturday drew a crowd of about 80.

At last count over 150 people had rallied around D’Angelo this afternoon. The mood was uplifting but also more serious as protestors and community leaders spoke, often eloquently and powerfully, about the symbolic importance of D’Angelo’s act and the need to translate it to reform of pro-development business as usual on Bainbridge and to protect our most valuable resource—nature and its life-giving abundance.

Debbi Lester

Former Bainbridge Island City Council member Debbie Vann spoke of the repeated failure to pass a tough tree ordinance because of resistant city staffers. She emphasized the need for council leadership in creating laws that protect our community’s natural environment and bemoaned a lack of such leadership in the last decade.

Islanders for Responsible Development founder Ron Peltier detailed the long fight against the commercial development, citing the unanimous decision against it by the Planning Commission, which he said is meant to uphold the tenets of the Comprehensive Plan. He emphasized that the role of the city’s planning department is to support the citizen commission, not the other way around.

young speakers at rallyEnvironmental activist Erika Shriner praised D’Angelo’s work against climate change and coal-generated energy, telling the crowd that the young woman had many more projects to turn to next.

Last year’s outgoing council member Debbi Lester addressed the crowd passionately, saying, “Our silence makes this [environmental destruction] happen. Protection of our natural habitat is in our Comprehensive Plan; now we just have to codify it.”

Young members of the crowd said that trees are better than malls and they hope the trees cut down will grow back.

comp planD’Angelo herself said that during her time in the canopy she felt energy from the trees around her like never before. She said, “I’m up here so you all can be seen. It’s time to start living to the fullest.” She continued by recounting something her grandmother told her. “There are low dreams and high dreams. The low dreams are where everything goes wrong. The high ones are where we can swim underwater and fly and anything is possible. We have to start living those high dreams.”

During the rally D’Angelo reported to the crowd that a representative from Visconsi had called to inform her that if she got down from the tree by 7:30 tonight the company would not press charges against her for trespassing. She said she did not trust Visconsi to hold true to their offer without it in writing.Ron Peltier

Visconsi had previously given D’Angelo a deadline of 4 p.m. yesterday, which they extended to 4 p.m. today.

Time will tell when the girl in the tree will come down and what the view from below will look like.

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Photos by Julie Hall.

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tree sitter chiara d'angelo

Bainbridge Tree Sitter Gets 24-Hour Reprieve (w/ Photo Gallery)

Bainbridge Island’s 19-year-old tree sitter, Chiara D’Angelo, will not be arrested today, August 18.

Bainbridge Police Deputy Chief Jeffrey Horn said this morning that Visconsi Companies had asked the department to arrest D’Angelo as a trespasser if she had not vacated the area today by 4 p.m. D’Angelo set herself 70 feet up on a platform in a tree at approximately 3 a.m. today to “block” Visconsi’s clear-cutting of forested land at the corner of High School Road and Highway 305 to build a commercial center.

But at approximately 2:15 p.m. today, City of Bainbridge spokesperson Kellie Stickney told Inside Bainbridge that the deadline for D’Angelo had been extended 24 hours to tomorrow at 4 p.m., meaning that her presence in the tree will not be regarded as trespassing before then. Stickney said, “The city is hoping this will have a peaceful resolution that will not result in an arrest.”

D’Angelo was in good spirits early this evening as a crowd gathered in support of her protest of destroying an ecosystem of over 800 trees and inhabitants.

A crowd formed around D’Angelo’s Douglas fir at 3:30 this afternoon and then gradually made its way to the southeast corner of High School Road and Highway 305, where citizens joined together to sing “All we are saying is give trees a chance” and danced in a circle in a show of solidarity with D’Angelo. Passersby in vehicles and on bicycles showed their support with thumbs ups, waves, and horn toots.

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tree sitter chiara d'angelo

tree sitter chiara d'angelo

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Photos by Julie Hall.

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house at forest to sky trail

House Falls from Sky at Forest to Sky Trailhead West?

Three houses, to be precise, 70 feet long apiece, are sitting in front of the Forest to Sky Trail west entrance today, August 18, as if they fell from the sky.

