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owl and mouse gate

Where on the Island? Psychedelic Secret

Do you recognize this unusual Bainbridge Island treasure? It’s off the beaten path but memorable, so either you’ve seen it or you haven’t.

It is hard to believe, but this is a photograph. Bainbridge Island photographer Marilynn Gottlieb said she had been trying to capture this image and accidentally had her camera “set on some artistic mode” and to her surprise this is how it came out. I’ve seen this “thing” many times, but wow, never quite like this. (I want her camera.)

It’s worth clicking on the image to enlarge it and really see the funky photographic effect.

Marilynn Gottlieb sells all of the photographs featured in Where on the Island as photos or as transfers onto metal plates. Visit her website to learn more.

Do you know where on the Island it is? Tell us!

owl and mouse gate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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west sound wildlife shelter auction 2013

Ten Reasons You Should Go to the West Sound Wildlife Shelter Auction Dinner Gala

Here are ten reasons you need to get tickets right now (the deadline is Monday, April 21) to attend the West Sound Wildlife Shelter’s biggest bash of the year—the awesome Call to the Wild Dinner and Auction fundraiser, Saturday, April 26:

  1. You get to play a key role in helping the Shelter, which relies heavily on its fundraisers to cover its over $1,300 daily operating costs.
  2. The event is a blast. Eat, drink, bid silently and live, see friends, and meet the Shelter staff.
  3. You get to meet the Shelter’s beautiful wildlife ambassadors: veterans Athena the barred owl, Remington the turkey vulture, and Luna the opossum AND newbie red-tailed hawks Agate and Cedar and a Peregrin falcon.
  4. Your money helps pay for medicines, food, and the modest salaries of the six-member staff, who are so dedicated they need to be told to go home.
  5. You help keep the Shelter open seven days a week, 365 days a year to continuously feed and care for its patients.
  6. Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo is a truly beautiful, festive place to spend an evening.
  7. Dessert dashes are fun.
  8. You get to make the Shelter’s awesome 75+ volunteers happy.
  9. You can wear whatever you want at a fabulous party.
  10. The Shelter belongs to the community, and you will feel great about helping local wildlife.

Learn more about the event and get tickets.

There’s more! Don’t miss the Shelter’s first-ever Drive For The Wild Golf Tournament on Saturday, June 14, at White Horse Golf Course in Kingston. This BBQ fundraiser will include fun contests, such as two hole-in-one challenges, closest to the pin challenges, prizes, awards, and a silent auction. One of the sponsors is even having a massage chair at one of the holes!

And if you find an injured, orphaned, or sick wild animal and need advice or assistance, please call 206-855-9057.

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 Photo of 2013 Call to the Wild Auction by Julie Hall. 

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Victor Arden Barnard

WA State on Manhunt for Accused Cult Leader Charged with 59 Felony Counts of Child Sex Abuse

The Washington State Patrol is working with the Department of Homeland Security and the Pine County Minnesota Sheriff’s Office to apprehend Victor Arden Barnard, accused of felony sexual assault of two girls starting when they were each 12 years old into their early twenties. The girls were members of a tight-knit religious group that originated in Minnesota and eventually splintered and moved to Washington.

According to charges filed in district court, in 2000 Barnard set up “Shepherd’s Camp” in rural Minnesota and invited a small group of girls from his ministry to live with him there as virgins in a “Maidens Group.” Two of the girls, who have since come forward with allegations of systematic sexual abuse, said Barnard coerced them into having sexual relations and performing fellatio over the course of approximately 10 years. Often dressing as Jesus, Barnard reportedly told the girls it was their duty to have sex with him because he was a man of god.

The girls also said Barnard hit them. In at least one case, the father of one of the girls was aware of the sexual abuse against his daughter but did nothing to stop it or remove her from the “camp.”

The court document states that Barnard had sexual relationships with numerous married women in his ministry as well. At least one woman recounts feeling coerced by Barnard against her will, saying that Barnard told her it was her duty since he had given his life to god.

Barnard, 52, is reported to be charismatic and intensely controlling.

A nationwide warrant for Barnard was issued on April 11 based on charges of 59 felony counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct. The charges resulted from a multi-year investigation.

Barnard was last known to be in Spokane, Washington. He is currently at large and considered a fugitive.

Authorities are asking anyone with information as to Barnard’s whereabouts to call Washington State Patrol Detective Ryan Spangler at 509-227-6644, or the Pine County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 320-629-8342.

