Tag Archive | "Helpline House"

winslow arms sign

Low-Income Seniors Report Ongoing Abuse at Winslow HUD Facility

[Updated at 11:50 a.m. February 13, 2015—see note below.]

Residents of the federally subsidized Winslow Arms Apartments at 220 Parfitt Way have come forward with allegations of ongoing harassment and abuse in their housing complex.

Six residents of Winslow Arms approached Inside Bainbridge with complaints about the apartment manager, who will be referred to as Tracy. Correspondence records between other residents at the housing facility and its private Seattle-based management company, Pan Pacific Properties, reveal a broader record of alleged abuse.

Winslow Arms is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) facility, which means that its management company receives HUD funding to provide “affordable, decent, and safe rental housing” for low-income seniors and disabled individuals.

Approximately 65 people live in Winslow Arms, many of whom are elderly and/or severely disabled. Allegations against 44-year-old Tracy, who took over as manager last May, include the following:

  1. She has physically “shoulder-block” shoved one of the residents (a small fragile woman with a heart condition) on two occasions, saying “f*ck you” and “you better be careful.”
  2. She routinely threatens residents with eviction without cause, putting notices on their doors.
  3. She has verbally attacked numerous residents, saying “f*ck you” and giving them the finger.
  4. She yells at, stands in the way of, and rushes at residents, using her large body (6′ 1″ and 230 pounds) to bully them.
  5. She speeds in her car at 30-40 mph through the parking lot of the residence.
  6. She smokes on the premises, against HUD policy.
  7. She slams doors. Residents provided photographic evidence of holes from a doorknob and doorstop of a recently slammed door.
  8. She denies her hostile actions, lies about tenants, and acts victimized by tenants.
  9. She does not consistently keep the posted business hours in her office and has failed to show up for some scheduled meetings.
  10. She threw hot coffee on a tenant’s door.
  11. She has “torn down” tenant-provided holiday decorations and removed a tenant’s radio from the common area, with no explanation.
  12. She has canceled longstanding scheduled excursions and regular driving trips to Walmart for residents without explanation.

None of the reporting tenants were willing to go on record with their names in this article for fear of reprisal, including targeted harassment, eviction, and physical harm. In a group meeting with this writer, several tenants described Tracy as “a ticking time bomb” and said that they believed it is just a matter of time until she resorts to serious physical violence and harm. The tenants present at our meeting said they have lived at the apartment complex for between 3 and 5 years and have never had cause for complaint about previous managers. One tenant said she has filed an anti-harassment order against Tracy but has not used it for fear of retaliation. She said she is prepared to move to a women’s shelter to avoid further harassment.

Numerous residents said they have contacted Pan Pacific dozens of times for months with their concerns, in person and in writing, and that the manager there, Laurie Hirschberg, has whitewashed their complaints and done nothing to address the problems at Winslow Arms. Copies of correspondence provided to Inside Bainbridge corroborate this claim. One tenant said of Pan Pacific, “They won’t do anything unless they are threatened with having to pay money for legal fees.” Residents sought legal consultation but lack the financial resources to pay a lawyer to pursue the matter in court. They reported that when three representatives from Kitsap Adult Protective Services met with 12 concerned residents at Winslow Arms, they told the residents the situation with Tracy was “terrible” but they were unable to intervene because no physical abuse had occurred. After the alleged shoving incidents, the assaulted individual contacted Adult Protective Services again and was told that they were sorry but because of budgetary constraints they could only intervene in cases involving the disabled.

Nontenants of Winslow Arms also have complained to Pan Pacific about interactions with Tracy. For example, Eileen Magnuson, Program Specialist for the Bainbridge Island Park District, wrote a full-page letter to Hirschberg dated August 26, 2014, describing an incident in which Tracy reportedly became combative with her and others from Waterfront Park Community Center when they parked in the Winslow Arms parking lot to take residents and other Bainbridge Island seniors on a field trip, something the Park District had been doing for over 20 years. Magnuson said that when she stopped into Tracy’s office to introduce herself and explain the longstanding arrangement, Tracy became “very upset” and began collecting the names of the people parked in the lot. To appease Tracy, Magnuson, the participants, and the bus driver moved to another location. “Though surprised and embarrassed, we did our best to salvage the positivity and enthusiasm that our trips usually inspire,” wrote Magnuson. “. . . I understand that this conversation came as a surprise to Ms. [Tracy]. It may be that your company does not want us to park in Winslow Arms lot in the future. I can understand that. My concern is as to how Ms. [Tracy] conducted herself as a representative of your company. We could have had a professional conversation discussing how to best remedy the situation rather than the confrontational and accusatory dialogue that ensued. . . .”

A Helpline House counselor wrote a letter dated November 3, 2014, on behalf of one of the tenants, saying, “The manager has chosen to verbally abuse and bully many of the tenants. The environment has become very stressful and unsafe. This atmosphere has had an extremely adverse effect on [my client’s] health.”

When Inside Bainbridge called Pan Pacific, we were told Hirschberg was the contact person for issues regarding Winslow Arms and she was unreachable that day. When we called her the next day she declined to speak on the phone and asked us to submit our questions in writing. We sent her our questions and requested a prompt response to them. She wrote us a day later, saying she would respond in two more business days.

Domestic abuse counselor Barbara Chandler-Young of the Kitsap County YWCA, who works from an office on Bainbridge Island, also approached Inside Bainbridge on behalf of several residents of Winslow Arms. Chandler-Young, who has worked as a counselor and client advocate at the YWCA for 9 years, said she believes Tracy is abusing the residents of Winslow Arms: “I don’t usually go public in my work, but in this case I want to shout it from the rooftops. What is happening there is outrageous. We need to shine the light of day on this situation. I would hope that the community would be up in arms.”

When Inside Bainbridge called HUD about the situation at Winslow Arms, we were referred to the Bremerton Housing Authority, which has a contract to administrate management of HUD housing across the state. Bremerton Housing Authority Executive Director Kurt Wiest told me his organization has received a complaint from a resident at Winslow Arms about Tracy’s treatment of tenants. “We take this very seriously. Where somebody lives is a very deep part of their lives,” he said. Following HUD regulations, Wiest notified HUD and the owner of Winslow Arms, Bess Uchimura, about the complaint and our inquiry. Wiest suggested we try calling HUD again, but no one was available to answer our call. When we tried to contact Uchimura, her phone number was disconnected, and her email address was defunct.

Note: After reading this story, Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matt Hamner contacted Inside Bainbridge with concern about the situation at Winslow Arms. He said as far as he is aware there have been no reports by Winslow Arms tenants of criminal activity. Inside Bainbridge made a public records request for reports involving Winslow Arms to the department earlier this week. Chief Hamner said a detective is currently working on an in-depth review of police files. He encourages anyone who has experienced a criminal offense to come forward to the police. The tenant who was allegedly shoulder blocked told Inside Bainbridge that she reported the incidents to the police but was told that without evidence of physical harm the case was unenforceable. She said the consulting Officer, Jeff Benkert, told her she could get a restraining order against the manager. As stated above, she said she filed for an anti-harassment order but has not used it for fear of retaliation.

Photo by Sarah Lane.

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elves on the rock helpline house

Letter to the Editor: Elves on the Rock Holds Health & Hygiene Drive for Helpline House

Just barely two weeks before Christmas, a small group of Bainbridge Island community members joined together and formed “Elves on the Rock.” The goal of the group was to raise a few hundred dollars to meet the immediate needs of a couple of families at a local level. The Elves were looking to bring out the Christmas spirit of “paying it forward” to families that needed some help during the holidays.

As the number of families that were referred to the Elves for assistance grew, so did the donations received from Island businesses and the community. These quickly exceeded any of the group’s expectations at over $10,000 in donations and gifts. With this amazing outpouring of support, the Elves were able to help over 35 families.

The Elves would like to thank all the individuals and businesses that donated to the cause, participated in the online auction, and assisted with the collection, shopping, wrapping, and delivery of the gifts and everything else that made this event a HUGE success. The number of people reaching out to help was simply unbelievable. These folks truly understand the concept of paying it forward.

The Elves have committed to continue to help with the emergent needs of the community of Bainbridge Island, and this month are holding a Health and Hygiene Drive to assist Bainbridge Island Helpline House.

