Tag Archive | "Bainbridge Island"

Photo of the Day: Nuclear-Powered USS Stennis Heads Home

The USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) aircraft carrier cruised through Rich Passage on its way home to Bremerton on December 17 after completing flight-deck certification and onloading ammunition in San Diego.

The USS Stennis is powered by two nuclear reactors, enabling it to sustain high speeds for extended operations. At capacity it holds over 7,500 men and women, about one-third the population of Bainbridge Island.

Thank you to Robert Dashiell for sharing this photograph of the ship passing near Lynwood Center, “tilting to starboard as it turned to port.”

USS STENNIS Rich Passage 18 Dec 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo of USS Stennis courtesy of Robert Dashiell. 

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hat in the ring by Rob Brewer

The Only Applicant So Far for City Council Post Once Served on Planning Commission

Gary Pettersen may be our next City Councilmember. Pettersen is the only applicant so far for the post vacated earlier this month by Councilmember Dave Ward.

Pettersen is not unfamiliar with public service, having served on the City of Bainbridge Island’s Planning Commission (and before that on the Planning Commission of the City of Winslow). In 2009, he resigned from the commission in protest when, after a close vote, the Commission supported commercial development of 216 Ericksen Avenue, the former location of a historic home. Pettersen was quoted in the Bainbridge Review at the time: ”On that project we totally ignored the comprehensive plan and only viewed (the plans) based on zoning. If we have a comprehensive plan and don’t enforce it, why have one?”

Councilmember Ward’s resignation was one of the conditions of the recent settlement of a Public Records Lawsuit against the City. Although the plaintiffs did not request his resignation, they accepted it once it was offered as part of the settlement. However, Ward’s December 9 letter of resignation cites only health reasons for his decision.

The vacancy will be filled by appointment through majority vote of remaining members of the City Council. To qualify for appointment, candidates must be registered voters living in the Central Ward who have resided within the Bainbridge Island City limits for the past year. A map of the ward areas is available here.

Applications must be submitted by Tuesday, December 30, at 4 p.m. to Roz Lassoff, City Clerk. Applications can be submitted in-person at City Hall or by e-mail to rlassoff@bainbridgewa.gov.

The application is available on the City website here.

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Photo by Rob Brewer.

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barred owl from chimney

The Extraordinary Predicament of the Owl Trapped Down a 50-Foot Chimney

After a couple of days of hearing fluttering in his chimney, a Silverdale homeowner reached through the fireplace’s flue with his camera and took a shot. What he saw was a shock. Looking directly at the camera was a curious, round-eyed, stressed, and very sooty Barred Owl.

The homeowner called West Sound Wildlife Shelter (WSWS) on Bainbridge Island to ask for help. WSWS Operations Manager Lynne Weber agreed to assist with the unusual situation.

According to Weber, the original curved brick fireplace in the 1930s home was about 4.5′ by 4.5′, with a 50-foot-tall chimney about 18″ by 18″ wide inside. The top of the fireplace and bottom of the chimney were sealed with brick except for a 4-inch-wide flue slit opening.

The owl had apparently toppled down the chimney, unable to extend its wings to fly up and out. Weber guessed it had been pursuing a mouse when it fell down the chimney shaft.

The man said he had just sold the house and did not want to remove bricks to extract the raptor through the side of the chimney. And so it went that he and Weber were faced with removing the owl through the 4-inch wide flue.

Sound impossible? That’s what I thought, the challenge even greater because of the fact that the interior of the chimney had recessed areas that the bird was retreating into when Weber reached through the 4-inch gap to attempt to pull her out.

barred owl sootyWeber said being “a stupid human,” after a few hours she finally figured out to block the recessed areas inside the chimney shaft by stuffing towels into them and thereby pushing the bird forward into reach. The problem with that plan, however, was that Weber couldn’t feel the difference between soft towels and the soft-feathered bird. So, painstakingly, inside the sooty fireplace with her body facing down and her arm extended up, Weber removed the towels from the recessed areas and replaced them with small logs.

