Tag Archive | "Bainbridge Island"

macaw at battle point park

Unusual Bird Sighting at Battle Point Park

There is certainly colorful bird life at Battle Point Park, but none quite so exotic as the macaw sighted there yesterday.

His person, who preferred not to be named, told curious kids that her bird Geranimo (spelled with an a, not an o) plays catch with her with a ball and likes to eat walnuts, seeds, beans, popcorn, and watermelon. He loses and regrows all of his feathers each year. In addition to preening himself, he preens his friend by stroking her hair with his beak.

The Bainbridge Island resident adopted Geranimo a year and a half ago after he had been living in a warehouse. The man who raised him from an egg in the San Francisco Bay area had become homeless and finally surrendered his bird to a rescue organization. macaw at battle point park

Geramino’s person walks him regularly in Bainbridge parks. She said she is trying to introduce him to more people and educate them about birds. She plans to get a second bird to keep him company, as macaws are flock birds. Geranimo, 33, could live to up to 100 years.

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Photos by Julie Hall. 

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Astrology Weekly

Astrology Weekly 10/19/14: Eclipse Means Chance for Rebirth

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

Listen here.

Aleta McClelland

Listen 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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mailbag

Letter to the Editor: More Trees Coming Down in Winslow & Short Notice for Public Input

A new housing development is in the works for the mostly forested SW corner of Grow and Wyatt Way in Winslow. A developer would like to build 19 housing units on the mostly forested 4.5-acre parcel. Public meetings are required for this sort of development. A public meeting will be held to discuss the preliminary short platt on Monday night, October 20, at 6 p.m. Notice for this meeting was only sent out to the immediate neighborhood and not until the 15th of October. Whatever happened to ten days notice? Once again it seems the city is anything but eager to involve citizens in land-use decisions.

The primary issues pertaining to this development are traffic and storm water. Adding 19 housing units to the SW corner of Grow and Wyatt is going to have obvious impact on the nearby intersections. In regards to adding more storm water to existing facilities: Are those facilities adequate even for existing demand? Numerous sewage spills into Eagle Harbor over the past year suggest not. We have an opportunity, early in the process, to ask some hard questions. Sewer and storm water should be at the top of the list.

According to the state’s Growth Management Act, the city is responsible for providing adequate capital facilities, including sewer and storm water, for future development. Frequent sewage spills into Eagle Harbor point to a storm water and sewage system that is not servicing existing needs of Winslow, much less those of future development there.

It should also be noted that this development would remove a significant number of trees. Trees and native soils help to reduce storm water runoff and contribute to aquifer recharge. If you would like to advocate for saving as many trees as possible on this development site, this is the time to get involved.

Please show up at the public meeting tomorrow night at City Hall.

—Ron Peltier
Bainbridge Island

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rainy road

Weather: A Very Rainy Week Ahead

A warm sunny day today with temps drifting up to about 70 degrees F will give way to clouds tonight and at times heavy rain throughout the week.

Here is the National Weather Service Forecast for Bainbridge Island:

  • Sunday Partly sunny, with a high near 70 degrees F. South wind 9 to 11 mph.
  • Sunday Night A 50 percent chance of rain after 11 p.m., with a low around 58 degrees F. South-southwest wind 8 to 13 mph.
  • Monday A 90 percent likelihood of rain, with up to a quarter inch possible. High near 61 degrees F. South wind 8 to 10 mph.
  • Monday Night A 60 percent chance of rain. A low around 53 degrees F. South wind 7 to 13 mph.
  • Tuesday Rain likely, mainly after 11 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 61 degrees F. South wind 11 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent.
  • Tuesday Night Rain likely, with a low around 54 degrees F.
  • Wednesday A 90 percent chance of rain. High near 61 degrees F.
  • Wednesday Night Rain likely, with a low around 56 degrees F.
  • Thursday Rain likely, with a high near 61 degrees F.
  • Thursday Night Rain likely, with a low around 53 degrees F.

Photo by Julie Hall. 