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Photo of Victor Barnard courtesy of WSP.

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Medics treating injured biker

Emergency Response to Winslow Biking Crash Slowed by Multiple Medic Calls

A delayed response to a biking accident downtown today, April 16, had concerned citizens at the scene wondering when Bainbridge medics would arrive.

At about 9:30 a.m. a 43-year-old man on a bicycle lost control, went over his handlebars, and suffered a head injury in the middle of Madison Avenue across from San Carlos Restaurant. An off-duty EMT with an emergency kit began treating the injured biker, who had not been wearing a helmet, while citizens directed traffic and called 911.

Fire Marshal Luke Carpenter explained that the medical response, which was just under 9 minutes, to the Winslow emergency was slower than usual because responders were handling multiple calls at the time.

The Bainbridge Island Fire Department (BIFD) received 911 calls at 8:54 a.m., 9:34 a.m., 9:40 a.m., and 9:59 a.m.

The first call at 8:54 a.m. came from the northeast area of the Island on Sunrise Avenue about a cardiac event. The second call at 9:34 a.m. was about the injured biker. It was followed six minutes later at 9:40 about a man hit by a tree while working on a tree removal crew on Madrona Way. While medics were treating the cardiac patient, biker, and tree removal worker, the fourth emergency was reported at 9:59 a.m. when a citizen walked into the Madison Avenue Fire Station seeking assistance for a medical problem.

Carpenter said that about 30 percent of the time when the BIFD is handling emergencies there is more than one happening simultaneously.

The BIFD transported the first three patients from Bainbridge Island by ambulance to Harborview in Seattle.

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Photo of injured biker by Julie Hall.

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mating Coppertop osprey pair

Why This Mating Osprey Pair Is in a World of Trouble

It’s that time again. Washington osprey, also known as fish hawks, fly back from their warm winter homes in Mexico or Central America and get busy breeding. If all goes well they return to the nest they left behind the previous September, mate, lay their eggs, and get ready to tend demanding babies and fussy fledglings throughout the summer.

Seattle named its Superbowl champs after these large charismatic raptors because here in Washington we love our osprey. They are large nimble fliers who can take an eagle in a fight and who dive talon-first for fish with astonishing strength and precision, sometimes becoming fully submerged in the process.

Osprey platform on AT&T cell tower at Battle Point Park (Photo by Julie Hall).

Osprey platform on AT&T cell tower at Battle Point Park (Photo by Julie Hall.)

Things are not going well for the osprey pair that returned last week to its nesting site on Bainbridge Island off of Sportsman Club Road near Coppertop Loop (yes, they are mating in the featured photo). Like many breeding osprey, several years ago this pair chose a cell tower to nest on. Why? Cell towers are tall rigid structures, and it’s gotten harder to find big trees.

Unfortunately for this pair they happen to have selected T-Mobile as their service provider. If they had gone with AT&T, for example, which accommodated its osprey pair at the Battle Point Park cell tower with a nesting platform, this pair might not have returned to find their nest removed and their nesting site blocked off with a nest-excluding device. According to Janice M. Danielson, who manages Bainbridge Self-Storage, located next to the cell tower, the osprey arrived over a week ago and have been having a heck of a time trying to figure out what to do.

Workers removing last season's nest (Photo by Janice Danielson)

Workers removing last season’s nest (Photo by Janice Danielson.)

Danielson wrote Inside Bainbridge two days ago: “T-Mobile continues to tear down the nest every year to the dismay of the ospreys. In the past few months they have had people up there to remove the nest again and place more wires in an effort to keep the osprey out. The osprey are there right now and trying to build their nest on the cell tower. They have tried to fly back into the area where their nest was last year but keep running into the wires. We are concerned that they will get hurt in their effort to get into that space.”

Osprey expert Jim Kaiser, who has worked for nearly 30 years advocating for osprey and assisting power and cell companies in finding ways to accommodate the big birds, explained that osprey are extremely tenacious animals with intense nest-site fidelity.

Indeed this pair’s struggle to find a way to make their nest site work is a picture of tenacity. As of yesterday, April 14, they had done what Kaiser previously believed impossible—figured out a way into the excluder device through an opening underneath. Danielson and her coworker Isabelle R. Cobb observed the osprey carrying branches through the hole at risk of injury. Today for a while they tried a different tack—laying branches on the lower tier of the structure, which has large wires, apparently in an attempt to build their nest there. But now they are climbing back up into the main cell tower, once again inside the excluder.