In fact, the houses were pulled in (rather miraculously) this morning from Tolo Road, where they took out a phone box making the turn. They are sitting along the private drive that connects Tolo to the southeast corner of Battle Point Park, next to the west entrance of the Forest to Sky Trail.

You don’t see that every day, said a trail user with her husband and dog.

Indeed for those of us acquainted with the narrow, wooded pathway at the trailhead, the houses are quite a sight. They are headed to an adjacent property with a foundation currently in place, where they will be set as a triple-wide home, assuming the construction crew can maneuver them out of the woods.house forest to sky trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photos by Julie Hall.

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tree sit chiara d'angelo

Girl up a Tree to Save a Forest; Visconsi Set to Pull Her Down and Jail Her

Chiara Rose D’Angelo, 19, is sitting 70 feet up a Douglas fir tree on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Dappled sunlight is streaming through the canopy today, August 18, and D’Angelo is listening to the birds, squirrels, deer, and other animals that live in the woods around her.

A team of professionals secured a 10′ x 4′ platform in the tree and helped D’Angelo onto it early this morning in a gesture of protest against the clear-cutting of some 840 trees on High School Road and Highway 305. An Ohio-based developer, Visconsi Companies, is scheduled to begin cutting trees there today or tomorrow to make way for the construction of a shopping center. Visconsi intends to begin clearing once it receives forest practices permission from Washington’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), approval that DNR spokesperson Larry Fry said would be provided today.

chiara d'angelo in treeThe planned commercial complex includes a Key Bank, relocated from its existing building across the street, and most likely a Walgreens, medical offices, and other retailers. The commercial project has been the subject of hot community debate on Bainbridge Island for over a year. A grass-roots citizen uprising against the proposed development; the unanimous vote against the plan by the city Planning Commission; a legal challenge before Bainbridge Island’s Hearing Examiner; broad popular opinion citing traffic, safety, empty existing retail spaces, and business redundancy problems; and a boycott all lacked the needed leverage to successfully oppose the project, which many locals believe violates the basic principles of the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

The majority—over 65%—of 467 respondents to an Inside Bainbridge poll disapproved of the commercial project.

IMG_2691Determined to keep fighting the mall, Chiara D’Angelo and her mother Debra D’Angelo organized a protest/vigil gathering last Saturday night, August 16. Some 80 citizens joined together with signs and candles to express their opposition to the destruction of the land for commercial purposes. People of all ages gathered in the existing Key Bank parking lot and then walked across the street to stand among the trees slated for cutting. Standing in a “circle of unity,” members of the crowd expressed a range of reasons for opposing the impending complex.

D’Angelo explained that she is doing the tree sit “to create more time for the community of Bainbridge to move into action and voice its opposition to this unsustainable development.” The tree sit, believed to be the first in Washington since 1999, is part of a larger campaign of resistance that also includes a growing boycott pledge and protest calls and letters directed at Key Bank, believed by many to be the impetus behind the project.

chiara d'angelo in treeInside Bainbridge contacted Key Bank for comment on the tree sit. Public relations spokesperson Drez Jennings provided the following statement: “We understand and respect the strong feelings held by some Island residents, however they choose to express those feelings. For our part, we want to emphasize that KeyBank’s new branch will replace an existing commercial building. We are tenants in the shopping center with the same standing and influence as other businesses that locate in the shopping center. We are not a driving force in its development, which will be built regardless of any action taken by us or any other tenant. We are not financing the development. We look forward to serving our clients in a new branch office that will be constructed to be energy and environmentally efficient, and in strict accordance to zoning requirements.”

Bainbridge Island Police Deputy Chief Jeffrey Horn said about D’Angelo’s tree sit, “We don’t want to make it about us. Her well-being is most important. We want a peaceful resolution like everybody else.” Officers were present this morning, and members of the Bainbridge Island Fire Department also showed up to ensure D’Angelo’s safety.

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Protest/vigil

Deputy Chief Horn and Police Officer Mo Stich explained that Visconsi Companies has asked for enforcement of a trespass order against D’Angelo if she does not vacate the premises by 4 p.m. today. As of 2 p.m., a “cherry picker” machine was on site with its engine running.

D’Angelo is a third-generation Bainbridge Islander and Bainbridge High School graduate who attends Western Washington University. Her grandfather worked as a ferry captain for 50 years, and her grandmother worked at Streamliner Diner to raise her children.