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la time ferry video

LA Times Calls Ferry Trip to Bainbridge Best Bang for Buck in Seattle Sightseeing

Recent ferry bungles and breakdowns aside, that ride from the world to our little Island is pretty dreamy, especially when there are orcas about, as there were yesterday. We know it, and now Los Angelenos do too. A recent Los Angeles Times article suggested that visitors to Seattle just might get the most fun for their money riding the big boat to Bainbridge Island.

Part of the LA Times new “A Minute Away” series, the article features a video of the ferry trip, with swell views of the Seattle skyline, the Bainbridge waterfront, and speeded up moments of commuters doing their thing. See someone you know?

Check out the article and video.

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Walla Walla

Ferry Travel Advisory: Wenatchee Replaced & Colman Dock Access Changed

Ferry riders should take note of two changes affecting travel between Bainbridge Island and Seattle.

The 202-car Wenatchee will be removed from service temporarily from Sunday October 19 through the end of Tuesday October 21 for its required annual U.S. Coast Guard safety inspection. The 188-car Walla Walla will replace the Wenatchee. Washington State Ferries (WSF) warns that drive-on customers may experience heavier traffic and possible longer waits during this time.

Travelers should also be aware that the second part of the Seattle Seawall construction project is underway. Seattle ferry terminal access on Alaskan Way has shifted one block south, from Spring Street to just south of the intersection of Madison Street. Pedestrian and bicycle access to Colman Dock will be maintained in the current locations.

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Photo by Julie Hall.

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Fay Bainbridge by Anne Willhoit

Photos of the Day: Rain Break at Fay Bainbridge

Bainbridge Island resident Anne Willhoit took this photograph yesterday at Fay Bainbridge beach. She said she and her kids were happy to see the sun after a rainy morning.

Thanks for sharing Anne!

Fay Bainbridge by Anne Willhoit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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car accident Eagle Harbor Drive

Car Veers and ‘Cartwheels’ Over 200 Feet off Eagle Harbor Drive Wednesday Night

Just after 10 p.m. last night, October 15, a driver of a 2011 Nissan Rogue heading south on Eagle Harbor Drive veered to the right off the road. The car traveled about 175 feet on the shoulder and then began to “cartwheel,” flipping over and over in the ditch for another 50 feet before coming to rest nose down.

Bainbridge Island police and firefighters responded to the scene simultaneously. The driver, a 52-year-old Bainbridge resident, was pinned in the vehicle by his seat, airbags, and seatbelt. Fire Marshal Luke Carpenter said a dozen firefighters worked for about 12 minutes to extricate the trapped driver, who was alone in the totaled car.

The driver was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with serious injuries. Eagle Harbor Drive was closed for approximately one hour.

Alcohol may have been a factor in the accident. It is currently being investigated by BIPD.car accident Eagle Harbor Drive

While this incident was being handled, two other medical incidents on the Island required units from the Poulsbo Fire Department and North Kitsap Fire and Rescue to assist.

Photos courtesy of BIFD.

 

airlift at night

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Pumpkin Walk: My Favorite Fall Night on Bainbridge

One of the pleasures of being a parent on Bainbridge is having an “excuse” to go to the annual Pumpkin Walk at Bainbridge Gardens, which this year is this Friday and Saturday, October 17-18, from 6 to 8 p.m. It’s a simple formula. Islanders carve pumpkins and donate them for the event. And people come to see them lit up in the dark along the wooded trail that runs behind the garden center.

There is a lot more to see and do at the Pumpkin Walk than this, but the walk through the woods is always my favorite part. The first time I went, when my daughter was a mere babe in the woods, I had a hazy idea that the pumpkins were carved by “professionals.” Professional pumpkin carvers. Or maybe some Secret Society of Bainbridge Gardens Artists. It simply didn’t compute that there could be so many talented “regular folks” around the Island donating their carvings—upwards of 300 each year.cats pumpkin walk

I know there are carving kits, but I remain impressed. Who are these people, I still wonder every time I go, which is pretty much each of the last 10 years. I carve a pretty good pumpkin myself, but many of these are works of art I couldn’t touch.