Coppertop osprey trying to building nest below excluder device

Osprey trying to build nest below excluder device—see branches on left (Photo by Sarah Lane.)

Danielson and Cobb are frustrated. Danielson said, “We are looking for an answer as to why T-Mobile is not working with environmental/animal welfare groups to install a platform or another pole with a platform for the ospreys. Is T-Mobile going to take responsibility if one of those beautiful raptors gets hurt or killed trying to find their way through the band-aid solutions they keeps applying? Other companies like AT&T and PSE have Avian Protection Programs. What makes T-Mobile exempt from this?”

For an answer to that question two days ago Inside Bainbridge contacted T-Mobile, which did not respond to our message. Today we were able to reach T-Mobile Seattle’s Regulatory Manager Jamie Alsaro. I explained the predicament of the Coppertop osprey and told Alsaro that Kaiser offered to visit the site tomorrow to find an alternative place to provide a platform near the cell tower. Kaiser knows that time is of the essence for this breeding pair, whose window to get a new nest built and successfully breed is closing. Osprey don’t react well when they can’t raise young, Kaiser explained. “If they don’t breed they will spend the season building what we call ‘frustration nests’ all around the area.”

Osprey inside excluder device as of 2:35 p.m. April 15. Arrow points to birds. Photo by Janice Danielson.

Osprey inside excluder device as of 2:35 p.m. April 15. Arrow points to birds. (Photo by Janice Danielson.)

Alsaro told me, “It’s not a matter of not caring about them [the osprey]. It’s a safety issue for the workers.” I asked her if T-Mobile would be willing to work with Kaiser to achieve a solution for the birds. She said she would look into fixing the situation as soon as possible.

In the meantime, Danielson and Cobb are poised to launch a campaign to raise money to put up an alternate pole and platform for the desperate birds. They are hoping that T-Mobile will be part of the solution.

Inside Bainbridge will update this story as more information becomes available.

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Woodburn Police Station by Mackenzie

Want to Have a Say in Design of New Public Safety Building?

The City of Bainbridge Island wants your input on the proposed Fire/Police Facility, a.k.a. the Public Safety Building. To that end, they’re hosting a series of three public outreach meetings with the architectural and engineering firm Mackenzie, the firm that has been selected for the design.

Here is a list of questions we put together here at IB to get you started on thinking about what you might like to see in your Public Safety Building:

  • Should the design include a community multipurpose room/classroom and other collaborative space?
  • Should the building include indoor and outdoor art? Where’s that going to come from?
  • What about a workout room for officers and firefighters? What about changing rooms and showers?
  • Should the City strive for LEED certification for the building?
  • Should the building include a command center for disaster management?
  • This one might stir up some trouble: Should it include the Municipal Court?
  • What features should the evidence and forensics lab include?
  • What about holding cells and interview rooms?
  • What security features should be included? Consider records safety as well.
  • This will be the living quarters for firefighters. What features do they need for their comfort?
  • How can department transparency be enhanced through the design? How can community-department relations be enhanced through the design?
  • How can the design enhance staff recruitment and retention?
  • Should there be any historical nods to the old facilities and departmental histories?

The second in the series of meetings happens tomorrow, April 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Fire Station 21, 8895 Madison Avenue NE.

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Featured photo shows Mackenzie’s design for the Woodburn Police Station.

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The ibbis R Back: Vote 4 Your 2014 Island Faves!

It’s that time again—your chance to cast your votes for your favorite Bainbridge Island businesses and places.

From your favorite French fries to your most trusted electrician to your best-loved beach, tell us whatcha like for the 2014 Inside Bainbridge Best of the Island (ibbi) awards.

The voting period runs through May 15, 2014.

Fill out the survey here

2014ibbiicon

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taxi van accident hitting building on Winslow Way

Taxi Van Hits Building at Winslow Way and Ferncliff Avenue

Just before 9:30 this morning, April 14, the driver of a Taxis & Tours van lost control coming out of the Bainbridge Ferry Terminal parking lot and drove into the San Juan Building on Winslow Way near Ferncliff Avenue.

