Daily Archives: October 2, 2009

Ericksen-Hildebrand’s unofficial connection is re-opening

After over a year of closure, the link many motorists formerly used to travel from Hildebrand Lane to Ericksen Avenue will reopen later this month.

Eric Fredricks, one of the new owners of the parking lot that doubles as an unofficial through-way between the two streets, confirmed today that he plans to cut the chain on Oct. 22.

“I want to bring that chain down because everyone I talked to in the neighborhood said it isn’t fair that you can’t drive through there,” he said.

Fredricks consulted with Ericksen resident Debbi Lester, who’s led the Ericksen Neighbors group’s efforts to preserve a green space in a right-of-way that could one day become a direct link between Ericksen and Hildebrand. He credits Lester with helping him come up with some additions aimed at slowing through-traffic.

Large speed ramps, stop signs and crosswalks are in the works for the parking lot, Fredricks said.

He’ll cut the chain during an Oct. 22 Oktoberfest celebration planned at the Ericksen-Hildebrand green space.

I’ll have the full story to you soon.

Twenty years of work against Mercer Islandification

Bainbridge Island’s Housing Resources Board is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a party at Winslow Green tomorrow at 1 p.m. There’ll be live music, a lot of cake and a presentation of HRB’s history by co-founder (and recent humanitarian award-winner) Ed Kushner.

Here’s a guest editorial submitted by HRB’s outreach and development director Wendy Johnson:

How do you define the character of a community? Housing Resources Board believes the character of the community resides in the residents: those who live and work here. HRB has been working for 20 years to sustain island character through housing for island people. In celebration of that work, the City of Bainbridge Island has proclaimed October is Housing Resources Board Appreciation Month.

On Bainbridge, we believe in education, family, diversity, tolerance and involvement. We know that WE have the power to define the very community we live in. We respect our past, ourselves and each other. But many of those individuals who actually embody the characteristics of our island home are precisely those who cannot afford to live here.

Perhaps we’re destined to become another Mercer Island, a retirement community where only the rich are able to live. We’ll have cheese shops for residents and T-shirt stores for the tourists. HRB is working to save Bainbridge from that fate. We believe in a community where farmers and teachers, clerks and artists, elders and young families can live together with those more affluent. That is how we define a healthy and vital community.

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Bainbridge is the prime destination on Kitsap solar tour

Bainbridge Island boasts half of the 20 stops on Saturday’s Kitsap County Solar Tour.

No surprise there, said local solar energy advocate Joe Deets. The island’s love for sun-powered living goes back decades, but interest has exploded in recent years.

“The number of (solar) sites is double what we had last year,” he said. “Essentially, the number of solar systems is doubling every year.”

The number of sites featured on the county-wide tour has also doubled. For more on the tour, read Chris Dunagan’s story.