Sure, there are standards that you see every year, like scary witches in spiked hats, cats with arched backs, creepy skeletons, fanged draculas, spiders in webs, ghosts, and wolves howling at the moon. But this Halloween iconography never tires, because, well, it is fun, but also because so many of the carvings are so good they never fail to delight. The “creative” entries are always a treat, too. Things like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and and tributes to Steve Jobs and Michael Jackson have been clever surprises. But my favorites always remain the Halloween basics no matter how many times I’ve seen them before.

dancers pumpkin walkMany of the parents, including myself, feel it is their duty to make a fuss over the highlights along the path, pointing out for the children the spider there, exclaiming at the spooky witch here, while also not neglecting to call attention to the cute “face” that was obviously carved by a kid new to the art.

The Boys and Girls Club of Bainbridge Island helps run the Pumpkin Walk, and donations go to benefit them. The event also features a Harvest Hay Maze, bouncy house, live music, face painting, and carnival games with prizes. The New Rose Cafe offers hotdogs, pizza, chili, treats, and hot drinks. We never neglect to get our photo taken with “The Great Pumpkin,” a guy in a pumpkin suit who gives out candy. And we always run into dozens of people we know, also having a good time. Even a few years ago during a drenching deluge we still went, as always with our neighbors, and didn’t regret it.pumpkin walk

Indeed, the whole event is fun, but the real show is that short dark walk through the woods holding your child’s hand and traveling back to a place in your own imagination when Halloween held you in its thrillingly frightful web.

The Boys and Girls Club gratefully takes donations to this officially free event. For more information, go to www.bainbridgegardens.com.

[From the archives: First published October 16, 2011.]

Photos by Julie Hall.

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rabies by Steve, Kristina, Evan, and Ai

Rabies Found in One Bat on Bainbridge and Two Others in Kitsap

Three bats in Kitsap County have recently tested positive for rabies. One bat from Bainbridge Island tested positive on September 19. Two others, one from Kingston and another from Bremerton, tested positive for the disease on October 3.

According to the Kitsap Public Health District, although rabies is endemic in Washington, having three bats test positive in a short period of time is unusual. Since March, the Health District has tested 15 bats in Kitsap with known or potential contact with humans, and these three were the only ones with positive results. Bats are currently the only known reservoir for rabies in Washington State. Rabies is not endemic in raccoons, coyotes, foxes, or other wild carnivores here; however, on rare occasions bats bite other animals and transmit rabies.

Rabies Symptoms

Although there has been at least one known case of a person surviving rabies without vaccination, it is considered a fatal disease that kills within seven days after the appearance of symptoms. The deadly virus kills over 55,000 people each year and is present on all continents except Antarctica.

According to the Mayo Clinic, rabies symptoms include the following:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Hyperactivity
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Excessive salivation
  • Fear of water (hydrophobia) because of the difficulty in swallowing
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Partial paralysis

Rabies Treatment

Rabies is preventable with a vaccine that can be administered either before or after the disease has been contracted. Those at high risk of encountering rabies, such as veterinarians and lab workers, are advised to receive the pre-exposure vaccine as a preventative measure. The post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP treatment, is only effective before the onset of symptoms, so people believed to be exposed to a rabid animal should undergo treatment immediately.

The Health District recommends PEP vaccinating prior to receiving test results in cases in which an animal has shown obvious signs of being rabid. Treatment can be discontinued if the animal is found to be negative for rabies. The Kitsap Public Health District is available for consultation and to help facilitate testing animals for rabies at the Washington State Public Health Laboratories if needed.

Call 360-337-5235 with questions or to report suspected exposure.

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Photo courtesy of Steve, Kristina, Evan, and Ai.

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Astrology Weekly

Astrology Weekly 10/12/14: ‘Tween 2 Eclipses, Let the Stuff Come Up

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

Listen here.

