Tag Archive | "Bainbridge Island"

Noel the PAWS cat

Animal Tales: Mother and Son Rescued from a Bulldozer

by Melissa Byrd of PAWS of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap

Paws and FinsThank you Paws & Fins Pet Shop for sponsoring our weekly Animal Tales feature.

Merry and Noel are a mother and son who came to us around Christmas time when a concerned citizen asked if we could take them into our program. They were living outside under a house next door to her that was due to be bulldozed, and she was concerned for their safety. She was able to catch them and take them to our vet to be checked over. They were scared but healthy. After their spay/neuter surgeries they were taken to our Kingston Adoption Center to hang out in a private suite and acclimate for a while.

Merry the PAWS cat

Merry

Merry was very frightened. She was shy and hissed at anyone who tried to pet her. She would hide under the blankets and behind the litterbox. We gave her her space. We would talk softly to her while cleaning her kennel and changing her bedding and food. Slowly but surely she started to come around. She began to stay in the main room instead of instantly retreating when someone approached. She started letting us pet her. Then she started to chat back and purr. She had probably been someone’s cat at some time, and she was remembering. She is now at the free roam room at our Bainbridge Island Pleasant Beach PAWS center.

Noel was a bit of a different story. He probably had never been someone’s pet. The neighbor figured the owner had moved and left Merry behind. Due to all the stray cats around the neighborhood, Merry found herself pregnant and alone. She and Noel were hiding out beneath the house and neighbors were feeding and monitoring them.

Noel the PAWS cat

Noel

Not surprisingly, at first Noel was very scared and didn’t have any desire to be with us. We had him spend time in foster homes learning to live indoors with people. He found comfort in being around the pets in the house and started imitating them in their interactions with people. Now he feels comfortable being petted. He is a treat addict, as that is how people have helped convince him that we aren’t really that bad. He is now back with mom at the Pleasant Beach site hanging out in the free roam space.

Noel and Merry are ready for a second chance. If you’d like to meet them, please come visit. We are open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Paws and Fins

Photos courtesy of Melissa Byrd.

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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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2014 Covered Bridge Varsity Girls 1st place medals rowing

Bainbridge Junior Rowing Team Takes Top Trophy at First Regatta of Spring Season

by Peggy Musselwhite with Julie Hall

The Bainbridge Island Junior Rowing Team (the high school team) powered their way to earn first place at the Covered Bridge Regatta last weekend in Eugene, Oregon, their first spring season regatta.

Showing strength and composure in dozens of races, the team earned the Junior Team Trophy for their exceptional overall race results, ranking first of 13 high schools competing in the regatta. The trophy honors the team with the highest average number of points won in each event the team entered. The 113 rowers from Bainbridge Island won gold, silver, and bronze in a flurry of 22 races over two days.

Varsity Boys

2014 Covered Bridge Varsity Boys 4 Silver rowing

Varsity Boys 4 silver medalists Alex Derry, Keegan Dymoke, coxswain Nathan Johnson, Cole Sander, Walker Hauptman. Photo courtesy of Rick Hauptman.

The Varsity Boys took home nine medals, medaling in all races entered. Late Saturday afternoon, two four boats placed first and third, with another four placing third in their race. Soon after, two Bainbridge Varsity 4+ boats took second in their respective races, with yet another Bainbridge 4+ boat placing third. Sunday morning, as the Varsity 8 backed into the start for their race, Walker Hauptman’s seat dropped a wheel leaving him only able to row on three wheels in the race. Despite the setback, the boys persevered and went on to place second, less than two seconds behind Stanford Rowing Center. Medals went to C. Teddy, A. Derry, C. Sander, B. Allen, G. Schulz, W. Hauptman, T. Musselwhite, K. Dymoke, and coxswain K. Carlson.

Not to be outdone, the second Varsity eights sprinted for gold and bronze in one of the last races of the weekend. Gold went to J.M. Najarian, M. Greenwood, P. Isenman, T. Wikstrom, Z. Welch, M. Spray, G. Johnson, H. Lant, and coxswain M. Crawford.

Varsity Girls 

bainbridge junior rowers

Varsity Girls 8: coxswain Sydney Gibbs, Eryn McCassey, Samantha Pelliciotta, Mira Rosenkotz, Carly Millerd, Elsa Godtfredsen, Amina Lee, MaryAnn Samson, Kaylie Treskin. Photo courtesy of Anna Bernhard Carson.

The Varsity Girls had a strong showing, medaling in seven of nine entries. In the fours, the first and second lightweight boats finished first and third. The first and second open weight boats both placed second in their heats, with the third boat winning their race. Late on Saturday, the Varsity and Lightweight Varsity Girls 8+ boats both won their races decisively, with the Varsity Girls boat subduing a Vashon crew that had beaten them by over a length in a scrimmage just two weeks earlier. Varsity 8 included E. Chun, A. Leigh, L. Fawley, F. Eckford-Prossor, R. Brown, H. Schneiderman, K. Van Aken, J. Komok, and coxswain N. Haught. Lightweight Varsity 8 included J. Sheldon, A. Karreman, T. Drury, E. Pazoff, S. Dore, J. Denlinger, J. Blazina, K. Hathaway, and coxswain S. Gibbs.