Find details on Facebook here.

—Elves on the Rock

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Photo courtesy of Elves on the Rock.

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Play Winslow

Weekend on the Rock December 12-14, 2014: Let the Holiday Festivities Begin!

Here are Inside Bainbridge recommendations for the weekend of December 12-14, 2014:

1. Holiday Village at Bloedel Reserve
When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Bloedel Reserve, 7571 NE Dolphin Drive
Why: There is something about miniature things that fascinates people. Bloedel brings it inside for the winter with its tiny holiday village of intricate, hand-made buildings and itsy trains. The Visitor’s Center will be “decked to the nines” and cider will be flowing.

Holiday Village is Included in admission to the Reserve ($5-$15).

Holiday Village

2. Gingerbread Houses at KiDiMu
When: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Kids Discovery Museum, 301 Ravine Lane NE
Why: Again with the miniature things (see #1 above) and this time they’re edible. Make a house to eat. All materials will be provided.

Free with admission or membership.

3. Giving Tree for Helpline House at KiDiMu
When: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Kids Discovery Museum, 301 Ravine Lane NE
Why: Share the wealth by picking up a gift tag from the tree at KiDiMu, shopping for a book for someone else, and dropping off your book gift at the Museum by December 15.

As a thank you, you will receive a free KiDiMu day pass (for up to four) for your own family or to use as a gift.

4. Songs of the Plateau: Monoprints by Pam Hobert
When: Friday, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Grace Church, 8595 Northeast Day Road
Why: Meet the artist at this opening reception. Hobert’s show will run through January.

Pam Hobert Untitled Landscape

Pam Hobert: Untitled Landscape

5. Walk for Water
When: Saturday, 9 a.m.
Where: Waterfront Park
Why: If the storm hoopla comes true, participants may be walking through water. But they’ll still have a better time of it than many African women and girls who have to walk as much as 5 miles a day for water. Read more here about this fundraiser.

To register, go here.

6. Heyday Farm Holiday Baking Class
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Where: Heyday Farmhouse and Kitchen, 4370 Old Mill Road NE
Why: Get your hands into some dough and leave with some food for the family.
Your instructor is Chef Kerrie Sanson.

$75.

7. Art in Action!
When: Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, 550 Winslow Way East
Why: Making art and leaving your mess for someone else to clean up is heaven. This week’s art project is making ornaments. Here’s more info about specific activities, dates, and times.

8. St. Lucia Safety Light Event
When: Saturday, 12-2 p.m.
Where: Downtown Winslow
Why: GO! Bainbridge is holding its annual St. Lucia tradition of promoting nighttime safety awareness through its safety gear giveaway and education campaign in honor of the Scandinavian Festival of Lights dedicated to Saint Lucia (Lucia means “light”). Look for the strolling “Lucias” on Winslow Way disseminating free lights and safety information.

9. Seattle Labor Chorus
When: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Where: Winter Farmers Market, Eagle Harbor Congregational Church Parking Lot (Madison and Winslow)
Why: Come gather round people, repeat the call, the Seattle Labor Chorus will be singing to y’all. They started in ’77 with Pete Seeger at the Folklife Festival, and since then hairstyles have gotten shorter. But the songs stay current, just look around, though the times they are a-changing.

10. Museum Playtime with Santa at KiDiMu
When: Saturday, 2-3 p.m.
Where: Kids Discovery Museum, 301 Ravine Lane NE
Why: I can’t believe Santa has time so late in December to play, but apparently he’s making a point of it at KiDiMu.

Free with admission or membership. $6.

11. Museum Night at Classic Cycle
When: Saturday, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Classic Cycle, 740 Winslow Way E
Why: The theme of this first in a series of social/museum nights is “When I was a kid . . .” .  Ogle at early BMX bikes, balloon-tire cruisers, Schwinn Sting-Rays, and Apple Krates. Jeff and Paul will lead some bicycle history talks with demonstrations and some hands-on displays. There will be complimentary snacks and refreshments.

Admission is free, but please bring a donation of cat food (dry or canned), cat litter, or a cat toy donations for PAWS.

Black-Phantom-1024x620

Black Phantom

12. Rye and Barley at Bainbridge Brewery
When: Saturday, 6-9 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Island Brewery, 9415 Coppertop Loop NE
Why: Rye and Barley will be playing amid the hops, featuring Holiday tunes played on guitars, bouzouki, mandolin, bodhran, djembe, and harmonicas. Bainbridge Brewery has tapped their annual Winter Ale for the holiday season. Children and dogs allowed, but they can’t touch the brews.

No cover.

13. Planetarium Show “Jupiter As a Star”
When: Saturday, 7-8:30 p.m.
Where: Edwin E. Ritchie Observatory and John H. Rudolph Planetarium in the Helix House at Battle Point Park, 11299 Arrow Point Drive NE
Why: Wait. First you take away Pluto and now you’re going to make Jupiter a star. I want my money back. Astronomer Steve Ruhl looks at Jupiter’s place in the solar system and explains what hoops Jupiter would need to go through to become a star. Oh and, by the way, Earth would have a price to pay in all this.

$2.

14. Holiday Boat Parade
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Winslow Wharf Marina
Why: Courtesy of the Bainbridge Island Police Department and the Parks Department comes the annual Holiday Boat Parade of lit and decorated watercraft. The parade starts at the Winslow Wharf Marina and proceeds west to the Aquatic Conservancy Buoy just east of Sunday Cove and then East along the south shore out to Tyee Shoal and then back to the City Dock. At 8:30, raft up to the City Dock for S’mores and caroling. At 9:30, the Argosy Holiday Ship gives a serenade.

15. Meet the Artist and Bread Sculpture Workshop with Julie Paschkis
When: Sunday, meet the artist from 1-2 p.m., and workshop from 2:15-3:15 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, 550 Winslow Way East
Why: Children’s book illustrator Paschkis whose work is in the Points of Entry Exhibit will be on hand to meet her fans from 1-2 p.m. Admission is free. Bring books for her to sign. Then, at 2:15, she’ll lead a workshop in bread sculptures. It’s good for all ages.

Registration for the workshop is $10 and includes all materials. Register here. 

Midwinter by Julie Paschkis

Midwinter by Julie Paschkis

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Turkey Trot 2014

Turkey Trot 2014 Photo Gallery

Early this morning, November 27, starting at 8:30, on what started out as a windy and soggy day, Islanders and visiting relatives and friends donned their running shoes, turkey feathers, and Pilgrim hats for the 5th annual Turkey Trot 1 mile and 5K runs. Some people raced, some people pushed strollers, some ran their dogs, and others trotted or walked their way toward the finish line.

The proceeds from entrance fees will go to Helpline House. The previous four years have raised a total of $65,000.

The winner of the 1 mile was Margo Cramer, a 24 year old on the New Balance Boston running club, here to visit her family. She ran a swift 5:40. Nine-year-old Liam O’Brien came in 6th.

In the 5K, Cramer led the women and came in fifth overall. The winner of the race was Shawn Weigl, a Port Townsend resident originally from Wisconsin via Florida. He ran a 16:42 and then waited for his mother, also in the race, to run back across the finish line with her.

Here are West Sound Academy Cross Country Team seniors Alice Wang, Karin Knighton, and Soobeen Heo before the 5K:

[portfolio_slideshow id=93618]

Photos by Sarah Lane. Video by Lisa Gsellman.

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Kate Matthews with Sandy and Roger Short by Katie Davis

Islander Kate Matthews Earns Highest Girl Scout Honor

Bainbridge High School senior Kate Matthews is a member of a small, elite group: the 5 percent or so of Girl Scouts who achieve scouting’s highest honor, the Gold Award. The award itself is not much to look at—as Matthews said, “It’s actually really small, a really small, gold pin.” But what it represents—dozens of hours of hard work, follow-through on a vision, and the development of managerial skills—is huge.

Matthews earned her award for her community garden-bed project. It started with her vision of sustainability for economically disadvantaged Islanders. She approached Housing Resources Board with the idea of creating an ongoing garden experience and food source for some of its residents. HRB directed Matthews to Island Homes east and west, two HRB communities that flank Helpline House on Knechtel.