A rally is scheduled for 3:30 today at the site off High School Road on the road to ProBuild to show solidarity with D’Angelo.

Want to join the protest?

No Sprawl Key Bank/Visconsi

Protest/vigil

  • Write Key Bank: Beth Mooney, Chairperson and CEO, KeyCorp, 127 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44114-1306.
  • Call Key Bank: 800-625-3256
  • Sign the boycott: pledge.

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 Photos by Julie Hall.

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osprey rescue at battle point

Battle Point Osprey Falls From Nest, Gets Rescued—Twice (w/ Photo Gallery)

At 9:30 Friday morning, August 15, a fledgling osprey fell some 120 feet out of its nest from the platform above the Battle Point Park water tower. Bainbridge Island Park District workers spotted the young osprey on the ground a little ways north of the water tower, where it was flapping around, apparently unable to fly up to return to its nest.

Concerned that a dog or other predator might attack the juvenile raptor, Park workers called West Sound Wildlife Shelter (WSWS) for advice. The Shelter instructed them to wrap the bird in a sheet, place it in a box, and bring it over, which they did. Shelter staff determined that the bird was uninjured, probably because it flapped its way down as it fell.

WSWS Operations Manager Lynne Weber recruited help from Shelter volunteer Kathleen White and Park District staffer David Harry. White and Harry climbed up to the top of the water tower and then lifted the bird in an animal carrier hanging by a rope to the landing at the base of the water tower’s holding facility. They then climbed the rest of the way to the top of the round structure and released the bird.

After climbing down three different ladders to safety, the two joined the rest of the rescue crew to observe the bird. White described the osprey as being in mild shock, panting a bit with its eyes dilated but basically okay when he released it. The bird sat for several minutes, then flapped its wings and flew to a nearby tree in the park, where it made a wobbly landing.

White, unperturbed by heights, said it was yet another amazing experience she has had as a volunteer at WSWS. Harry explained that he used to work as a park ranger in Stehekin and was experienced with catch and release work, often involving large animals such as bear, deer, and owls. He said he had quit the work because so often the cases of animals needing assistance ended up tragically. “I got tired of animals dying. They would be so far gone I’d have to put them down,” he explained.

Weber said she was pleased that the young osprey had flown, and everyone gave it well wishes to continue its process of learning to fly.

However, later that day the bird was found again at Battle Point Park struggling on the ground. Weber said it was clear at that point that the bird was unable to fly upward and was in danger on the ground, so it is now in the care of the Shelter. Weber hopes the bird will learn to fly within the safety of WSWS’s large flight cage. Once it has mastered flying up as well as down it will be fit for release back to its home at the park so it can accompany its parents in September when they depart for their migration to Central America for the winter.

This is the second young osprey the Shelter has taken into its care this season. The first was a baby that had been grabbed by a marauding eagle. The osprey parent gave chase, and the eagle dropped the baby. The Shelter does not know where the baby’s original nest was, but it has plans to place the bird in an osprey nest in Poulsbo in the hope that it will join that family and migrate with it. It is not uncommon for young osprey to visit other nests and for parents to care for juveniles from other families.

WSWS needs a machine to lift the young osprey into the Poulsbo nest. If you can help, please contact them at 206-855-9057.

Here are photos of the rescue process.

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battle point park water tower osprey rescue

battle point park water tower osprey rescue

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osprey rescue at battle point

osprey rescue at battle point

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Photos by Julie Hall.

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No Sprawl Key Bank/Visconsi

Crowd Gathers for Key Bank/ Visconsi Protest

Some 70 people spent their Saturday evening, August 16, joined together to say no to the planned commercial development at High School Road and Highway 305.

Organized on short notice by college student Chiara Rose and her mother Debra D’Angelo, the protest, referred to as a vigil, drew people of all ages to the parking lot of Bainbridge Island’s Key Bank, believed to be the anchor business of the proposed future commercial center.

