Tag Archive | "Bainbridge Island"

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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puyallup ferry by Steve Voght

Puyallup Pulled from Service Sunday Night, Leaving Ferry Travelers in a Jam

Yesterday, February 22, at 5:30 p.m. the Washington State Ferries (WSF) removed the Puyallup from service, resulting in seven cancelled sailings on the Seattle-Bainbridge Island route. The cancellations happened between 5:30 and 11:40 p.m. Many ferry commuters switched over to the Bremerton ferry. This came after a morning of runs with limited car-space because of the Chilly Hilly Bike Ride.

The problem that sparked the pulling of the Puyallup was a faulty satellite compass antenna, according to Broch Bender of WSF Communications. The ferry relies on the satellite compass antenna for accurate GPS navigation.

WSF was able to replace the malfunctioning antenna with a similar antenna from another Jumbo Mark II overnight. The vessel returned to service with the first sailing (4:45 a.m.) this morning out of Bainbridge Island.

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Photo by Steve Voght.

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chilly hilly accident ambulance

Chilly Hilly 2015 Stats and Accidents

Bainbridge Island’s 43rd annual Chilly Hilly regional bike event, organized by Seattle-based Cascade Bicycle Club (CBC), saw riders enjoying a stunningly clear morning with mountain views and drier-than-normal conditions, with average temperatures for late February—a high of 51 degrees F.

This year’s Chilly Hilly drew an estimated 4,500 participants, more than the 3,000-4,000 annual average but less than the 2012 record of over 6,000 riders.

Chilly Hilliers surmount a challenging 33-mile route with 2,675 feet of climbing around the scenic highlights of Bainbridge Island.

“One of Four Classic Rides” according to Bicycling Magazine, the Chilly Hilly draws bike fanatics from as far away as France.

Accidents

This year’s Chilly Hilly organizer Rebecca Sorensen took the torch from 16-year-organizer Dave Douglas. She was pleased to report that today’s event went relatively smoothly with minor accidents, in contrast to last year’s drama involving a cyclist revived from cardiac arrest by other riders with life-saving training who happened to be passing by in a literal lifesaving moment. (Read more.)

For bikers, scrapes and bruises come with the territory, but today’s Chilly Hilly drew three official emergency responses.

Two riders collided at about 10 a.m. at Phelps and Hidden Cove Road due to a “pothole incident.” They were treated by medics for non life-threatening injuries and were taken by ambulance to a Seattle hospital. At about 10:35 a.m., a rider on Battle Point Drive sustained an arm injury from a fall. Bainbridge paramedics provided emergency treatment and loaded his bicycle into their truck. A fourth injured bicyclist is believed to have sustained a broken collar bone in an accident that occurred in the afternoon.

Volunteers and Sponsors

Sorensen gave a shout out to the BI Ham Radio Club members who volunteer their time each year for the event’s safety and communication. Sorenson said, “This year they rode with a Bainbridge Police officer. They provide extremely good eyes and ears on the road. It’s unbelievable how they follow, are first on the scene, and are first to get the word out.”

Chilly Hilly is sponsored locally by Squeaky wheels, Bainbridge Island Youth Services, Bainbridge Girl Scouts, Bainbridge Island Neighborhood Association, and Bainbridge Island Boy Scouts on behalf of Ometepe.

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Photo by Sarah Lane.

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Chilly Hill 2015 group

Chilly Hilly 2015 Photo Gallery and Video

Today’s (February 22) Chilly Hilly 2015 was, in fact, not so chilly, and the riders came over from Seattle and elsewhere in droves, enjoying early sun and all-day dry weather. One estimate was that there were 5,000 riders taking part in this 43-year Bainbridge Island tradition.

Chilly Hilly 2015

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Photos by Pete Saloutos, Robin Houck, and Sarah Lane.

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Herman P container ship courtesy of M L Jacobs

Shipping News: Bainbridge’s Marine ‘Parking Lot’

[Read our followup to this article, with more details and photos: Photos of the Day: Behemoths off the Sandspit]

Back in December we reported on four container ships and one cargo ship “parked” in the waters off of southern Bainbridge Island, a federally designated anchorage zone for overflow ships headed for the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

Recently, additional container ships have been anchored off the northeastern edge of Bainbridge, near Fay Bainbridge Park, rattling locals with generator noise. As of 8:00 tonight, there are three container ships in that location, as well as four in the waters between southern Bainbridge and Manchester.