“Finally she was forced forward,” Weber said about the owl. Once again Weber and the homeowner used a camera to track her position, with help from her “clacking.” When they could see, feel, and hear that she was within reach, they extended a “utensil fabricated with bamboo sticks and netting.” Weber said the idea was to get the owl’s feet tangled into the netting and then pull her down, which is exactly what happened. The man held the bird’s feet, Weber tucked her wings safely into her body, and they delicately pulled her down through the slit. It helped that the bird was a smaller hatchling, born last spring.

Weber, whose dedication to wildlife is a lifelong passion and whose sense of humor is a pleasure for this reporter, said of the young raptor, with classic understatement, “After what we went through, we don’t like each other.”

Back at WSWS, the staff evaluated the extremely sooty bird. Luckily she was uninjured, but soot had penetrated her nares (nostrils), mouth, eyes, and beak. They removed what soot they could and then placed her in a warm indoor enclosure for some rest. The next day they moved her to the Shelter’s flight cage, a large state-of-the-art area where recovering raptors can practice flying and catching prey. Staff provided water for the young owl to groom herself, which took several days of work and frequently replenished bath water.

After nearly a week, the juvenile owl was ready for release. WSWS staff banded and released her into her territory on December 6.

Weber advises all homeowners with chimneys to cap them to prevent problems with wildlife.

Donate to West Sound Wildlife Shelter. Contact them at 206-855-9057.

Photo courtesy of Dottie Tison.

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mailboxes

Letter to the Editor: Please Support This Vital Community Resource

For a number of years I have gotten much of my information about what is going on around Bainbridge Island, from events to local politics to weather, from Inside Bainbridge. It is a truly invaluable community resource that I and many people I know depend on.

So when I realized some months ago that they rely in large part on voluntary financial donations from their readers, I chose to set up a monthly donation, automatically drawn from my credit card account. I really don’t notice it at all, and I hope it helps them.

I urge all of you readers, who utilize them as much as I do, also to choose to contribute to their costs. Just click the donate button on their home page and decide what you are able to give.

Inside Bainbridge is truly an asset for us all!

—Delight C. Willing
Bainbridge Island

Donate Via Paypal


Please note that our Paypal e-mail is contact@insidebainbridge.com.

Mail a Check

Inside Bainbridge
321 High School Road, Suite D3, #209
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

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helicopter at night

Capsized Kayaker off Battle Point Dies

by Julie Hall and Sarah Lane

Last night, December 14, at 11:02 the Coast Guard pulled a capsized kayaker from the waters off the west side of Bainbridge Island near Battle Point. The 52-year-old Brownsville man was unresponsive when he was flown by Coast Guard helicopter to Harborview Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The kayaker, Mike Gianneschi, had set off Sunday afternoon from the opposite shore, telling his family he would return before dark. His wife called 911 at 8:30 last night to report he was overdue.

Kitsap County officials contacted the Coast Guard, which immediately deployed an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles and a 45-foot Response Boat Medium crew from Station Seattle.

According to Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class George Regener, the Response Boat spotted an overturned kayak and directed the helicopter to the location. The helicopter located the man in the water about 1,600 yards from the kayak.

Battle Point BeachDegener said the man was wearing a life jacket when pulled from the water but did not have a communications device and had not left a float plan, both of which he said the Coast Guard encourages for mariners. Degener said, “Our thoughts are with the man’s family.”

The weather in the area yesterday was calm, with 5 mph winds and low 1-foot seas (swell heights).

Bainbridge residents in the Battle Point neighborhood reported hearing a very low-flying helicopter repeatedly sweeping the area.

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Photo of Battle Point Beach by Julie Hall.

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kitten and kid PAWS

PAWS Really—Really—Needs Our Help

With 2015 around the corner, PAWS of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap is getting ready to celebrate its 40th year, but in an odd position. Our PAWS, not to be confused with other separate organizations around the country called PAWS, is seeing the best of times and the hardest of times.