She set about developing a plan for nine garden beds with a sustainable setup. She looked for a project advisor, and former Mayor Debbi Lester eagerly took on the assignment and, Matthews said, “put in as much time as I did.”  Then Matthews approached local businesses for support: Bay Hay and Feed provided plants, ProBuild provided the lumber, Ace Hardware provided the hoses, and Shorts Family Farm provided the soil.

Once the beds were built, Matthews organized an education series for the residents. The residents received training from a Bainbridge Gardens master gardener, a Bainbridge Athletic Club nutritionist, and a local chef who taught people how to cook with kale and other less-popular but easy-to-grow vegetables.

To keep the project going in the long run, Matthews introduced the residents to supportive resources, such as the seed bank at the library and local sources of tools, soils, and plants.

The garden beds thrived this summer, providing residents with food and the enjoyment that comes from gardening. Matthews said that three residents who, at the start of the project, were not interested later approached her and asked to be included.

Lester said that “for Girls Scouts, the Gold Award is the equivalent to the Eagle Scout Award for Boy Scouts.” She praised Matthews for her “pretty amazing vision.”Gold Award

Matthews said she developed many key skills throughout the project. “The reason I pursued the Award,” she said, “is because it was the next step in Girl Scouting. But it also develops your skills as a leader, communicator, and project manager. It makes you more confident.” She had to “lead meetings, solicit donations, organize her thoughts, sell her ideas, communicate with tenants, and gather people who knew the garden scene.” She said, she had to “know when and how to reach out to people.”

Matthews hasn’t only developed some key skills through her 106 hours of volunteer work on this project. She’s also earned some respect—the award is “very nice because on college apps it looks good. I think some schools recognize it as merit and will give you scholarship or it can count toward a presidential volunteer award.”

The Girls Scouts of America will hold a Gold Award Gala in the spring for the awardees throughout the State. In the meantime, Matthews is focused on college. She will hear back in a few weeks from the schools to which she applied. She hopes to pursue environmental or political science in her college career and continue to play soccer as she has as a Spartan standout.

And Sunday night, November 23, she was busy receiving another award for her garden project, the Compassionate Action Award from Bainbridge Youth Services.

Lester identified even more “icing on the cake.” She said, “Not only did the garden beds grow food, but they also grew friendships.”

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Photo of Matthews with Sandy and Roger Short by Katie Davis.

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Resources

Two New Community Resources: One for Tweens/Teens, One About Mental Illness

Bainbridge Islanders can avail themselves of two new resources. One is the Resource Guide for Bainbridge Island Teens and Tweens. The other is How to Get Help in Kitsap County.

The Resource Guide is the outcome of a partnership among the Bainbridge Island Rotary Club, the Bainbridge branch of Kitsap Regional Library, and the Bainbridge Island Healthy Youth Initiative. The introduction reads as follows:

Our youth are Bainbridge Island’s most precious resource. While we offer excellent schools, safe streets, natural beauty, and relative affluence, recent surveys show there is more we can do as a community to support their full growth and development. In the three Bainbridge Healthy Youth Summits held in 2013 -2014, our youth identified three ways we can help them grow: 1) empower their voices, 2) help them discover their passions and 3) celebrate them for who they are in addition to what they do and achieve. With these sentiments in mind, we decided to query all island non-profits to discover what opportunities existed for youth to find a way to share their voices and gifts, discover their passions and foster internal strengths that don’t show up on a report card.

Resource Guide for Tweens and Teens

The guide is a listing of programs, services, and teen and tween volunteer opportunities. The 30 listed resources range in type from Salish Sea Expeditions to Coffee Oasis to Teen Talking Circles.

For example, the Helpline House listing includes the organization’s address and phone number and the e-mail address of a Helpline House clinical social worker. It identifies as programs “Community Service After School and Summer of Service and Holiday volunteering for teens. Independent Community Projects such as neighborhood or grocery store food drives for teens and tweens.” For services it lists “Food bank and clothing barn. We also do scholarship assessment for park district and various local sports clubs. We provide backpacks and school supplies through Project Backpack.” And under volunteer opportunities, it lists  “Sorting, stocking and processing donated food items in the food bank. Selecting, sorting and displaying clothes in Clothing Work.”

You can open the resource guide here.

How to Get Help in Kitsap CountyHow to Get Help is a brochure for people dealing with mental illness. It was developed by the Bainbridge Island Police Department, which has shared it with law enforcement agencies throughout the area at their request.

Officer Trevor Ziemba, who is Bainbridge’s first certified Crisis Intervention Officer and who was nominated for State CIO of the Year, recognized the need for this brochure. He said that, during police responses, people would tell him they didn’t know how to help their mentally ill family members. So Ziemba led the creation of the brochure that Chief Hamner has called  “one of our biggest hits for the year.”

How to Get Help reports that “1 in 5 families are affected by a mental health issue.” It offers a list of resources for children, teens, young adults, adults, older adults, families, and veterans that people can reach out to during crisis. It also list resources for dealing with substance abuse and gives instructions for immediate responses during an emergency. The handout includes a place for people to record the names of their local CIOs and to record the name of the officer and the number of the police report related to a mental health incident.

You can pick up a copy of How to Get Help at the Bainbridge Island Police station.

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Pet food by Ed Schipul

Pet Food Wars Part III: Poulsbo Accepts Bainbridge Challenge

It’s unclear why storage businesses like to challenge each other to charity duels, but it has happened again. This time, in what will be known as Pet Food Wars III, Poulsbo’s Proguard Self Storage is taking the bait, accepting the challenge by Bainbridge Storage (and its affiliates Bainbridge North Storage and Bainbridge U-Haul) to mano-a-mano donations collection to benefit the Kitsap Humane Society.

Proguard’s eagerness may have the Bainbridge biz in cold storage, sounding a little defensive, reminding people of all the good work they’ve done for local nonprofits including Helpline House, West Sound Wildlife, Bainbridge Historical Society, Bainbridge Girl Scouts Day Camp, Bainbridge Girls Lacrosse, Bainbridge Rowing, All Comers Track Meets, and the Kitsap Humane Society. In what sounds a bit like a premature victory speech, they’re thanking former opponents: “We have been fortunate to have neighboring facilities like Pacific Storage (Poulsbo), Reliable Storage (Bainbridge/Poulsbo), and North Kitsap Storage (Poulsbo) join with us to help out these wonderful groups.”

They’re even offering a bribe: When you drop off your donation at Bainbridge Self Storage you can enter your name to win one of four $25 gift cards from Bon Bon Confectioners.

Line up the dollies and roll out the tie-down straps and let the war begin. Each facility must collect as much dog food, cat food, hamster food, towels, disposable lint rollers, kitten milk, and other KHS essentials as possible between October 4 and October 18. One hundred percent of everything donated goes to KHS.

Drop off your donations at

  • Bainbridge Storage, 9300 Sportsman Club Rd. NE (Office Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.);
  • Town & Country where the Bainbridge Storage Team will be on October 14 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. to fill up a pickup with donations;
  • Pacific Storage (Bainbridge Storage partner), 15411 Silverdale Way, Poulsbo (Office Hours: Mon.-Sat., 8:30 a.m-5 p.m., and Sun., 12-4 p.m.); or
  • Proguard Self Storage, 20554 Little Valley Rd. NE, Poulsbo.

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Photo by Ed Schipul.

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Play Winslow

Weekend on the Rock September 26-28, 2014: Harvest Fair, Crab Feed, and Eli West

Here are Inside Bainbridge recommendations for the weekend of September 26-28, 2014:

1. The Salon—A Forum for Conversation
When: Friday, 1:30-3 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Library, 1270 Madison Ave. N
Why: The topic is “What’s the Role of Virtue in Society Today?” Attend and then apply your high moral standards by sharing what you learned with me.

2. Mystery Night: Grades 5-6
When: Friday, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Library, 1270 Madison Ave. N
Why: The prom queen was found dead at the dance. Was it murder or the results of an updo neck injury? Your kids will find out by examining the evidence.

For kids in grades 5-6. Sign-up is required. Call (206) 842-4162 x3.

