Tag Archive | "Sallie Maron"


Bainbridge Artisans Raise a Community BARN (w/ Photo Gallery & Podcast)

So far, what’s been raised are the acronym on a sign, a bunch of money, 2,000 square feet of rented space for the members of the Bainbridge Artisans Resource Network, and lots of furniture and equipment. But an actual barn is in the works too—more on that later. In the meantime, community members of all artisan skill levels can use the organization’s rented Rolling Bay space and the amazing machinery, tools, and technology gathered there for learning and making. And this weekend, you’ll get a chance to explore BARN for free at the Saturday Sampler.

Vice President of the Board of Directors Sallie Maron gave me a tour of their temporary digs at 11272 Sunrise Drive NE, in the former spot held by Myers Byodynamics. She explained that the Saturday Sampler is part of the organization’s slow rollout. In fact, BARN has already been offering classes and programs to community members without any official announcements or fanfare so, Maron said, “when money is raised, everyone is ready.”

Jewelry makers

Jewelry makers

Part of the slow rollout has involved testing interest levels and identifying the programs people want, some public meetings at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, and board member visits to other community arts centers. These activities helped the board define and refine the vision for the organization: Maron said that they want to emulate the offerings of other art centers but distinguish BARN by making it a true community artisan center as opposed to just studio space.

Artisans are invited to buy membership in the organization for $300 a year, entitling them to access all the studios and to discounts on classes. But an artisan can also just take a class and enjoy the studios during class time.

On our tour, Maron showed me the small writers’ studio, where people can partake in the busy quiet, and the large fabric arts classroom space, filled with looms of all sizes. A big classroom area for book arts includes a small printing press.

Some artisans were hard at work in the space devoted to jewelry making, warm (fused) glass works, and technical and electronic arts. Jewelry makers were working at a tricked-out table featuring vises, retractable lamps, and magnification equipment. Maron showed me the donated anvil that once belonged to metalsmith Hekki Seppa (an artist whose work is in the BIMA collection), large storage cabinets, a 3D printer, and a wood laser printer.

Specialized drill

Specialized drill

Next door in the woodworking and metal machinery studio was a vast array of tools and machines, most unidentifiable (by me). There was a specialized band saw and, Maron explained, a table saw on which it is impossible to lose a finger or a hand because it has a moisture sensitive cutoff (if you’ll pardon the expression). Most of the equipment is donated, which is a testament to the generosity as well as the resources of our community.

Now back to the actual barn. Maron said that BARN has been fundraising quietly. They will go public when they’ve got 50 percent of the $5 or $6 million they’ll need to build the actual barn. The land— 2 acres on New Brooklyn right next to the fire station—is already theirs, purchased with money raised, and National Humanities Medal-winning local architect John Paul Jones has promised to design the building pro bono.

This Saturday, September 20, BARN is offering you the chance to explore the new space and experience first hand some of its offerings for writers, weavers, bookmakers, jewelry makers, metalsmiths, technogeeks, and woodworkers. Among the experiences you can sample are making barn-shaped cookie cutters out of baled wire, texturizing annealed copper, watching a demo on making crocheted necklaces, and getting your likeness (from a photo) etched into wood with the laser printer. There are some materials fees for some activities. The event starts at 1 p.m. and runs until 4.

Listen here to Bainbridge Community Broadcasting‘s Annie Osburn speaking with BARN board member Catherine Camp about the Saturday Sampler:

[portfolio_slideshow id=84270]

Photos by Sarah Lane. BCB Credits: Hosted by Annie Osburn; BCB editor and intro music: Tim Bird; BCB ferry music: Dogfish Bay Studios; BCB podcast art: artopia creative.

Posted in Art, Community, Culture, Don't Miss This 2, OrganizationsComments (1)


The Giant Grange Beehive Gets Gently Relocated: Photo Gallery and Video

At 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 8, three white-suited and head-netted volunteers, looking like astronauts ready to fly their mission to Mars, bravely faced the challenge of relocating the giant Bainbridge Grange beehive. The beehive had grown so large and was so deeply embedded in the building’s roof and walls that it was causing structural damage. Grange members decided to elicit the help of amateur beekeepers Bryan Kramer, Brian Stahl, and Russ Berg in completing the task.

