Tag Archive | "Bainbridge Island"

goodbye stop sign

Friend of Suicide Victim Delivers Tribute

Bainbridge Island resident and long-time teacher Melissa Ripley took her own life last Monday. Friends and colleagues have come forward since then, expressing shock as well as love for their lost friend.

This evening, Julie Mills, Childrens Art Programs Director of The Island Art Center Inc., shared her thoughts about her long-time friend.

“Officials have concluded how my very good friend died, but what needs to be said now is how she lived,” said Mills.

“I am a teacher on Bainbridge Island and have been in the education community here since 1997. I worked with Melissa for some of those years, and we have been friends much longer. For those of us who knew her and loved her, the reasons and questions will never be truly understood or answered. We always ask ourselves if there was anything I could have done. And the answer is moot. To be in that dark place of despair and finality, to perceive that there are no windows or doors, and no way out of that dark place, must have been terrifying and lonely.”

Mills continued, “I wish I had known how much pain she was in. I wish I could have helped her. I hope she knew how many truly cared about her happiness. I loved Melissa and cannot imagine that I will never be able to send her funny headlines, music, and concert news, or enjoy wonderful French press coffee with Grey sea-salt caramels that she would make for me on a beautiful Friday morning.”

“At very dark times in my life, she was there. She kept me sane, taught me everything she knew about teaching, marine life, art, and music,” Mills said. “Age-wise she could have been my daughter; friendship-wise she was the sister I never had. She supported and encouraged me and my own children when they were struggling. She helped so many children navigate and discover the joy of learning. She was a commensurate educator and a talented artist. She liked to play the guitar and read books. We used to laugh at how many children’s books we owned, she without children, and mine all grown up.”

“She was an amazing cook and dreamed of owning a bakery one day,” said Mills. “She loved the Pacific Northwest. She kayaked, hiked, and introduced me to Dave Matthews and frisbee golf. We would explore together all the best-kept secrets in Bremerton, from art galleries, to food and live music at the Admiral, to movie nights in the summer on the roof. Wherever she lived, she embraced the community and made it her job to discover everything there was to do. She was quiet and humble in her generosity and action. Many people did not know her to be all of these incredible things. She was quiet, and private in her life. I will miss her, mourn her, and remember Melissa Ripley for the rest of my life.”

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Image courtesy of Peter Kaminski.  

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Gilbert Haight

Gilbert Pierce Haight, Jr., 1922–2015

Dr. Gilbert P. Haight, Jr., best known for his pioneering work in chemical education, died at 92 on Monday, April 27, 2015, of natural causes.

Known to family and friends as “Gil,” Dr. Haight spent his professional life as a professor of chemistry, exploring and perfecting the delivery of scientific education to college students in a renowned career that spanned the globe.

Born in Seattle on June 8, 1922, Haight spent his early years on Bainbridge Island, Washington. The grandson of Island pioneer Warren Gazzam, young Gil grew up in his grandfather’s house, “Alabama,” on the west side of Bainbridge Island. Gil’s father, Gilbert P. Haight, Sr., was an attorney and his mother, Ruth Gazzam Haight, was a Christian Science practitioner.

Gilbert HaightGil graduated from Bainbridge High School in 1939, attended Stanford University as an undergraduate, and then earned his PhD in chemistry from Princeton University in 1946. Haight worked on the Manhattan Project during the war as part of his PhD research. His avowed interest in chemistry originated in order to avoid becoming a teacher, which he ironically dedicated his life to after discovering a knack for tutoring his fellow college students.

His teaching and research assignments took him to Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Swarthmore, College Station, Cophenhagen, San Diego, Canberra, Australia, and Kuala Lumpur, Maylasia.

Following retirement, Gil and his wife Shirley returned to Bainbridge Island until their move to Seattle in 2000.

Always dedicated to teaching chemistry to freshman students, Haight ultimately pioneered the blending of multimedia and television into lectures and labs. He also mixed humor and explosive demonstrations as part of his famous Christmas lectures.

Gilbert HaightHaight is survived by his brother Warren Haight of Hawaii, his sister Mary Pease of Seattle, his wife Shirley and their children Jennifer Haight of Kauai, Hawaii; Loisanne “Sandy” Haight of Seattle; Charles “Chad” Haight (married to Jaclyn Haight) of Bainbridge Island; and Stephanie Haight-Kuntze (married to Markus Kuntze) of Berlin, Germany. He was preceded in death by two children, Charlene “Sherry” Haight and Christopher Haight. His grandchildren include Zoey Haight Diaz, Shayla Miller-Love, Adrien Miller, Christopher Kuntze, Cyra Haight, Keagan Haight, and Dylan Haight. In addition, Dr. Haight has three great grandchildren.

Haight was both a serious scientist and a very funny man, mixing humor into his teachings and daily life. A master of puns, he was happiest when eliciting an extended groan from those in his company. When he wasn’t teaching, he could most often be found on the tennis court where his unorthodox game drove his opponents crazy.

He will be fondly remembered.

Photos courtesy of Chad Haight.

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Bainbridge Island Destination Imagination Team Going to Globals

Destination Imagination is not a new ride at the Epcot Center. Instead, it is a global program that challenges kids to use STEAM—science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics—to solve challenges, some with public service benefits. Bainbridge Island Destination Imagination team SEQAT won the Olympic Regional Tournament and then on March 28 took First Place at the Destination Imagination State Tournament in Wenatchee.

The win qualified SEQAT—made up of local 6th and 8th graders Sam Liebling, Eric Perkins, Quinn Liebling, and Travis McCoy—to attend the Destination Imagination Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Team will be competing with 8,000 students from around the world May 20-May 23.

Each year, competitors from elementary, middle, and secondary levels choose from seven challenge options. During the academic year 2014-15, the challenges are as follows:

  • Technical: Build a creature that uses technical methods to perform team-chosen actions. Present a story of adventure with the creature as a character. Use technical methods to demonstrate features of a world where the story is set. Create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents.
  • Scientific: Design and construct an incredible sound machine that produces two different sounds. Create and integrate two visible displays of sound waves into the presentation. Create and present a story that includes a change to a faster or slower narrative pace. Create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents.
  • Structural: Design and build the lightest structure possible that continues to support the weight of the pressure board while parts of the structure are removed. Design and build a removal device that enables you to safely remove the structure parts. Tell a story about how something is transformed and revealed to be something completely different. Create a prop or set piece that transforms as parts of it are removed during the presentation. Create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents.
  • Fine Arts: Present a team-created fairy tale about a character that faces and deals with a phobia. Create an expressive artwork that conveys a thought or feeling. Create a functional artwork that serves a practical function. Design and create an illusion that makes the impossible seem possible. Create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents.
  • Improvisational: Create three independent improvisational sketches. Research and incorporate improvisational games and street performances. Practice integrating randomly selected situations and settings.
  • Service Learning / Project Outreach: Use the creative process to identify, design and carry out a project that addresses at least one real community need. Use graphic arts and sounds to create an effective brand to help meet the project goal(s). Create a live presentation that highlights the project and project evaluation. Design and create a project puzzle to be put together during the presentation. Create and present two Team Choice Elements that show off the team’s interests, skills, areas of strength, and talents.