3. Tag Sale by BI Women’s Club
When: Saturday, 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Where: Kitsap Bank Parking Lot, High School Rd., Across from ACE Hardware
Why: The more than 100 members of the BI Women’s Club are selling their stuff, including household items, small appliances, books, toys, and jewelry. Proceeds enable the club to donate $1,000s to community nonprofits each year.

Evening of Abstraction and Distraction4. BAC Benefit Auction
When: Saturday, 6-10 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, 550 Winslow Way E
Why: It’s the annual crab feed but this time framed as an Evening of Abstraction and Distraction. Enjoy the crab dinner by Ann Pearl Catering, live and silent auctions, improv with Jonathan Hibbs, Sandi Spellman, and Todd Erler, and unique distractions including Flip Book Productions, Vince Yee Caricatures, and The Two-Minute Novelist with George Shannon. All proceeds benefit Bainbridge Arts & Crafts’ exhibitions, programs, and services. Here’s the catalog.

Tickets are $125 per person or $90 for BAC Supporting Members. Get your tickets here.

5. Printmaking Class: Drypoint on Plexiglass
When: Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: BARN – Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network, 11272 Sunrise Drive NE
Why: The definition of drypoint—a form of non-toxic intaglio printmaking—requires further definition for most of us. You scribe your print into plexiglass with an etching tool. Then you force ink into the lines. Finally you send the plates through an etching press to reveal the image from the plate onto paper. Intriguing—and a little violent. You’ll learn mark making techniques, image building, and inking/printing skills. All levels of printers welcome.

$85 ($70 for members). Register here.

Harvest Fair6. Friends of the Farms’ Harvest Fair
When: Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Johnson Farm (off Miller Rd. south of High School)
Why: The hay slide, the cider press, the beer garden, the sad turkey, clogging, food stands, hay rides, pony rides, face painting, and a pie contest. Everyone you know will be there.

Suggested donation at the entry: $5 for an individual and $20 for a family. New this year, Harvest Fair attendees may purchase wristbands for only $12, allowing unlimited turns on rides and attractions. Donations support the event and Friends of the Farms’ work throughout the year. Shuttles available: Free park and ride shuttle with pick-up at Bainbridge ferry terminal for each ferry arrival from Seattle, from 11:00 a.m. on (10:35 sailing from Seattle), and final return drop off at 5 p.m. for the 5:30 sailing back to Seattle. Shuttle also picks up at Bethany Lutheran (Finch Rd. and High School).

7. BI/NK CROP Hunger Walk
When: Sunday, 2 p.m.
Where: Eagle Harbor Congregational Church
Why: Walk to end hunger—how simple is that? Your walking benefits Church World Service hunger efforts, and 25 percent of the funds earned stay in the community, with 20 percent going to Helpline House of Bainbridge and 5 percent to Fishline of North Kitsap.

For more information, contact Chris Christensen at 842-5830 or Rachel Kerbrat at 842-8729.

8. Eli West at Grace Church
When: Sunday, 6:30 p.m.
Where: 8595 Day Road
Why: Seattle-based Eli West’s bluegrassy guitar introspection. Just the right mood to set your mind a-wanderin’. The guy seems to have 12 fingers.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Opening Act at 7 p.m. Main Act at 8 p.m. For tickets, click here or stop by Grace during office hours or on Sunday after church for cash sales.

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footbridge

Midday Downtown Winslow Robbery Raises Concerns

We don’t have very many robberies on Bainbridge. Burglaries and car prowls, fraud and shoplifting, yes. But not robberies. So when there is one, it sparks concern and the police seek to raise awareness.

On September 8 at 12:51 in the afternoon, an 88-year-old woman was walking home from volunteering at Helpline House. She knew she was being followed by a young man and at one point turned around to say hello, letting him know she was aware of his presence. He continued to follow her down Erickson and onto Shannon Drive. As she approached the footbridge at the end of Waterfront Park, he came up behind her and said, “Ma’am, give me the bag or I will shoot you dead with this gun.”

The woman told police he had his hand in his pocket. She threw her bag at him and took off walking as fast as she could. He had to bend over to retrieve the bag and then he left in the direction of the park.

footbridgeThe woman told police he was a white male in his early 20s. He was about 6 feet tall and slender. He was clean shaven and was wearing a multicolored headband that prevented her from identifying his hair color. He was wearing white, knee-length shorts with a pattern on one leg.

Lieutenant Denise Giuntoli took the woman’s report. Officers Trevor Ziemba and Aimee LaClaire searched the area, and LaClaire stopped by Helpline to see if anyone knew of the man.

The stolen bag was a navy blue shopping bag with a volunteer logo on it. Inside were several volunteer buttons, a multicolored umbrella, and volunteer business cards.

Police Chief Matt Hamner explained that, even if the man didn’t actually have a gun, the fact that he threatened the use of force elevates this incident to robbery.

Hamner has issued a bulletin with information about the incident. He asks you to call 842-5211 if you have any additional information about the incident or the suspect.

Related Stories

Photos by Sarah Lane.

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Burkholder

The Late Bob Burkholder Honored in New Film Opening Friday, Followup to ‘Old Goats’

Old Goats was the debut film of Islander Taylor Guterson. The film featured, among others, actors Britt Crosley and the late Bob Burkholder. Guterson’s new film, which opens Friday, September 19, at the Lynwood Theatre, features the same two actors and bears the name of one: Burkholder.

Guterson, the son of novelist Dave Guterson, said that Bob Burkholder was also the motivation for the film. Guterson explained: “Old Goats had its theatrical release a few weeks prior to Bob’s 90th Birthday, and I wanted to do another feature with him while we still had time. Bob and his family saw an early cut of the film and really liked it. I was working on a subsequent cut when Bob passed away. I miss Bob very much and I like to think this film serves as a fitting testament to him, both as a great actor and a great man.”

Bukholder posterOld Goats earned “Official Best of the Fest” and People’s Choice recognition at the Seattle International Film Festival and won a jury prize for Best Narrative Feature in the Cinequest International Film Festival.

The new film, much of which was shot on Bainbridge, is also a comedy, an Odd Couple for the Pacific Northwest. In brief, the two main characters, Barry and Teddy, are unlikely housemates. When Teddy’s behavior starts to become more erratic, Barry looks for a solution.

So far the response to Burkholder has been more than positive. The Seattle Times calls it “nimble, witty, and imaginative… rich in humor and surprises.” Paul Constant of The Stranger says “the film’s portrait of friendship is beautiful.” In The Seattle Weekly, Sean Axemaker writes, “Burkholder uses breezy humor to explore themes of age, independence, and declining health.”

In tribute to Burkholder, the man—who in addition to being an author, actor, and aviator was also an activist who rallied for the environment, democracy, and peace—all proceeds from the opening night (Friday,  September 19) 7 p.m. screening will be donated to Helpline House, an organization he regarded highly.

BURKHOLDER – Trailer from ShadowCatcher on Vimeo.

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Play Winslow

Weekend on the Rock, August 1-3, 2014: Art Attack!

Here are Inside Bainbridge recommendations for the weekend of August 1-3, 2014:

1. Project Backpack
When: Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Helpline House and Paper Products.
Why: This Helpline House-sponsored annual event is the drive to collect school supplies and monetary donations for Bainbridge Island students in need. Take your donations to Helpline House or Paper Products through August 25. For information call 842-7621 or visit www.helplinehouse.org.

2. Yarn Bomb the Library Exhibit
When: Friday, 1-3 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Library, 1270 Madison Ave. N
Why: This is the aftermath of a week of yarn bombing. When I first heard about this, all kinds of images ran through my head but none was the right one. What we’re talking about here is people descending on the library with yarn and basically making art, using the library as canvas (sorry to mix metaphors). Now you get to see what happened.

Winter Solice by Lauren Riker

Winter Solice by Lauren Riker

3. “Visual Journey”—Photography by Becky Gibson and Lauren Riker
When: Friday, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Library, 1270 Madison Ave.
Why: As part of First Fridays Art Walk, attend the opening reception for this August exhibit of the dynamic duo of Gibson and Riker who capture everything with their cameras, from polar bears to cool architecture.

