Tag Archive | "Helpline House"

BCF celebration

Island’s Top Philan- thropists Honored by BCF

In a community of outstanding philanthropists, when a few are called out for being the most outstanding, you know they have to be quite special. At the Bainbridge Community Foundation’s Inspiring People Celebration held at IslandWood on September 18, five very special people got the spotlight: Paul and Debbi Brainerd, Ian O’Keefe, and Steve and Becky Mikami.

Paul and Debbi Brainerd were recognized as the 2015 Outstanding Bainbridge Philanthropists. It’s been almost 20 years since the Brainerds founded IslandWood, which provides nearly 10,000 children and adults with stewardship experiences each year and is now considered a national leader in environmental education. Standing on the grounds of the organization they started, the couple was touted for their support of educational opportunities and wildlife and environmental conservation over the last two decades, specifically for their passion in engaging others in environmental stewardship and for financially supporting environment-preserving organizations including The Student Conservation Corps, The Bainbridge Island Land Trust, and The Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation.

The Brainerds also share their business experience and expertise with nonprofit organizations such as the Bloedel Reserve, Island Volunteer Caregivers, and the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. They created Social Venture Partners, which encourages professionals to give back to their communities through engaged philanthropy and now also connects nonprofits with donor and volunteers on a global scale.

About their work, Debbi said, “When you find something that touches your heart, it is easy to give.”

Ian O’Keefe, named 2015 Outstanding Young Philanthropist, serves as a board member and student delegate for the Bainbridge Ometepe Sister Islands Association. He played a central role in planning and hosting two student-led dinner auctions, which together raised more than $51,000 for community projects. During his two terms as a student delegate, O’Keefe joined community members to work on construction projects and helped create and host a day of activities for children with special needs.

He also mentored Island fourth graders in outdoor education programs for three years and served as an advisor to Mayor Anne Blair on issues relating to youth. At his recent high school graduation in June, O’Keefe was recognized for academic excellence and leadership and received the most prestigious award at Bainbridge High School, The Faculty Honors Award.

Steve and Becky Mikami’s Bainbridge Island ACE Hardware was recognized as 2015 Outstanding Philanthropic Organization. For more than two decades ACE has supported many causes in the community through gifts and sponsorships. The business’s support of The Bainbridge Historical Museum and The Bainbridge Island WWII Japanese American Memorial reflects the Mikamis’ interest in and love of the rich history of Bainbridge Island.

The couple is especially passionate about improving lives for local youth through support of educational and sports organizations including The Kids Discovery Museum, The Bainbridge Public Library, Bainbridge Youth Services, and Bainbridge Performing Arts.

But the Mikamis don’t just give money; they also immerse themselves in causes as volunteers, give time off to employees for their volunteer engagement, and donate funds to any causes that employees volunteer to support. In addition to offering gifts and sponsorships, ACE supports organizations such as Helpline House and the BHS Spartronics Robotics Team through in-kind donations and sharing physical space.

Regina Bellody, Community Relations Administrator for BCF, explained the impetus behind the celebration: “Our hope in recognizing these honorees is to inspire others to get more involved in volunteering and contributing to local nonprofits—every gift counts and everyone can make a difference.”  Since 2001, BCF has been providing financial support, educational programming, and leadership to the nonprofits that serve the community. BCF has more than $12 million in assets and has so far contributed $6.4 million to fund causes that matter to Islanders.

Related Stories

Photo courtesy of BCF.

Posted in Community, Don't Miss This 4, Organizations, SliderComments (0)

Play Winslow

Weekend on the Rock, August 7-9, 2015: The Studios and the Pie

Here are Inside Bainbridge recommendations for the weekend of August 7-9, 2015:

1. Wild About Trees
When: Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.
Where: The Gallery at Grace, 8595 NE Day Road
Why: Drawings, paintings, and engravings by a group of Northwest artists “who share a deep affinity for trees”: Donna Leavitt, Cheryl A. Richey, and Elizabeth Reed Smith. The artists will donate a percentage of art sales to the Bainbridge Island Land Trust.

2. Project Backpack
When: Friday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Helpline House, 282 NE Knechtel Way
Why: Take a moment this weekend to drop off supplies, a backpack, or a $$ donation for Project Backpack, which makes sure kids in need can be ready for school. If your kid needs the supplies, sign up at Helpline.