The good news is that PAWS recently (last spring) expanded with two beautiful new adoption centers, one on Bainbridge and one in Kingston (read more about the expansion). Its Pleasant Beach location on Bainbridge Island replaced a small, poorly equipped space on Miller Road that did not even have potable water. And the Kingston location helped PAWS extend its reach farther into North Kitsap. The new locations were “made possible by the generosity of the Jacobi Family Foundation, which provides support for a portion of the rental expenses.” With rallying help from other community groups and donors, PAWS raised the funds to furnish the new spaces with state-of-the-art features, including more space, proper ventilation, improved cleaning facilities, and numerous other upgrades to improve conditions for the animals and help increase adoption rates.

It was a win win, and last spring’s fundraising auction pulled in more money than ever before.

Bella paws catFast forward to now. According to Board President Shaun Stephenson, since then donations and volunteerism have dropped. Since July PAWS has been only getting revenue at half the rate of its expenditures. That has meant that the nonprofit no-kill organization, a beloved Island fixture since it was launched by Mildred Frey, Diane Blymer, and Lila Dolan back in 1975, has had to scramble to stay afloat. (PAWS was revitalized in the 1990s by Judy Hartstone, Catherine MacDonald, Nancy Biery, and Marilyn Schaefer.)

The staff has been cut to just three full-time paid workers, down from five, with the Executive Director and Volunteer Coordinator positions eliminated. The remaining staff are working overtime to keep up with the demands of running two locations, as well as caring for the many cats at the Cattery, a location that houses cats not ready or suitable for placement at the adoption centers. Stephenson explained that PAWS also has had to draw from its reserve emergency fund, something the Board is loathe to do.

Why the shortfall? Board Vice President Delight Willing believes people simply don’t realize that PAWS needs help. “With the growth last year, the perception has been that we’re doing great and don’t need as much help with donations and volunteering,” said Willing.

Moco paws dogWilling and Stephenson explained that the Board has stepped up to fill the role of the Executive Director and take the lead in stabilizing the organization. Willing said, “We love this organization and are very excited and committed to fill the shoes of the Executive Director. Everyone [on the Board] is stepping up to the plate.” Stephenson emphasized his goal of ensuring that PAWS is in a “continuously sustainable” position moving forward. “Entering our 40th year we intend to have another great 40 years.”

Board member Kent Bridwell explained that the Board met last week for an all-day pow-wow to outline the next steps in its plan to revitalize the organization and reach out to donors and volunteers. Willing said the Board sees this as a time to shore up its foundation and restructure. “It’s a period of challenge we are ready to meet,” she said.

splash familyIn addition to reducing its staff and increasing the hands-on involvement of Board members, PAWS is working more with the Kitsap Humane Society to utilize its much larger resources, such as veterinary services. PAWS also is tapping into its network of key supporters—both donors and volunteers. Willing said, “We are personally contacting donors, and we are reaching out to our volunteer database.” Finally, with this article, PAWS is extending a paw to the public about its circumstances, services, and need.

Ways to Volunteer

  1. work 3-hour shifts at the adoption centers;
  2. help organize and run events such as the annual auction and Wagfest; and
  3. provide fostering for animals, particularly mother cats with kittens, typically a 6-7 week commitment.

PAWS Services

  1. When you adopt a cat or dog from PAWS, the adoption is subsidized by 50 percent. That means that each adoptee has been spayed/neutered, given veterinary care, provided with needed shots, and microchipped all for half of the actual cost, with the rest covered by PAWS to make adoptions more accessible to all.
  2. Dogs? PAWS does not have facilities to house dogs, but it has an ongoing commitment to help dogs in need find loving homes. It also provides regular dog adoption events at its adoption centers.
  3. The PALS (Pets and Loving Seniors) program provides full coverage of veterinary costs and a guarantee of permanent placement for pets to seniors in need who wish to adopt a cat or dog.
  4. Kitsap Lost Pets helps connect lost animals every day with their human families.
  5. Vet Assist provides $75 coupons to low-income people to help with veterinary care for their cats and dogs.
  6. The Feral Cat Capture program catches feral cats and spays/neuters them to reduce feline overpopulation and disease. The program has dramatically reduced feral populations in our area.
  7. The Respite Care program provides up to 48 hours of temporary care for cats and dogs if their person/people are in crisis. Women attempting to leave abusive domestic situations, for example, can utilize this service to ensure that their pets are safe while they transition to a new living situation.
  8. As a no-kill organization, PAWS houses at its Cattery cats who are unadoptable, either for health or behavioral reasons.Levi Charlie paws dogs

Learn how to donate to and/or volunteer for PAWS.