Novice Boys

Racing in their first 2K this season, the Novice Boys had impressive results, medaling in five of their seven races. In an early morning race on Saturday, the Novice Boys 4+ led the field and finished first by several boat lengths, earning the fastest time of the three heats at 7:37. The Novice Boys 8+ also won their race handily on Sunday, posting a time of 7:01. Novice rowers included A. Stern, S. Ruud, C. Hayes, K. Vander Leest, M. Derry, S. Musselwhite, W. de Rubertis, C. O’Keefe, and coxswain S. Bryant.

Novice Girls

Novice Girls also showed strength and speed in their first spring regatta, medaling in two races. The Novice Girls 4+ clocked one of the fastest times for BIR novice girls 4 boats, placing second. The team included I. Frawley, A. Clarke, Erika Mattes, J. Fradkin, and coxswain M. O’Leary.

A Novice Girls 8+ boat also earned silver, second only to Vashon. The 8+ boat included J. Greer, C. Lant, D. Erickson, A. Millerd, E. McGee, K. Buchmeier, S. Townsend, G. Nikunen, and coxswain C. Deavy. All other Novice Girls boats took a fourth place finish. Novice Girls coach April Podbregar said the girls are determined to become even faster and stronger in the weeks ahead to prepare for their next regatta in Canada.

Mens Masters

mens masters rowers

Mens Masters 4+ Gold winners: Marc Olason, Kurt Frost, Tim Goss, Brandon Fleet, coxswain Rachele Turnbull. Photo courtesy of Anna Bernhard Carson.

The Mens Masters also got a taste of victory at the Oregon regatta, winning gold, silver, and bronze for Bainbridge. On Saturday, their 4+ boat took first place, clearly outdistancing the competition and logging the fastest time for two heats, at 3:18. The boat included B. Fleet, T. Goss, K. Frost, M. Olason, and coxswain R. Turnbull.

On Sunday, the Mens Masters 8+ earned silver medals. Silver medalists were M. Stewart, T. Goss, D. Dale, M. Olson, B. Fleet, B. McGonagle, K. Frost and M. Olason,  and coxswain R. Turnbull. Marc Stewart also took to the water in a single scull, earning a bronze in the final.

Some 1,200 rowers converged on Dexter Lake near Eugene to compete in the regatta, now in its 20th year. Masters, collegiate, and high school teams participated in 91 races over the weekend. The weather cooperated throughout, giving teams a fast course and ample sunshine. Bainbridge Island Rowing Head Coach Tim Goss said, “My hat’s off to all of them for racing hard, helping out, and having fun.”

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Featured photo, courtesy of Greg Millerd, shows Varsity Girls Gold winners Samantha Pelliciotta, Mira Rosenkotz, Carly Millerd, Eryn McCassey, coxswain Sydney Gibbs.
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lemons

Letter to the Editor: Making Lemonade from Hour Changes in New Teachers’ Contract

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade.

In my run for BISD School Board Director this past fall one of the topics I ran on was the importance of foreign language instruction at the youngest age possible. At that time I was concerned as to how one would carve out more time in the busy school week to add the curriculum. Little did I know that the answer lurked in the teachers’ contract ratified last year. The question the school board grapples with, and will decide next week, is whether to add 5-10 more hours per year to each of Music, PE, Library and Art or whether to provide our K-6 students with foreign language instruction twice per week.

I have a personal belief that foreign language instruction at the earliest age is invaluable. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to complete college degrees in engineering science and Russian language, allowing me to carve out a rewarding career. Our daughters had opportunities to study Portuguese, Russian and Spanish at young ages and I am convinced this has enhanced their studies across the board. But this is simply anecdotal evidence and to truly find the answer we should turn to the paid professionals and experts for their advice and academic findings.

We have vocal advocates on both sides of this topic, but let’s be clear, this is not a “teacher versus parent” issue. This is a “what is best for the children” issue. The National Education Association (NEA) represents over 3 million teachers and commits significant resources to topics such as this. NEA President Dennis Van Roekel leads off a current Policy Brief stating, “The 21st century isn’t coming; it’s already here. And our students have the opportunity and challenge of living and working in a diverse and rapidly changing world. Public schools must prepare our young people to understand and address global issues, and educators must re-examine their teaching strategies and curriculum so that all students can thrive in this global and interdependent society.”

So we know that there is focus on and attention to this subject at the national level, but what about here on our island? Again, I am simply an interested and concerned citizen and do not have children at the age that this policy will impact. To find our local answer we can turn to a detailed memo written by our BISD Associate Superintendent on March 8, 2013. Those interested in the full memo could either contact the district, your school director, or me.

As noted in the memo, our District’s mission is to ensure every student is future ready: prepared for the global workplace, prepared for college, and prepared for personal success. The memo explains that the Elementary Program and Innovation Committee (EPIC) identified World Language as an innovation that the district needs to strongly consider. The goal is to bring language instruction to all elementary students during the day.