3. Bainbridge Working Studios Summer Celebration
When: Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Three island studios—Cecil Ross Studio (12851 Madison), Mesolini Glass Studio (13291 Madison), & Sweetlife Farm (9631 Summerhill Lane) throw open their doors and offer their irresistible wares, going tête a tête avec le Studio Tour.
Why: See it all here. Get a tease here:

acrylic painting by Sharon von Ibsch

Acrylic painting by Sharon von Ibsch

4. Bainbridge Island Studio Tour
When: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Click here for sites
Why: Five studios. So many artists, I don’t want to count them. Every kind of craft/art you can imagine. Drive yourself around and browse.

5. Art in Action: Folded Magic Books
When: Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (Gallery or Classroom), 550 Winslow Way East
Why: Drop-in art experience. Just stop by and make something, in this case a book from a single sheet of paper.

6. Summer Movie Matinee: Tinkerbell and the Legend of the NeverBeast
When: Friday, 3:30 p.m.–4:45 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Library, 1270 Madison Ave. N
Why: Words cannot express. Don’t ask. Rated G.

Barbara Winther Kachinas7. Barbara Winther, Kachina Paintings
When: Friday, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Library, 1270 Madison Ave. N.
Why: Well-known Winther’s favorite topic: the Kachina. Winther will give a short presentation about Kachina dolls at 6 p.m.

8. First Friday Art Walk: Meet YA Novelists
When: Friday, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Eagle Harbor Book Co., 157 Winslow Way E
Why: Authors Sharon Huss Roat, Hilary T. Smith, and Stephanie Oakes will talk about writing for a YA audience.


9. First Fridays Art Walk
When: Friday, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Downtown Winslow
Why: Food and art, food and art.

Bounce by Andrea Lawson

Bounce by Andrea Lawson

10. Pets on Parade Opening Reception
When: Friday, 6-8 p.m.
Where: The Island Gallery, 400 Winslow Way E, #120
Why: Artists Andrea Lawson, Don Hazeltine, Woodleigh Hubbard, Sandy Haight, Gerardo Aguayo, Lionel Parra, Wendy Dunder, Julie Anne, Diane Turner, Ashley Licht, and Taryn Kiko Takara share their takes on pets. A reception with the artists features music on the plaza by the Anne Pell Jazz Trio.

11. First Saturday Trunk Show: kimber elements Jewelry
When: Saturday, 12-4 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (Museum Store), 550 Winslow Way East
Why: It’s very slick, It’s very moderne. It’s very esoteric. Seattle jewelry and sculpture artist Kimber Leblicq uses non-traditional jewelry materials like silt and flint to make things you wear on your body.

kimber elements jewelry

kimber elements jewelry

12. Planetarium Show “First Look at Pluto” at Ritchie Observatory
When: Saturday, 8-9:30 p.m.
Where: Ritchie Observatory, Battle Point Park, 11299 Arrow Point Drive NE
Why: The planet gets downgraded to an orb, or something, and that’s just about the time when we arrive to take pictures. Well, here’s your chance to see what New Horizons found on the cold hunk of rock. There will be a Special Kids Show at 6 with Dr. Erica.

Free to members, $2 donation suggested for nonmembers, and $5 for families.

13.  Bike for Pie
When: Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Waterfront Park, Winslow Way, 301 Shannon Dr SE
Why: What better reason to bike? Imagine a carrot on a stick, only the carrot is pie. That’s why you ride. Read more here. 

14. Mindfulness Retreat for Teens
When: Sunday 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Where: Bainbridge Bodhi Center, 6717 Marshall Road
Why: They say you’ll learn how to find balance and excel under pressure. (But will you learn to hang up your wet towel in the bathroom? Where’s the mindfulness retreat for the grownups?)

$75. Learn more here.

Posted in Features, Slider, Weekend on the RockComments (1)

Project Backpack

Project Backpack 2015 Needs Your Packing Help

For 14 years Helpline House has managed Project Backpack, an effort to make sure kids in need on the Island get school supplies. Since 2000, nearly 1,400 students in need have started the school year with community assistance. Last year’s Project Backpack alone helped 155 students.

Now Helpline is about to start year 15, and the staff is preparing to accept essential school supplies and cash donations. The staff says their most urgent need is for all sizes of backpacks, spiral notebooks, and monetary support for student enrichment programs.