SEQAT tied with Mercer Island’s Sushi Team in the Middle Level in the Structural Challenge.

At Globals, as at all DI tournaments, teams are given instant challenges and the materials required to solve them. Team members get between 5 and 8 minutes to solve the challenges.

To get to globals, SEQAT is seeking individual donations and corporate and small business sponsorships for competition and travel costs. In return for donations, large or small, team members will proudly wear your company’s logo on their competition T-shirts.

Washington Destination Imagination is a non-profit corporation and donations are
tax-deductible. The team will accept checks, cash, or on-line donations made in their name, SEQAT
(Team number: 147-56723) at http://www.wa-di.org. If you donate online, the Donate Now button is on the right hand side of the page. Be sure to include the team name and number so that the funds come back to SEQAT. Checks can be made out to SEQAT/Mara Liebling, the team manager.

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Photo courtesy of Washington Destination Imagination.

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peregrine falcon female shot, dottie tison

Agate Pass Bridge Nesting Peregrine Falcon Shot

[Updated 1:19 p.m. and 2:49 p.m. April 20, 2015.]

In early April, West Sound Wildlife Shelter got a call about a stressed raptor walking in the parking lot on the northwest side of Agate Pass Bridge. Unable to fly, the bird was spotted near the beach trail head on the Casino side of Highway 305.

A Shelter steward picked up the bird and brought it back to the hospital for examination. It was identified as the female peregrine falcon that nests under the bridge. She had been shot. Shelter rehabber Lynne Weber said the wound had maggots in it that were 4-5 days old, so she estimated the shooting had taken place about a week before the bird was brought to the wildlife hospital.

The bird was underweight, and X-rays revealed soft tissue damage to her wing with no broken bones. Shelter staff initially had high hopes for her recovery, but they now report that she still cannot fly and is in “very guarded condition.”

This female peregrine has been to West Sound Wildlife Shelter before, but not as a patient. During the summer of 2013, her male offspring suffered a head injury after hitting a window of a home on the Bainbridge shoreline. He was taken to the Shelter for treatment, and once he was placed in the outdoor raptor flight cage Mom showed up every day exchanging calls with her son from a nearby tree. The young male recovered and was released at the West Shoreline Preserve, where he was observed rejoining his parents. It is believed that he accompanied them in their migration south at the end of summer.

Peregrine falcons, which mate for life and share parenting, have historically nested at Agate Pass Bridge, and their habit of sitting on power lines around the bridge and performing dramatic aerial hunting in the area have made them local celebrities. For many, peregrine falcons are a beloved species. They faced near extinction by the 1970s, primarily because of exposure to the deadly pesticide DDT, which causes thinning of egg shells. Peregrines, eagles, and pelicans are among the species decimated by DDT that have gradually rebounded since the chemical was banned in 1972. Peregrines, whose population had plummeted by 90 percent, were protected and monitored under the Endangered species until 1999.peregrine falcon shot female

Unrivaled predators, peregrine falcons dive for prey at speeds reaching over 200 miles per hour. They often hunt in tandem and strike in midair, using their notched beak to sever their prey’s spinal column at the neck.

Bainbridge Island bird expert George Gerdts said peregrines are extraordinary raptors who, to survive their first year, must be the elite of the elite. He recalls seeing peregrines nesting at the Agate Pass Bridge for about 12 years. It is unknown how long this female and her mate have been nesting there, but estimates are at least three years. Gerdts said this particular pair was an especially striking sight. Female raptors tend to be some 30 percent larger than their male counterparts, but in the case of this pair, their relative size difference was even more pronounced.

Bainbridge birding expert, Jamie Acker, also has watched the Agate Pass falcons for years, and he echoed Gerdts. Acker said he was saddened to hear of the female being shot: “I always took pleasure in seeing her or the male on the former power transmission poles on the north side of the bridge. They were the odd couple–she was a big female and he was a small male.”

Acker added that even if the female is releasable this spring it is likely too late for her to reproduce this season. “I think the nesting season is too far advanced this year for a nesting to occur for her. This pair should be on eggs now or with small young. It’s so sad.” Acker added, “There is a likelihood that there is a ‘floating’ female in the area that would replace her.”

A concerned party, who will remain unnamed, said if s/he knew who the shooter was “he’d be hanging from the bridge by one arm.”

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Photos courtesy of Dottie Tison.

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bainbridge bakers front

Bainbridge Bakers Asks Community for $100K; Should You Pay?

by Julie Hall

[Updated 3:15 p.m., 7:48 a.m. April 15, 2015]

Bainbridge Island mainstay Bainbridge Bakers in Winslow Green has made a public plea for help—specifically $100,000 through a gofundme campaign.

One of Bainbridge Bakers front staff managers, Ben Goldsmith said he started the gofundme page with approval from the company’s current owner, Mike Loudon. The campaign was launched Monday, April 13, and as of this morning nearly $7,000 had been donated. In addition to donations, the hefty funding request has elicited a stream of questions and heated debate.

Tuesday morning Inside Bainbridge called and messaged Loudon to find out why the money is needed and specifically how it will be used, but we did not receive a response. When we called Goldsmith, he said he couldn’t talk and would not commit to answering questions about the campaign. We heard Loudon speaking in the background. Goldsmith later sent a message apologizing for being “short” and said he would answer written questions.

According to Goldsmith, he launched the gofundme campaign very quickly “as a way to make actual money that the employees can see, instead of waiting for some investor they’ll probably never meet. If everyone receives their full paycheck, it’s my belief that with the restructuring of the business that’s already in effect, our staff will keep on keeping on. It’s a drastic, wacky, unconventional idea, but it’s fast, and it harnesses the very real power of this community.”

Goldsmith further stated, “Day to day, Bainbridge Bakers is making money. It’s a profitable business, and it has a 29-year track record to prove it. What we’re dealing with now is a giant hole—payroll is extremely stressed, and yes, we’ve been seriously behind on payment. Our employees are some of the most hard-working, dedicated people I’ve ever met, and their patience and understanding has [sic] pushed us a long way. But, they/we are at the end of their/our rope.”