The overflow is the result of a continuing Longshoremen slowdown due to unresolved contract disagreements between the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Group, representing west coast ports.

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Photo of Herman P container ship courtesy of  M L Jacobs.

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western black legged ticks life stages from CA Dept Health

The Facts About Ticks and Lyme Disease in Western Washington

These days most of us have relatives or friends struggling with Lyme Disease and its devastating impact. An infectious disease, Lyme is caused by at least three species of bacteria from the genus Borrelia, which dates back some 20 million years.

Lyme disease in the United States was identified in 1975 when a constellation of cases was discovered in Lyme and Old Lyme, Connecticut. By 1978 scientists determined that it is transmitted by infected ticks.

Ticks and Lyme Disease in Western Washington

Although Lyme disease is relatively widespread in the Northeast and increasingly in parts of the Midwest, it remains fairly uncommon in our region. However, ticks infected with Lyme disease do exist here in Western Washington, and locally transmitted cases of Lyme disease occur here.

According to Washington State Department of Health (WSDH) entomologist Liz Dykstra, who specializes in ticks, there are three main types of ticks in Western Washington: the American dog tick, the coastal squirrel tick, and the western blacklegged tick (also known as the deer tick), which is the primary carrier of Lyme disease in the west coastal region.

cdc map distribution of western blacklegged tick

Centers for Disease Control distribution of western blacklegged tick

“People don’t realize we have ticks at all in Western Washington,” Dykstra said. “We suspected that Lyme disease was here, but it wasn’t until 2011 that funding became available to test for the Lyme disease parasite. It’s probably been here for quite a while.” Dykstra explained that the tick that carries Lyme disease in the Northeast and Midwest is a separate species from the western blacklegged tick and that there is yet another carrier tick in Europe.

Since testing began in our area four years ago, Lyme disease has been identified in ticks in the following counties: Mason, Pierce, Clallam, and one in King. Dykstra was not aware of ticks from Kitsap County having tested positive for Lyme. However, she pointed out that only a small sample of 37 ticks from Kitsap have been lab tested. She said some ticks from Bainbridge Island have been tested but none have turned up a positive result for Lyme—”yet.” She explained that given the limited testing there is no way to know for sure if the disease is present in a given community. Kitsap Public Health District spokesperson Karen Bevers corroborated Dykstra’s data.

western black legged ticks life stages from CA Dept Health

Western blacklegged tick larva, nymph, adult male, adult female courtesy of the California Department of Health

Washington State Department of Health epidemiologist Melissa Kemperman said cases of Lyme disease in our state have gone up somewhat from the mid-2000s but not dramatically. Between 2010 and 2013 there were 15-19 confirmed/probable cases of Lyme disease, with most acquired out of state. She said it is hard to say if the number of cases is rising: “It is low, but there is some risk out there. This is something we’re very interested in and watching closely. People should be aware.”

The Tick Life Cycle and Complex Host/Vector Relationship

Although many people believe deer are the main vectors for Lyme disease, deer mice are the disease’s reservoir. “Deer mice are the cute little ones in your garage in the winter time. They also carry hantavirus,” said Dykstra. Larval western blacklegged ticks hatch from eggs and attach to deer mice, becoming infected. As they grow, they drop off, molt into nymphs and find a slightly larger host to feed on. In their final life stage, nymphs molt into adults and look for a large host to feed on, such as deer, dogs, cats, and people. Interestingly, the ticks, rodents, and deer are immune to Lyme disease. People and dogs get it. Dykstra said cats appear to be less susceptible to it, possibly in part because they are more fastidious about grooming.