Project BackpackStarting August 1, the Helpline House website will list specific needs and will offer a downloadable shopping list of needed supplies. And throughout the month of August until the 25th, Helpline will take your supply and cash donations. You can drop off donations at Helpline House, located at 282 Knechtel Way NE, between 9 and 4 on weekdays.

You can also make cash donations starting August 1 at Winslow Drug, Wildernest, Bay Massage, and the Project Backpack booth at the Saturday Farmers’ Market.

The program is supported by Bainbridge Island Rotary, Paper Products, Bainbridge Island Windermere Foundation, Modern Collision’s Cruise-In, Island Fitness, and Wildernest.

Related Stories

Photos courtesy of Helpline House.

Posted in Community, Don't Miss This 5, Kids, Organizations, Schools, SliderComments (0)

BCF Gives Almost $200K to 48 Nonprofits Serving Bainbridge

The Bainbridge Community Foundation’s funding cycle just ended. During the 2015 grants cycle, BCF gave $195,202 in total funding to 48 nonprofits serving Bainbridge Island. Funding happened across all sectors, with the greatest amount, 38 percent, going to Health, Housing, and Human Services organizations. Twenty-seven of the projects were fully funded.

The highest-rated application was EcoAdapt’s proposal for working with the City of Bainbridge Island to fine tune the City’s Comprehensive Plan in anticipation of an era of climate change. Ec0Adapt will help develop strategies for land use, infrastructure, tourism, farm sustainability, coastal property protection, and emergency response planning to share with businesses, schools, community groups, families, and individuals.

Boys & Girls Club Ukulele Players

Boys & Girls Club Ukulele Players

The Bainbridge Schools Foundation received the highest award in the Education category, $9,000, to introduce engineering programming to about 1,200 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Students will learn how to problem solve in teams and learn about engineering, science, and technical careers.

Island Volunteer Caregivers was granted $10,000 for development of comprehensive training programs, that will prepare their growing volunteer force to continue to meet the needs of the elderly and disabled. Kitsap Legal Services was awarded $7,500 to operate a monthly Clinic at Helpline House for Island residents facing economic hardship who need critical help with civil law issues. Bainbridge Youth Services received $7,000 to support their ongoing work with local adolescents and teens through the Bainbridge Island Healthy Youth Alliance.

Salish kids map activity

Salish kids map activity

The Bainbridge Island Land Trust secured $6,500 for the Student Conservation Corps program. The Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation got $5,000 to help expand trails connecting parks and neighborhoods to parks, schools, and service centers. Owen’s Playground was awarded $4,500 for their inclusive outdoor play space at Rotary Park.

Here is the list of 2015 winners:



  • Bainbridge Cooperative Nursery School (BCNS Water Heater Replacement): $554.00
  • Bainbridge High School Band Boosters (Electric Piano): $1,500.00
  • Bainbridge Schools Foundation (K-5 Engineering Program): $9,000.00
  • Kitsap Adult Center for Education (Support for North Kitsap Students): $2,000.00
  • Odyssey PTO (STEM/STEAM at Odyssey): $2,000.00
  • Sustainable Bainbridge (Earth Art Bainbridge): $4,000.00



  • Island Volunteer Caregivers (Volunteer Support): $10,000.00
  • One Call for All (Research, Tools and Strategic Plan Support): $2,500.00
  • Yama Project, Olympic College Foundation (Yama Project): $5,000.00



  • Bainbridge Island Land Trust (Student Conservation Corps): $6,500.00
  • Bloedel Reserve (Strolls for Wellbeing Program): $3,000.00
  • EcoAdapt (BI Climate Impact Assessment Plan): $10,000.00
  • Friends of the Farms (Volunteer Stewardship Program): $5,000.00
  • IslandWood (IslandWood Community Programs): $2,500.00
  • Kitsap Humane Society (Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Program): $5,000.00
  • PAWS of Bainbridge and North Kitsap (Veterinary Financial Assistance Program): $3,000.00
  • Salish Sea Expeditions (Salish Sea Science Explorers): $2,000.00



  • BI Parks & Rec – Outdoor Programs (Outdoor Programs Storage Unit): $4,375.00
  • Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation (Construct & Maintain Island Trails): $5,000.00
  • Bainbridge Island Rowing (Office Computer & Donor Management Software): $3,153.00
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of King County (Operational Support): $6,500.00
  • Lynwood Community Market (Completion of Accessible Park): $2,500.00
  • OUT There Adventures (Provide Access to LGBTQ Teens to Outdoor Program): $1,550.00
  • Owen’s Playground: $4,500.00