Goldsmith is referring to the fact that Bainbridge Bakers employees have not seen consistent paychecks for quite some time. According to Loudon’s former bookkeeper and administrative assistant Karen Kimzey, the majority of employees have not been paid their full wages for two months, since February 15. Kimzey quit in early April after not receiving a paycheck in six weeks. She said that Loudon gave her two small checks that were nowhere near what she had earned.

“I’m a huge supporter of shop Bainbridge Island. I loved working there. I loved the kids and product and the events. . . . I seriously believed I would be paid,” said Kimzey. “Mike had me hypnotized. We all were like that, and then slowly people began to quit. It wasn’t so hard for me because I’m married, but almost all of these people are single. . . . I tried to have faith in him. He can be sweet and funny, but there was a lot of manipulation going on. It’s really hard; he had me snowed.”

Kimzey emphasized her concerns about the gofundme campaign. “There are a lot of kind-hearted people out there. The Bakery is an institution. These people throwing their money at this really should do their homework. There is no guarantee that we’ll see a penny of it,” Kimzey said. She added that she could talk “for hours” about the company’s business practices but is bound professionally not to disclose further details.

“I think the State will get involved,” she noted.

Paul Sisely, 52, echoed Kimzey’s sentiments. He was hired in February to create a wine bar at the company’s spinoff location in the Island Gateway complex, which has since closed. Loudon shuttered the establishment in late March, leaving a sign on the door saying it was closing temporarily to expand into “a full-service restaurant, with beer, wine, and spirits.”

Sisely said the 10-month-old Gateway business was losing money each month, and Loudon was not paying his employees at either location. He advised Loudon to shut down at Gateway and “get back to basics.” Sisely was shocked when he learned of Loudon’s plan to expand the second location. “It was hemorrhaging financially. It was so hurtful to employees to see the sign about expanding while not being paid,” he said.

When the Gateway location’s wine bar plans were postponed, Sisely took over as head chef of the Winslow Green location. He said he worked over full-time hours for six weeks and was never given a paycheck—only $200 “for gas money” that he believed was paid under the table. “[Loudon] kept claiming he would pay but never made payroll. He said different things every day. . . . One minute he’s selling the bakery, the next he’s expanding at Gateway,” said Sisely, who quit on Sunday.

“[Loudon] gives people grandiose titles and makes big promises,” said Sisely. “He hires young kids. A lot of people are afraid to say anything. People love the guy.” Sisely described two of Loudon’s hires that particularly bothered him. One involved Loudon promising a big job to an older woman in Phoenix, who uprooted and relocated to Bainbridge only to find she was not getting paid. IB spoke with her, but she declined to comment for this article. The other case Sisely cited was a young BHS graduate who he said Loudon lured back from Los Angeles for a big title and promises of advancement with the agreement of no pay for six months. He said she is Goldsmith’s girlfriend.

“I think Mike exhibits classic behaviors of a sociopath. He’ll tell you anything you want to hear and wants everybody to love him. But if you cross him you’re the worst person on Earth. If you leave, he bad-mouthes you to everyone,” Sisely said. “A lot of people are concerned about being blacklisted in the Bainbridge Island community. He has to be stopped.”

Bainbridge Bakers Operations Manager Dan Bennett quit this week, citing similar reasons. He said he hadn’t been paid for three months and was only given a few small checks without IRS pay stub withholdings, the same types of handouts described by Kimzey and Sisely. Bennett said after eight years in the Navy it looked like his first good job opportunity, and he held on because Mike kept promising payment.

Bennett said he witnessed Loudon removing and pocketing large bills from the till without recording them. He said what troubled him the most was that most employees were under 21 and vulnerable to Loudon’s “intimidation.” He said workers were begging to be paid, and Loudon would alternately “explode violently” or “play the money-strapped victim.”

A two-time former Bainbridge Bakers employee spoke to IB anonymously. She said during her first stint at the bakery as an 18-year-old graduate from Bainbridge High School some 10 years ago, paychecks were always late and things were tense at the bakery because Loudon and his now-former wife, Ellen, were having marital problems and fighting in front of the staff. She noted that she could deal with late pay at the time because she was living at home.

Anonymous returned to Bainbridge Bakers in 2012. By then she had a family of her own and relied on the money. She described her job there at that time as a “horrible experience,” citing numerous problems. She said Loudon bullied female workers and created a “boys club” with young male workers. She said she saw paperwork showing numerous outstanding accounts with vendors, indicating that even then the Bakery’s finances were “out of control.” And she said when she questioned Loudon after a business-major coworker pointed out a discrepancy between the tip jar and dispensations from Loudon after he took over the tips accounting, he “was livid and yelled” at her.

Anonymous further stated that a coworker at the time believed that Loudon was going into the computer system and altering employees’ work hours to decrease their logged time. She said another coworker corroborated the belief after she began tracking her time cards and found a discrepancy between them and the hours she was compensated for in her paychecks. “I grew up on the Island and loved the bakery. He and Ellen bought the bakery [in 2005], and I think they got in over their heads,” said Anonymous. “Please don’t give money to this fundraiser. . . . He’s had a lot of investors bail him out. Mike is an actor, and if you don’t fall for it he bullies. I fear what he will do next,” she added.

In an email distributed to Bainbridge Bakers staff dated a month ago, on March 15, 2015, Loudon stated, “I promise you that even in the event of an unplanned catastrophe I would immediately dispose of assets so that you are compensated for all your hard work and for your patience.” When IB asked Goldsmith what assets have been sold to compensate workers, he said that promise had not been made.

In the same email Loudon referred to employee theft that occurred between October and January. Goldsmith told IB that the thefts occurred between September and November. He said the amount taken was estimated at $15,000 and that the theft required the company to pay an additional $5,000 in insurance, legal fees, and new security measures. A Bainbridge Island police report shows that $159 was taken from the company’s cash drawer on January 21. When we contacted the BIPD, they were not aware of additional theft reports from Bainbridge Bakers but said they would look into the matter further for confirmation. In the January 21 police report, Loudon stated that most of the employees had keys to the building. Anonymous disputed that statement, saying only Loudon and the night cooks had keys.

Both Sisely and Bennett have filed complaints about Loudon with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). IB submitted a public records request regarding complaints about Bainbridge Bakers, information that L&I said it will not make available until May 22. Kimzey said she believes there have been at least seven complaints filed.