I asked Dykstra how deer mice contract the disease in the first place. “We’re not sure how it originates in the population,” she said. “It could have been brought here. Ticks keep it alive and passing around.” She said that other rodents common around human habitats, including the house mouse, Norway (brown) rat, and black (roof) rat, do not carry the disease.

western black legged tick alameda county health Dept Environmental Health

Western black legged tick courtesy of Alameda County Health Department

Western Blacklegged Tick Facts

  1. Adult bodies are slightly smaller than the diameter of a pencil eraser and have white lines on the lower half.
  2. In the nymph phase they are the size of a poppy seed.
  3. They form a “cement plug” that helps keep them in place under the host’s skin.
  4. They inject anticoagulates to thin the blood and facilitate feeding.
  5. It takes 24 to 36 hours for a carrier of Lyme disease to transmit the infection to its host.
  6. Prime tick habitat in our region is the forest/field edge zone and grassy areas.
  7. They thrive in temperatures in the 50s and 60s and moist conditions, making spring (and sometimes part of fall) their most active time of year.
  8. Dykstra said with our mild February this year, the ticks are hatching now, with their prime months March through June.
  9. They can attach to a host for days and become increasingly bloated with blood, making them easier to find and turning their brown bodies a grayish color.
  10. Extremely bloated ticks can reach the size of a jelly bean.

Preventative Measures Against Ticks

The Washington Department of Health recommends protective measures against western blacklegged ticks. When in tick territory,

  • wear long pants and long sleeves;
  • tuck pant legs into long socks;
  • wear Deet on exposed skin;
  • spray clothes with Pyrethrum (it kills ticks); and
  • afterward check yourself and your dogs thoroughly, especially around the neck, ears, eyes, belly, and underarms.

Signs of Lyme Disease Infection

Lyme disease bull's eye rash

Lyme disease bull’s eye rash

A “bulls-eye” rash around the bite zone is characteristic of Lyme disease but does not always show up or is not always noticed. The incubation period of Lyme disease is 3-10 days, and a prompt antibiotic treatment is most effective. Dykstra said that a Lyme disease infection can show up as a red bump, along with flulike symptoms, within 2-3 weeks of a tick bite. Anyone concerned about Lyme disease exposure/symptoms should seek prompt medical intervention.

The Washington State Department of Health recommends tick removal with tweezers as close to the bite site as possible, pulling it straight out. Dykstra said the western blacklegged tick is notorious for breaking off at its mouth parts. She said Lyme disease cannot be transmitted through the remaining head, but it can lead to secondary infection, so the area should be cleaned thoroughly.

Transmission of Lyme Disease

Dykstra hesitantly likened the transmission of Lyme disease in our area to a lottery. “The prevalence is very low, but if you happen to be the one that got the tick that happened to have it. . . .”

She encouraged people who find ticks on themselves or on their dogs or cats to send the ticks in for lab testing. “We’re missing folks because of a lack of lab testing,” said Dykstra. Not all ticks submitted will be tested, however, depending on funding levels and the condition of the tick.

Here is a form to include with your sample. Dykstra emphasized that the more information provided about the location and circumstances regarding ticks the better.

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Photo of rash courtesy of Chris Booth.

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Astrology Weekly

Astrology Weekly 2/16/15: To Be Part of Something Worth Belonging to

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.

Taking the Reins: Aleta is inviting you to take her online class on February 22. When we genuinely know and love ourselves, our relationships become better and better. . . so this class is designed for you to see you in a new and truer light. With Venus and Mars conjunct on the day of this class, creating/seeing a true foundation for your life and person-hood along with activating love, leveling up love, and deepening your understanding of your very individual love profile is our focus. Aleta will be answering your questions live during the class and you don’t need to be on the call live—this class will be recorded and you can pre-send your questions. To take the class, click here.

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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Sakai pond panorama

Letter to the Editor: Thanks for a Resounding Yes to a Winslow Central Park

Dear Fellow Islanders:

We at “People for Parks” want to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the residents of Bainbridge Island. A 69% victory for the new park in Winslow was a resounding affirmation of the Island’s commitment to preserving open space and providing recreational opportunities for future generations of Islanders. Once again, this community has shown that it is willing to contribute time and money for a vision of the future—a vision that includes parks, schools, and a rich menu of public services and amenities. It’s this sort of commitment that makes Bainbridge the special place that we all love so much.

As co-chairs of People for Parks, we want to thank all of the voters who supported the purchase of the Sakai property in Winslow. Your generosity will make a “central park” for Bainbridge Island a reality.

We also want personally to thank all the folks who made the campaign a success by contributing dollars, volunteering time, spreading the word, and educating the community to the unique opportunity represented by this property.