The Bainbridge Island Fire Department responded with Medic 21, Engine 21, and their ambulance Aid 22. Fire Marshal Luke Carpenter said the driver suffered nonlife-threatening injuries and was transported to Harrison Hospital for treatment. She was alone in the vehicle with no passengers when the accident occurred. Bainbridge Police also responded at the scene.

The front of the van incurred considerable damage and took out the street and stop signs from the corner (shown in photo). But since it hit the concrete foundation of the building no structural damage to the building is apparent.

Bainbridge Islander Rene Hackl was in the building on the first floor at the time of the accident and heard the crunch of metal from his office. He said the driver appeared to be in significant pain as medics assisted her.

Hackl noted how fortunate it was that no other vehicles or pedestrians happened to be in the path of the van when the driver lost control. “Often there are many people walking there at that time of day.”

Taxi Van Hits Building at Winslow Way and Ferncliff Avenue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tax accident on Winslow Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Photos courtesy of Rene Hackl.

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eagle eating on piling at end of Toe Jam Hill Road

Photo of the Week: Fine Dining at Sunset

The warm sunny weather Saturday, April 12, brought many of us outside for evening eating. Here is one Bainbridge Island diner enjoying the sunset.

Thank you Don Willott for sharing this beautiful photograph of a bald eagle feeding last night near Toe Jam Hill Road.

eagle eating on piling at end of Toe Jam Hill Road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Montessori Country School earth day flash mob 2014

Montessori Country School Earth Day Flash Mob Video

Some 30 kids from Bainbridge Island’s Montessori Country School surprised shoppers at Safeway and Town & Country yesterday, April 11, with a flash performance of an Earth Day song they wrote themselves. Led on guitar by faculty member Shawn Krieder, the kids ranged from first through sixth graders.

They trekked in sunny weather from Safeway to T&C to regale Islanders, who responded with enthusiastic applause.

View the video:

Video and photo by Julie Hall.

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Bainbridge Graduate Institute Pinchot University Baibridge campus at IslandWood

Bainbridge Graduate Institute Expands into Pinchot University

The Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) announced yesterday, April 10, its reorganization and expansion as Pinchot University. Pinchot, named for BGI cofounder Gifford Pinchot III, will join with several other schools, including Organizational Systems Renewal, Pinchot Edge, and the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship.

The new larger entity is meant to give Pinchot students a wider range of educational opportunities. “Education is about more than just a piece of paper,” said Gifford Pinchot. “Graduates need the ability to do business in a way that brings about the changes they hope to see in the world. To do this they need a holistic combination of financial acumen, sales skills, marketing savvy, sustainable operations and leadership skills.”

Pinchot University will offer MBAs in Sustainable Business and Sustainable Systems, as well as a Master’s in Organizational Leadership through Organizational Systems Renewal. It will also offer nondegree-seeking students with courses and seminars in professional development, personal mastery, and trade-specific skill building.

Pinchot University students can study from home, work in close-knit cohorts, and attend weekend-long intensives at campuses on Bainbridge Island, Washington, and in Seattle. Pinchot describes itself as “an incubator for students who hope to drive change from within major corporations and organizations, or become social entrepreneurs.”

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Photo of Bainbridge Island IslandWood campus courtesy of BGI.

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white bunny on top of Battle Point Park hill

Weather: Sunny Bunny

It will come as a surprise to most Inside Bainbridge readers that I am not a meteorologist. In fact, I have always pitied weather forecasters, especially those in the Northwest where weather prediction is known to be sketchy at best. And yet here I am telling you (with slight hedging) that it looks to be a lovely span of mostly sunny warm days ahead on Bainbridge Island. Enjoy! (Or do not blame the messenger.)

Here is the National Weather Service Forecast:

Friday Party cloudy, with a high near 59 degrees F. East wind 3 to 5 mph.
Friday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 43 degrees F. Northeast wind around 8 mph.
Saturday Gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 60 degrees F. Light north-northeast wind becoming north-northwest 10 to 15 mph in the morning.
Saturday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 41 degrees F. North-northwest wind 11 to 16 mph.
Sunday Sunny, with a high near 65 degrees F. North wind 8 to 10 mph.
Sunday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 43 degrees F.
Monday Mostly sunny, with a high near 67 degrees F.

 

Photo of rabbit in the sun at Battle Point Park by Julie Hall.

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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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Posted in Beaches, Community, Don't Miss This 2, Government, News, Outside6 Comments

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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Posted in Business, Community, Don't Miss This 2, Farming1 Comment

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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