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 Photos by Julie Hall and Melissa Byrd.

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Astrology Weekly

Astrology Weekly 12/14/14: Stand Your Ground, with Flexibility

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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Letter to the Editor: Our City Council’s Reckless Role in Public Records Lawsuit

Recently Kim Hendrickson published a letter to the editor on Inside Bainbridge titled “A Paulson/Fortner Win and Our Loss.” The piece is both an attack on Bob and Althea and a defense of Bonkowski and Ward. Keep in mind that both Bonkowski and Ward violated the city’s Governance Manual and refused to turn over public records from their personal e-mail accounts. Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Jeanette Dalton specifically stated: “The hesitation of council members Ward and Bonkowski to turn over public records is of grave concern to the citizens of Bainbridge Island.” Two different courts found that they intentionally and wrongfully deleted public records and concluded that their conduct constituted serious violations of the law. Ward’s behavior was especially offensive in that he admitted to giving false testimony under oath on two occasions and disposed of crucial evidence, specifically his computer.

In a sense Hendrickson is correct in that the citizens of Bainbridge did in fact lose. We elected individuals who stated and implied that they were honest men of integrity who would conduct the city’s business, our business, in an open and transparent manner. Since being elected they have fallen far short of their campaign promises. Unfortunately the damage and losses incurred by the city were in fact avoidable.

If one is to point an accusatory finger at those responsible for this damage and loss it is not just Ward and Bonkowski but our city council.

Remember, Althea and Bob approached the city about a settlement less than a month after the suit was filed and offered to drop the lawsuit with no attorney’s fees or sanctions if Ward and Bonkowski would produce the requested e-mails. They refused. All the costs and fees that resulted are a result of their refusal to obey the law. This decision was supported by our city council, and one can only wonder whether the council was delusional or made this decision based on bad legal advice or both.

The settlement cost of approximately $500,000 is the large tip of a financial iceberg. Our city council’s reckless behavior has cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars beginning with the termination of City Manager Brenda Bauer and the resulting expense to search for her replacement. Now we have the Bonkowski and Ward debacle and the yet to be disclosed costs of the multiple attorneys hired to represent the city, Bonkowski, and Ward in the lawsuit. These three items alone will probably cost us well over a million dollars!

So in a sense Hendrickson is correct in that we are losers but not because of Bob and Althea but rather the illegal actions of Bonkowski and Ward and the poor decisions of our city council. Hopefully in spite of the continued presence of Bonkowski on the city council we will learn the real costs and the reasons for the decision to fight the lawsuit. We deserve truthful answers. The question remains, is the council up to being truthful?

—Bob Seaby
Bainbridge Island

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Walla Walla

Ferry Advisory: Delays Coming for Bainbridge/Seattle and Kingston/Edmonds Commuters

Washington State Ferries (WSF) is advising travelers on the Seattle/Bainbridge and Edmonds/Kingston routes to expect significant delays starting midday Friday, December 12, through Tuesday, December 16.

The 202-vehicle Puyallup, which is currently filling in for the out-of-service Tacoma on the Seattle/Bainbridge route, will be pulled from service for four days for a mandatory annual U.S. Coast Guard safety inspection.

The 188-vehicle Walla Walla will be reassigned from the Kingston/Edmonds route to fill in for the Puyallup, reducing car capacity on the Bainbridge/Seattle route by 14. But worse delays for Bainbridge commuters will come from overflow traffic from the Edmonds/Kingston run, which will have reduced capacity by 44 vehicles on half of its daily sailings. WSF is advising Edmonds/Kingston customers to take Seattle/Bainbridge Island sailings as an alternative or to drive around.