Review of Bainbridge Bakers accounts with L&I shows it is operating under two names. Bainbridge Bakery Company Inc. is listed as being owned by someone who asked not to be named in this article for fear of association with Mike Loudon and shows no employees for last quarter. Bainbridge Bakers Inc. lists as its owner Ellen Loudon and shows 21-30 workers last quarter. Goldsmith reported that the company had 60 workers at its highest employment level. Kimzey said it was 53 until a recent drop to about 44 employees.

When IB contacted Ellen Loudon for comment she said she is not the company’s owner and has not been for some years.

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BI Drift/sink map

UW Scientists Say Bainbridge Island Is Sinking and Drifting at an Alarming Rate

Scientists at the University of Washington have reported startling geological findings about Bainbridge Island.

UW’s Geophysics and Tectonic Dynamics Department Chairperson Dr. Joshua Boule announced yesterday, March 31, results from a 20-year study indicating that Bainbridge is sinking and drifting northward. “We have been tracking the Island’s mean perimeter and center mass since 1994. With modern laser-based measuring equipment we now can detect changes of as little as .001 [one one-thousandth] of a centimeter. Our study shows that in 2014 Bainbridge Island sank 12.07 centimeters,” said Boule. “During the same period data show that it also drifted 23.42 centimeters, on a northern course.”

2015 Bainbridge map

Bainbridge shoreline in 2015

More alarming, the research indicates that the rate of change is accelerating. “When we first began recording these changes 20 years ago the annual sink rate was 2.1 centimeters, and the drift rate was at 4.74 centimeters. However, we have observed that these rates are not only increasing steadily, but the annual differences are compounding at a logarithmic pace,” Boule explained. “We predict that in two years the drift rate will have doubled from what we measured in 2014, and the sink rate will increase by a factor of 3.4.”

Bainbridge shoreline 2025

Bainbridge shoreline in 2025

Inside Bainbridge asked Boule just what level of movement and land mass loss this represents in the near-term. He said if the current trend continues, Bainbridge will be in Canadian waters by 2035, and less than half of its area will remain at about the mean tide line.

Inside Bainbridge asked National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Executive Director William Filborn about the UW findings. Filborn said, “It sounds like April Fool’s Day.”

This foolery comes to you courtesy of Kent Bridwell.BI Drift Map

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206 Pie pizza mobile

206 Pie Artisan Pizza Is Rolling into Town

Fresh dough is rising right now for tomorrow’s opening of 206 Pie, the new spot for artisan pizza in downtown Winslow.

You may have sampled owner Chris Kelly’s fresh made-to-order pizzas at Intentional Table, where he has been teaching the art of pizza making. Or perhaps you’ve noticed his “mobile pizza unit” parked in the south parking lot of Island Fitness on Madison Avenue. Kelly will be firing up its oven starting Tuesday, March 31, next to Island Fitness at noon, so if you’re game to eat he’s game to feed you.

206 Pie pizza mobile trailerKelly, who has worked in the food industry for over 15 years, said he just really loves good pizza. After moving to Bainbridge Island last year with his family, he decided to throw his dough into the mix of local pizza offerings.

He’s been planning and preparing to launch 206 Pie for the past year. Recently he got to see what people think of his pies. “We were serving at Intentional Table during the last Friday Art Walk, and the response was phenomenal,” he said.

Kelly plans to be open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday, from noon to 8 p.m. On Saturdays he will serve his pizza at the downtown Farmers Market. He also will offer catering services.

Chris Kelly at right

Chris Kelly at right

How does he do it out of what is basically a fancy cart on wheels? Kelly prepares and stores his dough, sauces, and toppings at a commercial kitchen at St. Barnabas. He moves his fresh ingredients to the trailer, a six-foot-long prep and bake facility, where his 12-inch pies take about 8 minutes to cook. He plans to offer slices soon.

So, what is artisan pizza? Kelly said that like flatbread the crust is thin, but unlike flatbread its edges are chewy and airy like a fresh baguette. Kelly plans to use as much local and organic ingredients as possible, making his dough fresh in the kitchen every few days. He said the crust is the best part, and given how lovingly he labors over its numerous “proofing” stages, he means it.

Kelly said he may locate from time to time at other sites, such as Bainbridge Island Brewing Company at dinner time and in the fall near the high school during lunch hours, but his priority is to keep regular hours at one primary location in Winslow.

Check out the 206 Pie menu. Find them on Facebook. Call them at 206-552-0197.

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Photos courtesy of Chris Kelly.

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where house marilynn gottlieb

Where on the Island? Cinematically Bainbridge

These luminously cinematic images of two old Bainbridge Island homes suggest an earlier era.

Thank you to Marilynn Gottlieb for sharing these stunning photographs, taken in two different locations on Bainbridge.

Do you recognize them? Tell us where on the Island they are.

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

where on the island house










where house marilynn gottlieb












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Kitsap County Courthouse building

Bainbridge Man Sentenced for Sexual Abuse of Daughter & Stepson

A former Bainbridge Island resident plead guilty yesterday, March 23, in Kitsap Superior Court to two felony counts of child molestation.

Judge Kevin D. Hull sentenced the white male, 51, to just under 7.5 years for child molestation in the first degree and to just under 3.5 years for child molestation in the second degree. The sentences will be served concurrently, so the offender will serve the longer of the two terms.

According to court documents, the man, who will remain unnamed to protect his family’s privacy, sexually molested his daughter in three different Bainbridge Island homes starting when she was five until she was 15 years old. He also molested his developmentally delayed stepson on two occasions when he was a middle school student.

The two charges of sexual molestation were for crimes committed between 2000 and 2002.

The criminal activity came to light in 2011 when the offender’s daughter told her mother about the ongoing abuse she had endured. She spoke with a school counselor about the events and then was interviewed by a Bainbridge Island police officer. She said her father’s abuse ended when she began dating a boyfriend as a freshman in high school. The stepson was also interviewed by the Bainbridge police.

The parents divorced and have been estranged for a number of years.

The first degree child molestation charge sentencing range is 67 to 89 months. Judge Hull gave the offender the longest possible sentence of 89 months.

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Photo by Julie Hall.

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bainbridge dive club

Bainbridge Dive Club Takes Firsts at Regionals

The Bainbridge Island Dive Club flew to Boise, Idaho, to compete in the Y Spring Classic regional diving meet over the weekend. The team, with members from Bainbridge, Kingston, and Poulsbo, showcased their abilities on both the 1 meter and 3 meter springboards against some very strong Pacific Northwest competition.

In the Girls 14-15 year old division Jackie Hellmers (Poulsbo) won a blue ribbon on the 3 M board with a score of 228.95 and placed 2nd on the 1 M with a score of 194.50. In the Girls 16-18 year old division Zora Opalka (Bainbridge) earned a 2nd place on the 1 M board with a score of 334.50 and a 4th place finish on the 3 M board with a score of 339.15. Cammie Rouser (Kingston) also competed in the Girls 16-18 year old division and placed 4th on the 1 M with a score of 301.65 and 3rd on the 3 M springboard with a score of 350.45.