Above all, we want to say thanks to all of the members of our steering and fundraising committees who made this victory happen. It’s been a pleasure to work with you all. Congratulations!

Sincerely,
Bruce Weiland and Jason Shutt,
Co-Chairs of People for Parks

Photo of Sakai land courtesy of Paul Brians.

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IslandMoms photo of mother with kids on the beach

Islandmoms Bids Farewell

On Wednesday, February 11, Islandmoms, an online user community for Bainbridge Island, announced its plans to close. An early and influential online resource, Islandmoms was founded in 2003 on Yahoo Groups.

Over its 11-year run, Islandmoms had over 16,000 users, including “dads” and a range of others, and served over 61,000 messages. The forum moved to the Big Tent platform in 2008 to better handle traffic levels and user requests for separation of discussion topics. Its traffic peaked between 2008 and 2011.

Co-moderator Dominique Cantwell called text-based forums “a dying breed” and explained that in the last few years “traffic has fallen as users have turned to richer online media such as Facebook to connect with their various communities.”

In their official farewell statement to users, the moderators further explained their rationale for closing: “Of greatest importance, we feel that the forum no longer serves the purpose for which it was founded—to foster community among those who live here, via positive and vibrant online discussion. The forum today is largely a place to advertise, which makes it far less relevant to the membership as a community resource, emphasized by the fact that only about 17% of all members each year opt to continue for another year when their membership expires.

Islandmoms will remain available for search until Monday, February 16, at which time it will be permanently closed and delisted from BigTent. Its main moderator account, islandmoms@gmail.com, will also be monitored until Monday.

In a parting statement, the moderators said, “There are many Facebook groups out there that are specific to Bainbridge . . . and we are certain that anyone who wishes to will find a new online home that serves their needs well. As you go forward, we would remind you one last time that the people on the other end of your data stream are your neighbors. It is far harder to take the high road, but we feel it is the only way we can thrive as a community. Think twice. Play nice.”

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Image courtesy of Islandmoms. 

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People for Parks members

Letter to the Editor: Super Majority Vote for Park Affirms Community Values

On February 10, the citizens of Bainbridge Island, by a super-majority, voted to create a central park at the heart of the Island. The 23-acre Sakai property now belongs to the community to be a park for generations into the future.

First, thanks to the Sakai family, John, Maryann, and Dean, for making a “Park in the Heart of the Island” possible. Without the Sakai family’s willingness to work with the Park District on the idea of turning their land into a park and their family tradition of supporting the community we would not have had the opportunity Bainbridge Island realized with this vote.

Second, thanks to People for Parks co-chairs Jason Shutt and Bruce Weiland for putting together a positive, outstanding, and winning campaign that resulted in a wonderful addition to our amazing park system. Other members of the campaign committee included Tom McCloskey (Treasurer), Anson Brooks (Communications), Margaret Powers (Volunteer Coordinator), Lee Robinson (Volunteer Coordinator), David Harrison (Fund Raising), Jim Chapel (Fundraising), and Lee Cross (Park District Liaison).

And most importantly, thank you to the citizens of Bainbridge Island who took the time and effort to learn about the Sakai property proposal and then vote to support this new park. It affirms the value the community places on parks, open space, and protecting our Island’s environment and heritage. These values and the sense of community they generate is what makes Bainbridge Island a unique and wonderful place to live.

The Board of Commissioners is looking forward to working with all the citizens of the Island to determine how the Sakai property will be developed as a park. Thank You.

For the Board of Commissioners
Kirk Robinson, Chair

Photo of People for Parks members courtesy of Jason Shutt.

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dogs on leash

City Council Considers Law Requiring Leashing Dogs in Your Own Living Room

The ongoing debate over leashing dogs continues at City Hall tomorrow night, February 10. The Council is considering whether to adopt a revised ordinance that would require all dogs to be leashed on city property and private property not owned or leased by the dog owner, except for officially sanctioned off-leash dog areas—the two fenced dog parks at Strawberry Hill Park and Eagledale Park.

In effect, Ordinance 2015-02 would mean people would be required to have their dogs on leash at all times everywhere on Bainbridge Island except on their own property or take them to an enclosed dog park. The existing City policy regarding dogs is they do not have to be on leash if they are under voice control. The proposed revised ordinance would align city policy with park policy, essentially regulating the leash law everywhere.