Aleta McClelland

Listen 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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october 3 art walk

Liquor Control Board Makes Downtown Businesses Booze Bust at Friday’s Art Walk

Last week’s First Friday Art Walk, a monthly evening tradition in downtown Bainbridge art venues, wineries, and select stores, was interrupted when a liquor enforcement officer from the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) began asking area merchants if they had permits to serve alcohol at a public event. The officer, Raj Veluppillai, said he stopped in at eight to ten establishments and found that none had appropriate permits.

Veluppillai, who is assigned to cover Bainbridge Island and neighboring Kitsap communities, said he had been on Bainbridge that day talking to a couple of local eateries about permitting issues when he saw people in Winslow walking on the street with open alcohol. He said he observed Art Walk businesses serving free beer and wine without carding or monitoring consumption and people walking from one establishment to another with open cups. WSLCB Captain Lisa Ranke said one Renton-based business was offering free wine tastings and selling bottles on the street.

Veluppillai told me he tried not to embarrass the business owners and did not issue citations but did ask them to stop serving and to wind down the event, making it clear that they could not continue in the future without proper permits. He said most of the business owners were nice about it but that he was surprised by the scene: “It was like 1940s Nevada. It was a whole bunch of businesses. I’ve worked this job for many years and never seen anything quite like it.”

Danger coowner Sara Baetz was serving that night and said the officer asked people on the street to pour out their liquor. Like other Art Walk merchants, she said she wanted to comply with state law but wasn’t sure yet how. Bainbridge Arts and Crafts (a nonprofit) publicist Lindsay Masters echoed Baetz’s sentiment and said that the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association (BIDA) had indicated they would take the lead on the issue.

When I asked Ranke about options for Art Walk businesses, she said probably the best route would be for a nonprofit hosting organization to purchase a special occasion permit ($60/day per event) that would enable other participating businesses in town to serve liquor on their premises. She said Beth Layman in Customer Service issues special occasion permits and can be reached at 360-664-1792.

I asked Ranke if WSLCB would issue retroactive tickets when the investigation into the matter concludes. She said, “We could ticket, but we would look at the totality of the situation, and I can’t see our officer writing a violation.” Ranke commented that there are numerous other art walks and similar events in the region, saying, “We don’t want to ruin anyone’s fun.”

BIDA Program Manager Joan Campbell was looking into the matter today. When I spoke with her this afternoon she was aware of the special occasion license option. I asked her if BIDA would be willing to be the hosting organization for future Art Walks. She said, ”We’re going to handle it to the best of our ability. We want to work with all the Art Walk participants to keep this [liquor] part of the tradition because it’s something people want.” But, she explained, they have to check with their insurance company and determine if it is feasible for them to take on the responsibility. “We’re just not sure at this point,” she said.

Owner of Island Gallery Susan Swannack-Nunn, owner of Island Gallery, said she used to get monthly licenses to serve liquor at the Art Walk but was told a year or two ago she no longer needed them. After looking into the situation, she provided an update for this article. She said that as a corporation she is eligible for a permit to service liquor on site and would be pursuing that option.

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Image courtesy of BIDA.

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foggy road by JonDissed

Weather: Fog Hazard Starts the Week

Expect a foggy start to the week. Here is the National Weather Service forecast for Bainbridge Island:

  • Monday Fog before 11 a.m. Otherwise, cloudy and then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 69 degrees F. Calm wind becoming north-northeast around 6 mph in the afternoon.
  • Monday Night Patchy fog after 11 p.m. Otherwise, increasing clouds, with a low around 57 degrees F. North-northeast wind around 7 mph.
  • Tuesday Areas of fog before 11 a.m. Otherwise, mostly cloudy with a high near 67 degrees. North-northeast wind 5 to 7 mph.
  • Tuesday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 51 degrees F. North wind 5 to 8 mph.

Photo by JonDissed.

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Astrology Weekly

Astrology Weekly 9/4/14: Make Room for the New, Kick the Crud to the Curb

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

Listen here.

Aleta McClelland

Listen 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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pumpkins by beth robson

Photo of the Day: Git Yer Big Fat Perfect Punkin’ While the Gittin’s Good

Hey folks, it’s October already, and now’s the time to choose your favorite Halloween squash(es) from Bainbridge’s own Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms before the best of the lot is sold out. Seem early? No lie, they go fast.