Although they called themselves amateurs, the three had thoroughly prepared for the mission and carried it out like pros, with only one reported incident of a “bee up the pants” and, as of 9:30 at least, no stings. Kramer had built a scaffolding up the side of the building and had climbed up it to fashion a temporary structure around the opening of the hive, at the Northwest corner of the Grange building, in the hopes that it would capture the bees overnight. It didn’t, so Plan Bee, as it was called by a punning onlooker, was implemented.

Plan Bee involved smoking out the bees from the top of the platform and then gently vacuuming them up into a homemade contraption (fashioned from a cat litter bucket, clear tubing, and a shop vac) that was to hold them securely until they could be released into new digs. Kramer explained that applying smoke around the hive makes the bees react as if there is a fire. They gorge on the hive’s honey so as to be able to transport it. The gorging makes them sluggish and easily vacuumed.

The operation took over two hours, as the hive proved to be even more deeply embedded under the eaves and in the building’s framed walls than had been suspected. The beekeepers pried off the siding and some roof shingles so as to be able to access the combs. They pulled out comb after comb swarming with bees. They carefully inspected each one to make sure they had vacuumed up each bee and then discarded the smaller, egg-free combs. But they kept the ones with eggs to add to the new hive.

Kramer estimated they collected 10,000 bees in the vacuum container. All of them, the smaller working females, the bigger males, and the Queen, were then transferred to a new hive on Kramer’s property. There he will generate what Grange member and Sustainable Bainbridge Board of Directors member Sallie Maron called hyperlocal honey, produced by bees that, for generations, have been living on the Island.

Watch the procedures here in our photo gallery and video:

[portfolio_slideshow id=50606]

Photos and video by Sarah Lane.

Posted in Animals, Community, VideoComments (1)

The beatles Come Together Something

Preparing for Emergency: Come Together

by Scott James

The apple trees were destroyed. And Ross was frustrated.

He knew he should have put up a deer barrier before planting the bareroot trees on Friday. But he thought the new trees would be okay for two nights while he was traveling for work. On Monday morning he awoke to find several hundred dollars’ worth of fruit trees destroyed, presumably stripped of their bark by hungry deer.

Bamboo fenceAmy walked over from across the street, carrying a bundle of bamboo. “Got any wire?” she asked.

“Sure,” replied Ross. “I have some 14-gauge wire left over from another project. What’s up with the bamboo stakes?”

“Well, I shooed off the deer family from your fruit trees this morning—saw them when I was making coffee—but I was too late to stop the damage. They looked like they had been camped out eating for a while. So I thought I’d teach you a cool setup to temporarily protect newly planted trees.”

“Thanks. I owe you one. Where did you learn the bamboo-wire trick?” asked Ross.

Amy said, “I took a class at the local community college about it with my neighbor last year. Then we experimented on the trees in both our backyards. It worked great. Let me show you.”

Lone RangerNo person is an island—especially in the aftermath of a large natural disaster. In recent years we’ve seen a rise of self-sufficiency experts encouraging us to learn a wide range of skills so we can “go it alone.” Whether the encouragement is for a wilderness backpacking trip or an urban hunker-down effort, that’s just plain bad advice. Being a Lone Ranger is dangerous. A resilient community is a much stronger response to the potential for disaster.

To go it alone, the list of personal skills you would have to gather in your personal toolbox is daunting, even if you are seeking mere proficiency and not deep expertise. Self-sufficiency is not realistically attainable for the vast majority of citizens, nor is it particularly desirable. Group resiliency—being able to rely on your local friends and neighbors—is a much better approach to both emergency preparedness and ongoing sustainability.

As we seek to become better community members, we try to improve our skill sets. What do you already know that you can share with others? Perhaps you have mastered food preservation methods like canning or smoking, or perhaps you have sage financial advice about eliminating debt and living below one’s means. Everyone has something they can learn. We also each have something we can teach.