 

 

 

Print by Curt Labitzke

Print by Curt Labitzke

4. Men and Women: Recent Works by Curt Labitzke
When: Friday, 6-8 p.m.
Where: The Island Gallery, 400 Winslow Way E, #120
Why: Labitzke has many descriptors following his name: Hermine Pruzan Endowed Faculty Fellow, Chairman of the Printmaking Program, and Co-Chair Inter Disciplinary Visual Art, University of Washington School of Art. This is the opening reception for his new exhibit. Plus, music on the Plaza by Ranger and the Re-Arrangers.

 

 

 

Three Stack Cutout by Garth Edwards

Three Stack Cutout by Garth Edwards

5. Garth Edwards and Dog Days of Summer Reception
When: Friday, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Arts & Crafts, 151 Winslow Way E.
Why: The whole gallery has gone to the dogs. Metal sculptor Garth Edwards has turned his playful eye on dogs and so have fellow artists Cameron Bahnson, Lynn Brunelle, Diana Cronin, Megan Drew, Lynn Morecraft, Sally Robison, Lynnette Sandbloom, Anna Von Rosenstiel, Raquel Stanek, and Susan Wiersema.

6. Ovation! Presents Evita
When: Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, 3 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge High School Theatre, 9330 NE High School Road
Why: This is your last chance to see Ovation!’s smash hit. Read more here.

Ticket outlets are Winslow Drug on Bainbridge Island (cash and checks only) and online at www.brownpapertickets.com now using any credit or debit card. ​There will be tickets at the door for all performances (as available). Tickets can be purchased by phone 24/7 at 1-800-838-3006, extension 1.

Schoolhouse Rock cast

7. Schoolhouse Rock Live Jr.
When: Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, 3 p.m.
Where: BPA, 200 Madison Ave.
Why: Remember learning about the Declaration of Independence on the Emmy-winning Saturday morning Schoolhouse Rock? Now put that visual on a stage populated with hard-working live kids instead of cartoon characters.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for kids. Buy them at (206) 842-8569 or here.

Dog by Lynn Brunelle

Dog by Lynn Brunelle

8. Gallery Talk with Lynn Brunelle
When: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Arts & Crafts, 151 Winslow Way E.
Why: Brunelle is the author and illustrator of a whole mess of books, many of them for kids, ranging from Yoga for Chickens to Why Did I Buy This Book? She’s also a four-time Emmy-winning writer for Bill Nye the Science Guy. Her illustrations are lively and funny and are part of BAC’s new Dog Days of Summer exhibit.

9. Farm to Fork to Cork Dinner
When: Saturday, 5:30-8:30 p.m
Where: Laughing Crow Farm & Bainbridge Vineyards, 8989 Day Road East
Why: Delicious-sounding menu of locally grown food and locally made wine au plein air. Your ticket benefits EduCulture’s Edible Education Programs. Read more here.

$95. Seating is limited—to reserve your place, please contact EduCulture at (206) 780-5797 or admin@EducultureProject.org.

Pink Chocolate Donut by Erika Applewhite

Pink Chocolate Donut by Erica Applewhite

10. Block Prints: A Workshop for Adults with Erica Applewhite
When: Sunday, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Arts & Crafts, 151 Winslow Way E.
Why: I’m thinking Christmas cards . . . Learn how to make relief prints you can use for all kinds of things, like making 35 valentine’s for your kids’ classmates. Participants will design and carve their own block to keep and use. Carving tools and materials provided. Organizers ask that you bring a pencil, a blue or black ink pen, and idea books or visual materials for inspiration.

Register at the gallery or call (206) 842-3132. $50.00. Discounts available for students and Bainbridge Arts & Crafts members.

Scene from Love's Labour's Lost

Scene from Love’s Labour’s Lost

11. Shakespeare in the Park: Love’s Labour’s Lost
When: Sunday, 3 p.m.
Where: Battle Point Park
Why: Basically, “American Pie” in iambic pentameter. Greenstage brings you the tale of a king and three noblemen who act like fools for the love of the ladies.

Free but donations to performers are encouraged. How will they get home on the ferry otherwise?

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keys

Aging Well: Your Most Important Resource—Resources (Especially Housing)

by Jeannette Franks, PhD, Gerontologist

jeanette top ad In many ways Bainbridge Island is a resource-rich community. Many of the resources we offer, such as a food bank (206-842-7621), a senior center (206-842-1616), and a volunteer network (206-842-4441), can be found in most prosperous communities. But on Bainbridge we also have housing services through the Housing Resources Board (HRB).

HRB, the Island’s “affordable housing” agency, owns and maintains 50 rentals on Bainbridge and shares ownership of another 50 units at Island Terrace Apartments. HRB provides a home to a diverse community of all ages including retirees, the disabled, and working families with children. HRB offers two programs remarkable in scope and services that are important for seniors: the Independent Living Program and HomeShare.

I am particularly impressed with the Independent Living Program, which helps residents stay safely in their own homes. The program underwrites home modifications to remove health and accessibility barriers and is a huge factor in helping people ‘age in place.’

Coordinator Julie Stone is experienced in meeting client needs and setting priorities. If you’ve got a problem, she can help figure out a way to solve it. Julie told me a story about a frail woman who was getting along just fine in her equally aged house. The only problem was her deteriorating, leaking roof, which might necessitate that she leave her home. The poor conditions affected air quality. She could not afford a new roof, and she felt unable to assess contractors’ recommendations. Julie worked with a contractor and secured generous Independent Living funding primarily made available by the City of Bainbridge Island. The woman is able to continue to live in her own home.

Typical modifications include

  • bathroom improvements and grab bar installations,
  • stair and handrail improvements,
  • improved air quality, and
  • wheelchair ramps.

Julie responds to all requests for in-home assessments. Applicants may own or rent their homes. There is no age restriction. Contracted work happens with client approval and is carried out by licensed and insured contractors.

The HomeShare Program matches those with space available in their homes who need extra income or help around the house with those who need an affordable housing opportunity. HRB provides support by screening local applicants and matching them with local home providers.

HRB also offers Emergency Rental Assistance. This is crucial for keeping families in their homes during a crisis, providing rent or mortgage payments to people who need time to survive rough waters. This service is provided through Helpline House.

The 25-year-old HRB has grown from a few apartments at Island Home to nearly 100 units, including single-family homes at Ferncliff Village, where all 24 homes are occupied. The second phase of the community is planned for next year. Six years ago, HRB adapted the Community Land Trust Model to all its properties. At Ferncliff, residents own their homes, but the land is held in community land trust through the Housing Resources Board.

Related Stories 

Photo by Linus Bohman.

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Roots shopping bag sales

BHS Basketball Celebrates a Season of Giving the Community $18,000

Tonight’s (February 7) Spartan basketball matchups against Lakeside will be not just about racking up points for the team. They will also be about the team giving back to the Bainbridge community. Boys’ Team Head Coach Scott Orness said that in 2013, Roots Basketball, the charitable organization built around the basketball program on Bainbridge, has raised—in cash and in contributions—over $18,000 for various local causes.

At tonight’s games, Orness and Girls’ Team Head Coach Nicole Hebner will be presenting a $4,000 check to Mark Blatter, the Executive Director of Housing Resources Board. The money comes from a Roots basketball tote bag fundraiser. The teams are also asking fans to bring canned food for Helpline House to tonight’s games. Last year, the teams collected about 390 items.

Roots has also raised $3,000 for new glass backboards and pads at Woodward, thanks in part, said Orness, to the coordinating efforts of the Bainbridge Island School District Director of Facilities and Capital Projects, Tamela Van Winkle. The Woodward PTO matched the donation and Toilsome Construction donated the installation labor.

In addition, the program raised $2,125 for the boys’ HS program and $2125 for the girls’ HS program, gave out $3080 in financial aid, and donated $3,460 to the Bainbridge Boys Boosters.

The Roots mission statement  is “Participants will leave our program as better players and as positive contributing members of or local and global community.” Whatever the outcomes of tonight’s games, the teams have already made a lot of very good points.

The JV games are at 3:15 and 4:45. The Girls’ Varsity game starts at 6:15, followed by the Boys at 8. All the games are in the BHS gym.

Related Stories:

Photo by Scott Orness.