In the Boys 12-13 year old division Henry Sauermann (Bainbridge) won a blue ribbon on the 3 M board with a score of 190.40 and took 2nd on the 1 M where he scored  163.20. Carter Wolff (Bainbridge) placed 1st on the 1 M with a score of 118.20 in the FC Level 4 boys division.

The team competes next in the U.S. Diving Regional Championships in Beaverton, Oregon, in late April.

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Photo courtesy of Adrienne Wolfe.

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Kitsap County Courthouse

Former Manager of Ray’s Auto Sentenced to 6 Years

On March 6, Kevin Donald Norris pled guilty in Kitsap County Superior Court to four felony counts of theft and one felony count of jumping bail.

Formerly the manager of Ray’s Automotive on Bainbridge Island and a Poulsbo resident, Norris was arrested on December 29, 2014, for failure to appear in court on charges of third-degree theft. He remained incarcerated in Kitsap County Jail awaiting his trial.

Judge Sally F. Olsen sentenced Norris to 6 years in prison, 14 months for each theft offense and 16 months for skipping bail.

As manager of Ray’s Auto, Norris, 52, took payments from customers for repair services that were never completed. The felony charges were for thefts committed last spring: a first-degree theft on April 1, 2014; a first-degree theft on May 6, 2014; and a first-degree theft and a second-degree theft on May 7, 2014. He violated bail on October 6 of last year.

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Photo by Julie Hall.

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winslow arms court hearing

Judge Finds Elder Abuse and HUD Violation at Winslow Arms Apartments

In a packed courtroom on Tuesday, March 10, Bainbridge Island Municipal Court Judge Sara McCulloch concluded a two-day hearing with a sharp rebuke of both the in-house manager and overseeing management company of Winslow Arms Apartments for violating at least one HUD rule and subjecting residents to abuse and unreasonable threats of eviction.

The hearing was scheduled after Winslow Arms Apartments Manager Rachel Robbins petitioned the court for an anti-harassment protection order against two of the HUD-subsidized building’s tenants, Nancy Lemaire and Dixie Carter. At times shaky and visibly exhausted, as the respondents in the hearing the two older women came prepared with extensive documentation, organized testimony, and nine supporting witnesses.

Rachel Robbins

Robbins, court clerk, and Lemaire at right

By contrast, Robbins had no witnesses present and displayed, according to Judge McCulloch, “demeanor, tone, facial expressions, and inflammatory questioning of witnesses” that led the court to have “serious credibility doubts” about her testimony.

The hearing followed rising tensions at the apartment complex and repeated outcries over the course of nine months for help among numerous residents and some of their adult children, who cited ongoing abusive behavior on the part of the manager and neglect on the part of the Seattle-based management company, Pan Pacific Properties. Documented complaints about Robbins began within her first few weeks as manager, starting early last May.

Petitioner Testimony

Robbins began her testimony with claims that Lemaire and Carter were harassing her, spreading false accusations about her, and leading “a bully group” at Winslow Arms. “They are trying to destroy me personally and professionally,” she said. She stated that the bully group was connected with this reporter, whom she said slandered her and was present in the courtroom “to plant more false information in my community.” As Lemaire later pointed out to the judge, this reporter in fact was not acquainted with Lemaire or Carter, or anyone else at Winslow Arms, until domestic abuse counselor Barbara Chandler Young approached Inside Bainbridge with grave concerns about the conditions in the HUD facility.

Robbins further stated that Lemaire punched her in the breast and that Carter resents her role as manager because she formerly “was in a position of power” [as a cleaning person at Winslow Arms].

Respondents’ Testimony

winslow arms court hearing

Nancy Lemaire and Dixie Carter [seated]

In response, Carter stated, “I haven’t approached other tenants. They have approached me, and I will remain an advocate for them.” She further noted that with an apartment on the first floor not far from the manager’s office, she has often observed Robbins. “I have watched her in these terrible temper tantrums. It’s like she is in a tunnel of rage; she’s not aware of who is watching her,” said Carter. “Its scary, unpredictable, explosive behavior I’ve witnessed more times than I care to count. I began to carry pepper spray, because that rage really scares me. . . . You get a feeling she is going to hit you.”


In her responding testimony, Lemaire said Robbins’ allegation that she hit her was false and that, in fact, Robbins had deliberately assaulted her: “She charged across the hall toward me, shoulder-blocked me, and spun around and she said ‘f*ck you, you better watch out.'” Lemaire described a second very similar incident in which Robbins allegedly shoulder-blocked her again, cursed, and stomped away. “I think I got caught in the crosshairs because she was already on a roll screaming and slamming doors.” Lemaire said after the second incident she went to the Bainbridge police station and reported the assaults but was told by an officer that it would be her word against Robbins’ since there was no evidence of physical harm. . . . “Miss Robbins has an uncanny ability to lie to the police and the court. There was never any intention of anyone to have her relieved from her job. What we are only asking for is relief from this abhorrent behavior,” said Lemaire.

Lemaire stated that she then reached out to domestic abuse counselor Young, a social worker at Helpline House, and an attorney. “The consensus was that [further action] could fuel the flames and Rachel might attempt to sabotage my application to live in a HUD facility out of state.”

Respondents’ Witness Testimony

The respondents’ witnesses described similar observations of and interactions with Robbins.

A 25-year resident of Winslow Arms, Ed Cannard told the court that he believed Robbins should be removed from her job immediately. “This woman has created an environment of fear, intimidation, and assault. . . . I’m mystified why management has her here and not resolved this issue when there are so many people involved.” Cannard said it had become difficult to remain in compliance with all the rules. “I’m probably in violation of six different things right now. I’ll probably be evicted,” he said.