Wearing hats sporting “No” and carrying homemade signs, the crowd made its way across the street to stand with the forest of some 840 trees slated for clear-cutting. Protestors gathered in a circle on the small road that cuts through the land and leads to Lumberman’s.No Sprawl Key Bank/Visconsi

Rose led the gathering, sharing her dismay at what she described as an unneeded shopping complex that threatens the resilience of the natural landscape and character of her Bainbridge Island home, a place where she has deep family roots including a grandfather who served as a ferry captain for 50 years. Chiara said, “I think there is a lot of potential to keep this Island the way that we want it, authentic, and also more connected and cohesive than it is now.”

D’Angelo told the crowd that there is a great number of Bainbridge residents who object to the shopping center. “This isn’t over,” she told me emphatically.

No Sprawl Key Bank/VisconsiAs the group formed a circle amid the trees slated for destruction, numerous people stepped forward to voice their objections to the “development.”

Citizens shared concerns about what they view to be the project’s violation of COBI’s Comprehensive Plan and cited redundancy with preexisting Winslow businesses. Others bemoaned the loss of life-giving trees and animal habitat, as well as concerns about Bainbridge becoming just another generic commercially-dominated community. Still others expressed hope that the commercial center could still be prevented, citing other examples of successful community resistance to profit-based construction.

Boycott information.

visconsi protest

Debra D’Angelo and Chiara Rose

 

Photos by Julie Hall, except for candlelight final photo courtesy of Ron Peltier

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forest at 305 and High School

Key Bank/ Visconsi Forest Clearing Status + Vigil Saturday

Following the installation of clearing fences around the perimeter of the construction site for the planned commercial development on High School Road at Highway 305, the City of Bainbridge Island (COBI) issued a clearing permit to Visconsi Companies this week.

The next step for Visconsi is to obtain forest practice approval from the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR). South Puget Sound DNR Forest Practices Coordinator Larry Fry told me he received the request for a forest practice permit from Visconsi yesterday, August 15. He said now that COBI has provided its permit, DNR would likely provide theirs on a quick turnaround, by this Monday, August 18. Once Visconsi obtains its DNR approval it can begin clear cutting the forested land.

visconsi fencing by julie hall

Clearing fencing

A citizen group continues to fight the commercial center, citing environmental, safety, sprawl, and traffic problems and a fundamental violation of the spirit of COBI’s Comprehensive Plan. Stop Unwanted Development on Bainbridge Island is asking people opposed to the Key Bank/Visconsi plan to join its growing boycott of the shopping center and contact Key Bank immediately with their objections at 800-625-3256.

Vigil Tonight, August 16

Long-time Islanders Chiara Rose and Debra D’Angelo have organized a vigil for the land, to be held tonight beginning at 7 p.m. in the current Key Bank parking lot at 617 High School Road. D’Angelo, Rose’s mother, explained that when her daughter returned home from college she was devastated to learn of the planned development and believes it violates fundamental community values of the majority of people who live on Bainbridge Island.

Learn more about the vigil here.

Inside Bainbridge contacted Visconsi Companies about its intended schedule for the project, but they were not available for comment.

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Featured photo shows trees marked for cutting. Photos by Julie Hall.

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battle point park girl scouts by julie hall

Local Business Makes Donation to Replace Girl Scout Equipment Destroyed in Storm

Bainbridge Island girl scouts had an unpleasant surprise Wednesday morning, August 13, when they arrived at Battle Point Park to find that their camp site had been seriously damaged by stormy weather. Four of seven tent shelters were destroyed during the night by severe rain and wind.

Rene Hackl said that after learning on Inside Bainbridge about the damage his company Phytools LLC, a high-tech distributor in Winslow, would donate $200 to help cover the replacement costs of the ruined equipment.

About the donation, Program Director Jondra Stimson said, “Wow! What a generous gift. We weren’t sure what to do. We truly appreciate the support of our girl scouts and camp!”

The week-long program leaves its site up on the northeast corner of Battle Point Park throughout the session and spends one night sleeping over.battle point park girl scouts 2014

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Photos by Julie Hall.

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new westside pizza

Westside Pizza Moves, Expands, Offers Beer on Tap

Bainbridge Island’s Westside Pizza has new owners, with a new vision. That vision was just unveiled last Friday, when the greatly expanded ‘za joint opened its spiffy new doors to hungry customers.