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As Seahawks Win Inside Century Field, Seattle Homeless Outside Stay Warm with Bainbridge Help

Yesterday, as the Seahawks battled it out with the 49ers in an exciting, down-to-the-wire match, and thousands of Seahawks fans generated yet another seismic event on an already tremulous fault line, homeless people huddled under the viaduct, trying to stay warm, or panhandled the fans or looked for food. Maybe some of them listened to the game on transistor radios. Maybe a lot of them didn’t really care what was happening in the nearby noisy arena. But, regardless of their interest, several hundred of them were a little warmer than a month ago. That’s because of the work and generosity of a number of Islanders.

Knit. Purl. Give 1

Bainbridge warms the hearts (and heads) of Seattle homeless.

Knit Purl Give

On January 5, Bainbridge Realtor Ty Evans’ Knit Purl Give project, which tasked Island knitters with making hats and scarves for Seattle’s homeless, delivered the first 60 items to homeless people. Evans and a friend headed to the Union Gospel Mission on 2nd Avenue and some other spots on 1st and opened boxes of knitted wear, inviting people to take hats and scarves. Evans said that one man asked if there was a hat in Seahawks’ colors—unfortunately, there wasn’t, but he seemed happy with his chosen hat anyway. A woman asked if it was okay for her to take one if she already had a hat—Evans said she should as it would help her stay warmer.

One knitter sent a box of items from Florida—he had picked up some kits when visiting the Island. Evans said another knitter had donated a huge bag of brightly colored yarn to the project. One woman called at the last minute to say she wanted to participate but there were no more project kits at Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. Evans happily paid for another one so the woman could join in the effort. Another woman made an entire boxful of items herself.

Evans told me that she can’t even knit a hat. But she does know how to knit a scarf, so that’s what she did. Plus, even more important, she and her daughter launched the Knit Purl Give project last November, footing the bill for the dozens of hat and scarf kits made available through Churchmouse. The project was so successful that she intends to turn it into an annual event.

Columbia Sportswear Donation

Columbia donation

Part of the Columbia Sportswear clothing donation at the MID offices.

Then on the 10th, Andie Mackin, the Executive Director of the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association, who had been helping coordinate the distribution of the hats, met with Dave Willard, the Manager of Seattle’s Hospitality and Safety Program, to deliver the rest of the hats and scarves. But Mackin, who visited Willard with her daughter who was home from college, was there for another reason as well. She had secured a generous donation from Columbia Sportswear of four pallets with 64 boxes of winter gear, and she and her daughter were there to help Willard and his crew sort through the items and figure out how to distribute them to needy people.

Several years ago, when Mackin worked for IslandWood in Community Engagement, she realized that “many of the inner-city students who came out for the School Overnight Program didn’t own proper rain gear, boots, and outdoor clothing.” In 2002, when the program launched, IslandWood had a well-stocked gear shed with backpacks, rain gear, and assorted other items, but most of the gear has worn out by the time Mackin got involved. So she contacted Columbia Sportswear , and the company provided IslandWood with a donation of heavy duty rain gear, backpacks, and boots that, Mackin said, “has kept thousands of kids warm and dry.”

Dave Willard and his crew with the Columbia clothes.

Dave Willard and his crew with the Columbia clothes.

When she was coordinating the Knit Purl Give project with Willard, Mackin realized that “there was probably much greater need on the streets of Seattle, beyond the hats.” So again she reached out to Columbia, which sent to Willard’s office on 4th Avenue the pallets of gently repaired items through the Company’s “ReThreads” program. Before heading over to Seattle, Mackin said, “From the sound of Dave’s [Willard’s] voice this afternoon, it’s pretty astounding—even a little overwhelming. I can’t wait to see it for myself.”

Willard told me that some of the donated gear and the hats would go to the Union Gospel Mission, some to Compass Housing, and some to the Downtown Emergency Service Center.

BHS Social Justice League

Although, the Seattle homeless are not direct beneficiaries of the work so far of  the Bainbridge High School’s Social Justice League, which is run by teacher Brad Lewis, SJL is just another example of Islanders reaching out to needy people beyond our borders with clothing. This Friday, January 19, SJL completed a two-week clothing drive that collected 80 bags of clothing from the community.

Knit Purl Give

Happy guys in new hats.

The clothing will benefit needy people around the county. The Arc of Kitsap offered to pay $3 per bag. A generous islander matched the first $200 raised and then routed his donation through the Gates Foundation where he works, turning it into $600. All the money raised is being donated to Partners In Health (http://www.pih.org), a national organization with a local chapter run by Lewis and Islander Laura Van Dyke. The mission of PIH is to bring health care to poor people around the globe, and the $1000 raised will go specifically toward fighting multiple-drug resistant tuberculosis in Lesotho. The local chapter of PIH, which recently hosted the screening of Girl Rising, is planning a mission to Haiti with high school students and a fundraising running event in the spring. The Social Justice League collected 10,000 pounds of food for Helpline House over the holidays.

Related Story:

Knit Purl Give—or How Bainbridge Is Knitted to the Seattle Homeless

Photos by Ty Evans and Andie Mackin.

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Last Word

Outgoing Council Members Hytopoulos, Lester, and Scales Get the Last Word

At Wednesday’s (December 11) City Council meeting, the Council celebrated the tenures of Councilmembers Kirsten Hytopoulos, Debbi Lester, and Bob Scales, all of which will end at the end of the year. Mayor Steven Bonnkowski gave brief introductions and speakers chosen by each Councilmember addressed the Council, reviewing the accomplishments of the outgoing public servants and making some pointed comments about the nature of public service. The three Councilmembers also offered their own remarks. The common thread through all of the remarks is that (a) being a City Councilmember is hard and you get criticized a lot, (b) the last four years have been especially tough because of the recession, and (c) the three outgoing Councilmembers were all hard workers with strong convictions and concern for the community.

State Senator Christine Rolfes

State Senator Christine Rolfes spoke about Hytopoulos. She recounted how Hytopoulos started off her career as a young parent on the south end who convinced her community to bring sewer service to that part of the island. Rolfes said she then “rallied the troops” to ensure that the proposed Lynwood Center development would meet the community’s needs. She helped lead the campaign to change our government from mayor run to the city manager form and then ran for Council.

Acknowledging the public criticism endured by Hytopoulos, Rolfes, a former Bainbridge City Councilmember, said, “One day you’re an informed engaged and generally well-respected citizen. And then you get elected to City Council. Your life changes.” She added, “You’re making decisions that impact people’s property, that impact their jobs, and that impact the safety of their children. There’s no way that everybody’s going to like your decisions, and a lot of times they don’t even like you.”

But, she added, “The most important thing when under fire is to stay true to your values,” and she said that Hytopoulos is an “amazing example.” She listed the challenges Hytopoulos faced, including the recession and the Winslow Way reconstruction project, and said “She gave us all hope that Bainbridge Island could remain an eclectic, progressive, interesting place to live.”

She also listed Hytopoulos’s accomplishments including the plastic bag ban, fighting for the liveaboard community, and rebuilding community trust in the Police Department, all the whole raising three kids and starting her own law practice. Rolfes said, “No one worked harder and contributed more,” and she encouraged Hytopoulos to consider another term once her kids are grown and the recession is over.

Rolfes concluded her remarks by admonishing the Councilmembers to “be kind to one another.”

Greg Robinson

Lester asked Bainbridge Island Museum of Art Director Greg Robinson, whom she has known for 20 years, to speak about her career. He started out by saying how “depressed” he was when Lester ran for Council and how “devastated” he was when she became mayor. He explained it was because it meant the local art scene would suffer from a reduced Lester presence, but he said, “The art world gets her back now.” He proceeded to tout her many contributions to the art scene, including her founding of Art Access, a long-running local magazine that tracks the Seattle-area art world.

Ryan Vancil

Lester’s husband, attorney Ryan Vancil, also spoke about Lester. He said that, because of Lester’s wide-ranging interests and involvement in so many different aspects of Island life, he realized he was the “only person who could speak to all of her work.” He listed some of her many accomplishments including reactivation of the nonmotorized transportation committee, the Winslow Way reconstruction and its incorporation of public art, the hiring of a new city manager, solar panels on City Hall, the housing development demonstration project, the Waypoint Park project, the city website improvement, the SMP, the tree ordinance, and the Waterfront Park Community Center upgrade.