Getting Started

Bicycle repairLearning and practicing new skills—like splitting wood or installing drip irrigation in your vegetable garden—by yourself is good, but doing so with friends and neighbors is better. And making new relationships within your community during these classes is the best. Many towns and neighborhoods offer ample free opportunities to build new relationships and personal skills at the same time. On our island, we can take classes at Bay Hay & Feed to learn about growing food, participate in CPR classes offered by our Fire Department, learn bicycle maintenance from our local bike shops, and learn bout health and wellness via local gyms, yoga studios, and counselors. We can even learn to forage our forests and shorelines through Parks & Recreation classes.

Bay Hay and FeedIn addition to knowing some basic home repair and maintenance (like knowing where your water cut-off valve is), consider taking classes on topics like CPR, camping, gardening, and food preservation in the coming year. Els Heyne is the Marketing & Sustainability Director at Bay Hay & Feed, a garden supply store on Bainbridge Island, Washington. We spoke recently about the new series of homesteading classes she’s putting together:

Not that long ago 90 percent of the people grew their own food, but now only 5 percent grow the food for the rest of us. Many people lost the basic skills and know-how to grow their own food, so we’re trying to teach people some of those skills again.

From how to raise your own chickens to how to keep bees, we are adding more and more classes for these important skills. This year I hope to add more classes for simple things such as how to grow asparagus.

Involve the Whole Family

Learning new skills is not just for adults. Our federal government has created a child-appropriate set of training tools related to preparedness that can have benefits in nonemergency times as well.

Broadening our skill set is the opposite of what many of us were encouraged to do in our youth. We were taught to specialize in order to maximize our salaries (in order to buy more stuff). But it is better to have a wide range of shallow/medium skills than deep knowledge of a single skill, especially when working through something as complex and all-encompassing as a wide-scale emergency.

It’s a Team Effort

Emergency: This Book Will Save Your LifeSeeking out training in a variety of areas is not something we need to pursue individually. Like most everything else we’ve discussed, this is better done with neighbors. The ability to work as a team will be crucial, particularly as access to fossil fuels and the basics of life like food, water, and shelter become scarce. Although some people advocate preparing for emergency far away from “civilization” and prying eyes in a remote location, for most North Americans the opposite will be true. My family and friends plan to stay and help when the national emergency hits, not run away from it. That’s the conclusion Neil Strauss reached in his book Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life.

CERTI recently finished CERT—Community Emergency Response Team—training for the first team in our county. Being able to go through that training with my friends Russ, Jenni, and Sarah (yes, that Sarah) bonded us together not only as a team to support our Fire Department’s emergency work, but also as local friends building a stronger community.

The list of skills that we could seek out can be overwhelming—from woodworking and blacksmithing skills to foraging and camping skills. But if we each follow our natural passions and seek out new knowledge in the areas that interest us, we can be assured that, as a group, we’ll have covered most of our bases.

Barter is one way a group of friends or neighbors can then share those skills and knowledge with each other, making the entire community stronger. Locally, we have a Time Bank started to facilitate these cashless exchanges. It allows members to give services in exchange for credits, which can then be redeemed with other members. Everything is tracked by easy-to-use software, which also allows easy browsing of the other services available from neighbors. Time Banks are different from direct trading and promote a positive upward spiral of giving and receiving.

Training Our Minds, Training Our Bodies

Our personal training for emergency preparedness need not be limited to new knowledge. It should also include getting in shape and maintaining our health. As the McKloskey’s mentioned in my last article, getting in shape in order to be prepared for emergencies is important. Of course a more in-shape you provides many dividends for your life in nonemergency times as well. I spoke with a local leader in wellness, Jen Breen, the proprietor of the popular Bainbridge Yoga House, about the benefits of a healthy mind and spirit, both for individuals and our community. Here’s Jenn:

YogaIt all begins with intention. This is my third go at creating a yoga studio, and each time the intention has been about community. Oftentimes, we think that the image of community is this big mass of people together. But I think that the most thriving communities are the ones that begin with a simple intention, followed by a few people who are attuned to that same intention. Then, it builds from there—slowly, organically, effortlessly.