  • Bainbridge Arts & Crafts (Paint Out Winslow 2015): $3,570.00
  • Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council (The ART Tool): $1,000.00
  • Bainbridge Island Historical Museum (Operational Support): $4,000.00
  • Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (Family Art Day 2015): $5,000.00
  • Bainbridge Performing Arts (Open Door Program): $2,700.00
  • Island Theatre (10-Minute Play Festival): $2,000.00
  • Kids Discovery Museum (MiniMu Program): $2,000.00



  • Bainbridge Island Special Needs Foundation: $1,500.00
  • Bainbridge Youth Services (Bainbridge Healthy Youth Alliance): $7,000.00
  • Coffee Oasis (Hope Job Training Program): $5,000.00
  • Dispute Resolution Center of Kitsap County (Peer Mediation): $1,900.00
  • Holly Ridge Center (Infant Toddler Early Intervention): $3,500.00
  • Hospice of Kitsap County (General Operating Support): $2,500.00
  • Housing Resources Bainbridge (Ductless Heat Pumps for Affordable Units): $5,000.00
  • Island Time Activities (General Operating Funds/Scholarships): $1,500.00
  • Kitsap Legal Services (Bainbridge Island Advice Clinic): $7,500.00
  • Martha & Mary (Windows Replacement Project): $3,000.00
  • North Kitsap Fishline (Homeless Support Services): $10,000.00
  • Peacock Family Center (Early Childhood Development Center Critical Care): $6,000.00
  • Raising Resilience (Parenting Right in the Middle Program):$2,400.00
  • Scarlet Road (School Outreach): $3,500.00
  • Washington State Smile Partners (Dental Services to Low-Income Seniors): $2,500.00
  • West Sound Treatment Center (West Sound Treatment Center North Kitsap): $5,000.00
  • YWCA of Kitsap County (ALIVE Domestic Violence Program—Bainbridge Island): $6,000.00

Related Stories

Featured photo courtesy of Kurtis Garbutt. Other photos courtesy of BCF.

Posted in Community, Don't Miss This 5, OrganizationsComments (0)

Boys & Girls Club by Sarah

Boys and Girls Club Is Already Growing Into Its New Space

Question: Where can you drop off your kid at the last minute on any afternoon of the school week for supervised homework and free time until 6:30 p.m. for just $10? (Not $10 an hour. $10 total.)

The answer is the Bainbridge Island Boys and Girls Club. And what is possibly the best bargain anywhere this side of the bridge just got even better with the relocation of B&GC to its new home at Coppertop Loop. The new facility is enormous, bright, airy, and so well equipped to meet the needs of kids and tweens and teens on the Island that older teens and grownups are certain to be jealous and want similar spaces of their own.

Boys & Girls Club by SarahLast week, Executive Director Brooke Beals was kind enough to give a tour of the brand new space which, because it was the morning of a school day, was empty. But just a few hours later, the tables would fill up with the 75 or so kids who show up every day after school on the facility’s doorstep and with staff—the current staff to kid ratio is 1 to 15.

Beals stressed that B&GC is for all kids. Helpline House runs all their scholarship screening so when a kid shows up at their door, he or she experiences “zero barriers to coming here.” Beals said, “No one has to go through the stress of sharing their financial situation with the staff,” not even any of the 10 percent of members on full scholarship. The result is that everyone gets treated the same and feels the same.

Boys & Girls Club by SarahThe entrance area where kids check in opens into a large room filled with game tables, pool tables, foosball tables, a basketball shooting game, and a ping pong table. Beals said that when kids arrive after school they spend a few hours working on reading and homework during Power Hour, and the place hums quietly with focused activity. But, by the time parents and guardians show up to retrieve their kids, the place is so loud from games that she doubts anyone believes the kids were doing anything after school but having fun. You’ll have to take her word for it. She’s planning on adding some soundproofing to make the noise level more tolerable for the grownups.

Off one end of the large room are three classrooms. One serves as an art room, one is a computer lab also equipped with camera equipment for stop-motion animation projects, and the third is a classroom for the youngest clients.