WSF said customers on both routes should arrive early and plan for waits. WSF said, on the Edmonds/Kingston run ”drivers may experience a one-boat wait between 6:25 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. out of Kingston and a one-boat wait between 3:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. out of Edmonds.”

WSF also noted that weekend traffic is heavier than weekday traffic, especially in mid-December.

Walk on passengers and the Seattle/Bremerton sailings are not expected to be affected by these changes.

For more information, contact WSF Communications Director Marta Coursey at coursem@wsdot.wa.gov.

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Photo of the Walla Walla by Julie Hall.

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holiday music truck

A Hot Toddy History of the BIFD Holiday Music Truck

Perk up your ears, because this week the annual Bainbridge Fire Department Holiday Music Truck starts its rounds of Island neighborhoods. For those of you unfamiliar with this Island tradition, the BIFD festoons one of its trucks for the holidays and tours a different section of the Island playing holiday music for four-hour shifts 13 nights in a row, culminating on Christmas Eve. View the 2014 schedule.

Let me tell you that this is hard to miss, even from remote crannies of our Rock, because it is loud, as in really loud. When I asked Lieutenant and volunteer firefighter Jim Dow how the drivers of the Truck protect themselves from permanent hearing loss, he explained, “the speakers project outward, so it’s not too loud inside. We’re usually singing along the whole way.”

I asked when the tradition began. Dow said he remembers the Holiday Truck from way back in the 1950s, when he was a kid on Bainbridge. He suggested I ask the oldest member of the Fire Department, Chuck Callaham (see The Elves Behind the Hwy 305 Holiday Lights Display) when it started, but Callaham couldn’t remember the precise year either, just that it was sometime in the ‘50s. Both mentioned that in those days, when the Island was a much quieter place and cultural norms were different, Islanders would leave hot toddies in their mailboxes for the Holiday Truck drivers.

Dow said that now hot chocolate is welcome, but what really makes this a hugely popular gig for members of the Department is the love they feel from the community—happy smiles, waves, kids peaking through their bedroom windows, people running out in their pajamas with plates of cookies and candy. Occasionally the Truck passes a Christmas party, and all the party goers empty out of the house to wave and sing along.

A few people have requested not to be serenaded by the Truck, so the Department turns its music off in some places, including areas where it might especially bother wildlife.

Dow explained that each night of the holiday tour runs from about 5-9 p.m. Driving the Holiday rig is so popular among the firefighters that often it’s necessary for BIFD staffers to draw straws for the privilege. Dow said, “A lot of drivers bring their families along. One year I brought the high school girls basketball team.” When I asked about the music itself, Dow said that there used to be a couple of tapes that the Department used each year, but now many staffers make their own cds of holiday favorites. As for dinner, many of the drivers rendezvous to eat with family and/or friends.

One of Dow’s best memories over his 28 years in the Department is an 11- or 12-year-old girl who ran out onto her front porch to listen to the Truck and was joined by her black lab: “She put her arm around her dog, and the two of them sat on their haunches together smiling and swaying to the music.” Dow said another particularly rewarding part of the tradition is passing homes of single elderly people: “We remind them they’re not alone on the holidays.”

Whatever age you are, there is something irresistible about this sweet Island tradition. I asked Dow if he knew of such traditions in other communities: “We can’t be the only ones who do this, but I’ve never heard of another town that does.” Whether it’s unique to Bainbridge, I for one am glad it’s here “at the most wonderful time of the year,” at least for one blinking, melodic moment of good cheer.

[This article from the archives was first published December 4, 2011.]

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Photos courtesy of Assistant Chief Luke Carpenter.