Loralynn Thompson, the daughter of another Winslow Arms tenant, told the court she used to visit her mother there several times a week but now takes her out for visits because she is fearful in the building. “You can’t just go and sit in the lobby anymore. Why are they scuttling out the sides of the building they live in? It makes me sick that my mother is in fear,” she said. “We’ve been trying to stay out of the politics of the building because I don’t want her to be targeted and given eviction notices. It is very upsetting to see Dixie and Nancy in this situation. They need help.”

witness Aurel Lungu

Witness Aurel Lungu testifying (standing right)

Winslow Arms tenant Aurel Lungu, 82, described to the court an incident that occurred after he had major surgery. “My doctor said to rest for a week. I parked my car in a handicapped spot and put my handicapped sign on the dashboard. Three days later a police officer came knocking at my door. Miss Robbins had reported my sign was not on the rearview mirror.” Lungu recounted another incident after he expressed concerns to Robbins about smoke and noise in the building. “She exploded and screamed to get out of her office and was slamming her hands. I told her you should see a pyschiatrist. I’ve never seen in my life such a behavior. She swore at me, using harsh and insulting words, banging. I had high blood pressure for three days. I wrote a letter to Mrs. Hirschberg [Pan Pacific Properties Manager] and told her about the conflict about Miss Robbins. She never responded to me,” said Lungu. “Miss Robbins said nothing negative can be said [about the manager] in meetings. She should resign today and not tomorrow. I am afraid to go to the site. I am not a strong man you know. I feel the federal assistance is misappropriated and abused.”

Another tenant’s daughter, Donna DeMeyer, told the court, “I don’t understand why Pan Pacific has been so very very defensive of [Robbins]. . . . You clearly have an employee who doesn’t have the needed social skills for this job. If you advertised this job you would have a stack of qualified applicants. . . . I believe the manager’s primary job should be an advocate, not an enforcer.”

Lease Compliance/Termination Notice

On the second day in court, Carter informed the judge that she had returned to her apartment after the previous afternoon’s hearing to discover an eviction notice on her door signed by Pan Pacific Manager Laurie Hirschberg. The news drew Judge McCulloch’s ire: “Did you not hear me yesterday when I said there was to be no interaction among parties [except in the case of emergencies] until the conclusion of the hearing?”

By way of explanation, Hirschberg said the posting was not an eviction notice and that the timing of its placement was unrelated to the court proceedings. The posting is titled “10-Day Notice to Comply with Lease or Quit Premises.” It states that Carter directed abusive language and behavior at the management and that in order to avoid tenancy termination Carter must “stop making threatening or harassing comments about the management.”

Judge’s Findings of Fact

In her conclusion of the hearing, Judge McCulloch explained that she had thoroughly reviewed all provided documents and listened carefully to all testimony. She then read from notes and also spoke extemporaneously for approximately 30 minutes. The following is part of her commentary.

Judge Sara McCulloch

Judge Sara McCulloch

Judge McCulloch said, “This court finds that the complaints to management about Miss Robbins are justified, and they are appropriate. And they are not in the form of harassing conduct. Although all of the complaints may be detrimental to Miss Robbins, they have a lawful and legitimate purpose in that the tenants are exercising their rights against an abusive and an inappropriate landlord and a company that backs her up. The response from the management has been mostly in the use of 10-day notices with a threat of eviction for lodging complaints against the management.

“This court, having the opportunity to observe the demeanor and in-person testimony of all the witnesses, finds the testimony of the respondents credible. This court has serious credibility doubts about the testimony of Miss Robbins and finds that Miss Robbins’ demeanor, tone, facial expressions, and inflammatory questioning of witnesses all tend to corroborate the testimony of the respondents.

“I find Miss Robbins’ claims of being assaulted by Miss Lemaire absolutely not credible. Miss Lemaire is a very small woman with some medical frailty due to prior stroke and heart issues that is apparent from looking at her in the courtroom. She is in her late 60s. She testified that she is 5′ 2″ and 110 pounds, and her appearance is consistent with that.

“Miss Robbins is at least 5′ 10″, 180 pounds, and is very broad in stature. The idea that Miss Lemaire would risk her own health and safety by assaulting Miss Robbins physically and punching her in the breast is not credible, and I do not believe that it happened. I do, however, believe that Miss Robbins would have purposefully bumped into Miss Lemaire and caused fear and intimidation.”

Judge McCulloch further stated that she believed a HUD rule had been violated by the management:

“The HUD Bill of Rights that is in evidence lists the following right of a resident: ‘Residents have a right to organize as residents without obstruction, harassment, or retaliation from the property owners or the management.’ All of the evidence in this case suggests that this HUD rule has been violated. Management has retaliated against any speaking-out activity in the form of 10-day eviction notices under the guise of minute violations of HUD rules, and this is corroborated by the petitioner’s exhibit #3 where Robbins complained about a tenant being difficult and Laurie Hirschberg wrote them a letter indicating that ‘there was an interaction that could be received as hostile’ which could ‘result in the need to give them a ten day comply or vacate notice.’

“The same rules of enforcement do not seem to apply to the manager and resident of the complex, who lives there and has done far more than writing a nasty name on a note that was slipped under a door or engage in behavior that could be hostile. Complaints have been rampant about the abusive conduct, with letters over a large period of time begging management for help. And yet no 10-day eviction notices have been served on Miss Robbins.

“This court finds that the respondents and their witnesses are extremely credible, that their voices have been unheard and unaddressed by management, and that any complaint has been labeled as bullying and harassment to discredit it.

Judge Sara McCulloch (background), Nancy Lemaire, and Dixie Carter

Lemaire and Carter embracing after Judge McCulloch (left background) ended her concluding statement and adjourned

“There is a legitimate purpose to speak out against a company who is receiving government funding that employs management personnel who harass and retaliate and cause great undue stress to residents in an apartment complex who are seniors and who are medically frail. They have a right to share their story—here in court, in the newspaper, with the legislators, with the Attorney General.

This is not harassment under the circumstances that the court has heard today, and your request for an order of protection against Miss Lemaire and Miss Carter is denied.”

Following the judge’s conclusion, spontaneous applause broke out among courtroom attendees, and Lemaire and Carter shared an emotional hug. Robbins, Hirschberg, and Pan Pacific President Russ Francisco exited the room impassively, their lawyer accompanying them.

Read the full transcript of the court’s findings.

Huge thanks to Marijane C. Milton for transcribing an audio document provided by the court, which assisted in the reporting of this story.

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Photos by Julie Hall.

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Rash of Roof Falls, One Fatal, Calls for Caution

On the weekend of February 21 and 22, three different Bainbridge Island residents, all men, sustained injuries after falling off their roofs.

One of the injured men was airlifted to Harborview Hospital with injuries so severe he died this week. Bainbridge Island Fire Marshal Luke Carpenter said the man was alone when he fell from an estimated height of 10-15 feet. It was not clear if the ladder he was using collapsed or slid out from under him.

The other two accident victims were transported by ambulance to hospitals with broken bones. One man’s injuries have required two surgeries.

Carpenter emphasized the riskiness of doing roof work. “Even a fall from 5 or 6 feet can be severe or even fatal depending on how you land and what you land on,” he said.