Formerly located upstairs in a small spot in Winslow mall, Westside Pizza is now in the Safeway/Rite Aid commercial center in a stand-alone building it shares with Sunshine Frozen Yogurt at 323 High School Road.

According to Manager Reilly Callahan, the new eatery has gone from zero indoor seating to indoor capacity for 101 people. The new owners, long-time Bainbridge Islanders Mike Lynch and Tom Daniels, wanted to make the place more family friendly. In addition to relocating to a much larger and more centrally located space, the new Westside Pizza offers beer on tap, including locally brewed ale from Bainbridge Island Brewery. It also offers an expanded menu with more pizza and salad options.new westside pizza

The restaurant’s hours remain the same: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m-10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-midnight.

Westside Pizza is a regional chain, with some 20 locations, in Washington, California, and one in Idaho.

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Photos by Julie Hall. 

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different flower by Konrad Summers

Free IEP (Individual- ized Education Program) Parent Training Meeting August 25

Does your child have an IEP, or do you think s/he might need one? Find out what your rights are and how to exercise them on behalf of your child at a free training session on August 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bainbridge Public Library.

The evening program is presented by Bainbridge-based FFUSE (Friends and Family United in Support of Education) with PAVE, a nonprofit IEP-advocacy organization funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The program is designed to help parents be more effective in IEP meetings and secure their children’s rights to an appropriate public education.

Learn more about FFUSE.

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Photo courtesy of Konrad Summers.

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arms around bainbridge by pete saloutos

Get Moving with Arms Around Bainbridge This Saturday for a Great Cause

It’s not too late to sign up to get moving for your Island neighbors in need. Arms Around Bainbridge (AAB), a nonprofit Bainbridge-based organization dedicated to assisting recipients struggling with serious illness, is holding its biggest event of the year this Saturday, August 16, from dawn to dusk.

Swim, bike, row, walk, or cheer on participants in the 8th Annual AAB fundraiser. In addition to the relay swim around the Island and a rowing regatta in Eagle Harbor, participants can bike (or walk) in a new poker event.

Register here.

Poker Bike Ride (or Walk)

Enjoy a self-paced family-friendly bike ride or walk. Visit participating merchants to build your best poker hand. Along the way find prizes, bonus cards, and special merchant discounts. Don’t have a bike? You can still register for the poker event and visit participating businesses on foot. At the end of your ride or walk, bring your best poker hand to the after party to win the grand prize.

30-Mile Around-the-Island Open Water Relay Swim

arms around bainbridge by pete saloutosThe swim begins just before dawn (5:30 a.m.) in Blakely Harbor and finishes at dusk in the same location. It is a continuous relay around the perimeter of the Island, with one or more swimmers in the water at any given time. You must commit to a minimum of one continuous mile and be able to complete your swim in 40 minutes or less. Swimmers are accompanied by safety kayaks and power boats.

Bainbridge Island Rowing Club Fun Regatta

The regatta is in Eagle Harbor from 9 to 11 a.m., starting at the Waterfront Park boat launch.

After Party 

All participants (swimmers, cyclists, walkers, and rowers), volunteers, donors, and sponsors are invited to enjoy the after party at 6 p.m. (location to be disclosed), including grilled salmon (donated by Heather Patrick), Barb Dewitt’s cakes for a silent cake auction, and MCing by Kate Carruthers.

About AAB

Arms Around Bainbridge is currently providing support to seven Bainbridge Island residents all battling serious illness and struggling to provide for their families. Six of the seven have cancer. Since 2007, AAB has helped 18 Islanders, distributing over $306,000 and assisting them in connecting with vital community resources.

arms around bainbridge by pete saloutosAAB’s help is tailored to each recipient’s specific needs, from providing healthy home-cooked meals, to eyeglasses or hearing aids for ears damaged by years of chemotherapy, to money to cover crushing financial burdens from medical expenses.

AAB board member and swimmer Kymmberly Myrick said, “Swimming in the dark and cold waters of Puget Sound is a very small way I can show my support of the courageous women and men of this Island who face their own mortality every day.”

Can’t participate but want to help? Make a donation or sponsor a swimmer here.

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Photos courtesy of Pete Saloutos, a founding member of AAB.

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Virginia Mason