One of the largest working farms on Bainbridge Island and in broader Kitsap, this 40-acre farm grows—in addition to pumpkins—raspberries, corn, grapes, potatoes, garlic, onions, and seasonal greens.

Find the farm one-quarter mile east of Highway 305 on Day Road.

Hours vary. Learn more at the farm’s website. 

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Photo of the Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms pumpkin patch courtesy of Bainbridge Island photographer Elisabeth Robson.

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Sensory Processing Disorder Part 1: Defining It

October is National Sensory Awareness Month. As part of this national education effort, Inside Bainbridge is publishing a series on Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), citing the latest research, information from experts in the field, and personal stories from parents, caregivers, and kids affected by the condition. (Family names have been changed for privacy.) Read the other articles in the series:

The elegance of the animal brain and neurological system makes complex processes seem simple. Our sensory systems tell us where to place our feet, how to maneuver through space, which sounds to ignore and which to attend to, what to focus on in our visual field, how to chew and swallow without choking, when to speak and when to listen, and countless other actions each minute of each day.

bored kids in classroom

All kids have different learning styles, and this teaching method apparently isn’t working.

A child in a classroom, for example, has to filter out noises from other classrooms, buzzing lights, shuffling feet, and a host of other extraneous sounds in order to focus on the most important sound—the teacher’s voice. This can be challenging at times for many children, but for kids with sensory processing disorder it can be downright exhausting, painful, or even at times impossible.

What SPD Is Not

Sensory Processing Disorder is not ADD or ADHD, although it is often misdiagnosed as such. It also is not a form of autism or Asberger’s, though sensory processing problems often accompany those spectrum conditions. SPD is not a “learning disability” per se, but it may lead to learning and emotional problems.

What SPD Is

Research on SPD began in earnest in the 1960s and 1970s with the work of neuroscientist and occupational therapist Dr. Anna Jean Ayres. She described SPD as a neurological “traffic jam” preventing parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to accurately interpret sensory information.

Some peoples’ fun is other peoples’ sensory nightmare.

Extensive research and practitioner work has followed Ayres’s pioneering studies, but a widespread lack of awareness and understanding of SPD still persist in the general population. Some remain skeptical, dismissive, or simply unaware of the condition. But for families, caregivers, and educators dealing with kids displaying SPD symptoms, the condition is very real.

A current goal of the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation is to get recognition for SPD in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), due out in 2013. Difficulty getting recognition for “newly emerging” diagnostic conditions is old news. Before 1980, autism was labeled a form of childhood schizophrenia, and the full autism spectrum wasn’t included in the DSM until 1987.

A 2004 study conducted by the SPD Foundation found that “at least 1 in 20 children’s daily lives is affected by SPD.” A 2009 study suggested that “1 in 6 children experiences sensory challenges sufficient to disrupt their academic, social, and/or emotional development.”

Based on new research, the SPD Foundation, led by Director Lucy Jane Miller, Ph.D., OTR, identifies three major categories of SPD:

  1. Sensory Modulation Disorder. This includes sensory overresponsivity, sensory underresponsivity, and sensory-seeking behaviors, or combinations thereof. People with this condition can alternate from one state to the other, sometimes seeking stimulation, for example with hand flapping or spinning, and at other times retreating from stimulation by hiding or going off alone.
  2. Sensory Discrimination Disorder. This includes difficulty with accurate perception of all the five senses, plus proprioceptive awareness (knowing how much pressure to exert), vestibular awareness (knowing where you are in space), and interoceptive awareness (being aware of your bodily functions, like hunger and the need to go to the bathroom). People with sensory discrimination problems may have trouble reading because they can’t discriminate between letters, or they may have trouble identifying who is speaking to them because they can’t locate the sources of sounds.
  3. Sensory-Based Motor Disorder. This includes postural disorders and/or dyspraxia (difficulty planning and carrying out motor tasks). People with sensory motor problems may have low muscle tone, difficulty holding utensils, poor posture, trouble with balance, and low stamina.