The City Council discussion of Ordinance 2015-02 is scheduled to begin at approximately 8:05 p.m. Community members are encouraged to attend and voice their opinions. Citizens unable to attend the meeting can submit comment on the matter by email to council@bainbridgewa.gov, or in-writing to City Hall.

If this ordinance passes, the next one up for discussion will be requiring all citizens to leash their dogs within their own homes. Sarcasm.

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Photo courtesy of Kristine Paulus.

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dog in mailbox

Letter to the Editor: To Leash or Not to Leash

[Note to readers: The Bainbridge Island City Council is considering an Island-wide leash law at tomorrow night’s meeting.]

To leash or not to leash should not be a question. At least not one asked by the Bainbridge Island City Council. If the City Council passes an Island-wide leash law, the City is, yet again, listening to the voice of a small contingent and mistaking it for the opinion of the general population.

Many aspects of living in a community require using good judgment and being considerate of others. Sometimes this means giving way to pedestrians in a crosswalk, opening the door for someone at a store, or returning a shopping cart after using it.

As a parent, it is easier for me to teach my children to “obey all the rules” than it is to teach them to be responsible for their actions and to be thoughtful toward others. But by teaching them the latter, they learn integrity and good judgment, which extends beyond that which is regulated by rules. Rules are necessary and important—and they give structure to our society. But when a jurisdiction produces rules for behavior that should be common sense, they dehumanize their constituents by negating their intelligence.

The Park District has already established dog-leash policies in parks. We need to discourage our City Council from regulating leashing on the rest of the island. Every time we walk our dogs, we would have to ask ourselves, “Am I on public property, private property, City-owned property, Park District property?” Please respect the judgment and intelligence of our neighbors by not creating unnecessary rules.

Dana Webber
Bainbridge Island

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Photo courtesy of Ray MacLean.

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Astrology Weekly

Astrology Weekly 2/8/15: Spot and Reframe the Negativity

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 Wednesday at 8 a.m. you can also hear Aleta on “It’s a New Dawn” on www.12radio.com.

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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Mailboxes

Letter to the Editor: Vote on the Facts, Ignore the Fiction

On behalf of PEOPLE FOR PARKS, I encourage you to exercise your civic duty and vote. I also ask that you be an informed voter and consider the facts:

FACT: The Kitsap Sun’s Editorial Board gave the Parks and Open Space Bond a strong endorsement because the value in the land lies far beyond the taxes that will purchase it (see link, below).

FACT: The seller (Sakai family) and buyer (Park District elected officials) negotiated a fair market value price that includes a contingency for further negotiation. This Buyer’s Due Diligence prepares for issues discovered in the environmental study that will take place after public approval of bond funds. This is similar to how a home buyer and seller agree to a fair market price; closing is contingent on the buyer’s obtaining financing and on an inspection that occurs only after the contract is agreed to. In this case, the Park District is seeking voter approval to buy the Sakai property first because it didn’t want to waste taxpayer funds on environmental testing if voters were not willing to approve the bond. FICTION: No environmental inspection will take place and taxpayers will be on the hook for hazardous waste cleanup.

FACT: This jewel has been identified for over a decade by City and Park District officials as having a benefit for this community as a park. The Sakai family has owned the property for more than 50 years, and they have not offered it on the open market since they purchased it. They approached the Park District only last summer to express their wish for the property to become a park. Studies show the great benefits and vitality of parks and open space to a community; I particularly like the sections called “Exposure to Nature Makes People Healthier” and “Increased Property Values” (see link, below). FICTION: This property has been on the market since 1999 and has no value as common green space.

FACT: State law prohibits a municipality or park district from paying more than Fair Market Value for public land. This value is determined by having an independent professional appraiser compare the subject property to recent sales of comparable properties, or “comps” (see link, below). This value is always considerably different than assessed value; consider the letter you get every year from the County Assessor with your home’s assessed value. Do you get sick to your stomach because of how low it is compared to what your realtor’s opinion of your home’s market value really is? FICTION: The Park District is overpaying since the negotiated purchase price is much greater than the assessed value.