He described how she served on numerous regional and county boards, introduced poetry to the Council meetings, kept the July 3d Street Dance from dying during the recession by resurrecting it as the Island Vibes celebration, planted tulips along Winslow Way, wrote hundreds of cards to thank people for doing their jobs, paid daily visits to the Waterfront Park Community Center during its reconstruction to talk to the workers and check on progress, and possibly issued more proclamations during her year as mayor any of her predecessors.

He concluded by saying that a “positive and encouraging demeanor were the hallmarks of her term” and that “every Councilmember deserves our respect whether we agree with them or not.” He then gave his wife a bouquet of flowers.

Joanne Tews

The Executive Director of Helpline House, Joanne Tews, spoke about Councilmember Bob Scales. She said, “You must know your values and be very comfortable with a very small fan club as a public servant.” She said, “I tell my staff, if everybody loves you, then you’re not doing your job. There is always a cost to sticking to your principles.”

Tews said that, during her 14 years as Executive Director, she had heard from many Councilmembers. Some had indicated relationship with Helpline that wasn’t there, some had promised things that never materialized, some had “misstated facts,” and  some had let peer pressure dissolve their resolve,” but, she said, never Scales.

She said that “every day we have to see clearly, listen carefully, and act wisely. Bob, I want to thank you for being green, for being comfortable with a small fan club, and for aligning your principles with your actions.”

The Councilmembers

The three outgoing Councilmembers got the last word—twice. First, they each were able to address the chambers and impart some final advice.

Hytopoulos said she hadn’t been prepared with comments. So she spoke extemporaneously, thanking her colleagues and saying, “We disagreed on a lot of things, but everyone has done so because we want the best for our community.” Then she expressed hope for the new Council and said, “We’ve got to try to see there’s truth in both ends of the spectrum” and hoped people would find common ground. However, she added, it’s “too easy to say everyone should just get along. Not everything can be compromised. There are things people shouldn’t compromise on.”

To the community she cautioned, “No matter what form of government, no matter who we elect, our community is not going to be able plug and play and walk away.” She told people to stay engaged.

Lester, who had prepared comments in advance, read a poem written by first grader Islander Julia Denlinger that was highlighted in the 2005 poetry banners produced by the Public Art Committee:

The Tree Story

The trees are the leaders of our island.
Stand up straight, reach out,
be kind and gentle, sway when
it’s windy. Give home for animals
or a place to eat, share your shade.
Be glittery as it rains. Be glittery
after it rains.

Lester said the poem is a “metaphor to “remind one to be a tall leader.” She said, “When we gather together, it is a sacred moment. Our friends, our neighbors, our children bear witness.” She added that “kindness, grace, generosity, and humor are wonderful gifts to share.”

She said her greatest lesson learned is that “it’s never an indvidual. It’s always a community.” She finished by saying, “We have done great things” and had her husband hand out gifts to the other Councilmembers, which included salmon she and her husband had caught and smoked and new Councilmember name plaques for the chambers.

Scales, who served for more than ten years with the Council, said that when he first ran in 2003, he ran unopposed and didn’t know what he was getting himself into. He mentioned that in those ten years he had worked with four different council configurations, and “it’s interesting to see how you’re perceived.” When he first served, he said, he was perceived as a property rights advocate. At the end of his last term he was called an “environmental advocate.” His conclusion was that “You are how you vote.”

Scales also acknowledged his fondness for “a good crisis.” His favorite time during the ten years was dealing with the financial crisis. He said, “It’s easier to operate as a council when there’s a crisis. You have unity of vision.”

He finished his remarks by saying, “I can guarantee I will not be back for a third term.”

The Councilmembers got the last word a second time when Mayor Steven Bonkowski, who had awarded each of them with a commemorative plaque and an orchid, read the three Councilmembers’ candidate statements from the 2008 voter pamphlet.

Hytopoulos had said that city spending and planning should reflect community priorities and that she would work for reasonable population increases. Lester wanted to reestablish council ward meetings, improve the city website, and increase opportunities for local food, arts, and business. And Scales had wanted to work for an improved decision-making process, conduct a thorough assessment of revenues and expenditures, and establish appropriate levels of service.

Bonkowski concluded, “We have three Councilmembers that have done an incredible job for four years of fulfilling what they said they were going to do.”

Photo by Simon James. 

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Play Winslow

Weekend on the Rock November 29-December 1, 2013:

Here are Inside Bainbridge recommendations for the weekend of November 29-December 1, 2013:

1. Indie Banditas Bazaar Christmas Show  
When: Friday and Saturday, 12-5 p.m.
Where: Grange Hall, 10340 Madison Ave NE.
Why: Organizers describe the event as “upcycled, recycled wares and new and inventive art,” handmade made by 20 artists, and reasonably priced. Plus food and live music. You can show the big box stores that you like to do it local, thank you very much.

2. Thanksgiving Weekend Wine Tour 
When: Friday-Sunday, 12-5 p.m.
Where: The seven Bainbridge wineries.
Why: Forget shopping. Work on the spirit instead—I mean the spirits. Get all the details here.

Celebrate Downtown Bainbridge3. Downtown Bainbridge Holiday Open House
When: Saturday, November 30, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: Winslow
Why: Celebrate shopping locally, get some great deals, and enjoy the festivities, including the Complimentary Hot Cider Booth (1-6 p.m. at the Mall), Complimentary Carriage Rides (1-3:30 from the Winslow Green), and the Community Tree Lighting (5:30 on Madrone Lane). Pick up a Passport from any participating retailer or at the Cider Booth. Collect a stamp when you spend $10 at a participating retailer. If you collect stamps from 10 businesses you will be entered to win one of four downtown shopping sprees worth $1,100 each. Plus, these authors will be at Eagle Harbor Books throughout the day: Kelli Russell Agodon, Carol Cassella, Jonathan Evison, David Guterson, Dylan Tomine, Garth Stein, Lance Weller, and Rebecca Wells. But wait: There’s more. Check out the event flier for more deals and events.

Micki Lippe art

Micki Lippe jewelry

4. Micki Lippe Trunk Show
When: Saturday, 12-7 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, 550 Winslow Way East.
Why: Metalsmith Micki Lippe will show off her jewelry. Take a gander, buy some gifts, and head into town for the rest of the Holiday Open House.

5. Afternoon on the Trails  
When: Saturday, 12-4 p.m.
Where: IslandWood, 4450 Blakely Ave NE.
Why: Work off the gravy on the 255 acres of IslandWood. Visitors can check out the treehouse, the suspension bridge, and the fern-covered ravine along the way. Bring a picnic.

Suggested $5 donation. No pets please.

Turkeystock6. Turkeystock: A Thanksgiving Tribute to the Tunes of the 1960s
When: Saturday, 7-10 p.m.
Where: Island Music Center, 10598 NE Valley Road
Why: Peter Spencer and his band, the Julie Duke Band, and Chele’s Kitchen raise money for Helpline House. Read more here.

$5.

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Turkey Trot 2013 Photo Gallery

This morning’s (November 28) Turkey Trot 1 Mile and 5K races started off Thanksgiving right for hundreds of Islanders and their visiting friends and family. The early 8:30 a.m. start to the 1 mile and the 9ish start for the 5K was no deterrent. Neither were the cold nor fog, and scores of participants’ cars were lined up along Arrow Point, after the lots at Battle Point Park were full.

Turkey Trot founders Ann Browning and Jenny Campbell launched the Turkey Trot about five years ago. Campbell said they approached Helpline House and asked them if they’d like to be beneficiaries of the money raised by the event. The people at Helpline House looked confused by the offer, she said. But they’re not confused anymore and certainly look forward to the annual input of money. Last year’s Trot raised $20,000, and this year’s has 20 percent more participants preregistered, 770, with an expected 300-400 registering today.

Timing professionals Kathy and Matt of Raise the Bar, a running team and timing business, were here from Maple Valley as has been the custom in years past to lend their expertise and expert instrumentation to the race. They posted the results within minutes of the finishes of each race. Kathy said they had to get up at about 4:30 this morning to get to Bainbridge on time.