Boys & Girls Club by SarahOff the same end of the large room is an industrial-grade kitchen. Beals said that Storyville Coffee occupied this building as well as the one they are still in next door, and so the kitchen was upgraded for their needs. But now Beals is trying to “power it down” to meet their much less demanding uses. Mostly the room gets used for snack time and cooking projects. A large Ikea table in the middle serves as kids’ workplace for cooking and preparing snacks.

Beals said she and her staff are experimenting with a new snack program. Instead of giving kids the ever-popular Goldfish, for example, and other common snacks like yogurt tubes, they’ve been giving the kids one substantial snack per day like a burrito or a sandwich. The results have been super clear: They’re having far fewer behavioral issues, which Beals attributes to the low sugar, higher protein snack.

On the opposite end of the main room is another giant classroom where the kids work on Lego and other building projects and where the staff shows movies on Fridays. Beals said this summer they will be getting Lego robotics kits to start using with the kids in that space as well.

Upstairs is another generous social area for the middle schoolers with more game tables, foosball tables, and pool tables. Off one end is a lounge with books, couches, and a viewing screen. Beals showed me one of the ukuleles that is part of their popular ukulele program. She plans to get them hung on the wall as well as other art still waiting to be placed.

Boys & Girls Club by SarahAt the opposite end of the second floor is a large staff room. The staff also have their own restrooms upstairs, leaving the downstairs restrooms just for kids to use.

Beals took over as E.D. in 2012 after working for the Y in Seattle at Chief Sealth. When she started here, one of her first goals was to increase enrollment. She did. It has gone up from about 45 per day to between 65 and 75 per day. The club now has 310 annual members.

She and her staff talked about how people need to know who they are in order to entrust them with the care of their kids. So her staff started joining the local PTOs and getting to know people. With their efforts and with the increase in the numbers of people moving to the island, the B&GC was suddenly faced with having to turn people away because of the lack of room at their old space in the Aquatic Center.

Boys & Girls Club by SarahBeals said that wasn’t an option, so right before the holidays she met with real estate agent Doug Nelson. Within a week he had found her the space. Beals said they sold their old digs to the Bainbridge Island Parks District, which will have no trouble filling it up.

Now Beals is facing other issues like how to maximize use of the much larger space on weekends and during the day before kids arrive. She said her Teen Director Kyle Boynton is busy working on ways to increase older kids’ use of the space as well.

Beals is ready for more. Her goal is to amp up membership to 150 within a year.

The B&GC had their soft opening on May 4. But on June 4, everyone is invited to the Grand Opening, even, Beals said, people who are just curious and want to look around. The B&GC is located at the east end of Coppertop Loop, off Sportsman Club, right between Storyville Coffee and the Rock Gym.

Related Stories

Photos by Sarah Lane.

Posted in Don't Miss This 3, Kids, OrganizationsComments (0)

slice of the pie

Community Service Orgs Ask City Not to Outsource Management of Their Financial Support

From 1993 until the beginning of 2011, Health, Housing and Human Services, or HHHS, managed the distribution of Bainbridge City funds to local community service organizations. But in 2011, due to hard economic times and reduced tax revenue, the City cut contract funding to HHHS so that the bulk of available funding could go directly to the organizations themselves. That’s the way things have worked on the Island since then. But now the City Council is again considering outsourcing the management of the funds. This has some local organizations concerned.

Ten local organizations that are supported by the City met Friday to discuss the issue. They ended up agreeing there might be a better way. Today, April 28, they sent a proposal signed by all ten directors to the City Council.

Hope House Executive Director Lorraine Ekholm described the decision facing the Council as “a major crisis for us.” Hope House, a state-funded adult family home for people with disabilities, “lives on a shoestring,” in Ekholm’s words. She said, “I put in all the time I can, and more grant writing, more applications, or a more complicated system would really tie me up.”

One organization that is being considered for the management of the funds is the Bainbridge Community Foundation. Ekholm said she hasn’t been able to receive grants directly from BCF, which she said offers very complex grants that take a lot of time. If BCF takes over management of the City support, she figures Hope House won’t be getting any.

She remembers when HHHS was in charge and how that organization eventually grew to the point at which it was taking a large portion of the funding available to local services to cover its own costs in managing the funding.

Joanne Tews remembers that too. She is the Executive Director of Helpline House, an organization that receives a sizable funding package from the City. When HHHS started getting paid by the City to manage distribution of funds to the organizations, Tews said, Helpline funding got cut from about $110,000 or $120,000 to $80,000. In it last year, HHHS was paid $117,000 for its services.