FACT: The 2014 tax bill for these two parcels was a combined $21,143. Extensive economic reports show that housing developments actually cost a city money because the influx of increased revenue from property taxes is less than the increased expense to maintain the development, which includes emergency services, sewer/water, schools, police and fire protection, and so on (see link, below). Ask a friend from Mercer Island about how their property tax rate kept rising as their island kept building more homes. FICTION: Turning the Sakai property into a publicly owned park would take $400,000 off the tax rolls and eliminate the potential for $70 million net gain from residential property taxes.

FACT: Our community was saddened by a recent development that involved clear cutting a swath of trees just across Highway 305. Since then, many have asked how we can save the few natural areas that remain in and around Winslow. This is our chance to do exactly that. We can save the largest remaining undeveloped property in the Winslow area, including a 2-acre pond surrounded by Douglas firs and native vegetation, and make it available for public use. And we can all participate in the conversation over how this park should be developed through the public process outlined by the Park District (Resolution 2015-02, link below). We will help decide what happens with this property. FICTION: Park District leaders don’t really want public input. They’ve already decided what they want to do with the property, and the planning process and resolution they adopted are just for show.

FACT: Only 8.7 acres of land are usable for building homes. Under the City’s zoning regulations, however, there is allowance for 23 acres worth of homes (minus the lake/wetland) for housing. If this property goes to a housing developer, we will see 105 high-density units stacked up on the 9 acres against Madison Avenue. FICTION: There’s no real risk that this property would be developed into residential housing because the proximity to Highway 305 makes it noisy and most of the property is too steep or covered with wetlands.

FACT: There are almost 9 acres bordering Madison Avenue that are level, easily accessible, and well suited for active recreation. Other parts of the property may require some creativity to realize their recreational potential. For example, building a trail around the 2-acre pond will require boardwalks to cross wetland areas. This is true for any development of raw land. Ask your neighbor who built their own home about the challenges they had to overcome. Ask them if it was manageable and worth it in the end to create their sense of place. Three Saturday site tours have been provided for voters to ask questions about this very aspect. FICTION: The steep slope, scrub trees, and wetlands make this land worthless for a park. It is far better suited to development or should be covered with concrete and asphalt using private funds and without any input from you.

FACT: Approval of the bond to buy the Sakai property will not increase the amount you pay for Park District taxes. That is because the Park District paid off the bond for the Grand Forest and Gazzam Lake last fall. If the Sakai property bond is approved, you would pay the same amount in 2016 as you paid in 2014 (see link, below).

FACT: The opposition is spreading fiction by phone and email to scare you about the impact of this bond on your property taxes. They contend that putting this land into public ownership will reduce tax revenues to the City and eventually increase your tax burden.

Read more about the FACTS:

Jason Shutt
Bainbridge Island

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Photo courtesy of Taz Sporkist.

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Astrology Weekly

Astrology Weekly 2/2/15: Use Your Strengths (Why the Seahawks Lost)

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 Wednesday at 8 a.m. you can also hear Aleta on “It’s a New Dawn” on www.12radio.com.

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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Pj LeDorze holding Seahawks jersey

Richard Sherman Sends Bainbridge Good Guy a Signed Seahawks Jersey

Bainbridge Islander Pj LeDorze became a media darling with one inspired act—pulling off his Richard Sherman Seahawks jersey and handing it to a boy next to him at the end of the dramatic playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. It’s a story you’ve probably heard parts of, but here’s more—much.

LeDorze’s act of kindness was not random; on the contrary, it was quite specific. He was seated directly in front of the McElravy family at CenturyLink Field during the feverish game that by turns put Packers and Hawks fans into ecstasy and agony, ultimately sending Seattle’s team to Super Bowl XLIX. The McElravys, who live in Leavanworth, are unusual. Mom, Pam, and eldest son, Devan, 14, are Seahawks fans. But Dad, Tim, and younger son, Austin, 12, are Green Bay Packers fans.

During the playoff game, LeDorze, 35, noticed his “upstairs” neighbors because an aggressive Seahawks fan was cursing at Tim and Austin for rooting for the Packers. Among other things, the rabid fan used the “f” word. Determined to show a better side of Seattle, LeDorze, a confident and formidable presence, told the mean guy to shut up and engaged the father and son in an ongoing friendly conversation about the game and about football in general, elevating the dialogue to something more than your side/my side, a perspective distinctly lacking today in American culture.