Our Associate Superintendent explains that learning to communicate in languages of the world helps students become global citizens, ready for life in the interconnected world of the 21st century. Another factor, we are told, in considering the inclusion of world language study at the elementary level is the desire to attract new residents to our Bainbridge Island community. Importantly, we learn that current research shows that the study of a second language actually increases the elasticity of the brain while, at the same time, acquiring a language is relatively effortless for a young child.

Our Associate Superintendent provides the reader important academic research that supports the conclusions drawn in the memo. This research was published in December 2007 by the NEA (The Benefits of Second Language Study, Research Findings with Citations, Regarding World Language Education). The research findings state that Second Language study benefits academic progress in other subjects; narrows achievement gaps; benefits basic skills development; benefits higher order, abstract, and creative thinking; enriches and enhances cognitive development; enhances a student’s sense of achievement; helps students score higher on standardized tests; promotes cultural awareness and competency; improves chances of college acceptance, achievement, and attainment; enhances career opportunities; and benefits understanding and security in community and society.

An important conclusion is that the study of a foreign language has multiple knock-on benefits across the academic spectrum for our children. This is important to understand, as some vocal opponents to this additional curriculum are concerned about a negative impact of additional curricula, whereas studies show that it will have a beneficial impact on current academic content. Readers should also understand that the annual financial cost to the district between the two options is similar (circa $150,000 for more of the same versus $225,000 for adding foreign language). Finally, there is a concern voiced that finding qualified teaching staff is a challenge. A distinction must be made regarding the current challenge of finding qualified teachers for Spanish Immersion (requiring the competency of teaching content such as Math and Science in Spanish) versus finding qualified teachers to teach the Spanish language. Finding the former is significantly harder than the latter.

Absent similar analysis and conclusions with respect to additional hours in the year for Music, PE, Library, and Art, the findings presented in our District’s memo appear clear to me. I encourage parents, neighbors, and citizens to contact their school board members and let them know their opinion on this subject.

—Dale Perry, Bainbridge Island

Photo by Dodo Bird.

 

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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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Photo of mating osprey pair by Julie Hall. 

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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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MS Walk

MS Walk 2014 Photo Gallery

Saturday, April 12, throngs gathered at Bainbridge High School for warm-up exercises before hitting the streets of downtown Bainbridge Island to raise money to fight MS.

Here are some photos of the day:

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Photos by BPetersonPhotos for Team Photogenic NW.

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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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Photo courtesy of Don Willott.

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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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Petunia the PAWS cat

Animal Tales: Meet Sweet Petunia

by Melissa Byrd of PAWS of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap

Paws and FinsThank you Paws & Fins Pet Shop for sponsoring our weekly Animal Tales feature.

Petunia is an 18-month-old, medium-haired, white-and-black female who came to us on one of our Ocean Shores transfers with her three kittens. They, of course, found homes right away.

Petunia was a shy girl when she arrived but has come around quite nicely. She likes to be petted and brushed and just hang out with people. She likes to sit in the window and watch the goings on outdoors. She as been an indoor-only cat since coming to us and really enjoys the comforts of indoor life. She has very good house manners and litter box skills.

Petunia does well with the other cats but probably would not enjoy the company of a dog or young rowdy children.

If you are looking for a sweet, petite, mellow, and friendly girl, your search has ended. Please email Melissa at catadopt@pawsbainbridge.org to set up a meet and greet with pretty Petunia.

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Paws and Fins

Photo courtesy of Melissa Byrd.

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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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Astrology Weekly

Astrology Weekly 4/6/14: Set Me Free Why Don’t You Babe

Here is the latest Astrology Weekly audio chat by Bainbridge Island astrologer, counselor, and radio personality Aleta McClelland:

Listen here.

Aleta McClellandListen to Aleta’s weekly radio show, Aleta’s Audacity, on www.12radio.com Wednesdays at noon.

To make an appointment for a personalized astrological reading from Aleta, visit her website: acourseinconsciousness.com.

You can read more about Aleta in our article Aleta McClelland: Ace Astrologer.

Photos courtesy of Chad Miller and Richard McClelland.

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Cave Avenue tree saved

Big Firry Deal: The City Spares a Tree

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

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

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

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

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Photo by Julie Hall.

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woman reading Poetry Corners poem

What Is This Woman Doing?

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

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

Poetry Corners 2014 chapbook cover

Poetry Corners 2014 chapbook cover

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

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

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

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

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

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Poetry Corners poems 2014

Poetry Corners poems 2014

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

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herons in love

Bainbridge Herons Get It on, Plus Great Blue Factoids

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

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

heron rookery

Lovell heronry April 2014

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

Good News

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

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

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

heron feeding baby by don willott

Two juveniles goofing in their nest, by Don Willott

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

Great Blue Factoids

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

How to Help Great Blues

great blue herons nesting

Love?

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

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

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

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Chevron station

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

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

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

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

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

April Fools.

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