Aside from hiring professionals to do your roof work for you, he suggested the following safety precautions:

  1. Have someone spot you or nearby who knows you are on the roof.
  2. Have a phone with you in case you need to call for help.
  3. Use good equipment and make sure your ladder is stabilized.
  4. Have a safety mechanism, such as a rope or harness, around yourself that is also tied to a tree.

Carpenter also noted that falls can result in serious or even life-threatening injuries that may not be apparent at first.

Photo by Julie Hall.

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bainbridge dive club 2015

Bainbridge Dive Club Makes a Splash at Canadian Competition

The Bainbridge Island Dive Club competed in an international diving meet last week in Vancouver, Canada. The British Columbia Winter Provincial Championships allowed the team’s members, from Bainbridge, Kingston, and Poulsbo, to compete on both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards with some of the best age-group divers Canada has to offer.

In the Boys 12-13 year old division Henry Sauermann (of Bainbridge Island) took home two 1st place blue ribbons. On the 1 M he scored  184.05 and on the 3 M board he scored 221.25. In the Boys 14-15 year old division Duncan Platz (of Poulsbo) placed 1st on the 1 M board with a score of 220.25 and 3rd on the 3 M board with a score of 141.8. The newest member of the team, Noel Issa (of Kingston), competed in the Boys 16-18 year old division and placed 2nd on both the 1 M and the 3 M springboards with scores of 219 and 182.85 respectively. He earned the “Coaches Award” for his fine first-time performance.

In the Girls 11-12 year old division Bryn Tiernan (of Bainbridge Island) placed 9th on the 1 M board with a score of 94.7 and 8th on the 3 M board with a score of 90.8. For the Girls 14-15 year old division Jackie Helmers (of Poulsbo) earned 1st place on the 1 M board with a score of 187.55 and 2nd place on the 3 M board with a score of 214.30. Cammie Rouser (of Kingston) competed in the Girls 16-18 year old division and placed 1st on the 1 M with a score of 305.45 and 2nd on the 3 M springboard with a score of 311.

The team is looking forward to its next meet in Boise, Idaho, later this month and U.S. Diving Regional Championships in Beaverton, Oregon, in April.

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Jay Abbott

Passing: Jay Abbott 1947-2015

James L. Abbott (Jay), a 30-year resident of Bainbridge Island, passed peacefully, surrounded by family and friends at Harborview Medical Center on January 29, 2015. Jay died from injuries sustained on January 25 while coaching the Gear Grinders, the Bainbridge Island middle-school mountain cycling team.

Jay was born in New York City, New York, on September 15, 1947, to Charles G. Abbott and Florence Van Hasslacher. He attended Saxe Junior High, New Canaan, Connecticut, and preparatory school at Choate School, Wallingford, Connecticut. In 1970, Jay graduated from the University of Denver, Colorado, with a BA in Economics.

Within weeks of graduation, Jay began learning to fly with his dear friend and skiing buddy Dave Sanctuary in the left seat. This initial foray into exploring more of the outdoors resulted in Jay getting his private, commercial, instrument, flight instructor and airline transport pilot ratings. In 1972, he joined Dave as a commercial airline pilot at Frontier Airlines. He flew for the company for 12 years.

In 1984, Jay married Darlene Kordonowy during a sunny week-long celebration with 60 family and friends on Orcas Island, Washington. Within their first year as newlyweds, Jay was diagnosed with adult onset type 1 diabetes, abruptly ending his career as an airline pilot, and the couple—along with two cats and Jay’s parakeet “Boeing”—moved to the Pacific Northwest. In 1987, he began his 25-year career working for the Boeing Company. Jay was often heard to say, “The diabetes diagnosis was one of the best turn of events in my life.”

Jay was well-known throughout Boeing and the worldwide industry for his smiling face, his jokes, his work ethic, and his ability to get difficult things done in a cooperative fashion. His innovative programs were considered crucial to the success of the 737 Next Generation and the 787 airline operations. One of his big accomplishments was working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to obtain the commonality agreement between the 777 and 787.

During his early years at Boeing, his airline experience was put to use in helping to design Boeing airplane cockpits. He later worked instructing airline pilots, and then began to help in creating procedures for use by the pilots. With this background, and his great ability to work with customer pilots and regulatory pilots, he was chosen to help with the development of first the 737NG aircraft and then later the very modern 787 aircraft. His job included traveling around the world to such places as Japan, Brazil, and Tibet to work with the customer airlines. Jay considered his recent work with ANA in Japan to be a highlight of his career. Wherever he went, he renewed old friendships and, of course, made new ones.

Throughout his life, Jay played in and loved the outdoors. From a young age, his summers were filled with swimming competitions, tennis playing, and sailing the waters of Long Island Sound. Family skiing in Vermont occupied winters, as did his extramural hockey activities. Throughout college, he taught skiing in Colorado, first at Arapahoe Basin and then at Copper Mountain. He was particularly proud of his involvement with the Copper Chopper Youth Skiing for 8-18 year olds, a program that taught skiing skills and developed love of the outdoors and the sport.

Jay was preceded in death by his parents. In addition to his wife, Jay is survived by one sister, Laine Lapin, and brother-in-law, Merv Lapin, of Vail, Colorado; three brothers, Joe, of Wolcott, Colorado; Hal, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Charlie and sister-in-law Michele, of Mar San Pedro, California; 14 nieces and nephews; and a devoted circle of extended family and friends.

A celebration of Jay’s life will take place on April 12 on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to the American Diabetes AssociationBainbridge Island Gear Grinders, and/or the Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation where a scholarship fund has been established in Jay’s memory to engage Bainbridge Island youth in outdoor activities.

Details and updates regarding the Celebration of Life for Jay may be found at his CaringBridge page.

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Photo courtesy of Darlene Abbott Kordonowy. 

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eagle harbor stone chimney

A Remnant of ‘the Last Whorehouse on Bainbridge’

[Updated March 6, 5:58 p.m.]

If you get around the Island much you’ve likely noticed the old stone chimney that stands at the head of Eagle Harbor on Eagle Harbor Drive near Blakely Avenue.

For old-time Islanders, the lone chimney is more than a charming oddity. Many know it to have been at one time attached to a house referred to in some circles as “the last whorehouse on Bainbridge.”

Long-time Bainbridge Islander Walt Ball remembers his mother instructing him as a boy in the 1940s and 1950s to look away whenever he and his siblings passed the house. Since he grew up in Eagledale, he passed the house quite often and was privy to plenty of stories about it.