When the game ended with a Seattle win in overtime after a stunning turn of events late in what had looked like a Packers clinch, LeDorze turned to his new young friend Austin. “We fist-bumped and shared a bro hug. He was handling his loss better than I was handling my win. I just pulled off my jersey—I was wearing it over my jacket—and handed it to him,” said LeDorze.

LeDorze told me his gesture was “not a conscious decision” and that he had been impressed with Austin’s composed acceptance of his team’s loss and just spontaneously gave him his shirt in the midst of the excitement. I asked LeDorze what happened next. “The kid was floored. At first he wasn’t sure what to do. Then he gave a big smile of gratitude, and everyone got very emotional. His mom was crying, and his parents hugged me,” LeDorze said.

Pj LeDorze with Austin McElravy at the Seahawks game

Pj LeDorze with Austin McElravy at the Seahawks game

Tim took a picture of LeDorze and his son with the jersey, but they didn’t exchange more than first names before the uproarious crowd quickly swept them apart.

LeDorze, a third-generation Bainbridge Islander who played defensive end and left tackle for Bainbridge High School, told me he never expected what happened next. Tim McElravy sent the photo and story to a reporter at King 5 News, and through social media “Pj” was tracked down by the following morning. A few Seattle media outlets covered the story, and so did NBC News.

But the story didn’t end there. Princess Cruise Lines contacted LeDorze with two offers. They gave him a ticket for their Seahawks cruise in June, a week-long Alaska excursion for hardcore fans, with Seahawks players aboard, trivia games, and other football-related events. The company also asked LeDorze to talk with people on camera at the Seahawks send-off parade on January 25. LeDorze said he got to joke around with fans and choose someone to give tickets to for the Seahawks cruise.

“I chose a great family. It was two young parents with a 13 or 14 month old. The boy was wearing a blue and green sweater knitted by his grandmother, and the father was wearing a similar Seahawks hat also knitted by her,” said LeDorze. “They were incredibly excited. They actually had been thinking about going on the cruise already. It was great to be able to give that gift. The people at the company are very Seattle. I enjoyed working with them. I’m most excited about the cruise. I’ve never been to Alaska.”Pj LeDorze with his Richard Sherman jersey

LeDorze’s decency, generosity, and good sportsmanship captured more than media attention. People from all over, including as far away as Cuba and Kyrzbekistan, contacted LeDorze to say how inspired they were by his gesture. “I haven’t had time yet, but I plan to answer every one,” he said. And when Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman heard the story after LeDorze did an on-air television segment, he promised to replace LeDorze’s gifted jersey with a new signed one, along with two signed Seahawks caps and a signed PlayStation 4 Madden NFL video game.

LeDorze invited me over to see his schwag. He plans to frame his signed jersey with an image of Sherman responding to the story on Facebook. This writer can attest to the fact that in his “man pad” LeDorze has plenty of unoccupied wall space to hang the jersey. He told me Sherman is his favorite player because he’s talented, confident, community-minded, and smart—a man looking ahead to his future who won’t “blow his money and burn out.”

LeDorze plans to give one of the hats to Austin’s Seahawks fan brother Devan McElravy, and the other hat will be a gift for LeDorze’s younger brothers, 9 and 11, to share. LeDorze said the signed video game will be something his brothers will have the opportunity to “pay forward” to someone of their choosing, just as he has done.

When I met LeDorze, his old friend Torgeir Troland had just flown in from Norway for the Super Bowl. The two met back in fifth grade at Ordway School on Bainbridge Island. I asked where they planned to watch the game, and LeDorze said he wasn’t sure which party they would end up at.

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 Photos courtesy of Tim McElravy and by Julie Hall.

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where pond by marilynn gottlieb

Name (and Find) That Bird: Silent Stalker

This double challenge comes courtesy of Bainbridge Island photographer Marilynn Gottlieb.

Can you find and identify this familiar species reflected in the Battle Point Park pond among the reeds and branches? It hangs around water and uses its blade-like bill to snap up smaller prey and stab large fish.

Click photo to enlarge (twice).

where pond by marilynn gottlieb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Astrology Weekly

Astrology Weekly 1/25/15: True up What You Want with How You Are

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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