Terry and Jan in Seattle have a son, Eli, who slumps and has trouble holding his pencil firmly when he writes and draws. He has difficulty sitting up straight at school and at the dinner table, and his handwriting is poor. Sometimes he falls out of his chair. Eli’s Sensory Motor Disorder makes him unable to keep up with playground activities and leaves him feeling socially isolated and embarrassed, especially around the other boys in his class.

People with SPD may have problems in one, two, or all three areas, to varying degrees. The often very different manifestations of SPD make it a challenge to diagnose and treat. It can be bewildering to people unfamiliar with the condition, making it easy to mistake as the result of poor parenting or character flaws such as stubbornness, belligerence, laziness, or lack of intelligence.

Morgan and Jim, parents in Portland, have two kids with SPD, displaying two very different forms of Sensory Modulation Disorder. Their daughter is generally overresponsive to sensory input, screaming at mild pain and dissolving into long crying fits, even in public, over minor disappointments. Their son, on the other hand, is sensory-seeking, often hitting, biting, touching, and talking excessively in school and at home. Both children are highly intelligent, which is not uncommon for children with SPD.

Boy on metal climbing ladder.

SPD can feel insurmountable.

According to Paula Jarrard, MS, OTR, and doctoral candidate at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, there is a correlation between giftedness and SPD. She based her conclusions partly on two studies, one by the SPD Foundation that found that 35 percent of the children in one large sample (n=500) from a gifted and talented center exhibited symptoms of SPD. The second study showed that almost 17 percent of gifted children that were tested at a different center had SPD.

Although a significantly higher-than-average number of SPD kids may be gifted, they often suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety, and poor school performance, leading to underachievement in adulthood.

Bainbridge Island pyschotherapist Elizabeth Turner, who works with many SPD children, explains that their difficulty filtering and interpreting sensory information can create chronic stress: “Sensory-challenging situations, like chaotic classrooms, for example, can feel overwhelming and create an anxiety response that becomes physiologically wired into the nervous system. These kids develop a flight, fight, or freeze reaction that becomes involuntary without intervention.”

So what begins as a neurological difference in SPD kids often develops into a socially isolating and emotionally debilitating condition. In the next feature in this series, I will examine what it’s like living with SPD from the point of view of those who have it and their parents and caregivers.

[This article from the archives originally appeared on Inside Bainbridge October 19, 2011.]

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Images courtesy of Mike Baird, Reiner Kraft, and James Emery.

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Blackberry jpod p-27 orca by Kim

New Map Shows Best Places to See Orcas in Puget Sound

Resident orcas are expected in Puget Sound this week on the hunt for their primary food, salmon, which are returning to area rivers to spawn.

Now the nonprofit organization Orca Network has published a map of good on-shore locations for spotting whales in Puget Sound and surrounding areas, from north of Whidbey Island to south of Tacoma.

View the map. 

The map, still being expanded and updated, includes descriptions of prime locations and directions for how to get to them. Orca Network volunteer Thorsten Lisker created the map based on historical sightings records and information from seasoned whale watchers.

The best spot on Bainbridge Island identified on the map is Fay Bainbridge Park. Other close locations on this side of the water are in Kingston, Hansville, and Port Townsend.

Feeding patterns suggest that members of the J, K, and/or L pods are likely to show up any day now looking for chum and possibly coho salmon.

whale sighting locations map

Transient orcas are still around too, as well as at least one humpback, sighted yesterday, September 29, off of Point No Point in Hansville.

It is believed that resident and transient orcas diverged genetically about 70,000 years ago. Our Pacific southern residents in the Northwest live in matriarchal communities, or pods, and eat fish. Transients move in smaller groups and feed on mammals, including seals, sea lions, and other whales.

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Photo of Blackberry (J-27), a J-pod male born in 1991 courtesy of Kim.

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Astrology Weekly

Astrology Weekly 9/28/14: Choose Your Delusion, Get Clarity

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

Listen here.