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arms around bainbridge 2015 calendar

Arms Around Bainbridge’s 2015 Calendar Makes a Gorgeous Gift

From Oregon to California to Paris to Iceland and beyond the new Arms Around Bainbridge calendar features stunning highlights of Bainbridge-based photographer Pete Saloutos’s work over the course of the past year. And at $20, the one-of-a-kind, heavy-card-stock calendar is a steal you can feel good about, whether you’re buying it as a gift or to hang on your wall at home.

Saloutos, who sells his work around the world, said this year’s production value for the calendar is better than ever: “We created the 13-month calendar this year so people can pull images they like from it for framing.”

Saloutos sells many of his prints for big bucks. I asked him what his top-selling images are from this year’s calendar, and he said the lighthouse and full moon shots are particular favorites.

Lighthouse in Iceland

Lighthouse in Iceland

With images and design costs donated by Saloutos, one of the founding members of AAB, and paper and printing costs donated by KP Corporation, the calendar is a key fundraiser for the nonprofit organization that assists Bainbridge Islanders with debilitating health problems. Currently there are 10 recipients of AAB’s financial and resource support.

All proceeds from calendar sales go to AAB, an all-volunteer organization in its ninth year created by and for Bainbridge Island residents. Read here about one recipient and her struggle with brain cancer.

moon by Pete Saloutos

Mono Lake, California

The calendar is currently for sale at the following Bainbridge Island businesses: Town & Country Market, Island Fitness, Roby King Gallery, the Aquatic Center, Eagle Harbor Books, and Lollipops Children’s Boutique.

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Images from the calendar courtesy of Pete Saloutos.

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Rain

Weather: Great Walls of Rain

Clear those gutters, because ma(h)ssive rain is moving in.

Here is the National Weather Service forecast for Bainbridge Island:

  • Monday A 50 percent chance of rain. Cloudy, with a high near 54 degrees F. South wind around 9 mph.
  • Monday Night A 90 percent likelihood of rain, with a low around 49 degrees F. South wind 11 to 21 mph. Between a half and three-quarters of an inch of rain possible.
  • Tuesday A 100 forecast for rain, mainly before 4 p.m. High near 57 degrees F. Breezy, with a southwest wind around 22 mph. A quarter to half of an inch of precipitation possible.
  • Tuesday Night A 100 forecast for rain, mainly after 10 p.m., with a low around 50 degrees F. South-southwest wind around 14 mph, becoming southeast in the evening. Between a half and three-quarters of an inch of rain possible.
  • Wednesday A 100 forecast for rain, with a high near 56 degrees F. Breezy, with a south wind 18 to 23 mph. Between a half and three-quarters of an inch of rain possible.
  • Wednesday Night A 90 percent likelihood of rain. Low around 49 degrees F. Between a tenth and quarter of an inch of rain possible.
  • Thursday A 70 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 51 degrees F.
  • Thursday Night Rain likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 45 degrees F.

Photo courtesy of Wonderlane.

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Astrology Weekly

Astrology Weekly 12/7/14: Out of Patience with B.S.?

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.

This week she will be joined by astrologer and Feng Shui expert Kimla Dodds.

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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container ship

Photos of the Day: Container Ships Anchored off South Bainbridge

[Updated December 7 at 1:03 p.m.]

Seen some big ships anchored off our southern shores lately?

Marinetraffic.com shows that currently there are four container ships and one cargo ship “parked” in the waters around southern Bainbridge Island. The featured photos show two ships situated in the channel between Fort Ward and Manchester. According to Coast Guard Public Affairs Chief David Mosley, the area is a federally designated anchorage zone for overflow ships headed for the Port of Seattle and Tacoma.

I asked Mosley if the anchored ships are overflow because of a Longshoremen slowdown due to union contract disagreements between the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Group, representing west coast ports. Mosley could not identify the reason for the ships’ presence. He said that the Coast Guard’s role is to oversee safety issues, and the ships are in compliance with Coast Guard policy.

container ship off south Bainbridge

Container ships as seen from Lytle Beach

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Photos by Sarah Lane.