If we want our neighborhoods to be real neighborhoods where people on the same street know one another, help one another, and share with with another, it takes intention. It takes action and persistence. We need to be willing to reach out to neighbors and to try connect, to socialize, and to bridge. If we do this when times are “good,” then we have built a powerful infrastructure that will support us when things fall apart.

The more isolated, individualized, and busy we are, the harder it will be for us all when the rug is taken from underneath—through a tragedy, a natural disaster, a conflict in the neighborhood. Being friendly and communicative to our neighbors is the simplest route towards healthy communities. Can we offer help? Can we invite them in? Can we solve problems peacefully? Can we offer compassion and generosity to our neighbors, instead of just protecting our own family and acreage? These are the important questions worthy of delving into.

By gathering often in community, comparisons and competitiveness erode from our egos. What’s left is a group of people coming together to celebrate one another’s uniqueness and what makes us unified as a whole. A community seeks to give people an opportunity to express and offer their gifts. No one leader holds all the responsibility or ownership. A community is about all of its participants, not just a few.

At the studio I’ve always encouraged people to discover their unique gift and then share it within the community. It’s safe, it’s embraced, and it’s coming from the right place. Participation and full inclusivity are key.

I also think a community that has the resources (not just monetary) to help those in need creates a foundation of benevolence and charity. A few years ago a woman asked me if I could do a community candle vigil and meditation for a family whose father/husband was killed. So many people who care for this family came, sat in a circle, chanted, listened, held hands, and raised money to help the family. The community of people created and held a healing space that gave everyone there a feeling of connection and peace during a devastating, chaotic time.

Then there are times of great celebration and jubilation. Coming together to breathe, to chant, to move our bodies, to tap into our fullest potential and to help share the light in its purest and raw form creates an amazing and uplifting vibration that draws people in. Less isolation, more togetherness. We know we need community and togetherness to feel fully alive. We thrive in our connections to ourselves, our families, our friends and communities. Our digital age and the kind of online communities we participate in are just no comparison to or replacement for the ignited energy we feel when we are physically, emotionally, mentally, and soulfully together. This is why I created a living room at the studio. It is a commons place where people can come to be at ease, to slow down, and to have conversation or to learn about ways in which to grow and to serve.

PlazaWhile I lived in Mexico the one thing that I became so enthralled with was the way in which the community flowed; at the town square, in the streets and marketplaces. Babies in arms, uncles and aunts, grandparents, teenagers, abled or disabled—everyone came together daily. I watched them talking, mingling, eating, laughing, praying, dancing. There was a sense of joy I felt as I watched this all unfold on any given day. I still wonder how to cultivate that here. Building a yoga house has been one way. The Friday night happy hours are our “Mexican town square strolls” where little kids all the way to 70 year olds move together, breathe together, feel good together, and leave feeling touched by the graces of community.

Cultivating Our Artist Selves

Our island has another type of community forming, this one around artisan skills. Sallie Maron, co-founder of the Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN) project, explained to me how this new facility will encourage the building up of useful (and beautiful) personal skills among citizens:

Bainbridge Island Community WoodshopWe are forming BARN to build and operate an artisan center with well-equipped community workshops for woodworking, metalworking, fiber arts, jewelry making, and other artisan crafts. The center will also include a Maker Space—a collaborative workshop where active and retired engineers can team up with young inventors and tinkers to help people gain practical, hands-on experience with new technologies and innovative processes to design and build projects.

BARN will offer classes for adults and young people at all skill levels and open studio time for those working on personal projects, in a setting that encourages collaboration. Groups will work together on projects that benefit the community and/or require the talents of many individuals, such as building sets for Bainbridge Performing Arts and community service projects such as park benches and bus shelters.

Much of the work at BARN will be artistic; however, people can also use the center for practical projects, such as repairing furniture or other household items. Businesses wanting to explore new products or methods and inventors at the stage of building prototypes will be welcome. A tool-lending library will ensure everyone has access to the right tools for offsite projects.