Aleta McClelland

Listen 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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red envelope stuffers on call for all

Photos of the Day: Red Envelope Stuffers!

Volunteers are busy today stuffing those familiar red envelopes for the annual One Call for All fundraising campaign.

Established in 1960, One Call for All supports more than 90 local non-profit organizations on Bainbridge Island. One hundred percent of contributions from community members goes to local causes. Just in the last 10 years, the Red Envelope campaign has raised nearly $9 million for local nonprofits.

Expect to see those red envelopes in your mailbox in early October. The campaign continues through December 31.

red envelope stuffers on call for all

Kari Wright and Vicky Marsing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photos by Lynn Smith.

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milk

Helpline House Loses Its Milk Money?

Earlier this month Helpline House quietly announced on its message whiteboard that it would no longer be offering milk in its food bank.

The announcement generated a small flurry of concern on Bainbridge, with some talking on Facebook about creating a milk fund to help out.

Helpline’s Food Bank and Volunteer Services Manager Marilyn Gremse acknowledged that milk is an emotional issue for many people. A ready source of protein and calcium, it holds an iconic place in American culture like no other food. The decision to cut milk from the food bank’s offerings was not easy, but Gremse explained that there were several compelling factors that ultimately made the choice inevitable.

Back when a milk program was added to Helpline’s services by a citizen group eight years ago, the food bank was only serving about 100 families, and milk was considerably more affordable. Gremse explained that these days Helpline is consistently providing food to over 325 families. Milk has been increasingly difficult to pay for given the rise in prices. And as more people choose nondairy milk alternatives, such as soy and rice milk, the demand for milk has dropped somewhat. Adding to the equation is the fact that Helpline’s source for affordable milk, Smith Brothers, recently changed ownership, with the new owners saying they no longer have the capacity to handle the managerial job of supplying milk to Helpline.

Given Helpline’s stretched budget, paying a premium to continue providing milk no longer made sense.

Gremse explained that the goal of the food bank is to offer a variety of nutritious foods to its customers, but that it is not and never has been meant to serve as a family’s only or even primary source of food. “We never turn anyone away, but it’s meant to be a supplemental stopgap measure,” said Gremse.

Gremse pointed out that milk is still available to pregnant and nursing mothers and young children through the Department of Health’s Women Infants and Children (WIC) program for low-income families. She also explained that the food bank is now getting other dairy products, including yogurt and cheese, from more affordable sources.

Helpline volunteers Lisa Giles and Pat Sampson

Helpline volunteers Lisa Giles and Pat Sampson holding a food donation

With 12 employees (some part-time) and about 100 volunteers, many with 20 or more years of service under their belts, Helpline is one of the few community assistance organizations in our area to offer more than just a food bank. Helpline assigns 22 percent of its cash budget to the food bank. The value of food donations and volunteer labor to operate the food program is about $450,000.

I asked Gremse how Helpline is keeping up with the tremendous increase in demand for its services, which also include social work, a clothing bank, and some resource and employment counseling. She said the organization is stable and doing well right now but, “We don’t know where this is going in terms of demand and operating expenses.”

She emphasized the tremendous generosity of the Bainbridge Island community and encouraged people interested in helping specifically with providing milk to donate it directly to the center. Monetary donations are welcome but cannot be earmarked for specific expenditures.

I asked Gremse about another recent change at the food bank. Bread and other baked goods have been moved behind the counter, and people are now required to sign in before taking such products. Previously the bread shelf was up front, and people could stop in any time to grab a loaf or cookies. Gremse explained that documenting bread consumption will help the organization to get funding from the USDA. She said, “We don’t want to discourage people from taking the bread, but we’re finding that now there is enough to go around, including the most popular item—sliced bread for sandwiches.”

Helpline relies heavily on community donations. Gremse said that in particular right now it is seeking (in addition to money) fresh produce and packaged food, children’s and men’s clothing, towels, sheets, and blankets.

As for reviving a milk program in the near future, Gremse said it looks unlikely. “We have to continually evaluate our budgetary priorities.”

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Photos courtesy of Joel Montes de Oca and Helpline House. 

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