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log on fairy dell trail

Alaska Airlines Magazine Visits Dave Guterson’s Bainbridge Island

An article in the December 2014 issue of Alaska Airlines Magazine takes a good long look at Bainbridge Island through the lens of local author Dave Guterson’s best-selling 1994 novel Snow Falling on Cedars.

Featuring a photograph of our local Fairy Dell Trail by Paul Brians that first appeared on Inside Bainbridge, the article’s author Kristianne Huntsberger tours the places that inspired some of the key sites and themes of the book’s universe.

stump on fairy dell trail

Fairy Dell photo featured in article

Huntsberger follows Guterson’s characters to Battle Point Park and the nearby Fairy Dell that leads to the mudflat beach where the novel’s sweethearts shared their first kiss and dug for geoducks. The article notes other sites, including Day Road’s Suyematsu Farm and, of course, the Japanese-American Exclusion Memorial near the former ferry dock at Pritchard Park where the first Japanese-American citizens were forced from their homes and relocated to internment camps during World War II, a central element of the novel’s plot.

Even the Bainbridge Historical Museum and Bainbridge Performing Arts get nods in the article, the latter for its upcoming production of Snow Falling on Cedars in March.

Read the article: By the Book: Travel Inspired by Authors Is Enriching and Entertaining.

See Paul Brians photo essay of the Fairy Dell Trail.

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Featured photo of the Fairy Dell Trail by Inside Bainbridge contributing photographer Paul Brians. 

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bipd holiday music truck

Holiday Music Truck Schedule 2014

The Holiday Music Truck is coming around again this month to neighborhoods near you with seasonal cheer. Thank you to the Bainbridge Island Fire Department (BIFD) for continuing this beloved Island tradition.

Here is a route map of the truck’s 2014 schedule, December 11 through December 24 and running between 5 and 9 each evening.

We spliced two parts together in the middle, but it should be understandable. See the pdf version.

To learn more about this unique Bainbridge Island tradition, read our in-depth article about the BIPD Holiday Music Truck.

 

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Images courtesy of Fire Marshal Luke Carpenter.

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ice by marilynn gottlieb

Photos of the Day: The Infinitely Mysterious Chemistry of Snow

Whether you love it, hate it, or kinda like it because your kids get excited about it, our recent snow has stayed a while, giving Bainbridge Island photographer Marilynn Gottlieb a chance to get close and personal.

Thank you Marilynn for sharing these lovely shots of snowy Battle Point Park from a rabbit’s “To Earthward” (Robert Frost) perspective.

And speaking of rabbits, very surprisingly there is a family of newborns at the park. We wish them well at this challenging time of year.

ice crystals by Marilynn Gottlieb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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city of bainbridge island city hall

Former Mayor Questions City Manager’s Conduct in Social Media Forum

Yesterday, December 1, former Bainbridge Island mayor, former council member, and 2013 citizen of the year Debbi Lester submitted a letter of “concern” to the current city council regarding the conduct of city employees, in particular that of City Manager Doug Schulze, in the Facebook forum Radio Free Bainbridge (RFB).

RFB, formed last August as an offshoot of the forum Bainbridge Islanders, calls itself “a no-holds-barred unmoderated forum for free and independent discussion of politics and island-specific issues.” Former Bainbridge Islanders moderator Christina Tinling told Inside Bainbridge that she started RFB as a way to divert contentious and incendiary content from Bainbridge Islanders, which she was attempting to uphold as a respectful community resource, the rules of which she said were continuously being violated by certain members. (Read more about the creation of Radio Free Bainbridge.)

In her letter to the council, Lester raised numerous points and questions, citing examples of the comments made by Schulze, who regularly participates in discussions in RFB, particularly when they relate to city business. Lester stated that the city manager’s written remarks on social media, along with those of all city officials, appointed commission members, and staff, are subject to the public records act. “As such, social media comments should also be posted to the COBI server and/or the COBI’s Facebook page and stored as public records,” she said.