A book library for all the different arts and crafts and a lunchroom will be combined to create a sense of community and to encourage a crossover of disciplines. We’ll be receptive to all ideas and will embrace programs that respond to the diverse interests of islanders and their neighbors. It’s an exciting project to see come to life.

Adding new skills to your personal toolbox will certainly be helpful during long emergencies. But the benefits of new knowledge, skills, health, and attitude also can bring us significant joy right here and right now, both for ourselves and our community.

Photos by Garry Knight, Timothy J. Carroll, Julie Hall, KCDEM, lululemon athletica, Bainbridge Island Community Woodshop, and Francesc_2000.

Related Posts:

Scott James is an entrepreneur, advisor, investor, and the founder of Prepared Neighborhoods, a program of Sustainable Bainbridge. More details at www.scottjames.me. Join the conversation about this series in the comments below or at www.preparedneighborhoods.com.

Posted in Community, Emergency PreparednessComments (0)

Fixing the Future: Special Film to Be Screened Wednesday

6:02 p.m.

Several Bainbridge organizations with their own plans for fixing the future—West Sound Time Bank, Sustainable Bainbridge, and YES! Magazine—are partnering with Bainbridge Cinemas and Bainbridge’s alternative workplace OfficeXpats to host a screening of PBS host David Brancaccio’s documentary Fixing the Future Wednesday evening at 7 at the movie theater in the Pavilion.

A Bainbridge Time Bank work party helps renovate member Kat Gjovik's garden.

A West Sound Time Bank work party helps renovate member Kat Gjovik's garden.

Brancaccio traveled across the United States filming the quiet economic revolution: the one happening on farms, in factories, at kitchen tables, and here on Bainbridge. The 72-minute film focuses on communities using sustainable and innovative approaches to reinventing the U.S. economy such as time banking, alternative currencies, community banks, worker cooperatives, and local business alliances. It is being shown in more than communities across the country, including Bainbridge Island, on the same night.

Sallie Maron, president of the Sustainable Bainbridge board, acknowledged that “Many of our community members are already engaged in the types of programs featured in the film.” She added, “We’re building alliances to strengthen our local economy, supporting locally owned businesses and family farms, and taking steps toward regional self-reliance in food, energy, housing, and transportation.”

Fixing the FutureAfter the film, watch an onscreen discussion panel of Brancaccio, environmentalist Bill McKibben, Peabody Award winning broadcaster Majora Carter, and social entrepreneur Mike Brady. Following the discussion, a reception will be held upstairs at OfficeXpats where you can hear about local initiatives to “fix the future.” Don’t miss the feast sponsored by Sustainable Bainbridge in partnership with Local Harvest Restaurant, Victor Alexander Winery, Bainbridge Brewing, and at least four local farms. Chef Daniel will prepare light sweet and savory fare from produce provided by Farmhouse Organics, Laughing Crow Farm, Leap Frog Farm, Tani Creek Farm, and others.

Still not motivated? Watch the trailer:


Featured photo shows David Brancaccio (far right) on Lummi Island, Washington, learning about sustainable fishing practices first used by Native Americans.

Posted in Community, Culture, Green Living, MoviesComments (1)

Japanese American Exclusion: Nidoto Nai Yoni—Let It Not Happen Again

by Sarah Lane with Julie Hall

Saturday’s Japanese American Exclusion Memorial dedication drew hundreds (estimated at 500) of Bainbridge Islanders and many from neighboring communities eager to honor the memory of friends and neighbors forcibly relocated from their homes in 1942 by Executive Order 9066. (Read about the monument here.)

The presentation, emceed by Clarence Moriwaki, who is the former president of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial (BIJAEM), was a lengthy but touching affair, punctuated by solemn moments, some tears, and occasional laughter. Moriwaki kept things moving along as distinguished guests told stories from the relocation, about the building of the monument, and about the history of that period.

Clarence Morikawi

Clarence Moriwaki

Frank Kitamoto, president of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community (BIJAC) Executive Board, got things started by reading a list of quotes from participants in the events of 1942 including one by Sam Nakai, who described the relocation of his family: “It was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life.” He also quoted Walt Woodward who said of the armed soldiers ushering the Japanese Americans onto the ferry that most had tears in their eyes.