The Bainbridge Island Police force was well represented in the run, with Chief Matt Hamner, Officers Victor Cienega and Erik Peffer, and Harbormaster Tami Allen all joining in the race. After the 5K, Peffer said that they’re going to get T-shirts for next year’s race with their new slogan: “At the BIPD we put put citizens first. That’s why we come in last.”

There was a big surprise in the 1 Mile this year. The third and fourth place finishers were women, and the third place winner was a twelve year old. The top four finishers of the 1 Mile were John Spannuth with a time of 5:44.2, Levi Perez, 12-year-old Claire Christen (at 6:28.3), and Barbi-Jo Smith. Craig Boekenoogen finished first overall in the 5K with a time of 16:41.6, followed by Orin Schumacher (16:54.1), and Jim Savage. The first two women to cross the line were Ramona Morshead (19:58.5) and Ruby Roberts (19:58.8).

[portfolio_slideshow id=63967]

Photos by Sarah Lane.

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BIPD food drive

Cops Collect Truckloads of Food for Helpline’s Biggest Thanksgiving Demand Ever

Today, November 22, until 3 at Safeway and tomorrow between 9 and 3 at Town & Country, Bainbridge Island police officers are running a food drive for Helpline House, Bainbridge Island’s food bank. So far they’ve collected over 1,000 pounds of groceries.

At around 11:30, Police Chief Matt Hamner, Parking Officer Ken Lundgren, and Officer Erik Peffer, who was tasked with running the food drive, were standing just inside the entrance to Safeway, handing out pamphlets explaining what they’re doing and what kinds of donations they’re looking for and collecting items from shoppers on their way out. Peffer showed me one of the pre-made donation bags put together by Safeway staff to make donating the right kid of food items easy for shoppers. This bag included pasta sauce, tuna, peanut butter, and canned vegetables.

The Chief, impressed with Islanders’ generosity, excitedly told me that five or six people donated turkeys within the last hour. While I was there, a gentleman walked up to the officers, quietly handed them a 20-pound turkey, and left. Hamner’s wife and three of his kids showed up to help hand out pamphlets and load Lundgren’s parking enforcement truck with the groceries.

BIPD Food drive

Peffer and Hamner loading groceries

Peffer, who recently transferred here from the police force in San Juan County, New Mexico, said that he is used to doing community outreach, having run in the Olympic Torch run there with the department and participating in Shop with a Cop. That’s a winter holiday experience for kids of families in need. Money is donated and each kid is given $100 to $150 to go shopping—with an officer. The police officer makes sure the kid gets a pair of shoes and a good jacket, and the kid can buy a toy as well. Peffer said that event is happening here on December 7 at the Kitsap Mall, and he’ll be part of it.

Peffer, who has a degree in kinesiology, originally wanted to be a cardiologist, and was also interested in culinary arts, said that he remembers thinking, “When I’m on my death bed I want to feel that I did something good for my community.” That’s when he decided to go into police work. “Law enforcement is an honorable profession. It’s not all about car chases and arresting people. A lot of it is about community outreach.”

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Photos by Sarah Lane.

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Play Winslow

Weekend on the Rock November 15-17, 2013: Ranger’s Apprentice

Here are Inside Bainbridge recommendations for the weekend of November 15-17, 2013:

1. Stuff the Turkey  
When: Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Where: T&C and Safeway
Why: This is how our community provides food to our neighbors in need. During your grocery shopping, pick up a little extra and hand it over to our city’s officers who will be collecting items this weekend. Read more here.

2. Brown Bag Lunch: Hibernation
When: Friday, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Hunny Hall/Bainbridge Island Senior Center, 370 Brien Ave. SE.
Why: Get smart while you eat, listening to experts talk about local wildlife, specifically about hibernation. The Brown Bag Lunch Series is presented by Bainbridge Island Land Trust and West Sound Wildlife Shelter. Bring your own lunch.

$3 suggested donation.

3. Composting Basics  
When: Friday, 1-2 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Library, 1270 Madison Ave. N
Why: It is so much easier to compost your leftovers than to pay for them to go to the landfill. Master composter John Barutt will show you how to do it. This program will be held in the library garden near the garden shed.

4. Movie Matinee: Monsters University
When: Friday, 3:30-5:15 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Library, 1270 Madison Ave. N
Why: Apparently it takes an advanced degree to scare children properly. Free film and popcorn.

5. Building a Sustainable Economy (BASE) Lecture Series  
When: Friday, 5:30-7 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Library, 1270 Madison Ave. N
Why: Michael Kanter, the Chief Visionary Officer at Cambridge Naturals, will talk about the concept of Legitimate Local.

Admission is free, but space is limited. Please register at bi-local.eventbrite.comThe series is brought to you by Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Sustainable Bainbridge, and the Bainbridge Public Library.

6. Book Talk with John Flanagan  
When: Friday, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Sons of Norway Hall, 18891 Front St., Poulsbo
Why: This event co-hosted by Eagle Harbor Books brings John Flanagan, best-selling author of the Ranger’s Apprentice series, to our Kingdom and specifically to Poulsbo, which, come to think of it, is a lot like Skandia. No worries—Morgarath was not invited.

7. About Boating Safely  
When: Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Waterfront Community Center, 370 Brien Drive SE
Why: Remember that ferry-sailboat incident a few weeks ago in the San Juans? Well, this 8-hour course taught by members of the USCG Auxiliary will show you how to stay safe (unless, of course, there’s a giant ferry bearing down). Successful completion qualifies you for a Washington State Boater Education Card, great for impressing people at parties.

$35 per person or $50 per family. Please pre-register with Grant Winther at (206) 842-5862 or gawsail@sounddsl.com.

8. Radical Home Ec: High-Tech Holiday Cards  
When: Saturday, 11-12 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Library, 1270 Madison Ave. N
Why: I thought a high-tech holiday card was an e-mail with red and green fonts. But no! It’s a light-up LED card. You can find out how to make one and what LED stands for.

9. Mushroom Mania: The Fungi of Our Forest
When: Sunday, 1-3:30 p.m.
Where: IslandWood, 4450 Blakely Ave NE
Why: This has been one wacky mushroom fall. Think how cool you could have been harvesting fungi if you had only known what you were doing. The Kitsap Peninsula Mycological Society runs the class for all ages.

Ages 4+ $5/person. 3 and under free. Sign up in advance. Contact Christina Doherty at (206) 855-4384 or christinad@islandwood.org.

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Community Gets Creative to Stuff Helpline’s Turkey (so to Speak)

Helpline House, the Bainbridge food bank, provides food to Island residents in need. Last year, 275 families were served during Thanksgiving week, and the food and funds donated during November fed the foodbank for several months more. This month, in anticipation of Thanksgiving, Helpline is running what it’s calling the Stuff the Turkey project, a month-long series of fund- and food-raising events.

Food Drives

  • 11/21: BHS Key Club
  • 11/23: Boy Scout Troop #1496 and Cub Scout Troop #4496
  • 11/22: Bainbridge Island Police Department at Safeway
  • 11/22-23: Bainbridge Island Police Department at T&C

In addition, the BIPD has a food donation box at the station. Numerous schools, including Ordway and The Island School, will be collecting donations and delivering them to the food bank.

Turkey Trot logoTurkey Trot

Thanksgiving morning, as a pre-Thanksgiving dinner workout, runners and wakers of all ages will join in this 5K and 1-mile running event at Battle Point Park to raise funds for Helpline. The first three years of this event raised more than $42,000. Register today, November 14, to enter a raffle for prizes including Indigo Plum gift certificates and running shoes from Poulsbo Running. Participants in costume get a prize. Register here.

TurkeystockTurkeystock: A Thanksgiving Tribute to the Tunes of the 1960s

This music fest, featuring three local bands, will play music of the 60s at the Island Music Center November 30 to raise funds for Helpline. At 7 p.m., Chele’s Kitchen  takes the stage, followed by The Julie Duke Band at 8 and headliner The Peter Spencer Experience at 9.

All profits go to Helpline. Admission is $15 for adults and $7 for children. For more details about Turkeystock, call (206) 842-9916, e-mail markh@howlinwolf.com, or visit www.howlinwolf.com/hwp/turkey. The Island Music Center is located at 10598 NE Valley Road.

Related Story

Helpline House Sees Biggest Use in Its History but Donations Are Down

Photo by Peter Smith.

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