Tews is worried that having a new outside organization taking over management will lead to a similar situation. “It didn’t work out with HHHS,” she explained. “When HHHS was a nonprofit, it probably served a really good purpose. When it got paid [by the City for management], it became more interested in ensuring its survival. There might be a better way.”

The proposal sent today basically asks the City to involve all ten directors in decision making about what happens next with the management of funding and to consider not involving a third party. Tews said that, unlike an outside organization, the City “seems to understand what’s going on” with the local organizations. She believes keeping management under City control will necessarily put some of the money into providing an additional City staff member to handle the management but keep the bulk of it for the services, money “better used for teen counseling or scholarships for child care or cases of tuna instead of administration costs.”

Tews said the proposal, which has not yet been made available to the public, asks the City to consider returning to the process used by HHHS but with the difference this time of being under City management. “The whole contract process with HHHS worked well,” she said. “That whole process could be reenacted,” but this time it would be run by the City, which would be advertising grants and organizing proposals and running the group of interested but unaffiliated individuals who would make funding decisions. For the last four years, the City has already been doing fiscal management and taking reports and reviewing invoices.

Under the new proposal, the City would review applications from the organizations once every two years.

Housing Resources Bainbridge Executive Director Mark Blatter said that the Council, which will be considering the matter further at the May 5th Study Session, hasn’t yet put a number on the table for management of the funds. He thought it might be 10 percent or less of available funding. He explained why the Council is taking a closer look at the way the funding is determined: “They feel they’re not being responsible stewards of public funds.” This is their way of “paying more attention.”

Blatter saw the meetings of the ten organizations as an effort to work “as a group to give feedback” to the City.

Another executive director of a local organization who preferred not to be named said, “We all feel pretty unified in that we really want to respond collectively as the directors of the nonprofits to assist in any way we can. It’s important for councilmembers to understand we really feel that way and take it seriously and we look forward to working with them.”

She said, “Everybody’s worried about losing their funding and a little tentative about what happens if an outside organization takes over.”

But she was hopeful about the proposal they had sent to the City. She described the proposal as expressing their desire “to create the ability to be part of what happens next.”

Although Hope House’s Ekholm signed the proposal, she wasn’t “even able to get to the meetings with the other organizations” to discuss the proposal she is so jammed for time. “We don’t have the time to do politics,” she explained.

Other executive directors are less candid with their views. Tews explained that “some of smaller organizations might be afraid to speak up since many get money from BCF and the City.” And some of the directors feel less strongly about third-party intervention. Tews said that was because they had not been around during HHHS and had “not experienced what we did.”

The ten organizations are Bainbridge Island Child Care, Bainbridge Island Boys and Girls Club, Bainbridge island Special Needs Foundation, Bainbridge Youth Services, Helpline House, Hope House, Housing Resources Board, Island Volunteer Caregivers, Washington Smile Partners, and the YWCA Alive Program.

Related Stories

Photo courtesy of Arek Olek.

Posted in Don't Miss This 1, Government, OrganizationsComments (3)

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.

Posted in Don't Miss This 5, Government, OrganizationsComments (14)

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

Related Stories

Photo courtesy of Elves on the Rock.

Posted in Community, New 3, OrganizationsComments (0)

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.


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

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.


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

Posted in Features, Slider, Weekend on the RockComments (0)

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.

Posted in Community, Don't Miss This 4, Organizations, Photo Galleries, SportsComments (0)

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.”

Related Stories

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

Posted in Community, KidsComments (0)


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.

Related Stories

Posted in Community, Health+Fitness, Kids, OrganizationsComments (1)

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.

Related Stories

Photo by Ed Schipul.

Posted in Community, Organizations, Popular 3Comments (2)

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.

Posted in Features, New 2, Weekend on the RockComments (0)


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.

Posted in Crime, Don't Miss This 3, NewsComments (2)


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.

Related Stories

Posted in Culture, Don't Miss This 1, MoviesComments (0)

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?

Posted in Features, New 1, Weekend on the RockComments (0)


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.

jeannette bottom banner

Posted in Aging Well, Features, Popular 4Comments (0)

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.

Posted in Community, Popular 4, SportsComments (0)

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.

Posted in Community, OrganizationsComments (1)

InkshedInc Jen Pells
Lynn Smith
Yes on Prop 1
Barn Cat
Bay Hay and Feed
Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com