In the city council meeting of November 18, City Attorney Lisa Marshall reviewed the public records act in a training session before the council and city manager. Marshall explained that social media commentary falls under the public records act and as such is public record. ”The people [in Washington] do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. . . . At the end just about everything is probably a public record, and we usually advise elected officials and appointed staff not to write or create something they would not like to see on the front page of the newspaper,” concluded Marshall.

Marshall advised city officials and staff to use their city email addresses and phone numbers in all discussions about city business, or to forward all such exchanges from their personal accounts to their city ones since most likely such writing constitutes public records and should be made publicly accessible.

Here are Lester’s main points from her letter to the city council:

  1. “City employees, elected city officials, and/or commission members choosing to participate in Facebook forums should consider having separate COBI Facebook pages that link to the COBI’s server just as they have COBI email addresses so that all the conversations that relate to city business are easily accessed for public records requests.
  2. Currently some identify themselves as COBI employees and some do not. Examples below are of a few COBI employees and an elected official using their personal Facebook accounts with this ‘political’ forum: Doug Schulze, Tami Allen, Kellie Holland (Stickney), Kelly Jahraus, and Anne Blair. When citizens view these accounts they also see personal, private information and photos that have nothing to do with the COBI.
  3. The city manager should update his status to reflect that he is the “City Manager at Bainbridge Island” rather than the “Former City Manager of Normandy Park.”
  4. What are the city policies regarding participation in social media? Should City employees be engaging in Facebook during city business hours? Is it okay to do so when it is discussing city business? Should posts of city business by employees and elected officials on closed pages be allowed? If no policies are in place, should social media policies be developed?
  5. Should the city manager and/or employees be participating in public debate before a topic has been thoroughly reviewed by the policy recommending bodies (planning commission, civil service commission, harbor commission, etc.) and policy making body (city council)? What guidance does the ICMA [International Code of City Management Association] Code of Ethics, Employee Manual, and/or the Governance Manual provide? There is a perception of administration/staff entering into the policy debate.”

The ICMA code of ethics for city managers includes, among other things, the following key tenet: “Keep the community informed on local government affairs; encourage communication between the citizens and all local government officers; emphasize friendly and courteous service to the public; and seek to improve the quality and image of public service.”

Lester highlighted several comment threads in which Schulze participated, often during business hours.

UPDATE as of 12/2/14 at 5:13 p.m.: After receiving a few requests from people who participated in Radio Free Bainbridge threads and whose comments appeared in the materials presented to the City Council, we have decided to remove from this article the examples of Schulze’s interactions on Facebook. We have done this out of respect for those people’s desire to maintain their privacy, people who were participating in those forums unaware that Schulze’s participation made their comments available to the public through the PRA. We hope, however, that those people understand that, whether the comments were published here or not, they are part of the public record and anyone can access them.

We remove the comments with some misgivings: First, the examples are important to show the ways in which Lester felt Schulze had violated code of ethics tenets in his comments, and without including the full exchange, his comments would be out of context and make no sense. Second, RFB may be a closed group but it is hardly private as it has many members who have the ability to reproduce what is said there, so any expectation of privacy, even without city official participation is somewhat naive. Third, this is exactly the point that we believe Lester and City Attorney Marshall were making, that nothing said in a “closed” group or personal e-mail exchange is private once a public official has participated in it on city business.

We feel strongly that the citizens of Bainbridge Island have a right to know what their city government is doing and exactly how it affects them. When people have that information, they have the freedom to make their own decisions.

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Photo by Julie Hall.

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spokane ferry at kingston dock by compdude787

Look out Bainbridge, All Ferry Service Down on Kingston-Edmonds Route

Washington State Ferries (WSF) has just announced that all ferry service on the Edmonds/Kingston route is unavailable until further notice.

WSF issued a statement this afternoon saying the route’s service shut down is due to operational constraints and that alternate routes are advised at this time.

Travelers on the Seattle/Bainbridge Island route should be prepared for extended wait times from overflow commuters using it as the closest alternative.

We will provide updates as information is released.

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Photo courtesy of compdude787.

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Astrology Weekly

Astrology Weekly 12/1/14: What Do You Stand for?

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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