Earl Hanson, who was a high school senior in 1942, recalled his anger when he was prohibited from saying goodbye to his friend Jerry Nakata as he was being escorted to the ferry. And Jim Johansson, another classmate of Nakata’s, said he thinks about Jerry every single day of his life. Johansson then read a poem by former classmate Gina Ritchie about the event, titled “The Saddest Day of My Life.”

Jim Johansson and Earl Hanson during a moving part of the presentation.

Jim Johansson and Earl Hanson during a moving part of the presentation.

Mary Woodward, Vice President of BIJAC, is the daughter of Millie and Walt Woodward. The Woodwards were the editors of the Bainbridge Review in 1942. They took a stance in their paper against Order 9066, becoming the only one to do so. Woodward gave the crowds a brief history lesson, saying, “If we don’t know our history, we have no chance of learning from it.” She spoke of a concerted effort on a massive scale to demonize American citizens of Japanese descent, an effort that carried on locally to some extent, partly as an economic ploy to take over productive farmland run by Japanese-American strawberry farmers on the island. She ended her comments with a gesture at the crowd, saying, “A community of voices has strength.”

Local songwriter Rick Barrenger performed “Don’t Fence Me in,” a song that residents of the internment camps had enjoyed singing, imbuing it at the time with a literal meaning. The song served as a transition to a focus on the more recent past and hope for the future. Deborah Hickey-Tiernan, a former member of the Bainbridge Island North Kitsap Interfaith Council, told the history of the formation of the monument committee and the early stages of their work to create the monument.

Mary Woodward

Mary Woodward

Karen Yoshitomi, Pacific Northwest Regional Director of the Japanese American Citizens League, focused on the hope-inspiring and longstanding strength of our Bainbridge Island community, recalling how at the Bainbridge High School commencement ceremony in the spring of 1942, 13 chairs sat empty in honor of the high school seniors who had been interned and could not graduate with their class.

Kendee Yamaguchi, the Executive Director of the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, read a letter from Governor Gregoire. And then Sallie Maron, BIJAEM president, spoke briefly about the future plans for the memorial site and announced that Town & Country Market had donated $50,000 toward the construction of the pier, which will be a replica of the one over which the relocated Bainbridge Islanders left the island in 1942. She reminded the crowd that “The way we treat each other is the foundation of community.”

Crowds at the ceremony.

Crowds at the ceremony.

The presentation concluded with the reading of the names of internment survivors in attendance and the whole crowd singing “America the Beautiful.”

Then the survivors, followed by the hundreds of attendees, strolled along the boardwalk toward the gate leading to the memorial wall. Fumiko Hayashida and her daughter Kayo Natalie, who were captured in a well-known photo from the relocation day in 1942, cut the ceremonial ribbon across the gate, officially opening the monument (see the video).

Sally Nishimori Kitano

Sally Nishimori Kitano

Sally Nishimori Kitano was nine years old in 1942. She said she was too young at the time to completely understand what was happening to her friends and family. For her, it had been “a treat to ride a train,” she said with a laugh. And she and “her friends were always either having fun or fighting.” But then more soberly she said that her older brother would never talk about the relocation because it had been too painful for him.

Susan Hayashida Fujita (known at the time as Toyoko Hayashida) was only a baby when her mother carried her across the pier. Her mother had to use up precious luggage room (internees were allowed to take only one bag each) with diapers. For Fujita, the experience had mostly been about regular childhood fears: She recalled coyotes howling at night outside the camp fence and wind moaning through cracks in the wooden structures of the camp during storms.

Susan Hayashida Fujita

Susan Hayashida Fujita

But for her parents it was a much different experience. Her father had been separated from the family during the internment, so her mother had to take care of her six children on her own and with help from friends and family. Fujita said that it felt to her as if her parents were ashamed of what had happened to them and spoke little of it. Today, tears filled Fujita’s eyes when she described the dedication ceremony as very moving, “a tribute to the older generation who went through so much.”


Photos by Julie Hall and Sarah Lane.

Posted in Culture, HistoryComments (0)

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