Ball, who was dubbed “Mayor of Eagledale” at a keg party after he returned home from the Vietnam War, described the house: “It was good-sized with many rooms. The front was close to the street and it backed right up to the bay.” Both Ball and Island historian Jerry Elfendahl recall the bordello’s reputation as a thoroughfare for liquor during the prohibition years, between 1919 and 1933. Ball said booze was delivered regularly through the back door at high tide. He guessed the house was built sometime around 1910. “It was a halfway point between the shipyard in Winslow and Creosote Town,” he explained. Creosote Town (now the Wyckoff Superfund site) was a bustling community of men who worked at the former creosote plant making pilings used around the world.

Ball’s wife recalled that in the late 1950s the house became a gift store, before it burned down in the early 1960s.

I marveled at the longevity of the house’s chimney, which by Ball’s reckoning is more than 100 years old. He laughed and told me about the Day brothers, after whom Day Road was named. “That chimney speaks to the quality of masonry work that used to go on here,” said Ball. It also apparently has something to do with beer. “The three brothers were heavy beer drinkers who built wonderful chimneys,” Ball told me. “People said that as they worked they crushed the beer cans into the chimneys. People said it’s what made them [the chimneys] so strong.”

Third-generation Bainbridge resident Joan Bickerton, of the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, remembers an antique business in the former bordello. She said after the house was wiped away by fire, Leo Williamson, son of Ray Williamson, cultivated the Eagle Harbor property as a little park. Bickerton said that Leo Williamson graduated in the Bainbridge High School class of 1955 and died in 2012.

Ball also recalled Leo Williamson tending the grounds there. “Let’s say he was making amends for past deeds,” said Ball. “Leo took good care of it. It became overgrown after the fire. Leo cleared the site, put in a few benches, raked and kept it up nice. People would leave their old lawn mowers there and Leo would fix them up and give them away.”

In fact the old house was not the last whorehouse on Bainbridge, by a long shot. As recently as 2009 the Bainbridge police discovered a small prostitution ring on the southwest side of the Island (read the King5 report).

The land is currently owned by Ray Adams, owner of former Ray’s Automotive. He referred to the infamous corner as “Suicide Lane” for its history of fast driving and accidents. He said he believes today the chimney is a common geocaching spot.

Bainbridge Island photographer Robin Houck took the featured photograph of the chimney. “If you look closely you’ll see the grass and moss still green inside. I put a couple of flashes with red cover gels up inside to make it look like it’s glowing,” he said. “A combination of a day off from my regular job, high tide, and a cloudy day were needed for the effect.”

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Photo courtesy of Robin Houck.

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washington corrections center

Bainbridge Man Sentenced to 15 Months for Felony Assault

[Updated 12:43 p.m. March 2, 2015.]

Adrian Allan Charvet was sentenced on Friday, February 27, 2015, on two counts of felony assault and one count of possession of stolen property.

Charvet, 25, will serve three concurrent sentences in prison, two 15-month terms for second-degree assault and one 4-month term for possession of stolen property. He was also sentenced to two concurrent terms of 18-month probations to follow his incarceration. The first assault charge is for attacking a woman on Bainbridge in December. The second is for attacking his cellmate in Kitsap County Jail in January.

Without provocation, Charvet attacked two older women on December 15, 2014, on Bainbridge Island behind the Doctors Clinic. He first tried to strike a woman in the face but hit the back of her neck when she turned away. He punched a second woman in the face, breaking facial bones and lacerating her cornea. After fleeing the scene and retreating into his nearby apartment, a prolonged SWAT team standoff occurred before Bainbridge police arrested Charvet and he was placed in Kitsap County Jail. (Read more.)

While in jail awaiting his trial, Charvet attacked his cellmate on January 1, 2015. Charvet punched his face repeatedly, gauged his eyes, and attempted to strangle him in what Charvet said was an attempt to murder the victim. (Read more.)

Charvet will be taken to the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton and assessed to determine in what prison he will serve his time. Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Scott Wilson said Charvet received a maximum security classification after he attacked his cellmate and has been in solitary cell confinement.

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Photo courtesy of Washington Corrections Center.

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new T&C sign frame with maker Rory Thorrott

New T&C Reader Board Frame Pops a Wheelie

by Sarah Lane and Julie Hall

Town and Country’s new reader board just got framed this morning, courtesy of local metal worker Rory Thurrott. Thurrott, pictured on the left, created the new steel frame in his Bainbridge Island shop, Rory’s Custom Fabrication, on Eagle Harbor Drive. He put wheels on the frame so he could literally roll it to its permanent location in front of T&C, which is now a year into a 15-month major remodel process.

This morning Thurrott hooked up the frame to his truck, wheeled it along Bainbridge streets, and with help from two other guys picked it up with a crane, popped it in place, and bolted it into concrete. Thurrott said he also is making a custom guardrail to go in front of the store.

The new frame replaces the old wooden one, which had rotted. The rest of the reader board will take some time before it is complete, but you can expect it to resemble the original one from 1957 that Islanders know so well.

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Photo by Sarah Lane.

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great blue heron in nest

Early Birds Begin Nesting at the Lovell Avenue Heronry

With our mild weather this winter, breeding great blue herons have started nesting early this season at their Winslow site on Lovell Avenue. Bainbridge-based photographer Paul Brians captured a few breeding pairs already at work on their nests this week.

Colony breeders, great blue herons have had several rookeries, known as heronries, on Bainbridge Island in recent decades. Predation by bald eagles lead them to abandon once active sites on Lafayette Avenue and Peterson Hill Road.

In the last few years, local breeding pairs reestablished themselves in a new colony near the water in a stand of Big Leaf Maples on Lovell Avenue. Learn more.

lovell heronry by Paul Brians

Female repairing nest while her mate stands watch













lovell heronry nests

Lovell heronry nests

















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Photos courtesy of Paul Brians.

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name that bird 2/24/15 jay wiiggs

Name That Bird: Green-Eyed Angler

Commonly spotted around Bainbridge Island shores, this sociable coastal bird, slightly smaller than a goose, gathers in colonies. The males choose a nesting site and gather most of the nesting material, while the females are the nest architects.

With less preen oil than most waterbirds, this species spends much of its time drying its outspread wings. The tradeoff for getting wet feathers is being a fast and agile underwater hunter, targeting over 250 species of fish. This bird uses its webbed feet for underwater propulsion and hook-shaped bill for catching prey.

From afar, it appears dark and colorless, but in fact it has sparkly green eyes and a bright orange bill. This populous bird was besieged by shootings and thin eggshells from DDT. In recent decades it has rebounded abundantly.

Can you name this bird?

name that bird 2/24/15 jay wiiggs










close up of face









name that bird 2/24/15 jay wiiggs











name that bird 2/24/15 jay wiiggs



















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Face closeup photo courtesy of Miguel Vieira. Other photos courtesy of Jay Wiggs.

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